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Sympathy Of Silence

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“That’s all for today.” My instructor called. Doing the routine bow, I exited the hall and began jogging home.

It was late and the darkness had already crept in; I’d forgotten it was nearly winter.

I picked up the pace; eager to get home. I wasn’t scared of the dark; I was scared of what lurked in it.

It wasn’t as if I couldn’t handle myself; I could take on any situation, I knew it; I just didn’t’ want to put my skills to the test; not tonight.

I had been trained by the best; I was a weapon in my own right; that’s what my parent’s said.

As soon as we found out about the imminent threat; my parents had forced me into all the martial art classes they could find; they warned me as often as they could about the threats around us; they forced me to face up to reality.

No one else bothered. They were the idiots; not me. If anything attacked me; I’d be ready.

As I ran home, my mind satisfied that I was safe and that it would be a couple of minutes and I’d be at my front gate; I began noticing how the streets were so empty these days.

Just a few months ago my friends and I would meet up and walk randomly around town; it’s only 6pm.

But then things changed. At first it was just the odd murder; it was strange; they thought it was a serial killer, but the murders were too widely spread to be just one person. It wasn’t until the 42nd murder that the real culprits stepped forward.

I remember that I had been at school, watching the TV in the student canteen, when Beyonce’s latest video had been interrupted by channel4 news.

“Urgent report - Creatures of horror stories; real.” We’d all laughed at the time, convinced it was a prank. No such luck.

Three days later and Britain and all countries across the world, were formally accepting vampires into their society. Blood banks were set up; I had my appointment in a few days.

Each person had to go in and donate blood; only it wasn’t optional like the conventional act of giving blood.

Reaching my front gate I sighed in relief as it locked behind me. I saw the kitchen light was on, so knew that my mum was still cooking dinner.

Walking through the front door; I peeled off my trainers and jumper and threw them in the direction of the coat cupboard; I’d pick them up later.

I walked into the kitchen; heading straight for the fridge I grabbed a bottle of water and unscrewed the lid, “Hey honey, how was Tae Kwon Do?” My mum asked as she busied herself around the kitchen adding paprika to whatever she was cooking; a vague hint of curry was hidden in the air; my favorite.

“It was good, Julie fell over; I felt awful for her, but was rather funny.” I commented as I began unloading the dishwasher, my voice occasionally muffled by the large cupboard doors.

“How about coming home? Any sign of…” She let her question hang in the air; just like always. It’d taken me weeks to convince her that I could do the 3 minute jog home; without having supervision ‘just in case’, she’d always said.

“No, all clear. I honestly don’t think that they’re anywhere near here. And if they are…”I began, cutting off her protests, “If they are, then I’m a weapon of mass decapitation!” I said as I stood in a ninja style pose.

My mother rolled her eyes and muttered a “Yes, yes, so you always say.” Before turning and finishing dinner. I sighed and shrugged my shoulders before moving through the kitchen into the living room.

My brother sat sprawled across the sofa, TV remote hanging from his finger tips, “Alright squirt.” He muttered while flicking through the channels. I smacked him on the back of his head and in his moment of surprise grabbed the TV control, shoved his feet off the end of the sofa and sat down; a smug smile on my face.

“I’m alright thanks….elder squirt.” I said with little effect; too tired to think of anything witty and intelligent to come back with. With a laugh and a slight growl he pulled himself off of the sofa; probably for the first time since he’d got back from school.

“Dinner’s ready.” My mum called, switching the TV off; I went through to the dining room and joined my family in a normal family meal; this was my life; simple.

*

Blood ran down the side of my face; heating the skin it touched. I was so cold; so very cold.

My limbs shook uncontrollably and my eyes kept trying to close. My teeth chattered and every time I moved, pain shot through my leg.

I looked around me; how did this happen?

My home was torn apart; nothing was recognizable. The walls had long scratch marks in them; the windows all broken from their attack. Beside me I heard something stir.

Painfully; I turned over and met the dying eyes of my brother. “L-Lilly?” He whispered; hurt and confusion in his voice. I couldn’t bear to look at him; his neck was torn apart, his shirt coated in blood.

One of his eyes had been partly ripped open; he was a mess; a rapidly fading mess.

“Sshh.” I whispered comfortingly, dragging myself towards him. My leg was broken; I was sure of it; a gasp of pain left my lips before I could stop it.

I wrapped my working arm underneath his neck; “It’s all going to be ok.” I whispered, a false promise in my voice.

He nodded sleepily, “night.” He whispered, before his eyes fluttered shut. I gulped and looked up at the ceiling, not that it helped. Spray marks from our blood stained the old paint, a drop fell, landing on my cheek.

I jumped back slightly, the drop of blood proceeding to roll down my remarkably unmarked skin. It must have looked like I was crying blood.

I looked back down at my brother; just to make sure.

I watched him for as long as I could, not crying a single tear as acceptance won over.

He was dead.

I slowly pulled my arm from underneath him and gently placed a kiss on his cheek, “Night bro’.” I whispered; my voice cracking as tears welled in my eyes.

I felt something in my stomach twist, crippling pain shuddered through me; I knew what it meant.

It had begun.

I looked out into the hall, with blurry vision. I could just see the two bodies that lay there. My parents; side by side.

I rolled onto my front and began pulling myself towards them, one arm was broken, a deep scratch along it, making it useless to me; I was convinced it was so deep, that I could see bone.

My broken leg protested against my movements; each centimeter only making the pain worse. I screamed out as it got worse; but was only met with the sympathy of silence.

As I forced myself onwards; I began contemplating what had caused this attack.

Had a vampire been murdered?

I knew that there were vigilantly groups set up against them.

Had they not got enough blood?

No matter what excuse I thought of; I always came back to the same conclusion.

They had attacked because they love the violence; because they crave the death.

Finally, after too long, I had made it to the hallway; to my parents.

Their throats were slit and I knew they wouldn’t be alive, but I had to see them one last time; before; before it was too late.

I felt the same indescribable pain shoot through my stomach, followed with burning; all of my skin was now on fire.

My head; where it had caught the side of the coffee table, stopped bleeding and my eye sight narrowed, I knew I had to get out of this house; had to get away from my family.

Forcing myself up onto my hands and knees and then to my feet, I screamed long and loud into the empty house. The pain was hardly bearable, but I knew I had to get out.

Ripping open the front door, I saw the destruction that had been left, my front gate was hanging off of its hinges; no longer providing me with safety I yearned for.

The neighbor’s houses looked to be in the same condition as mine; ruined.

Limping out into the street, I practically had to manually drag my left leg with me; until eventually I was stood in the middle of my road.

Pain erupted through my chest; I threw my head back and drew in a deep breath. I could smell it; I could smell the blood; the death; I wanted it.

I knew I wasn’t far enough away, so forced myself to walk. Every other step I would trip and have to catch myself.

I could feel my body becoming weaker; but my mind becoming ever more aware of the world around me.

I could hear everything; the sound of the rushing cars on the outskirts of town; the faint heartbeat of a dying human; the near silent footsteps of the vampires attacking the next street.

Reaching the end of my road, I fell to my knees. I couldn’t go any further, I just couldn’t.

I fell onto my side and curled my knees up as best as I could.

Gripping onto my head, I screamed again as pain ricocheted through my body. I tensed my jaw, as fire took over me; this was unbearable.

“Make it end.” I whispered; my voice broken and sad; even to my own ears.

Pain in my mouth signaled the beginning of my end, I felt my bones crack back into place, my skin hurry to mend itself, my heartbeat stop.

“Miss, are you ok?”

I sniffed the air deeply, the smell burning my lungs. My stomach growled in hunger.

“Food.” I hissed, before pouncing to my feet like a cat. My eyes locked onto the stranger; who was still struggling to understand what or who I was.

Leaping forwards; just like the vampires had done to me; I sunk my new teeth into the human’s neck, the flesh splitting with ease.

His protests became weak before stopping completely, his body slumping to the floor, I following it.

Tearing my teeth from his neck; satisfied that my thirst was quenched, I wiped my mouth clean.

I smiled into the night sky; the moon making my skin look transparent. The wind curled around me; bringing with it the scent of humanity; as repulsive as it was, underneath it I could detect the life and it was that; I craved.

Walking in the direction of my new comrades a hint of pain surfaced with my memories. As a human I hadn’t been strong enough to fight off the vampires, like my parents had wished.

But as the very creature they detested; I was now stronger than they ever could have imagined.

I now, was a weapon in my own right

I was just too late to save them.





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