“Bloody towels stashed in your closet torment you at night, their fragrant aroma taunting you with your secrets.”
Please let me know what you think, I cherish the idea of hearing your thoughts about what I write. I humbly present to you a short story, told in the second person viewpoint, about one person’s transformation from human.
It starts slowly, as many major life changes often do.
The itch hits as the sun rises. You’re unaware, but something amazing and horrifying has happened to you. Two small holes in your forearm surrounded by dozens of small bumps have you scratching your arm until you draw blood all day.
Light, almost unnoticeable stomach cramps happen next. You make no changes to your daily life. But after a few days they start to hurt more.
The thought crosses your mind that perhaps you ate something wrong, it didn’t agree with your stomach. You wait it out for another week. By this point your stomach can’t handle much solid food at all. That rash on your arm however has cleared up. Two small scars with fresh pink skin are all that are left behind.
Your boss finds your body laid out on the floor in the back storeroom and calls the ambulance.
Two weeks after the bite, your doctors are puzzled. You’ve been hospitalized for malnutrition. You haven’t been able to hold down a meal in over a week. Every time you try, you throw up and have terrible diarrhea.
About this time your eyes begin to increase in sensitivity to light. You first request the lights be left low in the evening, and find yourself asking your parents for a set of blackout curtains for the large wall length windows beside your bed.
Headaches begin at the one month mark, caused in part by the painful elongation of four teeth. For over two weeks you have been trapped in the hospital, hooked up to machines providing you with fluids and nourishment. Your skin has taken on a sickly pallor, caused partially by the lack of proper nutrients but also due to the lack of sunlight. The doctors learned around three weeks that your skin had become sensitive to UV light.
A vitamin deficiency causes a seizure, weakness and confusion at six weeks. The hospital moves you into an infectious diseases ward, implementing a lockdown. A full research team has been formed to solve your mysterious illness.
Those stomach cramps that started early on are still happening, only now they have become considerably worse. You spend most of your days alone curled up on your side in a state of agony in a dark windowless room. Nurses and doctors wear full body plastic suits as they check your vitals, asking for your pain rating.
As you mark off the second month since you woke up with those small puncture marks in your arm, you find yourself overcome with an intense hunger. Nothing the nurses offer stays in your stomach. Your formerly nonexistent aggression suddenly causes the staff to tie you to your bed, for their safety as well as your own.
You find yourself unable to string together proper thoughts around ten weeks. Grunting and screams become your preferred method of communication. The hunger inside only intensifies.
Things begin to become concerning at three months. Your doctors are surprised as your rip off your restraints during a midnight check. Alarms scream through the halls as dozens of footsteps rush to your room. Huddled against the solid wall, you search for an exit like a feral animal. A quick tranquilizer shot to your leg as you watch the shifty guy on your left, turns out the lights.
When you wake up you’re understandably disoriented. The walls are different, the restraints are new, but the beeping of the machines are still the same. A buzzer as the door opens is new as well, causing a wince at the shrill shriek as the man in the white coat comes in.
“Ah, I apologize for that.” The door slams closed. “Unfortunately, you’ve made quite a few of the nurses to threaten to quit if we didn’t move you.” He flips through your chart in the same manor you’re used to, so you doubt him.
“Oh don’t look at me like that. Honest, I wish we didn’t have to do this, but we still haven’t been able to figure out this mess.” Glancing at the machines and tapping at a bag at the end of a pic line, your eyes never leave him as you watch him hang the chart off the foot of your bed.
“How are you feeling?” he finally meets your eyes.
“Urg, uh…” you attempt to answer, but words have been difficult for much too long.
“I was expecting that.” He is visibly disappointed.
You move your mouth, trying as hard as you can to make any noise. The only sound you get out is a hushed whoosh.
“What?” The doctor turns back to you. “What did you say?”
“I need…” you force out but can’t get past a coughing spell.
“Take your time, don’t try to rush it.” He pulls out a small handheld recorder, pressing record as he rushes to your side.
“Closer, please.” Your fingers are starting to itch. A new smell is beginning to overwhelm you, a rhythmic beat serenading your ears.
You have to close your eyes and gulp. When your eyes burst open his eyes are before yours.
“You have to give it to me.” You rasp while he leans in ever closer.
A fog is beginning to cloud his eyes, which he is unable to pull away from yours.
“What is it you need?” He asks with a deadpan tone.
As he leans further over your face you can nearly feel the heat from his neck. The skin pulsates before your eyes as blood pumps through the nearly budging artery.
You’ve lost eye contact but can’t care less as you press your sandpaper lips to his soft skin. He lets out a soft gasp as your teeth make contact and puncture.
Your mouth is suddenly filled with the warm copper taste that you didn’t know you’ve been craving. Strength flows into your arms. You pull easily free of the arm restraints, grasping his shoulders roughly.
A drip rolls down your chin, bringing you back to your senses. With a pop you release him, but he remains where he is.
“Are… are you okay?” you carefully ask with a voice fully restored to your astonishment. The cramps in your stomach are all but gone, as well as the ache that has been in your head for months. Feeling spreads through your legs as you wiggle your toes.
His silence is startling, and you become concerned that you may have taken too much. With a gentle push he moves away.
He seems genuinely surprised to see you, looking down at the recorder in his hand.
“Delete it.” You command, and he does before meeting your eyes.
“You’re looking very well today.” He says with amazement, checking through your charts. He appears to be in a daze. Looking to his neck you worry about what you might find but are surprised to see nothing.
“C—can I have a book to read?” you ask as he drifts to the door.
“I’ll see what I can do….” He mutters. The door buzzes and slams closed behind him.
The room feels smaller and emptier than you remember. The constant beeps weren’t quite as annoying either.
Before the end of the week you are moved back into the regular ward. The same doctor is checking on you with regularity, though now he seems to be vying for your attention.
The first time it happened caught you off-guard, almost missing the subtle invitation. He leaned over your head, acting as if he were checking a line but when he hovered there longer than needed you flushed with understanding.
The second time your teeth sunk into his neck you expected the rushing copper.
The status of your health improves leaps and bounds over the following week. Not a single person seems to understand how or why. Not even the good doctor, who appears to have fallen prey to an unknown spell cast by none other than you.
They are reluctant to release you, but since there seems no need to keep you and your family petitioning for your release they have no other choice.
You are discharged five months and three weeks after it happened.
The very first morning after you return to work, you quit your job. The rising sun falling on your arm left behind a bleeding lesion. Fear sends you home rather the hospital.
Bloody towels stashed in your closet torment you at night, their fragrant aroma taunting you with your secrets. Cramps begin anew only days after leaving the hospital. You can’t get the good doctor out of your head, not wanting to venture near the hospital while you stand across the street from it in the dead of night.
Your family has long grown concerned for you, but there’s nothing that can be done anymore. You realize what you are as you grip the limp body to you, your lips wrapped around the stilling throat.