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Life Outside of the Bottle ~Chapter 1~

For the first 4 years of my life, I lived happily with my mom and dad. It was one of those great things you take advantage of. I never really knew what it was like to lose something of great importance and I was too young to question that fact further.

When I was about a month from turning 5, I bit my finger for the first time. It happened while I was eating a peice of peanut butter toast. At first, I though that amazing taste that filled my mouth was just great tasting bread. Then I noticed the smell. It was like must and brownies and woods and warmth.... it was incredible and unforgetable. I figured out later that that hauntingly amazing taste was my own blood. So much for a normal life. After that, nothing went well.

I got sick constantly. My throat was always sore, my stomach would hurt, I'd get massive headaches, and it started becoming hard for me to keep food down. I would black out a lot too, usually after the pain got unbearable. When I'd wake up, I'd be somewhere and I would have no idea of how I got there. And each time, I'd be soaked in blood. When I was 7, I woke up to my mom crying. Next to her my dad layed, white and frail looking, blood dripping out of his neck. My mom blamed me for it, told me that I bit him, and then sent me away for good.

Ever since then, I've lived at the same little orphanage. I had no idea what the building looked like, because I spent all of my time in my room. I've studied, listened to music on the tiny computer, and taught myself self control. I still black out, but I've figured out why and how to keep it under control.

My theory is, I was born to feed off of blood. It didn't matter whether it was human or animal, as long as it was blood. All the pain that I've learned to live with was thirst. If I didn't control it or feed, it would take over and make me become something
I'm not. Still, no matter how in control I was, I'd have to feed atleast once every 9 days.
That was my schedule, and I kept to it.

Being around people wasn't really my thing. I used to have a best friend, his name was Laurie, who would sneak into the orphanage every day to see me. We'd hang out in my room and just talk about life and he'd make me feel like I mattered to someone. Laurie brought me books and paper and pencils and the dusty little computer that sat on the rotting wooden desk. He was also the one who filed a police report against the orphanage for cruelty and child endangerment. "Ashton," he told me the last time I saw him, "You're gonna get outta here soon. We can go somewhere great.... Like California! It's hot there and you can really enjoy life. It's so dark here in your room, ya know? Don't you wanna explore? That's what life's about... exploring. You and me,
dude. You and me." The next day, he was killed in a car accident. It wasn't even his fault.

Today was my first day of freedom. I stood outside of the empty orphanage and just let the heat hit my face. Rays of sun dotted golden patterns on my arms. It was amazing to breathe in air that didn't feel thick and dirty. Everything out here was so clean, so new. I knew exactly what I was going to do with my life now that I was out. No more orphanages even though I was still a minor. I was great at hiding from people. I didn't even know if I was still in the system, I've remained anynmous for almost all my life.

I'd rent an apartment, one with only one bedroom, a small bathroom, and a miniture kitchen. I'd lie and say I'm 17 so I could get a job. I'd buy books, and art supplies, and save up for a new computer. And, I'd go to school. For the first time in years, I was genuinely happy.

California, I'm alone now but don't worry. By tommorow morning, you will be my home.





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