Vampire Breed, page 6part #4 of Kiera Hudson Series One Series
Frantically, I looked around the room and searched for anything I could use to cover the gaps and cracks with.
Kiera, how could you be such a dumb arse? I scolded myself.
Then I spotted my bowl of water and had an idea. I hobbled over to it and brought it back to the chair, mindful not to spill any as I only had a little left and I would probably need all of it for my plan. Placing it on the floor next to the chair, I turned to the book that Nik had brought me and froze, my hand hovering over it. Looking down, I could see that the book was ‘The Wind in the Willows’.
This was the book I remembered Doctor Hunt reading to me. But had he? Perhaps I had noticed the book when Nik had brought them into my cell and it had somehow worked its way into my dream. But if Hunt had really read this book to me – why had Nik brought it to me? Had it been by chance or a deliberate act?
I thumbed through the pages and looked at the wonderful illustrations inside. Running my fingers delicately over the pages, it pained me to carry out what I had planned.
Closing my eyes so I couldn’t see those illustrations and the neat rows of printed words, I slowly began to rip out several of the pages. I then tore these into thin strips.
Opening my eyes, I looked down at these torn pieces of paper and cringed. I felt awful for destroying the book, partly because I knew books were precious – but more importantly, I got a feeling deep inside that this book had some significant meaning but I didn’t have time to figure out what – it was just a strange feeling that I had.
The toad had escaped from his cell. He’d gained the sympathy of the jailer’s daughter and she had disguised him as a washerwoman and helped him escape. But there was no jailer’s daughter and definitely no disguises to be had.
So slowly, I gathered up the strips of paper and placed them into the bowl of water.
“Sorry Mister Toad,” I whispered.
Once the paper was sodden, I squeezed the strips into several small, mushy pulps and climbed back onto the chair. With my thumb and fingers, I worked and moulded the wet paper into the cracks and holes that I had made during the night. I smoothed the paper over with the palm of my hand and blended it into the ceiling. When I was happy that I had filled in all the gaps, I climbed down off the chair and looked back up at the ceiling. The colour of the paper didn’t match perfectly with the colour of the ceiling, but it was close enough. I guessed it would fool the passing glance but perhaps not a careful examination.
As I stood and admired my cunning, I heard the rattling of keys in the lock of my cell door. I quickly looked about myself, just to make sure that I had covered all of my tracks. It was then that I noticed the mounds of chippings and tiny pieces of plaster, which had fallen from the ceiling and now covered the floor of my cell.
If these tiny pieces of plaster happened to be seen, it wouldn’t take too long to work out where they had come from and what I had been up to.
The keys jangled in the lock and with my heart pounding in my chest, I looked down at the chair.
I love you Nik! I thought to myself as I turned the chair upside down, and I doubted he knew he had unwittingly provided me with the tools that I needed to make my escape. Scooping the plaster chippings together with my hands, I piled them all together. I gathered them into my fist, and then poured them into the hollow leg of the upturned chair. A few tiny pieces dribbled through my fingers and back onto the floor, but these were so tiny, I doubted they would have been noticed. I poured the last of the chippings into the chair leg, snatched up the silver cap and rammed it back into place.
Just as my cell door swung open, I righted the chair, scooped up ‘The Wind in the Willows’ and pretended I’d been reading all along.
Phillips came striding into my cell, and I continued to read my book as if I hadn’t noticed him. Slowly, he circled me, and although I was pretending he wasn’t there, I knew he was looking at me.
“Who gave you the chair and the book?’” he barked.
“A wolf,” I said without looking up.
Without warning, he snatched the book out of my hands and tossed it across the room.
“Which wolf?” he roared so loudly, I nearly fell off my chair.
Guessing that Nik shouldn’t have given me these items and not wanting to get him into trouble, I replied, “They didn’t tell me their name. ”
“What did they look like?”
I met his gaze and said dryly, “Mmm…let me think about that…I guess they looked like a wolf!”
“Don’t get smart with me, Hudson, or it will be the last thing that you ever do!” he grunted as he moved closer towards me.
“Well how am I supposed to know? As far as I’m concerned, wolves all look alike,” I tried to explain.
“Well you’re not keeping them,” Phillips growled.
No! He can’t take them away! What about my escape? I need them!
“Please don’t take them,” I said. “I hate sitting on the floor all the time – it’s so uncomfortable. ”
“Tough luck,” Phillips snapped and pushed me off the chair with one shove of his claw-like hands.
I hit the floor hard and although my leg flared with pain, I noticed it was nowhere near as bad as it had been. But nevertheless, I gripped hold of it and screamed.
“Can’t you see I’m in pain?” I cried.
Phillips just stood over me and puckered his large fleshy lips.
“If I had somewhere comfortable to sit my leg might heal quicker,” I groaned.
Hearing this, he stared into my eyes and I saw a flash of something in them. It was as if I had said something that touched a nerve within him.
“The floor is hard and cold. How is my leg ever gonna heal if I’m lying on the ground all the time?” I told him.
I could sense that Phillips was thinking about this for a minute and then he said reluctantly, “Okay, you can keep it for the next few days, in the hope that it may aid your recovery. But if it doesn’t, I’m taking the chair back. Besides, if your leg hasn’t healed by then, you won’t be needing it again. ”
On hearing this, I rolled over onto my side and rubbed my leg, “Thank you,” I said. “I’m sure it will help. ”
Phillips just snorted in response and went back to the open door.
As he reached it, I called out to him and said, “What did you really come to my cell for?”
On hearing this, he stopped in the doorway and grinned at me.
“I came to tell you that you stink and it’s time for a wash!” He then disappeared into the corridor and as he went, I heard him say to someone or something, “She’s all yours!”
I looked at the open doorway as two Vampyrus appeared. It was only when I was hit in the chest with a powerful jet of water that I noticed the hosepipes in their hands.
The Vampyrus laughed between themselves as they hosed me down. The force of the water was so strong that it pushed me across the cell floor and into the wall. The water was freezing cold and tasted salty, like sea water.
Once they had their fun and games, they turned off the water and left me alone, wet and cold on my cell floor. I rubbed my hands up and down the length of my arms to dry myself. My hospital gown was soaked through and clung uncomfortably to me. Moving to the centre of the cell where the sun shone through the hole, I lay on my back and warmed myself in the pool of light. I looked up at the hole and smiled to myself.
So far so good! I’ll be out of here by the end of the week!
I knew that I would have to spend the next few nights chipping away, so I would have to sleep during the day to keep up my strength and give my leg a chance to heal. Phillips could open the zoo gates and give me an hour’s head start, but if my leg was still infected, then any escape would be pointless as I wouldn’t get very far.
The sunlight felt warm and soothing against my skin and as I drifted off to sleep I imagined th
…the blanket. It felt safe under the blanket.
I could hear the sound of sobbing.
“Bring me blood!” someone cried from down the corridor outside my room.
There was the sound of keys rattling in a lock.
“Have you brought me some blood?” the voice gasped.
Even from my hiding place beneath my blanket, I could hear the desperation in the voice – it sounded as if they were going out of their mind with cravings. I pulled my blanket tighter over my head.
Then there came a scuffling sound in the corridor outside. I peeked over the top of my covers and could see shadows darting back and forth under the gap beneath my door.
“She’s gone,” I heard a voice say and I knew it was one of those doctors talking, their voices sounding muffled as it seeped from beneath their surgical mask.
Climbing from under my blankets, I swung my legs over the side of my bed and stood. Immediately, I grabbed hold of the mattress as my head swooned with a dream-like weightlessness. Composing myself, I inched my way towards the little window in my door.
I peered over the lip of the frame and watched as two of those doctors wheeled a stretcher from a room down the corridor and headed towards me. As they came nearer, I could see Kayla lying on her back, her head propped up against some pillows. Her lips were swollen and purple. But as they pushed her closer, I could see to my horror that her lips weren’t swollen and purple, they were covered in blood.
They paused outside my door and I ducked down.
“Kayla, what have they done to you?” I whispered.
Then they were moving again and I stood up and looked back through the window just in time to see Kayla suddenly reach up with one bony hand. It looked hot and clammy and her fingers were twisted like claws. She waved her hand in the air as if acknowledging me. But that was impossible, right? How did she know that I was there? It was as if she had heard me whisper her name. And then the stretcher was gone and so was Kayla, as the doctors carried her away down the corridor and out of sight.
I crossed the room back towards my bed. Pulling the blankets back over my head, I closed my eyes again. I wanted to go to sleep and wished that I would never…