At twelve o’ clock midnight on September 11, 2018, there was a hurricane named Florence that was going to make landfall in parts of Eastern North Carolina and destroy everything that lived there. The weatherman was telling everyone in those parts that they needed to take cover and they needed to do it now.
LENA: “Vampires can’t cross running water. I’m sure you’ve all heard the stories – from the people who managed to cross the bridge, and the dangerous, frenzied, starving creatures left trapped on the other side.” (show on greenscreen; doesn’t have to be vampires, per se, just scenes from those old medieval tapestries. Who’s going to care?)
The third Tuesday in September had such an ordinary beginning. Sylvia’s husband, Omar, left for work before dawn. The Hartford Courant lay in the driveway, delivered as promised. The kitchen countertop was smudged with germy paw prints from the cat’s nocturnal shenanigans. And, according to the jokers on the radio, Hell had not yet frozen over.
I was the best. Not ‘one of the best’. The. Best. The Best Jest. What am I saying? Was. Am. I am The Best Jest. It says so on the curtains. The curtains I’m currently hidden behind. The huge red velvet drapes conceal me from my audience. The tension is starting to bubble. I can almost taste it. Like candyfloss. There for a moment on your tongue then gone. The sweetness. I need more of it. So, I put on shows every night.
“Don’t blink, don’t breathe, don’t move,” Milo told himself over and over standing at the window. For fifty-one nights he stood this post, whispering his chant and staring out into the dark void of the woods surrounding the cabin. “Don’t blink, don’t breathe, don’t move.”
I hear sirens. They ring around me. Banging in my head. I have no memory of the moments prior to this moment. I looked down at the blood that on my hands. It was dripping down my arms. Where did it come from? I looked just past to see the girl lifeless, a cut at her heart and on her neck. The heart’s blood was dried up but went fairly far down her stomach.
John died the same day Jenny’s name moved up on the waitlist. She’d waited three months to reach the top of that list, and was unconscious for most of it. I didn’t see any difference whether she was the one to receive his heart or not.
“Something weird happened,” Jay said. He hurried past Sarah, locked the deadbolt, and then put the chain back on. He looked out the peephole for a minute, tested the door handle to make sure it was locked, and then finally turned to face her.