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A Dragon's Nest

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The night was cold when Simon came back home from work. Even if he was wearing his biggest coat and walking pretty fast, he still didn’t like this feeling of the wind biting on his nose. Work was nice, the coffee shop was quiet today, but he did stay pretty late. His phone was out of battery… he hoped that his brother, Camille, hadn’t tried to call him. He would be worried sick if he had.

The young man walked faster, wanting to be there soon. They had been living in this flat for a couple of months now but it already felt like home. Since Camille spent most of his time there, Simon had done all he could to make it cozy and nice. He smiled, thinking about it.

Turning at the corner of main street, he followed the same path as every night but, tonight, something was different. There was something in the air. Almost no one was outside and some of the streetlights were flickering. Simon didn’t think too much of it and made his way into town until he reached an old-looking, tall building. He searched for the correct number at the buzzer and pressed it ; yes, he had his keys, but he always liked Camille opening the door for him. Somehow, it reassured him.

He waited a few seconds. No answer. No big deal, it happened sometimes, Camille must be taking a shower or something and didn’t hear the buzzer going. Simon took his keys out and entered the building. The elevator was busted so, as always, he took the stairs. Three floors later, he was in front of his door.

This is when the panic began to rise.

The door was open. Ever so slightly, but it was never something Camille would do. He’d always lock the door, whether he was in or not. But most of all, it was busted. The lock had been damaged. Whoever did this was definitely big and strong ; and wanted more than just say hi.

Simon slowly, carefully decided to fully open the door. It was dark inside, only the moon reflected its light into the apartment. The flat was a mess : stuff on the floor, drawers upside down, a can of soda was slowly leaking onto the carpet. Nobody in sight.

But there was a noise. Something not quite definable but which was surely coming from the bathroom. Simon took the closest object he could find as a weapon - a lamp - and slowly made his way to the bathroom door. That’s when he heard whimpers. He slammed the door open, ready to attack, and everything went really quick and in slow-motion at the same time.
He saw Camille. He saw a man, sitting on his brother, his wrist on his open mouth. He saw blood. Then the man was on him.

Everything went quick. He felt the bite. He fought it. He felt the pain. His brother… then everything went slow. He felt all of the energy leave his body. A faint taste of blood in his mouth.

Darkness.

.
.
.

Everything went back at once. There was no “first”, no “slowly waking up”. There were the hearts beating in his ears ; not his own, but two others.

There were the noises ; the cars, a road, people whispering, no, talking, very clearly, in his ears, but he couldn’t understand a word.

There was the hunger ; something he had never felt before, something he couldn’t control. It was pulling his insides apart.

There was his brother ; he was sure of it.

There were the chains, on his wrists, preventing him to move. There was the cloth on his eyes, preventing him to see. And suddenly, a voice, “eat up”, followed by something in his mouth and there it was. He was so hungry. It was delicious. He couldn’t control his mouth sucking on the cold plastic bag. A few minutes back, he would have thrown up at the thought of drinking so much blood. Right now, he adored it, and he wanted more.

***

Camille didn’t know where he was and with the cloth on his face being put away and his eyes opening, he still didn’t know. It was bright. White light. Grey walls. On the floor. He wasn’t alone. There he was, the guy who attacked him, tall and standing up straight in front of him. Camille was scared. The guy said nothing.

A few seconds later, his brother Simon was thrown away into the room. “Simon !” He was okay. He looked okay. Camille, finally realising he could actually move, crawled to his brother and cuddled up in his arms.

“What do you want from us ?” Simon asked with a surprisingly calm voice. The guy crooked a smile that made them both shiver before answering.

“Me ? Nothing, really. You’ll see in a few nights. Sleep tight. Try not to kill each other.” And like that he went, leaving them locked in this cold, bright room with no windows. It looked more like a cell than anything else. Simon started slowly crying and his brother took him in his arms, holding him there. “It’s gonna be okay. We’re gonna be fine. Shh. Don’t worry. I’m here. I’ll always be here. I’ll protect you. Simon, I love you.”

They didn’t realise when they fell asleep, holding each other and trying to keep warm on the cold, hard floor.