*A window ledge nearly too small for even the tips of my boots rests beneath my feet, an arm lifted holding myself in place as I peer into the window. The room dark; enhanced vision clearing the scene well enough, the apartment bedroom decorated simply, the queen bed set in the middle of the room decorated with pillows and a large comforter all of which are tossed aside as the sleeping form is covered with only a thin sheet. The soft ball of fur curled up within the bend of her legs obviously some sort of pet. Transfixed momentarily by the sleeping form until my curious orbs flicker over the other surfaces in the room, taking in the feel of it, getting a feel for the lifestyle this woman who has captured my curiosity leads. The slight shifting of white brings my attention back to the sleeping form, as she turns over, in fear of her waking; I leap from my position, using the hold above my head to launch myself onto the roof. Once I have turned and settled into a sitting position, I lay back against the slope of the shingles, eyes cast up to the vast blanket of stars as I wonder about the one sleeping just under my position. It was the same curiosity that brought me back to the place that almost became my final resting place, following her scent, finding her. Some would call her my savior, say that she saved my life, but she’s only placed others in danger…the question is, why? Why would this human girl save a monster like me? Surely if she were to know who I truly was she would toss the flame at me herself. Why? The question continues to rack through my brain, my curiosity not letting up; I /had/ to meet her, to learn about her, to know what she has that brought her to stop a complete stranger from killing himself. I know I cannot approach her as I am now…tattered and worn clothing, bloodstained…I needed to clean up first. Rolling from the seat I’ve taken, dropping gracefully off the rooftop, landing within a crouch, my palm planting on the ground between my feet as I steady myself before jumping up and heading into town. The late time giving me free reign of the city, I hit up the first clothing store I come to. Tags come off, clothing changed over. Once I stop to survey my image in the mirror, I lean in closer, catching the reflection. My eyes, they are…red, blood red. Lifting a hand I rub over my face, then survey them again, I had to do something about that…I continue to think as I pick up the discarded tags, dropping them onto the counter, tossing down the cash for them, “buying” a few more items, and a duffle bag to carry them in, as I’m headed out the backdoor, which I broke into, it hits me. Colored contacts. Perfect. Next top…LensCrafters.*
Hal (@AnarchicVice) *If there were blood running within my veins it might have frozen from the silent fear rushing through my form. What if this doesn’t work? Will it hurt? How will this end? My mind alight with the possibilities as I checked out. The stare I gained from the cashier making me wary of my appearance. Only too knowing of what I must look like. Still wearing the same clothing from well over a month, bathed only in small ponds or other natural bodies of water, only to wash the blood from my form and clothes. I did my best to give a convincing smile before hurrying out. I make one more stop before heading towards the trees. Taking a shortcut through the parking lot of an apartment building, hitting the woods and taking off. Running at an impossible speed through the trees. Finding a clearing that would serve my purpose*
Daphne (@TheLittleSwift) *it had been a beautiful day to open up the apartment to the chill of nature and allow the fresh air to rid of any unwanted odors in the home. Unknowingly, the screen door has received a small wound in it from relentless years of opening and closing. My handyman knowledge only going so far, yet giving me the idea of taping it up. Just a few hours later as I open the pup’s can of food, a wired realization comes over me that he hasn’t appeared around the corner yet, the potent smell sure to lure him into the area. Frowns and sets the can on the counter, clapping my hands as I creep around the darkening house* Randy… Randy! *stopping at the front door where the newly ripped screen material is evident, sticking my arm through the hole to see if he could possibly get through. Begins to panic as I rip open the flimsy door, cupping my hands over my mouth and yelling once more* Randy! *knows the dog’s love for outdoor critters and grabs my flashlight, running into the woods surrounding the secluded apartment complex. Clears my throat as the cold air buns my lungs* Where can that puppy be? *uses a nearby pine as support as I give my legs a rest, not used to this kind of physical activity. Hears a slight rustle of leaves not too far away, not thinking first yet immediately heading in the direction of sound, believing it’s the canine. Whispers* Randy, get over here.
Hal (@AnarchicVice) *My body already on edge both from the actions soon to come, and from the strain of being in public just before. The self-mind control only going so far. Letting out a few breaths, unneeded, but soothing, steadying me for what I need to do. My fingers curl around the red handle of a gas can. I had stopped to fill it just before making my way into the woods, luckily it had rained not too long ago, the wetness of the grass keeping others from danger. Lifting the plastic container over my head, the nozzle tilting down, the thick liquid gathering on the top of my head, dripping from the ends of my hair, running down my face, soaking my clothing. My eyes closed, lips clamped tightly. Once the flow stops I toss the container from the line of fire, eyes opening, surprisingly unbothered by the gasoline coating my skin. My fear sparking anew as my hands rustle through the bag, finding the lighter, pealing the paper away quickly, taking the small device within my wet fingers, pressing my thumb to the wheel, knowing the first spark will most-likely set my entire form up in flames, I pause. Blowing out a breath, in effect blowing a spray of gasoline. My hand unsteady with nerves. I know this has to be done, for the safety of others.* Come on, Hal, you /have/ to do this. *My resolve set, I add pressure to the metallic wheel beneath the pad of my thumb, prepared to roll it and end it all*
Daphne (@TheLittleSwift) *nose catching onto the sickening smell of gasoline, turning my head and following it instead, knowing the dog is nearby anyways. Begins to fan my hand near my face, the fumes excruciating now, yet having enough guts to continue in the forward direction. Just catches the image of a man, rubbing my eyes to make sure I’m not hallucinating. Makes out the silhouette of @AnarchicVice, fearful of what him and the fuel have in common* Hel.. Hello there? Are you okay sir?
Hal (@AnarchicVice) *The sound of a voice captures my ears, whether it was my fear or anxiety that kept me from noticing the presence of another I don’t know but my thumb is automatically lifted from it’s fatalic position, taking a step back once I catch sight of @TheLittleSwift, my mind rushing over the dangers of @TheLittleSwift being here. I take another few steps back, my free hand lifting as a warning* You…you shouldn’t be here. *Keeping my gaze on @TheLittleSwift’s form, I could smell her all the way across the clearing. Sinking into the comfort of my wall as I had learned to think of it, telling myself over and over that the scent of her blood was not calling to me. Reminding myself of what must be done before anyone else becomes harmed by my hand* Just…go, please.
Daphne (@TheLittleSwift) Oh god, oh god. *reaching out with both hands as I step towards @AnarchicVice, yet his retreating form tells me to stand my ground. Knows exactly what’s going on from the days I’ve spent entertaining myself with shows of Cops and Murder Mysteries, taking a soft approach to the situation. Glues my arms to my sides and takes a deep breath, talking in a reassuring tone* You don’t have to do this @AnarchicVice. You don’t want to kill yourself. *hand slipping into my back pocket, needing to know if there’s the possibility of service out here to call 911*
Hal (@AnarchicVice) *Panic striking, my gaze darts around, I needed to get out, now, holding up the lighter threateningly thumb returning to its position on the wheel to ward @TheLittleSwift from coming any closer* Yes…I do, and I’d suggest you go home, now. *My voice wary, fearing that I might some how harm the girl despite hiding within the protection of my ability, it only lasts for so long before I snap. Backing away another step, I watch @TheLittleSwift, in hopes she will simply give up and leave. Why would this girl care if I ended my own miserable existence? In truth I know that were she to be aware of what I am, what I’ve done, @TheLittleSwift would toss the flames at me herself.* Go! *I yell, hoping to bring fear, knowing that were I strong enough to withstand my nature, I could seriously frighten @TheLittleSwift, but my unwilliness to bring death to another soul keeps me put*
Daphne (@TheLittleSwift) You don’t want your life to end in such pain! *Backing up a step and pulling out my cellphone, hoping to hide it from @AnarchicVice eyes, my argument seeming to go dull as I feel like I’m not much help. Looks back up towards @AnarchicVice* Just give it another day everything will be better. *quickly punching in the three digits, the phone pressed to my ear* It’ll all be okay before you know it.
Hal (@AnarchicVice) *Growling under my breath as @TheLittleSwift remains, my gaze flickers to the right, sensing a way out just as I catch the movement from the corner of my eye, @TheLittleSwift was raising a cell phone to her ear. Hissing under my breath* Waiting will do nothing but make it worse. *Enhanced vision making out the fear and uncertainty in @TheLittleSwif’s gaze, confusion as to why she is going through all the trouble, putting herself in danger, for a complete stranger, a monstrous one at that. My teeth grit, knowing I have failed, I make to the right at a blinding speed, doubting @TheLittleSwift even caught the movement before I hit the trees and am out of sight.*
Daphne (@TheLittleSwift) *begins talking to the operator in a hushed whisper, eyes flicking up to meet nothing but darkness in front of me. Clicks the end button of my metal flashlight and scanning the area with the beam of light, finding nothing but Randy sitting in front of me, his head tipping from side to side as to ask while I’m still out here. Tells the operator to hold on as I walk forward, shoes stepping into the recent puddle of forest floor and gasoline. Swallows loudly, picking up the small pup and making my way back to the apartments. Continues telling the woman on the other side of the phone that this was all a mistake and hanging up, knowing they’ll still appear at my home for questioning. Removes my shoes before entering the apartment, closing up all open windows and doors. Sleep clearly isn’t going to come easy tonight as I wonder about the man in the woods.*
*The constant drip, set at a nerve racking pace, sounds from deep within the dark abyss. It’s been a week since I found this place, a week since I’ve killed. I forced myself to feel everything, to taste the guilt eating away at my insides. I felt sick, if my stomach could hold substance I would have vomited by now at the images playing over and over in my mind. Every time I wanted to feed, to ease my scorching throat, I tell myself I’m not hungry and amazingly it goes away, fades into a void I can easily ignore. What I cannot ignore is the boredom, the overwhelming need to do something. Whenever the want rises to slip from my solitude, to find entertainment, I recall each face, each scene I have left, knowing I cannot go anywhere near a human being any time soon, maybe not ever. My mind goes over possible ways to condition myself but as I can guess from the shorter spans in my relief that I grow weak without blood and that affects my abilities as it would a human who hasn’t eaten. About two days ago, I had captured a rabbit, killed it, even built a fire and cooked it. The scent repulsed me, and even more so the meat. My body rejected it. Chucks of chewed rabbit lay spit out near the discarded animal and dead fire, not as bile, for there was nothing more, it simply would not rest within my body. I know my substance will have to come from blood, but at the same time, I do not wish to turn into the monster that has overtaken me so many times before. Pulling my legs further into my chest, I shift to lie upon my side, eyes closing tightly against the desires, the images clouding my mind. Clearing it enough to whisper* I am not hungry. //One Month Later// Lying unmoving for so long can give a feeling of numbness, a cold, empty being that stares off into the darkness. That being is me, a mere shell of once was one full of vibrant life. I do not move, I do not allow myself to, least I fall into the demon’s trap, but it seems fate has other plans. The scent catches my attention long before the voices do. Hikers. I groan beneath my breath, their scent so inviting, and with them wondering into my “lair” so willingly, how could I resist? My mind and nature cry to very different things, the only difference is, nature has control. My body moves at still an inhuman rate despite the weakness of my form. Both have just settled in at the mouth of the cave, they were beginning to start a fire, no doubt to fix a meal. Unfortunately for them, they did not realize they /were/ the meal. I attacked without warning, without sound. The one closest to me attempted to shout, but his windpipe was crushed, my teeth sinking into the flesh hastily, the crimson liquid splattering messily at my hurry as I feed my needful beast, a moan of pleasure slides from between my teeth as the taste of his blood both satisfies and strengthens my body. I have finished him before the second has even made it out the door, leaping with ease onto the fleeing man’s back like a jungle cat taking down its prey. I tear into the man without thought, removing hunks of flesh to gain a faster better flow. My form crouched over him as I lion would its captured meat, feasting mercilessly on the dying man. His cries go unheard as there is no one for miles. Once his heart gives out, and blood runs dry my head lifts, painted in a dark ruby, an echoing growl escapes my lips, looking out into the horizon. Even in hiding, I am not safe from the monster. There must be a way to defeat it, a way to release myself from this hold. Even if it means my end, it would be worth it. I should have died. Just gone on like a human is supposed to when they meet their end, not turned into a bloodlusting monster. My mind works over the possibilities, wondering what might bring an end to this torture. My head lifts, eyes opening as I gaze around the cave for some form of an aid in my quest, and then I see it. The wood piled up in order to prepare a fire. An idea comes, forming within my mind. I do not smile in joy, I do not feel victory, only a sense of the end coming.*
*The lack of feeling didn’t last long. The moment the last child died I ran, pushing the inhuman speed to its limits, if I could have cried I probably would have. Once I reached the brook from before I fell to my knees, fingers trailed through my hair, gripping it tightly as a loud cry of despair heaved from my lips, that time I hadn’t just killed two people…it was five and two of them were children who’ve never had a chance to really live and thanks to me never will. The terrifying images haunt me, seeing each face, hearing every scream. I’m a monster. I drew into my new found ability, hiding behind a wall that blocks those feelings. // That was two days ago, since then I’ve cleaned up, washed away the blood of my victims and sat under the same tree. I found that I could only hide from my emotions for so long until they returned as vicious as before. I find myself rubbing my neck, my throat burning, I was hungry again. In the midst of another wave of unfeeling I decide to look for food, trailing through the trees leisurely, taking my time. I didn’t have a single care. The scent that brings me to a halt splits into three distinct male voices. Following the evidence, I come upon a camp fire, the men are lounging around it, laughing at some joke one has told, I waste no time, flying forth with intent to kill, my arm wraps around the chest of the guy before me, hauling him from his seat and sinking my teeth in. I finish him off quickly, before the other two can get far. Both had started running the second they saw what I was doing to their friend, but to my luck they ran together. Chasing after them I catch up within seconds, knocking both to the ground with a swift leap. Holding one face first into the leaves with a knee in his back, I bring the other to eye level with a firm grip to the front of his shirt. Crimson orbs blazing, my face smeared in blood from the quick feed beforehand. The first of my bloodlust sedated I am able to enjoy these two a bit more. Forging a link with the man before me, I speak softly* You are frightened, so scared out of your mind you can’t run anymore. You want to stay and take part. *His feelings change, forging into the ones I have given him. My lips quirk slightly as I move off the man below me, pulling him up to kneel as my hand plunges into his chest, fingers curling around his beating heart. I rip the organ from its proper place, feeling the beats suddenly die out. I lift it above my head, my face tilting upwards as the pink, bloody vessel drips all over it. Aiming for my mouth I taste a few drops before moving to ring out the dead organ over the other man’s face. He remains sitting there, motionless, his face covered in his friend’s blood. The life force triggers my need for more, and I lean down over the dead man, taking part in his leaking substance. I feed until there is nothing more to take, dropping back on my heels, I look to my new companion, and his eyes are down cast, staring fearfully at the shriveled heart. I hook a finger under the man’s chin, his face ghostly white as I pull his face upwards, his icy blue orbs meet mine reluctantly, he whimpers* “Please…just get it over with” *My hands come to the sides of his face, twisting roughly, a resounding snap is heard and just at that moment everything hits me. I fall back to sit upon the ground, scooting away quickly, my eyes set upon the organ lain between the two bodies. Mine shudders at the horror. I know I need to go, get as far away from civilization as possible, nothing can stop it…so I run from it.*
*Bright, yellow beams shine down through the mass of trees overhead creating a canvas for the light to shine through. I had remained motionless all night, beating myself for the hours before, trying to figure out what happened to me, what’s going on. The confusion only setting in more and more as I think over it continuously, a few flashes of light touch different points on my skin, my arm lifts slightly, brow furrowing as my arm lifts, the diamond like shimmer from the surface of my skin causing my arm to jerk away, hitting the shadow of the tree and the shine fades. With a minute of unmoving my chest heaves, anxiety rising, wondering what’s going on. I had gathered that I was some sort of vampire, zombie mix…it was only the blood I craved, but there were no fangs, and obviously the sun did not kill me and what was up with my skin? Backing up closer against the tree, my eyes close, willing the circumstances to be untrue, to be a dream. Yeah…that’s it. I’m stuck in some night mare and simply need to wake up. What was it that usually ended dreams? Something good nearly happening, a near death, a long drop…my enhanced hearing picks up a road not too far away, hearing the cars pass every few seconds. Standing up, I take off, running at a speed impossible for any human to see let alone attempt. Shifting, dodging, ducking as I continue running, my mind going back to my football games, knowing this would be a great advantage in the game. If it weren’t for the murderous urges this might have been an awesome dream that I wanted to stay in, but I didn’t want to kill people, I didn’t want to be this monster, this predatory killer. Stopping on a dime at the edge of the road, my eyes cast along as I see a caramel colored SUV coming along the bend of the road, stepping out in front of it at the last moment, if it were possible, my pulse would be racing, doubt settling in as I wonder. What if it wasn’t a dream? My eyes close, head tilting with a wince as I hear the squeal of breaks just before the collision, my body is rammed, hard, hands come up to grip the hood and my fingers cause dents in the metal, keeping my feet as I bend and break the front of this vehicle. The driver, had fallen forward, slamming against the steering wheel, I could smell the blood from my position even with the enclosed casing of the car. My breath picks up, body tensing…not again, I think moments before I’ve rounded the car, wrenched open the door and drug out the wounded man by hair at the nape of his neck. A hungry growl slides from my lips and a part of me still has thought, repeating over and over in my mind…”I don’t want to feel this, I don’t want to care; I want it to stop. The guilt, the pain, and the sorrow for the horror I’ve done”. As if the words came in authoritative command, I feel nothing for the man before me, no guilt for the life I am about to take. My head lowers, feeding hungrily without second thought. Fingers gripping the hair, the weak man remains leaning against me, unable to fight against my iron grip. The cracking of his ribs is heard as my arm constricts crushing the bones beneath his skin. I continue to eagerly take from his life source until it is drained dry, the crimson making a trail down over my chin as my head leans back, groaning in pleasure. I push the dead body away, leaving it in the middle of the street. More…I need more. I take a short trek up the road, finding another headed straight for me. Standing on the side of the road I wait, body tense and prepared to pounce. Leaping out as the vehicle passes, catching the bumper, lifting with ease as the wheels spin continuously. I slam the cherry red Camery down, cracking the frame, blowing both of the tires. The driver places weight on the gas but the vehicle only scrapes upon the ground. I round the side to the passenger door, pulling the door off the hinges, dragging the woman from her seat. I waste no time in ravaging at her pulse point. I feel feeble tugs at my arms, kicks to the backs of my legs from what I can guess is her husband, the children in the backseat still buckled in staying put as they were told, their cries reach my ears, calling for their mother while her life slips away. My hand lifts from around her small waist to capture the male’s wrist, breaking it with ease as the woman is pushed away and the man pulled in. His fighting useless and irritating, my elbow connects hard with his chin, the force breaking his neck and giving easy access to his jugular. I take my time with this one, savoring the kill. The continued screams of the frightened children sounding in my ears as I feast upon their father; I didn’t care that two boys just watched their parents die, I couldn’t care less that they were frozen in their seat as I tore their family apart, I could feel nothing, nothing but the thrill of the kill. Embracing my nature, I toss the male aside, his blood mixing with that of my previous kills in a race down my neck, soaking the front of my shirt. My eyes fixate on the elder boy, his eyes now closed tightly unable to watch anymore, curiosity filling me as I open the car door, leaning in towards the frightened child, speaking in the same manner as I had to myself* You are not afraid, you want to watch as I feed on your brother. *I can feel my words seeping into him, changing his feelings instantly, my link with the boy holds as I round the car and take the younger of the two by his throat, my eyes locking with the elder’s before taking part in my fourth kill. The taste of such young life is entirely exquisite. My eyes roll back, a soft groan sounds, the youngest boy screams and claws at my face as his elder brother sits in complete silence watching intently. He probably could gather what was to become of him; he knew the end was coming as my last pull comes up dry, his brother lain limp against the seat, I fly around the car to the still open door, unbuckling the kid’s seat belt and releasing my hold on his emotions* Run. *I speak sinisterly in his ear and he did. The boy couldn’t have been older than twelve but he ran as fast as his human legs would carry him. My lips curl into a smirk, watching him briefly before taking off after him, the screams released into the woods unheard by any but the predator. Following the trail, I take to the trees, hopping lazily from tree to tree, humming a playful little tune before dropping down from the branch, landing with my hands on his shoulders bringing him down hard. His surprised scream is the last thing heard.*
*Flames, like a searing blaze eating the body from the inside out. There was nothing else to be felt, only pain and the looming darkness that crowds around. How long this torture has gone on is unknown, when it would stop was wished for. Would it ever stop? Would there ever be peace? The agony too much to make sense of what was happening and then it fades; the flames retract, feeling from their position to gather at one singular place, the throat. A gasped breath brings the entire expanse of strong chest to heave, body arching upwards then falling back down. Cool cement rests below the below, the body rolls planting cheek to it, then the thin lids fly back and blazing crimson is revealed. Hands press into the flooring as knees come up, followed by the feet as the body is brought to a standing position, my body. However foreign it felt, it was still my body. My eyes take a quick survey of my surroundings, they narrow as I attempt to remember where I am and how I got here. My memory seems to be in a fog, like an interrupted dream I cannot quite recall.* I am Hal Marshal. *I say aloud, at least that part was remembered.* I’m…*There is a pause as the age slips my mind, then appears in a haze,* Twenty-three years old. *Continuing to go through the questions one would ask an amnesia patient. How did I know them? That was a mystery as well.* My birthdate is…*I swore under my breath, it was gone.* The year…the year is…*My lips curl* Two thousand and twelve…I think. *How long was I out? Why am I in an abandoned warehouse? Where’s my dad? Then it hit me, my father is a doctor. That is how I knew what questions to ask myself. There is obviously something wrong…and why does my throat feel like I’ve swallowed a lit match? All of these questions burn in my mind as I make my way outside, squinting at the moon. It wasn’t until now that I realize how dark it really as inside the building. My vision is enhanced. The sounds of the night come as a deafening roar. There had to have been some sort of change within my anatomy. The empty feeling deep in the pit of my stomach causes me to realize that I cannot recall the last time I ate. Patting my pockets, I find my wallet. Dragging it out and pulling it open I find a $100 dollar bill, and a stack of smaller bills next to it.* Well, at least I know I wasn’t mugged. *I mutter under my breath then stop in my tracks. That thought triggered another thought, a memory. I was walking home from a visit with a friend…it was dark, someone grabbed me, I didn’t see who and all of a sudden I felt it, the pain. Whoever that was must have done this to me. Shaking my head I try and get back on track. Yet another question rushing through my mind, why was I so ADD. I remember myself being so focused; now I can hardly focus on getting food. An “open late” sign shows on the dinner up ahead, I slip in nearly unnoticed and find a table. I don’t even bother to open a menu, simply asking the waitress for a burger and a large glass of water. Half hoping the water will soothe the burn irritating my throat. My fingers tap upon the table as I once again try to decipher what all is happening. My eyes dart about, taking in aspects of the place that I never would have noticed before. What is wrong with me? I cannot help but thing. The jittery feeling I have surpassing everything but the flames that lick nonstop. My hand lifts, absentmindedly rubbing my throat. The woman brings back my water and I thank her, picking it up and downing most of it in one go. It tasted horrible and had me almost gagging. The woman leans in to pat my back as if I was choking, silky blonde waves fall into her face, and I inhale. Her scent was positively delightful, and…oh so intoxicating, suddenly I was not in control of my actions any longer. Lurching forward, my arms capture her in a tight grip, my head going for her neck. Before I had any realization of what I was doing, my teeth were slicing through the delicate skin at her throat. Hot, sticky blood splashes across the side of my face and splatters my clothing. The first taste of her is complete relief, feeling as if I have found the one thing I have longed for, I am helpless to fight it as the substance continues to fill my mouth, swallowing hastily and ignoring the steady stream that runs down over my chin and neck. She fights, she screams, wrestles within my hold. Her hands press hard against my chest attempting to shove me away to no avail. Nothing works, and I feed mercilessly. Capturing her wrist, I twist, the intention just to remove her hand and draw her closer, but there’s a snap heard, and the hand comes loose from its arm. It is dropped, tossed away carelessly, the remaining appendage soaking my clothing from the wound. A soft moan of pleasure sounds as the fire is quenched, releasing me of its flame. The continued cries reach deaf ears as I continue to drain the life from the fading body. Amazingly I can both hear and feel the dying beat of her heart. Cradling the blood soaked form in mine as the waitress goes limp, her shoes sliding in the ruby puddle at our feet. The thirst sedated, I stumble back, dropping the blonde beauty to the floor. Her hair quickly turns a matted bronze as it soaks up the life essence spilt on the floor. I feel a bit dripping from my chin, landing upon the front of my ruined shirt. What have I done? I look on in horror at a scene that could rival any gory movie, her eyes open and vacant, staring in complete terror, the large gash in her neck brings a hand up to my mouth, fingers gliding over my teeth, the weapon that brought her destruction. Backing into the table, I trip, it collapses under my weight and I fall. Hitting my head hard on the tiled floor, the collision is hardly felt, though my head slams hard enough for it to bounce up slightly. Just then the cook rushes in, stopping dead in his tracks, paralyzed by shock, no…I feel the beast roaring inside me, I am on my feet and moving impossibly fast to his side without thought of doing so, my hand takes hold of his grimy hair jerking and I am at it again, feeding with no remorse, taking part in this man’s coppery nectar. A deeper set of cries fill the air and within moments he is gone, lain on the floor as a victim of a very strange monster. Luckily it was so late, and the dinner was empty or I might have continued and created an entire massacre. Practically falling out of the place, I take off, speeding at an alarming rate towards the woods, the guilt and grief of it all hitting hard, whipping around trees with inhuman reflexes, and catching balance easily as a fallen tree catches my foot. I don’t stop until I come to a small brook, falling into it face first, a cloud of crimson taints the surface, riding along the waving ripples as my form moves and I frantically cleanse myself of the blood, muttering over and over that it didn’t happen, it wasn’t real, and willing myself to believe I am stuck in some sort of sick and twisted nightmare caused by too much junk food and late night zombie movies, but no matter how hard I tried, or how hard I scrubbed, the images where still there. Clothes cleaned but wet, face cleared of the murderous blood that marred my features before, the only sign left was the horror in my blood stained eyes. I curl up under a tree, my legs pulled in tight to my chest, arms wrapped around them. I shiver, not because of the cold, but from the horrific scenes that play over and over in my mind. What am I?*