There was an almighty clatter and a small cry as the human either passed out from shock or too much alcohol. I didn’t focus much on him though; there was competition lingering above me. A figure swathed in shadows was crouched on the edge of the roof and was staring down at us. They said nothing, they just simply stared.
‘Can I help you?’ I asked after a moment. I was mentally trying to decide which way to go; risk it on the roof or back down into the alley where the dead were waiting for us, desperately clawing upwards with rotten hands.
‘The question is, can I help you?’ they spoke. The voice was smooth and belonged to a male. ‘You look like you’re in a spot of bother.’
‘I can manage.’
I dropped back down and hauled the human over my shoulders with ease. He hung limply.
‘So you got the short straw in this world didn’t you?’ He stood up slowly, looming over us.
‘I wouldn’t say that.’
I decided there and then to chance it with the stranger above. My bones ached and my limbs begged me for a good fight. Adrenaline fueled my desire; it coursed through me, streaming through my still blood. I always felt like this before a good ass-kicking; like I should be alive, like my heart should be pounding against my chest.
I began to climb the ladder again, which was infinitesimally more difficult now that I was holding dead weight. The journey was slow by choice as I was calculating what to do and with each rung I gripped onto I found myself wondering what was going to happen when I finally got the top. The figure said nothing; quietly observing. He even stepped back as I pulled myself onto the building.
I lay the human down, placing myself in front of him and finally getting a decent look at the stranger.
The first thing I noticed about him was how disgustingly good looking he was. I don’t respond to physical attributes in the slightest but in that split second, that minute instant, my mind dragged me back to when I was human, before all of this. It took me back to when I was still at school and I was gushing over which boy I was going to ask to the dance. It was only for the briefest of moments and when I jolted back to the present I felt like vomiting at my flashback.
The second thing I noticed was how utterly intimidating he was, even to me.
Eyes like glaciers; fathomless and icy stared at me. He was taller than me by a good foot or so with mussed up black hair.
I began to severely doubt my abilities at killing him.
His mouth stretched into an unfriendly grin. ‘You’re not human.’
‘My, you’re observant aren’t you?’
The grin disappeared and fury flashed in those cold eyes. ‘You have quite the attitude for someone I could kill in space of a second.’
‘I’m itching for a good fight, so come on.’
Instead, his eyes wandered to the passed out human behind me. ‘He looks delicious.’
‘Well, he will be as soon as the alcohol passes out of his system.’
He tutted slightly. ‘Why must humans taint such precious treasures with poison?’
‘Enough talking, are we going to fight or what?’
He turned to face me again and I braced myself for the attack. An eternity seemed to pass before he slowly shook his head. If I felt surprise I did not show it; I kept my face impassive, bored almost. I didn’t know whether it was mild relief I was feeling or the joy that I got to keep my sack of blood.
‘I am not going to fight you, no. Keep the human for yourself, there are plenty more for me.’ He wandered over to the edge of the building, glancing down once before turning back to me. ‘But I’ll be seeing you very soon.’ He winked and dropped, vanishing completely. I stood there, dumbfounded for several seconds. My breath came out slowly and it wasn’t until I relaxed that I realized how tense I had actually been.
Stirring from the human brought me back to reality and to the present. I walked over and rolled him onto his back. His eyelids fluttered and a crease appeared between his brows. His lips parted and he croaked a single syllable: ‘Ouch.’
‘You passed out.’
‘Where are we?’
‘If you open your eyes you’ll be able to see for yourself.’
His hand went to the back of his head and I could smell blood.
‘I can’t think straight.’
‘You’re probably concussed. Can you tell me where you live and I will take you home?’
He groaned, rolled onto his side and promptly threw up. My nose scrunched up in disgust.
I was going to fetch him some water and possibly something to bandage his head with until I remembered the stranger. Would he come back if I left the guy alone? Why should I even care anyway? Why was I nursing him? Even if I was just saving him for later, there were other humans out there for me so why was I staying with this one in particular? There was something childlike about him though. The lines of his face and the shape of his body told me he was a few years older than me but the innocence in his eyes and his quiet demeanour told me he wasn’t exactly in the middle of the action; he hadn’t seen enough of the world for it to corrupt him just yet. He had hope and love in his life and for that, he was untouched.
Why was I psychoanalyzing him?
I took my chances and left him on the roof to get him the necessary supplies.