I finally make it to the alley and, as I turn into it, I see that Colin has slumped slightly to one side and his chin is resting on his chest. At least it is until he looks up. The creature in my arms seems to sense that it is in a dire situation as it goes from silence to mewling and panting little screams. I suppose that if the creature had sounded human I wouldn’t be able to do this, but a small voice in my head suggests that I would. That I would do it for Colin or Max. I ignore it. There are too many issues there and I need to get Colin on his feet so we can find Max.
Colin’s eyes have gone pure black and he is trying to move.
“Stay there, I’ll bring it over.”
He blinks at me, but it is as if he doesn’t see me. As soon as I’m close enough he grabs the arm of the creature and pulls it into his lap. The creature mewls but it can’t do anything as Colin sinks his fangs into the things neck.
I go to the beginning of the alley and crouch down, watching for anyone.
The fact that Colin was so intent on getting to the other suggests that he smells something else. I wonder if it is dependent on need. The first time I had just been turned and the second I’d been injured. Maybe we only need the blood in order to heal or something. The thought brings to mind all the vampire movies I’ve ever seen. Am I a monster?
“No,” a voice behind me says.
I hadn’t realised I said it aloud.
Oh, well that’s a new ability.
“It is,” Colin says and steps out of the darkness. He is looking at the hole in his chest. Or rather the place where the hole was. “I need a new shirt.”
I smile. “You do.” I pause and look at him. His complexion is better but not great. “Do you need another?”
He looks at me and nods. I stand and lead the way to the alley where I found the others. It doesn’t take long, although I keep the pace slow. I don’t know how healed he is.
“I’m okay,” he says.
I snort. “Maybe, but until you have another I’m a little worried.”
“How did you know that it would work?”
“There was an other after I got stabbed and I was able to catch it.”
He nods and we turn the corner. There is only one other left and as she looks up I can see that they have learnt. The creature starts to move away from us but Colin flashes forward and in moments is drinking the woman’s blood.
It is a woman, although I’m confused by her old-fashioned clothing. I wonder what she was doing before all this. Who was she and what was her future meant to hold? I am surprised as a tear tracks down my face.
Colin lifts his head and looks at me. He drops the dead creature and walks over to enfold me in his arms.
“It’s okay,” he whispers.
“No,” I say as sobs wrack me. “The one I brought you I didn’t even look at.” I can’t describe him. It’s as if I have blanked him.
“We never considered the cow…”
I push him away and snarl at him. “They aren’t cows, they are people.”
He grabs me again and crushes me to his chest. “They are not people,” he pauses, “as we are not people.”
It is then that I cry for us. He is right. If the others are monsters then we are more so.