Change the text color to: White Purple Dark Red Red Green Cyan Blue Navy Black
Change the background color to: White Beige Light Yellow Light Grey Aqua Midnight Blue
Part 1 appeared in issue 89.
They were fighting. Yelling at each other, over the roar of music that came out of Megan’s CD player. Had been yelling at each other for maybe an hour now. And she was getting more upset and pissed off all the time, and he was refusing to budge. Josh had been with another girl. Megan had seen him with her. Sarah, with hair extensions, Sarah who wore weird bright coloured clothing, fishnet tights and had so many piercings in her face. Sarah who was slim and tall and pretty. Megan had seen them together, seen them talking, seen them kissing, and Josh was refusing to admit it. He just wouldn’t admit what she had seen. Why wouldn’t he admit it? She had seen it with her own eyes. She had seen it. She wasn’t mad. Why was he denying it? What good would that do?
“Fine,” Josh said finally. “Okay. I admit it. I did kiss her. I have been seeing her for about a month. I didn’t want to tell you. Not like this.”
“You have been cheating on me?” Megan whispered. She could feel tears burning in the corner of her eyes. “Why? Why would you do that to me? Why? Why, Josh?”
“It’s not funny anymore,” Josh said. “I am nineteen. I want to be out having fun with my friends, going to clubs and pubs and concerts, not climbing up to your bedroom every weekend because your parents have grounded you, or just don’t want you to see me, or whatever. Its no fun for me, Meg, and it can’t be fun for you either.”
“But I love you.” The tears were streaking down her face. “I do. I love you. Really. Josh...” She reached out to touch his arm, but he pulled away.
“I am sorry, Meg, it’s over.”
“No,” she gasped. “No! Please!”
“Sorry, Meggy.” And he turned, and disappeared back out of the window, back down onto the garage roof, and away.
Megan started to cry. She cried for a long time, curled up on her bedroom floor, alongside her bed. Cried and cried and couldn’t stop. She hugged herself, clutched at her knees, curling up as tightly as she could, wishing the pain would just go away. It felt like a huge hole inside her. A big hollow pit. How could he have done this to her? He was her first. Her first boyfriend. Her first anything and she loved him.
The tears stopped, eventually, and she moved to look at herself in the mirror. Green eyes edged with red stared back at her. Her black eyeliner and mascara had run all down her face, black streaks. Her lipstick had smudged on the backs of her arms as she had buried her face. She was a mess. An ugly mess. A stupid ugly girl. Not like Sarah. Pretty, popular, perfect Sarah. Megan screamed then, and hurled the nearest thing to her at the mirror. It had been an ashtray, in the shape of a skull, and it shattered the antique mirror.
Megan stared at her fractured image in the broken glass and then reached out for a sharp shard. She started to slice her arms, deep hard cuts, and watched as they blood started to flow. Once she had started she found that she couldn’t stop. The pain was nothing compared to what she was feeling inside, and she kept on cutting until there was no pale skin left to cut, nothing but blood. Red, thick blood, a feast for a vampire, running down her arms, down over her pale fingers, down onto the carpet. Blood everywhere. Her blood...
Suddenly she was lying on her bed again, head in the pillows, and Josh was standing by the window. “Hi,” he said. He reached down to pick up an ashtray and stubbed out his cigarette. “You okay? Sounded like you were having a bad dream.”
“I was.” She got up slowly, rubbing her eyes. “Y-you aren’t cheating on me, are you?”
Josh laughed. “Of course not. Don’t be so stupid, Meg. I love you. You are my girlfriend.” He sat down on the bed, and Megan could see his reflection in her mirror. It had been another dream. It must have been. He would never hurt her. Never leave her.
“I keep having all these dreams.”
“Dreams can’t hurt you, Meg.”
“I think I am going mad, I swear it was so real...”
“Shh, Meg.” He soothed her hair, lying her down. “I would never hurt you. I would never leave you. You know that. We are going to get married. Run away together. Be together. I would never leave you.”
“Of course I promise.” He lay her back down on the bed, laughing softly, as he removed stuffed animals out of his way. “You’re my dark angel,” he murmured, and lowered his head to her neck.
Josh was kissing her neck very softly, very gently, and she closed her eyes, staring up at the dirty ceiling of her roof where she could see old cobwebs and the odd black stain where her father had squashed a spider with his shoe. She felt a sharp, piercing sensation as Josh bit her. A love bite, no doubt. Then pain seemed to intensify, and yet, it was dizzying with its pleasure, too, and she moaned, grasping Josh’ shoulders, holding him there, and yet, trying to push him away so that they pain would stop. She let out a moan, her back arching in pain, and she gasped. “Stop,” she whispered. “You’re hurting me. Please... stop.”
Josh lifted his head to stare at her, and there was deep love in those blue eyes, and blood on his mouth, and on his teeth as he smiled at her. Her blood. Her red blood, like in her dreams.
“You are a vampire?” she whispered.
“I am whatever you want me to be, Megan,” he replied.
* * *
People had grabbed hold of her. Were dragging her, and she was kicking and screaming. She had no idea what was going on. Where was she? What was happening? Everything was swirling around her, but she saw faces, faces that were laughing at her, shouting and yelling, too. Noises swirling around and around. Inside her head, where she couldn’t reach to drive them away. Demons. They were demons. Demons in white, trying to trick her, trying to carry her away, and she was fighting and screaming and crying, crying so hard she thought she would burst. Weeping and crying, and screaming for Josh. Josh...
And Josh was there, suddenly. All in black, his long coat flying out behind him, grabbing hold of the demons and pulling them back. She heard the sound of bones cracking, of necks being snapped, and then, Josh’s strong arms were around her, lifting her up. “You are safe,” he whispered. “So safe.”
“They were trying to take me away. T-they were going to hurt me. Wh... who are they?”
“Demons, Meg. Friends of your parents, trying to stop us seeing each other. We are meant to be together, you know that. You know I will keep you safe. Won’t let anything hurt you.”
“Make me like you,” she whispered.
“Like me?” he repeated. She slid her fingers in between his lips to touch his sharp fangs, cutting her finger. He smiled as he lowered her down onto the bed. His long black hair framed his face. He was so beautiful, so pale, like marble. So strong he could carry her, and protect her from any that wanted to hurt her, to take her from him. “I will, angel. In time, I will. I promise.”
“When you are ready, and then I will take you far away from here.”
Megan smiled at him, and rubbed her eyes. They hurt from crying. “What day is it anyway?” she asked.
“It’s Friday,” he replied.
“It’s always Friday,” Megan said.
* * *
The day had finally come. They were finally going to leave. They were going to run away together, and he was going to make her like him. A vampire like him, immortal, like him. They were going to be together, no more demons, no more parents, no more college, and certainly no more Friday nights, stuck in the house. They were finally going to be together, as they always should be. Together forever.
Josh arrived a little after the sun had set. “Ready?” he asked.
“We will get out of here first, go somewhere private and quiet and then I will make you like me, Okay?”
“Okay.” Her heart was pounding, and he reached out to draw her against him.
“You are sure about this, Meg?” he asked.
“Oh yes. Totally.”
“Good. I want to be with you. Forever.”
They moved toward the window. She was trembling. His arms were so strong, but so cold. She would be like that soon. Cold, and young forever, and always with him. That was the most important thing. That they were always together.
He opened the window and holding her hands he helped her up onto the ledge, and away, out into the darkness that rushed up to greet them, to catch them. The darkness surrounded her and she was falling free, and everywhere there was just her and Josh and the darkness that surrounded and engulfed her.
She was free.
The girl lying on the bed was no longer moving, no longer fighting. She breathed, her chest slowly and steadily rising and falling, but she was no longer fighting, so the restraints had been removed. She was pale and fragile against the white sheets and white walls that surrounded her. Her blond roots were showing through the masses of dyed black hair, the black nail-varnish on her finger nails were chipped, and long thin strips of gauze were wrapped around her lower arms from where she had slashed herself.
Whether she had wanted to die, or just to hurt herself, the doctor wasn’t too sure. She had refused to talk about it. Refused to talk about anything, had just fought and screamed and cried. Now she did neither. Now she just lay there with a smile on her face. A smile that was worrying. She was no longer aware of what was going on around her. No longer aware of anything. They didn’t need to drug her, she had closed her own mind off from the world around her. Was living in her own world, inside her own head.
He moved towards her. It was all so sad, really. She was so young. She hadn’t been mad when she came in, just seriously depressed, but the doctor wasn’t so sure he could say that she wasn’t mad now. Poor girl. Poor Megan.
Copyright © 2004 by Fran Jacobs
Return to the Readers’ Guide
Return to the issue index