In Sickness and In Health
By Katie Pustay

He was sitting all alone on a bench on a dark, cold Toronto night, down by Lake Ontario, wondering who would be the next. He was cold and tired. His name was Javier Vachon, and he was dying.

The first one to be claimed the virus was the friend he had know for as long as he could remember. The friend he called Screed. Now he was all alone wondering if he would be the next having a eulogy read about.

He wasn't hungry anymore. But he was before. He almost lost it with Tracy at the church. Then he made a fatal mistake. He fed because he didn't know he was sick, and he didn't know the blood would kill him. He wasn't feeding because he wasn't hungry.

But what would happen if he got hungry again? What if he went on a killing rampage because he couldn't control the hunger, couldn't fight it? What would happen if he accidentally killed Tracy? What about Urs? Was she sick? Was she already dead? Did she even know about the virus?

He needed Screed. He needed to talk to him. He wasn't there anymore, and now he needed him more than ever. He realized exhuming his dead body wouldn't do much good. A dead vampire wouldn't make a very good conversationalist.

He showed his anger toward Screed by letting out a scream that could be heard all over Toronto and possibly even farther.

He wasn't angry at Screed for starting the virus. He was angry that was gone.

The virus was different. He had seen sick, but had never been sick. At least not as a vampire.

Now he felt like he was being punished for what he was and what he had done over the centuries. The fever was just one symptom. The coughing was the other.

There was also the fact that the blood would make the virus stronger and kill him if he kept feeding. What if there were other viruses he wasn't immune to? Did that mean he wasn't truly immortal?

All he could do now was wait and hope a cure was found before the hunger came back and he fed and died as a result.

He didn't know when or how soon, but Javier Vachon knew he would die.

He just knew.