Lazarus looked down at the pitiful collection of products in his basket as he walked to the check out. Two large bottles of the cheapest vodka he could find, shaving foam and some apples. The apples gleamed up at him, dark red and inviting. Melissa’s eyes had been that colour. His face contorted with self disgust and he left the queue. He dropped the bag of apples back where he got them from and wandered off, looking for something else to eat. Eventually, not finding anything that particularly appealed to a broken heart, he simply grabbed a couple of microwave dinners and hoped that his ancient microwave worked.
He ignored the cashier’s strange look as his items were scanned, the vodka totalling to more than the food itself. Without a word, Lazarus gathered up his things in a flimsy plastic bag and left. He walked back along the road he had come down with Melissa only minutes ago and sighed. Had he said anything to make her choose to leave? Maybe he should have told her she couldn’t leave. But then that would weigh on my conscience even more. He resisted the urge to bang his head on the wall as he turned the corner to his block of council flats.
Entering the building, he looked at the lifts and saw the flickering lights of the call buttons. Deciding it was probably safer to take the stairs, he began the long ascent. His legs began to protest as he reached the third floor and he mumbled curses the whole way up the last flight of stairs. He pulled out his key and not looking where he was going, realised there was a horrible crunching as he put his foot down. Looking down, his eyes were met with the sight of a shattered piece of wood, its deep rich colour shining up at him. Melissa’s violin. He looked around the dim corridor, but saw no one.
Slotting the key in his door, he pushed his way into his apartment. He put his shopping bag down on the sofa and went back to the broken violin. His insides tugged unhappily as he bent down to pick up the pieces. He wished time hadn’t moved so quickly as he thought of his old friend, a luthier. He could have fixed this in a week, Lazarus thought sadly as he set the fragments down on his desk beside his laptop. He glanced at the laptop and decided to look for another luthier later on, but first he had to see Melissa.
He closed his door quietly behind him and took the two steps to Melissa’s apartment, knocking lightly on her door. The room beyond was quiet; he heard nothing as he tried to listen beyond the door, just the quiet breeze from the unlocked window down the hall. He listened harder, focussing on her apartment alone, and realised he could hear something faint, an irregular hiccoughing sound.
‘Melissa?’ he asked, knocking on the door again. The thin wood swayed slightly as he put more pressure into his knocks. It was unlocked.
‘What?’ she cried from the corner of the room. The room smelt of sorrow and her bloodied tears.
‘Wh- Why are you crying?’ Lazarus asked bemused. He didn’t open the door, centuries old courtesy keeping him in the hall.
‘Why do you care? Go away.’ She sniffed. Lazarus frowned and abandoned his politeness. He pushed into the dark room and searched for Melissa.
‘No.’ His voice was firm, but gentle as he spoke. ‘I’m not going anywhere.’ He tried to see her through the thick darkness, but he couldn’t seem to find her. ‘I want to know why you said what you did. I think I deserve some kind of explanation for it. First you tell me you love me, and then you tell me to go to hell. What’s wrong?’
‘Because you deserve it. Now go away.’ She growled. Rising, she stumbled towards him and tried to push him. Her strength failed her again and she snarled, her head down she continued to try to push him. Unmoved by her attempts to dislodge him from where he stood, Lazarus looked down at her as she pushed.
‘What did I do to deserve it?’ he was unable to hide the hurt in his voice any longer, letting it break his voice.
‘Everything!’ she howled, taking a step back, glaring at him defiantly.
''I don't understand,' He whispered sadly, warily watching her dark shadowy figure. 'In fact, I don't need to.’ His tone snapped out of the melancholy note it had held, replacing it with an authoritarian one. ‘You have less than twenty four hours to get out of here; don't bother this town again.' He told her coldly and turned away, leavening Melissa standing in her dank apartment.
‘Make me.’ Her defiant growl followed him out of the door and he spun around, marching straight back in.
‘Oh I don’t need to. You’ll get out of here before I open your blinds and let the moonlight in. The wolf is stirring, and you don’t wanna be around for that. Or maybe you do. Maybe you too, have had enough of this half life we live. Would you like me to end it for you, Melissa?’ He hissed the words in her ear, his hands on her waist tenderly, like a lover, though his words were those of someone that had snapped.
‘Go on.’ She whispered back, kissing his cheek softly. ‘At least then I will die by your hands, not his.’ She stared into the empty corridor behind them. Waiting for his response. She didn't care, ‘What's eternity without someone to spend it with?’ She whispered softly, more to herself than to Lazarus. He laughed mirthlessly and pushed her away from him, making her stumble, he back colliding with a wall. She choked back a sob and tried to straighten herself, but he was beside her in the blink of an eye. She listened as his heartbeat sped up, the wolf taking over, beginning its three day cycle a few hours early.
He fell away from her, screaming as his body began to change, the pained shrieks becoming a more animalistic snarling howl each time. The humanity in Lazarus shrank away as the wolf advanced, his half formed body contorting on the floor at Melissa’s feet.
Melissa whimpered softly as the beast only inches from her screeched in agony. The cries faded away, replaced with the rapid panting of the deformed wolf on the ground. He was motionless for a few moments and Melissa breathed quietly, uneasily. She lifted a foot, trying to move away from him, ready to run as fast as she could if he got up. A set of teeth fastened themselves around her ankle tightly as she moved and she cried out in surprise. A dark figure smiled in the door way as the werewolf snarled, irritated at Melissa’s struggling.