Monday, December 19, 2016

Addicted to the Abyss Parts 9 and 10 are Here!

Part 9: Capture

Running, running, running, running. Following his scent. He was dying. Dying, dying and it was all my fault. My fault.

My. Fault.

My Mallory, my MAP, my beacon in the darkness.

I could feel my grip falling away, my mind crumbling apart. The more I searched, the more frantic I became. Then, there! That smell. Shifting wind blew it back to me.

He was with them, weaker than before, bleeding thin watery blood on the snow.

They were there, HER broodlings, feral vampires, covered in dirt and reeking of decayed flesh. They were arguing, hissing, growling, yelling in my head.

I’ll take it! She loves me best!
No! I will!
No! Me!

Two started fighting.

I silently stalked up to them in a wide arc, staying downwind. They made it to a clearing. There was a pack of them, a dozen red eyes glowed in the darkness, giving the snow around them a red hue, bright hot coals in their heads. Skin so dirty it was dark brown and smeared with black rotten grease; body fat of their victims, of their prey. Some wore tatters of rags, others were naked. None stood on their feet. They crawled and ran in a loping gate on all fours, like the animals they were.

Mallory coughed. He was face down in the snow. His heart slowing, weakening. I could see his body, weak, frail, fading fast.

“Mallory!” I shouted.

They all stopped and turned and looked at me.

You! You! You! You!
Kill him! Kill! Kill!

They rushed me. I fought several off, the smaller ones, without much effort. They didn’t think like people. Not really. They certainly didn’t fight like them.

Animals, they’re all animals; fighting with claws and teeth and feet. No thought, just instinct.

I fought them with all the strength I had. I ripped off limbs and heads, biting and tearing flesh from their necks and faces. Taking them out as soon as they lunged forward. A large group of ten leapt at me all at once, knocking me down into the snowbank. Sank teeth into my flesh, tore chunks off. I screamed. Black sludge slicked up my arms, making it hard for them to grip onto me. I shoved them off, kicking, struggling until I pulled free and ran towards him.


He didn't respond.

I was so close to Mal now. I could hear his heart beating, getting slower, erratic. I stole a glimpse of him. They bit him all over. Deep bites on his back, neck, arms, legs, he was bleeding out. My food bank was dying. My canteen leaking lifeblood.

Not much time. Not much, at all. Had to act. Had to save him. Was nothing without him. Nothing. No thoughts. No feelings, no memories, nothing. They were stealing him from me, and stealing myself as well.

I screamed in wordless rage and felt my body grow stronger, using up all the blood left in my stomach, Mal’s thinned, watery blood. I willed it to absorb, sent the energy to my muscles. But, it wasn’t enough. His blood was too weak. Not much fuel left to help me fight them all off.

They just kept coming. I lost count. I killed and killed and killed and they kept coming. Bodies piled up around us, making the ground slick with thick, foul smelling blood and gore.

I spotted where they were coming from. There was another opening to a tunnel in the snow. They must've dug them all over here. They had dragged Mal to the entrance, they were going to take food to their Queen like good worker ants.

“Ants! You’re all ants!” I screamed.

I was covered in black gore. It smelled horrible, drowned out all the other scents around me. It plopped steaming holes into the snow, tainting it with tarry globs of our filth.

There were too many. Their numbers pushed me back as two smaller ones took Mal by the feet and pulled him into the tunnel. They disappeared in the darkness.

“Mal! Noooo!”

My vision red, rage pounded in my ears, anger overwhelmed me. Had to fight. Had to get him. Had to find him. Needed him. Needed him to keep memories.

They piled on top of me, we sank deep into the snow bank. We struggled and fought and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get to him. I couldn’t break free.

I growled and thrashed, snarled and wrestled. No use.

They hurt me. Muscles shredded, torn out, devoured. They didn't know where to hurt me the most, so they kept biting and ripping out chunks of flesh and eating it.

So much pain.

It hurts! It hurts!

They kept ripping at my flesh until I blacked out.

Woke up to smell of burning flesh and smoke.

Sun was up.



They kept coming, wave after wave. Stopped when sun came up. Left leg torn, hanging by ligaments at the knee. Couldn’t breathe. Could barely move.

Skin burning up in the sun, turning to ash, like cigarette paper.

The broodlings hissed, in the tunnel entrance, just out of the touch of the sun’s rays. They didn’t want to leave their prey, but the sun drove them back.

I was going to die if I didn’t get out of it.

I dug deep into the snow, desperate to cover up my blistering body.

Something zipped through the air, stung my neck. Growling I turned, could feel skin on my face catching fire. 

Didn’t care about that. Didn't care about the burning.

Mal was gone. He was gone. I was nothing without him.

Nothing, but a monster.

In the glaring morning sunlight, a group of men were running my way, black silhouettes, guns, Kevlar body armor. Boots crunching the snow. About to crunch my skull to bits.

I knew them. They took me before. No way I’d let them take me again.

I ran towards the woods, ran through the daylight, struggling to stay on my feet, limping along on my one good leg, my body blistering, catching fire, smoke filling the air around me. A human candle. That’s what I was now. A candle and nothing more. It hurt, more than anything I have ever felt before. Like my soul was being destroyed.

Once the sun was done eating me up, there’d be nothing left but ash, not even my bones would remain.

Halfway to the treeline, someone fired a gun, and a bullet zipped into my right thigh. There was a beeping sound, and then, it exploded. My leg flew off and I fell face first into the snow. I screamed, gritted my teeth and crawled towards the trees. If I could just get into the shade, I could hide.

Another bullet slammed into my back, beeped again, and exploded. 

I could smell my flesh and tar blood. It reeked. I threw up and tried to crawl more. Pulled my body forward with my right arm, and what little remained of my legs. My left arm was missing, just a stump in the shoulder. They blew it off.

Still, had to get away. Had to survive. Had to get Mallory. Had to save him. Had to last long enough to get him free. After that, I could die. I just needed to get him safe. Just had to survive that long.

Footsteps. Human footsteps approached, cautious. 

One got close and I swiped my remaining hand at him. He stomped down hard on my back, grabbed my remaining arm, and pulled it hard until it dislocated from the shoulder. 

Another knelt beside me, took out a sharp hunting knife and cut through the shoulder joint, the one holding it twisted my arm counter-clockwise as he sawed vigorously. My arm came off with a sickening schlupping sound.

I screamed, long, hard howls.

It hurt. It hurt!

They took my arm. They took my arm!

I cried out in pain. It was too much, too much. Wanted to die. Wanted to pass out and never, ever wake up again.

"Good job men," the one holding my now severed arm said and he tossed it to someone, who put it in a black zippered bag. It was dripping foul-smelling tar blood, spattering on the snow loudly. No doubt my other limbs were in there too. The man took out a walkie-talkie and spoke into it. “HQ? Yeah. He’s down. We got him."

“Just kill me,” I said, coughing.

"God damn. It's still conscious. Vicious little fucker isn't it?" one of them said and they all laughed.

They laughed and laughed as their leader stepped forward, pulled out a pistol, shoved it up again my temple and pulled the trigger. There was a deafening sound.

And all was silent, still, black; peaceful as death.

Nothingness enveloped me.

The abyss held me in her cold embrace. So peaceful. So serene. So quiet. No pain. No hunger. No thoughts. Nothing.


I smelled something.



I woke up.

Delicious food, raw rare steaks, pork chops, meat and bone and blood. I wanted it. Crack open their bones and suck out the marrow. Mouth watered. Stomach twinged. Needed it, needed food. Badly.

So hungry.

"Christ. It's still conscious?"

"Let’s cage him up before his limbs grow back.”

Whose limbs? Mine? Was he talking about me? Couldn’t see. All was darkness. Picked up, carried, tossed into metal cage, cuffed, chained, gagged. Could hear truck driving. 

I was in it.

Where were they taking me?

Don't know. Not sure. Don’t care.

The sweet abyss beckoned. All I had to do was surrender to it, and it would take all the pain away.

Yes. Just drift away. End it. Let it end here. Just let it all go.




Needed to save Mallory.

SHE had him.

SHE was going to kill him.

Needed him to live. 

No matter what.

Needed him. Without him, no mind, no soul, no nothing. Just hunger, satisfaction, the hunt, the kill, the sleep. Not good. Not good like that. Not good at all.

Woke up. Shook head and gagged. Tube in throat. Arms and legs clamped down in metal cuffs. Bright lights overhead. White tiled room, smelled of antiseptic and iodine.


Oh. Right. That place. Again.

Last time they put me in the freezer. This time, I was on a metal table, like a dog at the vet. They pulled out my teeth. All of them. The pain woke me up, briefly. I had no energy to fight them off, no limbs to hit them with. I was helpless. 

It was horrible.

Poked my gums with my tongue, what little I could reach around the tube that was shoved down my throat and taped in place on my lips. Sharp little nubs of teeth were growing back in.

Blown off limbs restored. New flesh was whiter and grayer than old flesh. Could see it reflected on the metal hood of the light. Wiggled toes. Could feel them. Moved fingers, they were all there. Sharp, thick talon nails tapped the metal table I was strapped to.

Good. Needed them to fight.

The door to the room unlocked and opened. Several men walk in, one woman in the lead. Tall, leggy, big tits, fake blonde hair, red lips like berries in cream on her pale flesh. They all wanted her. I could smell their arousal. 


“This is it gentlemen. The vampire. Don’t get too close. It bites. Hard.”

“We were told the teeth were removed.”

She laughed. “They grow back. This specimen isn’t like the others. It’s sentient, and its removed body parts regenerate, rather quickly. Like a starfish’s legs, or a lizard’s tail.”


“Allow me to demonstrate.” She stepped up to the metal table I was lying on.

“It’s watching you.”

“Yes. It is,” she said calmly.

“Does it feel pain?”

“Naturally.” She picked up a scalpel off the small instrument stand beside the table. She cut off the nails on my right hand. All of the them.

I hissed and bucked, fingers zinged, nerves raw and on fire.

She dropped my fingernails into a small container on the stand and set down the scalpel.

“Observe,” she said and flicked a switch. A small pump whirred. I smelled fresh blood, thick, healthy, seasoned with ripe fear. It poured into my throat. The tube pumped it right into my stomach. I drooled, it bubbled around the tube in my mouth and slid down my chin. She was tube-feeding me.

My eyes rolled back in my head. My body was washed over in a wave of pleasure. The blood made me feel wonderful. So warm and alive.

More! More! Give me more! So good. Soooo good.

“That’s enough,” a man said.

I knew that voice. Where did I hear it before?

The voice was stern, dominant, the deep pitch gave me goosebumps. I wanted to break free, knock him down and rip his throat out with my teeth. 

A memory, a wisp of thought washed through my brain--that man. He pulled out my teeth, one by one. And before…before…the first time I was caught. He drained me dry. Cut my veins, let all the black sludge out. Replaced it with real blood. Made me strong. So very strong.

I fought him, got halfway out before the guards stopped me. I could see the scars I gave him, his neck had a webbed blotch of silver skin where I bit him. Claw marks on his face, where I grabbed him and drank my fill. He was lucky to be alive. I was surprised he survived the attack. Not many do.

He looked at me in disgust. Lip up-turned. He stood stiff, upright, back tight. I could hear his heart pounding furiously. He wanted to kill me. But something was preventing him from doing that. What could it possibly be?

My finger tips tingled, the pain eased, and stopped. I could feel the new nails pushing up through my skin; thick, sharp, vicious talons.

“There, see?” the woman said. “They’re growing back already.”

Several gasps, mutters of astonishment.


“Yes. When can we start the prelim tests?”

“Tomorrow. We’ll get it cleaned up and prepped for surgery.”


They left.

Surgery...They were going to cut me open again. I had to get out of here before they got started. I couldn't stay here. I had to get out. Had to get to Mallory. Had to save him.

The blood, it was fresh, on tap. There was movement, chain scraping on metal bottom of cage. Someone was in there. I leaned my head over as far as it could go to look, there was a human child, a young girl. Scared. Naked. Tasted so good. Wanted more. So hungry.

Wanted out. Wanted food. It was there, right there. Just had to get free to drink my fill.

Wrists clamped down, ankles shackled. Thick metal and strong woven fabric straps. Tube down throat. There was still blood in it. I could taste it through the tubing somehow.

Closed my eyes, focused. Used the blood she had pumped into me. Let it absorb through my stomach lining and fuel me. Willed my teeth to grow back in, sharp as knives. They cut through my gums and lengthened fast. There was a strange tingling, tugging sensation on my jaws as they grew. It wasn't unpleasant. It was almost...satisfying.

I bit down and my new teeth easily sliced through the thick plastic tubing like a sharp razor. Blood spurted out, gushed into my mouth. I tried to swallow but the tube was tuck. Couldn't swallow, couldn't drink all the blood. It pooled in my mouth. Tasted like liquid honey, molten metal and fresh life.

Frustrated, angry. Tried to cough it up and the tube got lodged further down my throat. Gagging, heaving, I threw it up. It fell on the floor in a puddle of half-digested blood. Such a waste. Swallowed what blood remained in my mouth, ran my tongue over fresh new razor-blade teeth. So sharp and ragged. Not like old teeth. They are all sharp now, pointed like canines, or shark's teeth.

I was turning into a shark. Cold-blooded. Thirsty for blood. An eating machine.

I laughed. I was a land shark that fed on human blood. On people canteens. On little land fishes.

The food trembled, whimpered in the cage. Turned around to show her back. It was healthy, good weight, nice muscle tone.

I spotted a catheter in her chest, attached to a pump that had the tube that was shoved down my throat.

The food shivered in fear.

It smelled delicious.

Using what remained of the blood in my stomach, I absorbed it, willed it to strengthen my arm muscles, they bunched and swelled up, made me look like a bodybuilder fresh out of the gym.

The metal groaned and strained as I pulled my arms up and up and up, struggling until the cuffs snapped apart and I ripped free, the broken metal scraped deep gashes in my wrists. Goopy black tar slopped onto the metal table. Smelled so bad. Wrinkled nose at it, and used the sharp talon nails I grew to cut through the woven fabric that held my ankles.

The gashes in my wrists healed over fast. By the time I cut my legs free, they were gone.

I looked myself over.

I was naked. But not cold. Not at all.

The holes where the broodlings had bit off chunks of my body were healed over, pale gray skin with fragile spidery veins grew in to replace it. Looked almost translucent, like fetal tissue. My legs and arms were the same way. Toes looked longer, with thick black clawed nails, same as fingernails now.

My toenails clicked on the concrete floor when I stood up.

For some reason, they didn't pull off the bad leg where it was hanging by the knee. They reattached it. I felt lopsided, the old foot clumsy, the new foot agile, flexible, strong.

I limped awkwardly towards the cage with the food. The food looked at me, eyes wide, heart beating fast, little bird neck begging to be snapped.

Ripped off the door to the steel cage. Food shoved itself into the corner, not much room for it to turn around or hide in there. Yanked it out by the arm, held it up. It whimpered and urinated. Pee trickled down its leg and puddled on the floor.

Could smell the fear, could hear its heart beating, pumping blood through its veins.

“Dinner,” I said, voice hoarse, guttural, like swallowed broken glass. Food cried out as I bit down into its neck, ripped out the throat and guzzled, gulped, drank all its blood, drank my fill, drank some more until it was limp, dead.

Was about to toss it aside, but I could smell the blood where it was seeped into its flesh, hiding in muscle, in organs, in bone marrow. I wanted MORE. I wanted ALL OF IT.

My mouth watered, drool oozed down my chin and dripped on my chest.

Yes. More food. More!

I used my sharp nails to unzip the skin, and pulled it off in thick sheets, slapped it down on the floor, revealing quivering wet muscles beneath. I ripped the muscle off with my hands and teeth and ate my fill. Blood splattered onto the floor as I chewed and grunted in pleasure. It was like a rare steak. Prime rib or ribeye. The good stuff. The fancy expensive meat cuts at the restaurant. So juicy, meaty, soft and tender. Delicious.

So good.

I just kept eating until there was nothing left, just the bones. I was chewing on them, cracking them open, sucking out the marrow, covered in blood and viscera. It was warm, and soothing. I felt good. So high on the was like liquid sex, eating the food's muscle was so pleasurable, it sent shivers up and down my back, tingled my scalp. 

Running my tongue along the inside of a femur bone, digging out the marrow residue, I shuddered and felt something stir in my body that I had thought would never work again.

I was hard. Aroused. Immersed in pleasure. I felt so warm and alive. So excited. It felt great. If there was another body here, I'd eat that too, and get off on it.

I was enjoying myself so much, I lost track of time. Forgot where I was. That I was in trouble. That I had to get out.


The door to the room opened, three men in scrubs walked in. They cried out when they saw the food's skin on the floor, the blood pooling up and running in rivulets down the central drain grate.

I stood up, cracked my back, the old bad vertebrae-- the ones they ruined when they attached a silver ring to it-- popped out, pushed up through the skin in my back like loose baby teeth and fell to the floor.

One of them dropped a tray of instruments. It clanged loudly and the metal tools scattered across the room.

“Oh. Shit.”

“I thought you said it was safely contained!”

“It was!”

One ran and hit a button on the wall, an alarm shrieked. I looked at them, a devilish grin spread across my face. The bald one went pale and started backing towards the door. The other cried out in horror and ran out of the room, dragging his coworker with him.

I had to get out. I couldn’t let them see me. I didn’t want them to. Had to hide, like before. Like at the hospital. 

How did I do that? 

Don't know. Not sure. 

Wait. I remember. I didn't want them to see me, so they didn't. All I had to do was not want them to see me here, and they won't. Right?
Guards were running towards the room. I slipped out the door and past them. They shivered, like I was a cold breeze.

They looked back, but didn’t see me standing there, staring at them. They could instinctively sense my presence but didn’t realize that what they felt was me.

“Jesus Christ! It ate her whole.”

“What did you expect? Vamps are nothing but mindless animals.”

I turned and ran. No more time to waste. Had to get out. Had to get to him. Had to save him.

I didn’t recognize the hallways. They were winding, long corridors that all looked the same, yet unfamiliar to me. I ran and hid, didn’t let them see me, but I knew that I was being tracked. Could feel it. I looked down the hall where I came from. I left bloodied footprints as I ran.


Couldn’t hide that.

Rushing, I broke into several rooms until I found a locker room with a sink and rushed to rinse off my body fast. Then I ripped apart lockers, and threw on shirt, pants and boots. They were tight but they would do for now. Couldn’t look in the mirror to see what my face looked like, if I was still covered in blood or not.

I wiped at my face until no blood came off. I ran my hands over my head. It was shaved. Peach fuzz for hair. Bumps on the back of my neck. I focused and could smell ink, tattooed flesh. They did that. They marked me. Like a lab rat.

Where was I?

Why was I here?

What did they want?

Why were they using me as a test subject?

Shook my head. 

Don’t know. Not sure. Didn’t matter, really. Needed to get out. Needed to run. But to where? Shit. I forgot something. Something important. But what was it?

I could hear a voice in my head. Mine? Maybe?

Him. You forgot him. He’s dead. It’s all our fault.

Our fault? Ours? Mine?


Fear pierced my chest, panic gripped my heart and squeezed--hard. Couldn’t breathe, couldn’t breathe!

“The trail leads in here!”

“Careful. It could still be in there.”

Silently, cautiously, I stalked over and hid in a locker and held it shut, didn’t close it so that they would hear the latch click.

“Jesus that fucker is strong. Look at what it did to the metal doors.”

“I see that. Keep your eyes and ears peeled man. This one is clever. Not like the others.”

“I’ll say.”

They carried guns and tasers. Their hearts were pounding, I could smell sweat and anxiety, the bile rising in their throats.

One smoked. Had cancer, could smell the bad flesh deep inside an organ, spreading black death, dying from the inside out. He’d be dead in a few years, if I didn’t kill him first.

I could hear buzzing and beeping. I shuddered, remembering the bullets they shot me with that exploded.

The buzzing, it was coming from my shoulder….it was IN my shoulder. I was tagged, chipped, like an animal.

Holding the locker door shut with one hand, I dug into my shoulder with the other, ripping through the skin until I could grab it. Nails cut into it like a hot knife through room temperature butter. Easy. Smooth. Very little pain.

I gripped the tiny metal chip and slid it out of my flesh. It had a little blinking red light on it. I crushed it in my hand and the buzzing stopped. The wound I made sealed up and healed over instantly.

The beeping, it came from a device one of them was holding. It blipped and stopped, the beeping sound cut short.

“Shit. Signal went dead. It must’ve found the tracker.”

“Smart bastard.”

“I’ve never seen one so human before.”

“Not our job to question it. Just our job to bag and tag it. Come on.”

I slowly opened the locker door to peek out. There were four of them in here. They didn’t notice me. I didn’t want them to, so they couldn’t see me. Not sure how that worked, but it did.

I slipped out of the locker and stalked up behind the closed one. Quiet. Like death. I struck the cancerous one first. Slammed my hand right through his back, gripped onto his spine and ripped it out. Blood flew everywhere. There were screams, cries of horror as the man’s body dropped. The guard next to him turned and his eyes bulged. He stood there, staring at the spine in my hands his eyes slowly found my arm, then my body, then my face.

“Oh fuck!”

He went to raise his gun and I moved fast. I yanked it out of his hands, bent the muzzle. Tossed it aside. The guard went to run out, I tripped him up with his partner’s spine. He cried out, the vertebrae ripped through the flesh on his legs. I ran over, sliced through the back of his neck and hamstrings with my sharp nails, and turned to face the other two as they shot at me. Bullets zinged past, sank into the wall behind me. They couldn’t quite hit me. 

I cocked my head to the side, curious.

Their hands were shaking, their pulses fast. They were trying, so very hard, to shoot me in the chest, and they kept missing my body, outlining it on the wall with bullets. Their eyes were wide, they weren't quite focused.

Was I doing that? Or was it their fear?

They kept shooting until they ran out of ammo, one ducked behind a row of lockers, and the other kept pulling the trigger, delirious in terror.

I ran and leaped on him, and hit him over and over and over with the spine, ripping his face to shreds. He screamed and cried and tried to get free. I grabbed his chin, pulled his lips apart and shoved the spine into his mouth, made him choke on it. He heaved, tried to vomit and I kept pushing it down his throat, further and further, his neck bulging as I jammed my fist down it. His jaw snapped, broke loose, the trachea split in twain, he bucked and made funny sounds as I twisted the spine and pulled it back out, dragging his throat and stomach along with it. I kept pulling, yanking out his intestines as well.

I laughed and tossed them aside.

This was So. Much. Fun!

A snake bit into my back and I was hit with a jolt of electricity. I dropped to the floor, flopped around like a fish, could smell my flesh burning. I laughed and laughed and laughed until it stopped.

“What’s so funny?” the guard asked, his voice cracking with stress.

I stood up, kicked aside the spine I had dropped when he tased me.

“It tickled. ”

“You’re insane.”

“Am I?”

“Fuck you!” he said and pulled out a pistol and fired at me. He had enough sense to reload it, but he still couldn’t manage to sink a bullet in me. These guards weren’t like the men they sent out to capture me. These guys weren’t trained to deal with something like me. Not at all.

I chuckled and stepped up to him. The gun shook in his hand, his body quivered. He swallowed. Beads of sweat dripped into his eyes.

I took the gun from him, regarded it casually.

“You aren’t very good at this.”

“Sh-shut up! You monster!”

“Yes. That’s right. I am a monster. And you are my prey.”

He backed up against the wall, trapped in the corner of the room.

“No where to run now little piggy. No where to hide. This is where you die.”

“Oh God, help me.”

“God has nothing do to with this. This is just the natural order of things.”

I shoved my sharp claws into his stomach, and pulled them up, gutting him like a fish. He trembled, pissed and shit himself, and collapsed to the floor. I licked his blood of my hands and shuddered.

Soooo good.

My ears picked up the sounds of more footsteps. I closed my eyes to listen. There were heartbeats. 

About twenty. All armed to the teeth, I could hear them checking guns for ammo rounds, fiddling with grenades, checking the protective collars around their necks and wrists and ankles. These men were calmer than the guards. They wouldn’t be so easy to play with.
I smiled. This was going to be fun.

Part 10: Escape

I could hear their hearts beating. If I focused, I could count 19 men, plus one that stood out- calm. Low. Steady. Purposeful.

My mouth watered, my body sang. I felt so ALIVE! I could smell their cold sweat, could almost touch their fear, so thick in the air it was. I loved that these men were so terrified of me. It was…satisfying.

There were a few whispering to each other, down the hallway, the lookouts. Chirping coms in their ears. The whole place on lockdown. The power was cut off. The hum of air conditioning and computers and florescent lights stopped, cut off abruptly, making the sounds of their breathing loud in my ears-- like I was standing right next to them, instead of in another room entirely.

They cut off the power. Not sure why. Maybe they thought I couldn’t see in the dark?

The darkness didn’t bother me. Never did. Even before IT happened, I was comfortable in the dark. Except now, I could see. Everything was tinted red, like those night sight cam videos but in red, not green.

“All right men, you know the drill. Contain it. Any method necessary. No force is too much. Just don’t sever the head or the heart. Do that and the specimen is of no use to our employers, and they cut our pay. Got it?”

There was a chorus of “roger that” from the others. The one with the calm beating heart, he was the one talking, giving the orders.

I narrowed my eyes.

I knew that voice. It belonged to the man that cut off my arm. My teeth and jaw began to ache. My hands flexed. I wanted blood. His blood. And I wanted his pain, his screams, his tears, his flesh. I wanted to tear him apart and devour him, all of him--muscle, sinew, eyes, tongue, privates…even his soul.

I could almost taste it, like cotton candy. Sweet and melts in your mouth. I knew where it was, that blue white ball of light, his very spirit, deep in his chest, and it was going to be mine. All of it. He will pay for what he did, for what he took from me. And once I was done with him, I was going to tear holy hell through this place until I got free and could track down Mallory.


Is he dead?


Don’t know. Not sure.

How long have I been here?

Where was “here” anyway?

Would I even be able to leave?

I shook off the worry, calmed my breath and slowly stalked around the outer wall of the locker room, out of sight of the group that was in there with me. It was a strange limping gate, since the toes on one foot were now longer than the other. I'd either have to get used to it, or rip that leg off and let it regrow so that it matched the other. Since I didn't have time to regenerate a leg, I was just going to have to deal with it.

“Are you sure it's in there? I’m not spotting movement on thermal image,” one of them said. His name tag read: Trejo. He wasn’t the one that helped to cut off my arm. More like third or fourth in command. Beta/gamma type. Not alpha at all.

“Oh, it's in here all right. I can smell it. Like death. All vamps smell that way. You'll learn it, after a time.”

“Maybe that’s the guard corpses you’re smelling.”

“Enough chatter. Focus,” the calm one said.

I was going to really enjoy ripping his throat out.

They all wore that black S.W.A.T. type fighting gear; knee and elbow pads, finger-less gloves, bulletproof vest, no helmet-- couldn’t wear those and night sight goggles at the same time. Their loss, my gain. Could easily get a lot of blood just by ripping off their jaws.

Saliva pooled in my mouth. I swallowed and licked my lips before the drool slithered down my chin. Didn’t need that dripping on the floor, giving me away.

The only thing not standard were the protective collars around their necks. The material was stiff, creaked a bit when they turned their heads. A little thick…maybe steel lined. Like steel-toed boots, but on the neck to protect the jugular instead of the toes. I’d have to rip those off to bite their necks. Same with the helmets. Not too hard though. Not while I was strong and high off of eating that entire girl.

Made me wonder, with giddy fascination, just how much I could eat at one time?

Guess I was about to find out.

I peeked around a corner of a row of lockers, gun muzzles flashed, bullets sank into the tiles and shattered them, dented the locker doors. They ran after me. I bolted, hid, closed my eyes.

They saw me. Easily. Probably heard my boot steps too. I slipped them off, set them in the center of the aisle-way for someone to trip over.

“You see its eyes? Fuckers glowed red. Jesus H. Christ, that thing is from hell!”

“Cool it Jackson. Keep your wits.”

“Sorry Captain.”

I grinned. It was too easy. I could play cat and mouse with them. Just walk with my eyes closed, use my sense of smell and hearing to sneak around them and hit fast, run off, go at them from another direction. Simple guerrilla tactics.

I stepped lightly. Eyes closed. Breath soft. Listening, feeling my way around with one hand and my bare feet. Toe nails on my right foot clicking softly on the tiled floor. Cooling, sticky blood from the first guards I killed pooled on the floor.

It would fuel me well if I needed more.

They were clustered together. Six here, nine over there--they were spreading out into groups as well, one of four, one of five. The pack leader, he was with the two right in front of me. I was going to save him for desert.

The locker room was huge.

I didn't realize it at first, but there were showers in the middle, and sets of lockers on both sides of the shower area. Smelled like I was in the men's room. Women's on the other side. Showers were probably separated by a door or something.

Needed to move quick, silent. Puncture a lung, the brain or rip off a jaw before the target could react. I was incredibly strong now, and fast. I ate a whole person. Several now that I stopped to think about it.

The one nearest me had knives, I could smell their metallic twang on the air. One strapped to his thigh, one on his belt. Sharp, deadly. I silently stepped up behind him and held my breath. I could almost taste the sweat on his skin. I reached out, under his raised arms, and slipped the hunting knife out of its sheath. He shifted his weight. Sounded like he had the gun pointed at the floor. Kevlar body armor, something on his neck, a shielded collar of some sort. Night sight goggles, but his mouth, nose and the base of his skull weren’t covered. If I was lucky, they'd all be like that.

I waited for him to inhale and grabbed his face and shoved the knife up through the back of his skull. It slipped the between neck vertebrae and I angled it up and pierced his brain. He went limp--my hand muffled a soft whimper. I dragged him away, took his gun before it could clatter to the floor. I set his body into a locker, licked the blood off the knife. The brain fluid tasted sweet. Make me want to rip open his skull and eat it.

There’d be time for that later. Can’t be distracted by food again. That’s dangerous.

“The hell? Where’d Carmine go?”

“Keep your eyes sharp,” the leader said, still eerily calm. “Bravo, this is Alpha Team. Double up in the hall and send drones into the vents. We have a clever one here. Hunter class. Be advised.”

“Roger WILCO,” someone on the walkie talkie replied.

Drones? Like ants?

“Ants? There’s ants here?” another voice asked in my head. I waved it off, like a buzzing horsefly.

No ants. Just people. Soon to be dead people.

The one in charge, he was keeping the others out of the locker room. He wanted to claim the kill for himself I bet.

I slipped around his group. Hid onto top of the central row of lockers, peered down through slit eyes. They didn’t notice the red glow yet, but I couldn’t take too many chances with it. Too risky. Needed to be sneaky to get out of this alive. Had to survive. Had to get to Mallory. He needed me. I could feel it, him calling to me, a pull deep down in my bones, my blood and marrow. He was in pain, scared, crying, screaming my name. Poor bastard.

One nearest me had grenades on a belt slung across his shoulder. I could smell the phosphorous, magnesium, that other crap they put in those flash bang grenade things. Those would work.

I waited for him to step slowly past me, reached down, hanging half off the lockers, unclipped two, then curled up and out of sight back onto the roof of the lockers.

As quiet as I could I crawled towards the other end of the central lockers. Some of the others had different weapons, assorted types of guns, big rifles, those things that spit out bullets like hellfire, heavy night sticks, strange-shaped man-sized muzzles hanging from belts. Guess they wanted to slap one of them on me.

Not today fuckers. No way in hell you’re doing that. I got places to be, things to kill, someone to save. After that, I really didn’t care what happened. I just needed to get to Mal.

“Sergeant, is Jenkins with you?”

“No sir.”

“Check the lockers.”


“He’s probably dead.”

“Fucking vamps. You heard him, fan out and search.”

They split up more, staggered around the room. 19 scattered, soon-to-be-corpses with blood pumping strongly in their veins. I worked my way around the room, crawling on the locker roofs, leaping across to other sections of them when there was a gap in surveillance.

I could use one flash bang right away, save the other for later. Just in case. Might need it too, since more of them were running this way. Their booted steps echoed loudly in the hallway as they came.

Strange whirring noises bounced along the air conditioning vents. Drones. I pictured giant dragonflies with video camera lenses for eyes. Probably wasn’t what they were. That’s just what the sound made me think of.

Didn’t want to use the vents. Didn’t know where they led to. Didn’t want to get stuck and die in one. Like that rat did that one time in the apartment. Stuck in the dryer vent. Heard it scrambling, jumping, trying to get up out of it to reach the outside. Died in there, struggling to its last breath. A victim of its own poor decision.

I snagged what I could off of them when a snuck past; ammo clips, regular grenades, heavy metal flashlights, some stun guns, an electric cattle prod, knives. So many hunting knives. I left most of the stuff on top of the lockers, kept the cattle prod, shoved it through a loop in my pants.

I loved knives. So pointy. So sharp. So easy to use to cut into things. I liked cutting things, especially human flesh. It made such a satisfying sound, like the snap of biting down on a real casing hot dog, not one of them sissy dogs. The real kind, with the skin made out of intestine.

Man. I could really go for a hot dog…a hot dog made out of people would taste sooooo good.

“Jonah! Please! Oh God no. No. Nooooo! Stop it! Stop! Just kill me already! Fucking kill me!”

I looked around, head jerked this way and that as Mallory’s screams died down to pained whimpers. The sound surrounded me in stereo, like he was in the room with me, his voice echoing off the light blue tiled walls.

But I knew that wasn’t possible. HE wasn’t here. I couldn’t SMELL HIM. That was in my head. I was HEARING his cries for help. Just like I could hear the Mullo’s broodlings when they thought and spoke to each other in their minds.

SHE was hurting him. Keeping him alive, just torturing him enough to get him to cry, but not enough to make him pass out. SHE was baiting me. SHE knew I would come to him, SHE wanted me to come. And I would. In time. But first, I had to get out of here.

I really wanted to see what Mullo was doing, but I was afraid of what I would see that if I looked for it, if I followed his voice back to his body.

All this psychic bullshit was insane. If you asked me before IT happened if I believed in it. I would’ve flipped you a middle finger and told you to sit on it.

And yet. Here I was. Sensing his pain. We were linked now. Wasn’t sure if it was possible to even sever that connection. I did it to him, and I wasn’t even aware of it when I did. I wasn’t even in control of that. The dark part of me, it knew. It knew what to do.  It acted on instinct, made it so that we’d always find each other, because all I wanted was to be with Mallory.

Totally fucked up. But…comforting at the same time. I guess all that time he spent feeding me his blood caused it to happen. Didn’t happen before. Could see his face before, memory flashes…at least I thought that they were memory flashes. Maybe they weren’t. Maybe I was actually SEEING him. Right then and there, wherever he was.

“Jonah, please! Make it stop. Just make it all stop. I can’t take this. I can’t. No more. No more. It hurts so much.”

“Soon Mal. Soon. I’m on my way to you. I’ll be there. I can find you. I can feel where you are.”


“How do birds sense which way is north?”

“Instinct? Magnetic pole sensory organs? Genetically inherited memory?”

“Pick one. Go with that.”

“How soon is soon? When will you be here? She’s letting them play with me. It doesn’t feel nice. Not like when you do it. It scares me. Their teeth burn, the wounds sting, the pain doesn’t cease, it gets stronger. Like they’re poisoning me.”

“Just hang on. Don’t give up. Keep living. Keep breathing. Keep feeling. The pain means that you’re alive. Don’t be afraid of it.”

“It’s too much.”

“I’m sorry. It’ll all be over soon.”

“Where are you?”

“Same place as before. Your work place. Ran out of a lab. Hiding in the locker room. Not sure what floor, but it’s rather large.”

“Oh. That’s really far down then. How bad it is? They sick the hounds on you? Is it bad-bad? Or only slightly bad?”

He sounded so weak, so out of it. Not high, just tired, weary, exhausted, in pain.

“Yeah. It’s busy. Crawling with them now. You can keep talking, but I gotta do something, so I’ll hear you, but I might not answer. Just keep talking so I know you’re alive.”


There was an ache in my chest, crawling up to my throat. My eyes watered. What was this sensation? Why was it getting hard to breathe?



This was sadness. An empty, aching sadness overwhelmed me.

Why was I sad? Why was I crying?

Haven’t cried in…hell. I didn’t even know how long it’s been since IT happened. A year? Maybe more? Could be three months for all I knew. Was hard to keep track of times. Dates weren't important anymore. All that mattered was food, shelter, and Mallory. Those three things. That was it.

Without Mal, without him…what would I even do? What would become of me? The thought of losing him, it hurt. So much. Made me cry. I covered my mouth so they couldn’t hear my ragged breathing. Held my breath. Made myself stop. Wiped off the tears, took a jagged breath, forced my chest to relax. Willed the emotion to die off, leaving behind that cold void that was always there now.

Since IT happened, I had forgotten so many things. About my life, about my own humanity, about sadness and love and happiness. How much it hurt to FEEL sorrow.

Made me wonder if the joy I felt at killing people was actually happiness, or something else?

Don’t know. Not sure. Doesn’t matter. 

No time for that. No time for feelings. Time to kill. Time to hunt. Time to rip that squad apart and hang their guts like garland around the room.

“Keep looking. It couldn’t have gone too far. This room isn’t that big. Someone get on top of the main locker island, take a look at the ceiling. Get eyes up there. Now.”

Time to move.

I slipped over a side of the row of lockers, hugged it and slowly opened a locker and slid into one. It was a tight fit with the winter coat and boots, but it worked. I waited until a group of them walked past, then slammed the locker door open, startling them. Guns went off, I tossed the flash bang grenade towards the largest clump of them, and ran towards them.

It exploded.

The men cried out, the light so bright it burned their retinas.

Didn’t bother me at all.

I grabbed the rifles of the first two, shoved their hot muzzles so that they were pointed at each other. They panicked and continued shooting off rounds. Bullets sawed through flesh and bone in their arms and legs, one got a bullet to the face, ripped right through his cheek to show the teeth inside.

I ripped off one of their heads, tossed it towards a teammate of theirs who caught it on reflex, then screamed, dropped it and went running.

Men were shouting at each other. Several were yelling orders. Didn’t know their code words. Didn’t have to. All I had to do was outlive them here. That’s it.

Compared to when the last time we fought, this was easy. Ran past several and used my razor sharp finger talons to cut hamstrings on the backs of legs, sliced through faces, dug into wrists and wrenched off hands, sometimes the whole arm twisted off at the elbow. They made the most delightful screams then. I shuddered in delight. I felt so ALIVE. So very much alive. Their blood pumped through me, made my body sing. I was on fire, the strength of human blood fueling my muscles, letting me tear through the soldiers like they were Barbie Dolls. Heads and arms and legs popping off, falling to the floor in wet thuds.

Neck braces and chest armor be damned. There were other ways to stop prey. Other ways to make it bleed out onto the floor into one massive slippery, hot, wet puddle that smelled sooooo yummy.

Had to fight the urge to drop to my knees and lap it up off the floor. I was covered in their blood, it dripped down from my hair, my face, soaked through my clothes. I lapped it casually off my hands as I stepped around their corpses. Fuck did this turn me on. I almost felt...human.

I was so hard. So excited. Fresh red hot blood was pumping through my veins, mixing with the black tar in there, giving my body life.  I felt like I could do anything. Anything I wanted. I could even have sex right now if I wanted to. I grinned. Wouldn't that be great?

A vision popped into my head of me grabbing a still warm corpse and ripping off its head and shoving my hard cock into the opened throat and fucking until I came. I shivered. It was tempting, but, no time. Maybe later.

There were more in the hallway, getting ready to burst into the room. Others had ran to the showers and were pressed against the walls, watching the opening for me.

There were two up on the locker island,  where I was when I stole a lot of their side weapons. They had kicked a lot of them off when they got up there. I could hear them breathing. Afraid to look over the edge, afraid to move, afraid of being ripped to shreds.

I climbed up top, quiet, like death, and pounced on the first one, knocking the now firing gun out of the way. It fell to the floor as I ripped off his goggles and shoved my long clawed fingers into his eye sockets. He screamed high pitched wails, wet himself, and passed out from the pain. The other one jumped off the side, firing at me as he backed towards the showers.

"It's up there!" he shouted.

Several of the men that were in the showers stepped into the open doorway and started shooting at me. I ran, dove, hid under a bench. A bullet zipped past, grazing my left leg. It stung. I could smell the foul tar blood of the wound. Disgusting.

I grabbed a severed arm off the floor, squeezed it like a tube of toothpaste to force the remaining blood out of the muscle and into my open mouth. Empty, I tossed it into the showers, and a few men made sounds of alarm. I licked off my lips, let the blood stay on my chin, sticky, smelling of life and coppery metal.

I loved playing with my food. The more scared they were, the tastier they became.

I could hear whispering, hushed movements. They were planning something over there, in the showers. Showers...water...cattle prod is electric. That gave me an idea. Water and electricity get along very well.

There was an emergency fire alarm switch on the wall, still lit up. The backup power kept it on. Good. It was one of those that set off the sprinklers when you pulled it down. The fancy ones.

I ran over to the switch, pulled it. The alarm went off, ringing over the other screaming alarm that alerted them to a break out of one of their test subjects. The sprinkler system opened up and stale, stagnant smelling water poured out of them from the ceiling.

This caused confusion.

The men spread out, tried to figure out what I was doing. I ran up to the first one that came into the locker room and shoved the cattle prod into his back. The sparks lit up fantastically and he dropped and made funny gurgling sounds. I could smell burnt flesh. I stepped over his jerking body and threw a knife at another's knee as he stepped around the corner. He grunted and dropped and managed to shoot a few rounds at me as I ran towards him. He hit me in the chest, but missed my heart. His mistake. I grabbed him by the neck, held him up, ripped through the bulletproof vest fasteners and then slammed my sharp clawed fingers into his chest, between the collarbone and the chest, and pushed down, ripping through his lung and gripping his still beating heart. He screamed and bucked and I tored it out, pulling the hot, pulsing mass of muscle out through the hole I made. I chomped down on it like a jelly donut, blood spurting everywhere. It was chewy but my new teeth were stronger and sharper than the old ones, and they made short work of it. I swallowed, sighed.

Piss and shit ran down the man's legs. He was dead. His bowels let go. That always happened. Death was never pretty or neat or clean. It was messy and smelled foul.

I heard several of them running up behind me and turned around, shoving the heavy corpse at them. One side-stepped, two others fell on their asses from the momentum of the weight. I leaped on the one that side stepped, feet digging into his thighs, hands raking down his arms, mouth on his cheek, biting, pulling, ripping off the skin. He shrieked, rammed me into the lockers, trying to get me off by hitting my back against them. I grabbed his head, and slammed it forward, through a metal locker door. He passed out. Blood flowing from his face. I slurped some of it up. Delicious.

The other two wriggled out from under the corpse of their teammate and rushed me. One had a silver stake and hammer in his hands, the other had a muzzle and collar ready to slap on me. I ducked under the one trying to stake me, kicked his legs out from under him. He fell face first and hit his head on the bench and was knocked out cold. The other leaped on me, screaming, trying to shove the muzzle on my mouth. I grabbed his wrists, dug in my razor-sharp claws, pulled back, ripping through his tendons, blood poured out of the wounds. He screamed. The muzzle he was holding fell from his now useless hands.

Cut the tendons, hand won't work.

I laughed as he ran off, holding his limp hands out in front of him as his life's blood flooded out of him. He would pass out from blood loss soon, and die not long after.

All that was left was their leader.

"Clever son of a bitch, aren't you?" the captain said. His voice echoed from the showers.

"You know, it's impolite to cut off a man's arm like that."

"Is that so?"

"Yup. Don't worry. I'm about to return the favor."

He chuckled. "You can try."

He wasn't like the others. He was still calm. In fact, he seemed at ease with all of this.

"Tell me something...Jonah is it?"

"What?" I asked, as I slinked towards the shower room entrance.

"What is it that has you fighting so hard?"

"Not sure what you mean."

"You fight like a man that has something waiting for him. Something important."

I laughed. He was trying to get in my head. Trying to figure me out.

"What is so funny?" he asked.

"You. You don't care about me. You're stalling."

"Very perceptive. You are dangerous. It's been awhile since I've hunted such clever game."

"Hey fucker," I said, popping into the shower room, scanning for him. He was up in the ceiling, braced his arms and legs up against the sides of the walls and the pipes and things. "I can see you."

"I know," he said and lifted a hand held detonator and pressed the button.

I tried to jump out of the way, but was too slow. The entire shower entrance exploded, ceramic tile shrapnel cut into me. I was thrown against a wall. The tiles shattered on impact. So did my ribs. I grimaced. My head pounded. I was dizzy. Could smell my awful tar blood. It was getting in my eyes, my mouth, my lungs.

I struggled to stand. He hopped down from the ceiling and strode casually over to me.

"You know why I lead these men? Because I've lived the longest. I've seen the most action, I've survived countless battles with your kind. I know all your weaknesses. All your strengths. And yet, you keep surprising me. It has been an interesting battle, to say the least. But enough of this. If I don't reign you in now, my boss will be all over my ass for the damage here."

I grabbed onto a shower handle and pulled myself up. Pieces of shattered tile were being pushed out of my skin and fell to the floor. It wasn't a conscious thing. My body was doing it on its own.

"Fuck you," I said, and spat out black blood. It tasted terrible. Made me want to throw up.

He threw a silver knife at me, hit me square in the throat. The metal burned, smoke rose up from where my skin touched it. Voices, so many voices in my head, screaming, begging me to take it out. I struggled to grab onto it, the room spun. I fell on my side, everything was tilted the wrong way. I felt like I was floating in a stormy sea and being tossed this way and that. My vision, fading.

I could smell Mallory. I could feel his hand on my face. I reached out to him but I couldn't touch him. My hand passed right through him.

"Get up," he said in my head. "Don't let him kill you."


"Get up! He's going to kill you!"

I blinked, shook my head, grabbed the knife, yanked it out, tossed it aside. The handle burned the palm of my hand. I hissed and crawled back away from him. He was taking his time, watching me with calculating eyes. The eyes of a predator. Like mine. Except his were still human.

He didn't seem upset about all his men dying. He didn't seem upset about fighting me at all. He was very calm. Very collected. Like he was trained for it. Like he was made for this sort of thing. Hell, maybe he was.

I coughed, spit up more tar blood, got to my feet. The hole in my throat wasn't closing very fast. My flesh was still burning.  I could smell the smoke as it wafted up from the wound edges.

Whatever that knife was, it was dangerous.

He bent over and picked it up, wiped off my blood on his pant leg. "I can tell you haven't come across something like this yet, have you?"

I glared at him, kept moving away, towards the other locker room. The door to the women's shower was marked "Cleaning Personnel Only."

"Want to know what this is?"

"No," I croaked, coughed and spit out more blood. Some of it spurted out of the hole in my throat and plopped onto my chest.

Surprise flashed on his face. "You can talk already? That should've permanently destroyed your vocal chords. This is a magic blade. Blessed by the Pope, carved by holy men in Tibet from a meteorite. Starmetal. You understand?"

"Nope. Don't follow," I said, and grabbed the door handle. It was locked, so I broke it and kicked the door open. It fell to the floor on the other side.

"Do you even know what you are?" he asked and I paused before going to the other side of the showers.

I looked at him more carefully. His name tag it read: McTaggart. Close crew cut, graying blond hair, scar from a knife fight over his left eye. Built like a heavy body builder, but with flexibility, so...more like a football player then? Yeah. That was it. Football player muscles. Strong, fast, durable, and smart.

He was as much of a predator as I was.

The fire alarm stopped. The sprinkler water slowed to a trickle and ceased spraying. Someone must've turned it off.

He chuckled.  He was enjoying this.

"You won't get out that way. I have this entire block locked down tight."

I ignored him and ran into the women's showers, kicking off the shower heads, water spraying everywhere. It cooled off the burns on my hand and neck instantly. I sighed. My neck closed up, healed over. The burn on my hand disappeared. Much better.

I ran into the women's locker room, started ransacking it, looking through lockers.

"Hair spray. Lighter. Get it," Mallory said.

I grabbed them from a bag in one locker. "Now what?"

"Spray it, light it up, flames will spit out at him."

I smiled. "Nice."

I tested the lighter. It lit easy enough.

McTaggart walked in, gun out, the dangerous holy knife in a sheath on his leg. I could use that. I could kill a lot of the broodlings easy with it. Maybe even kill Mullo with it...


I needed that.

Had to act fast.

I held up the hair spray bottle, pressed down on the nozzle and lit the lighter, flames shot out as I rushed right towards him. He hissed in a breath and ducked behind a row of lockers. I ran around the other side, rushed him, using the fire again. It was blinding him, it was too dark in here, his night sight goggles were making it spotlight bright to him.

I pushed him down on his back, grabbed the knife from his leg as he shoved the gun muzzle into my chest and fired. I was thrown back by the force, bullets tore through my ribs, through my spine, bounced off the metal locker doors before sinking into the tiled floor and walls.

I twitched and slid down the wall to lay on the floor.  The knife burned my hand, but I didn't let go. I couldn't feel my legs. But I didn't care. I needed that knife. Needed it far more than he ever would.

McTaggart walked over, stepped on my hand and picked up the knife, regarding it.

"I cut off your arm with this. Maybe I should cut off all your limbs this time. What do you say?"

"Sure. How about you start with my left leg? It's annoying the hell out of me."

He smirked and grabbed me by the face, his gloved hand shoved into my mouth, it was made out of metal mesh, like those shark handling gloves. I bit down anyways. Metal groaning under the pressure of my jaws as I clamped down on his hand. I could smell the blood where it started to well up. I was pressing down, scraping his skin open.

He cursed at me, shoved me into the wall of lockers, slammed the knife into my eye socket and twisted. I screamed. It burned, it burned! I couldn't see out of that eye. I could feel the blade digging around in my skull.

Words, sounds, scents, tastes, firing off and fading away.

No. No. No, he can't take my memories! He can't! I've lost so many already!

I shoved him off, leapt on him, snarling, and something in me snapped. The dark part of me, it took over then. I lost all control. Just went berserk.

So thirsty. So hungry. Had to eat.

Prey. Prey. There. Eat. Eat. Eat!

I howled wordless rage, pushed my body to its limits, used the blood to heal my spine so my legs would work and just launched myself on him, knocking his strong body down, ripping and tearing, screaming, shredding, lumps of his skin plopping on the floor around us. He was screaming in terror, trying to fight me off. With a strength I didn't know I had, I tore off his neck guard with one hand and bit down on his neck, hard, crushing his trachea. The screams stopped, he bucked and stabbed my back over and over and over. It hurt and burned like hell, but I didn't let go. I shook my head, worried my teeth over his throat, tearing it to ribbons of flesh and cartilage. Drinking my fill, I ripped out his entire neck with my teeth. His head lobbed off, fell to the side, his eyes rolled up, mouth contorted in a silent scream.


He was dead.

I was hungry.

I pulled the knife out of my back, put it in its sheath, unclipped it from his leg and put it on my own. I had to tighten it. My thigh muscles weren't that bulgy. Then I removed all his clothes, what was left of them anyway, and skinned his body, relishing the feeling of hot wet muscle underneath, and I dug in, ripped off tissue and sinew, ate of his flesh until I couldn't eat any more.

I had to heal my body. So many gunshot wounds, all the burning stab wounds in my back. I healed it all. I ate his liver, his kidneys, his heart, his privates, all of it.

Then, I saw it. His soul. That blue ball of light. It was fading, starting to rise up away from his body.  I grabbed it, wrapped my bloody hands around it. I saw his memories, his feelings, saw things no one should see. His personal thoughts. Him killing a puppy when he was 4 years old and laughing about it. Throwing kittens off a highway passover. Shoving a friend in front of a train as it ran by. Blood and guts and the brains spattered everywhere, he squatted down and played with them, poked them with a stick. Him being taken away by authorities, him not going where he thought he would, and going to a training facility with a bunch of other children just like him. Cold. Heartless. Psychopathic. They were trained to kill monsters.

That knowledge, it could be useful.

My jaw extended, farther than it should go, tendons ripping, and I shoved the blue ball of his soul into my mouth and swallowed. It burned going down, and I felt the energy spread out before it settled in my chest and was absorbed by the black oily nothingness, that pit where my soul used to be, my abyss.

The black hole inside of me, it devoured his soul.

And then I knew.

I knew the name of this building, the organization that ran it. I knew about the people that trained him and others to hunt vampires. Not just vampires, but werewolves and ghouls and all sorts of things that weren't supposed to exist, and yet, they did.

I sighed.

I was so full. I wanted to sleep, but I couldn't. I was covered in viscera and gore.

I stood up, went back to the showers and cleaned off.

I searched his body, took keycards and money from his wallet, anything of any use. Then I slipped out the side door of the locker room, and willed the others not to see me.

They were panicking, unsure what to do, shouting at each other, tension high. I ran around the corner, through a set of double doors, and right smack into someone, knocking him on his ass. He cried out, backed away.

It was the man who tortured me, he was the one that ripped out my teeth.

I stood up. He could see me. Could see my glowing red eye. The other one was still healing. It was the last wound to heal. It was a raw socket with nerves on fire. Hurt like a bitch, but the pain was good. It meant that I was still alive. Still moving.

He was panicking too much, couldn't think where to go. Just scooted back away from me on his ass, not even able to stand up.

"You look like you're about to piss yourself. Feeling all right there doc?" I asked, my voice gravelly, vicious. Didn't sound like me at all.

"Jesus Christ save me," he muttered, crossing himself.

He was no threat to me. Not like this.

I could play with him a bit, before I killed him.

"Tell you what, you tell me something I need to know, and I'll let you live. How about that?"

"What? What do you want to know? Tell me!"

"What is this place? What do you do here, really?"

"We...we study paranormal entities. Like you."

"And what do you do with that knowledge?"

"Use it to better mankind."

I laughed. "Right. Try again."

"I don't know who buys the data. I just work here."

"Sure you do. One more question, where are we?"

"I...I don't know exactly. They knock us out before taking us here."

"You really are a dumbass, aren't you?"

"I'm sorry?"

I sighed, stepped up to him and hit him on the side of the head, hard. His neck snapped, his head twisted around backwards on his shoulders.


I grabbed his lab coat and I.D. badge and used it to open the doors at the end of the hallway. Beyond that, there were a few guard checkpoints, but they were easy enough to get around.

Soon, I could smell fresh air.

I followed it to the exit; a large vehicle-sized elevator platform.

If I used it, they would notice. I looked around. There was an emergency ladder in the elevator shaft. That would work.

I climbed up it swiftly, taking three to four rungs at a time, until I got to the top, then I used the side door that led to the emergency ladder and slipped out into a parking garage.

"What the hell?"

There were lots of guards roaming around there. I had to hide and run between the cars, avoiding them. The lights were on up here. A back up generator was running, chugging away.

They were talking about waiting for reinforcements, and some were anxious to get down there to fight. They made it sound like a whole pack of vampires was running amok and slaughtering people, when it was only just me.

I shook my head and kept running until I made it to the front gate. I climbed over the chain link electric fence, which was thankfully not on, and ran off into the pine tree forest. It was cold, the night air brisk. Stars twinkled overhead. Snow everywhere.

Good. I hadn't been down there long.

"Mallory. I'm out. I'm coming for you."

No answer.


"Just let me die."

"Hold on, I'm on my way. I'll be there soon."

I ran as fast as I could, over snowbanks, heading towards where he was. I wasn't sure exactly how I knew it, but I could FEEL his presence, long before I could smell him on the wind.

Took me almost the whole night to get there, but I made it before the sun started to rise.

An old abandoned military base, complete with missile silo. SHE was down in there. This was HER nest. It was crawling with broodlings. More than I could count, more than I cared to think about.

They were waiting for me, right at the entrances to the tunnels they dug, just like when they took Mallory.

I broke into one of the buildings near the silo entrance, went into the basement, and waited. As soon as night fell, I was going to find HER and kill HER. Then I was going to take Mallory away from here, and get him to safety.

That was the plan, at least.

You can read Parts 11 and 12 here