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"To die is nothing; but it is terrible not to live." – Victor Hugo

Wade eats something she picked out, and she has a faded echo taste of it. Something crisp... crunchy and cool. Something citrus... or salty. Chocolate...

He follows it with coffee, because she had requested coffee, and he's trying to help make things bearable. He gets the dark roast with whole milk and no sugar... He's trying to make it bearable for her. Trying to let her experience little things. He's melting the endges of his soul and letting her blend her own blurry existence with his. He's helping graft their souls... blend their thought and feeling.

He's been good to her. Done right by her and it makes her cling to him... makes their souls a little more tangled.

The downside is that... she's still just a reflection in his mind. A voice in his head asking nicely if they can have mango today, or the raspberry vinaigrette.

The downside is being bored. Watching the world through his eyes, watching people react to his crazy. He's the only one who knows she's still here and living... there's no living without people.
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"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space." – Johnny Cash

The first time she had heard that, she had nodded wisely. It made sense. The more she'd thought about it though, turned it over in her head as a mantra to get over trauma and pain... the more the two parts just didn't connect. She chalked it up to the fact that as far as she knew, Johnny Cash wasn't a vampire and didn't know anything about real failure or mistakes. Afterall, how did you learn from the past without dwelling on it? Dwelling was how Anna coped. Crying out her pain, getting it out onto paper with inks or paint, and talking about it, when she was lucky enough to have a kind and sympathetic ear. It was how she had coped with being a murderer.

It was one thing to know you needed to drink blood to survive, it was another to revel in it. To glorify and delight in it. Vampires like that didn't last long though. They burned out, got themselves killed...

It was pointedly not following Johnny Cash's advice that had taught her the secret of not murdering her lovers and still letting her feed from them. Without the soul crushing pain of dewlling on it she never would have figured out it was drinking from the neck that led to a painfully high mortality rate of her lovers. It was dwelling on it, replaying those bloody moments over in her head that she put the connections together. It had taken four accidental deaths to realize that sex and feeding from the neck would lead to a corpse in bed, but that drinking from the wrist was usually safe...

The flesh of the hand, the inner curve of the elbow, the breast. She had never killed anyone biting there.

There was never enough blood to feel satisfied of course, but even when she did kill people, those she fed on greedily because they meant nothing or they had somehow triggered her anger... they never had quite enough blood either, no matter how much she took.

It wasn't control. She hadn't learned how to pull back from the blood lust, but she had found a way around it, and she had bought herself some relief so she didn't have to dwell on what she was and what it would be so easy to become.
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"The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones." - Somerset Maugham

It always comes back to the blood, and the constant stomach gnawing hunger. Running only does so much to wear the hunger down, alcohol barely takes off the edge now. Sex is never satisfying for long enough. At the end of the day, when the sun has set, it's the blood that she wants. Thick and rich and full of bold flavours, and smooth, like the best coffee. It's the one thing that keeps her warm in the winter. Nothing compares to it, and she knows the Hunger only grows.

It is so easy to let her will power slip away. To wander down in the ravine at night where the mentally ill and homeless go. There's a bridge there that offers some shelter from the rain. On some nights, instead of running under the bright lights in the park, she talks herself into just one drink. She promises that this time, she wont let herself kill anyone... She'll stop herself before they die and only take enough to subdue the ache of having died.

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Anna

April 2015

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