This is Part 9 of a 12 part ongoing vampire serial story. You can read Part 10 here: http://www.bloodywhisper.com/addicted-abyss-vampire-serial-part-10-escape/
Mallory has been taken by the feral vampire broodlings. Jonah is desperate to rescue him, and he’s running out of time. If he doesn’t get Mal back soon, he’ll lose all his memories. He’d rather die than lose himself like that again.
Running, running, running, running. Following his scent. He was dying. Dying, dying and it was all 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!
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, fading. 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.
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. Mal was gone. He was gone. I was nothing without him.
Nothing, but a monster.
In the blaring 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 approach, 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.
“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, 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. It was taped in place on my lips. iSharp 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. Pathetic.
“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. 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.”
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.
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 blood reserve. 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 back in.
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 gets 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 in one side.
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. Gooey 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.
I looked myself over.
I was naked. And not cold. Not at all.
The holes where the broodlings had bit off chunks of my body were healed over, pale gray skin with spidery veins grew in to replace it. Looked fragile, 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 and I wanted MORE.
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. Juicy, meaty, soft and tender. Delicious.
I just kept eating until there was nothing left, just the bones. I was chewing on them, cracking them open, sucking out the marrow. I was covered in blood and viscera. It was warm, and soothing. I felt good. So high on the blood…it was like liquid sex, eating the food’s muscle was so pleasurable, it sent shivers up and down my back, tingled my scalp. I 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.
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 see 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.
“I thought you said it was safely contained!”
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.
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.
I didn’t recognize the hallways. They were winding. 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 it. Keep your eyes and ears peeled man. This one is clever. Not like the others.”
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 dying 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 my skin 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.”
“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.
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 goes to run out, I trip 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. ”
“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.
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.