Vampire breed, p.7

Vampire Breed, page 7

 part  #4 of  Kiera Hudson Series One Series

 

Vampire Breed
 



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Page 7

 

  “. . . wake-up!” the voice said in my ear.

  I peered through my half-closed eyes and stared into the face of Nik. The wolf was standing over me. The cell was in semi darkness, as the daylight outside began to fade.

  “What do you want?” I groaned, my stomach aching and my skin feeling hot as my body started to crave the red stuff again.

  “To say thank you,” he said softly.

  “What for?”

  “For not telling. ”

  I pulled myself up onto my elbows and winced. My bladder was full and I desperately needed to take a pee.

  “What you talking about?” I mumbled.

  “For not telling Phillips it was me who brought you the chair and book. ”

  “Oh, that,” I said, as I got to my feet. I gingerly placed my right foot onto the floor and waited for the explosion of pain, but it didn’t come. It still hurt and throbbed, but not as bad as before. My back continued to throb where I had been operated on, but it was bearable.

  “Phillips was asking all sorts of awkward questions. He wanted to know which one of us it was,” Nik said.

  “What happened?” I asked, as I placed the flat of my hand against my bladder.

  “He said that if he ever found out who had been kind to the half-breed, he would rip their throat out,” Nik told me. ”I’m going to have to be careful until Phillips has got everything sorted out. ”

  “Got what sorted out?” I asked him.

  “I don’t know. ” he told me.

  “How did I know you were gonna say that?” I said dryly, looking over my shoulder at the hole in the ground. The urge to pee was gnawing away inside of me now and I didn’t know how much longer I could last.

  “Are you okay?” Nik asked, looking at me with his yellow eyes.

  “Yeah, I just need to pee. ” I told him.

  “Well go then,” he said. “What’s the problem?”

  “You are,” I winced, as I tried to hold back.

  “How come?”

  “I’m not going in front of you,” I assured him.

  “Why not?”

  “What do you mean, why not? It’s private – that’s why!”

  “How strange,” he woofed, and it sounded as he were laughing at me.

  “Strange to wolves perhaps, but not to me. I don’t like to be looked at while I’m going, if you know what I mean. ”

  Nik turned away from me with a swish of his tail. “Happy now?” he asked.

  “Not perfect, but better,” I said hobbling over to the hole in the ground. “Promise you won’t look?”

  “I promise,” he replied wearily.

  Hitching up my gown, I peered over my shoulder just to make sure I wasn’t being watched. Once I had finished, I turned round and made my way back to the middle of the cell.

  “You can look now,” I told him and although he hadn’t watched me as promised, I still felt stripped away as if I had lost most of my dignity and I knew in my heart that I was living like an animal.

  Turning around, Nik said, “I don’t know what all the fuss was about. ”

  “You wouldn’t understand,” I moaned, sitting on the chair.

  “You’d be surprised how much I understand the situation you’re in,” Nik said, laying on the floor and resting his snout against his paws.

  “What do you mean?” I asked him, his giant flanks easing in and out as he lay at my feet.

  “I told you I’d been captured, right?” he said, glancing up at me. “It’s like I’ve been caught in a photograph – trapped in that pose forever – unless…”

  “Unless what?”

  “Unless I make amends…for my past,” he barked. “Until I do that I’m trapped in the guise of a wolf just like you’re trapped inside these four walls. ”

  “So if you make amends for whatever it is that you’ve done, the curse is lifted,” I said. “But where does that leave me? What do I have to do to get out of here?”

  Nik lay still on the floor and I watched how his long grey fur shimmered in the cool breeze from above us. Then looking down at his paws, he said, “You can’t get out of here, Kiera; like me, you’re trapped. ”

  Glancing quickly up at the ceiling, I whispered, “What makes you so sure that I can’t get out of here?”

  “You might think about escaping,” he said, still not looking at me, “but even if you did, you would only come back. ”

  “You’re kidding me, right?” I scoffed. “If I ever did get out of here, I couldn’t think of one reason that would entice me back to this filthy, godforsaken place. ”

  “I can,” he said.

  “And what’s that?” I demanded.

  “Human flesh,” he barked softly. “You’re an addict, Kiera. ”

  Hearing those words made my stomach somersault, but this time not with hunger of desperate cravings, but revulsion. In my heart, I knew that the raw meat that had been passed to me through the hatch had been human flesh, but in my head I had convinced myself that it had been raw steak or anything but human. But to hear it spoken aloud by Nik had pulled the curtain aside that I had so conveniently hung over what was really feeding my addiction.

  Not wanting to reveal my own self-loathing and revulsion at what I’d been eating, I swallowed hard and said, “I could find more if I really wanted to. ”

  “Believe me, you really would want to find some more,” Nik woofed and looked up at me. “But human meat is in short supply in these parts. ”

  I shot forward in my chair and said, “How long has it been since you’ve seen a human?”

  “Months,” he said, flicking away a swarm of flies with his tail.

  “What, they’re all dead?” I asked, not believing what I was hearing.

  “In this area, yes,” he replied. “I don’t venture out of the zoo much – but there is a town nearby to the east, its called Wasp Water. But all the humans there are dead. ”

  Hearing him say this upset me and made me fearful for what I would find if I ever managed to escape from my cell. But unwittingly, he was giving me information just like the jailer’s daughter had helped Mister Toad in The Wind in the Willows, and again I glanced down at the book where Phillips had tossed it. To know that the town of Wasp Water was to the east of the zoo told me that I was still in Cumbria in the north of England. Wasp Water had been one of the towns that Murphy had skirted us around on our way to the monastery, so I knew that I wasn’t far from the lake and the Fountain of Souls.

  It wasn’t much, but it was something. It gave me some bearings – a direction to head in when I broke out of here. But if all the people were dead there, what would be the point? There would be shelter, cars, technology – anything that I might be able to use to get as far away from Cumbria as possible or at least tell the rest of the world what was really going on behind and beneath the Cumbria Mountains.

  “So if all the people are dead in Wasp Water, where has the…the meat been coming from?” I asked him.

  “The Vampyrus rounded up several hundred of them and they’re being kept here at the zoo in cages,” he said.

  Hearing this reminded me of something my mother had said to me in my cell beneath the mountains. Hadn’t she said something about keeping humans like animals in factory farms?

  “But you can’t keep people locked up in a zoo!” I hissed.

  Looking at me with his yellow stare, Nik said, “It’s the only zoo in the world where the humans are the exhibits and the animals come to visit. ”

  “This isn’t some kinda joke, you know!” I yelled at him. “We’re talking about human beings!”

  “Of which you’re not one,” he said, standing on all fours.

  And every time someone or thing reminded me of that, my heart sunk a little bit deeper inside my chest and I couldn’t help but reach round and gently poke those bony black fingers that protruded from my back. They were my constant
reminder that Nik was right. I was fast losing my human side, and becoming just like them – an animal. But that didn’t mean I had to behave like one of them. No longer was I going to eat that meat they pushed through the hatch at me. I wouldn’t have another mouthful even if it meant killing me.

  With a swish of his tail, Nik headed towards the cell door.

  “What’s going to happen to me?” I called after him. “What’s going to happen to Kayla and Isidor?”

  “If Phillips has his way, you and your friends will all soon be dead. ” Then Nik was gone, disappearing beyond the door and leaving me alone again.

  Chapter Eleven

  “Dead!” I yelled at the closed door. Lashing out in frustration, I kicked the chair across my cell. Immediately my leg roared in pain and I dropped to the floor and held my shin.

  My desire to escape was even stronger than ever and I looked up at the hole above me. I couldn’t believe that the world just outside its walls was now being run by a bunch of talking animals who intended to kill me and my friends. I needed to find out for myself if it were all true. Finding myself locked up with the Vampyrus and Lycanthrope was enough to drive anyone insane – but to think that my friends might soon die on the strength of my scabby leg – that was more than I would or could comprehend.

  The pain in my leg began to ease, so I shuffled across the floor to the chair. On the way, I noticed that a fresh bowl of food and water had been placed by the hatch and I guessed the paw had put it there while I had been sleeping earlier. I stopped long enough to devour half of the water, leaving some to aid me with my escape later. Looking down at the bowl of meat…flesh sitting in its bloody puddle, I reached out for it. But the images of people locked up in cages, being taken away and butchered to feed my cravings was enough to make me push the bowl aside. Even though I turned away, in the back of my mind, I knew that it was there, red and ripe and succulent.

  “Stop it!” I hissed out loud as my stomach began to knot, my throat turning dry and my skin beginning to prickle with heat.
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