03/03/2010 by etiennefish
Last night after battling insomnia for hours, I decided to go out. I met up with some friends who had invited me to theirs earlier in the evening. While there, one of my friends brought me to a room that overlooked their balcony, and a dazzling view of the city below. I was told that Geneva was under attack. This was understandably confusing. I asked the obvious question(s). -Um Geneva? Really?- Suddenly from out of nowhere, something swooped towards us out of the night sky and straight for the bank of windows. Glass rained over me as I instinctively tried to cover my head and other vulnerable bits of my body. When I looked up, something, vaguely human-shaped but not, had a hold of my friend, and without thinking, I desperately tried to wrestle him away from the figure’s grip. I had almost succeeded when the attacker, all dark bits, hair, and savagery up until this point, briefly calmed and looked at me. I stared so hard I nearly dropped my grip on his arm. That was probably the point. Our attacker was a person. Well at least person in the sense that all the right things were in all the right places. The person was a thin girl, with glittering blue eyes, and a wild mane of snarled, almost-black hair that took up at least twice the space of her actual head. She looked young. Well, younger than me, I suppose. Something about her, however, was almost feline. She had a grace in the way she moved, despite the savagery that accompanied her entrance into my life. There was something else. I’m not quite sure how to explain it, but there was definitely something about her that screamed -other- and -run for your life, you bleeding idiot.- Of course, the latter instinctual cry for survival went unheeded, as my friend grunted –that is what is attacking the city- and, almost as if bringing herself back into focus, the girl renewed her attack. Her frenzied movements made it seem as if she had about twice as many of her long limbs as was realistically the case. I started screaming at her- nonsensical, shock-induced crazy-talk, that sprung from my mouth in an unexpected and expletive-filled torrent, until my aching lungs forced a breath out of me, and therefore my sudden silence. I thought about starting up my tirade where I had left off, but as it didn’t actually seem to be making any impact on the situation at hand, I metaphorically shrugged my shoulders and focused all my strength on keeping Joel inside his own flat. Just when I thought we were going to lose this dangerously epic tug of war, the girl cocked her head, as if someone was speaking to her. It was almost embarrassing that even completely still, she was able to fend off our desperate attempts to keep us inside and her outside. Then, as suddenly as she made her spectacular and terrifying entry, she was gone, and me and Joel were in an ungainly heap on the living room floor. When I could manage more than the sharp painful gasps that verged on hyperventilation, and I felt as though I was ready to somehow wrap my mind around whatever had just happened, I sat halfway up and looked around. Julia, who had been nowhere to be found during the terrifying last few minutes, was staring wide-eyed and panicked from the doorway. I think she was in shock. I never found out exactly though, because Joel spoke up first, killing my -are you okay- before it even had a chance to bubble halfway up my throat. -We’ve got to get out of here,- he told us. Reality crashed back down upon me and suddenly I couldn’t agree more. I must have been suffering from shock somewhat myself, because when I became conscious of the world around me again, we were near the train station, near where I lived, and I was asking Joel what the hell was going on and while he was in the middle of some sort of response. I gathered (my brain missed the first bit) that the thing that had attacked Joel in the apartment was some sort of vampire+ creature. A vampire-demon if you will. Now normally, scepticism is only to be expected after such a conversation. In that particular moment however, after witnessing what I had with my own eyes, I really wasn’t feeling in the mood do argue. I missed exactly how Joel and Julia knew this, and why this was happening (something about a castle?), but I honestly didn’t really care. In fact, I may have just nodded numbly, likely looking like an idiot. I feel like this was probably an appropriate response, given the situation, and my expectations for the evening. The three of us were rapidly approaching the plaza opposite of the train station. We had been moving at a quick clipped pace down side streets, shying away from anybody who crossed our paths. We all no doubt appeared more than a little shell-shocked. As we reached the plaza, I convinced the others that it might be safer to head to Rue de Lausanne, which is the main street. I was thinking that lights and more people might equal greater chances for safety. Just so you know, one should never listen to any advice I give on avoiding vampire-demons, as expert I am not. No sooner did we pass the escalators leading to the tunnel to the train station, than did another vampire-demon thing descend upon us. This one was male, and looked vaguely Eastern European. I’m fairly sure I was getting a little punch-drunk at this point, because I started to notice innocuous things, such as the fact that his hair was far too over-pomaded (is this a word? If not, I declare it one from this point forth), and that he had a nasty looking scar running jaggedly up his arm into the (wait for it) cut-off hem of his red checked flannel shirt (note to vampire-demon: I know why you’re so angry. You feel scared and alone as the only emo hipster in a world full of Suits who have compromised all the values/musical taste you hold dear. Don’t worry, friend, there is a magical land known as Portland, across the vast ocean. There, you can frolic (in a very cooler-than-thou condescending way of course) with your people to your hearts content). He was also guilty of thick rimmed dork glasses, and skinny jeans, complete with bandana in the back pocket. Unfortunately, I forgot to check what he was flagging. Anyway, he grabbed Julia this time, in a sick parody of earlier events. The tumbled forward, a dozen steps out of reach. Joel was at her side in an instant, and I tried to run over to help too. You see, apparently when demonic hipster boy grabbed my friend, his friend had also come to play, unnoticed, at least by me. She didn’t go after us though, which I suppose was sort of weird, but I was just sort of relieved at the time. Instead, she had her head back, arms extended and palms uplifted, and appeared to be swaying in the manner of the distinctly mentally disturbed. Or maybe in time to something unheard of by me. After catching myself for a quick second, in contemplation of this new arrival, I started back towards my friends, cursing myself under my breath for wasting time. This is when I made a mistake. A bad mistake. I ran between frizzy-haired crazy girl, and lumberjack intellectual wannabe. Immediately, all the action stopped. Both the vampire-demon things snapped their heads to attention and stared unblinking and immobile at yours truly. Their undivided and rather intense attention, was not something I had been striving for in life (a sign of sanity, perhaps?), and suddenly I realised I was scared. Very. Very. Scared. I too went rigid and frozen. It seemed like we were all just staring at each other for hours. I’m sure, were there any passersby at that moment, would have thought, wow this looks like a horribly dramatic moment in just about any telenovela, anywhere in the world, but I don’t think anyone walked by. In fact, the street appeared uncharacteristically deserted. Then, as if a switch was flipped, Julia screamed -I’m sorry, they’re after you! It was always you!- Me, a little dumbfounded, could only watch as Joel turned on her with a growl, and somehow hoisted her over his shoulder before I could blink. She was hitting, kicking, and biting, but to no avail. At the last possible second Joel turned his head and faced me. He didn’t look like my friend any longer. His eyes had taken on a strange glowing quality and his face was contorted in a rage far beyond human. My only thought: -he’s one of them.- Then he jumped, and was gone. There one minute, gone the next. I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t even watch to see which way he had gone. I couldn’t waste the second. I don’t know what he was planning to do with Julia. I also didn’t know what this had to do with me. Up until this point, the words demon and vampire were only words that I uttered in relation to films, television, or books. Not so much as part of my every day life… Anyway, there wasn’t really any time to dwell on what was going on, because the terror twins were on me. I can only attest that my morning runs through sleep-deprived hell must be doing some sort of good, because I managed to wrench myself away from their clawing, tearing grasps, and was off like a shot. I was tearing through streets that now, barely resembled the ordinary, everyday counterparts that I had up until this point associated them with. My muscles started burning and my lungs were reaching the point of abandoning me altogether, when they caught up with me. I fought as hard as I could, but even as my panic-addled brain reached animal limits, the one clear thought in my head was that I wasn’t going to make it. I wasn’t going to get away. Still, I vowed not to give up, and fought back harder. I thought I was done for, when an insistent, yet familiar, sound reached my ears.
I sat bolt upright in bed, breathing hard, covered in sweat, caught in the throws of fighting off the attacks of the blankets and sheets twisted around me. -The time is now 5:45. It is time to wake up. The time is now 5:45. It is time to wake up. The time is now- I reached over and hit my mobile phone, and the voice stopped mid-sentence. Sigh. I looked around the room. Everything seemed to be in it’s proper place. Though dark, there did not appear to be any vampire-demons around. I calmed my breathing, attempting to laugh at myself. After extracting myself from the mess I’d made fighting off the evil terrors of my bed, I went to the sink and splashed myself with water. When I looked into the mirror, I was a bit shocked at my face. It was too pale, with dark circles around the eyes. I looked gaunt, like I hadn’t slept in days, and as if I had just stepped out of hell. Which, I suppose, I had in some way. Plus, I’d only got 4 hours sleep at best. I ineffectually attempted to convince my hair to lay flat, sighed, and started getting dressed. Time to brave the Paquis of the waking world, and go on a (likely more restful) run. Dragging, I closed the door behind me, promising myself that there would be no more sugary treats, vampire television (thanks True Blood), or demon-related books on ipod before bedtime.