I could smell my sister before I heard the sound of her talking and chewing her own gums simultaneously. She smelt of regret, it poured through her body like she drank litres and litres of it instead of blood. Every time I’m around her it’s always the same; she’s mourning over the boy she killed when I first turned her, the boy she ripped apart and fed on for weeks, unable to drink much at one time. Surprisingly, the hunger of being a new vampire kept her tastebuds numb and unable to tell the difference between fresh blood and the blood she drank from his body even after he’d been dead for at least two weeks. Watching her had made me sick and hunt during the day, breaking the only rule, and convince myself that fresh blood tasted much better than dead blood, as much as Sara had misled me.
The ache in my head faded as a plastic tube was pressed to my lips, pushing through them. Someone squeezed on the other end and warmth flooded into my mouth and down my raging throat, warming my body and making me tingle. And as much as my family tried to tell me otherwise, drinking blood was better than sex.
I flung myself across the room, off the bed I’d been laying on, and drained the contents of the blood bag Sara had fed me, willing me awake. It wasn’t enough and I threw the empty bag to the ground with a grunt, feeling my fangs shrink back to normal size as I recovered my very small part of humanity. I stood up taller and fell against the wall behind me, licking my lips and closing my eyes in momentary relief. It was short-lived though. Short-lived because as soon as I opened my eyes and pushed off the wall to go have a real feed, something my sister knew close to nothing about, I realised she’d woken me up to early.
The feeling of the sun frying my skin was almost as painful as the burn in my throat, the hunger for human blood. It tore my bare skin to shreds, scorched me alive, and made my eyes water, practically melting. I opened my mouth, bellowing in pain, and immediately regretted it, feeling my tongue disappear to almost nothing. I leapt into a shadow and fell to my knees, whimpering as my skin gradually healed itself. Gradually, I would say as a vampire, but quickly to a human.
When the pain eased and my tongue had finally reformed in my mouth, I threw my head back and snarled at Sara, smelling her blood and almost tasting it on my tongue. She smelt like freshly mowed grass and spearmint, and her own blood dripped down from the corners of her mouth, testing me. But she was my sister. I couldn’t feed on my sister, as much the idea interested me. Was I strong enough to sip enough of her blood to settle my curiosity? I’d heard from others like me that drinking from another vampire made you feel stronger again. I felt my canines descend.
Sara, seeing my hungry face and recognising the killer in my eyes, widened her eyes and quickly cleaned up her blood, licking herself clean. When she was finished, she gave me an offended look, like she couldn’t believe I’d been tempted by the hot, red fluid going for free, smothered across her face.
‘That’s disgusting,’ she said, her silky voice so pure jealously overcame the thirst within me. ‘I’m your sister.’
I struggled into a standing position, running my hands up my smooth arms and checking I wasn’t about to step into the sunlight again.
‘You drink your own blood, you’re obsessed with yourself, and you think that seeing fresh blood and not wanting it makes me disgusting?’ I laughed and shoved my hands into the front pockets of my jeans, looking around the room suspiciously. ‘Where are we?’
Sara cocked her head and clicked her tongue. I could tell she was wiping up any last drop of blood from her fast-healing cheek.
‘California. North of Los Angeles, I think. The question is, where were you going?’
‘Hunting,’ I said. ‘Obviously.’
‘Oh, right. Still into drinking humans, I take it?’
I gave her an evil look. ‘I’m willing to make an exception if you’re game?’
‘Again,’ Sara said, tossing me another blood bag from underneath the bed. ‘You’re disgusting.’
I ripped open the top of the bag, squeezing the soothing liquid into my mouth. But the hollow straw-thing at the top I drank from didn’t allow me to skull quick enough and I ended up ripping the whole bag open, letting it fall to the ground, and mopping up the contents with my lips. I choked on my last mouthful, scared I’d get the hiccups, and stood up. I threw the empty plastic wrapper at Sara’s tormented face.
‘Well done, brother,’ she spat, standing up and hitting the empty blood bag to the floor, drenching her hand in my hungry spit. ‘Clean this up,’ she ordered, gesturing to the blood splattered across the floorboards and at the tips of the quilt, lying across the bed in a crumpled heap.
‘It better be gone before I get back,’ she demanded and then ran out of the room with her inhuman speed, but not as fast as I’d run. As much as Sara drank her own blood and refused to drink human blood, I was a killer and would be forever stronger than her. No matter how hard she tried to beat me in a race or arm-wrestle, I’d always win.
I looked down at the mess I’d made, blood dried on the wood, and snorted. Quicker than Sara ever would, I darted out of the room and left the remains of an O negative patient’s donation behind, allowing my heightened senses to lead my straight to the place where I could begin my meal for the day. Into the night.