It hit her in the head like a locomotive. That sound, a scream, but silent. A silent scream that had so much volume that there was no room in her head for thought, only pain. The pain stopped briefly but long enough for Ellen to wonder what had hit her. Had she been shot, been hit by a car, a person, a…. Then that awful noise again. Ellen’s legs buckled and she fell to the ground. No strength to lift her arms for protection. She just fell, her head bouncing off the pavement with a sickening crack. The noise stopped.
The sun had still not emerged from behind the tall buildings when Ellen’s eyes began to open. Slowly, slowly. Her eyes were unfocussed; blurry, Ellen rubbed at them absently, trying to remember where she was and what had happened. She ruffled her hair and the memories came back in a bright flash that left stars dancing in front of her eyes. Her hand moved again to the front of her head, just above her right eye, but softer this time. A massive golf ball sized lump protruded from her eyebrow. She could feel that it was bruised but there didn’t appear to be any blood, wet or dry, which was a relief. Ellen’s head ached but that seemed to be the only injury so she surveyed her surroundings. She had stayed where she fell and her purple Radley handbag still sat on her shoulder. No-one nearby, all the lights in the towering office buildings on each side of her were off. There was no breeze. Ellen started to stand, stumbled again and then found her feet. She stood for a few moments, steadying herself before adjusting her skirt and slowly walking towards the station. There would be no trains at this time. She wasn’t actually sure what time it was, she never wore a watch and had left her mobile at home this morning. Judging by the cool temperature, the colour of the sky and the lack of noise she guessed at about 3:30am. Still, hopefully the station would be open, she could sit and wait. She didn’t much fancy walking the four and a half mile journey home. A taxi would cost too much, she couldn’t call one anyway.
The station wasn’t open, but there was a bench outside so Ellen sat. She pulled her coat up her neck trying to cut out the cool breeze that had picked up in the wide open space in front of the station. She wondered what had happened to her earlier this morning. She had left the office at around 12:30am (had been finishing off some web copy for a pain in the arse client who was refusing to pay unless it was completed by that morning) and had walked past the busy bars and clubs. She remembered the smell of the cigarette smoke; she had walked slower past the bars with outside smoking areas. She missed it, had given up two months, three days and about 6 hours ago. She remembered walking down the road next to the old abandoned church, seeing the kids who were too young to get served at the bars with their bottles of white lightning and sloppily rolled cigarettes sitting on top of the gravestones. Then, after the church, it was a bit of a blank. She was in a street where there were large office buildings but no bars. No bars meant no people. All the office doors sat flush to the pavement so there were no tramps. All the tramps, messed up on bottles of supermarket own brank alcohol, lay curled up under bridges down by the river by now. No, it was quiet and would be until the morning which, Ellen suspected, is why no-one had found her. Either that or they had seen a woman asleep on the pavement and assumed she was one of those winos. It would have been hard to tell otherwise through the eyes of an office worker with one to many jagerbombs coursing through his system. She remembered being hit from behind. No, she hadn’t been hit, at least not physically. It was inside her head; maybe a migraine had come on really quickly and knocked her out. Ellen had never had a migraine and if that is what they felt like, she would be quite happy never to have one again. That must have been what it was. Pleased with her deductions, Ellen settled back onto the uncomfortable bench, pulled her hands and neck into her thin coat and closed her eyes, just for a second.
Ellen woke up to a thud as her foot slipped off the bench onto the floor. She stretched her arms up above her head. She had fallen asleep, not for long though, nothing had changed. The night was still dark, the street was still silent, and she was still cold. Ellen decided to go for a wander, maybe warm herself up so she pushed forwards off the bench. She fell to the floor. Now Ellen was glad that it was so quiet, she felt foolish. Her legs had gone dead and now her rear end hurt. So with an ache at the top and at the bottom, Ellen reached down to massage her feet. She was shocked. Her shoes were gone, and when she touched her feet she realised they were not numb at all. They felt there, but they felt… not there. They had gone soft; they felt like one of those stress balls that were so popular in the late 90’s. A bolt of panic went through Ellen as she squeezed her other foot and felt the same. What had happened? She moved her hand up her leg. The skin rippling under the pressure from her hand. No, not her skin, her flesh, all the way down to her bo… Ellen squeezed her leg and now, she screamed. There was no bone. The solid curve of her shin bone had gone leaving only a balloon full of blood and tendons. Where her kneecap had been there was just a sunken crevice. Her scream deteriorated to a hoarse whine as her breathe ran out. Tears fell down her cheeks and she let out deep sobs, not quite catching her breath enough to scream again. She didn’t want to scream again, she wanted to get up and run away. She wanted her legs to feel solid again. Her mind was a mass of thoughts, nothing coherent, just bouncing off of the walls of her brain. “Stop it, Stop it, Stop it” she shouted at herself. Ellen needed to work out what to do. This all felt like a dream, a nightmare but Ellen knew better. Dreams were never this solid; you could always tell what was a dream and what was reality. No, not a dream, but something really, really messed up.
Ellen examined her legs properly. The thigh of her left leg had folded in half underneath her when she had fallen, so she knew that the bone had disappeared from there without having to check it. Her weight had caused the insides of her thigh to move down her leg and balloon out, stretching the skin into a football sized lump. She pushed down onto her right thigh, the same. Ellen didn’t feel panicked now, she felt strangely calm, a weird euphoria washing over her. Slowly at first, as if she had just had an anaesthetic injection and it was starting to work. Ellen could still move but her movements were getting slower and she settled back against the bench, her useless legs lying on the floor in front, and behind, her. Creased and rippled, she could actually see the movement of her muscles, completely useless without her bones, and a smile broached her lips.
Ellen knew what was happening now, knew without a shadow of a doubt and it made her happy. Happy that she could be at the beginning of this, this new race. This new race of vampires. Not the rubbish that they put on TV - leather jacket wearing, big toothed men who hated garlic. The vampire that Ellen had inside of her were far better adapted. She could feel it dissolving her bones as she sank down to the pavement, slowly at first, but getting progressively quicker as the hoard inside of her grew, and grew, and grew. It was evolving, splitting into two, four, eight, sixteen. Ellen’s face was only a foot away from the pavement, her breathe came in short, shallow gasps. The sun was coming up, Ellen would have estimated the time at about 6am if she had been capable of thinking about anything other than the creatures growing inside of her, eating her bones. People were beginning to come out of the station, and then some just turned screaming, running back into the station. People pointing, shouting, staring, people on mobile phones taking pictures or calling the police. Ellen just smiled. Soon, her creatures will have finished their meal and would be after their next. There were many more now and they were hungry. Ellen looked out at the group of staring people with the eye that wasn’t smothered by a mass of wrinkled skin. She smiled; her children were very, very hungry.