Eating Our Hearts Out

"If I'm sick of being a victim, but not cut out to be a hero, what does that make me?"

Scotty Matthews is an alcoholic- he’s used to waking up miles away from his university campus with no memories to explain where he was or who he was with. As he tries to recover from one night of drinking, though, he realises he doesn’t feel quite right. He has nightmares he can’t explain, sickness he can’t suppress, anger he can’t control, and- worst of all- hunger he can’t satisfy.

Scotty needs to know what happened to him that night, but he only has two leads- a neck wound that probably came from a broken bottle, and a vague image of a girl, taken from a dream and friends who aren’t sure what they saw. Scotty tries to convince himself she was just another drunk student at a party, but he’s soon forced to accept the far darker truth. Not only is she a monster- she’s turned him into a monster too.

And if he wants to get his symptoms under control, he’s going to need her help.


Author's note

This is a little trigger warning. "Eating Our Hearts Out" is a vampire story, but there isn't any sparkling or ballroom dancing, and the violence goes a HECK of a lot farther than a bit of vanilla stalking. This story is packed with blood, guts, violence, pitch-black humour and an unhealthy amount of cannibalism alongside themes of alcoholism and drug addiction. Also, both my protagonists make morally questionable decisions to say the least. If you're squeamish, proceed with caution. If none of that bothers you, then please have fun reading! Jem :)

23. Tragedy

SHE’S GOT BOTH hands stuffed into her pockets, tight, even though she knows the drugs aren’t going to fall out and neither is the gun. Oxford’s not the dirtiest of cities, but it’s not the cleanest, either, and she’s part of the reason for that. She’s never felt safe in this city, even though she knows full well she’s the most dangerous thing in it. The blood-rusted sky hangs down above her, bloated, and the streets yawn wide and empty as she crests the hill and makes for the alleyway. Dark alleyways are always the best places to make deals- she knows it, and the customers know it, too. She tightens her grip on the gun. The person she’s meeting agreed to meet her alone, but she’s not taking any chances.

She used to feel awful about the way she made a living. The truth of the matter was that she sold drugs because it was easy, and she was lazy. Biologically, she’s a genius- her IQ’s six higher than Albert Einstein’s. Her parents think she’s perfect- the perfect daughter, the perfect student, the perfect trainee doctor. They think she doesn’t go out with her friends because she’s broke and busy studying. She’s none of those things. Her friends are terrified of her, she’s got money to burn, and she’d rather jump into a freezing river than spend her time studying. She’s twenty-one now, in her final year of her medicine degree, and as soon as she’s done she’s going to put the certificate in a nice frame on her wall and then rock the underworld. She no longer feels bad about killing. She enjoys it. It’s funny, to watch those idiots who thought they could double-cross her slowly devolving into a panic at the end of her gun as they realise she’s every inch as smart as the rumours said. She can’t blame herself. After all, she’s got a tragic past.

There are days she feels sorry for her dad, and wishes she could send him some of her money, to help him get over the loss. Then again, it’s been eleven years, and she’s struggling to see it as a loss. Her father hasn’t laid eyes on his son since he was seven. She’s never even met the guy. So when, three days before her twelfth birthday, the news materialised that he’d murdered his mother and stepfather, both his girlfriends, and a shedload of police officers before committing suicide by stabbing himself and jumping into the River Clyde, she hadn’t been surprised. Slightly worried, of course, especially when it came out that his body was never found, but no more worried than if she’d just heard the story on the local news. Besides, it’s been eleven years since the… tragedy. The world called it a tragedy. What the hell could they have meant? Her half-brother was clearly a sociopath. She knew he was an alkie, but he’s not a tragedy. Now she thinks about it, what became of Scott’s helped her. It’s helped her feel better about the crimes she commits. In a way, she wishes she could see him again. To thank him.

She tightens her grip on the gun as she turns into the alleyway, pulling her ponytail over her shoulder. The first thing she registers is the darkness. The second is the silhouette that smartly steps in front of her. She frowns. She normally gets to deals much earlier than her customers, but she guesses this chick’s eager. When she steps into the light, she suddenly looks far too young. Her ridiculous cloud of frizzy hair, which is pale and full of colours, lights up orange in the streetlight. For a few seconds, before her face lights up with that wicked grin, she’s familiar.

“Hi, Angie.” The girl says.

Angie stops, narrowing her eyes, despite the voices in her head telling her it’s nothing. “Hey. Are you…” She hears footsteps behind her. “Wait.”

The girl with the frizzy hair raises one eyebrow, and Angie sees her biting down on her lip. Then, she tears her lips apart, and Angie sees her teeth are wrong too. They’re jagged. She takes a step back in shock, but the girl steps forwards. Angie pulls her hand from her pocket, but she drops the gun as her whimper starts to tremble and it comes out empty.

Angie tries to run, but someone else’s strong arms wrap around her throat and she yelps like a trapped animal, starting to struggle. She never sees the face of the man who’s holding her, but she still shudders cold, right down to her core.

“Bitch! Bitch! BITCH!” she screams, trying to twist free. “I’ll MURDER you, whore! MURDER you! You don’t even know how much power I have in this city! Bitch! BITCH!”

Both her free hands scrabble for the gun and she watches as the girl with the dark eyes walks forwards, lining toe up with heel like she’s walking on a tightrope. I can’t reach my pocket. That’s the last thing she thinks before she hears the man’s words in her ear. They shut up her screaming into silence.

“Nice to meet you, Angela.”

She never sees teeth, even when he spins her, but she sees luminous green eyes darkening like they’re filled with toxic clouds and she sees his head snapping down to her neck. And she feels the pain, sharp and hot, in the centre of her throat. But that’s all.


T H E   E N D

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