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Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The Rising - Chapter 43: Monster

I felt hands gripping my shoulders tightly. A hard slap across the face brought me back into reality. I realised I was in the corridor outside our cell. I had lost time.

Did I black out?

Skinner shouted in my face. ‘Snap out of it, Tom. Jesus Christ, what have you done?’

What do you mean?’ I had no idea what he was talking about.

You don’t know?’

No,’ I said and shrugged his hands from my shoulders, ‘Get your hands off me.’

Okay Tom,’ Skinner said, ‘Look what you’ve done.’

Skinner moved aside to reveal a scene that filled me with horror. The door to our cell was wide open. On the floor of the corridor were two twitching bodies: Carl and another man I didn’t recognise. Very slowly, I took small steps towards them. Their heads were both twisted at unnatural angles. I looked closer. Their limbs twitched like they were being electrocuted and their eyes were darting around in their sockets.

Oh my God,’ I exclaimed, ‘They’re not dead.’

No. They’re vampires. You can’t kill them by battering them and breaking their necks like you did, but it will incapacitate them for a while until their bodies heal.’

I did this?’

Yes. Just a few seconds ago. Don’t you remember?’

Not a thing.’ I looked at my hands. They were dripping with blood. The vampires lying on the floor were injured but they weren’t bleeding heavily.

Where did the blood come from? As soon as the thought entered my mind, I knew the answer.

I stepped over Carl’s twitching legs and held my breath as I slowly peered round the door to our cell. Lying on the floor just inside the cell was the young girl, her delicate clothes soaked in her own blood. Her neck had been ravaged. The skin was hanging like it had been ripped apart by a savage beast.

I swallowed. A horrible metallic taste slid down my throat. My heart was pumping so fast, I thought I was going to pass out.

I didn’t do this. I couldn’t do this, I thought as I looked down at my shirt. It was soaked through with the little girl’s blood.

All the blood in my body raced to my head. The warmth spread up my legs and arms and neck. My body crumpled and I slumped to the floor, weeping into my bloody hands.

I screamed as loud as I could. I felt Skinner’s hands on my shoulders again but I didn’t shake them off. I took the little girl in my arms and hugged her tightly. Blood poured from her wound as I squeezed her body. The wound where I had bitten her neck and fed on her blood. I couldn’t remember a thing.

What’s happening to me?

I’m turning into a monster.

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