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Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The Rising - Chapter 46: I Feel Nothing

I dried my eyes on a patch of my sleeve that wasn’t soaked with the little girl’s blood. I felt the warmth of my blood move from my head and back through my body. I got to my feet and looked down on the lifeless young body sprawled out on the floor.

I feel nothing.

Just moments before, I had been weeping for the lost life of an innocent soul but now I found myself struggling to care either way. Sorrow had passed as quickly as it had arrived.

Is this what happens to all humans who become vampires? Am I going to stop feeling anything at all?

I inched away from the dead girl and out of the cell, shutting the door behind me. Skinner was standing just behind me, observing the sudden change in my emotions.

It passes quickly, doesn’t it?’ he said.

I’ve just fed on the blood of a little girl. I’m an animal! Why can’t I feel anything?’

Did you feel the blood rush to your head?’

Yes. What did it mean?’

Like the doctor found out yesterday, it must have been moving to where it was needed most. As soon as you started to feel guilty, the blood moved to your brain to change your state of mind. I remember feeling that sensation when I first started to feed on dead bodies. It passes quicker every time you feed.’

So my blood is programmed to make me get over the emotional impact of sucking someone’s blood?’

That’s right. Eventually it will feel natural to you.’

Natural. It will feel natural to feed on the blood of children.

I felt helpless. I was a slave to the monster that was growing inside me. The only way I could stop this was to help Doctor Owen’s cause any way I could. I thought of what he had told me at The Brotherhood’s base.

You’ve got a very common blood type, O positive. If you start to feel hungry, you won’t have to kill very many people to find a match.’

He was right. Beneath my disgust, I felt renewed. The little girl’s blood was now flowing through my body in the new unnatural way that was becoming sickeningly familiar.

We’ve got to get out of here,’ I said.

We can’t,’ said Skinner, ‘it’s sunlight outside and the door is locked with a code from the inside. Unless you want to wake up your friends down there and try and get the code out of them, we’re stuck here until Roxy’s man comes to pick us up.’

How are we going to explain all this when he gets here?’

They’re not dead. You’re a new vampire and you flipped out when you had your first taste of blood. They were hurt while trying to restrain you. It’s not the first time something like this has happened.’

But will he buy it?’

It’s the best chance we’ve got. You’d better get cleaned up.’

I walked down the corridor and found a bathroom. Unlike the disgusting cell our hosts had confined us to, the bathroom was gleaming white all over. Spotless.

I looked at myself in the mirror. I couldn’t believe what I saw. From my nose down, my face was caked with blood. The tears from my eyes had carved flesh-coloured tracks in my cheeks. I ran the hot water and quickly splashed handfuls on my face over and over again. The blood poured off me and turned the sink a light shade of red.

I looked up again and opened my mouth, prodding my teeth with my fingers. My canine teeth had retracted. Other than the blood that was soaking the shirt Dave had loaned me, I was back to my tired, stressed-out looking best. The white towel sitting next to the sink turned a deep shade of pink as I dried my hair, face and neck.

I threw the towel in the sink and left the bathroom. I passed a closed door as I made my way back into the corridor to join Skinner. Somehow I knew the body of the little boy we had heard from inside our cell was in there. Nothing made me want to open the door to see if he was still alive.

I stepped over the twitching bodies without a thought for their well-being. Carl has started to make a faint gargling noise and his eyes followed me as I stepped over him. I could tell that very slowly, their bodies were starting to heal, but I felt the same way about them as I did about the children they had brought here. They were nothing to me.

Skinner was about to say something to me when our attention was distracted. Through the heavy door, we heard the dogs outside the building start to bark.

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