There was blood on the walls in the bathroom. There was always blood on the walls in the bathroom. I should have known he would be here, feeding again. It was one of those days. I had felt it this morning, leaving the house without a grunt of protest from him.
The blood was smeared across the tiles in a raged mess.
The smeared mess glistened from the dim, florescent light.
I walked over to the sink to wash my hands, feeling the sick nausea sweeping over my body once again. Scrubbing them clean from the grime that was about to dirty them, I listened and waited as the last stall door creaked.
Drenched shoes stepped along the pale floor.
I could see him in the mirror as his body came into view. The grin in his eyes was red.
“Sophia.” Chilling, icy, he pressed his black soul to my back each and every moment he locked eyes with me.
“You made it just in time.”
I spoke no words in response. I just washed my hands, scrubbing them.
I knew what he was going to say. I always knew exactly what he was going to say. And he always spoke the exact same frosted rhythm when he did so.
In his reflection, dark, soaked clothing sloshed silently from his slight movements.
“Get me my clothes,” he demanded, softly, but his eyes looked down and the tall man pulled slightly at his cuff-links.
The duffel bag slid from my shoulders and fell to the floor when I dried my hands. Kneeling, I unzipped the sports bag that held items belonging to no sport in particular, and pulled from the large case, a set of neatly folded, top of the line name brand threads.
Ripping the clothes from my palms, he changed. The dirty ones dropped to the water tracks on the tiled floor.
Picking them up, they were folded neatly and placed back into the open duffel, non-sports bag.
He stepped closer, looking down upon my form. “Sophia.” I knew what came next.
At least, I thought I did. This time, this one time, he paused. Placing a hand to my cheek, he tilted my chin up. “You don’t look good,” Gabe almost sounded concerned.
On command, I stood. He pressed his mouth against mine so I could taste the blood of his victims. I did not like the blood. I did not want the blood.
He had saved it just for me. I swallowed the blood and turned my head away, to wipe was left from my lips with the sleep of my coat.
When he pulled away, he ordered me once more, “Clean this mess up.”
There was no nod, nor verbal acknowledgement that I understood him, as I knelt back down in front of the duffel and removed rolls of towels, disinfectant and trash bags to do as he had asked.
When I rose to my feet again, he was gone. Either back to the manor, or to continue his pursuit of the older female students, I never knew which.
I made my way to the back of the stalls, eventually, counting the seconds I was in the bathroom while I scrubbed the blood away. More than fifteen minutes, and the teacher would send another student in to make sure I was not skipping. That I had learned from experience.
The was no body at the end of the blood trail. There never was. Gabe never uttered a word of his victims, and I never asked.
I would see one or two roaming the hall a few days later, dazed and oblivious to where they received the bite marks that hid under the small bandages they wore. I never knew them before the feeding and I would never forget them after the mess. I was sure Gabe planned his attacks around strangers in the school, so as to not distract me from my studies.
It was not like I really had any friends for him to target to begin with.
The soaked towels went into the trash bag, the trash bag into my duffel, and my duffel over my shoulders as I went back to the sink to scrub my hands again. I had to be careful, blood had a tendency to stain.
Then, I left the bathroom to head back to class, before my fifteen minutes were up.