A simple case of exhaustion
She was very surprised about that, but the cold remained, the sweating continued…her pallor was almost ghastly. She examined her reflection in the mirror, if she looked very pale and felt cold, she didn’t look ill at all, strangely, the young woman who looked at herself was…beautiful. Somehow, this illness had enhanced some quality, she couldn’t say what, but the body looked toned, athletic now, her eyes, pretty in normal circumstances, sparkled. Her hair was fuller…so it seemed to her, shiny, voluptuous…ah. A bit of bed sheet action, can do that for you and more…she examined the blemish on her neck…it had almost completely healed.
She was cold, very cold. She stumbled to the bed, an incredible pain, running through her whole body it seemed, from her spine down, hit her like an éclair and she screamed in pain, except, not a scream came out, but a beastly growl, a guttural, low, animal noise which took her aback, even in pain as she was.
She kneeled on the floor, bent in two, in foetal position, when again pain run through her, but this time she managed to control her voice, and wanted to cry, but she couldn’t, as no tears would come out of her eyes. The pain was so intense, so lasting, that the five minutes this continued were to Nat like an hour: but it did end, leaving her exhausted, on the floor, in a cold sweat…she lay there for quite a while, not even able to feel panic anymore, so consumed by the pain she had been. She lost consciousness then, and there was really nothing she could do about that…still strangely lucid, the last thought she recalled was that this was her death, she was watching her death.
But she did wake up…feeling nauseous again. It wasn’t as bad as it had been, and as she stood up she realised that she could walk freely, so she grabbed some clean clothes, brushed her hair and refreshed her face-so pale! –ready to go to hospital, for a full examination and maybe a solution to this problematic illness.
“It’s most likely a case of exhaustion, brought by intense study and a very rich schedule…I see here, Natalie, that you are one of you’re the top students at your institution” the doc, a young doctor who happened to be on turn at A & E, kept studying Nat’s tongue and eyes, checking the colour of her membranes.
Some pressing on her pulse and a reassuring smile.
“Your blood pressure is low, and, I maybe wrong, but I’m almost certain, there is a lack of iron…have you had fainting spells lately?”
Nat felt frustration coming up: there was something distinctly patronising about the medic, his blond preppy looks betraying a good university and a lot of daddy’s money…she could smell, faintly, some good cologne on him. She wondered if doctors were supposed to wear cologne at work.
“The thing is, I was perfectly healthy until two days ago. Then…this. What I am most concerned is the blood, I don’t understand what may have cause to throw up blood” she swallowed and winced. Very mildly, but she had still occasional cramps in her stomach.
“It is indeed worrying, but it seems that it was an isolated case. Besides, are you a hundred per cent sure that was blood?”
“I could taste it in my mouth!” she said exasperated. Why didn’t he believe her? Why did he think she was a drunken student recovering from a boozy week end, the way he probably did in the old days at uni?
“As I said, it is cause of concern. At present, from what I can see, yours may be a straight forward case of just lightening the workload and taking it a little bit easier on the study and other fronts…”
Again! She felt beaten. The doctor continued, barely noticing the creased expression on her face.
“…what I would suggest, Natalie, is that you stay a couple of days with us, in complete rest, so that we can keep an eye on you. Meanwhile, I will take a few samples of urine and blood so we can check iron values and any anomalies in general..”
Anomalies. He was checking her for drugs! Oh this was great help indeed…but, if indeed there was a problem, they would find out. She was feeling marginally better, the nausea having subsided, some strength gradually returning, but the off feeling still there.
“…a combination of reduced stress and rest should do the trick, Natalie. I’ll send a nurse to take the relevant samples. Anything else, any concerns, let me know Nat, we are here to help.” He was about to say something else but Nat broke in.
“Well there is a concern. This has all started after I had… an encounter with another student.’
The doctor’s expression said to her that this was confirming his prejudice. He nodded.
Nat’s voice was pitched a bit higher now, making her sound almost strident.
“Look, I know this may sound crazy but…he left me these marks here, on the neck” she showed the almost healed bite near the jugular. ”It isn’t fully visible now, here are the pictures I have taken…” she produced the digital camera, and showed the doctor.
He examined the mark and the pictures, attentively, not a hint of irony on his face: he was suddenly very serious.
“Do you know this student well?”
Oh God, this was the inquisition. She paused, then, resigned she answered, seeing where this was going.
The doctor appeared vaguely troubled now.
“Well, you see, there are quite a few nutters around and this is something very strange indeed. If he has produced such wound on you, I may be inclined to say that you are rather lucky to be here talking to me, now”
Clarity returned to her mind, in the wake of this unpleasant reality. Maybe he was right, after all…she did not know Roland at all and he might be a blood fetishist or something…she sat there, her face devoid of any feeling, any rebellion at this point, accepting the doctor’s view more and more.
She snapped out of it.
“Anyway, Natalie, I’ll organise for samples as soon as possible and we shall see that your system is not affected in any way. I’ll go call the nurse so that this can be done. I’ll be back with you as soon as the results come, so we can discuss any course of action.”
Nat nodded, internally agreed and tossed her head on the other side, observing, spent, the view out of the window.
She knew well somewhere that the doctor’s view was limited and tainted, but she didn’t have the strength, the will to fight it: besides she was as puzzled and as confused as he was, except that he was attempting to give this whole illness a logical explanation, and the only way to do that was to assume that there was more to this story than met the eye, e.i. a drunken night or else.
He was right: there was otherwise no logical explanation for what was happening to her, but this strange thing, she knew, was the truth.
In the following hours, she emptied her bowels many times over, to the point that there was nothing left in: the sense of nausea had gone, but she was very pale indeed. She felt well again, on some level, although something very distinct, very weird, was happening to her, she could clearly sense that: she didn’t know what. She felt also, as the hours passed, an increasing sense of detachment, an absence of fear which she found in herself rather peculiar, as she did tend to be a relatively anxious individual: she dealt with that organizing her life in perfect order. Was she worried in the least about her studies, the papers, uni…the future? She found peculiar that she could remember what it felt to be anxious, but she wasn’t…what was happening to her? She felt… detached. Where was Roland? What had happened three nights ago? Because, whatever the doctor may say, something must have happened then.
What, she could not comprehend: she did need to speak to Roland. He might be a dangerous fetishist, and in that case she had to alert others, the uni, the police, do something…she needed to speak to him first, to gather the truth from his own lips, a truth he would freely disclose or the one he would conceal, with his words, but betray with his gestures. She was good at reading people. She would know only then.
The doctor found her quiet in her room, that evening: there was not much to add, the results were all average and there was no underling cause of worry, according to her blood and urine readings.
“The only thing I would check if I were you in the future” he said neutrally “is your iron levels. They are, as it is, pretty low on a normal scale, the minimum requirement being 12…you being a 13.”
Nat listened, unaffected.
“…this might indicate a dietary deficiency-often vegetarians have this problem, as they don’t eat red meats- or a more problematic structural deficiency…in any case, I have prescribed some iron tablets for you so to avoid any possible problems. All you will need to do is have a good rest, take it easy…and take a course of these tablets. I will examine you in one month’s time, to monitor the situation.”
He was, in the dim light of the room (she only had the table lamp on) -and devoid of the arsehole attitude- rather handsome. Surely he did the best he could to do his job properly…gone was the underlying patronising questioning and the rest: he had probably found no alcohol in her blood.
“Thank you doctor….”
“Sam, please call me Sam… Mcdowell.” He indicated the tag on his coat, and smiled.
“Thank you, Sam” she managed a smile, sincerely grateful.
“What I would suggest, Natalie, is that you stay here tonight and we’ll discharge you. How do you feel about that?”
Nat looked thoughtful for a second, then spoke.
“Ok…but I still don’t understand what happened to me…I feel ok now though.”
“Sure…well, I cannot tell you what happened because it is a mystery to us as well, Nat, in all sincerity…medicine doesn’t have all the answers. Sometimes all we can do is help and try to alleviate. Said this, I would still like to monitor you in the next month or so, to be on the safe side.”
“Sure” she smiled.
He smiled back and after tossing all his papers together, he stood up, about to leave.
“I better …go now. It’s going to be a long night for me. You sleep well.”
“Are on turn on the ward?” she asked.
“Yep!” he said faking a happy smile, in a comical effect.
She laughed. He wasn’t such an arsehole after all.
“I’ll see you tomorrow” and he left the room, leaving behind him an intense scent of musk…was it musk? It was delicious.
And that was it, Sam walked through the long corridor, silence in the ward, the quiet balbbering of the tv in some of the room: all was generally quiet.
Hopefully it will stay like that, he muttered to himself, he really could do with an interrupted sleep, he had worked for 12 hours now, it had been a long turn: still the night to come. So it is, the destiny of the junior doctor.
His room was small, a cubicle, but it had all one needed for a decent sleep and it was wide enough not to give one a claustrophobic feeling: he could have slept in a box, if asked, at this point.
Obviously, he could not wear a pyjamas, but he abhorred wearing clothes in bed, it was a matter of personal hygiene: he took everything off but his Calvin Klein undies (cute on his well formed butt) and a white t-shirt.
He checked his teeth and attended at his personal routine before collapsing on the fresh bed, for some due sleep.
Maybe a couple of hours had passed, maybe three: enough time by any rate to allow Sam to fall into a slow rhythmic deep sleep. She, for some reason, knew, likewise she knew where he was…was it his scent, the musk, she was following? She knew. She passed, barefooted, feeling no cold or else, through the deserted corridors, in the dim neon light that graced this hospital like any other.
She knew where he was. She kept walking, very silently, until she found a door which bore his imprint…the door was of course locked, like it should be, although it magically gave in when she applied what seemed minimal pressure: she knew it mustn’t be so, because a locked door is a locked door, nonetheless, she continued her journey, merely observing what was happening. It was as if, her own old self, which she felt was dying, was watching the new self act and feel and…she closed the door behind her. She could see perfectly in obscurity.
“Doctor…doctor…” she whispered as she approached his lone little bed, where he was dreaming the night away…she might have found him attractive-when?- she merely saw his well formed muscles and the strong body, which was host to a rather healthy life force…she watched him, fascinated. She blew some air on his face, while whispering, again, a number of times, until he came back from a deep sleep, disturbed in his rest and puzzled, as much, to see… Natalie? What the…?
She giggled….she didn’t know what took hold of her, or why she found him so funny as being startled, but she giggled…and provocatively, with a really naughty look in her eyes, she took her top off, exposing a pair of tits that were so perk and peachy they seemed unreal: which he had a full view of as he had rushed to switch the table lamp on. Gosh, she was dead pale, or was it the light?
He was about to say something when she laughed again, this time sitting on the floor, her legs bent and kind of open, her arms back wards, then she put her index finger in her mouth and started licking it like a lollypop: he was entranced, for the inappropriateness of this spectacle in first place, but also and mainly for the transformation Natalie Warren had undergone. She looked in all like the person he had spoken to, but she moved and acted totally out of character-not that he knew her well, but he had put her down as a pretty bookworm who got hammered by a brush with college life- in a way or the other, not this sexy nymph who was attempting to seduce him…but he didn’t have the time, neither to say something nor physically remove her from his sleeping quarters, which he was going to do next.
Nat, with an impossibly fast movement, had grabbed his throat and sank her teeth in it, lustfully: he was unable to move a muscle, as if paralysed by her bloodsucking: moreover, he felt, gradually but surely, his strength and lucidity abandon him…he could smell, blood…it was his blood. She was gorging on it.
She sucked until he died: she knew he was dead because his heart was not beating anymore…had she meant to kill him? God no! Had she meant all of that? Sucking blood, is, for a vampire, the ultimate experience: a young vampire can hardly control their senses once started…he looked ghastly, empty.
Nat felt satiated, full and could feel his life force running through her, be her.
Calmly, with a calm she had not known in her human life, she cleared her mouth of any blood: calculatingly, she took a uniform and a pair of shoes found in the closet of the room, which was used by many doctors and staff, she also took his beeper and his badge.
“Sam” she said aloud, as if reflecting on what had just happened. Yes, what was that? She was almost pleased to discover that she didn’t give a damn. She exited the room, as composed as if nothing of notice had really happened- it hadn’t, no-one had noticed…She found the exit to the hospital, through lifts and corridors, and nodded politely when the guard saluted, her badge well in sight, Dr Sam Mcdowell, finishing her turn…she laughed inwardly, at the happy coincidence. Oh well, not that an exit wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, but this one was spectacular…a name which could be both a female or male name.
Alone, in the middle of the night she walked leisurely towards the uni’s dorm, where she would find her old room, with her old things.
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