Rebirth and Transformation: The Gabriel Chang Story Chapter One

Updated on December 29, 2017

Life for Gabriel Chang was consistent, stable, and boring. He had always done what his parents told him that he should do, from brushing his teeth three times a day to enrolling in Ivy League schools after high school. He got straight A's and participated in a variety of clubs, despite his undiagnosed Asperger's. He had trouble making friends, but he proved himself to be smarter than average so nobody suspected that he wasn't neurotypical. Without the diagnosis, he didn't get the help that information and professional help could have provided, but he didn't care because it didn't bother him or hurt him deeply too much or too often. There was no doubt that he was different, but he never felt like that was a bad thing. He liked himself.

His life followed a path to success and he found his greatest pleasures from reaching for perfection. He learned to play instruments and lifted weights, took courses in dance and business. If there was an extra curricular activity that he was even modestly interested in, he'd join it and challenge himself to excel so much that he surprised even himself. Some people might call it a shallow existence, but some people weren't Gabriel and he didn't much care for the opinions of anyone but himself and his parents. But that life changed at a college party; the last place anyone would expect to find him.

It started the first time he found himself being dragged to a college leisure event. Some of his fellow intellectuals insisted and he was easy to push because he did like new experiences and he did like having friends, so even though he didn't much care for big groups or loud noises, he found himself compromising moderately happily by 'hanging out.' It wasn't much fun, but he liked being around his friends and being part of the moment. He could easily enjoy the company and ignore the moment though. Then a girl caught his eye and made her way across the room to speak with him. She was interested in him, intrigued even, and Gabriel welcomed the stimulation of intelligent conversation. He had fun. She had fun. His friends liked her, and they told him that she seemed to like him too. Honestly, he wasn't entirely sure what that meant but he had hope that it was positive.

She wasn't there every time he got dragged out for group activities, but his friends didn't individually show up to every event either. It was college, responsibility ran rampant and the campus was big enough that it never seemed odd that he didn't see her in the daylight. Every time that he saw her, he found himself excited to see her. They spoke about everything, touching so many different topics that it was impossible to keep track of them all. One night, she kissed him, and he was happy that it was her that took his first. She made him happy, he liked spending time with her and kissing her felt intensely gratifying, like hearing the first procession of explosions at a firework show. He was so swept up in the tides of sensation that he didn't notice her getting ready to bite him until her fangs sank into his neck, but by then it was too late and he blacked out seconds later.

When he woke up, they were in a car and she was driving them away. She explained that now, things would be different for him. That he wouldn't be able to attend class like normal and that it would be best if he left his old life behind completely. The words coming out of her mouth made perfect sense, but he was having trouble understanding them. When she said he was a vampire, he thought she was delusional. In a panic, he grabbed the wheel and the car flipped. The screech of metal bending and scraping against itself echoed in the thunder of each bounce the car made.

Gabriel passed out and woke up later that same night, in a hospital bed. She was gone and the doctors knew nothing about his mysterious woman. Adjusting to his new heightened senses, it was difficult for him to communicate with anyone at the hospital, and it was then that he was finally diagnosed with Asperger's. The label made him panic at first, but an explanation was actually soothing. At least, it was until his blood lust made it nearly impossible for him to resist ripping his teeth into anyone and everyone that crossed his path. He had to leave the hospital. There was no way that he could resist making a scene forever.

After slipping away from the hospital, he followed an enticing scent to a butcher's shop and cornered the owner as he was closing up in the hopes of buying something off of him before he closed up and ended up snacking on the butcher instead. There was no denying what he was, so he did as the woman that had changed him had suggested and left town to start a new life. While the thick feel of the butcher settled in his belly, he contemplated his new existence. What would he do? He could do anything, there wasn't anyone to please anymore and he couldn't follow any of his previous life plan.

He drove until he figured it out; a night club. The loud music and crowd scene still wasn't something he enjoyed, but this wasn't going to be an average club either. It was a supernatural hub where other non-humans could congregate and he could profit in money and gossip. Gabriel tracked down others like him and asked about their world, their lore, and hoped to find out as much as he could about what was hidden from the human eye. He became obsessed almost, wanting to know more, see more, feel more, and own more. There wasn't a power that he heard of that he didn't covet, and soon he started reaching out to take these things that he wanted so intensely.

And the reaching started with a faerie, kidnapped after she decided to wander into his bar.

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