Short Story Saturday: What I’ve Become

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Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that something or someone is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Courage is acting not in the absence of fear, but in spite of it. So why is it that I can feel so courageous in the face of almost anything, but when it comes to how I’m feeling and thinking, I run away with my tail between my legs?

For me, it’s tough to see all these happy couples all around me, children playing in the park without a care in the world, teens ditching school to become small-time delinquents. These people can so easily express what they want, how they feel, or what they’re thinking. And I wonder if they would be as carefree if they shared what goes on in my mind.

This hunger, this need to destroy, to feed is so strong and overpowering. I know I’m not like others of my kind. They don’t run from who they are; they embrace it. And perhaps that right there is the problem.

I didn’t choose this. I wasn’t born this way.

I was one of those unfortunate souls that was left for dead. A midnight snack gone wrong. Our kind don’t need to kill, and many don’t. But just like with humanity, there will always be outliers pushing boundaries and limitations.

Perhaps the most disturbing part for me is how popular culture and the media has mad us into something we’re not. They’ve sexualized us to the point where we are no longer feared, but lusted after. And when a mortal does come across one of us, that fear comes roaring back with a vengeance. We walk among the human population in a disguise of normalcy, but it’s that hunger that separates us, that awakens the suppressed monster resting just under the surface.

I know I need to accept what happened to me was a mistake, an accident. I know I need to start feeding. I’m withering away because I’m so terrified that I will do to someone else what was done to me. I don’t think I could take the guilt. But there’s nobody to show me the ropes, nobody willing to teach me our ways. I’m an abomination. A survivor. But to them, that isn’t something to be celebrated.

I want to go back to my family, my friends. I want to see my little brother and watch him grow up. I want to hold my girl in her arms. But I know as I am now that she wouldn’t recognize or accept me. And I don’t try. I don’t want to bring this upon them. This is my burden, my cross to bear.

She would want me to live, I know this, to survive, but not at the expense of another. She was always my guiding light and someone I will always cherish and watch over.

Maybe if I can learn to control what I’ve become, I can at least tell her goodbye.

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