Yukti Khera

With the blurriness in my eyes and in my mind, I woke up exhilarated. Not remembering what had happened puzzled me. I rubbed my neck and stretched it left and right. I turned around and was stunned by what I saw. There was blood on the pillow, and as that shook me, it left me terrified. Catching my breath, I jumped off the bed. I stumbled into the chair that was in front of a mirror beside the nightstand. Worrisome, my mouth was left open when I saw my blouse covered in blood too. My neck also had spots of dried blood which were in the direction of dripping down my blouse.

Even with the picture I had just seen of the messed up cabin, the bed, the pillow, and my blouse, I still felt that exhilaration. I was feeling more alive. I didn’t get a chance to understand what was happening while only revolving around the euphoric feeling.

Where was I? I couldn’t recognize the place. My head was spinning, and my stomach felt light. I wanted to eat something but couldn’t find anything in the cabin except few empty liquor bottles, empty bags of chips, and few empty pizza boxes. Questions were revolving around my head. Where was I? What had happened the other night? Whose blood was on the pillow and on my blouse? Questions I couldn’t answer.

The new day had begun with the feeling of being alive, yet there was something inside of me that felt dead.

I looked around to find a clue but couldn’t find anything. I opened the room door and went out only to find out that the place was empty. How did I even get here? I tried to remember.

I went out the front door in search of somebody, anybody around to ask for help. I walked through the trees, and I saw an old man getting ready for a hunt. I walked towards him and asked where I was. He told me it was just outside the city. Looking at me with a confused and fearful look on his face, he asked me whether I was alright. I could see his face turn pale and blue as he saw the blooded blouse I was wearing. I said yes and told him I need another favor. He asked while swallowing his anxious breath, “what is it?”. I told him that I was starving and asked him if he anything to eat. With relief, he said, “Yes, I have an extra sandwich. Here”.

As I took a bite of that sandwich, I puked that instant. It felt like I tried to take an edge of the mud. I threw away the sandwich. As that man watched this, he asked me again if I am alright. Only this time, he came close to me and rested his hand on my shoulder. I tried to resist the feeling of hunger, but I couldn’t. Being so close to him, I could hear his blood pump, heart beating, movement of his collateral artery, and his breath which I felt that I was about to take. He was in terror and confusion. He didn’t move an inch and stood there in angst for his life. I knew what was going to happen; I knew what I had to do.

I knew how to stop my hunger. Raising my hand, I touched the moving artery on his neck. It was hypnotic. I held him from his hair, pulled his head aside, and dived on his neck. I could feel the flow of blood through his veins directed into my mouth. I could feel every muscle in my body growing and glowing. It was fulfilling and mesmerizing at the same time. It was the first time I took a breathing life and the first time I felt naturally high through my entire existence.

I left him there in the woods and tried to find something helpful through his things. I took his money and started to walk towards where the road was headed. Walking through, I saw a service station beside which was a payphone.

It was a wonder that it even worked by the rusty look of it. I made a call at my home wanting to get some answers. My sister answered the ring, and she asked me worried a lot of questions to which I didn’t know the answers. Though I got a clue as to where I was when she asked me whether I had left from the cabin, which only meant that they knew I was out in the woods and not alone, but with somebody I knew, they knew.

I couldn’t understand what happened to me and how. With whom was I? Why was I out in the woods? Who all did I meet? How was I capable of doing what I just did to that man in the woods?

I told her yes, informing her that I lost my bag and phone. I went through the service station and found out that I was at least 3 hours away from home. I saw a woman drive up to the gas station, and she had gone inside to pay and buy a few things. I went to her car, turned it on, and drove away.

I saw the signs and followed my way home. It was by this time that I started to remember what had happened the day before. I remembered being there with Michael. Then I thought to myself, who else would I be with, away from home other than with the love of my life. We were enjoying ourselves and let ourselves have the sweet ride of ecstasy. During this time, I had covered an hour’s drive towards home. I had to stop the car on the sideway because I couldn’t drive more without remembering what had happened after the intake of ecstasy. I was having flashbacks of kissing him and fooling around, dancing, and then a few of our friends came over. We all went outside to walk through the stars. It was a beautiful night which led us to meet a few campers. We were up all night until dawn. Everyone went back, but I stayed with this one camper.

Something was attracting me towards him, not in a romantic way but in a way that I just wanted to know more. I tried to understand his existence. I wanted to know the matter that made him. I didn’t know who he really was, but I was finding myself drawn towards him. And then there was the hot fire burning bright between us. I had to know; I had to ask him what made my soul ignite in this burning flame.

He came near to me. I wanted him to come closer to me, and without saying that, he did. He looked deep into my eyes that made me wonder what is going to happen next. He made a move; he felt my wrist and felt the heartbeat. He asked not to worry. His voice calmed me. I was drawn to him like a metal drawn towards a magnet. He caressed my cheek and moved his fingers through my neck. While stopping his fingers near my clavicle, he pushed my hair away from the front of my shoulder. I felt that he wanted to tell me who he is; he whispered his secret in my ear, which gave me goosebumps within my soul.

“The camper with you is a Vampire.”

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