This is part 7 of a 12 part vampire serial “Addicted to the Abyss.”
You can read Part 8 here: http://www.bloodywhisper.com/addicted-to-the-abyss-vampire-serial-part-8-lost/
Jonah remembers the woman that turned him into a vampire, and to his surprise Mallory reveals that he too has been struggling with an dark addiction of his own.
Nightmares. Half remembered whispers. Secrets in the dark.
Pain. So much pain.
Why does it hurt so much?
My back is on fire.
Did I forget to hide in the trunk of my car? Did I pass out on the side of the road, and turned in the seat to lay on my side and the sun hit it full blast and set me on fire?
Am I on fire?
I was cold.
But, I’m not cold now.
I must be on fire.
“Jonah, are you wake?”
A familiar voice. A familiar scent.
I opened my eyes. Looked around. Didn’t know where I was. Didn’t care.
I was lying in a bed. Big feather down comforter. Fluffy pillows. Raw wooden beam rafters overhead. Room was warm.
My back is on fire…it hurts. So much.What happened to me?
I could hear snowflakes hitting the windows. Couldn’t see any windows, must be in a different room.
It’s snowing. That meant it was winter. Fall was gone already. Has it been that long already?
Where am I?
I smelled fire.
Ash. Smoke. Burning wood.
Am I on fire?
The fire was somewhere else. That wasn’t why my back hurt so badly, it was burning, but not from fire. From something else. Something bad.
The room was lit by the golden glow of a wood fire. The fire, was in a fire-place, where it belonged.
“Hey, you awake now?”
“Where?” I asked, and cleared my throat.
“Someplace safe. They won’t find us here. I’ve seen to that.”
He got up out of a rocking chair. My vision was a little blurry, things further away were out of focus.
“Yes. It’s me.”
I blinked my eyes, rubbed them and he came into focus. It was him.
“Who else is here?”
“No one, just the two of us.”
I tried to sit up, red-hot pain shot through me, like there was a spear shoved through my back, right in the middle of my spine. I winced, eased back down in the bed. My back hurt. It really, really hurt bad.
All my wounds healed fast once I ate. But not this one. This one was still raw, burning, searing pain.
“Take it easy. You’re not completely healed yet.”
“Do you remember anything?”
Did I remember how I got here?
No. Don’t know, not sure.
“I don’t think so. I was somewhere else. And it was cold, and the floor and walls were hard. The people there, they hurt me–over and over and over again. And then they fed me people who didn’t taste right. There was something wrong with them. I didn’t think well even after drinking their blood. I think they were lab rats too.”
Wait…was I a lab rat? Is that what happened to me?
“How did I get there? Why were they cutting me up like that?” I asked.
“They found my apartment.”
“Who Mal? Who found your apartment? Damn it… I knew that we needed to leave. I should’ve just grabbed you and took off when my instincts told me to run. Now look at the mess we’re in. Fucking-A man.”
“I’m sorry. I thought I had covered my tracks well enough, but I didn’t. We shouldn’t have stayed in one place. It was so easy for them to find me because of that. You tried to fight them off. You tried to save me. But they hurt you, bad, and then they took you to their facility. They tried to keep me there too, but I still had a few friends on the inside and they helped me escape and smuggle you out of there. I drove us as far north as I could, before ditching the car and getting a new one. Did that a few times, until I found an abandoned cabin in the woods here.”
“I don’t remember any of that, of the driving part you just said.”
“You probably won’t. You’ve been in and out of consciousness for a few weeks now.”
“Huh. Must’ve been tired then.”
“I guess so.”
“Why does my back hurt?”
He sighed, sat on the edge of the bed. I reached out, wrapped my arms around his waist, scooted down a bit so I could lay down and still hold him. He was wearing a thick sweater. It was soft. Warm. Inviting. I wanted to wrap up in it. I wanted to wrap up in him, like he was a blanket.
But he wasn’t. And I didn’t dare hurt him like that.
“They did things to you Jonah. Horrible things. Lots of tests and vivisections and, well, they attached a metal ring to your spine, used it to hang you up on a wall. I removed it a few days ago, but it’s been slow to heal. Not sure what metal they used, but it damaged you significantly. Burned your skin, and your bone. At first I thought they had cauterised it, fused it to your spine. But they didn’t they just drilled a hole for it to slip through. I had to cut it off with a pair of bolt cutters, your skin was blistering and turning black and falling off. It was spreading, like it was necrotizing your flesh. Once I removed it, it stopped spreading, but the wound it made is still blistering up and turning to black ash.”
Shit. No wonder my back hurt so much. Fuckers used silver on me.
“The ring was silver,” I muttered, burying my face against his back.
“I thought that only hurt werewolves.”
“You thought wrong.”
“How come I can think clearly right now? Shouldn’t I be starving?”
“Oh, I’ve been feeding you. You had a lot of tissue damage to heal, and I didn’t want you waking up and attacking me like you did that last time.”
“I see. So, you gonna tell me who those guys were or what?”
“I work–I worked for them. I quit after I saw what they did to you. I’m so sorry Jonah. I was such an idiot. I really messed things up. I thought that they’d let me try to figure out what was wrong with you without requiring that I turn you in.”
“So what? They study vampires or something?”
“Something like that. Not just vampires though. Other contagious supernatural human afflictions as well. I just happened to be hired to study vampires. After IT happened, they contacted me. Offered to pay off the rest of my schooling and to take me in as a department head. They said that my experience– my run in with a vampire– made me qualify. It paid decent, and I thought it would give me the resources I needed to help you, but…I was wrong. So very, very wrong.”
“I’m sorry but, I don’t think that there’s any fixing this man. I’m not human anymore. Hell, I don’t even think I count as a living person, really.”
“Don’t talk like that.”
“Why not? It’s the truth.”
“I don’t care. Don’t dehumanize yourself. Just. Don’t. Okay?”
“Sure, sure. Sorry.”
He sat there for a bit, I was starting to drift to sleep again.
“Do you remember what you did? When they attacked us in the apartment?”
“No. Why? What did I do?”
“It’s not important. Never mind.”
“That bad huh?”
I tried to think back to then.
We were at the apartment.
I was sleeping on the bare floor in the bedroom. And then…then…
“Did I kill someone?”
“Several. You were…” He sighed. “You did it to protect me. At least I’m pretty sure that you did. You just got a little carried away, that’s all.”
What did I do?
“What does that mean? Got a little carried away?” I asked.
“You weren’t just drinking their blood Jonah, you were eating their flesh. Ripping chunks of muscle out of their necks and swallowing them whole.”
He was making my mouth water. My stomach grumbled. I was getting hungry.
“Shit, that sounds delicious.”
Mallory stood up, walked over to the fireplace, poked at it a bit, moved a log around. It didn’t need prodding, he just needed space.
Maybe…or maybe he isn’t as upset about it as you think. We should eat him. Put him out of his misery.
“Mal, how long we going to do this?”
“Avoid talking about IT.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
I sat up, winced again, rubbed my back. Hissed in pain.
“Don’t try to walk around just yet. You’ll damage it more. It’s not done healing.”
I laid back down, sighed. Shoved a fluffy pillow over my face. Breathed in the dry feather smell. There were other people’s smells on the pillows. Not his. Not mine.
A girl, her mother, her father.
Mallory moved the pillow off my face. “What are you doing?”
“Breathing it in.”
“You can’t suffocate. You won’t kill yourself that way. Nice try.”
“Huh? I wasn’t doing that. I was breathing in the smells in the pillow. Other people stayed here. A few times. A small family. They had a daughter.”
“You can tell that from the smell alone?”
“Huh. Well, that could be useful.”
“You gonna study me now Dr. Conrad?”
He raised an eyebrow, folded his arms, looked smug as fuck. “Oh? You finally remembered my full name?”
“You’re a doctor of something. Medicine or some shit. I heard you in the hallway, arguing with that woman, before you came in. I was in the freezer. I could hear, I couldn’t see, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, couldn’t feel, but I could hear you. Your voice woke me up.”
“Wow. That’s incredible. I didn’t know if you were aware of anything in that state.”
“So, were you a doctor before or after I met you? You know, before IT happened?”
“I was in the process of getting my doctorate when we met.”
“So I knew? Before? That you were a doc?”
“Well, yes. It wasn’t exactly something I kept secret. I was proud of my academic accomplishments.”
“Cool…look, I think I get it. You and I were a thing. Like a serious thing. I remember I asked you about the photograph and you got upset and I realized that the man sitting next to you on that bench in the horrible Hawaiian shirt was me.”
“Yeah. I did. I was trying to come to terms with things. Sorry.”
I waved it off. “Don’t matter. Really. We were a thing, and then, I was attacked by that woman, and everything went to shit. And I’m sorry for that. I can’t control how I am now. But, you gotta accept that sooner or later, we won’t be able to speak like this. One of these days, I’m going to lose the rest of myself, and there won’t be anything left but a crazed, hungry monster. Once I heal up, you should go. Let me run off. Do my thing until I do something stupid and get my sorry ass killed. You deserve better man. You can still have a good life. Me? I’m fucked. Royally. There’s no saving me.”
Mallory stood up abruptly, paced the room.
“No. No, there has to be a way. You’re doing fine. Look at us, talking like normal people. You’ve come a long way. I just need to keep you fed regularly and you’ll be all right.”
“Wake up man! I can’t even remember all of it and even I know what is happening to me! I can feel it in my bones. My time is limited. I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want to kill you. You need to go. Just leave me here. I’ll manage. I’ll get by.”
“Maybe you should. Save yourself, before it’s too late.”
“Just pointing out the obvious. Thought maybe someone should.”
“Jonah, doesn’t it scare you? Knowing that you’re going to permanently lose your memory?”
“Of course it does. I don’t want to forget anything. I don’t want to forget you. Ever. But I know that one day, I’ll black out and when I come to, I won’t know who you are. I won’t even know who I am. And that will be the end of me…I’ll be nothing more than an animal that craves human flesh and blood. One day I’ll mess up, get too bold and some redneck hick with a shotgun will blow my head clear off, and I’ll die. And that will be that.”
He was starting to sweat. I could hear his pulse getting faster. So was his breathing.
“Hey…what’s wrong? Are you sick or something?”
“I can smell it on you. You’re getting nauseous.”
“You can smell it?”
“Yeah. You sure you’re not coming down with something?”
He shivered, and stood there, shaking, staring at me with hungry eyes. “I need it.”
“Need what? What are you talking about?”
“I can’t go that long without you again. Don’t you understand? Don’t you know what you’ve done to me?”
Oh yes. We know what you’ve done. He’s yours. You’re his. And one day, you’ll turn him and you’ll both be free. Just get it over with. Do it now. End his suffering. It’s the right thing to do.
“Shut up,” I murmured. My stomach sank, a vice started closing in on my head. My back burned so badly, I wanted to run out and jump into the snowbank, just to cool it off. “I don’t…what–what’s wrong? What did I do?”
Mallory pulled his sweater off. He was sickly pale, almost ashen in color. There were bandages on his arms, upper and lower, both sides of his neck, his shoulders too. That’s when I smelled the blood on him. He was wounded. Not so much to hinder movement, but enough to be uncomfortable most of the time. He didn’t smell anemic, his blood didn’t smell thinned out. But, by the look of him, I’d say that he was about to become that way.
“Did they do that to you? Did they hurt you too?”
“No, no. They didn’t. You did.”
I could smell it on him. The nausea was getting stronger. He was having hot flashes, sweating, shaking. He was like a junkie needing a fix.
“Jonah. The first few times you fed off me, I didn’t notice it. I didn’t even realize that you were affecting my physiology. But I’m pretty sure it’s why I didn’t want to leave the apartment, now that I think about it. That first time you attacked me, after IT happened…you…”
I felt ice-cold. I shivered, pulled the feather comforter around me tighter.
“What did I do?” I asked in a small voice.
Mallory shook his head. “I don’t know. It happened so fast, my memory of it is a bit skewed. But…I’m fairly certain when you bit me, something got into the wound. Something from your mouth seeped into me, got into my bloodstream.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“You were livid. Crazed. Thick black blood oozed from your mouth. You were raving mad, saying things that didn’t make sense, you kept saying one word over and over again: Mullo.”
That’s HER name.
Then I remembered:
Hot summer night, sticky and sweaty from the night club, pissed off, drunk–just wanted to go home and sleep it off. Didn’t want to be there.
SHE melted out of the shadows. Tall, willowy, wearing tattered dress that was grey from never being washed. Black blood dripped down her chin, she had bit her lip in excitement. Her mouth full of razor-blade teeth. Her long, bony arms, those claws at the ends of her fingers, her ragged, matted hair, brown from dirt and excrement. She was nothing but skin and bones. She smelled of death, of decay and rot.
It made me vomit. When I looked up, she was there, standing over me. She picked me up, effortlessly, said something in that nails-on-chalkboard voice. Bit my neck, hard. It hurt so bad that I screamed. I thought she was going to bite my head off. But she didn’t.
She drank her fill, said I was pretty, and slit open her wrist with a razor-sharp claw, and forced me to drink her thick tar blood. It burned on the way down. It burned as my insides died. I never felt pain like that before, and I never wanted to again.
Mullo killed me.
HER blood killed me and made me like THIS.
So many voices in my head, laughing, leering, egging me on. I followed the scent, the delicious one. To the place that smelled familiar, like home. There was a man there. A man with brown eyes and dark hair. He was sleeping in the chair. I pounced on him, drank my fill, then kissed him. My teeth cut inside of my mouth. My blood mixed with his and he choked on it, spit it out. But, some of it still got into him. That pleased me, and I knew that I would always know where he was after that. He was MINE. I made him mine. No one else could have him but me. His blood was my blood. I owned it.
“You said her name, and it made me remember. I remembered IT.”
“That night, the alleyway. She came to me. Said I was pretty, fed on me, made me drink her blood. Then I followed your scent home. I attacked you, fed on you. I was supposed to make you drink my blood, but I didn’t. She wanted me to. She wanted me to turn you. But I couldn’t. I was too excited. I couldn’t obey. I couldn’t even think. I cut my mouth with my sharp teeth. My blood…I kissed you, right?”
His hand went up to his lips, and he nodded. “Yes. You did. And then you ran. It took me months to track you down.”
“I hate to say it, but you were right. When I kissed you, some of my blood got in your mouth. You must’ve swallowed a bit before you could spit it out.”
“Oh my God.” He sat down on the chair in shock.
“That’s why I remembered you. That’s why your eyes and your name stuck in my head. That’s why I knew your phone number. I could see it in my head. You are a part of me now. I became a part of you, in that one instant. That one kiss, bonded us somehow.”
“That’s not possible. That doesn’t make any sense.” He shivered again. He was covered in a sheen of sweat. Shaking.
I felt so bad for him.
“Mallory, I’m so sorry. I never– ” I never wanted to hurt you. You loved me. We were out celebrating. We just got a place together. And then…I ran away. I left you. All alone. And you couldn’t stop thinking about me because I made you obsessed with me. My blood did that. I know it did. Somehow, I’ve always known. I just didn’t remember all of it. And now, I did.
“So it was your blood?” Mallory asked. “Are you saying that by getting a tiny amount of your blood into my system, you infected me somehow?”
“Sort of. More like, imprinted myself onto you. I think. I think that’s the right word. You know, like when the baby duck hatches out of the shell and the first living thing it sees, like a person or another duck, it starts following because it thinks that it’s their mom? Kind of like that. I guess.”
“I don’t believe that. I missed you so much Jonah. I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I was worried sick. For months. And now you’re implying that it wasn’t because I loved you, but because of something you did to me? Is that it?”
“Hey, don’t get all pissy with me. You brought it up, and I remembered it. I recovered a memory. I didn’t think it was possible. So, thank you.”
He sat there, thinking. Silent, shivering. His sweat was making his hair-line damp.
“Shit. They were right,” he muttered.
“Who was right?”
“My employers. They brought me in, gave me medical care, and then kept telling me that I was sick and going through withdrawal. I felt awful. I thought I had the flu. It took a couple weeks to stop. The whole time, they told me that I was going to be all right, that I could get over my addiction to you. I thought they were full of it. It didn’t make any sense. And now you’re telling me that it’s real and that is why we are drawn together?”
“Pretty much. You look like shit. You’re going through withdrawal now, aren’t you? It’s getting around the time that you’ve been feeding me, isn’t it?”
He frowned. “How did you know?”
“Lucky guess. My stomach is growling, starting to feel a bit empty. And you look like a junkie needing a good fix.”
“What are we going to do?”
“I’ll go find a deer or something. I’ll eat it. I can’t be feeding off you like this. It’s not good for you. You’re going to get anemic. If that happens your blood will be too thinned out to fill me up.”
“No! You will drink my blood. I’m yours. Do it.” He grabbed something from the table in the other room, walked back in. It was a carving knife. “You’ll feed from me, and I’ll feel better. It only takes a little. Not much. Not much at all. You’ll see.”
“Stop.” I tried to stand up, to get to him, but there was a searing pain in my back, a twinge of immense hurt that drove me right to the floor in pain.
He cut off the bandage on his left arm. It was covered in bite marks. None of them were very deep, really. Just deep enough to cut the skin to make blood flow out of it.
“Don’t. Come on man. I don’t want to hurt you anymore.”
“Too late,” he said, and cut a thin slit down his wrist, hitting the artery. The smell of his blood hit me, and it was like walking into a kitchen where someone was cooking a medium rare steak. My mouth watered. It smelled so good.
He sat down on the bed, held out his arm. I snatched it, started lapping at his would before I sucked on it, drinking him in.
Mallory closed his eyes, titled his head back and sighed. The more I drank the more he relaxed. When I licked the wound again he shuddered. It aroused him. His blood pumping fast, his heart racing, I couldn’t help but notice that he pitched a tent in his pants.
“Want me to take care of that?” I asked and motioned towards his crotch.
“Later, finish eating first.”
“All right. Suite yourself.”
I drank my fill. Until everything felt like it was going to be just. Fine.
It felt so good. Warm, liquid gold, spread through my body. I was floating, the pain was gone. His blood made me high.
I sighed sank into the bed, let the room drift pleasantly around me.
Mallory crawled into bed, and I noticed that I was naked.
“Nothing turns you on anymore, does it?” he asked. His voice soft, husky. Full of need.
“No. It doesn’t. I don’t need sex. I just need your blood to get off on.”
“I understand. Just let me, hold you for a while. Please?”
“Sure. I don’t care if you jack off or whatever. I just can’t join in. That part doesn’t work that way any more. I don’t need it, really. It’s just there.”
“Wow. I can’t believe you just said that.”
“What? It’s true. I don’t care. Knock yourself out.”
“You sound so high right now.”
“I am.” I laughed. “I feel good.”
“I missed you. I missed this.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t remember my life before IT happened.”
“I know. It’s okay. You don’t have to. That’s what you have me for.”
“If we’re going to stay together, we need to figure something out. I can’t have you cut all to hell all the time like this. It’ll attract other predators.”
“Yeah. It will.”
“All right. We’ll do something about it.”
“Can we discuss this later?” he asked and took my hand and placed it on his crotch. I was right. He was aroused. Big time.
Curiously, I remembered what to do, to make him sigh in pleasure. I remembered all the places he liked being touched when he wanted to get off. I remembered how he writhed and moaned under me. I couldn’t exactly do that anymore, but I could still make him squirm and beg as I ran my hands over all the right places.
“Let me help you with that,” I said and took my time making him feel good. The same way he helped me. It was only fair after all.
But, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but think; how long was this going to last?
How long would I be able to go before I devoured him, body and soul?
How long would it take before I stopped caring about what I did to him, and just used him as my personal blood bank?
And would he even be able to say no and fight me off? Would he even want to?
If tonight was any indication, he wouldn’t struggle at all. He’d willingly let me kill him if he knew that it would satisfy my undying thirst for flesh and blood.
And I didn’t like that. Not one bit.
But, when it came down to it, would I even have a choice?