She whispers in the corner of her prison. What else would one call a room with a solitary barred window? The joke is on them, for they are the ones in prison. The prison of denial.
"I saw him."
She whispers and softly laughs. There he was on the night the sky burned. Stumbling from the fire as if the flames somehow returned him to the world. He melted into the darkness before she could call his name.
She whispers and quickly covers her mouth. The forbidden name brought her to this prison. She said it to them. Shouted that he lived but they scolded her. Moral girls do not venture out at night unescorted. Sane girls do not imagine seeing phantoms.
"He was flesh."
She whispers and wipes away tears. He was real but moved in a dream. Someone learning to be new. Was he not the same man she listened to? Coins for conversation, unlike the other boys. Conversations and confessions that would have brought him here.
"I'm not mad."
She whispers and closes her eyes. Squeaking wheels shriek into her prison. Which night is it? Clanking metal keys thunder into her ears. Is it her night? Creaking hinges scratch at her mind. Is it the kind one? The one with the promise?
"You are not mad."
The night nurse whispers. She enters the small room, leaving the cart in the corridor. The suffering, disheveled creature huddled in the corner turns to see and visibly relaxes. She kneels and locks eyes with the patient.
"This is the night."
The night nurse whispers the promise. A faint smile shines from the patient's smudged, tear-streaked face. She chose this tragic soul with one glance of loneliness. Whose loneliness? Such thoughts no longer mattered.
"You will be strong."
The night nurse whispers, drawing close to the patient. How many lives has she transformed? She lost count long ago, but she senses this will be her last. Brushing away tangled blond hair, she moves closer. A white film slides over her obsidian eyes.
"You will be beautiful."
The night nurse whispers before sinking her fangs beneath skin. She drains the pain and memories away. Close to the edge, but leaving a breath of life. Specific preparations must now be seen to, but they have all night. Gently wrapping a peach-hued scarf around the patient's neck, she cradles her in the darkness of the asylum.
"You will be forever."
2020, John L. Harmon
This story may share threads with...
Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.
P.S. A different post about different vampires...
In case you want to give the gift of words this holiday season...