by Bob'n Around
Invisible matters of the mind turned real into the written word.
|Nobody knows why. Does this look like human skin to you?.
“I’m fine, just tired. Not sleeping at night.” No, he wasn’t sick. The pandemic meant staying indoors too much. it was just his pale, washed out complexion. Sydney said he avoided crowds. There were fewer when it was dark. His bloodshot eyes seemed distant and he didn’t feel hungry at all.
“Life bites, sometimes, doesn’t it? It can be a real pain in the neck.” Martha brushed a kiss against her boyfriend’s cheek, her lips came away with a sudden touch that was clammy cold. Closer up, his gray tainted skin didn’t look like human skin. Something physically was bothering Sydney. The effects spoke for themselves. The virus mutating to some new crazy kind of another? Getting him to talk about it would only harden him against sharing.
“Do you believe in vampires?”
Martha sniggered. “Are you batty?” She figured teasing him might open his sealed lips. Sydney refused to laugh.
“Look at my teeth.”
Martha did. Sydney had always had two long pointy elephant tusks he sucked on before closing his mouth, which he rarely did. Had they grown or was it her imagination. “You are just being fang-glorious.”
This got a weird glance and wet lick of Sydney’s tongue testing the air between them. Next, he’d be telling her about some recurring bloody nightmare where he stalked strangers at night, hypnotising them and leaving them dried up lifeless husks of themselves. Too much time alone was making Sydney creepy.
“Look at my neck.” Sydney offered. He unbuttoned and shrugged out of his shirt, turning to display two red puncture wounds. “Remember that love bite that sent me into ecstasy last weekend? When the hickey went away, those didn’t.”
“You calling me a blood sucker? That fifty you loaned me after I laid you will get repaid with interest, if you want a replay, for you alone. I don’t do strangers.” Martha’s good humor was being put to a test. So, she was a free spirit, doing online freak shows. It had never bothered Sydney before.
What kind of game was Sydney playing? Usually, she could take him being the joker in the deck however the cards were played. “Goofball. What’s the skinny?” Her fingertips brushed the crusty scabs, feeling Sydney’s blood pulse in the hidden vein underneath. “Tut tut. That’s real. You should have it looked at.”
“You are looking at it. You are the one that gave it to me. No-one else shares my bed. A bit too lusty with the love bites lately? Only explanation I can think of.” Sydney’s hands were busy while he talked. He pushed Martha away, wrestled a black satin bag open.
“I hope I’m not too late to save you from yourself.” He scattered the contents, garlic, holy water flask, crucifix, wooden stake, mirror, before Martha’s toothy smile.
“When did you know?” Martha gasped, staring at the empty reflection in the mirror. She backed up, uncertain what Sydney might do next.
“It all came together after your supposed Covid19 recovery. Your visits came at night and we only made love in the dark. Your skin felt like leather. Not just my rocks getting off felt drained when we were done.” Sydney avoided Martha’s hypnotising eyes, flung the open holy water vial at her, horrified at the hissing sound of her melting flesh.
“I thought we’d never have secrets between us,” Sydney’s hand trembled as he fumbled with the wooden crucifix shaped knife.
Martha shrieked, “You don’t know what’s at stake. You’ll never be sick again. Don’t do this. I can explain.”
The unbelievable appeared before Sydney’s eyes. Marth’s flesh healed by itself. The skin crawled back together sealing the harm he had done. “I knew you wouldn’t believe me, if I told you. You had to be shown.”
Steel muscled strength engulfed Sydney in a hug. “I’m so hungry for you.” He dropped his knife as his eyes met hers and became lost in them.
“Do it. Have your will. Make me yours.”
Martha brushed herself off. The love frenzy was over. It was the best she’d ever had. “It happens when one of us gets carried away. I fed too long. Sorry.”
“Goodbye, Sydney. Take care of yourself. At least you didn’t die.” She swatted away the vampire bat flying around her in swooping loops and dives.