That night Namarai woke up to a strange cry from her window. She opened her eyes and listened. It sounded as though someone were being tortured. A man…screaming in agony. Namarai searched around the view granted to her but she could not see anything peculiar.
There it was again. That screeching horror of a suffering life begging for salvation. Namarai had to know who the culprit behind this brutal ordeal was. Running through the castle she ran further and further to where the howling lead. She heard underneath her feet. It was coming from the dungeon. Namarai found some stairs that led her to the lower ranks of the castle and to a chained gate.
Namarai had to get through. She had to help this man!
“I’m coming! I’m coming to help you!” Namarai shouted loud hoping her words would soothe this man’s desolation. She found a large rock and began smashing it against the chain creating sparks. As her last struck down to the chain it finally broke in half releasing the guarded gate.
“Where are you?!!” Namarai bellowed holding her hands together to increase her vocal range.
“WHERE ARE YOU?!!” Namarai could feel her own heart start to tread fear in finding this man that sounded like he had come face to face with the grim reaper.
Then there was silence. The screaming cries had stopped. Was this man dead? Was he alright?
“Hey! Can you hear me?!” Namarai felt like she was traveling in circles in this stone maze of a rotting dungeon. She saw something in the distance. A shadow…running.
“Hey! Come back!” Namarai chased the man’s shadow feeling like she was gaining on him. Torches lit up as she ran faster to catch up to him. Blood…streams of blood ran underneath her feet. There was no avoiding it; she had no choice but to dye her shoes the gushing color red. The shadow stopped, it had taken a dead end turn.
“Please…no…” The man pleaded as Namarai stepped closer to him.
“Don’t worry…I won’t hurt you.” Namarai bend her height down to her knees to show that there was nothing to be afraid of.
“God have mercy, please, god have mercy!” The man trembled repeating these words. His hair covered his face, he wore a cloth around his waist but that was all the clothing he had on. Blood was carved into his arms and legs as if he had been torn apart by the claws of a tiger.
“Who did this to you?” Namarai had never seen so much blood. Her stomach began to turn inside out just looking at it. A grown man so scared…so frightened for his life. He couldn’t stop shaking.
“What’s your name?” She tried to help him talk and understand that he was safe. But nothing was getting through to this victim of a mere lethal amusement to pass the time.
The man cradled himself into a corner hiding his face; Namarai placed her hand on his arm and caressed it giving the man a sign of console.
“I’m not going to hurt you.” She let him hear once more to be sure that he understood her objectives.
“How long have you been down here?” Namarai asked watching the man tilt his head slightly to look at her. His eyes were golden brown, his hair was covered with blood but you could see streaks of blonde that must’ve been his original shade.
“I don’t know.” The man responded like a schizophrenic patient from an asylum.
“I’m Namarai…what’s your name?” She kindly requested trying to keep him alert that he was indeed a human.
“I…no…he’s here…he doesn’t stop…he’ll never stop!!” The man jerked around holding his head like his brain was going to explode.
“Who? Tell me.” Namarai had no idea was this man had been through but she tried to comfort him as best as she knew how.
“No! Leave me alone! Leave me alone! Why are you doing this to me?!” The man shouted giving Namarai a panic attack.
“Doing what?” Namarai didn’t understand what he was talking about.
“You monster! God will send you to hell for what you’ve done! The blood on your hands will never condone! It will never condone!!!” The man suddenly felt a puncture inside his chest. He struggled breathing as his focus became hazy. He fell to the floor collapsing, his wounds still bleeding.
Namarai gasped as she shook the man trying to bring him back to consciousness.
“You’re not supposed to be down here.” This unexpected interruption staggered Namarai; she turned around to see Unisia standing before her.
“Unisia! This man needs help! He’s wounded! He needs a doctor!” Namarai tried to lift the man up but it was no use. She didn’t have the strength.
“Leave him; he knows what he’s doing.” Unisia demanded folding her arms in an orderly fashion.
Namarai shook her head; the thought of leaving this poor man to die was unbearable.
“He’ll die if we leave him like this.” Namarai solicited hoping Unisia would show a little sympathy.
“As I said before Miss Reade, he knows what he’s doing. Now come.” Unisia started to walk away assuming that the human girl would obey.
“No.” Namarai defied.
“What?” Unisia turned around intrigued by this refusal.
“I’m not leaving him! We’re his only chance of survival! Are you going to help me or not?!” Namarai defended like a true hero ready to go into battle.
Unisia had never been approached by any human in such a deathful wish. This girl was brave…strong…worthy of her respect. Unisia was taken back remembering when she was once fierce and felt the human emotions. Unisia smiled as she knelt down next to Namarai and looked at the weak dying man.
“Give him your blood.” Unisia recommended.
“What? My blood?” Namarai blinked twice misled to how her blood was supposed to help anybody.
“You want to help him don’t you?” Unisia smirked with one eyebrow raised.
“I do but…”
“Then do as I say and give him your blood.”
Namarai could not believe what Unisia was directing. This man was a human, not a vampire. She wasn’t even sure they had the same blood type.
How is my blood going to help him?
“How?” Namarai had never given blood before; she didn’t know the first step.
Unisia took Namarai’s wrist and pressed it onto the man’s lips. The man didn’t move, more and more blood leaked out of him. He was on death’s doorstep.
“He’s dying! Help him please!” Namarai couldn’t stand watching this man die in front of her, when she could’ve done something to help him.
“You already are. Wait…until the last…breath.” Unisia waited patiently as the man’s lips turned blue. His face was white as snow, not a drop of blood was left within him. His chest stopped rising, he stopped coughing for air. Silence. Namarai put her fingers to his pulse, no heart beat.
“….he’s dead. He’s dead and we didn’t help him!” Namarai shook her head in disbelief of actually witnessing a dead body die in her arms.
“How could you let him die??!!! If you had…” Namarai was hushed by Unisia’s hand as she stretched Namarai’s wrist closer to the man’s mouth. Namarai sat still as she could see the man’s mouth start to move. He grinded his jaw, this man with no heart beat was moving! He took hold of Namarai’s wrist as he placed his lips on her fragile skin. Opening his mouth Namarai could see two of his teeth start to grow longer than the rest of them. The man pierced his fangs into Namarai’s veins making her squeal with pain. Unisia held Namarai still as she tried to calm her down.
“You wanted to help him; this is how you do it. Human…blood. Keeps us alive.” Unisia pressed her face up to Namarai’s ear as she whispered.
Tears started to fall from Namarai’s lids as she had never imagined the throbbing pain of someone actually biting her skin and drinking her blood. The man released Namarai’s wrist and opened his eyes. His golden brown eyes turned red like the others. He licked the blood off his lips and smiled.
“Namarai…you taste…good.” The man grinned with blood dripping down his fangs.
“Go clean yourself off. You smell disgusting.” Unisia pointed the man to the exit.
“So that’s how you do it… that’s how you make a vampire. You feed on them first then give them the sanctity of human blood afterwards.” Namarai didn’t know which part disturbed her the most. The torture of watching your life be taken away from you or permanently becoming that which inflicted the suffering.
“Vampires? No. A human term to define what we are. To us.. a spirit of darkness, a lost soul. We know nothing of what you feel, only how to be. Are we monsters you ask? Of course, but even humans can wear scary masks.” Unisia tried her best to explain how the being of an undead person can go about their life. Lost…alone…no fear…no pain…and no love. Just the nightly sorrow.
Namarai never thought of how the Elmbridges’ life could actually be coherent. Were they happy? What did they do besides feed to survive? Did they do activities? Go to movies? Enjoy each other’s company? All of these questions reflected a no as Namarai looked at herself in the lucid tower mirror. The chamber she was given to dwell in.
Namarai twiddled her thumbs biting her lip as thoughts ran through her head. She couldn’t stop thinking. So many questions, so many answers she had to know. Sitting at the chair that scooted into her dresser, Namarai gazed at herself in her reflection. She rubbed her wrist as the soreness of the teeth marks began to swell.
“Is this just the beginning?” Namarai asked herself as she envisioned future bite marks that would end in her last breath too.
A scratching sound came from Namarai’s window as she noticed that same bat watching her the night before. His red eyes squinted like he knew who she was.
© Copyright 2017 Eilonwy. All rights reserved.
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