Horror Thriller

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.


Hearing that three letter word she let the spaghetti slip from her fork back into the plate, she hoped she had done it right this time, it was the fifth take and she was exhausted repeating the same scene again.

"The shot came out good Nica, we will keep it but you should focus on your expressions, they don't match the overall tense theme of the scene", the director said.

She felt relief and resentment at the same time, her eyes wandered off to Ava rehearsing her dialogues, she could get it right in the first take unlike her who needed many retakes, she had taken up this horror movie because she felt it would give her the required break but now it seemed Ava would outshine her.

They all packed up, they would reach the mansion in an hour, the next few scenes of the film were scheduled there. As the van neared the entrance of the mansion, Veronica peeped out to see their temporary residence, it was really different from what she had imagined.

It didn't match the eerie and haunted setting of the movie, it had traces of gothic architecture but there was nothing scary about the building, if she could describe it in one word, she would say it was magnificent!, she had never seen a building as beautiful before.

Her room was on the first floor, the view from the balcony was great, and the decor was done tastefully too, she felt as if she was a socialite living in the 1920's, the whole vibe of the place fit that period, after all it was build in that period, how could it not contain those retro vibes!

Her joy of being in such a magnificent mansion melted away when she again took more than three retakes to do a scene, the director had the same feedback as before, she could sense the disappointment in his voice.

That night she couldn't sleep, she stood in the balcony gazing at the moon, it shone beautifully but even it's beauty wasn't enough to cheer her up, her mind kept thinking about Ava, how was she so effortless unlike her who couldn't get her expressions right, did she not have what it took go be an actress?

As she kept thinking about all the qualities of an actress that she didn't have and whether she should quit, her eyes fell on a dark stain on the marble floor, she stepped closer to observe it, it was hard to make out clearly what it was but it seemed like a dried blood stain.

If she had observed it in any other situation, she would have panicked but since they were shooting for a horror film she thought maybe it was a prop for a scene or some staff had accidently dropped paint, but it seemed too dry to be new, despite her suspicions, she choose to ignore it.

The next day she had to shoot a scene beside Ava, she had to show fear towards her and doubt her, she practiced a whole hour before the mirror but still felt something was lacking in her expressions, she was afraid of disappointing the director again, no matter how much she hated to admit it, there was a certain hunger in her to be praised by the director just like he praised Ava.

Luckily for her she got the scene done within three retakes, one of the best scenes she shot so far, the director sure seemed impressed by her improved performance and hearing even a little bit of praise satisfied her, maybe the mansion was having a good effect on her.

She decided to explore the lucky mansion, she found portraits of some of the earlier residents, they looked just like she had imagined, finely dressed with a pose that would make anyone feel compelled to bow down before them but something about them looked familiar, she took her phone out to take a photo but was stopped by the caretaker of the place.

"How is it disrespectful?, I am just taking a photo for myself, to keep it as a memory, am I not even allowed to do that?", she asked annoyed.

"I am sorry but thats the rule", he replied in a formal tone.

She shot him an angry glance and walked off to explore the place, she hated ridiculous rules like these, maybe if it was Ava in her place he would have allowed her to take atleast one photo, that was the charm she had on everyone, why couldn't she be as charming as Ava?

Did an actress have to be charming in order to be accepted?, she didn't know how to answer that question that had risen in her mind. She woke up in the middle of the night, the portraits had appeared in her dream, she wouldn't call it a dream though, it was more like a nightmare to her, they gazed down at her with a condescending look, then the portrait of the woman reached out her hand to choke her, it was all very grotesque compared to the elegant portraits she had seen.

She looked at herself in the mirror, maybe taking up a horror movie wasn't a good idea, it was taking a toll on her and if the movie didn't do well or Ava took all the credits, all her efforts would go down the drain, she looked around her room, this place felt eerily familiar but strangely she had never been here before.

"Hey it's not what you think it is!, let me explain Nica!"

During one of her sleepless night walks she had happened to discover the director and Ava engaged in a passionate kiss in the garden, they were clearly not rehearsing any scene, the reason Ava got praised so much began to dawn upon her.

She ignored their shocked and ashamed faces and turned to walk away when she realised there was no one watching them, she looked up at the moon, it was as beautiful as before.

"You know I can give a lot of expressions!", she smiled.

Both the director and Ava looked confused, she ran up to Ava and bit her neck, she fell on the ground gasping, the director tried to scream but she bit him before any sound could escape him, she looked at the two gasping creatures before her, she bent down and sucked the blood from Ava's injury, she continued sucking till Ava went pale and limp but she wasn't satisfied yet.

She walked up to the director and sucked him till he went pale too, as she wiped the blood from the side of her lips, she felt her hunger was appeased finally, there was a certain sense of satisfaction she felt in accepting who she was, maybe the others didn't realise the real nature of the residents of the mansion, but she had realised as she was one of them, the mansion was indeed lucky, it made her connect with her reality of being a vampire.

The mysterious disappearance of the director and one of the lead actors gave a lot of publicity to the movie, they were able to shoot the rest of the scenes without any retakes and all the tickets were sold out upon the release, as she sat in the theatre watching her performance, she was pleased with her expressions, maybe charming wasn't all it took to be an actress, you needed to have a powerful aura too.

July 21, 2023 18:10

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13:45 Jul 22, 2023

Nice little vampire tale. Makes sense a vampire would be a movie star, they are great actors hiding their true nature!


Sarah Saleem
17:38 Jul 27, 2023

Thanks! I love that insight on vampires.


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