"It's a joke, right?
Father, you can't do this kind of joke with me." - I stuttered.
"I wish I could say it is a joke." - Father paused to wipe a teardrop at the corner of his eye.
Then he continued - " It's true, my daughter."
"But there is nothing called a vampire in this world Father.
How could you play this sick joke on me on the day before my birthday?" - I tried to control my anger.
My name is Grace Martins. The eldest daughter of Martins family.
My father, Mr. Edmund Martins was one of the rich businessmen of our little town, Mallowpond.
My life was simple from the very first.
My parents loved me.
I had learned eloquent, sewing, cooking, and all the other qualities a perfect housewife should have.
I knew I was meant to be married to a man selected by my father. And would become a housewife when I would grow up like every other girl. But my life turned upside down with my father's sudden confession on the night before my 18th birthday.
I looked at my mother, who was already crying, sitting at the corner of the living room couch. My little sister and brother were already sleeping in their rooms.
"Grace, please sit down.
I want to explain the story to you.
Though I thought your grandmother would explain.
But she left us a year ago." - Father said, looking at grandmother's picture hung on the wall.
I licked my lips as I thought through the situation. Then taking a deep breath, I sat down on the couch beside my mother.
Father took the opposite seat of me and looked down as he couldn't face his oldest daughter's curious eyes.
"It's a really old story of my ancestor who was a farmer.
King gave him punishment for what he didn't do. And his only field was snatched out of his hand, which was his only source of food and money for other essentials.
Thinking he wouldn't provide food for his wife and three sons, he went deep inside the forest to suicide.
He thought any wild animal would attack him, and he would die.
But instead of it, deep inside the forest, he met a person hooded in black.
The mysterious person asked about his problems, and after hearing his sad story, the mysterious person gave him many valuable gems.
But in exchange, the mysterious person asked for his eldest son to become a blood slave of the vampire Princess of Ostlyn kingdom.
The farmer denied it at first. But the mysterious person threatened the farmer that the mysterious person would kill his whole family this time because the farmer already knew about the vampire's secret.
He tried to serve himself to the Princess. But the Royal Vampire always needed a virgin person to be their blood slave.
Finally, he gave up his eldest son to save his whole family and returned home.
The eldest son also agreed to sacrifice himself to save his family. They cried after the son was gone, but with the gems they received from the mysterious person, the remaining family survived.
The Royals sent a letter asking for a blood slave when they needed it.
They didn't send letters for a few generations. So our family thought the vampires would not be needing any blood slaves from us in the future.
But two days ago, I received a letter asking for a blood slave as per the contract.
I don't want to send my daughter to them. But I am sorry, my daughter.
If you wouldn't go, they would kill everyone in our family.
It was a contract."-
Father glanced up at me, who was now on the verge of tears.
"I couldn't believe they didn't ask for a blood slave for long, but now all of a sudden, they want one ?? Why ??"
"I don't know, Grace. You're just unlucky." - Father wiped his tears with the handkerchief.
"Unlucky? Father, you're going to send me to the blood-hungry vampires ??
Just kill me with your own hands, then. It will be easier for me." - I said, raising my voice for the first time on my father.
"Don't say this I. I've never wanted this.
But it is your fate. You were born with it.
You were born to serve the Royalties." - Father said while crying.
Mother was crying very loudly now. Father was keeping an eye on the upstairs so his other kids wouldn't wake up and see all the things happening in the living room.
"I don't want to give you up, my daughter.
I love you." - Mother embraced me as she cried a river. I embraced my mother back. I was terrified to hear the story my father was narrating.
"It's fine, If you don't want to go, Grace." - Father said.
I turned my head to Father with hope in my eyes.
"Really?"- I asked as a little smile approached my lips.
If they come tomorrow, I will let them know that we can't give you to them.
And we all can die peacefully together." - Father smiled bitterly.
My smile disappeared again. I thought about my mother, father, and my little sister and brother getting killed by the vampires altogether. My blood went cold. I gulped a huge amount of saliva as I couldn't decide what to do in this situation.
"What happened to those who went to the Vampire castle ?" - I finally asked, gathering all my courage.
"They never came back." - Father replied.
It was 2 am. A carriage was waiting outside the Martins mansion. Mother was weeping loudly, embracing me. She couldn't just let her daughter go and face the vampire world alone. But Father held mother back.