Hunger – Part 1 of 3 – Written by Sheila J.


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Lately, it’s been harder to control. It’s taken over my entire cognitive process, leaving my brain with no choice but to fixate on it.

The hunger.

I’ve known of its presence for some time now, buried deep in the dark parts of my soul, waiting. The end was inevitable. My mum’s blood had sealed my fate.

North West England – City of Liverpool 

Freya.

She’d been out all night again.

I’d fallen asleep while watching a show on the box when my mum finally returned to our flat. Sunrise was approaching as she walked through the door nonchalantly. Blood stained her lips and covered the front of her shirt. Walked passed the couch and barely made eye contact with me as she headed towards her room.

She’d been reckless for months now. Lurking in the darkness and feeding until the night’s end. Over taken by the second stage of grief.

93 days.

That’s how long I’d been without a father. He was robbed at gunpoint by a street beggar in Central station. Two bullets pierced his body. The first fractured his pelvis, but it was the second that was fatal. The shot punctured his upper thigh and severed the femoral artery. Bled out in minutes, possibly seconds. Subject to death like any other mortal.

He wasn’t like her. 

For a while I thought I shared the same DNA as humans. I blended in among them, aging and developing like them. But I had inherited something not even my parents were aware of at the time. I discovered it shortly after puberty.

Bitches.

The other school girls hadn’t been the nicest too me. I was quiet, a bit awkward and very much anti-social. The stereotypical loner and an easy target for teen girls to project their insecurities onto. They threw things at me in the halls, knocked my books out of my arms and scratched obscenities into the front of my locker. A couple of times they even locked me in the loo with them. Took turns slapping me in the face while pinning me down on the cold tile.

One afternoon a group of them followed me on my way home. Tossed rocks at the back of my head. I ran. They chased me for blocks before I lost them. In the midst of trying to catch my breath I walked into the road without looking.

Epic fucking fail.

I’ll never forget the sound of my right shoulder popping out of place or the feeling of my sternum and rib cage cracking. Windshield glass and debris pierced my flesh as my body hit the hard ground. The driver fled the scene. I was left alone gasping and begging for air until it happened for the first time.

I died.

I don’t remember the time in between my death and when I awoke, but the first few moments after I opened my eyes were almost unbearable. I felt all of the initial pain from the collision all over again. But it didn’t last long.

I stood up in the middle of the road with torn clothes and fresh blood coating me. Breathing was normal. Cuts and bruises healed. Bones back in place and unbroken.

Realized I was somewhat like her.

What my mum was had never been kept secret from me. I was aware of her inability to ingest food. The reason she hid in the darkness.

For many years my mum survived drinking from blood bags. It helped her keep some of her humanity. After my father’s murder any existence of that disappeared.

I had never witnessed her in this state before. Careless. Reckless. So hungry. Corpses were piling up all over the city.

Day 347.

I helped her chop and dispose of a body. Rigor mortis had already set in as we hacked through stiffen muscles and bone. We placed various pieces in different bin liners. Scattered and buried them across Merseyside County. This wasn’t the first time I helped clean up her shit.

A few weeks prior I came home to the postman crawling in the hallway of our flat. His hand covered a leaking wound on his neck as he attempted to make it to the front door. He reached his arm out towards me. Asked me to help him. I nodded. Grabbed a plastic bin liner from the closet.

“I’m sorry,” I told him.

I opened the bin liner and placed it over his head. Squeezed tight so air couldn’t get in. His body jerked and twitched for a few seconds before he collapsed on the floor.

Day 359.

I couldn’t sleep. Stayed up awaiting for her to return from yet another binge. My mind had been unsettled for hours. Eventually I made peace with what would happen next.

Once she was home the loud bangs begin.

“Open the door,” my mum asked me from outside as she knocked. I stood on the other side. She called out to me again and again. Hit the door harder as I ignored her demands. “Open the fucking door,” she yelled. Adrenaline rushed through my body. Eyes dilated, sweat formed on my palms and breathing heightened. Each pound to the door made my heart jump. She beat on it until her bloody knuckle came through it. Entire hand. Arm. Unfortunately for her, I was prepared.

The door was chained shut and every piece of furniture I could lift was blocking her entry. For my own welfare I hoped I bought myself enough time. She yanked on that chain while calling me every foul name she could think of. Threatened to pull my heart out of my chest once she made it inside.

But she wouldn’t get the chance to follow through.

I’ll never forget that sound. A horrifying shriek that pierced through my ear drums. Caused goosebumps to form on my arms and the tiny hairs on the back of my neck to rise. I could then smell her skin cooking as the light in the sky became brighter. My mum disintegrated in front of me until she was no more.

Ashes.

 

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