The Bloodied Heart by Brandon Davila

Every time I think about it, there is something so incredible about vampires. They are God’s unwanted creation; immortal creatures who walk the night, going out killing and eating people, a lot of times to feed themselves because maybe that’s the only way they can. It’s all you can do to survive in this world, I guess. Besides this, it’s amazing knowing they can’t see their own reflection, the most incredible of their powers, features, whatever the hell you want to call them. As a young boy sitting in front of the television, seeing how Dracula’s reflection didn’t even exist, I mean, it was so mind-blowing to me. Just watching Count Dracula and watching how Christopher Lee never reflected onto any mirror. 

I mean, yeah, I was amazed at the special effects work; I don’t care how bad it is or how it’s so cheesy by today’s standards, I still think the special effects were amazing. Besides that, it showed me the idea of a monster unable to see its own reflection, unable to look and see the sort of evil that it truly is. Even as a young child, it was something that I was sort of jealous of.

“God, it’s only getting worse.” I began to stare deeply at my hideous reflection; all the mold, pus, the greenish pale skin that sunk so far. I can rub my skin all day, and it feels normal, just some stubbles on my face, some chest hair. Normal. 

“Is this even my hair anymore?” I stared deeply at the thin, slimy, black strand of hair that ran down my head. It didn’t make sense. I could push my fingers through, at least what felt like, a thick head of hair, slicked back. 

The face, the horrifying body in front of me, couldn’t be real. No! I could hardly recognize the man in the reflection, if it even was a man. No! It was a monster for sure. Was this God’s way of punishing me for my sins? Showing me that I’m some sort of monster or demon, having to come to terms with what I’ve done? Maybe it was a sick joke; God wanted to pull a sick joke on his own disgusting creation.

Deep breaths… 

Deep breaths….

All this anger, this sadness, it was making me kind of hungry. Yeah, I knew it was late out, but I could still get some food somewhere. 

I walked out of the bathroom and grabbed the Elvis Presley T-shit laying on my bed. I slipped that on and made sure to straighten out my slicked back haircut. I walked out of the room and grabbed my leather jacket hanging by the door, ready to go out into the night.

It was almost midnight and the air was feeling kind of muggy; no one except the spaced-out addicts howling at the night sky and the bruised prostitutes littered the streets. Further down the street, everything seemed to get quieter, more peaceful, as everyone else was just indoors sleeping or whatever. 

On the empty part of the street, there was a girl standing there, a young girl, no older than eleven or twelve, with a travel bag by her side. 

“Hi there! Are you lost?”

She shook her head no to me. “I’m finding my way back home right now.” She started scratching her shiny, scraggly, brown hair. 

I stepped towards her: “Well, it gets a little scary out this late at night; it’s not safe for a child like you to be out this late.” I grabbed both of her hands. They were so soft, but sweaty; they were starting to shake. “No, no no no, please don’t be scared. I’m only going to help you walk home. Now, what’s your name?”

“F-Fatima.”

“Hi there, Fatima. My name is Thomas. See? Now we know each other. Now we can be friends. Now I can walk you home, okay?” 

She nodded silently, still scared, still shaking. 

“Please, stop shaking. I won’t hurt you; I’m just going to walk you home.”

I decided to let go of her left hand and picked up the bag for her. We walked for a while, north of my apartment block, towards middle-class, upper-class neighborhoods. 

“I’m down in that neighborhood.” She pointed down towards the upper-class neighborhoods. She looked at me and ripped her hand from my grip. “Um, goodbye.”

She was walking away…I couldn’t let her. “N-no! Wait!” I grabbed her by the arm.

“Hey! What the hell, man?” She started to struggle, but I just couldn’t let her, I couldn’t. I started to pull her with me, and she punched my chest and tried to kick me. But I couldn’t let her go, no matter how much she demanded. I dragged her further towards the wooded area across the neighborhoods, and she wouldn’t stop screaming, “Shut up!” With my right hand, I grabbed her by the mouth to keep her quiet, which only made her fight me harder. It was only making things harder. 

We were deeper into the woods, and she wouldn’t stop fighting me. She bit down on my hand, which released my grip from her mouth. She tried so hard to get away. I had had enough of her; I slammed her head right into the tree behind me, and she hardly even fought, but she was crying, “Momma…I just want my momma.”

  I slammed her head right into the tree again, leaving some hair and a bloodstain this time. She fell to the ground; the right part of her head was a mess. She was just lying there, eyes wide and bloodshot, staring at me, wheezing. She gave up. 

I crouched down and examined the body. The right side of her skull was cracked like an egg. There was blood pouring out, and a couple of skull fragments fell with no effort. I pushed back her greasy hair and moved some more skull fragments, but no, I didn’t want the brain just yet. I stepped over her body and took her shirt off; I ripped through her stomach and watched how blood poured out like egg yolk. She started to wheeze harder, even louder as I dug through her stomach and all her fat, uncovering her organs. Her wheezing was quieting down as I pulled out her liver and colon. They were both so chewy, but I enjoyed every bite, feeling the blood drip down from my mouth as I continued to eat. 

Now for the dessert. I moved back towards her skull; her lifeless eyes were still staring, but it doesn’t bother me. There were a few maggots that beat me to the brain, but I didn’t mind as I scooped some out from her skull. It tasted so sweet, and the maggots only added to the flavor. There was a rock by my foot, and I picked it up and smashed the rest of her skull, scooping out the rest of her brain and feasting as the night went on.

My stomach was full and my shirt was bloodied. You could hardly even see Elvis anymore. My apartment was a couple miles away, and it was time I should head home. I’d have loved to take the rest of Fatima home with me — her stalky little body would’ve been so good roasted in my oven, it could’ve even lasted me a week — but it was okay, I was full.

It was hard to sleep in, with the morning sun continuously burning my face. I squirmed my tired body out of bed and decided to close the curtains in the room, which made it better. Outside of the room, I decided to get some coffee boiling and turn on the local news. 

Everything seemed to be normal stuff, weather updates showed a sunny week, much to my own dismay. They talked about an old lady who lived in town that died last night. They only brought her up because of charity work she did for the children and, I guess she was just a sweet lady that the town was going to miss. Well, I didn’t know her personally, but I wished her well in the other life. 

“…and in other news, the body of a young girl, identified as Fatima de la Rosa, was found mauled earlier this morning in the woods behind the Meadow Ridge Residential neighborhood.”

“Oh fuck.” I nearly choked on my coffee. They found the body, probably decomposing and being eaten away by filthy rats and buzzards. I couldn’t see the body itself, as it was surrounded by police tape, cops, photographers, and a grieving middle-aged couple. The news story went on with the grieving lady, the girl’s mother I imagined:

“She gave me a call the other night. ‘Mama! Mama! I want to come home, I’m sorry I r-ran away…’”

She broke down as her teary husband wrapped his arms around her, trying to comfort her, saying stuff like, “it’s okay, honey,” and “Shh, don’t cry.” No one could hear him through the microphone, but it was easy to read his lips. The story continued with the camera focused on the balding chief investigator, Charles Benson:“I don’t know if this was perhaps foul play or accidental death, but me and my team are on the case.”

A news anchor in the background asked:“There have been a couple of cases the past month of bodies mauled and left dead on the streets. Is there a possibility of a potential murderer on the loose?”

Benson went silent at that statement, as did I. I thought they might be on to me. Benson took a deep breath and continued:“I can’t get into that right now, but if there are any leads or patterns, we will investigate further.”

The news story went on with the same points repeated and different questions asked by different anchors, but I was drowning it out. My focus was caught by my reflection in the window; the green skinned monster from before. Now, my flesh was rotting off my body as I rubbed my hands across my chest and face. Behind my gangrenous lips, my teeth were looking odd; opening my mouth showed sharp fangs dripping with blood and slobber like some ravenous dog. This couldn’t be my reflection, it had to be some fucked up illusion.

“What the hell are you looking at?” I draped the curtains over the window. “Leave me alone you fucking freak!”

The day was ending, and the sun was finally going down. I thought I’d go out that night; it had been awhile. I grabbed the leather jacket laying on my couch, but I noticed that my Victor Records patch was loose. “Shit, must’ve been the girl from the other night.” I shrugged it off and made my way out the door.

The night air was feeling kind of good for once in a long time. I’d been walking down the street, and the air felt so clear and breezy. 

I made it up towards Kürten’s Pub and could hear the gleaming sounds of drunks cheering and laughing. Inside, the pub was dimly lit, and people were just hanging out and enjoying the night while some cheap classic rock filled the atmosphere of the place. At the bar, I found a nice place to sit and relax. 

“What can I get ya buddy?”

“Uh, I’ll take a Jack and Coke”

While the bartender worked on my drink, a young man in a crop top sat next to me. He was kind of pretty. I glanced a bit at him, and he stared at me. With my drink now in hand, I greeted him. 

“Hey there! You having a good night?”

He smiled at me. “I am. What’s your name?”

“Oh, Thomas. You?”

“Ronnie.”

I had had a good time with him all night, just us two talking, about life, music, anything we could think about. 

“You know, Thomas, I’m getting kind of hungry. You wanna get some food together?”

I stared into his shiny brown eyes, and they made me so hungry. I rubbed my hand up and down his bicep, “You know, I’m getting kind of hungry myself. Why don’t I take you to my apartment, and I’ll make you a nice meal.”

His smile and his eyes got a little brighter when I suggested that, and we agreed to walk back to my apartment. Along the way, walking was kind of difficult for us. With all the booze in our systems, we couldn’t help but lean on each other from time to time, which I loved. 

 When we made it back to the apartment, we immediately fell onto the couch, laughing our heads off and having a good time with each other. As time passed, neither of us could get up, and we began to make out with each other. His lips tasted so sweet, and the way he held onto my body made me feel so warm inside, made my stomach feel so tingly. 

“Hold on, Ronnie, I want to make this moment right.” I got up from the couch and put in a Bauhaus cassette and grabbed some cloth to tie his hands and feet. At first, he seemed a little confused, but he eventually gave me his cute little smile. We continued to make out for a little while longer. I then slithered down his muscular body and slipped off his pants. I grabbed his penis and could feel it grow firmer the harder I gripped. 

In a couple of minutes, his massive penis was fully erect. I began to wrap my mouth around it and suck on it until I tasted a few drops of semen. I moved my mouth further down, and I bit down, pulling and yanking with my teeth. Ronnie was only making it harder by screaming and squirming around.

With some hard work, I finally ripped the penis off. Blood began to squirt all in my face and eyes, and Ronnie’s screaming wouldn’t stop. I spat the penis into my hand and walked over to my stove, pulled out a frying pan, and placed the penis inside. “You see, Ronnie, I told you I was going to cook a good meal.”

From behind me, I heard a thud. Ronnie was on the ground squirming away from the couch, trying to reach the door. I grabbed a knife lying on the counter and made my way towards the front door. “Ronnie! Stop!”

I charged towards him and pierced the knife in his back. He yelped out loud while the knife dug further into his back. He jolted towards me and tackled me to the ground. While I was on the ground, he ripped loose the cloth around his wrists. 

With his free hands, he began choking my neck. I could hardly breath and my vision got tingly. I could hardly move the knife as it fell out of my hand; all I could do was squirm my legs underneath his body. Looking in his eyes, I could see them getting bloodshot as tears were streaming down. While his hands were still gripped around my neck, I took an opportunity to knee him in his groin. He rolled over in pain, grabbing onto his bloodied wound, groaning and sobbing as he rolled around on the ground. 

Getting up, I felt a bit lightheaded. Regardless, I picked the knife up and managed to wobble back towards Ronnie. “I’m so sorry.”

Ronnie rolled forward to face me with a look of sorrow and fear. I looked back into his shiny brown eyes and stabbed the knife straight into his heart, and with that, the beautiful young man from the bar was gone. All I could do was stare at his unblinking eyes, but then I smelled something burning.

“Shit!” I sprinted towards the stove where I left Ronnie’s penis. It was completely inedible, burnt to a crisp as it lay in the unattended pan. Behind me, his lifeless body was still laying there next to the knife. I grabbed a garbage bag from the cabinet next to the stove and walked back towards the body. I grabbed the knife and chopped off his head and placed it to the side. I sliced through his torso, and I could see all his organs. I harvested everything, his colon, liver, kidneys, and so much more, all bloody, all savory. I used the hilt of the knife to crack apart the rib cage and ripped his lungs out. I would’ve loved to harvest the heart, but it was cut up and broken, blood bubbling out. The organs I would throw in the freezer overnight to give me a nice meal to last me. As for the rest of him, I chopped him up and snapped his bones apart and stuck it all in the garbage bag. Ronnie’s head I gave a quick kiss to, resting it on the bathroom counter.

While in the bathroom, I couldn’t help but stare at my reflection, watching it only get worse and even uglier than before. It was scaring me. Gangrenous flesh, boiling and bubbling with oozing pus and blood. Oh god, my nose was gone! Just a moldy pig snout snorting and honking at me while I was hyperventilating. I screamed out loud as my reflection squealed loudly back at me. I couldn’t look anymore, it was too much for me. 

I punched the mirror, shattering it, but the reflection was still there. “No! Leave me alone!” 

I punched a second time, getting glass stuck in my hand, but the reflection wouldn’t go away. I ripped the mirror off from the wall and smashed the rest onto the ground — it was over.

There was glass all over the bathroom floor. It took a while to pick it up. What I did manage to grab I just threw into the garbage bag along with the broken mirror frame and rest of Ronnie. I even figured that I should just throw the knife in as well. The hallway was a bloodied mess from top to bottom, shining and dripping all over the place. When I got back, I would be up till morning cleaning it all.

The bag itself, I couldn’t even lift off the floor. I could barley drag it across the floor of the apartment complex. It didn’t help that the deep cuts in my hands felt like they were on fire, crimson blood still seeping out of each cut, pouring down the garbage bag.

Outside, the air was getting warmer as the bright orange sun was beginning to rise. I continued to drag the bag into the back alleyway of the apartment. The dumpster was right there, but I didn’t want to throw the bag just yet. I let it go for just a moment so I could try and massage my wounded hands. While I did the pain lessened, but blood was still bubbling out. I picked the heavy bag up from the bottom and managed to lift it up. While attempting to throw it in, I could feel glass and bone fragments piercing into my hands, cutting them even deeper. I dropped the bag onto the ground next to the dumpster. I couldn’t help but curse into the night; my hands were burning even more than before. They were completely covered with glass and bone fragments jammed deep into my cuts. I crouched down to the ground, trying to pick each piece of the glass and bone from my hands. 

“Hey, are you okay?” I could hear a young woman’s voice echoing from outside the alleyway. 

“Who’s there?” The footsteps grew closer until I was greeted by a young petite woman who looked at me with her big blue eyes. 

“I heard screaming and shouting. Thought someone was in danger.”

I chuckled a little. “No, just cut my hands trying to throw some trash away.”

She stepped towards me and helped me back to my feet. “Do you live close by?”

“Oh yeah.” I pointed to the apartment complex. “I’m on the second floor.”

“Here, let me help you back to your place.”  

We made it to the door of the apartment, and she still stood with me. “Hey, thanks again for helping me up, I really appreciate it.”

“Of course. Do you need me to dress your wounds?”

“No! Go away!” She looked at me in shock. I didn’t realize I screamed at the poor girl. I took a deep breath and addressed her again. “I’m sorry about that, don’t really know where it came from.”

She just glanced at me and gave me an, “It’s cool man.”

“But I can take care of the wounds. My apartment is a fucking mess anyway.” I opened the door and tried to hide as much of the bloodied hallway as I could while trying to slip in. The stupid girl was so reluctant to leave and kept offering to wrap my wounds no matter how much I refused.

I almost got the door closed when she screamed, standing there petrified. Looking behind myself, I realized she could see the bloodied hallway. Fuck! 

I tried to calm her down and keep her quiet, but she was getting away from me. I walked out and grabbed her by her stomach, dragging her back to my apartment. 

Inside the apartment, I threw her into the bathroom and pulled the door shut behind us. She picked herself up and looked face to face with that guy’s severed head. She was screaming profusely, and then she started throwing up. I ran and tackled her back to the ground, trying to hold her arms down. I quickly bit down on the side of her neck, tasting blood and chewing some strings of muscle. I tried harder to hold her down and maybe bite some more muscle off, but my hands were starting to sting all over again, and I couldn’t hold as tight of a grip. She used her good arm to push me aside and ran to the door. I picked myself back up and charged towards her, but she grabbed my hairdryer and bashed me over the head with it, knocking me back on the ground. With that, she was running away, screaming shit outside like, “I was attacked!” or, “Murderer!”   

I picked myself up and felt a little dizzy, but I tried to shake it off. I managed to wobble myself out of the apartment and tried to make it outside. 

Outside, there was a large crowd gathered at the curb. I could see the girl standing on the other side of the crowd, crying and holding her bloody wound. I couldn’t let her see me. I had to get away. 

“There he is!” The girl pointed towards me, directing the mob’s attention. 

“Hey, hey. Stop, guys. I’ve never even seen this girl, you guys.” I took the opportunity to try and step away from the crowd. 

“He’s fucking lying! See? Look what he did!” She pointed at the giant bite on her neck. While she pointed, tried to use it as an opportunity to sprint away from the mob. 

I could’ve gotten away. I could’ve run away from it all, but I felt hands grabbing me all over my torso, my legs, knocking me to the ground. A few gripped tight at my ankles, dragging me across the hot concrete, while others were kicking me or calling me a monster. 

A few people in the mob were holding down my hands and feet while others were taking the time to beat me. There was no way out of this — these people wanted a witch hunt, and they found a bloodthirsty monster. The echoes of sirens were playing in the background, growing louder, coming for me just as the mob closed in. I was being beaten, and there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t even see any of them as the burning sun rose higher in the sky, blinding my sight with its burning, white glow.

So, this was the end. I just wondered if the mob rule would take me first or the law.

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