Urge

But all too soon the urges come back, take over you and your original self is once again possessed, screaming for your body to stop. But you never stop. Vampires are evil demons, put on this world for no apparent reason but to cause havoc and unimaginable anguish wherever they go. They express no remorse, feel no love and relish in the pain of others. I should know, because I am one of them.

Issy lives with her family in a remote town in the English countryside. It was just like any other small town: boring and uneventful. Every day was the same: the same people, same routines, same surroundings. That is, of course, until the Vampires invaded, and everything turned upside down.


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13. John Smith

I was allowed the day off school since I had such a "stressful night", as the school put it. You could say that again. When we arrived back home at about 7:30 this morning, dad put mum to bed so she could rest. He then went into the kitchen and proceeded to bang about pans and cups in what I assumed was an attempt to make breakfast.
As soon as we had entered the house, Alice and I had retreated to our respective bedrooms, but once I had brushed my teeth and hair, washed my face and changed clothes I decided to join Alice in hers. She was sitting on her bed, and wiped her eyes when she saw me.
"Oh Alice." I rushed over to her and wrapped her in a big hug, sitting next to her on the bed. She sobbed lightly into my shoulder while I rubbed her back. "It's okay. Shh. It's over. It's over." She sniffled in response.
We sat like that, in a comfortable silence, for what felt like hours, until dad called us down for breakfast, which consisted of burnt pancakes which made it even harder for me to stomach the 'human food'. But the thought was there.
* * *
The next day I had to go into school. I was woken up by my alarm at 7:00am and, after several minutes of gathering up the necessary will power, left the warm comfort of my bed to face the world. I took a quick shower and plaited my wet hair, not bothering to dry it. It was early November, but oh well. Somehow little things like 'catching a cold' didn't seem so terrible in the grand scheme of things anymore.
After dressing in my uniform I went into Alice's room to say goodbye before nervously entering my mother's room. There was always that element of pessimistic paranoia that somehow, in the short time between when I had last seen her and the next time, she would have suddenly started bleeding to death again. But thankfully that hadn't happened. She was lying in bed, wrapped up in the beige duvet, and smiled groggily at me when I walked in. The curtains were still closed so the room was quite dark, but the bright morning sun peeking round the edges of the curtains sent luminescent strips of light cutting across the room, preventing the room from being in total darkness.
"Morning." I whispered, unwilling to disrupt the quiet tranquillity of the room.
"Good morning!" She whispered back. She attempted to sit up, but I rushed over and gently pushed her back down. I sat down on the mattress just next to where she was laying.
"How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine." She smiled. Considering she was bitten by a Vampire and nearly bled to death the night before last, I guessed that was a lie. "How about you?"
"Me!? Oh I'm fine. Mum, are you sure you're OK? Is there anything you need? A drink? Food? How's your neck? Or your head? Do you need some painkillers?" She put a hand on my leg to cut me off, and started laughing but stopped quickly and groaned under her breath, squeezing her face together in pain. “I’m sorry!”

“No, no. That wasn’t your fault, Issy, I was just laughing at... Look, just calm down. I’m fine – well I will be. Doctor Henson came round yesterday to check me out, and he said I was fine. Ok?”

“Ok.” I said quietly, not convinced. I stared at her big white plaster on her neck; there were little spots of red on it. I gulped.

“Issy...” She let out a sigh. “I know you blame yourself. But it wasn’t your fault! You couldn’t have stopped that from happening. It would have happened no matter what – please don’t look so guilty.” She always could read me like a book.

“Ok.” I said again. I leaned down and kissed her on her forehead. “I’m going to school. I’ll see you later.”

“Bye.” I got up and walked out of the room, glad to get away from the urge that was building. I turned around in the doorway to look back at her lying in bed. Her eyes were already closed – recovering from a Vampire attack must be really draining. I swallowed against the tears welling in my throat. I quietly closed the door and turned back around.

“Of course.” I whispered. “Of course I blame myself. It’s my fault.” I knew she couldn’t hear me through the door.

***

I walked into school, sighing as another boring day at school lay ahead of me. I headed to my locker but stopped short as I noticed those brown eyes I could never miss. Nathan was walking in the opposite direction, and he smiled when he saw me.

“Hey!” He said as he stopped in front of me. We were both standing in the middle of the crowded hall, people bustling about all around us, but I felt as if we were the only two in the room. “Sucks that we have to come in today.”

“Yeah I know.” I smiled. I felt a little awkward around him; I mean, the last time we saw each other I was sobbing into his shoulder. Kind of hard to pretend you don’t notice that elephant in the room.

 “So how’s your mum?” I let out an internal sigh of relief that he didn’t bring up the whole sobbing-into-shoulder, getting-snot-on-his-Pjs incident. It wasn’t something I fancied discussing.

“She’s much better, thanks. Sore and tired, but she’s recovering. Is your family ok?”

“Mine?” He looked taken aback.

“Yeah. I guessed it was them you went to find in the bunker the other night.”

“Oh, yeah. Yeah, they’re all fine.”

“I don’t know much about your family. I mean, I know a little about your parents but... do you have any siblings?”

“Uh, no. I’m an only child.”

“Oh. Do you wish you had siblings?”

“No. I imagine that if I had a brother we’d just fight all the time.” He laughed. “What’s with the cross-examination?” He winked.

I laughed back. “Just innocent curiosity.” I said, giving him an innocent look. “Anyway, I’ve got to get to my locker and them my form room. I’ll see you around?”

“Yeah, I’d like that.”

***

It was lunchtime and I was sitting in the school library, my headphones blaring music into my ears. I came here to avoid having to eat ‘human food’. I didn’t fancy throwing up today. My phone started ringing, and the ringtone started playing loudly through my headphones, making me jump. I went outside to answer it and pulled my headphones out, not wanting to disrupt the silence of the library with my conversation.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Issy Hamilton.” I froze and I swear my heart stopped. I recognised that voice.

“You-you’re the guy from the car? M-my car?” I was shaking.

“Glad to hear I made a memorable first impression on you. So, how are you?”

“What?”

“How are you?” There was a tone of annoyance in his voice.

“I’ve been better...” I replied carefully, confused about his intentions.

“Aren’t you going to ask how I am? That very rude, Miss Hamilton.”

“How are you?” I said between gritted teeth.

“I’m fine, thank you. Okay, enough small talk, I’m bored of that. Now, when we were having our little excursion the other day, I want you to know that I let you live. So now I consider you in my debt – you could say that you owe me one.”

“Wh-where are you going with this?”

“I just want you to remember that.” The line went dead. I quickly saved the number in my phone, under the name John Smith. I know, I could have probably done better than that but I was in shock.

***

I walked up to my English classroom for my last class of the day, still shaken up about the phone call. I didn’t know what to do, I certainly couldn’t tell anyone. Oh God, Issy, what have you gotten yourself into?

I moved to enter the classroom but froze in the doorway as I caught sight of my teacher, Mr Light. Everything suddenly came flooding back from several nights ago: how he saw me go all Vampy on that bitch. I had completely forgotten, what with everything else going on. Uh oh.

He noticed me staring at him and froze too, unable to tear his gaze away from mine. He looked very uncomfortable, and moved a finger up to adjust the collar of his white shirt. I gulped. I walked nervously into the classroom and made my way to my seat towards the back. His eyes were on me the whole time – I could practically feel the tension in the room. I glanced around and saw that a couple of people had noticed too; I wondered what they were thinking.

The lesson went agonisingly slow. Every couple of seconds Mr Light would glance nervously at me – his stare was so intense. I felt like he was trying to communicate through his eyes – like he was trying to tell me that he saw me that night; that he knew what I was. I felt beyond uncomfortable. He tried to avoid having his back to the class as much as possible, and whenever he had to write on the board he would scribble the words down as fast as possible and whip back round again, which resulted in laughter from the rest of the class. But not me.

The bell finally rang and I sprung up, relieved that the torment was over. I picked up my folder but the clasp came open and all my pages fell around me on the floor. I sighed and bent down to pick them up. I so did not need this. By the time I had finished the last person had just walked out the door and I sensed the overwhelming silence in the room. I stood back up to see Mr Light with his gaze fixed on me; it was tense and calculating. I gave him a slight smile, picked up my bag and walked towards the door. I stopped in the doorway and turned around.

“Mr Light, we need to talk.” I didn’t know what I was going to do, but something had to be done.

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