Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
If you are reading this, then it means Malachy Locke has chosen you. I write this so that when the time comes for you to make your decision, you will be fully informed. I wish you all the best, my dear. I know you will choose right.
Malachy will come for you when you are not expecting it, when you have just begun to accept the mediocrity of life and your place in it. You will likely be young. He tends to choose his lovers young, for which you should be grateful. In fact, I guarantee that no matter what age you are when he takes you away, you will wish he had come sooner. If you are eighteen, as I was, you will wish you had been sixteen. Sixteen, and you will wish fourteen. The life you had before meeting him will seem so worthless, so contemptible to you that you will despise every year you spent away from him.
But that, I am happy to say, will be the only regret you ever have. Life with him will be a waking dream. He will take you anywhere in the world that you ask him, to places you have only ever imagined. He’ll give you anything you want, although you will only want him. You will live with him, eat with him, sleep with him, and wake every morning to find him still there, still loving you faithfully.
And he will need only one thing in return from you. Like a gentleman, Malachy will not bring it up at first. But as the days go by, you will see him begin to change. When you met him, he looked twenty-five, thirty, perhaps, but now he will look older. Silver threads will shimmer in his hair. Lines will cross his face. His skin will thin, bones and tendons emerge, and you will worry. He is aging before your eyes, and you will fear losing him. So, of course, you’ll do anything he asks to make him well again.
All I would advise, for the first time, is just to relax. Let his fingers trace your throat, perhaps turn your head to the side so he can press his lips to your neck. It will not be with his teeth. They’re sharp, can crush bone, and he doesn’t want to hurt you. It will be a tiny blade, one he’ll keep on the table beside your bed, and you won’t even feel the incision. A little cut, not a quarter-inch across, and then he will just be kissing you.
Turn on the bedside light. Look how beautiful he is, with your blood glistening on his lips. Watch as his body, illuminated by the yellow lamplight, becomes younger in a matter of moments. His skin will soften, his face become smooth, his hair darken until it is as thick and black and healthy as a bull’s.
And he will look twenty-one.
You will soon become used to this routine. In fact, you will come to enjoy it. It is something you can give back to him, to repay him for the love he shows you. And he needs so little, a few tablespoons-worth of blood at a time, that you will barely notice it. Weeks will go by, and you will find yourself desperate for him to take more, as much as you can give him. For him to drink your blood by the gallon-full, to devour you completely.
Malachy will oblige, within reason, of course. More blood, but not enough to hurt you, certainly not enough to kill you. He needs you, wants you to live a long time with him.
Use scarves and high-collared clothes to hide the scars that decorate your throat, the cuts that dance around your neck. Realise though that even if you keep the scars hidden from view, people will notice the change in you. Not physically. But they will notice how you act around them, how you are aching whenever you are away from Malachy. You will turn every conversation to him, this mysterious lover and the life you share together.
If you try to introduce him to friends and family to quell their concerns, they will only grow more afraid. Although they can’t put it into words, something about him makes them uneasy. A certain fire in his eyes, a fierceness in his laugh, something they feel is off. They will question you constantly about him, beg you to leave him and come back home.
Sever all contact with them. Malachy is the only family you need, the only friend you could ever want. Your lives are entwined, irreversibly. And you will be glad of it. Life will suddenly seem simpler, everything thrown into perfect clarity.
He will hide his failing health from you at first. Please forgive him that. It was only when I noticed the first grey hair return to his head that he told me the truth, that he couldn’t live on blood alone, not forever, no matter how much I poured out for him. It would be like trying to survive on only water. He was going to keep aging, grow weaker. He would live another three months, perhaps four.
That’s when you will have to make your decision. How much do you love Malachy Locke? What would you sacrifice to be with him? He will not die if you refuse him, you understand. He’ll simply find another woman, one who will give him what he needs.
But you want his love for yourself. So you will do what it takes to keep him.
I remember how scared I was, the night he planned the first excision. We made love first, and then he took a wooden box from the bedside cabinet. Inside were gleaming silver scalpels, scissors, curettes and clamps, forceps, retractors, bone chisels and needles. A bottle of pills, a bottle of alcohol.
And a metal dish, ready to collect my flesh.
Where he cuts will be up to you. It can be a lump of tissue from your belly or breast, or one of your fingers or toes. There are lots of different options, and he will explain them all to you so that you can decide for yourself.
Try not to worry. He will not need to take much. Human flesh, like blood, goes a long way. That first time, he assured me that an ounce, even a half-ounce, would be plenty, enough to restore him to health for months more.
He put two pills into the palm of my hand and I swallowed them down with some of the alcohol, willing them to work fast. As my senses dulled, I heard him ask me if I had made my decision about where to cut.
I closed my eyes and pinched an inch of belly fat between my fingertips. Malachy murmured his approval. That was a good place, he said. No one would see the scar under my clothes, and there was plenty of loose skin to stitch me back together.
No need to be concerned, he whispered, as he rubbed alcohol onto the area. This operation was so simple, he could do it in his sleep. He pressed a kiss to my cheeks, to my eyelids, and then brought the blade down on my skin.
The scalpel cut into my belly and the pain shot through me, bright and clear despite the drugs. Like a coward, I cried out, begged him to stop. Such a coward. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he’d carried on cutting, held me down on the bed if I tried to fight him. Cut out my heart then and there, the weak, treacherous heart that didn’t love him enough to bear the pain.
But Malachy stopped straight away, mid-incision. He is, as I said, a true gentleman, and he will take nothing from you that you do not freely give him.
The metal dish remained empty.
He stitched me up again, soothing me with his kisses. He licked the wound, lapped up the blood that had pooled in my belly-button. He told me not to feel guilty, that he still had plenty of time. Plenty of time for us to try again. And he reminded me of my options, where the cuts could be made, the flesh taken.
Again, I remind you of the decision you will soon have to make. How much do you love Malachy Locke? What price are you willing to pay? What would you sacrifice?
The choice I made was the same as any lover would have done. He was growing so sick as the weeks passed by, a dying flame. He slept most of the day, trembled at night in my arms. I held him close, fed him my blood, stroked his greying hair.
We tried again eight weeks later. Again, I downed the pills, drank straight vodka. The cut on my belly had healed a deep-pink. I closed my eyes, ready for him to make a different incision.
The metal dish was soon full.
Not quite an ounce of flesh, Malachy said, but it was enough. He ate it raw, while I lay there and watched the strength return to him. He was so very grateful. I would have plenty of time to heal, he assured me, before the next operation. Another seven or eight months before he’d need to feed again.
And that is how it went, my dear. Eight months later, he made another excision, and ate six ounces of flesh. Then ten. Then a full pound. A couple of times we tried for more, once a whole three pounds at once. But it was more difficult, took longer to heal, so Malachy decided a pound would be the limit. A pound is what we aimed for after that. You’ll find that, as with the blood, you want to give him more than simply what he needs. More than the bare minimum. There’s a certain pleasure in giving him as much as you possibly can.
But now I’m too old. It was thirty years ago that he chose me. He hasn’t aged, but I have, and now people who see us in the street mistake him for my son, or even my grandson. Malachy laughs, but I can see the pain in his eyes. He knows that our time together is nearly at an end.
So, when I am dead, he will choose another lover. And if you’re reading this, then it means he’s chosen you.
Malachy offered to cut piece by piece, as he tried to do the first time, so I can stay with him a few years more. But I’ve asked him to just take my heart and get it over with. To be cut up like that terrifies me.
And besides, he doesn’t deserve to be stuck with me any longer, nearly fifty years old and looking older every day. He deserves someone young, beautiful. That’s why he chose you.
So tomorrow it will be over. Tomorrow he will devour my heart and then go to find you.
I have given him so much flesh. And bones, and organs, too. And hearts. But now I am too old to make him any more hearts.
My heart will be the last I give to him, and the largest.
CREDIT : synthetic_child