The campfire warmed our faces, but didn’t touch the icy chill inside. Whatever had been stalking us would be back before the night was through. It or she had tasted human blood and would not be quenched until she’d had the rest.
My right arm throbbed with pain from the bite. If Shannon hadn’t arrived when she did, I would be dead. I felt certain of this. One of the many questions I was turning over in my mind as I stared blankly and numbly into the fire was why had the creature been so frightened of Shannon?
We’d only been hiking for a couple of days, but we were already deep enough into the refuge and far enough off the official marked trail that no one would see or hear us. Shannon confided that it was part of a fantasy of hers to be deep in the woods with a man, and I wanted to be that man. While Shannon was taking a break to adjust her gear, I was exploring a sound that I’d been hearing intermittently for most of the day’s journey.
She was beautiful, as beautiful as Shannon. When she first revealed herself to me, the sight of her froze me in my tracks. I felt a chill deep inside, as if I was in the very presence of death. Her fangs were poised to bite as she crept toward me staring me down with her fiery, eyes. But still, I could not move, or would not move. I didn’t want to move at all. I wanted the stench of death on my neck. I wanted the blood drained from my body. When I was free to move again, I reached my hand out to her and groaned as she sunk her fangs into my wrist.
Suddenly, the spell was broken and the creature fled. I turned around to find Shannon walking toward me.
“There you are, Mike!”
She seemed entirely nonplussed.
“Didn’t you see her?!!!!”
“Oh my God, Mike. What happened?! Your wrist?!” She quickly tied her handkerchief tightly around my wrist to stop the flow of blood. I was still stunned and chilled.
Shannon’s voice broke the spell of my thoughts by the fire.
“We need to talk,” she began.
“Ok, what’s going on?” I asked.
She had a cool about her that made me feel uneasy, but her eyes told me not to be afraid.
“I lied to you earlier. That thing, as you so aptly put it, was my sister.”
“She’s ALWAYS been so JEALOUS, that little BITCH! Anytime I find a nice, warm-blooded mortal she tries to POACH him from me! But she knows better. She knows better than to mess with big sis!”
“Shannon! I don’t understand what’s happening?! Please help me understand what you’re saying” I pleaded.
“How ’bout I show you!”
I wanted her to do it. It was my destiny to join her. Something deep down inside me knew that I would be hers…forever.