Kiss Me DeadlybyJukeboxEMCSA©
"It won't hurt," she says. "It'll feel just like a kiss." I don't listen.
I'm on the other side of the room, as far away from her as I can get. I'm not looking at her. I'm not even looking in her general direction. I'd turn around and look at the wall, but I'm scared to turn my back on her, even though I know she can't get out of those manacles...and even though I don't know what I'd do if she came for me. I can't get out of the room. All I can do is stay as far away from her as possible.
Five minutes ago, the door locked itself. My pass key doesn't work now. I asked her what was happening, and she said, "They've gone to lockdown status. You must have tripped an alarm somewhere. They know you're in the facility, even if they don't know where. Looks like we're stuck together for a bit."
I'm waiting for them to unlock the door, now. And I'm not looking at her.
"They'll kill you, you know," she says. "They won't call it that, of course. They'll 'execute' you, probably. Makes it all sound nice and official. But they won't let you live, not now that you've been in this room with me. They can't trust you anymore. I might have put something in your head, even if you check out physically fine. I might have hypnotized you with my eyes, made you into my slave or given you a message to pass on to my friends on the outside. You're contaminated now." She's lying. She's got to be lying. This is Great Britain, not some sort of police state. I'm a journalist. I'd be missed.
My editor knows I'm here. I told him before I left, said my source had told me about a secret facility in the heart of Liverpool where they were detaining terrorists. If I ever get out of here, I'm going to take my source to the fucking cleaners. 'Terrorists', my sorry arse. Fucking hell. How could he have been inside the place and not known what they were really doing?
"I know what you're thinking." Shit. She doesn't, does she? "You're thinking that you're living in a civilized country, dealing with civilized people." Oh, thank Christ. She didn't mean it literally. "That there's no way you'll be put in front of a firing squad, not just for being in the same room as me." She pauses. It's entirely for dramatic effect, but it works. "You don't know how badly we scare them."
The fuck I don't. I didn't know seven minutes ago, maybe. When I used the access card my source passed to me to get me into this cell. Seven minutes ago, I came in here and saw the woman chained to the wall, naked and blindfolded and literally chained with iron manacles, and I just thought that it was terrible. I wondered what the country had come to, that our government would do something like this and that they would think they could get away with it.
She said, "Who is it? Someone's in here, I know. I can hear you." She didn't sound so scary seven minutes ago. She sounded scared.
And little old me, sucker for stray kittens and buyer of countless copies of 'The Big Issue', I walked closer. "Don't worry," I said. "I won't hurt you." I want to laugh, remembering myself tell her that I wasn't going to hurt her, but I'm pretty sure that if I start laughing right now, I'm not going to stop.
She interrupts my train of thought by saying, "Or maybe you do know how badly we scare you." I shudder. I wonder for a second how she knows, then it occurs to me that she can probably see the look on my face. She can probably just fine, even in the dim light. Especially in the dim light. They must be able to see in the dark. They live there. Oh, God, I never believed they were really real.
"They'll kill you just for talking to me. They'll kill you because it's easier than worrying about what I might have done to you. Your only hope is to escape with me, and I'm not strong enough to break these manacles without blood." It's the same bargain she's been proposing for the last five minutes, ever since the doors locked down. Damn it all to hell, why didn't I run the fuck out of here as soon as I saw the fangs?
I didn't see the fangs until I got very close. When she asked, "Who are you? I can't see, please," and I reached over to pull off the blindfold. She must have smelled me. I know she's near-mad with hunger now; she couldn't control herself. She opened her mouth wide, showed those fangs, but she's weak and slow. I managed to pull my hand away before she could sink her teeth into me.
I wish to hell I hadn't been holding the blindfold when I pulled my hand away.
She can see me now, but that's not what worries me. I didn't believe they were real, but I've heard just as many legends as the next person. I don't dare look into her eyes, I don't dare try to put the blindfold back on, and I can't leave the room. And if she's telling the truth (and I think she's a liar, but I don't think she's lying about this), they're going to kill me just for being in the same room with her.
But I can also hear it in her voice. That hunger, that terrible need. "I promise I won't drain you dry," she says, making me wonder again if she can't read my mind, "I'll just take a few pints. No more than I have to in order to get us out of here. I don't need much, really. You'd lose more giving blood to the Red Cross." I think she's a liar, and I'm sure she's lying about this. She said they'd been keeping her in here for three months, trying to find out if she could actually starve to death. She's got to be bone-dry. Even if she had some reason to keep me alive, I can't imagine that she'd be able to control herself. And she doesn't have a reason to keep me alive.
Sure enough, her self-control cracks for a moment, and I can hear raw fury in her voice. "You're going to die anyway, for fuck's sake!" she shouts. "The least you could do would be to not let the blood go to waste!"
She's silent for a long moment after that. "I'm...I'm sorry," she says. She sounds like she did at the beginning. She sounds human. "It gets...hard, sometimes. To think straight. After what they've done to me, here. They think they're at war with us. They think we're not human. But think about it. How could we stay hidden so long if we couldn't control ourselves?"
Her voice is softer now, soothing. It frightens me even more. "We don't take much, we never have. Just a little bit, just a tiny kiss in the night. You don't need to be afraid. I won't hurt you. I'll help you."
"I don't believe you," I say. It's the first time I've spoken in a while, and I notice how wavery my voice sounds.
"Why not?" she asks. "I know you've probably heard things, terrible things about us. But that doesn't mean you can't trust me. I'm as much a prisoner as you. The only way we can get out of here is to help each other. You give me just a little bit of blood, and I'll help get you away from all this."
Her voice is like honey in my ears, but I know in my heart that the only time she's been honest with me was when she told me I was going to die no matter what. I'll take my chances with a firing squad. At least they'll see me as more than a meal.
"I know you're scared," she says. "It's a lot to take in. It's overwhelming, isn't it?" I try not to nod, but she must see some tiny motion of my head. "Yes, I know. It's all just too much for you. You can feel the stress, the terror, just eating away at you, making your thoughts race around in your head like rats in a cage." Oh, God, she really must be able to read my mind. How else would she know? "I can take all that away. All the fear, all the pain, all the uncertainty. I can make you feel safe and warm and happy again. Just listen to me. Just listen to me and relax."
I clap my hands to my ears, but I can still hear her. "It's alright, you don't have to be afraid. My voice doesn't have any sinister magical powers. It's just a voice. I'm just trying to be friendly, to let you know that you can trust me. I know you're frightened of me, but just listen to my voice. Do I sound frightening to you?"
"No, but..." I remember too late that I'm trying not to listen to her, and trail off. My hands fall to my sides.
She laughs a little. She has a very pretty laugh. "But I look frightening, right? It's the fangs, I know. But apart from them, I'm very normal. I have an unusual condition, that's all. But it doesn't mean I'm going to hurt you. You don't need to be afraid of me. You can just relax. Let all that fear, all that terror drain away. You're around a normal person, just like you. I won't hurt you, and you can relax and let go of everything."
"But you...you're..." I try to remember that spitting anger, that desperation in her voice, but she seems so calm now. So human. Maybe she was telling the truth. Maybe that was the aberration, and this is the real her.
"I'm human, just like you. A few differences, but they're nothing to be scared of. The people who put me here, they're the sort of people who are scared of me. Soldiers and bullies and thugs. You don't want to be like them, do you?"
"No," I say, thinking back to the stray kittens. "I came here to stop them. But I...I'm still scared," I say. It feels good to admit it, like a weight being released. I feel like we're finally beginning to really trust each other.
"And the only way to stop being scared is to trust me. The only way to feel safe is to trust me. The only way to be safe is to trust me." I nod, not even noticing, and let out a breath I didn't realize I was holding. It feels like her voice is just wrapping me up and holding me, the way it's low and soothing and calm.
"I'm not dangerous, not really. You can tell just by looking at me. Go ahead, take a little peek. Look at my feet. Those are normal feet, aren't they?" I look. I have to admit, they look just fine. Toenails are a little long, but I expect nobody's giving her a pedicure in this place.
"See? The fangs are the only scary things, and they're a very small part of me. Look as much as you want. I'm not scary, or dangerous. You can trust me. You know you can trust me, you know you want to trust me." I nod again. It seems to get easier and easier to nod as I listen. "Here, I'll prove that you can trust me. I'll close my eyes, and you can look at my face and see that it's perfectly normal apart from the fangs. Just a normal girl with an unusual condition, nothing to be afraid of." It worries me a little, looking up after all this time avoiding her eyes, but I can trust her. I have to trust her at some point, if I ever want to get out of here.
I look up. Her eyes are wide open, glinting red in the dim light.
That red gleam, it's so pretty that I wonder why I waited this long to look at it. "That's right," she says, and I thought that her voice was sweet before, but now it's like pure bliss melting down through my ears into my mind. "Just keep looking, because you know now that you can trust me completely." I nod, and even though my brain can't quite reconcile the fact that she lied to me with the certainty that I can trust her, the certainty just seems to push the fact aside. It feels like my whole body is just singing with joy now, every inch of my skin being stroked by that soft, red gleam. I let out a little sigh. It's better than sex.
"Now, why don't you come a little closer so that we can have a proper conversation? It's so silly, talking to you from across the room like this." I nod, and my body just seems to move of its own accord. It's almost like I'm floating towards her. Her eyes just keep getting bigger and bigger in my mind as I approach. "You can come as close as you want, because we trust each other now, don't we? I told you I wouldn't use any magical powers on you, and I didn't. I didn't need to, not when hypnosis works just as well. And now we're such good friends, and it feels so wonderful, doesn't it?"
I nod again, my voice distant and dreamy as I say, "wonderful..." And it is wonderful. I'm falling into her eyes, sinking down through fathoms of deep red pleasure, and I wish it could never stop. I'm so close to her now, close enough to reach out and touch her, but something's holding me back. Something's reminding me that she wants my blood, telling me that she won't stop at a little, she won't stop for anything, she'll sink her teeth into me and she'll drink until I'm dead.
"It's alright," she says, like she can sense my resistance. Maybe she can, now that I'm looking so deep into her beautiful eyes. "It won't hurt. I promise. You can trust me."
That word again, trust, breaking down all my resistance, stroking those last few worries in my mind into soft, easy submission. I step closer, close enough to kiss her. "Close your eyes," she says, and I do, feeling nothing but joy.
She's right. It does feel just like a kiss.