Blood. I stared across the room, leaning forward in my desk, completely missing the teacher’s journal assignment, as Cheryl Browner, the only junior in the class, one year older than me, pulled a Band-aid from her purse and stuck it to the paper cut on the top of her finger. How I longed to stand up, walk across the room, kneel just next to her, pull off the bandage, and…
No! This was wrong! I snapped my gaze away from Cheryl and looked around. I was in English class, fourth period, and everyone had just finished writing. Mr. Edgars was waiting for someone to start the journal discussion. Damn it! I thought. Oh, well. I’d just ask Jake what the journal was after class.
The rest of the class consisted of Mr. Edgars, easily the funniest, coolest, and most-loved teacher in the school, cracking jokes about Lexi Slice’s newest hair style. This week she had dyed it blond with black streaks, swept it down over one eye, spiked the back and top, and colored the spikes red. After that the class passed slowly, it being a reading day. But I couldn’t concentrate on my book, even though it was, by far, the best book I’d ever read. My mind was working overtime, trying to think of a way, any way, that I could deal with the Thirst, at least long enough to find a donor.
Though I had long ago come to terms with the fact that I, Steven Rowlands, seemingly ordinary high-school sophomore, was a vampire, I still couldn’t believe myself. I had almost made the biggest mistake of my life. I had been just one second away from leaving my seat, walking over to the far corner of the room, and drinking Cheryl’s blood, right there in the middle of English class. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Not only would the social stigma of such an act be enough to guarantee I’d never get a date or even have a friend again, but then there would come the calls to my parents, the visits to the office, and, of course, the meetings with the god-damned councilors would start again.
After what seemed like hours of staring at my book doing nothing, the bell finally rang and, as always, brought with it the groans of pain from every student in the room as the harsh sound pierced through all our eardrums.
As I rose, a jolt of excitement shot through me as I realized that I had lunch next. I sped from the room as quickly as I could without actually sprinting. I quickly reviewed the lunch menus in my mind. Over-cheesed pizza in the mile-long main line and hamburgers with stale French fries in the much shorter sandwich line.
As I got in line and dropped my backpack on the floor with all the others, I wondered why I even bothered to compare the lines. Besides the fact that the main line, without exception, stretched outside and onto the parking lot, I always preferred the food in the sandwich line.
When I had my food, I...