The Blood That Gives

He walks down the wet street, avoiding the dim light from the old fashion street lamps as he does so. He turns the corner and is confronted with London’s East End. The terraced houses stretch out on both sides, looming out of the dark April night. He stands on the street corner; hands in the pockets of his black drainpipe trousers, rubbing the side of his brown brogue shoe against the edge of the curb. His eyes come to rest on a mass of damp paper laying in the gutter; ‘East London Advertiser, Friday April 6th 1956. TEDDY BOY GANGS CAUSE TROUBLE IN THE EAST END.’

The sound of female laughter distracts him. He listens. His unhappy lips turn into a straight thoughtful line. He flips the high collar of his white shirt up and begins to walk down the road.  He passes a light blue Ford Prefect and stops to glance at himself in the wing mirror. He runs his hand over his chin; feeling nothing but smoothness and warmth. He notices the red blush covering his pale cheeks and is glad of it.  He checks his straight white teeth, pats down the top of his damp, slicked back, black hair and then gazes into his own dark blue eyes.

A sharp laugh cuts though his thoughts and he looks up towards the sound. He walks on, till he comes to stand at the end of the street. He lets the shadows cover him as he spies on the girls. There’s four them and they can’t be much older than himself. They sit in a circle, amongst the rubble remains of a bombed out house.

At a quick glance, he’d see them as boys and not girls, because the clothes they wear are similar to his; brown drainpipe trousers, crepe-sole shoes and black drape jackets. Of the two girls who face him; one wears a light coloured polar neck, with a thin blue scarf. She has short curly blond hair, a round face and a large smile.  The other girl wears a white shirt-open at the neck. She has shoulder length, brown curly hair, tied back in a ponytail and her face is long and thin.  It is this one that he likes.

‘Ma’ll kill me, I better get going,’ one of the girl’s voices calls out.

‘I’ll walk back with you,’ another answers.

He watches as the girls that have been sitting with their backs to him, stand up, say goodbye and leave. He lets a few seconds pass and then makes his way over. The other girls eye him suspiciously as he comes to the edge of the bombed out house. The one with the scarf around her neck takes a long drag of a cigarette and then says, ‘You got another?’

He’s glancing down, turning half a brick over with his shoe, when she speaks again. He looks up, nods his head and walks over to her, pulling the packet and match box from his pocket. He hands both to her, then sits down opposite them.

They study him now, puzzlement and questioning expressions on their faces.

‘You got a name?’

‘William,’ he lies, letting it slip off his tongue as if it is the truth.

She giggles, balances one of the cigarettes between her lips and says, ‘I’m Kath and this is Susan. Will you come and light this, William?’

He likes the way she pronounces the name, with the emphases on the ‘Will’ part. He gets up, takes the match and box from her and strikes it. He brings the light to the end of the cigarette and when it catches, he shakes the match out.

‘You got a girlfriend, William?’

‘No,’ he answers, letting the used match fall from his fingers. He slips the box back in his pocket and glances across at Susan. She is stubbing out her cigarette on the corner of a brick.

‘You want one?’ Kath asks.

He doesn’t reply, his eyes remain on Susan, who raises her own to his and stares at him hard, ‘What?’ she snaps.

‘Can I walk you home?’ he asks, shyly.

The girls laugh.

‘Alright then,’ Kath answers.

He steps forward and helps her stand up. He then holds on to her hand as he helps Susan to her feet. He drops their hands quickly and throws his arms around their necks, causing them to lose their balance and fall to the floor. He pins Susan under him, covering her mouth with his hand, as he twists Kath’s head to the side and buries his head in her throat. When he is done with Kath, he pushes off her and moves on top of Susan. He looks down into her shocked face. He is breathing deeply, his mouth open revealing his blood covered fangs. Droplets of Kath’s blood drip from his face and down on to Susan’s.

He grins. The hunger is still burning deep inside of him, it needs to be fed and he has chosen well tonight.


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