It is written on yellow paper, a scrap I found in an upstairs room. The
girl with brown hair spoke a few words this afternoon. She said
something about hiding her kitten in a closet. Mr. Bramson heard her. So
did Mrs. Carrick. Then the girl with brown hair curled up in a comer and
started screaming. It's almost nightfall now, and she keeps screaming.
Mr. Bramson found a knife in the kitchen. It's very sharp. The other
women say they think they can calm her down, and Reverend O'Neill is
holding his crucifix and praying with his eyes squeezed shut. I hope
they can make her stop screaming, before the light's gone. But if they
can't, I'm glad the knife is sharp.
I wanted to write down some things. I will fold this paper up and put it
into a hole in the wall, and maybe someday it will be read.
They came in the night, to the towns and cities. Like a slow, insidious
virus they spread from house to house, building to building, from
graveyard to bedroom and cellar to boardroom. They won, while the world
struggled with governments and terrorists and the siren song of
business. They won, while we weren't looking. And now that we see
them—now that we know them—it's much, much too late.
The ancient hoards are the conquerors now, and we who survive are
living under the fang. From Moscow to Tokyo, New York to Los Angeles,
they have come to power. I have a question: What will they do with this
world they've won through years of nighttime combats and bloodsucking in
We have a shortwave radio. It's Dr. Kelsing's, actually. He keeps the
batteries. His wife never says much. I think she's about to crack,
because she cries all the time. Myself, I'm done crying. There's no use
in it anymore. Besides, I think they can smell tears. Anyway, we listen
to the radio and we find out what's happening in other places. Some
humans have joined them, become their pets and slaves. They need humans,
to watch their hiding places in the daylight. Some humans will do
anything for a taste of power, even power reflected from those who cast
no reflection. We heard an interesting broadcast from Switzerland.
They've got a center there, up in the Alps. It was a science broadcast,
and it talked about the hybrids their doctors have created that merge us
and them. In Rome one of them calls himself the new Caesar. He's started
the Roman games again, and I have to say I couldn't listen to most of
what was going on. In one of the so-called entertainments they had
humans with no arms fighting other humans with no legs. The winners, I
guess, got bitten while the losers just got dead. Is that what the human
race has come to? A desperate scrabbling in the dirt, like crabs and
Well, they won't take me alive. I swear to God they won't. But we still
have hope. It tatters away a little more every day, like an old battle
flag, but without hope we'd all need sharp knives.
We've heard the stories. A few bands of brothers remain, scattered in
the desolate places. They keep fighting and hiding, just like us. Dr.
Kelsing told me he heard not all of them are drunk on blood all the
time. He said some of them—a few—have pity for humans. Some
of them, he believes, might be trying to help the human cause. I don't
know about that. Every bloodsucker I ever saw was only interested in
getting his or her rush. They do have their politics, though they can't
seem to agree on anything except feeding time. Their kingdoms rise and
fall, their cities become fortresses, they declare war on each other,
and God help the human herds who get in their way.
Let me write this down and make it clear: It's not a good time to have
warm blood flowing in your veins. To them, that blood is like heroin and
crack, speedballs and Nuke and Blue Crescent all mingled together and
calling them. To them, our blood is the damnedest drug you ever could
imagine. We're full of what they need to get through the day. Lucky us.
Love among the bloodsuckers? Is there such a thing? We were talking
about this today: me, Reverend O'Neill, and Mr. Applebaum. Maybe they
know something of love. Reverend O'Neill thinks they might. Hate there
certainly is, and plenty of that. They've taken over the television
networks, the satellite systems, the radio stations, the newspapers, and
the magazines. Everything's geared to the graveyard shift these days.
They've created their own fads and sports, their own fashions and
mythologies. They make movies and write books in a bizarre
mockery—some would say a twisted memory—of what it used to
be like to be a human being.
Where and when did all this begin? Everybody has a different opinion. I
believe it was a government experiment gone wrong. Mr. Bramson believes
they've been working up to this fever pitch for a thousand years. The
Careys believe it has something to do with the ozone layer. That new
kid, who wears the heavy gauze wrapped around his neck and wrists,
believes it's a disease, like a plague. He's the one who brought in the
sack full of hand grenades.
These bloodsuckers aren't like the ones who used to be in the movies,
who used to slink around wearing black capes and turning into bats. No,
these suckers are real. They know computers and lasers, space stations
and Star Wars. They know advertising and how to sell to the masses. They
know Nautilus machines, steroids, and Nikes. They know too damn much,
because, after all, they used to be us.
One thing they don't know is mercy. At least, I've never seen any of it
So where do we go from here? Do we die as cattle, hanging from our heels
and bleeding into designer bottles? Do we rise up and try to fight, or
is fighting a useless dream? Where do we go, in a world transformed into
a cauldron of black magic, dark hearts, and unholy desires? Is there any
true hope for us, crushed under the fang?
Or would it be easier—and so coldly sweet—to offer our
throats and wrists and let the humanity rush out of us in a red tide, so
we can learn what it's like to live forever?
I don't know.
The light is going away now. Going away, much too quickly. It will be
chilly, when the sun disappears. The other women are still trying to
calm that girl down, but I think she's gone over the edge. I don't think
she can come back. I see it in Mr. Bramson's face and in the Reverend's
too. Blue light is lying on the blade. If we have to draw straws again,
I'll go out of my mind.
The ruins in this part of the city are like jagged teeth. We lie under
Why doesn't God hold back the night? Why?
They'll be prowling, soon. Prowling in their packs, looking for an easy
high. We have the hand grenades. I can smell the fear, starting to leak
out of everybody's pores. Mine too. The light is going away.
Stop that screaming. Stop it. Stop it, stop it, or we'll have to stop it
Like we had to stop my husband when he went over the edge.
Being human in these days is a terrible responsibility.
What shall we do, if the screaming won't stop? What shall we do?
Night is falling now, falling over the cities and towns, over the fields
and forests. Night, that time of dreadful trial. In the dark, someone
will have to pick up the knife.
And now my testament is done.