Soulless… Part 1: How to Save a Life
"Come find me…" I project the silent dare to the large wolf figure below the tree I sit in. It's breath coming out in short quick visible puffs in the below freezing winter air. I'd never seen a werewolf, but somehow, instinctively I knew what it was. It caught my scent earlier and has been hunting me all afternoon. I played along having nothing else to do, and not really sensing too much danger with its presence. But, now it was nearly midnight and it's tracked me to one of the steep snow-capped mountains that guard the city.
A small hopeless whine brings my attention back to it as the cold finally begins to settle upon it. I tilt my head in curiosity as I witness it collapse into the foot deep snow from cold and exhaustion. Then I wait a few short moments before climbing down to investigate.
The wolf was now a boy, somewhere around sixteen or seventeen years old, and his breathing getting slower. "Curiosity killed the dog…" I think to myself quietly as the breathing eventually ceases. I hear other wolves in the distance, howling, mourning…Perhaps they sensed it. I shiver, but not from the cold, "It was only a game…" I say to night air self consciously.
I look around and over my shoulder, then broadcast my senses out finding the wolves not too far off. "They can't find me." I urge myself and pick up the lifeless boy. I could feel his soul lifting away but I quickly gather it in my fist and grasp it tightly. I move in a blur with lightning speed, back down the mountain, into the city, and whizzing through short cuts in a maze of alleys. Finally I stop in a short alley hidden away between a group of bustling factories. A small decorative rot iron vent is the entrance to my home, or as some might say, "Lair"…
I slip in and set the boy on the couch. Still clutching his soul, I light a candle and set it on the table. I haven't been here in a couple months and in the dim light I could see a fair amount of dust blanketing most everything. I sigh, and shake it off. "Later." I tell myself then hunch over the boy and hold the soul to his chest, coaxing it back in timidly. It was exhausting work, and in the process his life passed in front of my eyes.
His mother favored his little brother, given, they were both human. Always siding with him in arguments that concerned the wolf, but I even saw he was right. He would always fight to win her love, but she never gave it to him. Only scorns, sarcasm, and looks of utter disgust and hate. Finally, came the desperate hunt for me. His need to find me so intense as a single word, single command, and single motive pulsated like blood through his body. "Vampire.". He would kill me and bring my body back to his mother, and maybe she'd finally accept him for once. I shivered at the thoughts and felt bad for the boy as the soul finally went through.
I blow air into his lungs, change his clothes, check his heartbeat and then vitals. As everything began to gain life again, I heard him start to stir.
"Vampire!" he coughs out loudly as his eyes burst open. He tries to phase, hands changing to paws, or face sprouting fur, but then back again. He wails with pain as it doesn't work. I work my way back into his soul and make him calm down…A little. He struggles and pants as he tries to push me out, "I was dead, why didn't you let me die?!" he yells furiously.
I tilt my head and think a moment. The question puzzled me… Why did I save him? I shake my head sincerely, "I don't know…" I say with a quiet politeness.
His panting turned to sobbing. I sigh and tug him to his feet. He was still a bit wobbly from exhaustion, so I support him and lead him to me bedroom; well decorated along with a bed and a wardrobe. I help him into the bed and cover him with the thick blankets, "Sleep." I tell him, "You need it." I say honestly and start for the door.
"How do I know you won't just suck my blood in the dead of night?" he asks before I walk out. I roll my eyes and turn to him, "one, because it is the dead of night, and two, I wouldn't have wasted my energy bringing you back to life." I say simply and close the door behind me.
I come back in about a half hour later with some canned soup I'd managed to find and make for him. I open the door and slip in quietly, then set it on the nightstand beside the bed. I check his temperature gently, seeing it a normal 109 degrees…well normal for a dog anyway.
I look at the door indecisively, then decide to stay put and keep an eye on him, so I slide down the wall across from the bed and sit on the floor.
He wakes up two days later as I was putting fresher soup on the nightstand and I'd seen his eyes flutter open. "So, what, am I like a pet now?" he asks bitterly, voice hoarse from disuse.
I roll my eyes, "Welcome back to life…" I say quietly then sit on the floor again.
"Some welcoming committee…" He mumbles, then sees the soup and watches it from the corner of his eye.
"Made it for you…" I say quietly, seeing his suspicion. "I promise, it's not poison."
He gives me a careful look before picking the bowl up and eating quickly. Then, a green look crosses his face and he hunches over the side of the bed. Luckily I had planned ahead, and kicked a bucket over before it hit the floor. After his stomach empties and he stops heaving, I hand him a small towel. "Better?" I ask.
He grabs the towel timidly, "Not poison my ass." He mumbles.
I shake my head, "You've been out for two days straight. So because you ate so quickly and because you haven't gone to the bathroom, it made you sick. So there's your lunch and two days waste…" I say informally. "You're welcome…"
"Oh, now you tell me…" he says bitterly. "Wait…two days?" he asks lifting his face from the towel.
I nod honestly, "You've been pretty sick…"
"My mom is going to kill me…again." He groans painfully and sinks deeper into the covers.
"I know about her…" I admit, "But… you don't have to go back if you don't want to, you're welcome to stay. Go back to sleep." I tell him then turn the lights out, and walk out into the rest of the pitch black dark house, closing the door behind me.
I saunter over to the couch and sit boredly, listening to the storm outside, rain forming puddles at the base of the wall, right under the entrance vent. I sigh and stare at then longingly. "I haven't hunted in two days…" I remind myself, now noticing my exhaustion and shakiness from withdrawal. "Let's hope they don't put up a fight…" I sigh and hurry out into the alley with grace. "Whoops…" I say quietly when I realize I forgot shoes, but I really don't need them anyways, so I continue wandering and hunting the streets for the weak.
I come across a group of local high schoolers, and an instant wave of fear flows through me. "Werewolf." I think shakily, "Powerful, perhaps the alpha…"I decide and stop dead in my tracks.
The largest boy of the group; the wolf I was sure, turns toward me suddenly, his gaze darkening as he drew in my scent. I begin to back away slowly and shiver. I knew my face showed my fear, but I didn't care, especially now, thirst crazed and energy drained. I wouldn't stand a chance against this thing…
He says something to his friends, and they take their separate ways; the group toward the uppity part of town, and the wolf toward… me.
I make a run for it, bare feet hitting the muddy rain soaked ground, taking short cuts through alley ways. I hear him phase behind me and I try to run faster, but the glass in my feet didn't really help; should have worn shoes… Plus I was tiring quickly.
I finally make it to my alley and slip through the vent, landing with a thud on my grey concrete floors, smack in a puddle, although I was already soaked all the way through. I hug my knees tight to my chest and bury my face in them, shivering violently from both fear and withdrawal now. I can hear the wolf outside the vent, sniffing around the vent with a morbid excitement.
"Go away, go away, go away…" I whisper urgently over and over again beginning to hyperventilate with panic. He slides inside and lands in front of me, looking around until he spots me and lets out a blood curdling growl. "This is it for you Gabbi…" I tell myself, looking up at the wolf despairingly, and tears forming. He snaps toward me, flashing pearly white sharp teeth, and hair along its spine rising aggressively.
Suddenly, the one I'd saved a few days before bursts from my bedroom and phases quickly, hopping in front of me protectively, and returning the alpha's glares and growls, quite upstagingly. Some barking and furious snapping is passed between the two, then finally as if by god, the alpha leaves frustrated, the same way he came in.
I still sit, shivering, and staring at the remaining wolf as he phases back then takes me into his arms. "Sorry…" he says quietly, and looks into my eyes as he sits me on the couch and wraps a blanket around me. "But it's my turn to take care of you." He says commandingly and leaves through the vent.
I bring my trembling knees to my chest and hug a pillow; resisting the urge to follow him… I hug the pillow tighter and bite into it as if it were the only thing keeping me grounded to the earth.
He comes back a few hours later. I watch him with my black as night eyes as he maneuvers through destroyed pillows into the kitchen. He puts something into the fridge and brings me a covered cup with a straw. Blood fills my sense and I reach out for it desperately. "Where'd you get it?" I ask warily.
He shrugs, "Hospital."
I sigh, but drink it anyways; I could care less.
"I'm Ethan." He says quietly.
"I know… " I say once I finish, "I'm Gabbi."