I heard her heavy footsteps a few feet ahead of me, though I could not see a thing. Something had overcome me, and blinded my vision. I felt her in my blood; the sweet, satisfying and electrifying feel of her terror. It rushed through my veins like adrenaline as I pursued her in the dark woods. I could hear her low, heavy breath as I propelled myself towards her, boosted by her fear. I suddenly heard her scream and a shallow thud as she fell to the damp ground. I stumbled and stopped myself abruptly to hover over her cowering body. She must have turned back to get a good look at me and tripped over an emerging tree root. Had she caught a glimpse of my face through the darkness, she would have seen a pair of entirely grey eyes, yellow-tinted skin, and violently disfigured teeth emerging from bleeding, grey gums. This was what I became when I transformed; when I feasted upon the fear of others.
I leant down in kneeling position, my hot breath bouncing off her cheeks back in to my face. I felt a rush through my body and I inhaled deeply and experienced her numbing distress. She was perfect. I began to feed. I placed my hands on her chest as she wriggled back and forth, fighting me. It only made me stronger. A light in the far distance - possibly from a flashlight - allowed her to witness my further transformation as gill-like flaps of skin opened on either side of my neck. They oozed a small amount of black syrup. I rolled my blinded eyes back in my head as she screamed once more, and her fear was sucked from her body and absorbed through my gills. I began to moan. It felt cool and fulfilling. She slowly calmed and I felt the warmth of the flashlight advancing. When I completed my feed, I quickly leapt from her body and ran deep in to the woods. As I ran, I began to gain back my vision.
As my surroundings materialized, I staggered. My gills slowly reverted back to normal, human skin, as well as my other deformations. I reached the clearing where I had parked my motorbike and fell to the ground. My satisfaction was comparable to the feeling you get after an orgasm, or after eating your favourite food until your stomach is bloated and full. I lay on the cool, dirt ground for a moment and let the fear fester inside of me. Then, once I was completely recovered from my feast, I jumped on my bike and began to drive home.
"Where were you, Kel?" My sister interrogated the moment I stepped through the door. It was early in the morning, and I could see the frustration and worry in her thin, blonde brow. I had been gone all night.
"You know where I was, Amy. Don't ask me that."
"Did you feed?" She questioned again. I made my way across our trailer to the fridge and grabbed myself a beer. It was warm. I caught the closing door midway and peered inside to see no light.
"You haven't paid the electricity."
"Don't change the subject, little brother. Did you feed?" She made her way to me from the checkered, tweed couch in the living area.
"Of course I did, Amy. Why the questions? You know the answers."
"I can never get used to this, that's all. I wish you would let me know, at least." She looked up at me pleadingly. In the end, Amy only wanted what was best for me. She always had.
"It's easy for me, Kel. I feed off of happiness. I don't
transform in to a disfigured, creature of the night."
I chuckled and attempted to take a sip of my beer. My face turned sour as I swallowed the acidic-tasting alcohol and chucked the rest of the bottle in to the sink. Amy was right, her needs were much more simplistic than mine.
"Trust me, Amy - I wish I could feed like you. With every victim, you become more and more beautiful. It's a blessing." I joked.
"And yours a curse. You really did get the shit end of the stick."
We shared a laugh. I made my way to the couch and plopped down heavily, leaning back and pushing my backside to the edge of the lop-sided cushion. Amy curled herself up in the armchair opposite. She really was beautiful; light hair, piercing, half-moon shaped eyes, plump, cherry lips and defined cheekbones. I liked to think that in my most human form, I had some of those good looks myself. It must have been in the genes to some degree. On the other hand, though we shared DNA, there was not much about us that was similar. We tended to fall on to polar opposites sides of the spectrum in many aspects.
"Who was it this time?" She inquired. My sister was full of questions tonight.
"Does it matter?"
"Yes." Amy was stubborn. That we shared.
"Alright, then. It was a young woman. I'm unsure of her name. Pretty, brunette, frail. She was wandering the woods alone, probably out waiting for her boyfriend to show up or something so that they could get it on."
"What? I couldn't help it. I sensed her from the street, her fear was strong." Young girl wandering the woods at night, I couldn't fight my instincts. I knew that my sister saw me as a monster. How could she not? I watched her smirk sadly and curl her knees up to her chin. I hated that I made her feel this way. Since our parents death, she had cared for me; protected me. Even though I was the cause of it, when you unravelled the situation carefully.
My parents died when I was three. That was nearly twenty years ago, now. Thinking back to it made me feel way beyond my years, but I was still young - especially at mind. My sister and I developed our powers, for lack of a better term, at the same time. However, while hers were unnoticed, mine were hard to ignore, turning me in to a disgusting, subhuman beast. I often fed off of my parents, but I could never feed from Amy. Nor could she feed from me. They died during a daredevil stunt at the Quagmire Peaks recreational park and campgrounds. Often, we would camp in their secluded lakeside woods in a trailer much like the one my sister and I now called home. I had sucked all the fear from my parents and they no longer thought rationally about life-threatening situations. They scaled the side of a rocky cliff, harness-free, and both fell to their deaths. Amy was seven when it happened, and she still could not understand that it was me who caused the accident. I could see it in her eyes now, though. She pieced it all together.
Sometimes I saw myself as an uncredited hero. When I fed from the fear of a person, I gave them the potential to lead a new life, without worry. Once I understood it, I would feed only from those that I knew would benefit from being a little more courageous. At first, I caused a lot of shit. Then, I mastered it. I would feed off of that bully victim who needed to stand up for himself, or the housewife who needed to escape her abusive husband. I never explained this to Amy. She wouldn't understand. I, myself, feared that she would hold bitter thoughts towards me and regret that I couldn't have controlled myself back then, when I fed from my parents. Now, I never feed from the same person twice. I let the energy from one person fuel me as long as it could, and when I started to feel the uncontrollable urge to eat, I would carefully select another victim.
"Sometimes I wish we could trade places, Kel." My sister sighed, breaking me from my thoughts. "That for once, you could feel the happiness I feel. That you could be the Yang and I could be the Yin."
"You want to come to the dark side, Anniken?" I smiled sinisterly, and mimicked the muffled breathe of Darth Vader. Amy shook her head, laughing under her breath.
"I'll admit, I've always wanted to know what it felt like. If it
was... different than the way I felt. You know?"
"Sometimes I think it isn't fair. Sometimes I wonder if there are other people out there like us. Ones that have it worse than you do."
I thought to myself about that. There were thousands of human emotions known to this world, could it be that there was a freak like my sister and I who represented each and every one? How could we ever know? A secret like this wasn't something that you tossed around. Hence, why Amy and I kept to ourselves in a small trailer outside of the city. Solitude was preferred for our "kind". As the sun finally crept through our tattered and bent blinds, I lost myself in contemplation. I wondered deeply about my sisters thought. Were there others like us? I suddenly felt a hunger building from another emotion. My wonder. My questioning. Not a supernatural hunger, but nonetheless, it was one that needed to be fed. I looked towards my effortlessly beautiful sister and squinted my eyes playfully.
"Let's find out." I proclaimed. She returned my squinted gaze, an intrigued smile on her lips. We had spent twenty years in hiding, and though we were superhuman, we were not immortal. Life was too short to be wasted.
"But what about our needs?"
"Amy, I'm sure you can find happiness wherever we go. And where there is a lack of fear, I will create it." She looked sombre, but interested.
"It's who I am. Who we are. For somebody fed by joy, you sure possess a lot of fears. Don't hide it anymore! Let's experience the world. Let's seek out anybody like us. We don't have to be alone anymore."
"What if we are alone? What if we end up chasing a fantasy?"
"Better to chase a fantasy than be followed by fear."
"Little brother, as long as you're with me I am followed by fear." She joked lovingly, obliging to my thirst for adventure.
"Not if I take the lead, big sister. Not if I take the lead."