I was stuck in that one room...with no way out. Nothing to do but read, nervously pace the floor, and sleep whenever the next morning's sun had risen. Another day or two had passed and still no word. Where was Glenn? Where was my lovely Glenn? Is he awake yet? Is he scared? Is he alone? The growing hysteria of it all made me suddenly rush the door again and pound on it with my fists until the bones felt like they were going to crack against the metal surface.
"LET ME OUT OF HERE!!! PLEASE!!! I'M NOT HERE TO HURT ANYBODY!!!" But there was no answer except for my own echo, bouncing off of those lonely walls aligning the dark hallway outside. I doubt that I was anywhere near the other inhabitants. Probably too far to have my cries for help noticed at all. But after my charred fists got too sore to continue, a few stray tears fell from my eye, and I slid down to the floor...wallowing in the hopelessness of my current situation. Why did Kazuhiko send me here? What is this evil place?
I eventually stopped fighting it and surrendered. What other choice did I have, but to sit there and await my release? I just hope it will be soon.
I was staring up at the ceiling, my hands folded across my chest, preoccupying my troubled mind with golden memories that Glenn and I had spent together on the streets of Chicago...just before he was ready to be turned. I remember him feeling a little bit nervous about nearing the point where he would finally take the plunge and leave the rest of the world behind. I know that it must have been weighing heavy on his mind, but I never pressured him. In fact, I never even brought it up unless he decided to ask me a few more questions about it.
"So...you're saying, like...forever, right? We get to live forever. Like...forever ever?" He asked as we were walking along the edge of the lake, his boyish smile always warming my heart whenever he flashed it in my direction.
"Well...forever is a long time. Hehehe!" I replied. "We can be hurt, obviously. And we always have to keep our hearts protected at all times. And, I mean...if your mind isn't sharp, it starts to sort of fall apart after a century or so..."
"Unh unh! You said forever. That's what you told me." He giggled.
"Well, technically...I suppose we're built for it."
"So it's possible then?" He raised an eyebrow in the cutest way, making me laugh. "I think it's possible. You just don't wanna tell me."
That's when I looked into his eyes and I told him, "You make me feel like everything is possible, Glenn. So, if you say it can happen...I've got no choice but to believe you."
"Good!" He smirked. "Because that's exactly what I'm saying. 'Forever', it is."
Three more days pass.
The unending quiet was killing me, and I had taken to humming soft melodies to myself just to keep from being surrounded by such a deafening silence. It's hard to believe that this was even happening to me at this point, but my mind had become numb to thoughts of trying to get anybody's attention. After a few hours of banging and screaming, I gave up entirely. Not even little Jason came to rescue me from the stillness of that room with one of his sneaky late night visits. And so, my soft humming continued, as I watched the door with impatient eyes, counting my breaths to pass the time. Then...I heard footsteps approaching my door one night, shortly after waking up out of my sleep cycle. I was instantly broken out of my trance. I sat up immediately, and felt my heart jump as a key was inserted into the lock outside my door.
In walked the angry dwarf, Jeremiah, and another tall man that I had never seen before. They all gave me a look of concern, and my first thought was that they had finally found out that I wasn't some plotting terrorist, and were now going to have to beg me for forgiveness. Or at least provide me with the apology that they promised. My pride would want me to punish them for leaving me to rot in here for over a week, but I swear that I'd forgive them anything if they would just let me out of here to see my Glenn again, safe and sound.
This time, Jeremiah stood directly in front of the other two men and asked me, "Your friend that you brought in here...how much longer do you think he has left before his crossover is complete?"
The mere mention of that question caused my nerves to tighten up with fear. "What do you mean? WHY??? What's wrong???"
"Please, just answer the question." The other tall man said.
Trying to calm down, but hearing the quivering of my voice when I answered, "I dunno. I've been here for so long. I haven't been watching him. So...maybe a couple of days, I guess? I'm not really sure. He's my first turn. I've never actually done one before." They looked at one another, and then back at me. "Would one of you mind telling me what the fuck is going on???"
Jeremiah looked almost sympathetic in that moment. It was a look that I had never seen in his eyes. "Mr. Lomax....'Julian'...it appears that there may have been some...complications involved in your boyfriend's crossover."
My eyes widened and my mouth went dry. What was he saying? What was he telling me? "WHAT HAPPENED??? WHAT COMPLICATIONS???" I hopped up from the mattress and was prepared to bite and claw my way through all three of them to get out of this room if I had to.
But this time, he didn't try to stop me from leaving. He simply gave the other two men a nod to tell them to step aside, and he said, "You may want to come with us." He pointed me in the right direction, and we began our long journey down the empty corridor to figure out what was happening here. I was shaking, worried to the point of tears, but I hurried forward to get to my love before they changed their mind.
Jeremiah led me around a few dark corners and downstairs into a basement network of rooms. We walked in silence all the way to the back, where he used another key to open the lock and guide me inside. At the far end of the room, I saw a body covered up with a blanket, turned away from me and facing the wall while curled up in the fetal position. Without thinking, I instantly burst forward to be at his side again, and the others had no time to stop me. I hurried over to the bed and gave the lump a hug, warm tears pouring out of my eyes as I finally reconnected with my only light in the darkness. But then, I noticed something 'off' about the feel of him. A lump or two that felt large, stiff, and out of place. He seemed to be shivering and sweating profusely at the same time. Something about his body felt...misshapen and wrong. And as I lifted my head from his shoulder, taking a hold of his shoulder to slowly roll him over on his back...what I saw caused me to jump back with a gasp of utter horror!
Glenn's hair was falling out, even his eyebrows. It was almost gone completely. His skin had become extremely pale, riddled with dark purple, red, and blue, veins and arteries, that seemed to crawl all over his arms, neck, and chest. His teeth had become long, twisted, pointy, and sharp. The eyes, now half open while he slept, were a permanent shade of deep crimson, bloodshot with black capillaries, cursed with a demonic glare. What was this? Why was Glen changing like this? In anger, I turned around to look at my three wardens. "What did you DO to him?!?!?! WHY does he look like this????"
"We haven't done anything to him, Mr. Lomax." Jeremiah said. "I'm afraid...that this is your doing. Not ours."
"What the fuck are you TALKING about?!!?"
The tall man stepped forward and said, "Julian...do you know what a 'Nosferatu' is?"
I wiped some tears away with a sniffle, and looked back at him. "It's a....it's an old monster movie or something, right?"
"I'm afraid that it's much more than that. It's a highly abnormal condition that sometimes occurs during a vampire's crossover. You said that this was your first sire attempt, correct?"
"Yes..." I couldn't take my eyes off of Glenn, his face deformed and mutated into such a monstrous image. "...I was always scared to do it before now. i wanted my first to be with someone I really loved. Someone I trusted."
"And you've never had anyone teach you about crossover bites and how they work?" The tall man asked. "Who sired you?"
"I...I found a bloodsmith up North. He bit me, took care of me until my change was complete...then he gave me some info that he got from The Long Dark Foundation...but that was it." I said. "Can you tell me what any of this has to do with what's happening to my Glenn?"
"Well...sometimes...and it's very rare...but sometimes, when a vampire bites their crossover target, the emotional attachment is so great that the chemical transfer that takes place between sire and host is delivered in an overabundance. The transformative toxins flood the system like a venom, and it becomes too much for the human body to handle. Resulting in a defective offspring." He told me. "Did you two share a long courtship before your decision to turn him?"
"Um...yeah. Two years, I think." I sniffled. "He was 13 when we met, but he was determined for us to be together. He wanted to grow a little more...he wanted to be the same age as me when his body became permanently locked into that form." I said, still trying to keep from bawling helplessly at the sickening image in front of me. His eyes used to be so green. His hair, so perfect, and so golden. How could my baby change so much in such a short amount of time?
"That might be why the attachment was so strong. Your eternity bands seemed to work, but...his transformation is rapidly spinning out of control." The man said.
"Ok...so...what do I do now?" I asked. "How do I fix this?"
The three men looked at one another again, and Jeremiah said, "I'm afraid...there's no known way for any vampire to reverse the process once it has begun. He will continue to change into a Nosferatu vampire, and there isn't anything we can do to cure it. I'm very sorry."
Just then, I heard a scuffle happening outside of the door to the room, and loud shouting during some sort of struggle. I looked back as an older man came bursting through the doorway in a panic. "That's it! That's the fucking beast right there! It's right THERE!!!" He screamed. Two guards rushed in to twist his arms behind his back and hold him still. "Leave me alone!!! You don't know what it is! You have no IDEA!!! I've seen it before! I've seen what these things can do!!! You don't understand...it'll kill us all!!! It'll kill us all!!! KILL US ALL!!!!"
They dragged the man out of the room, kicking and screaming, as his frenzied babbling continued all the way down the hall. And it was then that Jeremiah approached me again. "Julian...we are going to have to make some very difficult decisions from here on out. And we're going to have to do it quickly. Time is of the essence."
"What? What do you mean?"
The tall man added, "Your boyfriend here....he is definitely going to be a Nosferatu when he awakens. There is no question of that. And Nosferatus can be a very dangerous breed of vampire indeed." He said. "Their thirst is instantaneous once being born into darkness, and it is insatiable. The mind shuts down and becomes forever lost in the perpetual haze of an intense bloodlust like you wouldn't believe...permanently. They not only drink all the blood that they can find upon awakening, whether it be human or vampire, but they have been known to cannibalize their victims' flesh as well. Even though it causes them great pain to do so, they will be absolutely merciless in their acts of carnage."
"What are you telling me?" I cried.
"There's no easy way to put this, Mr. Lomax, so I'm just going to say it." Jeremiah said. "What we have here is a ticking time bomb. A destructive force that is a danger to every living thing in this sanctuary and beyond. Including you. When that 'thing' opens its eyes, its first objective is going to be to feed and feed on every random source of blood and sustenance that it can find until its belly is too full to digest anything more. And a few hours later, it will get up and do it again. And again. And again...until there's no one left. We can't have that."
I turned to shoot daggers in their direction with my eyes. "YOU STAY AWAY FROM HIM!!!"
"I'm sorry, Julian. I understand that this is an extremely hard experience for any vampire to go through. Believe me, I once had to endure the guilt of such an unforgivable task myself once before. But you have to understand....we cannot allow this creature to live. We cannot allow it to fully crossover to term so it can run through this sanctuary, ripping us apart, one at a time. Nosferatus are strong. Unnaturally strong. And savage beyond all comprehension. We don't have any locks that will hold him for very long. We don't have any weapons that could possibly stop him from slaughtering everything in his path. We are all at risk here."
"You're asking me to murder my fucking boyfriend in his sleep??? Is that what you're asking me?"
There was a silence in the room. But Jeremiah, always the straight shooter, no matter what the consequence, told me flat out, "That thing...is no longer your boyfriend. There is no doubt that this creature is going to wake up any day now, and it is going to cause a lot of damage before it leaves this place and runs out into the streets looking for more. We have no choice but to put an end to this issue while we still have a fighting chance." He took a long 17 inch metal shiv out of his belt and tossed it down on the floor at my feet. "We're going to allow you to stay here with your boyfriend for the rest of tonight and tomorrow. But that's all the time we can give you. Say your goodbyes...and then take the appropriate action. Tomorrow night, we're going to bleed him in his sleep and put him out for the daylight to take care of the remains." He stopped for a moment as I sobbed softly on Glenn's shoulder, running my fingertips over the eternity band symbol on his arm. Forever...that's what he wanted. He told me it was possible...and I assured him that it would be. So how did everything go so wrong?
Jeremiah was remorseful, I could tell...but there was no way that it was gonna stop him from doing what he had to do in order to protect his precious sanctuary and its inhabitants. "I'm sorry, Julian. I truly am. I wish we could give you more time.
"GET OUT!!!!" I suddenly shouted at the top of my lungs! "GET THE FUCK OUT!!! I DON'T WANT ANYBODY IN HERE!!! YOU'RE NOT GONNA TOUCH HIM!!! NOT MY GLENN!!!" I screamed until my throat began to burn, and they all bowed out gracefully to walk out of the door.
But before closing it behind them, Jeremiah told me..."You have until midnight tomorrow. And not a minute longer. Again....I am sorry." And he left me alone with my beauty. My Glenn. His body shaking and shivering slightly, turning from cold to feverish and back to cold, as his poor, helpless, teenage frame went through the hideous changes that I was seeing in him go through. I heard the heavy metal door lock behind me, and I was a prisoner all over again. But, at least this time I had Glenn by my side.
I ran my fingers through his hair...as clumps of it fell to the mattress, or got wrapped up in my fingertips. Oh God....not my love. Not him.
As the next few minutes ticked by...I laid at my lover's side, and held him tight to my chest. Hoping that my love could somehow bring him back. That somehow, our promise to be together forever would reverse the horrible damage that I've done. He didn't ask for this. It's my fault! ALL of it! I should have been more careful! I should have learned more about this stuff before I bit him! I should've...
But there was nothing I could do. At least, not at the moment. One thing I did know, was that those bastards weren't going to lay a hand on him. Not if I have anything to say about it.
Even if I have to break out of this place and find a way to take him elsewhere...I have no plans of letting someone harm the only love of my life. We've been through too much to give up on each other now.