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Fiction: Wendy (Adrian) [Complete]

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She was running away. She was fleeing the Monster that had destroyed her life and changed her forever. She tried to cry, but no tears came. She couldn’t sob, because breathing had become so hard. She couldn’t stop running because the Monster was so close. It was on her back. It was inside her.

These were not strange new sensations for Wendy, but the came on with ten-thousand fold intensity. She was hungry – starving – but no food she saw was appealing. She was more than afraid, she was terrified, especially from the creature that was pursuing her and taunting her. And then there was the anger. She was angry at every little thing, but now, with her new focus, everything was a murderous rage. The overwhelming sense of hunger made everything worse. She was so ravenous.

Wendy had caught a break when she ran into traffic. She had half expected to be killed. Instead, she had been delivered from her tormentor, no matter how temporarily, when It was hit by a car and knocked clear off the road. She had fled the scene in the opposite direction. Now she was lonely, lost, and in her own isolated hell.

People were looking at her with guarded fearful looks. The pulled away as if they could instinctually sense her inner turmoil. She wanted to jump on them, rip out there throats and feast on their blood. The very imagery made her run faster down the street. She wouldn’t give into the Monster, not now, not ever.

Adrian was roaming the streets looking for some drunk or otherwise unconscious, homeless person. His earlier efforts at hunting ‘cleaner’ prey had born no fruit, so here he was again, sifting through the dregs of the city to find his sustenance. To his credit, he had found someone sleeping quietly and stole a sip from their arm until he was sated.

Flush with blood, he was making his way back home when he saw her. She was stumbling and awkward, yet his Beast instantly recognized him as an intruder. He rumbled deep within his chest even as his eyes looked for possible exits and places to hide. When he gazed back at her, their eyes locked and the world seemed to slow down as their beasts struggled for control.

“You are one of them,” she said, at the same time he said, “I’m Adrian.”

Adrian was trying to reduce the tension and this was as a very tense Kindred. She edged away from him and his beast, sensing an advantage, urged him to leap forward. He didn’t.

“What are you doing here?” he managed after a moment.

“Keep away from me,” was her response. Adrian was a little shocked. No vampire had ever been afraid of him before.

“Okay. Umm … have a nice night then?”

Adrian was walking away when she called to him.

“Wait … what … what is wrong with me?”

Adrian stopped, looking over his shoulder at her. For a moment, he didn’t understand, but when the understanding came, he was both worried and fearful once again. He came back.

“You haven’t been Kindred long, have you?”

“Kindred? What’s that?”

“A Vampire.”

Wendy clutched her arms tightly, trying to keep the nightmare at bay. It didn’t work. She remembered the attack on her, the pain, the sense of dying, and then the rebirth … with that terrible hunger.

“No,” she whispered to herself. “This can’t be happening to me.”

“It is,” he whispered back to her, feeling … a feeling he wasn’t sure about.

There was a confused moment of silence. Part of Adrian really wanted to get away. This woman smelled like trouble. He found himself standing there for no explainable reason.

Wendy knew she was facing a Monster. Her own Monster recognized it and warred within her to fight it, or flee. She hated at the same time she feared it – in both him and her. Still, he was standing there and maybe he had some answers, maybe even a sliver of salvation.

“I want to take it back. I want this whole night to have never happened. Can I do that?”

There was a blank expression on his face.

“You want to stop being Kindred? I don’t think that’s possible. If there was, my sire … the vampire who made me, would have told me … I think.”

She looked crestfallen.

“Maybe we can find your sire and ask him or her?”

Now she looked terrified.

“No … no, I can’t face that thing again. I got away from her once. I can’t face it again. I won’t get away. She will keep me until I am gone and only … this Thing remains.”

“Umm … by Thing, you mean the Beast right?”

She looked at him and marveled on how calm he seemed to be.

“Yes, I think so.”

“You get used to it. Its …” he was saying until she interrupted.

“I DON’T WANT TO GET USED TO IT!!” she screamed. Adrian all but jumped out of his skin.

“I want to be human. Don’t you understand,” she continued. “I don’t want to let the Monster in me win.”

“There is no helping it …”


“… Wendy. You learn to deal with it. It gets loose occasionally, but you had better learn how to deal with the really bad things you do while its loose, or you will go mad … or so my sire says. It’s like a nightmare you can’t escape, so you deal with it, or it gains control.”

“I’m in a nightmare right now … tonight, and I’m afraid I’m never going to wake up”, she said quietly.

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They were walking down the street and she was getting a better handle on the creature standing next to her. He wasn’t a Monster like her sire, but someone who seemed ignorant of what being human was really all about. He had even offered to help her hunt down some poor bastard so she could feed … as if they could really be talking about living, breathing people like that. Instead, she began asking him about her condition, vampirism, and what it was like. Finally she slipped her real question in.

“Adrian, what kills us?”

“Light and Flame,” he shot back confidently. “Sunlight burns through us and fire is almost as bad. You have to avoid both. You especially have to be careful when you sleep, because the Sun moves around the room as the do progresses.”

“Closets aren’t so bad,” he added.

“I’m sure they are just fine,” she said with a distracted air.

“It is getting late. You can stay at my … our haven tonight and tomorrow we can find your sire …”

She looked at him fearfully.

“… or not. What do you want to do?”

Wendy moved off into a vacant lot and from there through an alley looking off into the horizon.

“Is that East?” she asked Adrian as he came along after her.

Adrian did some mental calculations then nodded, “I think so.”

“Adrian, I’m not going to go off with you. I’m going to stay here.”

Well, that was just crazy-talk as far as Adrian was concerned. If you stayed here the sun would surely … and his mind stopped at the wall of the Impossible. His mind became a whirlwind of questions, pleas, and demands. He said none of them, because on some level he marveled at the courage of the young woman in front of him. She knew what she was doing. She knew what she really wanted and wasn’t going to let anyone, or anything stop her. She really wasn’t going to let the Beast win, was she?

“I’ll stay too,” he found himself saying without conscious effort. He had no idea why those words came out.

“Thank you,” she replied, still staring off at the horizon.

He wasn’t back down the alley and began gathering material for a shelter. The alleyway would shield him from the worst part of the sun for most of the day, but he would need something to keep the ambient light off for the rest. He found some boarding and a fifty five gallon drum. He drug these back close to the opening.

Wendy laughed at his preparations.

“Why are you doing this?”

“I don’t … well … I’m … I guess I don’t want you to be alone … at the end.”

“You are strange for … the Kindred, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, I’m an Idiot!” he laughed back at her. He felt joyously mad and insane, yet he also felt a sense of freedom that had so long eluded him.

Wendy looked at him. For a moment, she almost turned back. Maybe if this funny kindred had found a way, she could … and then she remembered his offer to help her find ‘food’. That saddened her. She wondered if the man he once was realized what he was slowly becoming. She doubted it. He was probably too far gone.

The sky began to gain a pinkish hue and Wendy felt the Beast beginning to stir.

‘One more fight and its over,’ she told herself. Once again and she would be free, her nightmare at an end. She hoped that God would forgive her for all that she had done and for this too. For her, there was no other way.

She felt the beasts fear, the Monster was waking up to the cage her body had become. It tore at her from the insides and she staggered. She found herself edging toward the alleyway and Adrian’s shelter. He was there staring at her, studying her.

“Its coming,” she told him. He nodded. He must be able to hear the roaring of the sun rushing toward the horizon.

“I’m not going to let it win,” she whispered to him.

‘I know,’ he mouthed back, too afraid to speak.

She reached out to him and he extended his hand beyond the shelter of the alley and took her hand.

The sun came on like the opening of an oven door, except it was a thousand times hotter. Its brilliant light tore at her eyes. Even blind, she could still sense the vibrancy of it. The pain was overwhelming. She wanted to fall down, yet she wouldn’t let her knees bend. The agony was everywhere then it got inside of her head, and it was no where. The last thing Wendy saw was a pure, white light.

Adrian held onto her hand beyond pain. He held onto it beyond the flesh blackening and turning to ash and the bones breaking from the heat. He pulled away only when she was gone, ashes and blasted bone herself. Then he fled. He scrambled back into his shelter, the beast gnawing at the back of his mind, then up the center and consuming both sides. The Beast curled up and hid and it took Adrian along for the ride. Deep inside his beast-addled mind, one image was left for Adrian to wrap his sanity around. As she was burning, with her skin on fire, Adrian could have sworn she was smiling and saying “I’ve won”. Her beast would never bother her again.

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