Blood. That's all I could see from my bedroom window. It was raining heavily, but the falling drops were not transparent, pure, but dark, of a maroon, almost purple hue. The red river ran down the street, flooded the sidewalks, and began to seep under the front door. I turned away from the glass, and the walls began to crack in wide cracks that opened from the ceiling to the floor. I was afraid. I wanted to run away but something was holding me down, an invisible force was pressing hard on my hands and legs. It hurt. It was difficult to move forward. The torrent that filled the streets finally burst forth with violence and flooded the room where I was, its waters were raging and dirty, the blood turning into a black and filthy sludge as it submerged in itself all that once made up my home. In a moment it was consumed, and at last I was suspended in nothingness.
I woke up with a shock and the first image that came to my mind was Charlotte's dead face. I couldn't help but cry. In desperation I studied my surroundings, the place was unknown to me. Dirty and smelly, it seemed to be a shed. The movement of my shoulders as I moaned made it difficult for me to breathe, my hands were tied by two rusty shackles which held them one by one beside me with short iron chains and which allowed me little to separate them from the floor. My feet were in a similar condition.
As I watched, the fear in me grew so pervasive that it completely blew my thoughts and feelings out of control. The vampire I had confronted was talking to another a few feet away from me. I couldn't understand what they were saying to each other, they were talking in another language and I wasn't able to define which one. But as I watched them, my anguish was turning to anger. It was stupid to try to escape, of course, but in cases like these it is the reflexes that make us act and my reflexes were no exception, so I spent my strength repeatedly shaking my arms to let go. Something completely useless. Soon the subjects became impatient with my commotion, with grimaces of annoyance they fixed their eyes on me. The man I was seeing for the first time shouted something at me, I recognized that he was speaking to me in Zansvriko, unfortunately I did not know the language well enough to interpret. The other one, the one I had been face to face with before, walked towards me and squatted beside me. Frantic, I turned my face to him. His expression, serious at first, curved into a rather strange smile.
–Diego Voohkert muttered in a mocking tone –You threw it in my face almost proudly.
With speed and violence he caught my face with his left hand, I could feel the edge of his nails almost breaking the skin on my face.
–Did you know that your brother is nothing but a bootlicker?– he continued, and this time he spoke gritting his teeth, imprinting hate on every word –A dirty, pathetic, disgusting bootlicker–he pushed my head back –A puppet– he suddenly added calmly –He owes me... And he'll pay.
He looked down at his hands, fiddling with his fingers, but soon he noticed me again.
–He's going to come– he assured me – He'll come for you. And the only reason I'm keeping you alive is because I want it to be by his own hands that you die– he smiled peacefully at me –I'll make it happen... It would be very interesting to see what he puts in front, what he chooses– he knelt down and watched me with interest –That's a shame.
Taking me by the back of the neck, he approached to sniff me, running his nose along my skin, but when his face was in front of mine, I spat in his face.
I whimpered, because he slapped me again. My cheek was burning, I presumed it was broken.
Soon he returned to his grotesque smile and brushed with his fingertips the edge of my profile, my throat, my shoulders. He did so gently but I was repulsed. He drove gracefully along the length of my arm, and as he reached my wrist he clung to it, then he bizarrely pulled my hand towards him, lacring much of my complexion by the rough friction with the steel. I groaned in pain, he seemed to enjoy it, he took out of one of his pockets a small razor and extending me well, he made a cut from the base of my thumb to my little finger. I closed my eyes to better tolerate the cut, and when I opened them again, blood was flowing all along the line like a stream of wine. The vampire licked the blade of his knife and then did the same with the palm of my hand, passing his tongue repeatedly about three times before fixing his mouth there for a few seconds. When he turned away, I glimpsed a pair of brutal fangs splashed with carmine.
I've never seen one before.
The fangs were a structure that could be deployed or retracted almost at will, and neither Diego nor Athir had ever invoked them for me. I was grateful that the one in front of me had drunk from me without piercing me, the enzymes in the vampires' saliva were not ordinary.
Then he became static, his eyes were dilated but his gaze was lost. He tilted his head suddenly and whispered:
–It's coming...– he looked at me, restless –It's time now.
I shook myself trying to imagine what he was up to, but with no time to take my eyes off his unfathomable face, in the next thousandth of a second, a pain greater than any other dislocated my right leg. Between fear and despair my automatic response was to look at the source of the whiplash, and what I discovered was the most chilling vision I had ever experienced.
Inside my leg were embedded the five fingers of his hand. His fingernails had dug into the flesh, allowing him to cling like harpoons to five barbarically open holes. About to scream, my voice drowned in my throat when with hostility the vampire violently raised his hand still inside my body, breaking in his tracks the muscles of my thigh, abdomen, ribs, and chest, where he pulled his claws from me at last.
Not in the most hellish nightmares did anyone ever dream of such a high degree of pain. My senses of sight, hearing, and smell were shut off. For what seemed a long time to me, I could see nothing but erosion, and when at last the darkness began to dissipate from my eyes, my consciousness returned to reality, then I realized that I was writhing shakily on the ground, bleeding to death as the excoriation ate me alive.