I ran. I just ran for it. I didn’t stop to think about what Brim would make of me running away or if he was going to question Alyce further. When I saw him walk into her house like he owned the place and start stripping I knew I had to do something to save my friend. I have to make it back before it’s too late. I know what it’s like. I know what happens. I was that stupid girl who invited a stranger into her life, her home, only to find out too late that he was sharing his body with a dark spirit. It was so awful. I stopped dating for the last 50 years after that.
Shudders ran through my spine just thinking about what Yuri had done to me. I started dating him about 30 years after Ryan’s supposed death. He was great. We got along so well and we just fit. He was such a relief to have in my life because I was so lonely. I was so broken after Ryan’s death and having been turned back into a vampire after working so hard to regain my humanity. And there we were, our maybe eighth romantic encounter. Making love was such a release. We were great together, until Stilhorn slipped into his consciousness while we were kissing and held me down. His grip was iron, and cold, and sadistic. He placed a hand on my head and all at once I felt paralyzed while having convulsions from pain screaming down every inch of my body. I blacked out and by the time I woke up he had finished and Yuri was sitting on the edge of the bed sobbing, begging forgiveness for not telling me his mind had been split by Primus.
I wouldn’t leave home and took to writing all of my friends after that. The pain is all I remember. I don’t even know if he did anything to me beyond the rippling pain I felt. That’s what they feed on for pleasure. But, I have heard that others are far worse and that it was only because Yuri began to regain control that I wasn’t eaten, or dismembered, or clawed at until I was nearly skinned. They like to see people blackout from the pain only to wake up and see what horror has been inflicted on their bodies.
I ran to the edge of her driveway looking for anything I could use to get him off of her… until I heard her scream. I know that scream. I made that same sound. I found a birdbath by the mailbox and blessed the water. I dipped my hands in and soaked my arms all the way up to my elbows and ran back inside.
This has got to work.
I stumbled into her bedroom feeling the heat of Hell pouring through the mirrors. The scream wasn’t pleasure, or torture, Brim invited two friends to step through the mirror and they beheaded Alyce. I walked in on their feast on her flesh. They didn’t notice me.
But, now I’m angry. Nausea washed over me. Alyce didn’t deserve this. But, what can I do? If I run then they might eat all of her. If I stay I could be next.
“Jesus help me. Send help.” I said as I slowly backed away from the door feeling defeating and like I need to run, but stuck here all the same.
I heard a rumble, sure that I had been discovered by the demons in the next room and froze out of fear. Here it comes… any second now. The air was still and cooling. I finally mustered the courage to look over my shoulder and saw the relief I had hoped and prayed for, but didn’t and should have expected.
A soft purple glow mixed with lightening and a human sized tornado appeared just above Alyce’s bed and the feast of demons. They turned to stone as Rafael walked out of the whirlwind.
“I’m here Elle. God heard you. Let’s get your friend to safety.” He said in a sweet Spanish accent that sounded as tender as my father’s from long ago.
He scooped Alyce’s remains into his arms and waited for me to stand by him. In a cool whoosh of air we were gone leaving the stillness of the stone demons, the closing portal behind them, the life that was petrified and stolen from my friend, the love letters and her last hope…. And possibly one of her fingers that had rolled under the bed while being eaten.
We descended upwards in time to see a rush of five vampires running into her house only to find a crime scene or perhaps they’d just be angry that they had missed the buffet of my friend. I held what was left of her hand and tried not to cry.
Hot tears fell down my cheeks anyway. Not just for my friend but because now I know for sure that Ryan would have experienced the same pain I had from hearing about my death. I would have been eaten with a friend, but happy to be there for her so she wouldn’t die such a horrible death alone.
I can’t remember the last time I cried the sweet tears of relief. And I suck to be crying in relief while the squishy flesh and exposed bone of my friend’s hand rests in mine.
I might as well let the realization him me… I am a terrible friend.