Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over 'Being Human' nor am I profiting from this.
Warning(s): major character death.
Word Count: 1,001.
Humanity collapses on television, which seems fitting considering their obsession with watching other people prance around. An invisible creature leans toward the prime minister, pale and appealing for calm.
"You've been a terrible example for the people," it whispers. "A man in this position must never appear with his tie askew."
In one smooth motion, his throat opens and pours crimson into a handkerchief; won't do to ruin his tie. Everyone discusses vampire lemonade while she mixes up the first nighttime bottle.
Annie contemplates bedtime stories versus lullabies while she scoops and levels powder. Her lullaby knowledge is limited but other songs can function just as well. Her mother's infinite patience for her children's insomnia has given her a decent stock for bedtime stories.
Hal promises her bookshelves will be stocked with everything she could ever want including classics, first editions, and original fairy tales. Were the circumstances different, she'd never allowed such grim endings to be involved with bedtime stories. Her surrogate mum position has been demoted to a nanny. What does that make Tom?
Tom probably prefers being known as a surrogate uncle or potential father. His new role is somewhere between the handyman and extra nanny. Would McNair consider this a non-chaotic life? He'd likely prefer she keep her concerns focused on politer things than his son.
But she doesnt have polite things to consider anymore. Besides, someone should worry about him.
Eve grows disinterested with her lullabies once she begins cutting teeth. Her shrieking drives practically everyone from the tower while others search for temporary solutions. her guards pass around cotton and earplugs. Tom's love for her cannot outweigh his sensitive hearing, which ultimately drives him to sleep in the woods.
Children's channels broadcast the same thing over and over. Children can be used in this war. Younger agents are hauled away for breeding camps. Parents are examined to determine whether they visit the breeding camps, dogfights, or just become a meal.
Her favorite show is the news. Its new reporter has an oily voice that slithers from the television and sinks fangs into her neck. Hal appears as nothing more than a perfectly ironed suit but she keeps her back turned.
"Leo and Pearl would be so disappointed," she murmurs. "I don't think the part that would've cared exists anymore."
Eve gurgles as he recounts last months breeding camp statistics. Drool gathers on her lower lip. It becomes a long string wagging back and forth, moving closer toward the floor but never completely dropping.
It's a small victory but not one she takes any peace in.
Her teeth arrive in time for her first birthday. Her other present is Tom making it through another full moon. Annie doesn't fuss and mother hen over his bruises or the blood streaking his teeth.
"I'll try and make it to her birthday party," he promises. "I'm behind on chores with this last full moon."
Annie lowers her voice. "Don't rush through the chores. You remember what happened last time, right?"
"I was warned." He shrugs. "I wouldn't like the chores."
His healing cheek will be swollen before the day ends.
Sometimes, she considers rent-a-ghosting into the garden.
Everything inside receives daily sterilization. Does ghost skin even pick up germs? George and Nina never worried much over illnesses with their advanced healing and nursing experience, but their daughter has neither.
A nurse comes for monthly examinations and vaccinations but gives no encouragement or recommendations that she ventures outside. Nobody objects to her opening the curtains, but every window has bars. Eve sits in the splintered sunlight for their afternoon stories, and she does her best to absorb the warmth from her clothes and skin.
It never works.
Hal visits without announcement or warning. A handkerchief peeks from his pocket. Somewhere between losing his best friend and conquering the world, his body changes. An ever full feeding bag gives his skin a new creamy glow.
Was Mitchell ever like this? Would he have become this? Annie takes a deep breath, unwilling to recall her lover like this. Her voice still comes out as a wobble.
"How long were you gone? Was it six months? Was it longer or shorter? I don't bother counting anymore."
"I can't stay long. I have other things which need attention. I apologize for being so brisk, especially considering the circumstances."
Her deep breath catches. What circumstances? Does he mean to move Eve into her own room? Mister Snow would likely prefer seeing her reaction in person. How long does he plan on letting her keep her baby?
Hal remains unnervingly calm. "We're unsure how many casualties there are right now. A rebellion group attempted raiding one of our breeding camps, but we caught them off guard."
"I know what you really mean," she whispers. "I know you realized a spy infiltrated the camp and you set traps. What does that matter?"
"We know a child was involved in the casualties. Now, he has a birthmark. Its highly like the one you've described your nephew, Robin Junior, as having. I assume he was searching for his parents in that camp."
Her screaming draws the guards and maids. Someone continues shouting her name and grabbing her shoulders. Cutler snatches up Eve with a grumble and eye roll. Hal offers her an apologetic shrug before he ushers everyone outside.
Mister Snow squeezes her shoulder as he leans in. "Casualties happen during wartime, love and each one has a story. would you like to know my favorite part in this story? I transferred his parents to a different facility just last night."
"Please," she whimpers. "I don't want to leave her here."
Her lips are cool and unmoving beneath his. How has she missed this smell? Has he always smelled like illness and rotting? Eve shrieks downstairs, and she wishes she could push him away and come up with something cruel which convinces him to piss off. Her baby needs her. Her grief can come later.
Instead, she just fades.