The house was a simple two story hose with spare rooms for his living impaired relatives. Mitchell had many conversations in the confines of his mind about how he was alone but he didn’t feel it. His evening started as it always did, sat in the company of a warm fire enjoying some quality television. The arts. If he had died watching it his wondering spirit would have had his smartly dressed corpse as company. Mitchell was enveloped by the home’s silent calm.
The screen’s light covered his armchair. He was truly a man of unconventional bliss. He sounds of cars passing very rarely reached his ears. Sometimes he believed, if not for a moment, that he was the last person alive. Imagine his surprise when the sound of a brutal crash breached his sanctum. A few minutes away from him two cars died, taking any passengers to the edge of suffering or even over. Mitchell departed his home in search of any survivors that he could aid. The television would be playing to an audience of shadows for the time being.
The wreckage grew in sight and mind the closer he got. On arrival the blood spatters seemed too real to this man’s eyes. The metal skeletons of the road wondering behemoths lay crippled and torn. Two vehicles had fallen victim to the will of an unknown force.
In life, one had transported animals across the great country while the other helped families on the journey as a loyal servant. There wasn’t anything Mitchell could do for the departed souls. Their remains coated the inside of the car. The driver of the family car had the consolation that she died alongside the man she loved. She couldn’t see the final faces of her teenage men scattered around the back seats.
Only one’s heart was still letting the blood flow through his body. Mitchell had time to save him. The field behind him moved with the beat of a different heart. Mitchell grabbed the car’s door and pulled. It wasn’t going to give up its last soul so easily. His mind was focused on rescuing the lad; the eyes watching him in the moonlight went un-noticed. After a moment of intense struggle the door relented causing Mitchell to fall into the arms of the soothing grass. The survivor crawled out, his wounds slowly draining his life. A relieved smirk appeared on his face.
Hope had returned to him. Mitchell got to his feet and helped the stranger to his own. Using his own body as a crutch the gentleman aided the victim to his home. A quick glance told Mitchell that this boy was going to require medical attention as soon as possible. How could he keep him alive until then? His house was now a place for healing others. The small journey to it was filled with little chatter from the men. Only the name of the wounded was learned.
Truly, Neil was lucky to be alive. The warmth from the fire was a welcome sensation to the cuts and open flesh of Neil’s face. Mitchell sat the wounded ad down on the cotton throne in front of his television. A soft “thank you” left Neil’s lips s Mitchell grabbed the wall hanging phone for outside help. An ambulance was on its way but it would take at least an hour to get from the nearest town. Neil’s breathes grew calmer. H called for Mitchell with a sorrow stricken wail. Mitchell rushed over to hear his request.
“Please, check the truck” he said. Mitchell flashed back to the scene, to the image of the lone driver’s skull semi-merged with the shattered glass. His eyes only glanced at it but it would be burnt into his nightmares for a long time.
“The other driver didn’t make it” sighed Mitchell.
“No. There was…another person…after the crash” replied Neil. Another life? In the company of the TV Mitchell left Neil to rest his body and mind from the iron and blood impact.
The walk from his home back to the site of the damned seemed to take longer this time. That image. Those faces. Part of him wished he’d never gone to help. The rest of him scolded that side of him for being too selfish. The truck might have been carrying an animal, maybe that was what Neil saw or maybe he imagined it. At any case Mitchell would soon find out. A figure was sat in the field, watching the still vehicles. Moonlight exposed the blood trickling down its face. Mitchell moved closer with a greater speed.
Towering over the figure, he saw more of the new survivor. It was a man, probably no older than himself, dressed in a suit. An upper class-man? Blood gave his clothes a unique colour. For the amount of blood he had on him, he didn’t have any wounds. When Mitchell tried to look into his eyes to measure the fear, the man closed them.
The man seemed fine. He acted less like a victim and more like a shy child. In Neil’s time of suffering he had thought of someone else’s well being. A man he didn’t even know the name of. Mitchell extended his hand, wanting to help the man into more comfortable surroundings.
The man’s head looked up. His eyes were still tightly shut but he could feel Mitchell’s presence. The sun was swiftly drifting off to its sweet goodnight and the man knew he needed a shelter from the night’s seductive chill. His frail shaking hand reluctantly accepted Mitchell’s.
A smile; Mitchel could help another soul. As Mitchell raised the man to his feet it became apparent how frail he was. Had he been in that crash? Mitchell had learned something from the last companion trip to his home. Along the way he spoke. Soft words of nurturing met the figures ears: barely any response, just the occasional “hmm”.
He didn’t say much which in itself said a bit about him. His eyes had remained shut throughout the walk. As they steadily approached the humble household the radiant lights reached them. More details were revealed about the man. His eyes were engulfed in black damage. Could he open his eyes? Maybe that was where he was injured? Unlikely, he would probably have been in more pain if they were. Mitchell could see Neil sleeping through his window. A dreamless sleep would be a bonus.
When they entered, Mitchel examined Neil’s wounds. He would have to get some bandages for the selfless survivor. Mitchell assured the sightless figure that he would be back in a moment. He ascended the stairs looking for any medical help he could provide. The TV’s dead static probably made an appropriate score for the new survivor’s thoughts. Mitchell hurried to find bandages on the cavernous top floor, well cavernous for some but not its only dweller. It took but a few moments for Mitchell to go into his bathroom, open the cupboard, grab the box for first aid and make his way back down stairs.
The moment his eyes met Neil’s scared remains, Neil let out a pain warped yell. Mitchell dropped the box. The unnamed man was feasting. He was feasting on Neil’s arm that he had ripped from its socket, a rude awakening to say the least. His…its eyes were still tightly shut however the empty essence was still there. Mitchell’s heart beat faster and faster. It was his turn to try and survive. He bolted upstairs, leaving Neil to be the appetizer. Its teeth dripped with Neil’s cold refreshing blood. Mitchell had only needed to glance at those soaked, sharp fangs to know he needed help. Neil’s screams annoyed it. It preferred its meals to be silent. It opened its eyes.
The change in light caught it off guard. Its screech sounded like the wind blowing through someone’s remains. Neil could have run. Neil could have lived. All his injuries proved too much however his remaining strength could only be spent screaming. It locked its jaws around Neil’s already blood tanned neck and tore part of it off, unleashing more of Neil’s fluid onto it.
A glorious shower for it, worth the detestable surroundings. A footstep. Its hearing was good and its interest was opened. Slowly Mitchel returned, armed. Clutched in his quivering hands was the only weapon a gentlemen was likely to have; a bronze a dueling pistol. Almost archaic by today’s standards. It twitched. Mitchell flinched.
Its back was still turned to him. The ambulance shouldn’t have been too far away but that sense of time had disappeared from Mitchell’s mind. Only that moment was important. It chuckled. He snapped. Mitchell pulled the trigger. A single anger filled bullet burst through the barrel and pierced the attacker’s skin. It did not move. It did not die. Neil’s gargled screams had finally stopped. In a flash it shifted its gaze. Mitchell finally got to see the foul creature’s eyes. Its eyes were stained eyes. Its deep ocean eyes.
Eyes that didn’t know fear or compassion just hunger. Before another shot could be fired, it lunged at Mitchell, showing power that contradicted his form. That fragile body was deceptive. They struggled on the floor for a moment. “It’s not human” was the only thought that circled through Mitchell’s mind before it twisted his neck bringing an end to the life and the start of the net meal. It had a shelter, two meals and the sound of an ambulance was fading into existence. More food. Its tongue slavered its lips. More, more, more.
“B..brilliant” it muttered. The name of this figure had never been spoken. It remained the hunger until the day it would die. That day has not come yet.