This is part 4 of a 12 part vampire serial story by Cassie Carnage, “Addicted to the Abyss.” You can read Part 5 is here: http://www.bloodywhisper.com/addicted-to-the-abyss-part-5-human-pincushion-with-pairing-knives/
The vampire Jonah has finally met up with Mallory. His memory is slowly fading. Can Mallory save him and bring him back to his humanity, or it is too late?
I liked that word. Felt good to roll over my tongue.
Get revenge. Kill the ones that hurt you.
I was going to find HIM.
Red eyes. HE has red eyes. Blood red albino eyes. Like that thing I ripped apart in the barn with ash and dust in its veins. But HE didn’t smell bad. Not like that thing did. HE smelled good. Expensive cologne. Was I selling myself on the streets? HE seemed to think so. Maybe I wanted HIM to think that. But…Mallory said that it happened fast. I was with him one moment, then out in the street, then what? What happened? Why can’t I remember all of it? All I remember are wisps of feelings, smells, and those horrible eyes. Not like Mallory’s eyes. Not at all like his. Mallory’s were intelligent. Sad. Kind.
HIS eyes were cold, calculating, vicious. An apex predator. Not emotion at all.
I was going to find HIM. Find HER. Find all of them. And kill them. Before they killed me.
I wasn’t anyone’s dog.
He bolted upright. He was sleeping in the lounge chair. Again.
“Jonah? What time is it?”
“After sunset. Not much though. Just woke up. Means the sun just set.”
“Mmm.” Mallory made a face. The back of his hair stood up like a bad cowlick.
He stood and stretched. He had bandages wrapped around his wrists. He’s been letting me feed off of him. He was delicious. He had gotten used to it. To the pain. Bothered me more than him now. But I worried about it. About him.
What if I got too used to his taste? Would I crave someone else? What if that happened? Then what? I wouldn’t be able to stay with him anymore. I would have to find someone else.
“What are you thinking?” he asked.
I stood and cracked my back. Sleeping on the couch. Always sleeping on the damned couch.
“We need a bed.”
He rolled his eyes and headed off to the bathroom. Don’t have to worry about that anymore. Thank God.
Walked over, checked his laptop. It was still running. Still running tests and equations and hypotheses and whatever the hell else he was running.
But I’m not running. Nope. Not running. Not anymore. Bored….
What will happen to me when he dies? What then?
Freedom to roam wherever and eat whomever you want. No more rules. No more chains or cuffs or collars. Room to stretch out your legs, and forget everything. Just live from fix to fix. Right?
No. No. I won’t do that again. I won’t. I’d rather die. Except I can’t die. Not really. Can’t live either. Must be someway to end this. Must be…There has to be a way.
Mallory put the coffee pot on. I lit up a cigarette and sat at the small card table in the corner. There was a small part of the room that served as the kitchen of the apartment. But too tiny to be a kitchen. Kitchenette. That’s the word.
I chuckled. What a stupid word. Kitchenette.
“What’s so funny?” He shot at me and sat down. He looked tired. Drained. Anemic. Like his blood was thinning out. Didn’t taste like it was doing that yet. But soon enough, that would happen. And it’d be like drinking water. Disgusting.
“You look like shit. Like the junkies on TV. That’s how bad you look.”
“Sleep more then.”
“Are you worried about me?”
“Maybe. A little.”
“I don’t know.”
“I’m sure it’ll come to you. You’ll figure it out.”
Oh, I knew why I was worried about him. Not because of the blood. Not because of that. It was because of the look on his face; he wasn’t just physically tired. His soul was tired. I wasn’t just draining his blood, I was eating his soul.
“Welcome to the Abyss. Welcome to the Truth.” Words from elsewhere whispered into my ears.
I waved away the voices. Annoyed. I hated that. Didn’t happen a lot before. This was something new. Just started a few days ago. Seemed like the voices were coming from inside my own head sometimes, other times, seemed like they were coming from someone very far away.
“Jonah? Are you all right?”
“That’s your name.”
“Of course it is. Your name is Jonah. I’m Mallory. Why is that so hard for you to remember? Should I give you a name tag?”
I stood up and slammed my hands down on the table. “That’s not my fucking name! Why do you keep calling me that?”
He sighed. Pinched his nose right by his eyes. “We’ve been over this before. Practically every night now. If Jonah isn’t your name, then what is it? What do you want to be called?” he asked. He didn’t raise his voice. He didn’t even stand up. He just sat there, drinking coffee, looking tired.
“It’s not Jonah. I-I don’t know what it is. But I hate that name. That’s what that asshole called me.”
“The one who…” The one who did this to me, who made me like this. HE fed me infected oil sludge from a gash on his wrist and left. Just like that. Dead and gone in a wink of an eye.
“The one who what?” he asked and motioned with his hand for me to continue.
I plopped back down in the chair. “The one who did it.”
“You know. IT.”
He looked at me funny. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Yeah. You do. I wasn’t born this way. Someone made me like this. Someone…HE made me–” I coughed and choke on the memory on the fresh taste of ashen oil sludge for blood being shoved down my throat. I shook my head. Lit another cigarette to get the foul-tasting memory out of my mouth. Ignored the fact that my hands were shaking.
He stood and walked to me. “Who did? Who made you do something? What is it? Tell me. Please. Let me help you.”
“I can’t…I…Just stop asking.”
Mallory. Always so calm. Always so understanding. It pissed me off. When was this guy going to get mad at me? Never. He just wasn’t that way. He pitied me. Felt sorry for me, for what was done to me, for what it made me do to all of those people. I couldn’t even count them all. I remembered faces now and again. How their particular vintage of life and fear tasted. How they screamed and begged for me not to kill them. How I relished drinking their lives away until they were dead. They were delicious. Each and every one of them.
He crouched down in front of me and put his hands on my knees. His hands were so nice and warm. His body heat started to seep into my legs, I could feel them warming up and becoming less stiff.
“Talk to me. You always shut me out. Stop shoving the pain back down inside where it can fester and rot. It’s not healthy.”
Fester. Rot. Like the sludge in my veins. “Yeah. Rot. Good word.”
“Talk to me. At least finish your sentence. Please?”
“I did. Good word is a sentence.”
“You’re changing the subject. Again.”
Why do I feel like we’re becoming an old married couple?
I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. “Don’t talk like that.”
“You sound like my mom.”
“Really? You remember her?”
“No, not really.”
“Oh,” he said.
Dashed his hopes yet again.
I looked at him. I didn’t like him down at that level, with his hands on my knees. His head close to my crotch. Didn’t feel right.
“Stand up,” I said. “I’m tired of sitting.”
He sighed and got up, walked into the bedroom. Or what should be a bedroom.
Chains, manacles, leather straps I chewed through, old blood stains on the carpet. Triple layers of cardboard and newspaper lined the windows. I was in here for weeks. It looked like a chinzy, sleazy S&M dungeon in here. What a dump.
It was my fault though.
He couldn’t trust me. I did strange things. He had to get used to my sleeping patterns. He claimed that they changed with the moon cycles. Not sure what that meant. What did the moon have to do with when the sun set? That made zero sense.
“Bet this place looked nice before I moved in,” I said and lit up another cigarette.
“Not really. I hardly lived here.”
“If you didn’t live here, where did you live?” I asked and kicked a pair of wrist cuffs away.
“Out of my car mostly.”
“Yeah,” he said with a little smile. “It did.”
“Don’t you worry about stuff? Like your job?” I asked. I didn’t even know where that came from, the words just fell out of my mouth. Like drool. I was drooling my thoughts all over the blood-stained carpet.
“I work from home now. I have a great pension plan. My job’s hazardous after all.”
“Is it?” I asked, curious.
“Yes, just look with what I have to deal with.” He gestured around the room. A huge dent in the wall where I tossed him away from me one night when I didn’t want to eat anymore. He forced me to eat for weeks. I didn’t want to. Suppose I should be grateful for it. But I’m not.
“You should’ve killed me when you had the chance,” I said and left the room.
“Don’t talk like that.”
I whirled around, startling him. “What’s your damage anyway? Why are you doing this for me? What the fuck do you care?” I didn’t recognize my voice. It got weird when I’m pissed off or upset or sad or anything other than sleepy or relaxed. Not sure why.
He looked hurt. Then amused. “I just do.”
Stupid bastard. He thinks that he loves me. That’s what it is. That’s his damage.
“Love is a disease,” I spat at him and plopped down on the couch.
“How can you say such a thing?”
“Don’t you get tired of being here? In this tiny little apartment? It’s like a cage.”
“You have any other suggestions?”
“You used to live out of your car. So did I, for a time.”
“I know. I hated it. How about you? You like sleeping in the trunk?”
I shrugged. “Not that bad. Can think of worse places to sleep. Like on a metal slab.”
He went back to the kitchenette. Made himself another cup of coffee and then sat down next to me. I let him rest his leg against mine. My jeans were ragged, blood stained, dirty. His pants were those fluffy fleece pajama pants. The warm comfy ones with the elastic band. He has several pairs, at least, I think I remember him wearing other ones. He had on a matching robe, and a white undershirt.
“Aren’t I cold?” I asked.
“I’ve grown accustomed to it. You’re room temperature for the most part. The part I can’t get used to is you not breathing when you sleep. It’s eerie.”
“Weird. I didn’t know that.”
He cradled the coffee mug in both hands. He loved coffee like I loved cigarettes. He always bought me cartons when he went out once a week. And he’s been doing that for a while. Feeding me, keeping me alive. Talking with me. Trying to get me to remember. Helping me. Loving me.
“Um… Thanks.” I said I awkwardly. Shit. That was stupid.
“Oh? For what?”
“Everything,” I mumbled. I am such an idiot. I probably would be blushing if I was still alive.
He ruffled my hair. “Not a problem.”
“Whatever.” I bounced my leg. I was growing antsy. I needed to get out. Stretch my legs. But he won’t let me. I won’t let me. I stood up.
He put an arm out in front of me. “Sit.”
I sat back down. “Mallory… I need to get out. I’m going stir crazy. This apartment is so small. I’ve been in hotel rooms bigger than this dump. I need to stretch my legs. Just go for a short walk. Just a little one. Just around the block. Come on. Let’s get out of here for a bit. It can’t be good for you either. Right?”
He leaned forward and put the coffee cup down on the short table that sat between us and the TV. The arch of his neck caught my eye. There were small scars on it from when I tried to bite him when we first got here. I didn’t feed off of him. Just nicked the skin in a few places and stopped myself.
I stopped myself from feeding.
It was the first time I could, and I did. Self control was a wonderful thing.
Won’t last long though. It never does.
“Let me occupy you for a while.”
“Kay…” I said, unsure as to what that meant. God I hope he doesn’t think that I want to…no. That can’t be it.
“Every time you start to say something and then you stop yourself. You don’t tell me the answers to my questions. Why?”
I shrugged. “Don’t know. Not sure.”
“You don’t have to say anything you don’t want to. Just tell me why you can’t answer me. Can you try to do that Jonah? For me?”
I felt trapped. I wasn’t. Not really. If I wanted to I could throw the couch at the front door and knock it down and run away from here and never look back. But I didn’t.
He sat there patiently. “I have all night.”
I sighed and scooted away from him. I leaned against the opposite arm of the couch, as far away from him as possible.
“It might get ugly.”
“It always does. But you snap out of it, eventually.”
“Yeah, but… I don’t like it. I don’t–” I don’t want to lose myself again.
“You wouldn’t understand.” I stood up and went into the tiny bathroom and flicked on the light.
No reflection. I’m not in the mirror. I look down. I’m here, but not there.
“Come in here,” I said and he stood next to me.
“Do you see me in there?” I pointed to the mirror in front of us.
Mallory looked at it and jumped. “Holy shit! No, no that’s not possible. I’m standing right next to you.”
“It is possible. Look,” I said and touched the damned thing. “Nothing. Kinda creepy huh?”
“I’ll say.” He wiped a hand over his mouth. A nervous gesture. “How long has this been going on?”
“Don’t know. Not sure. Couldn’t tell you. Noticed it a while back and it slipped my mind.” Everything slips my mind once I get hungry. Everything.
“What are you thinking?”
I shook my head. “Don’t want to talk about it.”
“Well, that’s more of an answer than I’ve gotten out of you in weeks. Most of the time you act like I didn’t say anything at all, or you find something to hit your head against.”
I grinned. “Yeah. I do that, don’t I?”
“Yes, you do, you idiot. God only knows why it doesn’t bother me.”
“Yes. But perhaps I’ve gotten used to you.”
“You’re like that crocodile guy, except I’m not a lizard.”
“Crocodilians are not lizards. They are a species in and of themselves. Like dinosaurs.”
“You’re my wrangler. That’s what you are.”
“Is that what you think of me? A wrangler?”
“Would you rather I call you warden? Cause I could.”
He raised an eyebrow. “You’re being sarcastic.”
“That’s the first time you’ve cracked a joke since I’ve met you.”
“Yes.” He smiled and hit my shoulder. “That’s great!”
“If you say so.” God he’s weird.
“You’re getting your sense of humor back. That’s a wonderful thing.”
“Why? What if I have I lousy sense of humor?”
“Doesn’t matter. I’ll deal with it.”
“But why is that a good thing?”
“Because that means that you are getting an aspect of your personality back. That’s one step closer to bringing you back to yourself. You said you lost yourself, remember? That that’s why you don’t have any memory? Because you got lost?”
He was excited. His pulse quickened just a fraction, just enough to make me hear it and focus on it. I balled my fists. I could hear his blood rushing in his veins. But, I could wait until he answered before I fed. I could wait. I could.
“Lost? No. I…Don’t remember saying that.” I could barely hear him speak over the thundering of his heart. His strong heart. I bet it tasted good. My jaws ached to tear through his flesh, to sink my sharp teeth into his heart with the fresh hot blood spurting out of it like a jelly donut. I swallowed my saliva before it drooled down my chin and took a step back.
“Jonah? What’s wrong?”
I didn’t want to…I didn’t want to eat him. But I was hungry. So very hungry.
I grabbed him and shoved him out of the bathroom. I slammed the door shut so hard that the door frame splintered.
“Stay away from me!”
Mallory was quiet. His heart was racing but now out of fear, not joy. Like a flick of a switch his emotions changed rapidly.
“Why do you care about me?” I screamed at him through the door. “Why!”
“Because I do.” It was the same answer he always gave me.
I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t do this. I can’t hurt him. I don’t want to kill him. I hated myself for wanting to drain him dry and drown in his blood.
I punched the sink counter and it shattered under my fist. I picked up a razor-sharp shard of ceramic and ran my finger down it. Thick black blood oozed from the cut on my finger. I wasn’t alive. I couldn’t ever be the way he wanted me to be. I was already dead.
I needed to end it. For both our sakes.
“What are you doing? Open the door!” Mallory was banging on it now. I must have broken it or locked it, or both.
“Something I should have done a long time ago,” I said and shoved the shard into my throat all the way to my spine, then ripped it out in a vicious jerk. Thick black sludge splatted on the mirror and wall and slowly began to slide down them.
Can’t breath. Can’t breath. Can’t.
Don’t need to.
I dropped the sharp piece of counter top and leaned over what was left of the sink. The black oil dripped out of me in slow huge globs, like tar. It was disgusting. It smelled just like HIS non-blood smelled. I pushed away from the sink and fell into the bathtub. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t. I sliced open my throat and ruined my vocal chords. I made a choked gurgle of a sound instead. It didn’t do my fear justice. It didn’t do anything any bit of justice.
I wanted justice. I wanted REVENGE.
I’m going to find HIM and kill him. Then, finish myself off.
The door slammed down onto the bathroom floor.
Mallory dropped the fire extinguisher and rushed over to me, covering the wound on my throat with his hands.
“Oh my God. Oh my God. Don’t die. Please. Don’t die.”
Too late for that.
He should join us
Moans and shrieks of pleasure.
The abyss likes him
He smells so good.
Tears streamed down his face. I smiled and wiped one away and rubbed it on my lips. Sorrow is salty, tears are salty. So is sweat. Sometimes blood. Sometimes other things that come out of the body are salty too.
I looked down his shirt as he picked me up and carried me back into the bedroom, or what should be the bedroom. His body was pale, but buff. He had gained a lot of muscle learning how to wrangle me.
He restrained me. Slapped chained cuffs on my ankles and wrists. My body pulled taught from the distance between my hands and feet.
Mallory grabbed a first aid kit and sewed me back up. His hands were shaking the whole time. You’d think he’d get used to it. My doing stupid shit like that. But he doesn’t. It upsets him so much. His tears fell onto my face as he worked. He was talking softly, probably to himself more than me.
“It’s okay. It’s okay. Everything is going to be fine. I promise.”
He smelled good. He was food.
The food was talking to me. I was tired of waiting. So hungry. My body growing ever weaker. Needed to eat. Needed to feed. Make the pain stop.
I shoved him off, lunged at him.
So hungry. Tore off the restraints like they were made of wet cardboard. His eyes grew wide. He screamed.
I promise to break you. I promise to take care of you. I promise to love you.
Promises are broken.
Splintered wood in my chest.
Splintered hope in my heart.
The dead have no hope
Hope is for the living
Or bank accounts
Shards of brilliantly colored glass fall
Cut into me
But that’s not what hurts.
It’s his love that hurts.
Cut out his heart and eat it
“No! Nooo! Stop! What are you doing?” Food screamed at me. Flailed about. Picked it up like rag doll, tossed it out onto the floor. Pulled open a drawer.
Arms on fire. Head on fire. Eyes on fire. Legs like lead. Need to feed. Food tastes better when it’s scared.
Silver glints. Glitters.
Small like the scalpels they put through your eyes
Knives to cut into the food’s pretty pale flesh. So juicy. So tender. So tasty.