“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” She yelled, but that was exactly what they were up too. They had done it to that new kid Simon just last weekend. Had filled him up with so much alcohol that he had no recollection of the events. Just that he had woken up naked in the center of the town’s Baseball diamond. It was better that way--that he didn’t remember. Because the things
“Not us,” Takashi said. “No way. We’ve got something for you.” He pulled on the recliners wooden handle and leaned it back so she was in the supine position. He tied off her arm above the elbow with a long rubber band. The Tourniquet exposed the median cubital vein and she felt it pulse as it stressed from the tension. He brutally shoved a large bore needle in to her arm and she turned her head knowing that if she looked, she might faint.
“That needle better be sterilized,” she said.
“Sterilized?” The boy with the fetid breath said. It was worse than her grandfather’s halitosis. “In a little bit you’re going to be immune to ever disease on the face of the earth. How does that feel?” But she ignored him. Her thoughts were elsewhere.
She couldn’t watch her own doctor do random blood work without feeling dizzy. It was the only reason she was apprehensive about continuing the very beginning of nursing school at the local community college. She didn’t know if she would be able to follow through with it and she watched nurses as much as possible take blood during the clinical practice portion of the class. She was trying to season herself, but this wasn’t helping.
She turned her head and forced herself to watch the process going on with her arm. The blood rapidly flowed from the vein, through the needle, through the tube and in to what she thought would be a collection bag. She learned over to look at the bag. “Where’s the collection bag?”
“Well,” Takashi said. “Due to our limited supply, we don’t have anything that will hold half the blood of your body. So we had to find something bigger--a gallon milk jug.”
“Half?” She questioned frantically. “What do you mean half?” And her eyes began to sting with tears. A horrible realization hit her. They meant to kill her. After watching all of those episodes of
“You wouldn’t want us to take all of your blood would you?” Frank laughed.
Outside in the Camaro Trent was toasted. He was working on his 8th Busch, finished it, and once again threw it in to the back seat in to
“Maybe we should check on her?”
“No, she’s good,” and
“I wouldn’t worry about things Missy. My guess is your somewhere between 110lbs and 154lbs right?” Takashi said. Missy was beginning to feel overly relaxed and the tips of her fingers and toes were getting numb. She struggled to lean over again to look at the gallon jug. Tiny tributaries of her blood streaked down the side of it using random paths of the least resistance. They moved this way and that as it filled up with the liquid that was only slightly denser than water. She knew what he was going to say--a rough calculation of how much blood he was going to release.
“We’re only going to let out 2 quarts ok?” Frank said. “Your body has at least a full gallon.”
“And, that should be it.” Takashi pinched the tube off with a metal clip.
“I think I’m dying,” she said weakly.” Her voice was raspy and her breathing was slow and shallow.
Frank jumped off of her and picked up a tall wooden hat rack from the kitchen. A heavy milk jug hung from one of its wooden dowels and it swung slightly from the weight of the dark red liquid in it. He set it next to the right side of the chair and it leaned slightly against it. “We wouldn’t want this to fall over would we? That would be quite a mess.”
“Whose blood is that?” She whispered.
“It belonged to this fellow we met during one of our father's blood drives.”
“You are brothers?” She whispered again with eyes nearly closed.
“That’s right,” Frank said “adopted and brought up as one of his own. We’re going to adopt you.”
“That's right,” Takashi said with all of his signs of sadness gone, “you're going to be our sister.”
Frank put a hypodermic syringe with a tube running from it in to the bottom of the jug on the coat rack. It was sealed momentarily until he unplugged the bore needle in her arm from its bloody tube and plugged in the new tube. He released the metal clip and let the blood flow from the jug on the coat rack to her arm. “When we found our father, a man was leached on to him. We were able to incapacitate him with a couple of silver scalpels to his neck and chest. The only way we were able to fully immobilize him was to take all of his blood.”
“So seeing as we were in the Win-Dixie parking lot.” Takashi added. “I got a couple milk jugs from the store. Dumped out the contents, rinsed them out in the bathroom and when I got back to the van I added some acid citrate dextrose.”
She knew what that was--an anticoagulant to keep blood from clotting, preserving it for a long period of time. “This is his blood?”
“Not anymore,” Frank said looking at her from a kneeling position on her right. “We used it but we kept the same jug fresh with our own.”
“What’s the point?” She said feeling slightly stronger. “If it’s not my blood type my body will reject it. Right?”
“No,” Takashi said, “that’s the great thing about this blood. Your immune system will not be bothered by it. Your body will accept it as if it were its own.”
“And you know how long it took to get this jug filled back up with more blood?” Frank said, excited. “12 weeks! A cup here, a cup there from each of us.”
“I still don’t get it.” Missy said.
“We’re altruists!” Takashi said smiling broadly.
“What?” She said confused.
“I don’t think she gets it.” Frank said, talking to Takashi as if she weren’t there. “This blood belongs to the Paracanthopoma Nosferatu,” he said to her. “The Paracanthopoma Vampyra or Paranthopoma Draculae. Take your pick.”
“You’re crazy,” she said. “You both are.”
“Frank pinched the tube off and she reflected on her current physical status. She put her hand to her heart. She certainly wasn’t dead. It beat rapidly and she sat up feeling a sudden rush of adrenaline. It was as if she had just drunk a gallon of sweet-T or way too much heavily sugared blonde and sweet coffee. The room looked clearer--crystal clear and brighter even though the same poor lighting existed in the room.
“If we’re so crazy,” Frank said “then tell me-- how do you feel?”
She pulled the bore needle out of her arm and a small jet of blood squirted out. She quickly bent her arm at the elbow to apply pressure to the vein. She briefly turned her head to look at the front door. It looked welcoming and the process of immediate flight crossed her mind. Why would they stop her? They hadn’t intended to harm her, though they had nearly killed her. “You said you’re altruists? But if you were true altruists you would help without true expectation of reward right? And you wouldn’t hurt me.”
“Go on,” Frank said with curiosity. Takashi leaned over the back of the now upright E-Z chair as she sat on its edge.
“No we’re not.” Frank said with an un-emotional straight face. The statement seemed to bother him. “What do you know? You’re dating a dumb jock that couldn’t get a scholarship to play college football. He’s arrogant and he’s had academic and behavioral issues all through high school. Everybody knows that and we’ve only been going to the school for two weeks. If we thought he was worth anything, we would have helped him too.”
“Wait a minute,” she said, clearing her head of everything. “What do you mean ‘helped’? How do you feel you helped me?”
“Because,” Takashi said, “we set you free.”
“This wasn’t planned but of all of the people in the world we were glad it’s was you.” Frank added.
“I still think you’re practicing Utilitarianism. You’re trying to do the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people. So, you’re helping yourselves by improving the world. You plan on populating the world with your kind.”
“No.” Frank said, raising his voice in anger. “Takashi and I--we didn’t ask to be this. It’s all right, and when it happened we accepted it.”
“What do you mean when it happened? It happened to your father, not you.” She thought for a long second. “Oh! Now I get it! I get it!” She understood what they were up too. “You lost your father and knowing what you killed, you used its blood to stay brothers forever for fear of losing each other. You want to adopt me in to your family.” She wanted to tell them they couldn’t do this. That they couldn’t make this kind of permanent decision for her. But she was struck hard by the sincerity of there actions. They actually wanted her as a sister. Someone to take the place of their father in their odd, eternal hearts. During this time frame, she stared at the ground in thought and then looked up at them with tears in her eyes. “I’ll still be able to see my regular family? I live in an apartment in
“You can see you family anytime you want.” Frank said, now calmed down some.
It seemed to her that he angered easily. She turned around and looked at Takashi. He was smiling at her and pleased as punch. It was clear what had been bothering him--he missed his father. “So you are altruists,” she said “you’ve relieved me of my bond to the people that needed me and used me; needed me more than I really needed them. I never would have been able to get
“Only if you believe that what we’ve done to you helped you more than it helped us.”
“I don’t know about that,” she smiled. “Just by being here I’m helping you guys a lot. But why do you feel you have an obligation to benefit others?”
“We’re not bad people.” Takashi said, looking at his brother. Frank agreed--”Nope, we’re not. Think about it this way--we have a gift. If you could live forever--wouldn’t you want to share it?”
“She thought again for a second. “It would depend on the overall consequences. I guess we’re just going to have to be selective with the people we help. Help the wrong person and you could have a real problem.”
Takashi was the last one out the door. Missy spied
She opened up the Camaro’s broad passenger door. “How many did you have?” She said as she poked her head in. She could smell the strong musty odor of spilled drops of beer emanating from the crushed cans. He never finished them all the way through. He said the very last warm bit; the watered down portion that barely contained alcohol made him gag.
“Excuse me.” He said as he shoved her aside to get in to the vehicle. “Hey, this is the wrong side huh?
“No, I’ve got it woman,” he said with heavily slurred speech. Frank grabbed his arm while Melissa walked over to the driver’s side to get it. “Let go of me! I can drive! Hey you’re strong--you ever thought about playing football?”
“Why don’t you get in to the car, we can discuss it on the way to the park.”
Frank leaned over and flicked the handle that moved the passenger seat forward.
Franks feet crunched on the Busch beer cans on the rubber floor mats and he slid over
She turned the key and the car hummed to life with its deep, low, stuttering growl. “I’ve always wanted to drive this car.” She said.
The moonlight cast an eerie glow on the cars silver surface. Missy leaned her elbow out the open window with her other hand on the wheel as she waited for a massive logging truck to rush by. The front windshield was cold with dew on the outside, as if the car were perspiring from the strength of its own aggressive nature.
“Have you ever considered a career in football?”
“What’s a walk on
“It means I’m going to have to pay my own tuition with the hopes of making a team or receiving a scholarship.”
“Or making it on the local two-year college, non-scholarship team, because you have academic and behavioral issues.” Missy said.
“Behavioral issues?” And he barely got the word behavioral out of his mouth. His tongue twisted and disfigured the word, giving it numerous un-required syllables.
There was a brief silence. His left arm went full force, straight and solid like a 2 by 4 in to her face. The center of the back of his hand hit her squarely on the nose. The car swerved nearly running off the road. “You think you’re so smart! From day one--everything that's ever came out of your mouth was smart, smart, smart!” He relaxed putting his hand in his lap. “I fixed you didn’t I,” and he glared in to the darkness and then smiled while hanging on to the anger.
Takashi put both his hands on the back of
Missy shook her head. Her nose stung in pain and her eyes watered. She felt herself wanting to cry--to express how much she was sick of him. Sick of him telling her what to do all of the time. Sick of being his trophy, always they’re at his dad’s restaurant in the evenings at the edge of the bar. They’re to impress and wow his friends. He didn’t know anything about her. “Am I going to grow teeth?” She asked both of the boys in back, excluding
Takashi laughed, lightening up a little. “Sounds like someone has been reading too many Anne Rice novels.”
Melissa looked over at Trent who was finishing off Busch #10. She put her left knee under the steering wheel to hold the car steady and looked over to see where his left arm lay. She reached over with her right arm, grabbed his hand, put it in her left hand and held it tight. With dizzying speed, her arm a blur, she grabbed the switchblade out of his shirt pocket and flipped it open.
She sucked harder on his wrist and the liquid began to come as a solid stream. It came fast and it squirted in pulses in to the back of her throat. ‘Uncle’ he kept saying. She felt a full feeling as if she had just eaten a medium rare steak, shrimp, mashed potatoes and peas with an order of grits on the side just to keep it real. The sound of ‘Uncle’ grew weaker. She pulled her full lips off his wrist. Blood did not issue forth from the wound anymore. His wrist was just an open, smiling, fleshy red mouth. His skin was ash and pale like powder and his breathing stopped. While still holding his hand with her left, she pushed on the back of his elbow with her right forearm and snapped it like a twig.
“Jesus Christ! What did you do?”
“How did that feel?” Frank asked.
“It felt all right.” She felt un-emotional about it, but then relaxed. “I guess it felt ok. You’ve done that before?”
“You have to eliminate the weak people from your life to access more strength. Think about it this way--he’s better off now. You put him out of his misery.” Takashi said.
“And I did unselfishly help him without any thought of own personal gain or expectation of reward.” Missy said.
“I think so.” Frank agreed and the more you do it the easier it will get.
“That really wasn’t all that hard.” And she looked over at
“I think we have a natural.” Takashi said now a completely different person. He felt happier than he had been in awhile.
“I think it was wrong to do it out of anger though.”
“Hey,” and Frank leaned up in his seat to put his head on her shoulder “all in all we’re eliminating the weak and freeing the intellectually superior. You know what they say--’stupid people shouldn’t breed’.”
“Hungry?” Frank asked Takashi.
“Very.” Takashi said and they both turned to look at the still stunned