Rain poured down on my head as I curled up in the alley. It’d been only a week since I’d killed those people, and the cops were still on my trail. Everywhere I went, I had to be sure to hide from any sort of cop. Although they didn’t have a real picture of me aside from a drawing that they’d created and digitalized to make it look like a real human, I was still very, very paranoid.
With blood dripping down my lips, I rested my head against the side of a building and cried. I was a freak, a monster, an abomination. I should be killed for what I’d done, but I was too much of a coward to do so. Aside from that, these strange urges began to arise in me.
I felt the need to travel to places in the city that I’d never been to, and I’d lived in this place all my life. Something inside of me desired to go back to one of the clubs I used to frequent some nights, and other nights I would find myself drifting around in the more uppity and rich places in the city. It felt as if a voice in my head was talking to me sometimes. The voice urged me to come closer to it and hinted things at me, things that I desired: safety, love, sympathy, warmth, and compassion.
Always, I played it off as if it was just me going crazy since I was now a freak, but there were times… It was the times when I was all alone and giving up to my so-called Instinct, as the voice had said, that the voice felt like someone that was right beside me.
Shivering under the rain and from my thoughts, I wiped a tear away from my eye then quickly tried to flick it off my finger. I cried blood. I was no longer human. I needed to eat people to survive.
I’d tried to eat from animals, even went as low as to kill a sewer rat, but I couldn’t compel myself to continue it. Each and every time I drank from stray dogs, cats, and rats my brain always went back to the taste of human blood. My instinct was eating at me.
It wanted human blood, but my conscious mind couldn’t stomach the idea. Some nights, I would puke up the blood and wind up starved. After controlling my vomit, I learned to keep the blood down. It wasn’t hard to do since my new self thought it was so delicious.
My heart yearned to go home or at least back to my dorm where I was sure my roommate was freaking out since I hadn’t come back in a week. She was used to me not coming to class or spending the night at other people’s dorms, but she always called me on the third night of disappearance.
The phone that I’d had was now ruined because of my filthy state and the rain and snow that had destroyed it. I had no idea how frantic Lizbeth was at my disappearance. If I wasn’t so scared that I’d eat her face off, I would have gone to see her by now and grab some clothes.
If there was one thing Lizbeth was great at, it had to have been keeping secrets. I told her all about my prowess at stealing, clubbing, drinking, and romancing, but she never told a soul. Yes, she’d scolded me for being so horrible, but our conversations were solely our conversations. She was the best friend anyone could have. I just wish that she was here right now.
Twenty-one years old, cannibalistic, and homeless, oh, how proud my parents would be of me. Gah. If I saw my mom, my dad, or my little brother, I don’t know what I’d do. Probably run, I wouldn’t want to scare them or… drink them.
I shook my head. I didn’t want to think of my parents right now. It only made the sobbing all the more worse. What should I do? I was a freak show. I sucked blood and heard voices in my head. I had nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, and nowhere to run.
Suddenly, the voice in my head stated, You would have somewhere if you would just reveal yourself to me. I shivered when it added, Where are you hiding, young Naomi?
Frightened by the thoughts in my head, I rose up and paused again when I heard my name being said. The only difference was that this voice… was ominously like Lizbeth’s. Although I didn’t want to hurt her, I still jumped at the sound and hid in the shadows when I saw her talking to a handsome human man wearing a black leather jacket and formal jeans.
“Sir, have you seen a girl named Naomi Roesia?” She dug inside of her bag while tucking her umbrella against her body then revealed a picture of us that we’d taken in an old school photo booth at a hipster convention last month. “Here’s a picture of her. She’s twenty-one years old and probably has visited a bunch of clubs with people in this part of town. Maybe, you’ve seen her before?”
The man frowned and ran a hand through his caramel hair. “I’ve never seen her before, miss. I’m sorry.” When Lizbeth frowned and moved to carry on, the man quickly added, “I will let you know if I do though!”
Hanging her head after nodding, Lizbeth near silently muttered, “Why can’t I find you?” She ran her thumb over my face and a tear dropped onto the internal rim of her glasses. Her heart thumped in her chest oddly, and I was shocked that I could hear it at this distance. Her beating heart was a song of sorrow as she trudged along the soppy streets in search of… me. It made me want to go leap out and show myself.
Amazingly, I found myself moving towards her. Lizbeth was my best friend. I shouldn’t hide from her, but… Would she accept me? Would she be able to accept my strange new self? It was a chance and a great gap to leap, but I had to take it.
I was so tired of being lonely. I was tired of sleeping in the snow and rain. I was tired of collapsing into mud puddles. I was tired of the blood that had been on my ruined clothes for a week. I wanted human comfort, and I was nervous to have it given to me.
Shyly, silently, I rubbed at my arm and followed behind Lizbeth. I was sure that my wild eyes were reflecting an odd color, but I had nothing to hide them with. Pushing back the tears that wanted to bubble at my eyes, I forced myself to stay calm. She would freak if she saw the bloody tears, so I couldn’t afford to cry them.
What would I say if she heard me out? What would I tell her of the disappearance? Could I tell her the truth? Would she believe me? What about the blood? Would she run as soon as she saw it on my clothing?
Oh, damn it. My heart bounced in my chest like the bass of dubstep. I prayed she wouldn’t be able to hear it although it screamed in my ears.
Gulping, I opened my mouth and my voice cracked when I called, “Lizbeth?” The girl paused, and I looked at the ground to keep a car’s headlights from making my new eyes shine like a wild animal’s. When she turned around, it seemed to happen in slow motion.
I could hear her heart beating and feel her blood pulsing through her veins. It caused my new canines to grow out long and sharp. Forcing myself still, I glanced up at her shyly once the car stopped making my eyes shine bright green.
Her blonde hair swayed around her shoulders then fell back away to reveal her almond shaped eyes. Those eyes grew wider and wider and wider until I thought they’d pop right out of her head, and she covered her pink mouth with a gloved hand. A tear ran clear down her face as she stared at me as if she couldn’t believe I was real.
Oh, gosh. She’s going to run for it. I tried not to cry as she stepped back. I knew it. She thought I was a freak, a mess, damnation, and an abomination to all that was humane. My heart felt like collapsing and shattering in the pit of my empty stomach. But just as I started to cover my face with my hand and turn towards the alley I’d come from, I felt warmth spreading across the open gashes of the shirt on my back.
Arms wrapped around my neck, and Lizbeth held me as if she’d never let me go. “Naomi,” she sobbed, “I can’t believe what kind of mess you’ve gotten yourself into.” Her hot tears ran down my neck as I stared at the billboard flaunting a club that I’d been to and had met my stalker for the first time at. It taunted me with its name: Crux Shadow.
My hunger bubbled inside my stomach, and my fangs ached when even saliva rubbed against them. Hiding my mouth from Lizbeth, I whimpered, “I want to go home.” She nodded against my neck then unbuttoned her jacket to reveal club clothes. Was she going to that club to find me next? I hoped not.
The frost nipped at her skin covered only in black fishnet, silk, and lace. What did she think she was doing walking around the city like that? She could have gotten kidnapped or worse… She could have had the same thing that happened to me happen to her, but I just couldn’t get angry at her.
Lizbeth was going to be willing to destroy her conservative, artistic, and good nature to come hunt me down. She really was a best friend.
After she called down a taxi and hissed an insult at the man saying something vulgar about her choice in attire, Lizbeth walked me towards our dorm room and, to my pleasure, hid me from any prying eyes. Sitting me down on the couch and fixing up some hot chocolate that I dreaded drinking, Lizbeth asked, “What have you been doing all this time? I drop you off at the club and then you disappear for three months. Do you know just how worried your parents and I were? You didn’t even answer our calls.”
My eyes widened. Three months? There was no way. I had only been gone a week, or could it be the truth? I had been walking back to the dorm then the last thing I remembered was crawling out of a hole and drinking the life out of a family. How could I have survived three months out in the cold, snow, and rain then magically pop back up with a thirst for blood? Why wasn’t my body trying to decay? How come I looked like the same girl just with freaky eyes and teeth?
Chills covered my body, and I had to push back my bloody tears. “I don’t know, Lizzie…” My voice faded off when I heard a knock at the door to our dorm.
Lizbeth hissed, “That’s probably Jason. I asked him to come over, so we could make posters to find you. Run to your room and get cleaned up. I’ll make up a reason for him to leave.”
Relief washed over me. Liz was being incredibly cool right now: hiding me from her boyfriend, not running away, and taking me back to the dorm. I didn’t deserve such kindness. Would she still be the same way if I told her that I’d killed four people?
I doubted it. That was probably a conversation better left to a different time. For now, I’d go get cleaned up and return to my classes. Liz and I could talk madness later on.
My heart jerked at a realization. I couldn’t eat real food anymore. How was I going to pass that one off? A lack of appetite due to bloodsucking? She’d kick me out if I got hungry.
Worried beyond belief, I peeled away my muddy, wet, and cold clothes then tried to keep from looking in the mirror. I didn’t want to see my fangs or my eyes right now. I didn’t want to check to see if anything else was different about my face either.
Yet, my hopes were ruined when I pulled my destroyed jeans off and saw my legs were completely bare of the hair that I’d shaved before I’d gone to the party. Awkwardly, I lifted my arm and found there was no hair under there either. Everything was exactly the way that I’d left it. It was like time had stopped my biological clock.
Shaking my head, I was interrupted by hearing Jason and Lizbeth talking in the living room of our dorm. Lizbeth downed some hot chocolate and muttered, “She looks so weird, Jay. Her eyes were so bright that they looked like they were glowing and her teeth…” I heard Jason move his arm to put his hand on Liz. She must have shivered. “They’re like a cat’s.”
Jason stated, “Knowing her, she probably got drunk and got some fangs put in then bought a pair of contacts. You know how she can be, Lizzie. Don’t worry about it. Just tell her that it freaks you out. She’ll put it up for you.” I listened to his hand rubbing against her back. “At least, you found her.”
Liz mumbled a sound of agreement. “I want to ask her about that club.” She stirred her hot chocolate then I heard her kiss Jason. “Thanks for helping me look for her, but don’t come around until we get everything figured out. I don’t want her to have to answer anyone’s questions but mine. She doesn’t need to be put through that.”
Leaning my head against the shower as the water ran over me, I closed my eyes in the warmth. I was right. Liz was just doing this to be nice, but that was the way she did things. I couldn’t get mad at her kindness. I could just be disappointed. Maybe, I should have followed that voice back to the club instead of coming back to the dorm.
Liz was right. People would harass me with questions, and people would wonder why the digital recreation of the new murderer out on the streets looked like me. They had a right to be nervous of me. I was a murderer now. I was a monster that should be hunted down and killed.
After washing myself and wringing my hair out with a towel, I slipped into a pair of sweat pants and a loose T-shirt then strolled out of the bathroom only to meet the cold metal of a gun. My lips parted to reveal my fangs, and I listened to Lizbeth snicker, “Gotcha red handed, leech.” She made a step closer while I backed against the wall of the bathroom. The gun pressed against me colder than the snow. She was seriously going to shoot me. “You may have been my best friend, but now you’re as worthless as dirt. Tell me all about your little club downtown, or I’ll slowly shoot off each of your limbs.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” My voice cracked. “P-please, put the gun down, Lizzie.” What was happening? My best friend was helping me out one second, and now she was holding a gun to my head. What was going on here? I knew I deserved it after what I’d done to that family, but why Lizbeth? Why did she have to be the one to kill me?
Liz glowered at me, clearly thinking I was playing tricks with her. “Stop fooling around. You went to that club plenty of times. You knew what was going on. Don’t play like you didn’t ever ask to be bitten by one of those parasites. Tell me what you know, or I’ll shoot!” She screamed at me, and my heart fell from my chest to my feet.
I crushed my lids together and balled my hands into fists as tears flowed down. I didn’t know what was happening. How could I know what was happening? One second I was strolling around lost and in the woods the next I’m in a hole and crawling my way up to some family’s home.
I didn’t want to kill those people. I hadn’t planned to. I just wanted food and to get out of the cold. I had never intended to harm anyone. How could she be screaming at me like I was a premeditated murderer when she was the one throwing a gun in my face? She was the murderer. She didn’t regret shoving a gun at me. She should be the one against the wall and being screamed at. She should get the hell off me.
Emotions were boiling inside of me. It was a mix of betrayal, sadness, and confusion. I had no idea what I was doing when I lunged out at her with my fangs ripping out from my originally human teeth. I had no idea what I was doing when I lunged out at her with my new claws sinking into her flesh.
When the bullet sunk into my brain, I didn’t feel it. I had one thing in mind, and that was get out of here and take whoever you needed to down. Lizbeth, my best friend and only real comrade in the world, stood in my way, and I didn’t mean to rip her skull off her shoulders. I promise you. I swear that I didn’t mean to kill her. It was never my intention to do so.
© Copyright 2016 Bridget Shayde. All rights reserved.
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