Ere leaned near his brother, lightly running his fingers through his hair, as he bowed his head. He wanted to apologize to his brother he wanted to tell him that he would be much better in this hospital with the nurses and doctors to care for him but all he could do was hum softly, a sweet melody, an old tune. But another noise caught his attention, his ears tilted towards the noise, it was soft… a girls breathing. His eyes narrowed and his head snapped about to gaze at this girl, while she was a bit rough around the edges she was beautiful. Still his crimson eyes stayed cold and steeled, his white skin stark in the hospital light. His snow white hair seeming to glow as he swept it from his eyes.
Yet he watched her, frozen by his stare, not moving an inch. He could see fear course through her and he couldn’t help but bury a small smirk of satisfaction deep within him at the terror he could make her feel.
“What do you want?!” he snarled, turning from his sleeping brother to see large reddish-purple bruises on her neck. Why were those there? What had happened? Was she being abused? Suddenly all of the questions were gone when suddenly a white rose was thrown at him, quickly he caught it… It was just like the red rose he had received earlier, he glanced at it, turning it in his fingers frowning.
“There… I did what he asked me…” she turned to leave but Ere was next to her before she could exit the door.
“Hang on,” he whispered coolly, turning her with the hard grasp in his shoulder. “I was being a bit harsh…” his voice lightened making him sound horribly pained, even angry. “I’ve had a hard day… and I’ve not been in my right mind.” He rubbed his temples, releasing her and giving a weak smile. “How ‘bout we start over. I’m Ere…. That… that tiny boy in the hospital bed is my brother Tac…”
The girl blinked at him and looked past him for a split second as his brother coughed violently. Like a mother to her cub, Ere bolted back to the bedside and watching his brother, rubbing his side to soothe him. The girl moved to his side and swallowed, he could tell that the sight struck her… whether it was cause she pitied him or because she was going through something similar… he didn’t know.
“I’m….alice…” the girl replied to him quietly. “A man in a white suit gave me the rose and told me to give it to you… He wants you to come back to this hospital to meet him, same time, same day, next week.” She glanced over to him and Ere closed his eyes and bowed his head, his whole body seemed to tremble, like he was raging within himself… and he was.. Why? Why after all of this happens to him and his brother.. What would a man in a white suit want with him… was it cause he hadn’t been caring for his brother… that had to be it. He had a better sense not to show up but if he ran they could take Tac from him and give him to social servies and he’d rather kill someone than let that happen.
“Alice…” he said, a measure of fear and anger in his voice. “Did the man mention his name, whos he with… what he does…” Alice shook her head.
“Said he had something to do with the hospital… that his company supplies it or something… but he wants to meet you, its about helping your brother or something… listen I have to go.” She slowly inched away from Tac’s bed. Ere turned to look at her and again his gaze froze her in place.
“What are you?” she whispered, sure that he couldn’t hear her, but he did. He gave her a bitter smile and pushed his hands deep into his jacket pockets.
“I’m an albino alice…you know how sometimes you see mice completely white with red eyes… well that’s the same condition I suffer from. My mom had the gene, it was dormant but when she had me, I was given the trait and it was active… thus I am a pale ghost, a red eyed monster….some people think im a real life vampire.” He laughed darkly making alice tremble… “Hardly, alice, I am just a boy… who cares deeply for my brother. I’ll be there, to see what this man in the white suit wants and so help me if he tries to even touch a hair on Tac’s head.” His hands clenched tightly and he snarled, a low rumbling noise. Alice nodded and backed out of the room sprinting as soon as she could get free.
Ere, on the other hand, collapsed into a chair next to his brothers bed, playing the rose between his fingers until a single thorn caught on his thumb. It broke the skin and blood beaded upon his skin, having nothing to wipe it with, he swept his thumb across the lovely rose. Ruby stained white, making the rose turn from a wonder to a horror. Ere felt drawn and wary of it all at once, something… omninous… dangerous was on the horizon and if he didn’t stay wary… he knew he would slip away.
ONE WEEK LATER
Ere woke suddenly, he had slept in a box a few blocks away from the hospital, in a back alley. It had rained the previous night making his clothes soaked and stained. He didn’t smell awful but he had an odor to him from living out on the streets every night. His figure looked drawn, starved and malnourished, his eyes were haunting and cold. He had hardly eaten in a week since he couldn’t afford the cafeteria food down stairs and he wasn’t about to steal the free food that his brother was getting from the nurses three times a day.
Even though Tac Insisted, he could see his brother fading… he would soon grow too sick to wake up one morning and he would lay there… starving, dehydrated and he wouldn’t visit him in the hospital. Tac feared that one day one of the nurses or doctors would come to him and tell him that they found his brother dead in the alleyway… or worse that no one would find him and his brother would just vanish.
But Ere knew these fears and he knew that he couldn’t let that happen .Standing his belly groaned and his vision waved as the blood rushed to his head. His legs were a bit unsteady, taking him a few moments to properly stand but when he was ready he began his trek to the hospital, it was cold and miserable… his clothes hanging off him the way cloth hangs from a skeleton.
The skin on his face was sunken in a bit and dark circles shrouded his eyes making him look like some horrible ghoul wandering the streets. People went out of their way to stay out of Ere’s way as he walked, or rather drifted to the front steps of the hospital. As he looked up…miserable and clinging to life only for his brother… not for himself, he noticed a man hovering in the shadows, the overcast above making it a darkened day. Foreboding, if Ere had to pick a word for it but the man stepped from the shadows indeed wearing a white suit…
“I’m Ere… “ he said in a cold… almost raspy voice. “Now what do you want with me and my brother?” this time it was the best growl he could muster while he felt so weak.