Beep beep beep.
Not wanting to face the waking world yet, I rolled over to smack my alarm, my only solace that my dreaming was over. I recalled Alex, gorgeous, flawless Alex, so enticing I just wanted to nibble – and oozing blood, sweet to the taste. When you come to you’ll thank us… I’ve been told I talk in my sleep, but I don’t think I was thanking anyone.
Cold and clammy I rose from bed, exhausted with life. In an instinctive gesture that I must have picked up from Alex, I massaged my still, aching, heart. It felt truly lifeless today. Pity that didn’t kill my longing. I put on jeans an a tee, then raked my hands through my hair, shoving my beanie on top. Didn’t even have time to look in a mirror. That’ll have to do today, I thought, as I slipped my backpack on. Getting out the door was such a drag.
I located my chucks in the mess of shoes by the door. Tying them left my brain with a few barely wanted moments to itself. What came to mind was Alex’s wordless look of scorn from the night before. It stung as with the words you outsider! From Alex, of all people! A silent lament escaped through my gritted teeth as I bolted down the stairs.
At the front door I was struck by a bout of nausea, and gripped the door frame hard for support. Ma spotted me, saying You’re looking awfully pale. Is everything alright? I don’t want to talk about it. There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m fine. Leave me alone. Just let me go.
Couldn’t choke out the words: I’m tired of being myself. I was sick and disgusted with my life. The fine line between being cool and being a weirdo between being acceptable, and being strange – it was a line that was too hard to walk. I just wanted rest, but still the yearning would come, the hunger that would just not go away.
I decided to cut across the church yard on the way, but about half way I was exhausted, and had to stop and sit on a bench for a while. The light was so bright, I wished it would leave me alone. I almost puked. Clearly I should have grabbed breakfast before I left, because I was famished. Didn’t feel like moving though.
Must’ve fainted outright, because the next think I knew I woke up in my bed all over again. I guess Ma had taken me back home. They said I had a fever, that I was burning up. I still felt cold as death, and hungry, the a hunger that would just not go away.
Sleep disturbed in the night, I found that I had wandered out of the house. The moon, half eaten, was just kissing the horizon, and the air was damp. It felt wonderful. The grass between my toes felt great, and I wandered back to the churchyard.
I heard earth crackle, as if someone else was walking. Seeing no one I looked around, only to see a pale hand rising from a grave. Was this some kind of prank? A trick of the light? But no. More hands emerged, and bodies with them. Up rose ghastly figures, deathly pale, as flawless and desirable as Alex. Their nails were long and red, clicking as they walked. They smiled at me.
From that moment, my life with the undead became a living hell. If only I had checked the mirror that fateful morning, and seen my absent reflection. If only I had taken my pulse, and found it lacking. Gagging at garlic was bad enough, but the craving for blood was worse.
They showed my how to prey on people, and prey I did, to slack the hunger that would not go away. The first night I killed a man I almost choked on my own vomit. Pity the undead have nothing to vomit but blood, and only blood slacked the hunger that would not go away. So I was taught to take, and cast aside the object that was left when I was done. Every soul I fed on fought for their life. I watched as my nails lengthened, and reddened with the blood I spilled. So much blood, sweet to the taste, but bitter to the soul. The more I took, the more it made me ill.
I found myself back in my old ‘hood. I went back to my bench in the churchyard. I saw a painted egg hiding in the grass, but thought nothing of it. Perhaps I’ll see Alex I thought, and suddenly wished I hadn’t. All I could think about was making out, and that made me hungry – all that fresh oozing blood, sweet to the taste. I felt sick, tired of being myself. I was disgusted with what I had become. Being the cool stranger who takes what slacks the hunger, and nothing more– it was a line that was too hard to walk. I just wanted rest, but still the yearning would come, the hunger that would just not go away.
I heard earth crackle, as if someone else was walking. Seeing no one I looked around, and spotted a young man, in a white tee and blue jeans, walking among the crypts. I was alarmed His face was hale, and his eyes were full of life. He was handsome and flawless, and fairly sparkled with gladsomeness. Even the blades of grass rejoiced at his coming, as though he were a deity of old. Truly a sight for hungry eyes
And he came to me.
His strong arms were so inviting, pulsing with the blood of life. Though I was famished, he peaked my hunger even more, the hunger that would not go away. Perhaps if I drank from this one, my hunger would slack. Perhaps if I took my fill, my life would be restored. Perhaps my bloodied hands could be washed clean. Perhaps…
He called me by name.
I looked up from my reverie.
Why do you seek to live among the dead? He asked
I felt ashamed. Ashamed and dirty. All my sickness and corruption of heart lay before me, and I could not stand it. I wanted to be rid of my life, that I might live again. If only there were something to slack the hunger that would just not go away.
Drink your fill of Me.
And he proffered his arms, strong inviting, pulsing with the blood of life.
What? Do you know how many have died at my hand? Do you know the pain I’d cause? It would be the death of you.
I have already been slain. For you.
You don’t know what you’re talking about. You are not like me. You are not one of the undead. You are like life itself.
I am He who was slain. Drink your fill of Me.
Famished, I did so. As I drank my fill, he did not diminish, nor cry out. I noticed his scars, yet no matter how much I drank, he did not die.
Who are you? I asked.
I am the Resurrection and the Life. whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.
Drink your fill of Me.