Rated PG; blood, gore
Prompt: Start your story with the line "You wanna do something fun?"
“You wanna do something fun?”
I look up to Bernard--still trying to catch my breath--and stare incredulously.
“We’re currently being chased by humans if you haven’t noticed.”
Bernard shrugs. His ebony braid falls from his shoulder. “Eh, no biggie. You have me to help us get away.”
“You douche. Come on, let’s go.”
In a swish of black smoke, I’m a bat. So is he. We rise above the trees, flapping frantically. Unlike real bats, our vision is as clear as a human’s, so we can navigate open spaces. The moon is partially blocked by grey clouds, but still manages to shine brightly. The stars flicker like flames. In the distance, behind us, the sounds of sniffer dogs and radio chatter push us forward, a reminder that we’re not safe.
“Just one game.”
“I swear to Carmilla,” I hiss. “What game could we possibly play now?”
I look at him. He pleads at me with his bat eyes. I shake my head.
“No, you idiot.”
“It’ll distract you. You’ll calm down.”
“You know when I will calm down?” I snap. “When we’re not being hunted.”
Bernard pouts. Unfortunately, it only lasts for a second. After that, a smile twists onto his face.
“What if the game helped us escape?”
“We have trackers in our arms. Wings.” I say, pointing my eyes toward my still-sore wing with a lump in it.
“So the game is a little bloody.” Bernard chuckles lightly.
“We have nothing to use to get it out, or I would have done it already.”
“We have our teeth. Our fangs.”
I stop moving forward. I flap in place, glaring at him.
“We won’t be able to resist.”
“Vampire blood is different.”
“No, it’s not, moron.”
“Have you ever tried, or were you just told that?”
I pause. He sees it and grins again.
“See? Come on, we have time.”
He flies back down to the woods, and I follow because I am curious as to whether I can resist sucking my own blood. We descend in a clearing, and in another twirl, I look human again. Bernard does the same. We land on the pine-covered ground.
“Okay, I’ve done this before-”
“When have you possibly needed to do this before?” I ask.
Bernard sighs. “I’ve been taken before.”
This I did not know. We only met hours ago, but he could have mentioned that he’s escaped before.
“When? At this facility?”
Bernard shakes his head and begins to recall the tale. Five years ago, he, his sibling, and his friend were nabbed by a group of researchers while they were flying, convinced they were vampires after a few months of observation. They were right. Just like we were until this evening, they were locked in cages and tested on. Vampires had only recently been revealed to the public, so there was still so much to learn. There still is, and no one bothers asking if we’ll come. They just take us.
That time Bernard had been able to escape and take his sibling with him. His friend is still there, if even alive. He had tried to get back in multiple times over the years but had never made it. Last week he heard that his friend had been transferred to a different place from his ‘connection system’, as he calls it.
He had tried to get a good view of the layout of the place, but he had been sloppy in his eagerness. He was captured near the entrance, by an ecstatic intern with a butterfly net. He was knocked out before he could turn back. When he woke up, he was in the cage across from me.
The worst part is that his friend isn’t there, as far as he can tell. He was probably given a false tip. So now, he has a tracker in his arm again, and the only other escapee is me, and he doesn’t even know my name.
“So, that first time, I bit into my skin, worried, like you, that I would sip myself dry. But. . .”
“You’re still here.” I finish.
“Yes, so trust me. It worked for me, it worked for my sister, it will work for you.”
I sigh. I am an emotional one, and his story tugged on something inside me. Now a voice is telling me to trust him. He was vulnerable with me, sharing his trauma like that. Maybe him escaping with me wasn’t so bad. He might even be valuable.
“Okay,” I sigh. “I. . .I trust you.”
I look at my arm. The lump is less scary with a bigger appendage. I open my mouth and caress my front teeth with my tongue. Two fangs pop out, one on each side. I take a deep breath and sink my teeth into my soft flesh. My soft, delicious flesh. The tracker stops my left fang from descending any further, and my right stops too. I bite down and make the hole bigger in a swift motion. Blood is covering my lips now. I lick them and like the taste a little too much.
I look up to Bernard. He’s standing over me, watching closely.
“You’re doing great. Just get the tracker out.”
I nod and go back in.
I clean the blood away and start trying to scoop the tracker out with my fang. I don’t want to use my fingers. That would be gross. Not to mention how big I would have to make the wound to fit them. The feeling of using my teeth also brings a sort of pleasure, but not one that I want to explore. Bernard said I wouldn’t be tempted. I have to trust him.
Finally, I stab the tracker with my tooth and rip it out of my skin. I show it to Bernard, who looks a bit surprised.
“Wow, you actually did it.”
I spit the tracker into my hand and chuck it.
“Of course I did.”
But my eyes keep shifting back to the wound, and my tongue keeps going over my teeth to taste my blood, and the metallic scent makes me grin like an idiot. I shake my head, trying to expel the thoughts.
“Okay, your turn-”
I don’t finish my sentence before I go back to the wound, lapping up my blood, which I had never realized was so sweet.
Bernard laughs. “Finally.”
I stop, confused.
“What? Did you do this on purpose? Was that story you told a lie?” My voice rises.
“Yes to all of that, but I’m not talking to you.”
He points behind me. I turn around, and I see the scientists, with their dogs and weapons.
“You work for them.” I don’t ask it.
“Indeed. Alright, she’s high on her fluids, she won’t resist.” He tells the scientists.
A tranquilizer goes into my neck. Everything starts going fuzzy. As I fall backwards, I lick my lips, trying to get as much blood as possible before I black out.