Thicker Than Water
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 1253
“You have a great night honey.”
“”I won’t be late, Luke.” Sarah said to her husband. “You know I don’t like these work functions. I wouldn’t go if there was anyway I could get out of it.”
“I know. Do you want me to pick you up later?”
“No, I’ll catch a cab home. Company’s expense.”
Sarah hung up her work phone then met up with her colleagues in the lift lobby. After the pub lunch earlier in the day, most of the men were already completely blotto. The women had a little bit more decorum and were walking straight, well sort of. Sarah was not a drinker, so by the time they arrived at the Britannia Inn and was the only one to arrive at the pub without already being drunk.
As the night grew on, Sarah became increasingly uncomfortable with the carrying on of her colleagues, but at least now they were so drunk and rowdy that no one would really notice if she left to go home to her husband and twelve year old son, Benjamin. Without drawing attention to herself, she silently slide out of the pub and towards the taxi rank on Edward Street.
It was close to midnight and the streets were quite, after all it was a Tuesday night and hardly any self respecting business man or woman roamed the pubs at this hour during the week. Sarah felt quite cold, even though it was the middle of summer. A cold shiver ran up her spine as she walked past a dark and uninviting alleyway close to the cab rank. There seemed to be a thick mist emanating from the alley, making it impossible to see more than a few feet into the alley. Sarah tried to hurry past, but felt compelled to walk into the ice, cold misty alley.
“Sarah…” a soft whisper said from the mist. “Come to me, Sarah.”
Sarah couldn’t help herself. She wanted to run, but had to go to the ancient voice. She walked into the mist.
“Who, who’s there??”
Sarah walk only few feet into the mist when she felt a cold, lifeless hand softly caress her neck from behind. She was frightened but calm at the same time. Slowly, Sarah turned to meet the owner of the pale, white hand.
“Who are you?”
The owner of the voice was a tall, extremely handsome gentleman, dressed in a black silk Armani suit. He had skin as pale and soft as milk, creaseless and powerful. His hair was shoulder length, thick and as black as a raven. His eyes were two large black pupils with very little white surrounding them. Sarah found him to be overpoweringly attractive, yet the smile was that of a monster. Two razor sharp teeth appeared at each side of his mouth when he smiled.
* * * *
Luke heard the taxi pull up in the driveway. He looked out the window and was glad to see Sarah safely home. He always worried about her when she went to work functions by herself, not because he didn’t trust her, but because there were too many crazies around these days.
He opened the door when Sarah walked up the drive, startling her.
“Hi honey,” Luke said as he gave her a peck on the cheek.
“I feel a bit sick, love. I think it must have been something I ate. Cold and clammy and my stomach is churning.”
Luke lovingly put his hand on Sarah’s forehead, “You are freezing. Let me run you a bath.”
Sarah followed him into the bathroom and slowly began to undress. She felt stiff in her joints, like you do when you have glandular fever or Ross River virus. Her arms and legs ached with each layer of clothes she removed.
“What happened to your neck?”
Luke brushed her hair back on her shoulder, revealing a small pair of round incisor marks three centimetres apart on her neck. They were swollen around the outside, like two small anthills or flesh.
“I’m not sure...” Sarah said as she looked in the mirror.
“What the. You’re reflection is hardly there.”
Sarah rubbed her eyes. Luke was right, you could see right through her reflection in the mirror, as though she were only a ghost.
* * * *
“Close the curtains, honey.”
“They are drawn, sweetie.”
Luke gently brushed Sarah’s hair from her brow. Her skin was now like ice to touch.
“How are you feeling?”
“Sick as a dog. My mouth tastes like a garbage truck off loaded in it.”
“I have already rung the office for you, said you won’t be in for the rest of the week.”
“The rest of the week? Why.”
“Because you are dead.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Sarah, I think you are a vampire. You have no reflection, no pulse and you can’t stand the sunlight.”
Benjamin came into the bedroom and jumped on the bed. Sarah lifted off the mattress and stayed floating in the air instead of landing back down.
“What the...” he said.
Sarah sat up, falling back onto the mattress simultaneously.
“We need to have a family meeting.” Luke said.
“A family meeting, I’m fucking dead. A vampire. What are we going to do?”
Luke and Ben both cuddled Sarah tightly.
“I love you mum.” Ben said. He seemed to be taking this whole undead thing quite well.
“I love you too Benny.”
Sarah felt like crying but there were no tear to weep. She had the emotion but the body would not comply.
“What do we know about vampires?” Luke said. “I mean, how much of what we’ve all seen in the movies is hunky dory?”
Sarah stood up and looked into the mirror. There was no reflection at all now.
“Well, the sunlight and reflection things seem to be true.”
“Crucifixes don’t seem to worry you though.” Ben said, pointing to the gold cross hanging around Sarah’s neck.
“Stone the bloody crow, what about food?” Luke said.
Sarah and Luke had been devout Christians for ten years now, both baptised at the same ceremony down at the Wynnum foreshore. He could not imagine Sarah killing people for a meal, nor could he imagine himself driving a steak through her heart.
“What about animals?” Ben said.
“I don’t want to kill anything.”
“Maybe you don’t have to,” Luke said optimistically. “We will try different substitutes and see what works.”
Ben ran into the kitchen and came back with a bowl of Wheat Bix. Sarah looked at it and laughed.
“Try this mum.”
Sarah took the bowl and ate a spoonful of the cereal. It did not make her sick, but it also did not seem to quench her appetite. So she could eat normal food, that was a start.
“Guess we will have to wait and see what happens and what will fill me up.”
* * * *
The basement of the two story house took only a small amount of modifications to become the new living quarters for Luke and Sarah. Benny stayed in the upstairs bedroom and tried to maintain a normal life. Going to school, having friends over on weekend and going out with his mates. Luke maintained a normal life, well apart from the weekly ritual of going out with Sarah looking for some lowlife to bring back to their house for Sarah to feed off until no more blood could be drawn.
Thicker Than Water
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