As Simon's body flew through the air toward Peter, his mind caught up, making time seem to slow to a halt. In that long moment, he realized he needed to land so he wouldn’t harm Ishan. With that thought, he used his new sense of balance to guide his landing just in front of Peter. Then his feet slammed into the floor and he rose back into the air, clutching Peter by the front of his jacket. He sprung up from the floor hard enough that the two of them more than cleared Ishan's hospital bed completely. The result ended with Peter's body crashing through the far corner by the door. Pulverized brick and mortar scattered everywhere and the air became thick with its dust.
Simon found himself unscathed by the blowback of debris as he focused on his enemy. Peter lay bleeding from the head and dazed in the hall outside the infirmary. After a moment of watching him, Simon advanced. Peter began scooting backwards, awkwardly clutching at his head. For a moment, Simon felt sorry for the wretched creature. In that second, while he was vulnerable, Peter made his move, jumping up into the air feet first, kicking Simon in the face in mid backflip. Then Peter ran, lunging over anything in his way with the full speed of his preternatural ability.
As soon as the shock wore off, Simon began his pursuit, finding himself much more agile and unnaturally fast than he’d even been as a fledgling vampire. He bounced off side walls and somersaulted over medical carts, moving faster than he knew his human eyes had been able to register. He knew every corner of every room in this place from Ishan's memory. After a few minutes of speeding through the hall, he spotted Peter up ahead, moving moderately slower than himself. But ahead of Peter, he could see the hallway was coming to the large open room. Then, he saw Peter enter the room flashing off to the right. Almost immediately afterward, Simon came flying into the room himself, stunned to find it had changed so much from what Ishan's memory of it had been. The room he knew from Ishan's recollection had been intact. This was the same room, only everything in it was broken, scattered, or both. He calculated his options as he landed on his feet facing the hall.
The next thing he knew he saw a flash of light and was overwhelmed by a severe sense of weakness and pain. Then it was gone.
He heard a faint movement from behind and turned just in time to duck from the Samurai sword Peter swung at his head. Simon lunged forward and grabbed hold of Peter's hands, still on the hilt of the sword, now pointed toward the ground. Peter, using Simon's force to his benefit, spun away from him and Simon felt a blow to his abdomen and fell backward a few feet. Next, Peter jumped and dove for Simon, his sword held with both hands and aimed downward. In the instant before Peter would have struck , Simon dove forward, slamming into Peter’s waist and sending him face forward toward the floor. Before Simon could get back on his feet, Peter managed to reach out and take a swing at him with the sword, cutting a long wound across Simon's chest. Simon rolled backwards onto his feet as he felt the wound already closing.
He looked down at his chest to see the blood drying behind his shirt. Peter stood up, visibly tired, his hand barely gripping the sword as the blade's end lay against the floor.
"How does it feel?" Peter taunted.
Simon looked at him, confused.
"How does it feel to have become the thing you hate most?"
"You don't know anything about me," Simon said, feeling his hatred for Peter overwhelm him.
"Actually, Simon, I know a great deal about you. I know why you hate your mother, for one," Peter said, letting his words sink into Simon.
"So, it was you. You raped my mother."
"You can't rape the willing, Simon."
Peter's words sparked the anger within Simon like a match to gasoline. He flew at Peter, knocking the sword from his hand, sending both of them toward the wall across the room, and slamming Peter into it. Behind Peter, the wall was cracked and indented around the shape of his body. Peter looked up at him in a daze.
"I've been watching you for years, Simon. And you know what the damnedest part is? I don't even know why." Peter slouched, and then curled up into a ball, lying sideways on the floor. "It's like this voice has been telling me what to do in the back of my head, all my life. I don't know what it is, I just do what it says, and I get what I want."
Peter pushed himself up with shaking arms. "Until now. It told me not to tell you this. But I want to so much. I want to tell you about all the dirty little secrets I know about you. I want to shame you before I kill you. I want you to feel what it's like to be humiliated and betrayed like I was."
Simon watched stunned by what he was hearing as Peter dragged himself up to his feet, looking at him with a renewed sense of purpose.
Simon's vision flashed again. This time, the vision became something more distinct than just light. He saw the inside of the infirmary. He also felt the same sense of fear, and pain again, only this time he could tell the pain was coming from his neck. Then it was gone again, and so was Peter.
Simon spun around just in time for Peter, in mid run, to stab into Simon with his sword. Simon fell on his side to the floor, the sword still in his gut. He slid onto his back and heard the tip of the blade scrape against the tiled floor while immense pressure exploded in his lower back. He screamed in agony. Peter watched with a smirk of victory. Then, he walked forward assertively and pulled the blade from Simon's body. Simon let out a howl as the sword slid out of him.
Another flash from the infirmary took over Simon's senses. This time he felt as though he had transported back into the room. Every sense was there. Even thought. He knew at that moment he was Ishan, and he was going to die if Simon didn't get back in time.
Then Simon was back in his own body again. Peter was raising the sword, preparing to end the battle in one determined swipe at Simon's neck. He swung, and with a simple movement of his hands, Simon slapped the sides of the blade, his palms stopping the sword's momentum without injuring himself at all. Then he lifted with his hands, bending the blade like putty. Peter dropped the sword and began screaming at Simon.
"You're just a pawn! The whole reason that voice told me to watch you and to rape your whore mother was to..." Peter stopped and twitched. He made sounds with his mouth, but words would not come out. He clutched at his throat. He started coughing up blood as he looked at Simon in disbelief. Simon watched, conflicted as to how he felt or what to do. Peter reached out to him as if for help. Simon pulled his hand from Peter's reach, watching with horror as the vampire's face started to shrivel. Peter opened his mouth to speak and as his tongue touched the roof of his mouth to make an utterance, Simon's consciousness flashed to the infirmary again. When he was back to normal, he saw that Peter's body lay completely withered and lifeless. He turned and ran back in the direction of the infirmary. When he arrived back, Ishan was lying in the bed, waiting for him, looking almost as bad as Peter. Simon knelt down beside Ishan and looked into his eyes.
"What can I do to save you?" he asked.
"You know what to do. You have more than just my blood."
"But, I don't know how."
"Remember how you felt me do it before. You do know, just remember, and do what I did."
Simon found remembering all too easy in his newfound condition. He grabbed hold of Ishan's hands and let his compassion consume him, like Ishan had when using the gift of healing. Just like in Ishan's memories, the energy of his compassion transformed and became a new energy, a tangible one. It flowed through his body. Then, like Ishan, he focused on redirecting the flow of that energy from all the rest of his body, until it was all concentrating through his hands. Ishan's body jolted as Simon felt the flow of energy blast from his hands and into Ishan. He watched as Ishan's flesh became firm, and his color slowly changed from a dull gray to a glorious pale white. When the energy was expended, Simon saw that he was not finished and realized what he had to do. He tilted his head to the left.
"Drink," he commanded. Ishan looked in his eyes and hesitated for a moment. Then, looking dazed and flushed, he plunged his face into Simon's neck and began to drink.
YOU ARE READING
Shining in Crimson: Empire of Blood Book OneHorror
Set in a dystopian, religiously-demented American Empire, the city of Las Vegas is no longer a city of sin. Now called Necropolis, it is a city that eats sin. The vampires of Necropolis wait patiently for the Empire's weekly drop off of guilty Penit...