I went in, trying to stop my hands from shaking as I closed the door behind me and rested up against it for a few seconds, breathing deeply.
The living room door was slightly ajar, just a couple of inches maybe, and I could hear the television buzzing from within.
I also felt a familiar buzzing across my shoulder blades.
I stood, feeling the panic rise within my chest and my breathing became short and shallow. I opened the door hesitantly and saw the blood immediately.
My mother lay on the floor by the side of her armchair. One of her legs was twisted at an unnatural angle underneath her, her eyes were wide open staring up at the ceiling and her face, neck and torso were painted scarlet. The blood had spattered the carpet, the sofa, the arm chair and had even reached the walls in certain places.
Sat in my mother’s armchair, with legs crossed and delicately dabbing at the corners of his mouth with his handkerchief (presumably laundered or new) was the vampire I had met just three weeks previously. He had been watching the television as I walked in, and slowly turned his head to look at me as if disturbed from a day dream.
‘And just what time do you call this, young lady?’ he said, with a smirk dancing at the corners of his mouth.
He did not get up from his seat. My mother’s seat. It did not matter, because if he had pounced at me, I doubt my legs would have let me move from that spot. He could have done his worst at that very moment and I would have stood, immobile and let him finish me.
‘Your mother and I have been waiting for you. You were meant to be home an hour ago. I can’t tell you how worried we have both been’
He folded the handkerchief, once, then again and placed it back inside his jacket pocket and rested both hands on the arms of the chair, surveying me up and down.
‘So, Sarah, what do you have to say for yourself? Let’s start with an apology shall we?’
I was struck dumb. Have you ever had one of them dreams, when something so terrible is happening and you want to scream, but you can’t? You open your mouth, but try all you might, no sound escapes. I wanted to scream so badly, but all I could do was stand there, frozen solid and look back at him. I could barely breathe, let alone speak. The vampire shook his head, mock-scolding me.
‘Really, this attitude of yours has to stop. It’s really very tiresome indeed. I mean, look at your poor mother. She is absolutely exhausted of all your antics’
He looked down at my mother’s body and then back at me, amusement in his eyes. As he stood up slowly from the chair, I felt the fear twist in my stomach and couldn’t prevent a gasp of terror from escaping my lips. But he didn’t approach me. He bent down to crouch by my mother. Like a lover, he tenderly stroked a few strands of hair off her face and traced a finger gently down her cheek and across her lips, smearing blood with his fingertips. I didn’t want him to touch her. I couldn’t bear to watch him put his hands on her. And not like that. It seemed obscene. As if what he had already done, wasn’t horrifically obscene enough.
‘What a beauty your mother was’, he sighed, and looked almost sad for a second.
He placed a hand under her chin and turned her head so that her face was turned towards his, and then he bent down to kiss her on the lips. It was a lingering, sickening kiss that made me want to retch. I suddenly found my voice.
‘Stop! Don’t! Don’t touch her!’
The vampire looked at me, and raised his eyebrows quizzically.
‘But she is dead, Sarah, I really don’t think she minds’
Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2010 all rights reserved