I have thoroughly adored the amazing comments I’ve received as this story played out. So to the readers, THANK YOU! Now, the story is finished, and I’m exhausted. So read on. Part XI. The final for “I See Monsters.”
(By the way, if you’re just arriving, you can start at Part I HERE:
https://saradobie.wordpress.com/2009/08/11/new-short-story-%e2%80%9ci-see-monsters%e2%80%9d-part-i/. Then, read the rest of the entries up until this one, good old Part XI. Thanks!)
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“I See Monsters”
By Sara Dobie
I sunk my teeth into the skin above his collarbone, and his hands clung to my shoulders. His blood was sweet and clean, and I took my time. Joshua sucked in a coarse breath of air, and the despair was back—not his despair but mine.
I went back eighty years.
“Why would you kill your maker?” Nathan said, but it was a question with no necessary answer. He was already almost dead, in a pool of his own dark, dead blood with me above him, knife in hand.
“Because you took everything away from me,” I said in a room I did not know in a city I had never seen. I was only there for him. I was only there for murder.
“I gave you eternal life,” he sputtered, and blood bubbled over the side of a smirk. “I loved you.”
“There’s no such thing as love,” I said, and I ended it, cutting his head off. For hours, I sat soaked in his blood. I burned his head in the fireplace, and I stuck a steak in his heart to be certain he would not come back.
Yet, he had come back. I had him in my arms, and I could feel a human heart struggling to survive. I found myself back on Church Street. Joshua’s full weight was against me, because he no longer had the strength to stand. Up close, he was so much more than the scent of blood—he was eucalyptus shampoo and Old Spice deodorant and spearmint toothpaste. He was so warm, and my preternatural mind picked up images of Jen and a middle-aged woman with brown hair who I assumed was his mother. His mother was smiling, and in her smile, I saw my own mother.
I dropped him, and he fell like his suitcase beside the spreading pool of spilled coffee. I looked down at a young face that could have been asleep if I hadn’t known better. But he was not dead. I crouched at his side and rolled him onto his back. My cold hand touched his face, and this woke him enough to look up at me. A sound like a question mark escaped the back of his throat, and his high brow furrowed above dark eyebrows.
“I’m sorry,” I said, and what was I sorry for? Sorry about Jen? Sorry about his dead mother? Sorry that I had just tried to take his life?
I took off my leather coat, rolled it into a ball, and pressed the inside lining against the wound in his neck. I looked around for his cellular phone and found it in the pocket of his jacket. I dialed 911.
“Church Street.” I gave the disembodied voice an address. “Back porch. Something’s happened,” I said, and I hung up before she could ask questions.
I stayed with him until I heard the ambulance. I held his hand and hummed an old song as blood mixed with coffee and dying moss. When the paramedics arrived, I watched from my tree. They moved fast; he had lost a lot of blood, and it tasted like a rusted fork in my mouth. Soon, his image was gone from me, closed behind swinging, white ambulance doors that rushed him to the hospital.
I thought my heart had been dead since the day my mother had died. Then, my heart had been tossed to hell the night I had killed my Nathan. Then, Joshua had reminded me what it felt to have a human heart, and immortality gave me no time for the weakness of humanity. I would leave Charleston, as I had in my youth. I would stay away, knowing an imposter walked the streets. I could not afford to love Joshua. I could afford to love no one.
Beside my tree, his house was dark, and I stared at the blackness as I would an old friend. Alone again, I said to the empty windows, as it will always be.
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