Chapter I - Addictions
I stand-alone in this world. In this now abandoned graveyard. I stand in front of the mausoleum. The mausoleum I have visited so many times in the past. A past I have chosen to forget. To forget the pain. To forget the memories. The rain soaks my skin and falls loosely from my fingertips, dripping from my skin like heavy tears. My hair clings to my face as if its afraid of being washed away in the downpour; lightning brightens the sky followed by a loud roar of thunder and still I don’t move, I stand still. Waiting. For what? I don’t know. But all I can do is remember; remember everything that happened the last time I was here. It has been over a decade now and still I remember everything, every last detail as if it only happened five minutes ago. The darkness of the night cloaks who I am, and for once I’m glad no-one can see me. That no-one can see the droplets that fall rapidly from my eyes. That they can’t see the tears I’ve held in for a whole decade. I’ve pushed back these memories all this time and still they come back to haunt me. So for the first time in over ten years, I allow myself to remember… to remember everything.
The whole day had been dreary, dragging on like it would never end. For Pandora that was literally hell. She craved days that flew by, bringing the night with them quickly, because when the black blanket was over Chicago she could get her fix. She could get a hit of the substance she ached for all through the day. The drug that would keep all of her withdrawal symptoms at bay. The one she stole from the very hospital she worked at each week. She was, in every sense of the word, an addict. She had been for a long time and she had admitted it. She had attended daily narcotics anonymous groups, hell she had even tried rehab, but it didn’t work. After a couple weeks of being released from rehab or not attending a single meeting, the longing for the sweet nectar to run rapidly through her veins became too overwhelming. She would cave all too easily because the first time she had tried the morphine it had taken her will power away completely.
Today was no different to any other day in her life, or at least her life since she had given in to temptation. Her shift at the hospital had started at six o’clock that morning and it was now six in the evening, but that was what she was used to; twelve hour shifts everyday. She glanced out the window in one of her patients’ rooms and noticed the city had already started to become sunless; it looked almost shadowed by the high-rise buildings that lined the city. Soon, she thought, soon her need would be taken care of, soon she could visit him. She thought about him everyday. The one that had been taken away from her. Taken away all too suddenly. The fatal car accident that had removed him permanently from her life. Never to be seen by her again except in the depths of her mind. Michael Ferreli. The only man she had ever loved, had ever cared for. He had been completely ripped from her existence, completely taken from the world in just a few short moments, just because of one mistake, one fateful mistake. She thought everyday of the moment he had been rushed into the ER, rushed into her ER! She knew at that moment, just one look at him, and deep down she had known it was the end for him. She had spent a whole week grieving for him, becoming more and more depressed as each hour passed. Until one day, the day that had changed her life, when she had found the morphine in the stock room of the hospital. She had never ached for something so badly in her life. She knew its effects. She knew how it could remove all of her pain, well, at least temporarily. She also knew of the side effects. She had spent months of medical school learning about them. Nausea, confusion, itching, visual distortions, and in the worst cases, coma and even death. But she needed to end her pain. She needed to end it now, no matter how long her euphoric state would last for. So she had taken it. She had chosen to put her whole career, her whole life on the line just for those few moments of ecstasy. It had been the moment of change for her. The moment she had decided to become an addict.
She glanced down at her watch, 6:45. Her thoughts had kept her occupied a damn sight longer then she would have thought. She walked the brightly lit corridors of the hospital and made her way to reception. She punched out as quickly as possible. She needed her fix. Now. She had already gone an extra forty-five minutes longer then normal. And it was starting to show. Her hands were shaking. Tiny beads of sweat travelled down her face. She was becoming anxious and she had just screamed at the receptionist for not taking her patients’ files off her quickly enough. She needed that fix. So she got into her car and drove as quickly as she could to the mausoleum. The mausoleum she had visited so many times. So many times since he had died. They had entombed him in there. In the very mausoleum she visited every night. The only place she felt comfortable getting her hit.
She walked the cold and lonely path towards the mausoleum. She was completely alone and it all seemed fantastically eerie to her. She was alone. Alone with just the dead to keep her company. Only the people who no longer had souls would accept her and in a strange sort of way it comforted her that she at least had someone, even if she couldn’t have a conversation with them. The mausoleum was, of course empty, except for the two tombs that lay in the middle of the room. She slowly walked to the far corner of the compact room and removed her stash from her bag. The hypodermic needle was clenched in her fist and the vile of morphine in the other hand. She filled the syringe with 40mg of the harsh liquid that in a few short moments would be coursing rapidly through her veins. She placed the still half full vial back into her bag and removed her tourniquet, the last thing she needed before she could feel her pain slowly dissipate. Placing the needle between two of her fingers she wrapped the thin piece of rubber around her arm as tightly as she could. Her vein protruded immediately from her arm. She took hold of the needle and pushed it down into the crevice directly on top of her elbow. The cold metal penetrated her skin. She pushed down the syringe. Instantly she felt the euphoric sensation rush through her entire being and her head lolled backwards from the state of pure bliss she was in.
As her head corrected itself and the effects of the morphine started to wear off she saw something. No, wait. Not something. Someone! A man to be exact. Standing in front of her. Looking into her eyes intently. She was so shocked that she had forgotten about the needle that was still stuck in her arm. She looked at him cautiously but he didn’t speak. He just stood there. Saying nothing. Doing nothing. Just staring at her. “Who are you? What are you doing here?” she questioned quickly. This time he said something, “I could ask you the same thing”. She looked at him trying to think quickly of an answer, but a million questions ran through her mind instead. Oh god had he seen her? Had he seen what she had done? Suddenly she noticed the coffin in the middle of the room and she had her answer, “I…I’m here visiting…visiting him” she said pointing to Michael’s coffin. The man didn’t look where she was pointing, he just nodded as if he completely understood. “So what are you doing here?” she questioned for the second time. “Actually, I’m here for you” he told her as if it was the most normal thing he could have said to her. She stared at him completely, dumbfounded by what he had just told her. “What are you talking about?” she asked needing to know the answer, but also completely scared of what he was about to say. “What if…what if I told you there was a way you could forget your pain without ever having to use that again” he said pointing to the needle that still hung from her arm. She looked to where he was pointing to and removed the syringe along with the tourniquet. “Oh yeah, and what exactly would that be? As far as I know there aren’t any other options.” He held her gaze and replied, “Lets just say it’s a way you could live an eternity without the pain your feeling now, or any other pain for that matter.” She focused on him. “ Sounds a little too good to be true, why don’t you tell me why you care if I feel any more pain or not?” The man watched her and responded as soon as she had finished. “Lets just say I’ve been in the same position as you before, and I know how it can destroy you. I had someone help me, just like I’m trying to help you, and I’ve felt better ever since. I promise you will too.” She took in his appearance; his clothes were clean, crisp and completely black apart from the white shirt that hid underneath his jacket. His hair and face had a rugged look to them but he still looked like a respectable individual. His eyes, a piercing blue, ones that she felt instantly drawn to and that looked as though they could see deep into her soul, and for some strange reason she felt safe around him. She felt someone cared for her again, and she knew she had to hang on to those feelings. And so she agreed. She agreed to let him take her pain away. For good. “Ok…alright, whatever it is just…just do it because I can’t take this anymore.” The man looked at her and nodded “You’re sure?” he said needing to be certain before he did anything, “Yeah…yes just do it.” He nodded his head again and moved towards her. He took her by the arms and placed his head parallel to her neck. She was a little confused but didn’t move to stop him. Suddenly she felt a sharp pain in her neck, but not a pain that was completely unbearable; one that gave her a feeling of ecstasy, much like the morphine did only mere seconds ago. And then it was gone. It was over. And he was standing in front of her again. Only this time there were tiny drops of crimson on his lips.
She brought her hand up to touch her neck and noticed that the red blood stained the tips of her fingers. Wait. Was he what she thought he was? No. He couldn’t be. They didn’t exist. Did they? The blood and two small bite marks on the curve of her neck told her that he was, and the blood on his mouth just further confirmed her suspicions. But if that was true, if that was completely true, then she had just agreed to become one of his kind. She had just agreed to join his coven. And if she was completely honest with herself she didn’t care. She would give anything to give up her morphine addiction, and now she had. She had given up her entire life. Given up her life to save her sanity. And she would do it all over again.
Then, abruptly, in the blink of an eye, he was gone. He was gone just as quickly as he had turned up. Was it real? Or was it just an effect of the morphine? She felt her neck again, and felt the warm liquid seeping from the puncture wounds on her neck. It had been real. Every last second. And she was now on her own. Left alone to deal with this. But she knew that they would be back, and soon.
Since that fateful day, ten years ago, she had lived her life as a vampire. Marcus, the one who had turned her, returned that night for her. He welcomed her into his coven and had made her a deathdealer. She hunted Lycans, and killed them, before they could kill her or her ‘family’. That’s what they had become to her, her own family. They took care of each other and she felt accepted for once. The only problem was her addiction had never left her. Sure, she was no longer addicted to morphine, and she no longer craved it at all. No, now she was addicted to something completely different. Addicted to the same thing every vampire was addicted to. The insatiable thirst. The blood she fed on each night. She had never stopped being an addict. She had just switched from one fix to another. She was still an addict and she always would be.
She had had enough. She couldn’t continue to remember her past like this it was beginning to get to her. She pushed her memories to the back of her mind again and wiped the tears from her cheeks. But as she turned to walk away from the mausoleum, something caught her eye. She stopped dead in her tracks. What the hell was going on? She couldn’t possibly be seeing what she thought she was. It was him. The one she hadn’t seen for over twelve years. The one that had been ripped from her existence. The only man she had ever loved, had ever cared for. And she couldn’t move and when she moved her lips nothing more came out then a whimpered sob of “Michael?”
Chapter II - Michael
Have you ever had a moment in life when you know that everything after that moment will never be the same again? I have. I have had at least two of these life-changing moments. My first of these moments I have already explained to you. The moment I went from being like any other average human being. To being something I never thought existed. A vampire. Now, you may think that that moment in my life would be the most significant. But you’re wrong. The most significant, life-changing moment in my whole existence has to be right now. Standing in front of the man I had cared for so greatly so many years ago. The man that I thought had been taken from me. Right now I couldn’t move. Couldn’t speak. And my mind was trying to fathom what in gods name was going on. He wasn’t supposed to be here. He was supposed to be long gone by now. My love for him, I thought had died long ago. But as I stand just six feet away from him, I feel that same rush I got when he looked at me for the first time. The same butterflies I got in my stomach every time he would enter a room. And right now it feels as though my heart is only beating for him. His eyes, crystal blue, bearing down into mine as if he could see into my soul, and in some moments in the past I had thought that he could do just that. I realised now that I had been just standing there. Staring at him for the past half an hour. I tried to move my lips. To make some kind of coherent sentence. To break the tension. But my mouth seemed completely disobedient, ignoring everything my mind was telling it to do. I couldn’t seem to think of the right words to say. I mean, what the hell do you say to someone that’s apparently been dead for 12 years? Hi, welcome back? Yeah, somehow I don’t think so! So I just carry on staring at him. Not moving. Not blinking. To scared to do anything in case he disappears again. He moves towards me, taking the smallest step possible and for some reason I find myself taking a step backwards, away from him. As soon as I do it I completely regret it, and I can’t even understand why I did it in the first place. He looks at me hurt with confusion on his face. “I’m sorry…I…” I begin to say but words seem lost to me right now. He nods his head “It’s Ok I understand”. “I don’t know why I did that.” I try to explain to him but still my body does not make the move of stepping back towards him. “I…uh…I don’t know what I’m supposed to say…where have you been…how are you here right now…what’s…” I was beginning to ramble and I knew it, but the questions I had been searching for had suddenly just started pouring out of my mouth and I was powerless to stop it. I needed answers and fast because as far as I was concerned it was impossible for him to be here right now. Then again, a lot of things had happened over the last ten years that I thought were impossible, if my thoughts ten years ago were right, I would be impossible right now, the thing I am, the ‘people’ I live with. But still this…this couldn’t be happening. He stares down into my eyes, bearing down into my soul. He looks a little shocked at how fast I had reeled off so many questions, but he doesn’t say anything. Maybe he has taken my role of being lost for words! He remains silent until; finally he speaks “I know you have a lot of questions about this but…” “No!” I say, “No buts Michael, I want…I need answers. Now. You…you died…on…my table…” the tears begin to roll down my face again and I know my voice now holds all the emotion inside of me but still I continue. “I…saw you die Michael… all the machines…all the medical training told me you were gone…and now…you’re here…and…and…”
“And what?” he asks. I take a long steady breath and pinch the bridge of my nose to try and find an ounce of composure “And now I don’t know what’s real anymore…if any of this has been real…I…I don’t know… I’m just really confused right now.” “I understand that, I do, but…I don’t think right here is the place for us to talk.” He explains his reservations to me, and I begin to get why he doesn’t want to answer my questions. “We…uh…we could go in there…no one will be in there and it will give us a chance to explain a few things to each other” I say as I point to the deserted and lonely mausoleum behind me. The mausoleum which had represented so many of my feelings in the past. The feelings that are coming back in this moment. He looks over my shoulder as if he’s checking the place out to ensure its safety. “Yeah Ok…I guess that would be alright.” I nod and turn to walk towards the mausoleum when I realise he isn’t following me, “ you comin’” I ask “yeah” he responds and quickly catches up to me. Suddenly it dawns on me that this is the closest we have been in twelve years and I realise that this is all terribly real, there’s no going back from this moment. We both enter the mausoleum and I immediately recognize the corner to my right. The very corner I would lean against when I used, and it brings back all those memories but, right now, I cannot let that emotion show, because Michael does not know about that part of my life, and I intend to keep it that way.
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