Chapter 27 - Lizard Vampire Demon

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∞ 27 ∞


On the third day Valentina was feeling just well enough to get down the ladder. When she came down, most of the packets of ingredients for Lysander's special diet were around the bench bed in the kitchen: the uncooked rice flakes, the wheat-free oats, the sunflower seeds, the almond butter, the un-popped popcorn even. All were mostly eaten. She wanted to kill him!

Instead she rushed to the barn, guardedly hoping Lysander would be brighter. Her annoyance over what she found in the kitchen was nothing to compare to what she would find in the barn... Jerremee had assured her repeatedly each day that Lysander was perfectly well, so the heartbreaking sight that Valentina found was very unexpected even with her extreme distrust in him. Still locked inside the little partition in the barn, Lysander was lying on his side, cold and stiff with his head next to his empty, overturned water bucket. His eyes were open and flies had started to lay eggs in them. Only Jerremee knew if he had been given water (or food) over those days.

Valentina cried and cried and cried, tears that would not end, until her face was swollen, red and distorted and she started to choke. At first she would not believe the goat was dead and tried shaking him, massaging his chest and even blowing into his mouth for a long time. Finally after an hour, she had to accept he was dead. She sat in the dirty straw with his head and neck cradled in her arms rocking him back and forth in a trance-like state.

She felt certain Jerremee hadn't fed and watered Lysander, but she knew he would never admit to it (not that it truly mattered – his admission would not bring Lysander back). She thought about confronting him, but knew he would just lie and make her even more aggravated. She hoped he would get what he deserved one day – that one day he would finally cross the wrong person and they would deal with him appropriately. There was a plank of wood against the wall and she thought of grabbing it and bashing Jerremee in the head with it flashed in her mind, but she didn't know how to do it properly. He would either not feel a thing (and she wouldn't put it past him not feeling a thing, yet pretending he had had some kind of a stroke, while he extorted sex out of her over the next several months and threatened her daily with prison, until she caught him walking and talking perfectly fine), or alternatively, by some weird mishap, he'd die from the blow just to spite her – then she would be responsible for the loser «connard's» death. She didn't have the strength to swing the plank anyway; most likely she would just end up damaging herself even more, keeping herself too vulnerable even longer. He would likely get some sort of perverse pleasure out of her taking a swing at him anyway... She despised him so much, her brain she felt dirty.

Jerremee had conveniently disappeared.

By the following day Valentina felt so sad for Lysander –and so guilt ridden– that her heart was burning. Her thoughts and feelings of guilt went back to the prophylactic injections she hadn't been able to afford to give the goats. It was her fault! She was too proud and weak and that had killed Lysander!...Whatever the goats' fatal illness had been and whether or not it was her fault, it seemed to be proof of the curse that Valentina felt was looming over her.

Valentina slid down as far as she could to try and immerse herself as much as possible in the shallow depth of rapidly cooling bath water. A shiver travelled up her body and she observed the goose pimples on her thin arms against the cold, white enamel of the old, roll top bath with a certain detachedness. With Autumn's advancement, the naturally sunny glow of her skin had taken on a dull, bluish tinge.

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