My senses are heightened, and I can hear birds chirping from the thick wood, leaves rustling, the sound of water flowing, hitting the rock as it splashes back to the river. There are human voices coming from the street 12 miles away from my house. At first, it sounds like radio static noise but when I strain my ears to listen, the voices become clearer. The venom in my body has settled and I am no longer in transition. Although, my blood boils and the bones in my body break into a thousand pieces when I make contact with the sun, the pain subsides when I remain in the shade, wearing dresses that cover every inch of my body.

My desire to feed grows stronger. I walk down the street and see people bustling, running to their places of work, some holding newspapers, and children laughing cheerfully. Down the street, some musical boys are playing guitars and a little audience claps along as they sing. I wish to listen to them all day but my emotions are not stable. I have a stinging sensation, like a bug crawling under my skin, and a roaring appetite, like that of a lion.

I have not spoken to nor seen anyone for the last three days. I stare at almost everything that walks past me like a newbie in town. I eventually glance at a coffee shop. Beside it is a beggar with a paper attached to his purple T-shirt reading “deaf and dumb”, and a plastic plate resting on his leg with some crumpled money. I walk into the coffee shop and see a light-skinned waitress with curly blonde hair cleaning up, attending to the customers that form a long queue in front of her. She wears a faux fur grey coat, a blue siphon blouse, tight black jeans, and knee-high black boots. Her lips appear to be oiled in red gloss, her almond-shaped eyes reveal her blue pupils, and her lashes are lengthened with extensions. I observe the environment for a moment before I sit close to the wall where memories of some customers are written down on heart-shaped cardboard. Many of their write-ups are about broken promises and broken hearts that need mending. The wall of the coffee shop is tattered with different sweaty handprints, lipstick prints, and specks of dirt.

After all the customers have left, the waitress waves at me with a smile to ask if I need a drink. My heart begins to beat heavily as she walks towards me. I remove my blazer in an attempt to get more air into my chest. A sense of uneasiness overwhelms me when I hear the sound of her heartbeat, and the only thing that comes to my mind is to have a taste of it. She leans on the table to speak to me but before I could return her kind gesture, I find my teeth fixed onto her neck, piercing the artery just above her collarbone. My eyes change color, my face disfigures, and the fangs come out of their hiding, making a cracking sound. I become someone, something, different as I suck the blood gushing from her vein. The taste of her blood is metallic, it fills me quickly and the hunger subsides. I exhale with a sigh of relief, closing my eyes to savour the taste. I lick the blood on my lower lip with my tongue and clean the rest of my face with her towel. I leave the shop before someone enters, and walk down to the public restroom to wash up properly.

Tama is a great city, a place that has a long history with a variety of architectural styles, good exteriors, spatial organization, and structure. But I’m here alone, and I wish there is someone like me out there who understands how I feel, who dreads to be totally consumed by darkness. I walk back home after cleaning myself up and ponder about how I came to be what I am. The only thing I remember is drinking the potion I took from my grandmother’s belongings four days ago. A mixture that is red in color, sealed with a wine cork in a small transparent bottle. I remember drinking it on vacation in North-Liner when all of my family had come together to celebrate the remembrance of grandma Sarah. The boys grilled the pork meat on portable steel bbq charcoal grills with a cheerful attitude, while the ladies prepared the remaining dishes. The older ones sat on a long bench, discussing topics of relevance to them, littering the table with empty bottles. I thought the potion was part of the wine to be served that night, so without consulting anyone I let it slide down my throat. It didn’t taste like wine but almost metal, and my teeth instantly became sore while my stomach began to rumble. It was a long night and when I woke up I was drenched in blood, my family on the floor with bruises around their necks, my cousins with holes in their chests where once something used to beat. I was terrified. I couldn’t explain what happened to anyone and I fled to Tama where no one knows me. The death of my family haunts me with every passing second, and I cannot get rid of it.

Just like this thirst.


Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels