First chapter to a long overdue cleansing of the mind finally put on paper.
There are worse things to fear in life than death. Disease. War. Famine.
Living is the great fear.
Every night no closer to an end. No closer to the sweet melancholy call of death’s whispers. Another night living. Feeding to survive to live some more.
Gabriella stood in the rain, oblivious to her soaked clothing. She ignored the bone deep cold that trickled into her marrow. It wasn’t much different than the decades of frigid loneliness she endured. Physical pain was really the only thing that let her know she was still alive, passing through life like a shade. Unseen. Forgotten.
Her body shivered at the assault of her senses. Each drop of rain trying to pierce her exposed skin. At times like this she hoped they would permeate her flesh and end the excruciating torment thrust upon her, leaving her to wear her shame like a mask. Hiding from the life she once took for granted. There was no one left to mourn her. No one to utter comforting words, or lend a reassuring embrace.
Everything she was or could have been slipped away like the river of water caught in a nearby gutter.
Pulling herself out of her self-loathing, Gabriella took in a deep breath. She searched beyond the pungent scent of gasoline and oil from the road. Ignored rotting food from a nearby dumpster. She could barely make out a distinct flavor trying to hide among the droplets of rain. Faint, but close.
With the trail caught again, she began a brisk walk along an empty sidewalk toward a three story brick building blended into a row of warehouses. It was as unassuming as its neighbors, yet the distinct smell of death emanated from its dreary walls.
Gabriella approached the looming building, not with caution, but with a bold anticipation to the coming fight. She needed a good fight. Craved it. Pain would be doled out in droves and blood would line her vision. It was a sickening need within her, but she’d come to accept that dark part of her a long time ago lest it devour what was left of her sanity; and humanity.
By the time she reached the back entrance to the warehouse the rain had lightened to a slight drizzle. Her hair was plastered flat to her head face and neck. Rain water dripped from long auburn locks. Her heart quickened as she reached for the door. All that mattered now was sating the wild hunger roiling in her gut. She was no longer in control of her own body. The demon within compelled her forward, through the door into the darkness beyond.
Once she was shut in it became eerily quiet within the confines of that empty space. The outside world seemed to dissipate leaving only herself and her prey.
She did not need light to see in the pitch of night. Her eyes had long since grown accustomed to the dark. It wasn’t an altogether pleasant sense, seeing through the veil of shadows. Everything took on a dreary dead aura, but easily discernable none the less.
Taking a few steps forward, Gabriella let out a low whistle that turned into a slow tortured melody she’d heard when she was a child. Her grandfather used to whistle the same thing when times were hard or when death made an inevitable appearance.
Something moved on the second story landing to her right. She stopped whistling and smiled.
“You’ve been a sneaky little morsel.” She cooed to the shadow above her. “I was tempted to give up on you and move on to easier game.”
The shadow darted across the expanse of the warehouse. “You may find me more of a challenge than expected.”
The deep baritone voice excited Gabriella. If his physique was anything like his tone, he would indeed be just the challenge she was looking for. Even if this little game of cat and mouse delayed her already tight deadline, she knew she couldn’t resist. The beast needed feeding.
Without warning, Gabriella flew toward the shadow, raking her claws into cloth and flesh. They both fell to the ground where she found herself trapped under his hulking body. Being pinned beneath such force was more erotic than she wanted it to be.
The man snarled at her, a basso growl escaping his thin lips. “When will you yearlings learn to respect your elders?”
His blows came swift. His hands hammered her face and chest. The pain was exquisite. She liked it when the monster within suffered as she suffered. He grabbed her up like a ragdoll and tossed her across the empty room. A steel support beam broke her glide through the air, bringing her to the ground in a heavy heap.
Too many bones were broke for her to count and she was positive a rib had punctured her lungs. Her breathing came in quick wet bursts. All the while she was aware of the man skulking his way to where he thought she lay helpless and defeated. She waited until he was a few feet away and lifted her head. Her laughter sounded as broken as her body.
He knelt down close enough to smell the whisky he’d drank hours ago. “I am going to dismember you limb by limb and let my dogs feast on your worthless carcass.”
Gabriella stopped laughing. Locking eyes with his, she snatched his head with her hands with such force she felt his collar bone snap.
His face mirrored the horror of watching her transformation. Had she not been in the throes of savage hunger she might have been scared at her own reflection in his dark eyes. Eyes that could only stare as a set of needle sharp teeth devoured his gaping maw. She wasn’t interested so much in flesh and blood that slid down her throat, although the juicy goodness of it was invigorating. What she was after lay deeper inside the man’s being. His life essence. The part of him that, until now, eluded deaths long reach. With each draw of life, her body began to heal itself. Bones fused together. Her lungs no longer drowning in her own blood.
When there was nothing left to take, Gabriella was whole again. She threw the lifeless husk aside, his drawn face forever locked in terror.
In time, as she rested against the steel beam, the monster receded. Having gorged itself until it no longer yearned for the forefront of her body. It would rest now. Leaving Gabriella to tend to the mess.
Yes. There are worse things to fear in life than death. Living was the worst.