The Countess

Linda was freaking out. 

Full freak out. She was frantic, pacing back and forth between the door to the roof of the building and the edge. The shaking wouldn’t stop, the pitter patter of her heart in her ears. Tears streamed down her face and the familiar lump attacked the back of her throat. 

She couldn’t believe it. How could she? Why would she? 

No, no, no, it wasn’t her fault. It couldn’t have been her fault. Or maybe, she could explain it. 

No, who would believe her. God, she was freakout out. Her breathing wouldn’t level. Her blood wouldn’t stop boiling because she knew she was at the end of the world. 

It was the end of the world. 

It was the end of the world. 

Oh, fuck, it really was–

“Hold on, hold on, sorry I’m late,” a man said. 

Lightning. 

Linda turned and her instincts kicked in, just as they had barely ten minutes ago. The second she saw a man appear out of nowhere on the roof, she went into fight or flight. And as a champion kickboxer, it was very much fight. 

He popped her stance, flung her fists in a flurry that would level any normal person. 

The man–

“Just Phill is fine,” Phill said. “Thank you.”

Phil seized Linda by the wrists after taking two jabs that did nothing but rattle his tight hood. 

Linda yanked, kicked, tried to grab or throw, and when she couldn’t free herself, she resorted to her best weapon. Just as when Linda attacked that annoying bitch Karen downstairs, Linda snapped her teeth, trying desperately to get a drink of blood. 

“Hold on!” Phil yelled. 

Linda froze and snarled. She snapped at the man’s gloved right hand and was treated to a  shock that felt like a cattle prod against her mouth. Her teeth rattled, and her mind became fuzzy. She lightly struggled, but Phil had her trapped. 

“I’m not here about Karen. Honestly, she had it coming,” Phil said. “I got rid of her body. I’m here for your help!”

Linda struggled again but stayed trapped. “Why would I–”

Phil shoved Linda back, they separated in a swift scuffle. 

Linda turned to stone. Not literally. She just couldn’t stop focusing on the back of blood Phil had presented from his back pocket. 

AB positive. Her favorite. She licked her lips and drooled down the front of her nurses scrubs. Only ten minutes ago she’d gotten a gullet full, but she needed more. So much more. Or it was the end of the world. 

Linda swiped at it, but Phil was quicker. 

“Just hear me out,” Phil said. “I know I’m late. You know, New Years and all that.”

Linda took a long vow of silence, with her eyes never leaving the crimson gold splashing back and forth in the–

“Focus!” Phil said. He tossed her the bag that she snatched out of the air. 

Linda took her time. She carefully tore a tiny hole at one of the corners and enjoyed a pressing amount of red tea. Her shoulders immediately relaxed. The palpitations in her chest slowed to a stop. Her senses returned, her reasoning, her light within the obsession. 

“New Years?” Linda said. “It’s March.”

“Details, details. Sorry for the stale bag, but…”

“It’s fine,” Linda said, as she took a large swig. “Tell me what you want.”
Phil chuckled, “Alright, alright, straight to the point. Gotta love obsessions.”

“I read your email.”

“Fucking finally! Thank you! Finally someone who pays attention.”

“Is all of it true?” Linda asked. She finished her packet. 

Phil handed her another one. “It is. One hundred percent.”

“How do I know you’re telling the truth?”

“Karen’s already taken care of.”

“Who?”

“My point.”

Linda thought for a moment. There was a suspicious gap in her memory. She remembered a woman, a knife, a refreshing–

“No worries,” Phil said. 

And it was gone. Linda forgot…something. Must have not been important. 

Linda continued, “You said there were others?” She finished the second back in one squeeze and belched an iron symphony, patting her stomach as she felt the color return to her blemished skin. 

Phil calmly walked to the absolute edge of the hospital roof. He stretched a hand out, and said, “A few. I think one in particular you’ll get along with very well. She also has a ‘taste’ for–”

Linda tossed her dry sack aside and joined the man near the edge. 

“I don’t care,” Linda said. “Just keep your deal.”

“Oh, you can count on it. You’ve been the easiest one so far. You can have whatever you want at this point.” Phil cracked his neck a few times, shook out the stress to limber up, and gripped the fingers of his right glove, ready to tear it off. 

“Alright, alright,” Phil said. “Across the Styx and all that other shit!”

Linda spit red before–

Lightning!

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