My world is sticky sweet, dripping against a backdrop of blandness. A cloying, rapturous taste dances against my tongue, waking the rest of my body. Slowly, I become aware of the rest of my mouth. My lips are wrapped around unknown flesh, teeth piercing its surface, tongue hungrily lapping up the liquid.
I didn’t know why I was drinking blood. All I know is that this moment is my entire world.
As the rest of my senses wake, my mind recoils in disgust at what I was doing. My nose wrinkles away from the metallic bitterness it was sensing. My fingers unwind themselves from the person’s long hair and plaster themselves against my sides, seemingly of their own accord.
When my eyes wake, fluttering to life after what felt like an eternity asleep, I see a constellation of freckles on the person’s flesh. They are familiar to me somehow. I am having a hard time placing them, with my mind as far away as it was at that moment. The softness of the skin, the freckles, the scent of rosewater and lemon drop shampoo…
I lift my mouth from the wound I had created to confirm my dread-soaked suspicions. The person crumples against the wall we’d been braced against as I’d indelicately sipped from their veins. Blood was soaking the front of their shirt, obfuscating the colour. I can’t understand what I was looking at.
“Lo…” I croak, voice coming out in a hoarse, almost guttural whisper.
My sister’s name cracks violently in my mouth, spilling a few drops of blood on the pavement. There is no answer. All I hear is the steady hum of the highway, cars rumbling towards the suburbs in the collapsing weight of the day’s end.
I move to my sister’s side to try to undo the damage I’d done in whatever broken state of mind I’d been in. I still don’t understand what happened. Understanding wouldn’t bring her back to me if I don’t move fast enough. I sit next to her on the ground, back against the dirty cement wall, and gingerly move my younger sister onto my lap.
Her cherry hair had matted against the wound on her neck, making it difficult for me to get a pulse without pulling at her hair. I fight for what felt like an hour to find any pulse, first on her neck, then her wrist, and finally resting against her temples. I finally find a pulse, but it’s thready and weak. She needs a hospital.
But I have no idea where the closest hospital is in conjunction with where we were. I have a vague understanding of our location because of the nearby highway, but I can’t be certain which highway it was.
You need to get her to a fucking doctor, Lara. She’s going to die and it will be your fault.
I choke back a sob, drawing myself up, gently hefting my sister Lorelai’s weight to figure out what to do next.
“Childe, you must give her to me.”
I almost drop Lorelai in surprise at the gossamer voice that floats toward me from the darkest part of the alley.
“We don’t have time for you to argue,” the voice insists, still soft. “Please, walk towards me and give me your sister. I will take her to the nearest hospital and ensure one of our doctors takes care of her blood transfusion.”
Blood transfusion? She’s going to die! You have to get her there yourself and then turn yourself in for basically eating your sister. You’re a fucking monster!
I wave the thought away and step towards the darkness, careful not to jostle my unconscious sister too much.
“I know you are afraid, childe,” the voice whispers, oozing gentleness. “I will not harm your sister. I promise you.”
The voice becomes form as I step closer to the darkness, revealing a tall, elegant figure wrapped in a dress made of shadows. Her long arms are outstretched, revealing almost dove grey skin. It’s light enough that it looked like porcelain until you realized that there was no pink or olive undertone to it. It is simply devoid of colour. Her nails are lacquered a deep forest green with a lustrous glitter painted overtop.
I can’t see her face.
“Give her to me."
I do as I am told, gingerly handing over my dying sister to the gossamer stranger in silken shadows.
“I don’t understand what’s happening,” I whisper. “Please help my Lorelai. You have to help my baby sister. She’s only sixteen.”
The darkness swirls around my ankles, slowly enveloping my body. It’s soothing, oddly enough. I give myself to it.
Please, my Lorelai.