Friday, September 30, 2016

Addicted to the Abyss Vampire Serial Parts 3 and 4 are here!


Part 3: Mallory


Pain
Red Hot
Searing
Shit. Shit. Shit!
What the hell was that?
Oh my god. Oh my god. Ohmygod!
Noooo! No. nonononononononono… I won’t.
I won’t. I won’t. I won’t.
I won’t do this.
Not to him.
No. No! No!
Please. No! Not him! Not him!
Stop it!
STOP!

Something slammed into the back of my head. Cool sludge ran down the back of my neck, down my ears, into my eyes. Sharp bits, slimy bits.

I bit him.

What’s wrong with me? I tried to bite him. I tried to drink his blood. I didn’t want to hurt him. I didn’t. But I did. And I wanted to do it so badly.

“Kill me. Please, God, just kill me!”

“No,” he said. “No more death.”

I couldn’t see. Something cold. Slimy. Thick. Sludge. Running in my eyes. I choked on the smell of burning flesh. Am I burning?

“Focus. Try to remember,” he said.

“Can’t.”

“Can’t what?”

“Can’t see,” I said, my voice hoarse, weak. A weak horse. That’s all I am now. A broken-down mule.

He wiped the sludge off my face; black thick oil on a towel.

Vision focused.

We were in an apartment. I didn’t recognize it.

How many of these have I been in now? Don’t know. Not sure.

“Better?” he asked. His voice was familiar. Where have I heard it before?

“No. Where are we?”

“My apartment.”

“I know that. Just tell me where damn it.”

“Just outside of Denver. Took me forever to track you down. You kept moving. You’d call and ask me to meet up, and then you wouldn’t be there. I was waiting months…” He shook his head. “I’m not letting you out of my sight again. I can help you. We can fix this. I can help you get better.”

“You sure about that?”

“…no. But I have to try.”

“My arms are stuck.”

He chuckled. “They’re tied behind your back. Are you really that out of it still?”

“Fuck you.”

“What’s my name? Do you remember yet?”

“No. I know you or something?”

“You do.”

“You don’t look familiar.”

“It’ll come back to you. Just give it time.”

I struggled. My arms were numb, my stomach was on fire. My legs were weak. He tied my legs to the chair. Arms too. Couldn’t move my hands around to slip them out of the knots. He even tied my thumbs together. Thorough. Annoyingly thorough. I couldn’t get enough leverage to break free. I needed to get out. I needed to FEED. I could feel the darkness inside, starting to boil up. The toothy maw of a beast threatened to swallow me whole if I didn’t eat soon. It hurt. My body screamed for blood. For red-hot delicious lifeblood.

My stomach growled. I got light-headed. My skin crawled. I needed to get free. I needed to eat. I needed it. If I didn’t get it, I’d die.

“Let. Me. Go.”

“No. Not yet. Not until you tell me something. You give me what I want, I give you what you want. Understand?”

Clever.  We should eat him. Rip out his heart, squish it in our hands, pour the blood in our mouth. Like an over-ripe peach.

I could hear his heart beating, pumping blood through his veins. Woosh, woosh, woosh. I drooled. My teeth ached. I licked my lips, stared at his neck. It was so close. I could see his pulse beating under his skin, right beneath his jaw line. That was his jugular. I could almost taste his fresh blood, could see it slipping through the arteries and veins, red gold, the fluid of life.

God did I want it. I wanted it more than anything. I strained my neck and body forward, pulling against the ropes. They were starting to creak from the force.  If I could just…

He snapped his fingers in front of my face. Once. Twice.

I glared at him.

“Focus,” he said and pushed my face back. If his hand got just inches closer to my mouth, I could bite him. God. I was so hungry.

“Why are you doing this?”

“Doing what?”

“Teasing me.”

He smiled. I couldn’t tell if he was mocking me or not, and that pissed me off. “I’m not teasing you. I’m trying to get you to communicated properly. I’ve had a hell of a time getting you to talk to me.”

“How long have I been here?”

“A week or so. Tell me something, what happened that night?” he asked.

“What night? You know how many nights there are? Too many to count. What night, where?”

“At the bar. Think. What happened?”

“What bar? What are you talking about?”

“San Francisco. Three years ago. You and I were there. On a date. Do you remember?”

“No.”

A black pit was growing in my belly, spreading out to my torso. I could feel my body dying. The cells rotting away. If I didn’t eat soon, it would take over, I’d hurt him and devour him and then…no. No. Please. No. Not him. I didn’t want to. Something told me that if I did, I would never forgive myself.

“Look buddy. It’s getting hard to think. OK? If you were smart, you’d loosen the ropes and run like hell and pray that I found someone else to snack on. I can’t hold it back much longer. I can’t. I’m not lying.”

He frowned. “You’re sweating. Your eyes are dilated. Your breath is shallow and fast. Are you going through withdrawal?”

The beast in me growled. It was tensing up, curling around my spine, about ready to shoot up into my head and take complete control. For some reason, I didn’t want it to do that. For once, I didn’t want to stop thinking. It hurt. God did it hurt. But, if I let it do that…

Fuck.

“Let me go!”

“Not yet. Listen to me. Look me in the eyes and listen to me.” He raised my chin, the warmth of his hand seeped into my skin. His eyes. Brown. Warm. Kind. I knew those eyes. My heart sank. No. Oh no. It really is him. It’s him. And I want to devour him whole.  “Remember me now?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t look away. Stay looking at my eyes.”

I blinked, tried to shake my head but he had a firm grip. He made me keep looking him in the eye.

“Listen closely. Try to remember. You and I. We were out, getting drinks. We…had an argument. You ran out of the bar, and then there was screaming. I thought you had run out into traffic. I ran after you, and when I found you, you had collapsed in an alleyway. You were pale as death, blank-faced. The side of your throat had been ripped out, something bit you. Something big. You weren’t able to speak, barely able to move. I called an ambulance. Rode to the hospital with you, filled out your paperwork. They said it looked bad. I stayed as long as I could, but I was tired. I needed to eat and sleep. They assured me that you would be well looked after. I trusted them. I came back in the morning, and you were gone. You killed your nurse, broke the window and jumped out. Do you remember any of that?”

“No. I don’t.” Shit. Did that happen? 

God he smelled great. Like lamb chops.

I growled, bit my lower lip hard enough to break the skin. Foul-tasting clammy fluid seeped out of the wound. I spat it out and glared at him, barring my sharp teeth.

“I’m going to devour you, bathe in your blood after I bleed you dry.” I laughed. “You stupid fuck. Don’t you get it? You can’t save me. I’m already dead.”

He punched me in the face, cut his fist on my teeth. He grimaced. Shook his hand. Must’ve hurt.

Oh God, I could taste it. His blood. I shivered. I wanted it. I wanted him. I wanted to feel alive, to feel full of that warm glowing fire. I needed it, like a junkie needed a fix. I needed his blood.

“You taste good,” I said, wriggling the chair I was tied to, trying to get out of the ropes. Trying to find a weak spot, anything, to get free so that I could jump on him and rip the skin off his throat with my teeth.

“Stop struggling. It’ll only make it worse.”

“You’re starting to smell pretty damned tasty over there.”

“Try to remember that night. What happened when you ran out of the bar? What did you see? What did you smell? What did you hear? Can you remember anything of the attack? Anything at all, nothing is unimportant here.”

“I TOLD you, I don’t remember. Now let me out. I’m starving.”

“Not until you try to remember.”

“I’m going to peel your skin off like you’re an orange. I’m going to peel it right the fuck off, then slice open your veins and drink you until I am so full, I can’t even stand.”

He punched me again. But this time, it was in the throat. I choked. Gasped for air. Bucked in the chair, tried to rip free of whatever the hell he tied me up with. What did he tie me up with? Ah. One of those fabric mesh strap-down mover’s straps, with woven nylon fabric, like a seat-belt. Strong, durable. Hard has hell to cut, let alone rip apart.

Shit.

I’m stuck. I’m trapped, I’m trapped. I can’t get out. It hurts. It hurts so much. My stomach feels like I chewed broken glass. My insides are full of knives and razor blades.

I moaned.

“What’s wrong?”

“It. Hurts. I need to feed. I need food. Please! Make it stop. Just make it stop.”

“You can bear it a bit longer, can’t you? Just try to remember my name. Try that at least. Then I’ll feed you.”

“Let me go,” I growled. That voice. That can’t be mine. It just can’t. It’s….WRONG. Somehow.

“Tell me what happened.”

Tied down. Collared. Chained up. Like an animal. Fucking bastard.

“I’ll kill you.”

He laughed. “Probably. But not if I can bring you back to yourself first.”

Wait.

“What the hell does that mean?”

“Jonah, you called me right? You called me and asked me for help.”

Oh.

Shit.

That’s why I called him. Why I was here.

“Mallory,” I whispered.

“Yes?”

“Your name is Mallory.”

“That’s right. How about yours? Can you remember your name?”

Couldn’t focus. I could smell him. Heard his heart pumping blood through his warm body. Delicious. I bet he tasted soooo good. I shuddered, just imagining his blood running down my throat. So warm, so yummy. Better than sex.

“You’re drooling.”

“Hungry. Need to feed. Blood. Need blood. Now.”

Slapped in the face.

“I’m right here.”

I looked up into brown eyes. Cow eyes. Soon to be dead eyes. I remembered…I remembered her…no…not her. Him.

HIM. He killed you. Kill him.

Lies. Lies! Lies! Lies! Lies! It wasn’t him! It wasn’t!

Hungry. Stomach growled. Starving. Food. There. In front of you.

Make it bleed. Kill it, tear it apart. Kill it! Kill it!

So hungry.

“Feed me.”

“No. Not until you remember.”

“Please. It hurts.”

No response.

“Oh god make it stop. Just kill me. Christ! Just fucking kill me!”

I strained and struggled and the chair tipped over. I fell to my side.

Chair fell over. On the floor. Still tied. Still stuck. Can’t. Can’t move. Bastard. Prick. Son of a bitch cunt whore! Let me go! Moved. He moved. Close.

I heard him kneel down. A hand on my head.

“Shhh. Relax. Relax. I’ll give you what you want.”

“I smell it! I smell it. Give. Give!”

Hand in front of my lips. I bit down, hard, pop his skin like it’s a cherry tomato, his blood oozes into my mouth. I swallowed. I didn’t let go. I kept drinking. Closed my eyes. Let the warmth flow through me. Let it calm the screaming pain. Ease the agony.

The razor blades in my stomach disappeared, the acid in my veins turned to liquid gold.

So good.

I sighed in pleasure. Listed my head back, closed my eyes, let the soothing warmth rush over me like a soft spring rain. Ran my tongue along the palm of his had while I sucked.

He gasped and pulled away.

“Th-that’s enough.”

I leaned forward, mouth seeking his wound, finding nothing but cold air. He leaned down, and wiped his blood on my lips. His blood. On my lips. I sucked his fingers, licked them, ran my tongue up and down and around them and he sighed.

I shuddered. Wanted him to rub his blood all over me. ALL OVER MY BODY.

“It’s okay now Jonah. It’s all right. The pain is gone. I’m here for you.”

Couldn’t break free. Wanted to. If I could, I’d be all over him.

I was lying on my side on the floor, sucking his hand, slowly, lazily now. He gently pulled his hand away and I lay there, content, relaxed, his blood gave me a good, mellow high. A slight rush and then everything melted away. All the worries, all the pain, everything.

He got up, walked to the bathroom and came back, wrapping a towel around his hand.

It was bleeding under there. Blood seeping into the terry cloth.

“It’s going to waste like that. Your blood should be going into me, not that damn towel.”

“Is that so?” he asked. “You bit me a hell of a lot harder than I thought you would. I’ll be more careful next time.”

“Who are you?”

He smiled sadly. “Forgotten already? You called me here. Remember?”

“No.” I shook my head. “I didn’t.”

“Yes you did. It wasn’t that long ago.”

I frowned. His face went in and out of focus. Fuzzy, not fuzzy, fuzzy, not fuzzy, fuzzy. I closed my eyes. Sighed. Waited for the high to settle in, for it to mellow out.

“You look different,” he said.

That got my attention. I didn’t even know what I looked like anymore.

“How?”

“You seem tired. Haggard. When was the last time you slept?”

I shrugged. “When I got tired.”

“You get tired a lot?”

“Every morning.”

“What happens to you then? When the sun comes up?”

I shuddered. Closed my eyes, shook my head. “Black out. Wake up later and after I’ve…”

“After you’ve what? Jonah, talk to me.”

If I could move I would roll over and not have to look at him. He cares. The son of a bitch actually cares about me.

“You shouldn’t be doing this. I’ll kill you when I get loose.”

There’s a look on his face, in his eyes. He was scared and sad. It made me feel bad, wanting to hurt him earlier. I felt bad about that for some reason. And that scared me. I was afraid for him, of what I would do to him. I couldn’t help it. I wouldn’t be able to stop myself. And he’d be dead.

“If you don’t stop me. One day, I’ll kill you.”

“So you say.”

“Mallory.” Christ. Where the hell did I even meet this guy? I didn’t even remember that. “You can’t trust me.”

“Why not?”

“You just can’t!” I screamed at him.

He flinched, backed away. Fear lit up his eyes. His heart pounded faster. I could see his pulse beating in his neck, his blood pumping harder through his veins.

“You can’t trust me! I can’t even trust myself. You have to believe me Mallory, you can’t do this! Just kill me and get it over with.” I looked away from his face, stared at the floor. “We’d all be better off if you did.”

“No. I don’t believe you. That’s not how it has to be. Everyone has addictions, and they all have their cures. This is something that you can fight Jonah. You can beat this.”

“This isn’t an addiction. It’s a God damned curse you stupid son of a bitch! Now fucking kill me already!” My voice broke, the pain cracked through the words.

Shit.

I’m screwed.

Scared, screwed. The same really when you think about it.

“You think better you know, after you’ve fed. I can actually talk to you. Like we’re talking now. It doesn’t last long though. A few hours at most.”

I eyed him funny. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“After you’ve fed. You can focus. You have a moment of clarity. Don’t you? That’s when you called me wasn’t it?”

“What?”

“When you called me three weeks ago, you had just fed hadn’t you?”

Three weeks? No fucking way. I had just done that, hadn’t I?

“I think so. I…don’t remember.”

Shit. I was screwed. If my blackouts were lasting that long. If I did stuff while not myself for longer and longer periods of time, after a while I– my stomach dropped. I felt like I was going to be sick.

After a while I wouldn’t even think any more. I wouldn’t be me at all. I would be something else.
I sank into the floor and tried to disappear into it. My head thunked into it with a solid thud. I kept hitting it against the floor, over and over again.

Shit, shit, shit.

“What’s wrong? Jonah? Talk to me.”

“That’s not my name.”

“It’s not?”

“No.”

“Then what is your name? What should I call you?”

“I…I don’t know. I don’t remember.”

“Well, Jonah is what you told me to call you, when we first met.”

“When was that?”

“Five years ago. In San Diego.”

California? But there weren’t any X’s in California on my map.

“You seem confused.”

“I don’t remember being in California. It’s not marked off on the map.”

“This one?” he asked and picked it up off the side table.

“Yeah. That one.”

I eyed the towel wrapped around his hand. I must not have bit him very deeply, it wasn’t bleeding through very much. Just in a few spots. I could smell it.

“You’re bleeding.”

“It happens.” Mallory unfolded the map, it was tattered and frayed along the fold lines and covered in splatters of blood and ink. He looked it over and held it up so I could see it. “You’re right. There isn’t an X in California. None.” He sounded surprised. “Huh.”

“What do you mean huh? That’s MY MAP. I can read the names of the places on there. I know the big one on the west coast is California. There never were any X’s there.”

“That must mean that you weren’t…”

“I wasn’t what? What do you know? Tell me.”

“Not much. I don’t think you’re in any condition to hear any of what I do know though.”

“No. You tell me now. Before I black out again. I need to know. Where do I know you from? What’s happening to me? Why can’t I stop this?”

“I don’t know if we can stop it. But if you stay here with me, I may be able to help you control it. It might take a while, but with constant care I’m sure that I can.”

“Just when do you plan to sleep?” I asked.

He smiled. “During the day. Just like you.”

Like me? What does that make me then?

JONAH

A memory flashed in my head. I’m little, holding the crayon in a fist, writing in squiggly ugly lines.
J O N A. I always forgot the H.

“What is it?” Mallory asked.

“My name. I think I remember what it is. It’s Jonah, right?”

“Right. See? You’re starting to do better already.”

I yawned. My body was relaxed. Belly full. Content. My eyelids heavy.

“Jonah?”

“Dawn is coming. Tired. Sleep now.”

“I’ll see you when you wake up then.”

“Sure.”

Dark time. Light outside. Dreamless sleep.
The void
Chaos
Voices from the Abyss beckon.
Come closer, come closer they whisper.
Blood.
Blood
Blood
Blood
Blood
Blood.
Blood!
Food.
Hungry
Hungry!

Asleep. Awake?

Doesn’t matter.

The nightmare’s still there no matter what. Isn’t it John?

That’s not my name.

It’s not? You look like a John to me. Selling your body on the streets. Ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Red eyes. Teeth like razors sink into my neck, shred it apart. Black non-blood seeps from a jagged gash ripped across a wrist with razored teeth.

Drink.

No.

Do it!

Don’t want to. No! Don’t! Don’t make me!

I gagged. I choked. I kicked. I screamed. Nothing. Nothing gets the taste out. Nothing stops that taste from coming back. Thick black oil for blood. Non-blood tastes like ashes dipped in wine. Like fire behind my eyeballs roaring in my head. Nothing gets it out. The taste of undeath. Nothing but the blood.

Blood.

So. HUNGRY.

I woke up to a scream.


Mallory was screaming.

I had his neck in my hands. His fingers clawed at my arms, his legs kicked at mine. His face was turning red. The whole room was turning red. Deep black sludge oozed from the scratches on my arms. I stared at it. It was so slow. I have oil in my veins.

I dropped him.

Oil. Not blood.

I backed away.

“Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit!”

Have to get it out. Have to get it out of me. But how…Matches on the bed-stand. Oil burns. I’ll burn it out. It’s the only way to be sure.

“Stop!” Mallory screamed and coughed.

I lit the match and brought it down to my non-blood. To the oily black sludge that was seeping out of my skin.

Is it my skin? Don’t know. Not sure. But it’ll burn. Everything burns. Everything.

Stupid bastard knocked the match away. I tried to light another one and he swatted the matchbook out of my hand. I snarled at him. Teeth sharp for the kill. I felt them grow longer, thinner, sharper. Mouth full of razor blades and promises of death.

He took a step back, his eyes wide. Deep purple bruises on his neck. A gash above his eye. The chair and the restraints were torn apart. Must’ve done that when I woke up.

“You’re bleeding,” I said, licked my lips, and smiled.

He shivered and backed towards the door.

“So are you.” His voice shook in fear. I shook in anticipation. This was going to be better than sex.

“Run,” I said. “Run for me, Mallory. I want to taste your fear.”

He backed up to the wall near the bed, and his hand reached behind his back, I could hear something hard slide out from under the side table.

“Run little Rabbit!” I laughed and lunged at him.

“No,” he said and pulled out a crossbow and fired.

I could see it move but I couldn’t do anything to stop the bolt from sinking into my chest. Nothing. Not one damned thing. It pierced my heart. A jolt of pain ran up my spine and my entire body froze. Paralyzed, I fell to the floor. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t blink. Nothing. Pain seared my chest, through to my back. It was getting worse by the minute. And I couldn’t move to pull it out.

“I’m sorry Jonah, I had no choice.” He knelt next to me. Kissed my cheek. Tears welled up in his eyes. “I’m so sorry,” he said and hit the crossbow bolt, shoving it in deeper. Something pulled all the muscles in my body taught and I stiffed up like an ironing board, my eyes rolled back in my head, and I passed out.


Part 4: The Apartment



REVENGE

I liked that word. Felt good to roll over my tongue.

Get revenge. Kill the ones that hurt you.

I was going to find HIM.

Red eyes. HE has red eyes. Blood red albino eyes. Like that thing I ripped apart in the barn with ash and dust in its veins. But HE didn’t smell bad. Not like that thing did. HE smelled good. Expensive cologne. Was I selling myself on the streets? HE seemed to think so. Maybe I wanted HIM to think that. But…Mallory said that it happened fast. I was with him one moment, then out in the street, then what? What happened? Why can’t I remember all of it? All I remember are wisps of feelings, smells, and those horrible eyes. Not like Mallory’s eyes. Not at all like his. Mallory’s were intelligent. Sad. Kind.

HIS eyes were cold, calculating, vicious. An apex predator. Not emotion at all.

I was going to find HIM. Find HER. Find all of them. And kill them. Before they killed me.

I wasn’t anyone’s dog.

Roll over
Play dead.
Woof.

I laughed.

He bolted upright. He was sleeping in the lounge chair. Again.

“Jonah? What time is it?”

“After sunset. Not much though. Just woke up. Means the sun just set.”

“Mmm.” Mallory made a face. The back of his hair stood up like a bad cowlick.

“Nice hair.”

He stood and stretched. He had bandages wrapped around his wrists. He’s been letting me feed off of him. He was delicious. He had gotten used to it. To the pain. Bothered me more than him now. But I worried about it. About him.

What if I got too used to his taste? Would I crave someone else? What if that happened? Then what? I wouldn’t be able to stay with him anymore. I would have to find someone else.

“What are you thinking?” he asked.

I stood and cracked my back. Sleeping on the couch. Always sleeping on the damned couch.

“We need a bed.”

He rolled his eyes and headed off to the bathroom. Don’t have to worry about that anymore. Thank God.

Walked over, checked his laptop. It was still running. Still running tests and equations and hypotheses and whatever the hell else he was running.

But I’m not running. Nope. Not running. Not anymore. Bored….

What will happen to me when he dies? What then?

Freedom.

Freedom to roam wherever and eat whomever you want. No more rules. No more chains or cuffs or collars. Room to stretch out your legs, and forget everything. Just live from fix to fix. Right?

No. No. I won’t do that again. I won’t. I’d rather die. Except I can’t die. Not really. Can’t live either. Must be someway to end this. Must be…There has to be a way.

Mallory put the coffee pot on. I lit up a cigarette and sat at the small card table in the corner. There was a small part of the room that served as the kitchen of the apartment. But too tiny to be a kitchen. Kitchenette. That’s the word.

I chuckled. What a stupid word. Kitchenette.

“What’s so funny?” He shot at me and sat down.

He looked tired. Drained. Anemic. Like his blood was thinning out. Didn’t taste like it was doing that yet. But soon enough, that would happen. And it’d be like drinking water. Disgusting.

“You look like shit. Like the junkies on TV. That’s how bad you look.”

“Just tired.”

“Sleep more then.”

“Can’t.”

“Why?”

“Are you worried about me?”

“Maybe. A little.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know.”

“I’m sure it’ll come to you. You’ll figure it out.”

Oh, I knew why I was worried about him. Not because of the blood. Not because of that. It was because of the look on his face; he wasn’t just physically tired. His soul was tired. I wasn’t just draining his blood, I was eating his soul.

“Welcome to the Abyss. Welcome to the Truth.” Words from elsewhere whispered into my ears.

I waved away the voices. Annoyed. I hated that. Didn’t happen a lot before. This was something new. Just started a few days ago. Seemed like the voices were coming from inside my own head sometimes, other times, seemed like they were coming from someone very far away.

“Jonah? Are you all right?”

“Who’s Jonah?”

“That’s your name.”

“No…it’s not.”

“Of course it is. Your name is Jonah. I’m Mallory. Why is that so hard for you to remember? Should I give you a name tag?”

I stood up and slammed my hands down on the table. “That’s not my fucking name! Why do you keep calling me that?”

He sighed. Pinched his nose right by his eyes. “We’ve been over this. Practically every night now. If Jonah isn’t your name, then what is it? What do you want to be called?” he asked. He didn’t raise his voice. He didn’t even stand up. He just sat there, drinking coffee, looking tired.

“It’s not Jonah. I-I don’t know what it is. But I hate that name. That’s what that asshole called me.”

“Who?”

“The one who…” The one who did this to me, who made me like this. HE fed me infected oil sludge from a gash on his wrist and left. Just like that. Dead and gone in a wink of an eye.

“The one who what?” he asked and motioned with his hand for me to continue.

I plopped back down in the chair. “The one who did it.”

“It?”

“You know. IT.”

He looked at me funny. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Yeah. You do. I wasn’t born this way. Someone made me like this. Someone…HE made me–” I coughed and choke on the memory on the fresh taste of ashen oil sludge for blood being shoved down my throat. I shook my head. Lit another cigarette to get the foul-tasting memory out of my mouth. Ignored the fact that my hands were shaking.

He stood  and walked to me. “Who did? Who made you do something? What is it? Tell me. Please. Let me help you.”

“I can’t…I…Just stop asking.”

Mallory. Always so calm. Always so understanding. It pissed me off. When was this guy going to get mad at me? Never. He just wasn’t that way. He pitied me. Felt sorry for me, for what was done to me, for what it made me do to all of those people. I couldn’t even count them all. I remembered faces now and again. How their particular vintage of life and fear tasted. How they screamed and begged for me not to kill them. How I relished drinking their lives away until they were dead. They were delicious. Each and every one of them.

He crouched down in front of me and put his hands on my knees. His hands were so nice and warm. His body heat started to seep into my legs, I could feel them warming up and becoming less stiff.

“Talk to me. You always shut me out. Stop shoving the pain back down inside where it can fester and rot. It’s not healthy.”


Fester. Rot. Like the sludge in my veins. 


“Yeah. Rot. Good word.”

“Talk to me. At least finish your sentence. Please?”

“I did. Good word is a sentence.”

“You’re changing the subject. Again.”

Why do I feel like we’re becoming an old married couple?

I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. “Don’t talk like that.”

“Like what?”

“You sound like my mom.”

“Really? You remember her?”

“No, not really.”

“Oh,” he said.

Dashed his hopes yet again.

I looked at him. I didn’t like him down at that level, with his hands on my knees. His head close to my crotch. Didn’t feel right.

“Stand up,” I said. “I’m tired of sitting.”

He sighed and got up, walked into the bedroom. Or what should be a bedroom.

I followed.

Chains, manacles, leather straps I chewed through, old blood stains on the carpet. Triple layers of cardboard and newspaper lined the windows. I was in here for weeks. It looked like a chinzy, sleazy S&M dungeon in here. What a dump.

It was my fault though.

He couldn’t trust me. I did strange things. He had to get used to my sleeping patterns. He claimed that they changed with the moon cycles. Not sure what that meant. What did the moon have to do with when the sun set? That made zero sense.

“Bet this place looked nice before I moved in,” I said and lit up another cigarette.

“Not really. I hardly lived here.”

“If you didn’t live here, where did you live?” I asked and kicked a pair of wrist cuffs away.

“Out of my car mostly.”

“That sucks.”

“Yeah,” he said with a little smile. “It did.”

“Don’t you worry about stuff? Like your job?” I asked. I didn’t even know where that came from, the words just fell out of my mouth. Like drool. I was drooling my thoughts all over the blood-stained carpet.

“I work from home now. I have a great pension plan. My job’s hazardous after all.”

“Is it?” I asked, curious.

“Yes, just look with what I have to deal with.” He gestured around the room. A huge dent in the wall where I tossed him away from me one night when I didn’t want to eat anymore. He forced me to eat for weeks. I didn’t want to. Suppose I should be grateful for it. But I’m not.

“You should’ve killed me when you had the chance,” I said and left the room.

“Don’t talk like that.”

I whirled around, startling him. “What’s your damage anyway? Why are you doing this for me? What the fuck do you care?” I didn’t recognize my voice. It got weird when I’m pissed off or upset or sad or anything other than sleepy or relaxed. Not sure why.

He looked hurt. Then amused. “I just do.”

Stupid bastard. He thinks that he loves me. That’s what it is. That’s his damage.

Love.

“Love is a disease,” I spat at him and plopped down on the couch.

“How can you say such a thing?”

“Don’t you get tired of being here? In this tiny little apartment? It’s like a cage.”

“You have any other suggestions?”

“You used to live out of your car. So did I, for a time.”

“I know. I hated it. How about you? You like sleeping in the trunk?”

I shrugged. “Not that bad. Can think of worse places to sleep. Like on a metal slab.”

He went back to the kitchenette. Made himself another cup of coffee and then sat down next to me. I let him rest his leg against mine. My jeans were ragged, blood stained, dirty. His pants were those fluffy fleece pajama pants. The warm comfy ones with the elastic band. He has several pairs, at least, I think I remember him wearing other ones. He had on a matching robe, and a white undershirt.

“Aren’t I cold?” I asked.

“I’ve grown accustomed to it. You’re room temperature for the most part. The part I can’t get used to is you not breathing when you sleep. It’s eerie.”

“Weird. I didn’t know that.”

He cradled the coffee mug in both hands. He loved coffee like I loved cigarettes. He always bought me cartons when he went out once a week.  And he’s been doing that for a while. Feeding me, keeping me alive. Talking with me. Trying to get me to remember. Helping me. Loving me.

“Um… Thanks.” I said I awkwardly. Shit. That was stupid.

“Oh? For what?”

“Everything,” I mumbled. I am such an idiot. I probably would be blushing if I was still alive.

He ruffled my hair. “Not a problem.”

“Whatever.” I bounced my leg. I was growing antsy. I needed to get out. Stretch my legs. But he won’t let me. I won’t let me. I stood up.

He put an arm out in front of me. “Sit.”

I sat back down. “Mallory… I need to get out. I’m going stir crazy. This apartment is so small. I’ve been in hotel rooms bigger than this dump. I need to stretch my legs. Just go for a short walk. Just a little one. Just around the block. Come on. Let’s get out of here for a bit. It can’t be good for you either. Right?”

He leaned forward and put the coffee cup down on the short table that sat between us and the TV. The arch of his neck caught my eye. There were small scars on it from when I tried to bite him when we first got here. I didn’t feed off of him. Just nicked the skin in a few places and stopped myself.

I stopped myself from feeding.

It was the first time I could, and I did. Self control was a wonderful thing.

Won’t last long though. It never does.

“You’re restless.”

“Yeah.”

“Let me occupy you for a while.”

“Kay…” I said, unsure as to what that meant. God I hope he doesn’t think that I want to…no. That can’t be it.

“Every time you start to say something and then you stop yourself. You don’t tell me the answers to my questions. Why?”

I shrugged. “Don’t know. Not sure.”

“You don’t have to say anything you don’t want to. Just tell me why you can’t answer me.  Can you try to do that Jonah? For me?”

I felt trapped. I wasn’t. Not really. If I wanted to I could throw the couch at the front door and knock it down and run away from here and never look back. But I didn’t.

He sat there patiently. “I have all night.”

I sighed and scooted away from him. I leaned against the opposite arm of the couch, as far away from him as possible.

“It might get ugly.”

“It always does. But you snap out of it, eventually.”

“Yeah, but… I don’t like it. I don’t–” I don’t want to lose myself again.

“Don’t what?”

“You wouldn’t understand.” I stood up and went into the tiny bathroom and flicked on the light.

No reflection. I’m not in the mirror. I look down. I’m here, but not there.


“Come in here,” I said and he stood next to me.

“Do you see me in there?” I pointed to the mirror in front of us.

Mallory looked at it and jumped. “Holy shit! No, no that’s not possible. I’m standing right next to you.”

“It is possible. Look,” I said and touched the damned thing. “Nothing. Kinda creepy huh?”

“I’ll say.” He wiped a hand over his mouth. A nervous gesture. “How long has this been going on?”

“Don’t know.”

“Honestly?”

“Don’t know. Not sure. Couldn’t tell you. Noticed it a while back and it slipped my mind.”

Everything slips my mind once I get hungry. Everything.
Even you.

“What are you thinking?”

I shook my head. “Don’t want to talk about it.”

“Well, that’s more of an answer than I’ve gotten out of you in weeks. Most of the time you act like I didn’t say anything at all, or you find something to hit your head against.”

I grinned. “Yeah. I do that, don’t I?”

“Yes, you do, you idiot. God only knows why it doesn’t bother me.”

“Shouldn’t it?”

“Yes. But perhaps I’ve gotten used to you.”

“You’re like that crocodile guy, except I’m not a lizard.”

“Crocodilians are not lizards. They are a species in and of themselves. Like dinosaurs.”

“You’re my wrangler. That’s what you are.”

“Is that what you think of me? A wrangler?”

“Would you rather I call you warden? Cause I could.”

He raised an eyebrow. “You’re being sarcastic.”

“Yep.”

“That’s the first time you’ve cracked a joke since I’ve met you.”

“Is it?”

“Yes.” He smiled and hit my shoulder. “That’s great!”

“If you say so.” God he’s weird.

“You’re getting your sense of humor back. That’s a wonderful thing.”

“Why? What if I have I lousy sense of humor?”

“Doesn’t matter. I’ll deal with it.”

“But why is that a good thing?”

“Because that means that you are getting an aspect of your personality back. That’s one step closer to bringing you back to yourself. You said you lost yourself, remember? That that’s why you don’t have any memory? Because you got lost?”

He was excited. His pulse quickened just a fraction, just enough to make me hear it and focus on it. I balled my fists. I could hear his blood rushing in his veins. But, I could wait until he answered before I fed. I could wait. I could.

“Lost? No. I…don’t remember saying that.” I could barely hear him speak over the thundering of his heart. His strong heart. I bet it tasted good. My jaws ached to tear through his flesh, to sink my sharp teeth into his heart with the fresh hot blood spurting out of it like a jelly donut. I swallowed my saliva before it drooled down my chin and took a step back.

“Jonah? What’s wrong?”

I didn’t want to…I didn’t want to eat him. But I was hungry. So very hungry.

Fuck.

I grabbed him and shoved him out of the bathroom. I slammed the door shut so hard that the door frame splintered.

“Stay away from me!”

Mallory was quiet. His heart was racing but now out of fear, not joy. Like a flick of a switch his emotions changed rapidly.

“Why do you care about me?” I screamed at him through the door. “Why!”

“Because I do.” It was the same answer he always gave me.

I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t do this. I can’t hurt him. I don’t want to kill him. I hated myself for wanting to drain him dry and drown in his blood.

I punched the sink counter and it shattered under my fist. I picked up a razor-sharp shard of ceramic and ran my finger down it. Thick black blood oozed from the cut on my finger. I wasn’t alive. I couldn’t ever be the way he wanted me to be. I was already dead.

I needed to end it. For both our sakes.


“What are you doing? Open the door!” Mallory was banging on it now. I must have broken it or locked it, or both.

“Something I should have done a long time ago,” I said and shoved the shard into my throat all the way to my spine, then ripped it out in a vicious jerk. Thick black sludge splatted on the mirror and wall and slowly began to slide down them.

Can’t breath. Can’t breath. Can’t.

Don’t need to.

I dropped the sharp piece of counter top and leaned over what was left of the sink. The black oil dripped out of me in slow huge globs, like tar. It was disgusting. It smelled just like HIS non-blood smelled. I pushed away from the sink and fell into the bathtub. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t. I sliced open my throat and ruined my vocal chords. I made a choked gurgle of a sound instead. It didn’t do my fear justice. It didn’t do anything any bit of justice.

I wanted justice. I wanted REVENGE.

I’m going to find HIM and kill him. Then, finish myself off.

The door slammed down onto the bathroom floor.

Mallory dropped the fire extinguisher and rushed over to me, covering the wound on my throat with his hands.

“Oh my God. Oh my God. Don’t die. Please. Don’t die.”

Too late for that.
He should join us
Moans and shrieks of pleasure.
The abyss likes him
He smells so good.

Tears streamed down his face. I smiled and wiped one away and rubbed it on my lips. Sorrow is salty, tears are salty. So is sweat. Sometimes blood. Sometimes other things that come out of the body are salty too.

I looked down his shirt as he picked me up and carried me back into the bedroom, or what should be the bedroom. His body was pale, but buff. He had gained a lot of muscle learning how to wrangle me.

He restrained me.  Slapped chained cuffs on my ankles and wrists. My body pulled taught from the distance between my hands and feet.

Mallory grabbed a first aid kit and sewed me back up. His hands were shaking the whole time. You’d think he’d get used to it. My doing stupid shit like that. But he doesn’t. It upsets him so much. His tears fell onto my face as he worked. He was talking softly, probably to himself more than me.

“It’s okay. It’s okay. Everything is going to be fine. I promise.”

He smelled good. He was food.

The food was talking to me. I was tired of waiting. So hungry. My body growing ever weaker. Needed to eat. Needed to feed. Make the pain stop.

I shoved him off, lunged at him. Missed. Won't miss again.

Days. Days. Days. No food.

No food.

So hungry.

Tore off the restraints like they were made of wet cardboard.

Promises, promises.
I promise to break you. I promise to take care of you. I promise to love you.
Promises are broken.
Like bones
Like glass
Shattered dreams
Splintered wood in my chest.
Splintered hope in my heart.
The dead have no hope
Hope is for the living
Like taxes
Or bank accounts
Or liver
Vacations
Cars
Homes
Lives
Dreams
Broken shards of brilliantly colored glass fall
Cut into me
Through me
But that’s not what hurts.
It’s his love that hurts.
His love.

Cut out his heart and eat it
Eat
Food
Right there
Take it

“Take it!”

“No! Nooo! Stop! What are you doing?” Food screamed at me. Flailed about. Picked it up like rag doll, tossed it out onto the floor.

Arms on fire. Head on fire. Eyes on fire. Legs like lead. Need to feed. Food tastes better when it’s scared.

Pulled open a drawer.

Silver glints. Glitters.
Knives
Butter knives
Steak knives
Paring knives
Small like the scalpels they put through your eyes
Carving knives
Butcher knives
Knives
Knives
Knives

Knives to cut into the food’s pretty pale flesh. So juicy. So tender. So tasty.


“Jonah! Stop!”



You can read parts 5 and 6 here.

Addicted to the Abyss Vampire Serial Story Parts 1 and 2 are here!



Part 1: Hotel of the Dead


A moment of clarity--a stray, lucid thought after what felt like years of static and noise.

How long has it been?  Two days? A week? A month? Longer? 

Don’t know. Not sure.

Where am I?

A tiled floor. A bathroom. It was dark in there, just the light from the TV flickering under the door. But it was enough for me to see that I was lying in a pool of sticky, cooling blood.

"Jesus!"

I backpedaled away.

My head brushed against a cold, rigid hand. Grimacing, I swallowed and looked up.

The hand was attached to a body.

The body was in the bathtub.

Slipping and sliding in the blood on the floor, I flicked on the light.

The fluorescents clicked to life, buzzing and shedding stark white light over everything. It hurt my eyes. Too bright. Too harsh. Didn't like it. Wanted to smash them out...but didn't.

I was afraid to look. Didn't want to.

But I did.

A man.

A dead, naked man. Ass up, face down, in the tub. Body all a tumble, like a rag doll. His arm hung over the side of the tub.

Gaping wounds on both sides his neck. Trachea crushed. Huge chunks were ripped from his shoulder, back and thighs. Part of his left arm was gone. Just...gone.

A flash of memory, of him screaming while I bit down and tore off his flesh. It tasted so good. His blood a rush of hot velvet gold in my throat. Warmth spreading out through my body as I swallowed.

The memory of the taste made me drool.

I wiped off my mouth, got to my feet.

I stared when I saw the mirror above the sink.

I wasn't there.

No reflection in the mirror. But, I was standing right there in front of it.

I am here, right?

I looked down. Shirt soaked with blood. It was on my hands, bare legs and ass. Everywhere.

Confused, I backed out of the bathroom. That's when I realized something.

There was no TV lighting up the room. Its screen was smashed. Someone threw it against the wall, left a huge dent in it.

I guess that was me, but I don't remember doing it.

Through a crack in the window curtains I could see the electronic sign flashing red LEDs:

VACANCY. 1 room $80. Hourly rates.  75˚ F 1:30 a.m. Welcome to Texanville Tennessee. Breakfast Buffet.

I could see the light from the sign, even in the closed bathroom.

My eyes, they were sharper now, just like my teeth. Razored incisors, a sharp knife's edge on the rest. Not a smooth ridge anywhere.

I liked it.

Biting through flesh was so satisfying. Like crunching a lollipop after sucking on it for a few minutes.

There was a dead girl on the bed. 18, 19, maybe older. It was hard to tell. Limp. Spread eagle. My sharp piranha teeth shredded the inside of her thighs, her legs were like plump juicy sausages.

When my teeth cut into them, they broke open the skin with a satisfying pop. Blood spurted out in gushes until the pressure was gone, then it drizzled, and slowed to an ooze to puddle on the bed.

Blood splatters on the walls, trailing down to the carpet, blankets were strewn everywhere on the floor.

I kicked them around, looking for my clothes and scratching off dried blood. I needed to clean up before I got dressed.

I returned to the bathroom, shoved the rigid corpse to the back of the tub with a foot, and took a hot shower, cleaning off the thick chunks of clotted blood from my backside. It smelled delicious. Like a rump roast for Christmas dinner.

I dried off, tossed the towel over the corpse's blank staring eyes and went back out into the main room.

I found my jeans, and slipped them on. Shoved on my shoes. Pulled on a clean T-shirt. Smelled like the guy in the bathtub, so it had to be his.

Took the expensive pair of shades, the pack of Marlboro Reds and the Zippo with the cheesy eagle on it.

“Fucking Boy Scouts.”

I didn't need a lot of light to see now, could get away with wearing sunglasses in the dark. It was like wearing shades at high noon.

I lit up a cigarette. Tasted good. Shit, I felt good. Like I just took a hit of something and was higher than a kite. Body felt like it was humming, buzzing off the blood I drank.

Over the smell of smoke and hot burning paper, there was a sickly sweet odor. I wrinkled my nose. The meat was starting to rot where it lay in the bed and bathtub. It was time to leave, before someone else noticed the stench.

I found car keys next to the ashtray on the side table and left, shutting out the rotting corpse smell behind me.

Outside, the night reeked of car exhaust, chemical fertilizer, and musky sweaty sex. Two doors down a couple was getting hot and heavy. She was dripping wet. I could smell it.

Too bad I wasn't hungry, or I would've joined them, had some more fun.

I hit the automatic unlock button on the fob remote. A car two spaces down lit up and the door locks clicked open. Cherry red Mustang. Tinted windows. Nice.

I got in.

Must be mine. Seat was right. So was the mirrors. The glove box had my map, some pens, more cigarettes,  a couple cheap lighters, several folding pocket knives and a roll of duct tape.

The car's engine purred like a cat in heat.

I pulled out of the parking lot and high tailed it out of there. No use waiting for someone to report it to the cops. The cops were trouble. They'd want explanations, I'd need to say words for things that I didn't remember anymore.

Words were getting harder.

But, sometimes they were all right. Especially after I fed. Like now. But, in a day or so, they'd start leaving again. I wouldn't have the words to think straight. After that, I'd black out and wake up confused, surrounded by more corpses.

Once the words left, it was just scents and sounds and tastes and feelings of rage and intense, orgasmic pleasure. Then sleep.

I wasn't sure how I was supposed to feel about that, so I didn't.

When I first started roaming, I kept a journal of sorts. It lasted until my first blackout. When I came to, I found it ripped to shreds and soaked in blood. Looked like it pissed me off so much that I wanted it to die, so I killed it.

A few hours later I pulled over at a rest stop and checked the map. Last X was...

Don't know. Not sure.

"Gotta start dating these."

I drew a new X on the map, then studied it. A row of X’s marked where I had been, where I was when I woke up. In some places crude lines squiggled across the map in circles and loose un-closed squares written in a child’s hand.

They were all made by me.

It didn't smell like anyone else had touched it. It smelled like ink, and dried blood, and fear and death.

It was MY MAP; the only thing that kept my memory for me.

Where have I been? Where was I going?

There were X's in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Indiana (where I was now), and somehow, there were also X's in Florida, Texas, Nevada, and California.

"Must've flown there."

Did I fly? Could I get on an airplane now? How did I pull that off? Red-eye express? Did I crawl in the plane's cargo hold when no one was looking, did I pack myself in a box and mail myself to the other side of the country?

Don't know. Not sure.

But, it must've happened. Because the X's are there.

I noted that I needed to get gas soon, and kept on driving until I saw the sign for the truck stop. That was an easy set of words to remember. Truck. Stop. Simple. A child could read it.

Has my mind become that of a child's?

Has it?

Don't know. Not sure.

Words were important. That much I knew. They're what people used to communicate. They're what I used to use, a lot, before IT happened.

Ever since then, I haven't been a person. Not really.

I'm no longer human. I can't feel my heart beating in my chest. I'm cold all the time. I only get warm after I feed. Then I feel golden, hot molten fire inside, and am higher than a kite.

It's addicting.

Killing and feeding were my drugs now.

Did I do drugs before? I think I did, but I didn't know for sure.

Shit. I don't know.

I don't remember.

I don't know who I am.

Where am I going? What am I doing? Why does it hurt so much to try to remember?

Panic swallowed me whole; my breath shallow, stomach nauseous, head dizzy. The car swerved. I had stopped steering. Needed to get off the road.

"Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!"

I pulled into the truck stop. Parked the car. Gripped the steering wheel until I calmed down.

Panic happened a lot. More so now that I knew that I could remember some things, but not everything.  And not all the time.

It was terrifying.

I was losing myself more and more. Every time...THAT happened.

Every time I blacked out, I lost something. I couldn't remember my own name. I knew that I was a man, and that I was (am?) young, or at least I looked it because that's what the food told me before I lured them out to a quiet space and ate them.

I didn't like to share my food. Didn't want to.

Different people's blood tasted differently, depending on the drugs, the alcohol, the blood type. Like wine vintages.

It made me laugh.

People are like wine. Pop off the cork and chug the blood down.

I filled up the gas tank, threw a wad of money at the kid running the gas station register and left without a word. He was standing there, staring at me. A trapped rabbit. I forgot to tell him to keep the change until I got back into the car and drove off.  Oh well. Maybe I would remember next time.

Probably not.

After a few hours of driving, just before the sky started to grow light with the coming dawn, I could feel the sun rising like an invisible weight pressing down on my body. It was the same feeling that a deer had when a predator sat in the forest, staring at it. Waiting for it to move a little further away from its herd, and into its hungry jaws.

The sun hurt. Took only once for that lesson to stick. Even when I stopped thinking clearly, I knew that I had to get out of the sun or I would burn like a human candle. Poof! up I'd go in thick, black, choking smoke and crackling fire.

The rising sun made me nervous. My knee bounced. I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel. I got off the highway and drove until I found a nice secluded dirt road. I parked the car on the side, under the thick shade of leafy trees.

I locked the doors, pulled the back seat forward and crawled into the trunk.

tired
arms like lead
dark

I didn't want to pass out. I didn't want to forget.

But, the darkness was calling to me, begging me to join it.

"Jonah. Come. Rest. Sleep," it whispered in a voice like shards of broken glass.

I sighed, closed my eyes, and took a step further down into the abyss.


Part 2: The Thing in the Barn



“Wake up.” A voice like razor blades cuts into my head, forcing me to think straight.

A fragile little bird neck snapped in my hands. I dropped the girl and look around, panting, covered in blood. The warmth flooding through me, racing in my veins. I felt alive. Like I could do anything, and no one could stop me.

I stood in the middle of a huge tent. A baker’s dozen of corpses, 11 little girls and two young women littered the floor. They bled out on their sleeping bags as I drank my fill.

There were all dead.

I licked the blood off my lips. It tasted. So. Good.

Wait…Is that blood?

I touched my lips and looked at my fingers.

It is blood.

I did this. I killed them. I ate them. That was all me. 

I left the tent. Parked outside was a huge white van with a campground decal on the side, HAPPY CAMPERS CAMPING. The fire was dying, it was almost out.

I helped myself to a handful of marshmallows and left. I washed off at the well-pump, then checked my pockets.

Car keys. Map. Zippo. Pack of cigs was almost out. It was full last night.

That was last night, wasn’t it?

Don’t know. Not sure.

I need a watch that keeps the date. One of those nuclear ones that catches a signal from the satellite hooked up with the atomic clock in Utah or Nevada or wherever the fuck it is.

Walking, walking, walking until I reached the bottom of the trail.

Pulled out the car keys. Hit the button. A horn honked. I followed the sound, found the car. It was the same car as before. Cherry red Mustang. Tinted windows.

It was time to get in and drive.

But to where?

I needed to find some place quiet and out of the way. I ate too much. It made me tired. I needed to rest before I moved on.

Gotta think. Gotta think, gotta think. Gotta pull yourself together man.

Glove box.

Wallet.

I grabbed my wallet out of the glove box, rifled through it. Passed a driver’s license. There’s my name and a picture of some guy on it. Light brown hair, sleepy hazel eyes, nice tan, charming white smile…

Is this what I look like? No. It can’t be. 

I looked in the rear view mirror to check my face, to make sure that it matched the ID. Then I remembered, I no longer had a reflection in mirrors. There was no way for me to know what I looked like, unless I asked someone. But, there was no one to ask here. I had to find someone. Someone that wouldn’t screw me over. Someone that would understand.

Fuck. There’s no one like that. No one would understand what was happening to me.

I was on my own.

I tossed the wallet back in and slammed the glove box shut.

“Shit.”

What to do? What to do?

I decided to keep driving on the side roads, until I found a nice secluded barn just as the sun was rising in the distance. The sky was blushing with red light. It hurt my eyes to look at it. Even with sunglasses on it still hurt.

I had to get out of the light, before I burnt to a crisp.

The barn was dark, inviting. Out of the way. Falling apart in some places, but the roof still held up. It smelled like rat shit and spiders.

A few miles away there was a farm. Cows, chickens, livestock, people; food. This was a perfect place to hide away for a while. Food in walking distance. I could take whatever I wanted, and no one would notice for days. Right?

I climbed into a pile of old, dusty hay and curled up all the way at the bottom of it, where the sun couldn’t reach me, even if it tried. I fell asleep, but not for long.

The pleasant nothingness of dead sleep was painfully ripped away.


Something yanked me out of the hay pile and slammed my head against the concrete floor of the barn. My skull cracked open.  Stunned, I staggered away from my attacker and tried to get my bearings.

There was something wrong with my neck. My head was stuck leaning to the left.  I grabbed the sides of my head and jerked it upright. There was loud series of pops. It hurt. I ground my teeth, tried to ignore the pain as best as I could.

This fucker meant business. Broke my neck in one hit. I couldn’t afford to be hit again.

Whatever it was that attacked me, it smelled like death. Rot and decay, of old moldy tombs and corpses long-buried. Formaldehyde. Methane. And dried human guts.

It loomed over where I sat on the floor. It was covered in a grey tattered cloak made from a canvas tarp. That thing must’ve worn it for decades. It was filthy; flies landed on spots of blood, where hair and shit had smeared on the bottom. Its feet were wrapped in tattered, dirty strips of cloth. Long, splintered nails grew out its toes. Its skin, what I could see of it, was grey, wrinkled and very, very dry.

“Get out. This is my barn,” it growled.

I tried to look up at its face. Foul smelling black liquid dripped into my eyes. It came from the spot on my head that hit the pavement. A sludge was leaking out of me.

Its face was a blur, I blinked, rubbed the sludge out of my eyes, stood up straight. Took another look.

It had a rat-like face. It wasn’t human, just something living inside a human shell, giving it rat-like features. The mouth and nose of the face elongated slightly as if something was pushing out from underneath the skin. Jagged, chipped teeth filled its mouth. The hands and feet were long, like a rodent’s. Ashy grey-black smoke curled out from its body, wafting up through tears and rips in the tarp that it wore for clothes.

It was a pretender running around in the mummified corpse of a man.

Behind it, in a corner, was a teenage boy. He smelled of fear and vomit. He was frozen in place, terrified. Eyes wide, breath ragged. Too scared to run, to scared to hide. He knew that no matter what he did, he was going to die.

That thing had brought its meal here to eat in peace. It could’ve done that and left before I woke up. But it didn’t. It just had to wake me up.

It wasn’t time for me to wake up yet. The sun still peeked over the trees. It was just starting to go down for the night.

That made me very cranky.

“You deaf? This is my barn,” it growled.

“Weren’t in it earlier. I needed to sleep. I slept.”

“Get out!” Its eyes began burning with a cold, blue light. The black smoke wafting off of it curled up into the light, wound around it and made blue-black tendrils. The tendrils reached out and grabbed my head, my neck, my torso, my hands. They were freezing cold, almost cold enough to burn. The tendrils pulled me towards it.

I could feel it trying to force its way into my head. Trying to make me do things I didn’t want to do. Trying to make me kill myself, trying to make me tell it where I came from so that it could find my family members and torture them and kill them.

The tendrils of blue-black light slinked into the wound on my forehead. Icy cold threads pushed past the cracked part of my skull and into my brain, rifling through memories. Making me see things, random events, things I did recently, things I did long ago.

Something inside of me stirred. It was pissed off, and wasn’t going to have any of this  nonsense. I could feel it, the jaws of a shark, the mind of a predator, eyes as black as death, hissing and growling as rose up inside of my skull and bit off the tendrils and swallowed them whole.

Whatever that was that was inside of me, it was far more nasty and vicious than that thing ever could be.


The pretender cried out, and the tendrils released me. Several of them were dripping, leaking glowing fluid on the ground that evaporated into a black mist. I stepped on it, snuffing it out before it could return back to the thing that made it, denying it of its power.

I smiled, glared at it with daggers in my eyes. I could feel my hatred for it boiling over. It gave me strength. It felt good to be pissed off. I loved it.

The pretender started and took a step back.

“No. It can’t be.”

“Can’t be what?” I asked and stepped toward it.

“You’re one of them. A broodling. But, how can you?…you shouldn’t be able to do this. This isn’t how it works. You’re not an original. You’re offspring. You shouldn’t be able to do that!”

“No clue what you’re talking about buddy. But it kinda seems like you don’t want me to touch you. You were so eager to kick my ass before. What happened? You lose your nerve?”

“Stay away from me.”

“You attacked me first. Now it’s my turn.”

Instinct told me what to do. I used the reserve of power left in my system from all the blood I drank yesterday.  My nails into grew razor-sharp claws. I could feel them get longer, push out of the nail bed with as much effort as it took for me to blink. My muscles bunched up, doubled in size, black veins popped up from under the skin. I was ripped, like a body builder. Using the blood like that was a total rush. Fuck did it feel good. So powerful, so strong. So fast.

The pretender tried to run out of the barn.

In a blur of speed that kicked up dust and hay, I leapt on its back, shredding and ripping away the canvas tarp with my claws, revealing a mummified corpse beneath. All dry wrinkled skin. A walking raisin. It didn’t wear anything underneath it. It was a naked corpse now.

I growled and sank my teeth into its mummified neck, savaged it apart. It screamed an unearthly sound as I ripped off dead muscle and spat it out.

“You tried to kill me for sleeping here. I got news for you buddy, if anyone is going to die for setting foot in this shit hole, it’s you.”

Its legs quivered, it was shaking in fear. It pushed me off and scrabbled for the door.

I fell on it, and it tried to shove me off again and we rolled on the ground. It got on top of me, pinned me,  grabbed onto my collar-bone, dug its sharp, ragged fingernails into my skin, cutting it. Shoved its hand in deep, grabbed my collar-bone and snapped it straight up. I screamed, The bone stuck up at a 45 degree angle.

“I will kill you for this,” it said. “I will kill you and everything you hold dear. I will find your precious Mallory and devour his soul and use his body to replace this one.”

“How do you know that name?” I asked through gritted teeth.

“It was in your head, broodling. The only thing in there that you still care about. Tucked neatly away, like Christmas ornaments in a box in the attic, waiting to be used on next holiday. What? You don’t remember him? You should. You loved him. You still do. Somewhere in that Swiss cheese brain of yours, you know this is true. Don’t you?”

“Fuck off.”

“I look forward to finding him. I’ll tell him what became of you, before I kill him. It will be entertaining, seeing him cry. Don’t you think?”

Mallory.

Oh my God.

How could I have forgotten about him?

He was my… “Leave him alone.”

It laughed. A dry sawdust laugh. “I think not. As soon as I’m done here, I will find him, and I will use his body, make him hurt in ways that even you can’t begin to imagine. It’ll make his soul taste bitter-sweet. Just the way I like it.”

No. Not him. Anyone but him. I won’t allow it. I won’t.

“Shut up.”

It laughed again and started to yank out my broken collar bone.

“I’ll make a dagger out of this and use it to cut out his heart. Won’t that be fun?”

Anger curled up in my chest and took over. A red haze filmed over my vision. I snarled, bit his hand, sheering straight through the finger bones- it yowled in pain as I spat out its fingers. I grabbed it by the throat and shoved it off of me.

“You will die,” I growled, my voice deep, gravely, full of death and hate.

I picked it up, and gave it a nice big bear hug, a vice grip that I didn’t let up until its ribs and spine snapped and popped out of its desiccated flesh. I turned it into a pincushion. It stopped moving. I dropped it and a dry dust of red, like bloody sand, fell out of its wounds.

A black wisp of shadow slipped out of the corpse’s mouth, formed into the shape of an enraged face, and screamed. I swatted it away and it fled, slipping through cracks in the barn ceiling.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Asshole.”

All the strength I had suddenly drained out of me. I dropped to my knees. My muscles deflated, going back to normal size. The claws on my fingers pulled back until they were just nails again.

My stomach was empty. Painfully empty.

Hungry.

Need to feed.

Food.

It smelled delicious.

Dinner mewled in the corner. Huddled down like rabbits in the hutch grandpa had out back. Teeth rip easily through neck, popped the big vein. Blood. Red. Hot like spiced wine. Copper lightning flowed through me. Soothing my insides with its warmth, like mother’s milk.

It felt so good.

Sighing, I sat down, cradled the food’s body into mine, curled around it, and drank my fill. I lay there, as the sun finished setting, belly full of warm blood. My neck, my head; all my wounds stop hurting.

I stood up, dropping the leftovers in disgust, and cracked my neck back the way it should be. I picked up the dead kid’s expensive shades and licked his blood off the ear pieces before sliding them on.

My collar bone. That thing was trying to rip it right out of me. I pushed it back in place. The broken bone ends ground against one another. I gritted my teeth as they grew white-hot and knitted back together into one solid bone.

I stepped outside, humming a song I vaguely remembered as I looked around. My breath fogged the air. Warm now. Won’t be warm for long though. That part never lasts. I didn’t know why, but it made me sad.

Oh right, I was in a barn. I remembered driving up here and parking next to it. An old falling down piece of shit barn. Smelled worse than it looked.

What I didn’t realize was that on the other side of the field was a farm house. There was a huge willow tree in the yard.  No lights on inside. No cars parked by it. It didn’t smell like anything living was inside. But, it was a house. And there was a telephone line attached to it.

Shit. If there’s a phone…Maybe I could call Mallory.

I stood there, debating, biting my nails, digging out the dried blood from under them with my teeth.

I stepped inside the old farm house. There was dust everywhere. Just like when I tore the corpse apart with my bare hands.

I pulled my map out of the back pocket of my jeans and spread it out on the dusty kitchen table. There were dried blood spatters all over it. Dark red hand prints, thumb prints in places. I had circled a city in blood.

A memory flashes in my head: I see myself holding the bloody stump of a finger like a pen and drawing that circle on the map with it.

“Fuck!”

Got to get out of here.

Stop.

No. Stop.

Running won’t end it.

But… I like to run. Been running ever since. Ever since what? Don’t remember. What do I remember then?

I stared at the map. My eyes connect the X’s like dots, drawing a picture of where I’ve been. Where I’ve… fed. No. Killed. Murdered. Fed.

Where did I start? When did it start? How? Why? Just who am I anyways? I don’t even remember what I look like.  Mallory would know. He would tell me. I should call him. He’s probably worried.

Brown eyes.

He had brown eyes.

Dark chocolate brown eyes. 

“Mallory.”

I dug in my pants pockets for the napkin. A stupid little crumpled napkin with a phone number written on it with a dying black ink pen. It was his number.

I searched the house until I found an old phone. It was covered in dust.

Does it still work?

Don’t pick it up. Don’t pick it up.

My hand hovered over the receiver for what felt like forever before I pick it up. For some reason, there was a dial tone. I was half-hoping that there wouldn’t be one.

I dialed the number, my hand shaking. My heart pounded in my chest.

My heart is beating? Must be because I fed. I haven’t felt it beat in a long time.

The number rang and rang and rang and rang and just as I was about to hang up someone picked up the other end of the line. A man cleared his throat of sleep and answered.

“Hello?”

He sounded tired, the poor bastard. I knew that voice. It was him.

“I remember your eyes.”

“Who is this?” he demanded, angry and scared all at once.

“Brown. They’re brown, aren’t they Mallory?”

“How do you know that? Who gave you this number?”

I remembered now. His address. His apartment complex. The back alley. The screams. He struggled like a little bitch, and as we fought he did something to me. It stung like hell and then I ran. I ran and ran and never looked back.

“You did something to me.” I didn’t sound so sure. Maybe I wasn’t. “The back alley. You screamed. I laughed and you screamed. And then, then…” I don’t remember. “How do I know you Mallory? How the fuck do I know you?”

There was a pause on the other end. I could hear him breathing; shallow, panicked.

“How do I know you?” I asked.”How do I know your eyes and nothing else? Who are you? Why are you so important to me? Do you know what’s going on? What’s wrong with me? How long have I been on the road?”

“Where are you?”

“Don’t know. A farm. A corpse tried to steal dinner. I pulled him apart and his dried blood flew everywhere. Red dust. Like Mars.”

Something fell in the background. It sounded like he was standing up and rushing around.

“Stay where you are.”

“Why? Nothing left to eat here. Need to eat.”

“You have the map?”

I paused. “You know about the map?”

“Yes.”

“How?”

“I tried to help. Don’t you remember?”

“No. I remember picking you up by the throat. Your eyes…” I could almost see his face in my head. Almost.

“Follow the dotted line.”

I look at the map. A faint trail of blue pen, dashed across the country.

“Where does it end?” Mallory asked.

I followed it.

“North Dakota.” There’s another city circled in a thick smear of blood. I smiled. “That was a good stop.”

“Where? Can you read it?”

I looked closer. “Devil’s Lake.” There were little stick figures of people lying on the map, bleeding to death. It was cute.

“That far already?” he said softly. He sounded worried. I didn’t like to hear his voice like that. “Didn’t take your time, did you?”

“No. Do you know who I am?” I asked.

“Yes. I think so.”

“You remember what I look like?”

“Yes.”

“Good. See you there then,” I said and went to hang up.

“No, wait!”

I paused. “What?”

“Don’t go there. They’ll have people there,  looking for you.”

“What are you talking about?”

He sighed. “Jonah. You really don’t remember?”

“Remember what?”

“Don’t go to the big cities. They have agents there, looking for people like you. They want to capture you. Study you. I tried to tell you that before you ran off, but you weren’t yourself at the time, so you probably don’t remember it.”

“So I’ll come and find you then. You’re not in a big city, right?”

“I’m in the suburbs, which is close enough. Listen, this is what I want you to do–”

“Mallory.”

“Yes?”

“Don’t fuck with me.”

“What? I’m not, I just–”

“Do you still live in that place? In that shitty little apartment that is on the same road as the pharmacy, and the hospital is a couple blocks away?”

“…Yes.”

I laughed. “Why didn’t you move?”

“I was waiting for you to come back.”

I smiled.

“I see. Well then, wait a little longer. I’m coming for you Mallory. I’ll be there soon.”

“Jonah. Please, be careful. They’re everywhere now.”

“I know. I can handle myself. As long as I stay fed I don’t forget things. I’ll try not to go hungry for too long.”

He sighed.

“Oh God. How many people have you killed?”

“Lost count. It don’t matter. Food is food. Right?”

“I guess.” He choked up. Sounded like he was about to cry. “I…”

“You what?”

“I miss you,” he whispered.

“I’ll be there soon. Promise.”

I could hear him crying softly. It made my chest ache. It hurt. It brought me pain. I didn’t like that. I needed to get to him, to make the pain stop. I hung up the phone and ripped it out of the wall before he could say anything else. I didn’t want to hear it.

His pain spurred me on.

I got in my car and drove, fast. I had to hurry. I didn’t want to forget.

I had to get to him, before I lost my memory of him again.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Check out an Exclusive Sneak Peek at my upcoming Novel The Caddis Initiative!



“I’m not going.”

“What?” Kiki turned off the hair dryer and stuck her head out the bathroom door. Her still wet blond hair clung to her neck, wrapping around it like stray seaweed that got a little too frisky. The hot pink push-up bra squeezed her perky tits so nicely. Never have I ever wanted to be a lacy pair of cups so badly as I did right then.

“What did you say?” she asked again.

I went over to her and ran my fingers along her lips. She shivered. Goosebumps raised on her arms.

“Oh, I see. This is what you wanted,” she smirked.

I brushed a stray lock of her hair out her eyes.

“Well, it wasn’t until I saw you in nothing but your bra and panties.”

“So what did you want to say then?” she asked and wrapped her silky arms around me. Her skin always felt so soft after she got out of a shower.

“Mm,” I said and kissed her. “Let’s stay here today.”

She made an annoyed sound.

“Becca. You’ve been waiting a month to see the specialist. If you cancel now, they’ll bill you for not showing up. Remember?”

I sighed and rested my head on her shoulder. She was skinny, but not too skinny. I couldn’t see her ribs or backbone. And she kept a little fat on her ass, gave her a nice bubble butt. So cute.

Her hair tickled the side of my face. I sneezed and she pulled away and laughed.

“Honestly. There’s nothing to be afraid of, I’m coming with you.”

“I know I just…what if he’s wrong?”