Life always has it out for me to make everything worse. And by that I mean absolutely everything. That night, I discovered all my carefully hidden blades had been thrown away. So, I was resorted to remain curled in a ball on the floor, sobbing silently as the urge to cut continued to build inside me.
The next day, I was a little calmer after having cried myself out alone. I was able to weigh myself in secret before the other girls woke up, since I always woke up extra early by force of habit no matter the occasion or day. I stepped onto the scale and held my breath. Like that would make me any lighter, I'm such a whale. Eighty-seven pounds. I gazed down at the numbers, wondering what my decision for today should be based on how little I've lost. I wanted to destory the scale. Those numbers sadly blinking up at me silently screamed out every single failure I have ever committed.
"Let's go," Janice said tonelessly.
"How long have you been standing there?" I asked without turning around.
"Long enough," she replied simply. "Now stop this and get dressed." How I wish I could. After a time, I finally forced myself away from the wretched scale and slid on the least revealing outfit that wouldn't cause me to faint in the unusually warm weather. Florida had sun year round, it seemed like.
All the girls met up with the boys by the charter bus we would be taking about fifteen minutes later, still trying to wake themselves up in the early hour. I silently waited for the bus doors to open. Not that I ever talked anyways. I never saw the point. But when I actually wanted to say something, the voices silenced me and forced me to continue destroying myself just to feel good enough for a moment.
"Rose, please stop that," Janice said, appearing by my side suddenly. I looked down at my hands and felt sharp pains in my palms. I had dug my fingernails into them so hard that blood had been drawn. She gently took my fingers and slowly forced me to let go, just as others got onto the bus.
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While on the bus, I quietly cleaned myself up and made sure my latest self inflicted injuries were well hidden. I thought of that man who had been murdered so brutally. Remembering his still dripping body parts caused my stomach to churn. But the blood...all that blood...my mouth started to water. I wanted to drink his blood, but I knew it was long dry.
"Gary, you don't need to have your arm around me all the time!" Helen said in an annoyed tone as the bus driver started driving us off to Universal.
"Sorry, babe," Gary said smoothly as he retracted his arm.
"Don't call me babe!" Helen snapped.
"Someone's on their time of the month," Janice muttered under her breath.
"She's lucky," I said without thinking.
"How?" Janice exclaimed, giving me a look of disbelief and confusion.
"I don't get those. I'm not fully human, so I can't."
"But still, how does that make you unlucky?"
"I just want to know what it's like to be human, and that's one of the experiences I'd like to have...if only just once."
"I guess that makes sense. How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine, I guess." Dying on the inside. Wanting to cry. Feeling fat. So much pain. Tangled thoughts. Slightly shortened breath. But I'm not cutting, so I'm fine. Absolutely fantastic, even. I was really starting to want...no, need, blood. I should have sucked it out of my own veins when I had the chance. Now it was too late, and I am forced to either deal with the feeling as it got worse, or act now.
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We finally arrived at Universal, and it was quickly agreed that we choose a theme park to go to before heading inside to the Halloween Horror Nights event at six that evening. It was a close vote, but we took another bus and headed out to Disney World. Why we met up at Universal only to leave again, I had no idea. But I wasn't about to complain. That wasn't allowed. Grace told me so.
"Stop touching me, Gary," Helen muttered.
"But I love you!" he said in a tone I immediately found suspicious.
"Something's going on here," Luke muttered to me as we paid for our tickets at the front of the line. I nodded in agreement as I handed over a part of the large sum of money I had brought with me for the day's events. I had secretly my allowance over the course of my life since I never had been given an opportunity to spend much of it. The amount I had with me was barely even half of my total.
"I hate this heat already!" Gary complained not long after we had entered the park. I rolled my eyes and ignored him. The sudden need for blood struck me again so hard that I nearly lost my balance. Janice looked over at me. I just shrugged and acted like nothing had happened.
"What should we do first?" Janice asked the group.
"I want to go ride in the tea cups!" Luke cried out excitedly. "I haven't been here since I was a kid!" Grace had never taken me out to special places like this. I looked around Maine Street, U.S.A., with much interest despite the distraction of my thoughts pulling me in several directions at once.
"Why don't we split up and meet in Fantasyland in about an hour?" Janice suggested. "Since there are five of us there can only be a group of two and a group of three. Pairing up wouldn't work."
"I call Helen!" Gary declared, dragging his girlfriend toward Adventureland. Helen struggled to get away from him. I watched them suspiciously.
"So, what should we do first?" Janice repeated once they were gone.
"I've never been here," I spoke up finally. Luke and Janice looked at me like I was crazy. "Grace never took me to places like this," I explained.
"That's too bad," Luke said sympathetically. "We should give you the grand tour!" I smiled at him. His happiness was infectuous no matter what my mood happened to be. "Where would you like to go?" He took out a map and let me look at it. As I peered at all the specialized areas, the need for blood struck me once again in a different way. I could feel my fangs feeling the urge to extend on their own accord. My mouth started filling up with venom. Why here, why now? I didn't need this. I most certainly didn't want it, either. I forced myself to swallow and pretended to show fasination in Frontierland.
"Let's go in the haunted house," I heard myself say.
"Okay!" Luke said agreeably. He was so easygoing and happy all the time. I thought of that rumor Angela spead about him and wondered if it was true. I needed blood more than ever now, and seriously hoped no one would notice a rider go missing in the Haunted Mansion.
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"This line is taking forever," Janice complained. We had been standing in the same spot, toward the back, for over twenty minutes. My fingers curled and uncurled rhythmically in time with the ebb and flow of my attacks. Nobody else seemed to notice this. I desperately needed blood, right now. How was I to get some without anyone finding out of my existence?
"Finally, the line is moving!" Luke cried out cheerfully. As he stepped past me to move forward, I saw the faintest hint of a healing bruise on his cheek. How unusual. Could something be going on in his home? I decided after a moment that it was none of my business, anyway.
It was another half hour before we were able to take our seats inside the attraction. I tried to remain relaxed That wasn't working out too well for me. The ride was complete torture and felt like an hour rather than just ten minutes. At long last, as we started toward the exit, I saw my moment of opportunity. I caught sight of an employees only area. A young woman was headed in there, dressed in a uniform that signified she worked at this attraction.
I followed her, using my hunter instincts to remian practically invisible. I wouldn't be noticed by any human. She turned and headed for some fuse box that was labelled in a complicated manner I couldn't make sense of. It was when she opened the box that I made my attack. I lunged for her neck and fell to the floor with her.
I only was able to take the bare minimum amount, though, so my throat still burned with a desperate thirst, like I had gone without water for several days. The lack of meals and bloodloss also added to the dizziness and weakness I felt. I was nearly at a human's level of strength from hurting myself so many times. I coughed dryly and went to meet up with the others after confirming I wasn't covered in that woman's blood. On my way out, I glanced at her. She was unconscious. She wouldn't remember me at all or why she was on the floor.
"Where were you?" Janice demanded.
"I needed to take care of something. All good for now." Luke gave me a questioning look. I just smiled innocently, even though it wasn't really like me to smile.
"We should probably meet up with Gary and Helen," Luke said. "They're probably waiting on us." I was all too quick to agree, eager to search for my next opportunity to get access to more blood. I hoped I could manage to survive the entire day hunting multiple people in secret.
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After thirty minutes of walking and getting lost twice, we made it to Fantasyland. I recognzied a couple attractions from movies I watched a few times as a child. Helen sat on a bench alone, crying silently. Gary was nowhere to be seen. I sensed that he was nearby. I could recognize his scent somewhere close.
"What happened?" Luke questioned in concern once we approached her.
"He-he hit me!" Helen sobbed. Tears streamed out between her fingers. When she looked up, I could see blood flowing out of her nose. There was more blood stained on her hands. I clenched my fists and held my breath.
"That looks pretty bad," Janice said. "Here, let me help stop the bleeding for you." I forced myself to turn away and focused on the Cinderella castle for the next few minutes. It was only eleven in the morning. We still had quite a lot of our day left to waste. I sighed and gritted my teeth as the scent of blood assaulted me once again.
"What's wrong?" Luke asked me.
"Nothing," I replied smoothly, quickly putting up my blank mask that I usually wore in school, one of the few public places Grace permitted me to go. I sensed movment behind me. I sharply turned myself around. Nothing was there. That wasn't possible. There couldn't be nothing. Unless it was a full vampire seeking to hunt innocent children in the amusement park. I had to find out what was going on.
"Excuse me," I mumbled, pushing past people and following my instincts to where that barely discernible figure was headed. As I got closer, I heard people talking about the unusually fast "shadow thing" moving through the crowds with unsual fluidity. They described it as fierce and demanding. That sounded vaguely familiar. When I finally caught up, the figure was suddenly gone. But I reconized Gary's body, now spilling fresh, tempting blood onto the ground. The kill had been quick, silent, and horrific.
I bent down to catch the scent of whoever had decided to kill my classmate. I instantly recognized the metal yet sour smell of total hatred. Lilac purfume attacked my sensitive sense of smell as was something else in the smell that caught me off guard. An icy-fiery blast that marked the scent of a full vampire. As I thought, there was a vampire on the loose in Walt Disney World. I looked down at the deep gashes all over Gary's body. I remembered the body in Janice's bathroom. The slashes were at the same angle the body pieces from that morning had been cut at.