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When vampires were ‘outed’ in the year 2020, the humans attempted to alter their diet to ensure their safety. This resulted in a worldwide bloodbath known as the Rage. Now, fourteen years on and the world has been torn apart and rebuilt from the ground up to accommodate the vampires unholy desire for human blood.

But despite the constant push of the Equal Rights Movement, vampires are still being depicted as the ruthless, rabid monsters they had become in the months of the Rage. Many humans still oppose their presence and do not agree with the forced peaceful coexistence.

One person who shares this belief is a young scientist named Nico Bergan. Doctor Bergan wants to return the world to its former glory. His way of achieving this goal… creating a cure for vampirism.

Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Evie woke and was surprised she had even managed to sleep. She didn’t know how long she had been out for. Or how long she had been in this cell for. Time seemed to stand still. She figured the sun must have gone down but then again, it was hard to tell. Maybe being in here with no windows- with no way to judge if it was night or day- her vampire body clock was all out of sync.
The vampire beside the albino was also awake, wandering around his cell aimlessly. She thought about speaking to him but decided against it. There was no point attempting to make friends now that she understood what was going to happen to them. So she stayed quiet and busied herself by trying to clean up her cell. The blood on the floor had the sticky consistency of being not quite dry so she started trying to rub it off with what remained of her leather jacket. She scrubbed the walls too, managing to make the dried blood peel off and float in flakes onto the ground. She piled up the dried bits into the far corner and just kept scrubbing, even when her muscles started to burn.
Her fangs pressed against her gums as her hunger stirred. Ever since she had mauled herself, she had felt her hunger fighting for attention. It wasn’t too bad at the moment but she knew if she were injected with more Nico’s serums and reacted the same way, causing her to lose even more blood, she’d be doubled over in the insistent pain and need to feed in the next week. Or maybe she’d react the same way as Sophie and this would all be over.
The sound of the door opening clattered again, reverberating through the bars. The vampire that had been walking around suddenly hissed and shied away, dropping back against the wall. Evie recognised the click of the footsteps so she stopped and turned, waiting.
She watched him passing the glass panelling, his eyes wandering, inspecting his prisoners. Evie gulped and felt her cold heart contract when he turned and found her eyes. They locked eye contact until he was standing before her. He smiled and looked around her cell. “I like what you’ve done with the place.”
“Are you here to see me this time?” Evie asked.
“Actually, I am.” Nico smiled. “You’ve recovered well.”
She sank onto the floor and tucked her knees to her chest. “Just let me say goodbye to my Maker.”
He sighed. “You’re not going to die.”
“Sophie died.”
“That was her eighth shot. This is your second.”
“Sophie said most don’t make it past four.”
“And as I said, this is only your second.”
Evie looked up at him. He didn’t even deny it.
Her bottom lip started to tremble. “But my Maker has been in here over a week. He’s had more shots than me. He’s not going to last much longer.”
“Have a little faith in me, vampire.”
She scowled at him. “How long have you been doing this? Months? Years? And have you been successful? No. There is no cure for vampirism. All you’re doing is killing us. That is not a cure. That’s murder.”
He studied her and bent down to her level, his bony knees sticking out as he crouched. “You think I’m lying to you?”
“I think you should stop this. You are not getting anywhere. When people find out about this, you’ll be dead. Have you not heard? Vampires have equal rights. You’re committing mass murder.”
He laughed. “Oh, you’d be surprised who already knows about this.”
Her eyes widened and he smiled.
“Where do you think I found the funding for all this equipment? For this place?” He gestured around, to the rows and rows of cells. “Vampires will never be equal. I’m trying to help you. I’m trying to stop all this prejudice.”
“By changing us,” mumbled Evie.
He studied her, and Evie was shocked to see a glint of empathy in his grey eyes. “By giving you your life back.”
They held that impossibly intense gaze for a moment before Evie shook her head. “I still want to see my Maker. You may be very passionate about what you are doing but that doesn’t make it possible. Just let me see him. Let me say goodbye before he dies in here.”
Nico stood up, cracking his back. “What’s his name?”
Evie’s eyes widened up at him, hope dancing inside her. “Caius,” she said brightly and got to her feet. “Caius Ericson.”
He pursed his lips into a tight line, thinking. “I don’t know the name. What does he look like?”
Evie didn’t need a moment to paint a picture of him in her mind. He was always there. “Early thirties. Long brown hair. Light blue eyes. Six foot two.” Her eyes started to flicker around as she listed everything she knew. “Probably wearing…” She thought back to when he first disappeared. Where was he going? To get more blood bags. What was he wearing? “Ermm…a faded grey tunic… slim black jeans. Boots. A black corduroy jacket.” She looked back to Nico wide-eyed. He was standing with a soft smile.
“I think I know who you are talking about. How old is he in vampire years? Ancient?”
Evie nodded. “A thousand.”
“Yeah. I know him.”
Evie fell forwards, ready to clasp the bars but again, stopped herself. “Is he in hibernation?”
“Not when I last checked.”
Tears started to slip down her cheeks. “Can I see him? Please?”
“If I let you, you’ll co-operate?”
Evie nodded vehemently even though she was a little confused. She didn’t have the option to not co-operate, he had made that very clear from the start.
“I’ll do anything. Injected me as much as you like. More than any of the others. Just let me see him. Please?”
He sighed. “I suppose.” Evie smiled wide, feeling her muscles coil with elation. “But I am going to have to take precautions.”
“What do you mean?” she asked, although she was barely listening. She was going to see Caius!
He unzipped his bum bag and took out a small pot with a foil lid. Inside it was grey, thick looking liquid. He curled his fingers over it and took out a syringe with his other hand. “What’s that?”
“Liquid silver,” he said as he punctured the foil lid with the needle and pulled back the plunger. Evie watched as the liquid deduced from the pot and filled the chamber of the syringe. “I’m going to inject it into your bloodstream to slow down your reaction time. I’ll have to keep you connected so I can inject it when it wears off. That will give you more time with your precious Maker but the pain with be excruciating. Sound good?”
Evie nodded without hesitation. The pain was worth it.
“Okay, now, hold your arm out through the bar. And no funny business now.” He looked at her straight in the eyes. “You know what happened last time.”
Evie nodded obediently and he stepped through the glass door. “There’s a button on the wall just there-” He pointed to the thin strip of wall to his right, between the glass panels. “If I press it, that UV bulb will switch on above your head.”
“I know.”
He looked at her curiously. “You know?”
“Yes.” She stuck out her arm between the bars with no intention of making him press that button. She flipped her arm so the smooth side of her forearm to him.
He pushed a fresh needle into the crook of her elbow which was attached to a short tube and corked with a piece of sponge. He taped it secure and next, Evie tensed as he pushed the silver filled syringe into the sponge and pressed down on the plunger. Despite the thickness of the liquid, it slid down the tube at a rapid pace and was soon attacking Evie from the inside.
She tensed, squeezing her hands into fists as her insides burned. Her fangs lengthened instinctively at the pain, knowing that Nico was the one initiating it. Nico gulped and threw his hand out, ready to whack the big red button but Evie just stayed there, vibrating with agony. She wanted to shriek at the pain and claw the needle from her arm but she stayed put, only allowed small whimpers to leave her mouth.
“I’m ready. I’m not going to hurt you,” she said stiffly through gritted teeth. It felt her blood had turned to lava. “Open the cell.”
He did and when she stepped out, he grabbed her wrists and gripped them behind her, using his own hands as handcuffs and keeping the tube coiled in his palm. Evie was going to be obedient, even if poison wasn’t running through her veins making her movements and thoughts slow and stiff and almost unbearably painful. Almost.
Tears beaded in her eyes, turning his vision red as she whimpered with every step.
“How far?” she asked.
“In the next room. Where I keep all the ancients.”
She managed to get to the door with Nico practically pushing her along. He took his hands from her to open the doors, probably now realising that there was no chance she was going to attempt to escape.
She walked through the door and they were in a narrow, grey corridor. She noticed something black in the corner of her eye by the door but her blood tears marred her vision again so she couldn’t get a good look.
Nico pushed her onwards to another set of white double doors.
“Through here,” said Nico, unlocking them and pushing them open.
Evie looked at him, her eyes twinkling with delight. “He’s in here?”
He nodded.
Evie gasped through a smile and once Nico knew they were both secure in the room, he gestured for her to run free, passing her the coiled tube as if handing her the reins. Evie grabbed the tube and held it up at an angle. The silver was still making its way through her system so she was still slow. Humanly slow. But she forced her way down the rows of cells, looking in the ones to her left and to her right. Some were empty. Some were filled with bloody vampires that were unknown to her.
And then she spotted him. She gasped and stumbled back. He was actually there, sprawled out across the floor in a murky red puddle. Evie could only see his back and his mess of hair but instantly knew it was him. Her Maker.
“Caius!” she gushed in a whisper and made her way over to him, slower than she wanted, like she was wading through knee-high sand. She was shaking as she pressed her palms onto the glass panelling.
She felt Nico’s shadow behind her and turned.
He was standing with his hands behind his back, looking down.
“Can I go in?” she asked tentatively.
He nodded. “But give me the end of the tube.”
Evie uncoiled it and handed it to him.
She opened the glass door and Nico followed, keeping close enough to her to not strain the tubing. He unlocked the cell and Evie stepped in. She was standing before Caius. He was still sprawled on the floor, unmoving. A pang of sadness hit her at the thought that he might have slipped into hibernation and he wasn’t even going to hear her goodbye.
“Hold on.”
She turned to see Nico trying to weave the tube through the now closed cell. When he succeeded, he nodded and she dropped to her knees before her Maker. The tube was long enough so that Nico could stay standing.
Evie sucked in a sob and smoothed down her Maker’s hair that was sticky and clotted with blood.
“Caius? Caius, can you hear me?”
There was a groan and her insides jumped. She gulped with wide eyes and pushed his hair back until she could see the side of his face. “Caius? Caius? Are you awake?”
Another groan and blood leaked from his parted lips.
She grabbed onto his torn up jacket and rolled him over so his head was on her lap and he was facing upwards. His arms dropped to his sides and his lips parted more, expelling a strained sigh. His eyes were closed and tear tracks stained his beautiful, porcelain skin. He had grown a stubble and that too, was caked in old blood.
“Caius, it’s me. Evie. Caius?” She shook him a little and his eyes flew open.
She gasped and gripped his shoulders.
He squinted at the harsh light then his pale eyes found Evie and his jaw slackened. The look in his eyes made Evie’s cold heart swell and her lip to quiver. It looked as if he’d just laid eyes on an angel.
Tentatively, he lifted his arm and touched her face. She cried and leaned into her Maker’s cold palm.
“Evie…” he whispered hoarsely, his lips dry and cracking. “Is that really you?”
“Yes.” She laughed and lowered herself to hug him. His arms wrapped around her back and hers cradled his head. “Yes, it’s me.”
His body started to judder as tears of happiness started to pour down his face. He squeezed her close to him, curling his bloody fingers into her vest. “I can’t believe it’s you. Why are you here?”
She swallowed the lump in her throat. “I came to say goodbye.”
He gasped and pushed her back so they were face to face. Blood had collected under his eyes and was running down his cheeks. “Goodbye?”
She nodded, sniffing back tears of her own. “We’re going to die in here, Caius. I just wanted to see you one last time-”
She gasped and her head flew to Nico as she felt something new entering her system. Something warm and different. The scientist was standing with his thumb down on the plunger. But the syringe he was holding, the liquid pouring down the tube wasn’t silver… it was another one of his serums.
He grinned. “You said I could inject you as much as I liked. And my moment of compassion has passed.”
She cried and ripped the needle from her forearm but the stuff was already inside her. She could feel it like hot syrup in her bloodstream. But it wasn’t burning. Not like the other serum that gave her the Rage. This stuff felt… good. This time, the serum was not trying to force its way through her stale blood like a bike trying to get through bumper to bumper traffic. This new liquid inside was flowing freely, swimming through her. Her blood was flowing freely. It felt like it was fighting through the dark labyrinths inside her and bringing light. Life. Every cell in her body felt on high alert as the serum swam through her cold blood, warming it up.
Then she heard a thud and she gasped. Caius, still cradled in her arms on her lap paused, his pale eyes wide and set on her. Then came another thud. A thud inside her. Like there was something new inside that was fighting to get out. No, it wasn’t something new. It was something old. It was something that had been inside her all along but had lost its use a hundred years ago. It was the thing in her centre that just sat there empty and barren. But it wasn’t empty anymore. It was working.
Her heart was beating.
She let go of Caius and pressed her hands flat against her chest, feeling her heart pulsing inside her.
Now she felt cold. Not undead cold but… she could actually feel a chill in the air. And her body was responding to it. Goosebumps covered her arms and her tiny hairs stood on end.
What was happening?
Then there was a growl and her heartbeat quickened with fear. She looked down and gasped. Caius’ pale eyes had become as black as the night and his veins corded around them. Before she even had a chance to react, he swooped upwards and sank his fangs into her neck.
She screamed as her skin ripped and the new life essence inside her was slowly being taken away.
“Caius!” she garbled, trying to tear him off her. But he was strong and wrapped his arms around her back, crushing her into him like a spider trapping a fly. His mess of hair covered her face and she could smell blood. Fresh blood. Her own blood. But it smelt different. It smelt…
A loud, honking buzz sounded, making Evie wince.
Then there was a blinding light and Caius squealed, retracting his fangs. He fell back against the silver bars, cried out again and dropped onto the floor as his body burned. Red, oozing sores plastered across his exposed arms and he hissed, shaking on the floor. She looked up and squinted at the UV bulb and then down at her own skin. Nothing. She wasn’t burning…
A hand grabbed her and yanked her to her feet. Nico pulled her out of the cell and slammed the door closed and locked it just before the light flickered out. He ushered her out of the glass door and slammed that shut, too.
Evie was gasping for breath, checking herself for wounds. “W-what happened?”
Nico grabbed her by the tops of her arms and beamed at her, his eyes wide and crazed. “It worked!”
“What? What worked?” Her head was reeling.
Suddenly, Caius jumped up in a smooth, vampire quick motion. Evie turned to him, expecting the Caius she knew but he growled, his eyes still clouded black and fangs dripping with blood. He hissed and lunged at her, smacking against the silver bars. He howled and buckled back, the noise making Evie’s insides cringe.
“What has happened to him?” she asked, her voice brittle and broken as she sobbed, quaking with fear of her own Maker.
“No,” Nico said in a whisper and touched her neck. She flinched at the pain and stared wide-eyed as he pulled back his hand painted with blood. “What happened to you is the real question.”
She gulped and pressed her fingers to the puncture wounds on her neck and then she looked back at Caius who was still manically smacking himself against the silver bars to get to her then screaming and careening back.
“I’m…” she started but couldn’t carry on.
Nico smiled, looking almost drunk on happiness, and finished her sentence. “You’re human.”
He grabbed hold of her arm and started dragging her towards the double doors. She pulled back from him. “No. What about Caius? I can’t leave him!”
Nico spun around and she sucked in a breath when he stopped in front of her, their faces inches apart. She could see her blood-stained reflection in the lens of his glasses. “He’s not your Maker anymore. He’s nothing to you.”

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Shelley Crowley

Stockport, united_kingdom

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