Home Student WorksFiction Writings Tongues & Teeth, Part Ten

Tongues & Teeth, Part Ten

by Delilah Summerer

The battle could have taken hours. It might have only been a minute. Hymir wasn’t tired. He felt more alive than he had in ages. Sweat rolled off him in peaceful waves. The lights in the treeline had grown strong since he’d put them up, practically as bright as sunlight. It was the same spell for the fake sun back in Larbaek. This light felt unkind to him. It might have been an unconscious desire to protect his friends a little better, and he switched the spell to protect outsiders instead of fight them. Or maybe he was declared an outsider, now that he had consumed blood that was never meant to be his.

There was no telling how long Pirhum sent enemies against the trio. But the humans were doing fine. At least, they looked alright in the corners of Hymir’s eyes. Not on the verge of passing out. He wondered how he looked to them. What was a vampire?

“Alright.” It was louder than cannons, louder than the table under the dome. Hymir registered that he was screaming, unable to hear himself. But his mouth was open, hideously open, stretched to the point of pain, blood dripping onto the grass and turning it black. His hands smashed into his ears. Anything to stop the residual noise. It was just a single word, and it kept going, kept echoing around the clearing as if the trees were screaming it back like a song.


He had to get it to stop. Cut it out at the source? Maybe. Then the trees wouldn’t be able to soak it in and spit it back in their mocking fashion.

He looked up at Tadgan, who held that stupid grin, and returned it, barely registering how natural and beautiful it made him feel. This worked for him. This was the way he was meant to be perceived. Everything that he hadn’t wanted and everything Levin prophesied.

It was effortless, charging the clearing and throwing his spear into what should be Tadgan’s body. Gotta keep the body moving. The moment would die the second he stopped. The power would slip and fade into memory, and he could not let that happen. He had to consume, had to find more blood as pure as the carcasses melting into the floor. Was there blood like that? Or was it only here, only as pure as creation because it was creation itself?

His throat burned. Worse than before. He screamed again. Or maybe he had never stopped. Black continued to curl around his eyes and centered his vision on Tadgan in front of him. Dead in front of him. Pumping with life. And it might have been ridiculous if he had a fraction of his usual intelligence, but all he could feel was the blood.

Blood. Gallons of the-

His fangs clamped around nothing. Something pushed his back, sending him stumbling to remain upright. Feet intact. He turned around and back roundhoused (if that was even a term) where Tadgan should have been. Nothing. Two hits resulting in nothing but fumbles.

Air bound itself to his skin, keeping him frozen. Power left his body, and he wanted to weep, because as clear as his head felt now, he liked being strong. Strong like that. Strong in a way that would never get replicated. There was no consumption that would compare to this.

The pain of the withdrawal was like fire. It was cold, sweeping through him like dry ice. Air let him go, and he coughed up blood. Some purple flecks had to be his.

Hymir fell to his knees and became violently ill.

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