“Breathe. Just breathe, Teryn.”
I chanted that in my mind. Not more than a few feet away, I could hear the wet sucking sounds as the monster drank from the girl beside me. His neck was nestled against her throat, pale white hands holding her still.
The girl whimpered but she did not scream. She knew better than that. She knew it would do her no good.
We had been in the cabin of the boat crammed together like sardines in a can, for what I thought was three days. I was only aware of the passing of time because of the light coming through the cabin’s only window that was above my right shoulder.
During moments like these, I would stare out that window and pretend that I was an entire galaxy away. The sounds of the waves lapping against the side of the boat took me away and the cries of the gulls overhead always distracted me. But there was nothing to see now; just the empty blackness, cut only by a thin stream of silver moonlight. The waves made no sound. There were no seagulls flying above us. Just the sound of the girl dying next to me.
One feeble hand brushed against my feet and before I could stop myself I turned to look at her. I regretted it immediately. The look in her eyes broke me.
I knew that she had blond hair but I couldn’t see it in the darkness. The feeble light only illuminated her dark brown eyes and there was so much fear in them. All I could see of our captor was his pale hands gripping her shoulders and his short, dark hair.
There had been sixteen of us; sixteen girls originally at the bottom of this boat three days ago but the monster, the vampire had an insatiable hunger. He came down here in the middle of the night to feed. The first girl he fed from, Tiffany I believe her name was, with bright red curls, screamed so loudly when he bit her that it woke the rest of us up. He crushed her ribs with a single blow to her chest, collapsing her lungs instantly and she couldn’t scream anymore. He drank Lily, the brunette sitting next to Tiffany, dry when he was done with the red head. None of the girls ever screamed again after that. After Tiffany and Lily, he came for another brunette name Clarice and then a raven-haired girl name Opal.
Now it was the blond-haired girl named Maple.
The look in her eyes said she knew that this was the end for her and she was so frightened of that. The other girls managed to sleep through all this, as they had through the other four girls’ attacks but I never could. I couldn’t turn a blind eye to their suffering. Doing so would be like forgetting that they even existed and no one deserved to be forgotten.
I reached down and wrapped my fingers around hers. I held her hand and stared into her eyes, watching the emotions flow across her face like a soundless film. First fear, then confusion and finally an odd, peaceful expression. Her skin grew colder and colder as her life was slowly sucked away.
Then the sucking sounds stopped completely. Her fingers no longer clenched around mine. There was nothing in her eyes; the soul that was once there had been wiped away.
She was gone.
I couldn’t help thinking that maybe she and the other girls before her were better off; that they were in a better place than where the rest of us were going. I had a sinking feeling that wherever this boat was heading, held worse horrors for us. Maybe a quick death was the best we could hope for.
I let Maple’s limp hand fall to floor and closed my eyes; silently praying that the monster would leave and not turn his attention to me. I heard him stand, the shuffling of his boots on the wooden floor and then nothing. When I opened my eyes again, he was kneeling in front of me, his green eyes studying my face.
One pale cold hand clamped over my mouth and for the first time in my short life, I prayed for death.