The night surrounded me like a blanket, enveloping me entirely as I stood in the field next to my house. The only light that illuminated the world around me were the stars in the sky but they gave little more light than a tiny candle would in a cave. My head felt foggy and I shook to clear it, disorientating myself even more as I wobbled on my feet.
“Woah there, steady,” A voice whispered to the left of me and as I swung dazedly towards the sound, I stumbled into the air when there was nothing there to support me. The ground hit me hard, the cold brutal soil digging into my palms and knee as I tumbled. The grass made an odd crunching sound as my head hit the floor, as if it was whispering an apology into my ear.
“Jesus, I said steady,” the voice said again, as hard, strong fingers gripped my arm, pulling me upward. His grip was alot less softer than his voice, as he dragged me to my feet. My toes dug around in the mud beneath me as I tried to balance myself. The cold sensation brought me around a little and I instantly tried to pull from his hold.
“You need to get up and get back inside. What on earth were you doing out in the woods anyway?” He asked gruffly, holding tight to my arm and half dragging me back towards the house. Fear prickled through me like pins and needles, awakening me as if I was merely in a deep slumber. The fog that had muddled my brain was gone now, replaced instead by panic.
“Get the hell off me!” I screamed, my free hand grappling at the one still around my upper arm.
“Jesus fine! Crazy bitch,” the man spat out before forcefully releasing me, sending me flying forward so once again my hands and knee bit into the dirt. As I collided with the floor, I realised that my right calf really hurt. Like really, really hurt. I sat myself half up and stared at it but I couldn’t really see anything in the dark. My fingertips danced around the bottom of my calf near my ankle and came away feeling wet and sticky. I looked at my fingers in the darkness and squinted, trying to figure out what was on them as the man walked away from me into the cloak of the night, throwing his hands up in annoyance before the woods completely hid him from my view.
“Dad!” I called out before I could stop myself as I tried desperately to get to my feet again. But the pain in my leg seemed to pulse, causing me to collapse instantly. I twisted myself so I could see my dimly lit house from where I lay, half sprawled on the cold, muddy floor. It seemed alot further than what I had first thought moments ago and I tried to drag myself again as the pain in my leg increased. Humans were never, ever allowed to be outside at night and I had never broken any of my father’s rules before so why on earth was I even outside?
“Were you seriously just going to fucking leave her out here?” Another voice shattered the silence of the night as I turned back towards the woods, desperately trying to see into the pitch black that surrounded me. A man crept slowly towards me, clearly seeing the fear on my face and deciding slow was best in this situation. I tried to shout out for my dad again, desperate to get back to the house but his hand shot out as he dived towards me. My whole body trembled under his hold, his amber eyes glowing in the night telling me exactly what I needed to know. He most certainly wasn’t human. He was a fucking were!
I struggled harder underneath him but the pain in my leg seared deeper as if lava has been poured over it. I cried out but it sounded muffled from under his palm. His black hair tumbled over his brow, it seemed wet as it slightly glistened in the moonlight, reminding me of tar.
“You need to stay quiet ok. Can you do that? If I let you go you have to promise not to scream or we both might end up dead,” the man nodded as he talked, as if persuading himself aswell as me that I would do as I was told. I slowly mirrored his movements and he let go of my mouth and the hold he had on my arm. His hold had been softer than the other man’s though, didn’t bite into my skin merely kept me in place. His mouth cocked up in a slight smile as we continued to stare at one another. His features were striking even in this dull light and his gorgeous amber eyes seemed to hold me in place without the need for his hands anyway.
“Fuck sake Kaleb, we need to leave!” The other man’s bitter tone pulled my attention back to reality and the pain in my leg ensured I stayed there. I saw the man infront of me turn and stand as I tried to slide back and get some distance whilst I still had the chance.
“I’m not just gonna leave her out here Joseph it’s not safe,” he answered, clearly Kaleb, before turning back towards me.
“Don’t be stupid she’s already been bit. So she is going to be dead soon anyway!” The other man, clearly Joseph, shouted and it made my blood instantly solidify in my veins as I tried to ignore the fear that threatened to suffocate me.
I had been bitten.
By the sounds of it by a were atleast so only a 50% chance that I’d die that night, higher actually seeing as I’m a girl. As my heart started to hammer in my chest, I was hit with that realisation over and over and couldn’t stop the vomit that erupted onto the mud next to me. Kaleb jumped aside as the vomit hit the floor, spraying in all directions. My stomach hurt as I heaved, jarring my leg as another wretch emptied the contents. As I collapsed back onto the cold floor, I cried out in pain and sadness. I tried to spit out some sort of sentence as I lay there but it sounded garbled, my tongue suddenly feeling too large for my mouth. All I could think of, at that moment, was that I was dying. This is what dying must feel like. I was going to die alone in this field.
“See it’s already started, shes got no hope. And neither will we if those hunters wake up and find you out here with their daughter none the less,”
“You don’t know that. She could turn! We can’t just leave her here in the cold. She will definitely die then,”
“Don’t even think about it. She is clearly a weak female and she is going to die, cold or not. I’m certainly not dying for a fucking lost cause Kaleb,” Joseph stormed off into the darkness he came from once more as I continued to lay sprawled in the dirt, my red pajamas streaked with brown. My mind couldn’t focus long enough to form a sentence let alone a plan between the shivers that were now wracking my body and the intense pain in my calf. So I just continued to lay there helplessly as Kaleb ran his hands through his hair.
“Fuck!” He shouted as he turned before me. He looked at me before looking back in the direction Joseph left, probably debating whether to follow him and leave me there. Panic starts to pulse through me at the thought of being left completely alone to die until suddenly I felt his arms around me as he lifted me like I weighed nothing. The feel of his slightly rough hands on my skin seemed to send a tingle of warmth through me, soothing an ache in my bones I hadn’t realised was there till that very moment.
“Im not leaving you there to die,” he muttered as he stormed back into the woods he had appeared from. Despite my ailments, I didn’t miss how he moved like liquid through the air, so smooth, as if he didn’t even rustle the molecules as he raced forward. My leg, although still ridiculously painful, wasn’t jarred like it would of been if anyone else were to have carried me. He held me firm but gentle. Kaleb stopped as we arrived at some sort of car, red maybe, but it was hard to tell in the dark. It had already started when we got to it, the slow rumble of the engine meeting my ears before I’d seen it.
“Fuck sake! Seriously!” Joseph shouted as he opened the driver’s side door and stood out. He slammed it shut, most likely for dramatic effect, as no doubt he would be back inside in less than a minute. If I’d had had the strength I would of rolled my eyes but my body felt a little like jelly at that moment.
“I wasn’t just going to let her die in that field outside her own house! So just shut up and get back in the car. As you said, don’t want to get caught by hunters with their own daughter now do we?”
“Well I’m not helping to bury the body when she is dead tomorrow!” Joseph yelled in response and as predicted got angrily back in the car and revved the engine, once again no doubt for dramatic effect. Kaleb opened one of the back doors somehow gracefully whilst still holding me across his chest and slid me in with ease across the back seats. They stuck a little, like leather, against the skin that was bare.
I tried my best to half sit up, suddenly realising that they intended to take me somewhere. Somewhere to die. But my head swayed to the side as I sat, as if it was a bucket overfilled with water. I felt hands that tried to push me back down and started to fight against them but my body was still like jelly. I attempted to stave the rising vomit that was once again sat in my throat so I might manage to form some words. But neither the pain nor the nausea allowed my mind to focus on anything but.
“Lie down, it’s ok,” Kaleb said softly, his hands on my shoulders forcing me back down gently. But it didn’t feel ok. I didn’t want to go with them. I wanted my mouth to actually say the words but my tongue felt like cement and instead of replying I just lay my head back down on the seat beneath me. I attempted to focus on Kaleb as he moved from where he was stood by my feet but as he disappeared behind the closed car door, I didn’t have the strength to follow him. My head continued to swim so I shut my eyes tightly, praying nothing else in my stomach wanted to stage a reappearance, especially in the car. It wasnt until I tried to reopen them that I found that I couldnt. The pull of sleep was too heavy, like quicksand covering all of me, intent on dragging me under. I wasnt strong enough to fight it. The pain felt less now, more muffled, like my cries from earlier. So I succumbed to the darkness. Never once wondering if I would ever again manage to find the light.