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Frailty, The Darkshine

By:Jenika Snow

cleaning it every day helped, the wound had become a nasty shade of red and refused to close.

Nightmares assaulted her of her hand getting gangrene and eventually falling off. If that could actually happen, she didn’t know, but the images in her head had her constantly tending to the wound, and eventually it healed.

Every day she sat at the opening of her mountain cave, the bushes covering her appearance from any eyes. The sun was still able to pierce the thick branches and she enjoyed its warmth for a short time before her paranoia got the best of her and she moved back into her dwelling. Food was becoming scarce and she decided that it was imperative that she venture out to find something to eat. Helina had been surviving on a can of fruit and a few Twinkies a day, but that alone was making her feel sick and malnourished.

For those first two weeks she listened to the small battery-operated radio she had been smart enough to bring. Mainly there was static, but every once in awhile she would picked up a pirated site, people screaming and ranting about how creatures of the night had taken over the world and how every human would soon be their meal. Helina listened with fear at how these monsters were described like vampires: sharp fangs, bloodlust and inhuman strength and power pouring through them. The images made her shake uncontrollably and she feared she would be found and be the vampires’ next meal.

After hearing those horrific proclamations, Helina decided it was best not to listen at all. She tucked the radio away, so frightened that if she turned it on she would hear more of the same things or worse…nothing at all.

Helina sat at the entrance of the cave once again and listened to see if she could hear anything. She had no idea where to look for food, or if she would even be able to find any, but she knew she had to try. Debating wouldn’t do her any good, so without another thought, she went out of her hole and into the fresh air. Bringing up her hand to block the bright sun, she looked at the sky for a moment. Most of the tree tops covered what blue could be seen, but there was a break every now and then and she was able to glimpse the beautiful sky.

Standing as still as she could, she listened for any kind of movement. The only thing that she heard was her own heart beating against her ribcage. She started off to the left, hoping something would just pop out in front of her that was edible. Helina walked for a good twenty minutes before she was lucky enough to find some wild raspberries. Picking as many as she could, she tossed them into her outstretched shirt. She ate more than she actually put into her shirt, but her stomach was growling and the Twinkie hadn’t been enough.

Helina turned and started back when she heard twigs cracking in the distance. She looked back and forth, not knowing if she should attempt to run or go as quietly as she could. Gripping the hem of her shirt tighter, she decided that it didn’t matter how quiet she tried to be, because those monsters were sure to hear her either way. More twigs snapped in half, much closer than before, and she took off as fast as her legs could carry her. She looked over her shoulder, afraid someone, or something, would be right behind her. Running harder, faster, she finally reached her cave. She crawled in quickly, silently praying that whatever was out there hadn’t seen her.

That morning, Gaijryc decided to leave the mansion and explore the grounds. The DarkShine were extraordinarily fast and it took him a matter of minutes to explore the many acres. He reached the property line where a fast-running brook separated his parents’ land from the thick wooded forest that lay just beyond.

He bent at the knees and jumped, clearing the brook and feeling the splashes of water kiss his skin as his body moved fluidly over the rambling liquid. Bending his knees slightly, he landed on the other side, the soft ground breaking his fall. He inhaled deeply and smelled the clean fresh air. All life seemed void since their arrival, as if they had known what a threat the DarkShine really were and decided it would be their death if they stayed. Of course, his kind fed off of creatures such as birds and rabbits, but their taste was more refined, more accustomed to the thick red liquid that ran through a human, as well as their own bodies.

It wasn’t as if his species couldn’t live strictly off of DarkShine blood. They could in fact sustain life off of human and DarkShine blood, their bodies able to metabolize both forms of fluid equally, even though they were not of the same species, very similar, but completely different in so many ways.

It was the sweetness of a human’s blood that they became addicted to, that potency that was a drug to their senses. It was the high they got when they pierced the tender flesh of the lesser species, that sweet, sweet liquid washing over their pallet and teasing their senses.

He shook his head, pushing his wayward thoughts to the back of his mind as he took in his surroundings. He took note of everything that passed him, his eyesight picking up the very makeup of the trees’ thick bark and every vein that made up its green leaves. He stopped next to a large oak tree, the trunk bigger than anything he had ever seen. He ran his hands across the trunk, closing his eyes as the texture sunk into every pore of his being. He moved away from the tree and started at a much slower pace through the forest.

He stopped and inhaled deeply. The wind whipped around him and he picked up a smell that made his heart beat a fast rhythm, had his fangs aching in his mouth. The scent was distinctly female and very much human. He could smell the clean, intoxicating aroma of her and was surprised at how aroused he became. He straightened and started to walk toward the smell that had made his whole body come alive with excitement. It was as if he were hypnotized, as if the very smell of this huma