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The Price To Feel Full

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Connor’s teeth rip into the soft flesh of the neck before him. The emptiness must be filled, he thought offhandedly as he chewed. A thought that repeats itself over and over and over until Connor finally gives into the cravings and insanity and goes to work finding a victim.

The man before him was dead, killed by a single slice across his throat. Connor doesn’t remember when it happened—or if he even did it—and he strongly preferred it that way. No names, no feelings, no remorse…only hunger. The man was now limp and slumped over Connor, one arm slung over his shoulder for balance, and one arm dangling at his side. The man’s head fell against Connor’s shoulder as if he were simply taking a nap, Connor’s fingers threading through his hair gently to hold it in place. At a glance, one may even say the scene was pure, that is, until they were close enough to hear the sounds.

A growl rumbled deep in Connor’s chest as he worked through the flesh, muscles, arteries, and veins. He didn’t bother chewing. Whatever he swallowed was whole, and whatever he didn’t simply fell to the ground with a soft squish. Blood had sprayed across his face and arms, it matted his short red curls, and dripped off his chin to trickle down his chest and pool in his lap. Connor didn’t care much for the taste of blood. It was salty and bitter and too warm for his liking, but he continues to bite and gnaw through the gore, nevertheless.

When Connor reached the spine, he paused. It was always the most difficult part for him to get through. The crunch of the bones seemed the pull him little by little back into consciousness; the last place he ever wanted to be during these times.

Crunch.

Connor closed his jaws slowly, unconsciously trying to make the sound as quiet as possible. He knew deep down that it wouldn’t help. He knew that he had to continue.

Crunch crunch.

Connor’s mouth filled with salt and he paused. He let the liquid that sprayed after biting through the spinal cord dribble out the corners of his lips. He neither made a move to spit it out, nor did he swallow it. The pace of his feasting slowed…one more bite (crunch)… until finally it stopped.

Taking a slow and shaky breath, Connor leaned back and examined his work. His mantra still rang in the back of his mind, but he shook his head and ignored it. The head of the man was leaning at an awkward angle now. It was still attached but dangling only by a small amount of muscle and skin. At this point Connor could have easily taken a piece in each hand and pulled them apart. Tears filled Connor’s eyes and a pained groan rose in his throat. He could taste the blood that sprayed across his tongue and teeth, dripping down his chin. He could feel the small piece of muscle stuck between his teeth. He could smell the overwhelming scent of metal. Connor’s hands began to shake as sobs threatened to spill from his chest.

The emptiness must be filled!

The words rang out louder in his ears startling him. He knew only he could hear it, but he let out a small yelp of surprise anyway. Knowing what would come next, Connor pushed the body from his lap and cowered. He covered his ears and screamed.

“P-please… no…” he wailed, shaking his head back and forth rapidly, “No more of this!”

Repeated cries rang throughout the room and echoed off the walls. Within minutes the chanting overwhelmed him. The words were now like a buzzing swarm of angry hornets between his ears. Connor’s sobs had grown violent and painful, and he screamed until his voice was raw from begging. Of course, deep down he knew no amount of pleading would make the voices stop. It hadn’t in the past, why would it now? He had to continue until he was full. With the buzzing still in his ears, Connor slowly pushed himself to sit up. The weakness in his arms caused him to shake and sway until he almost fell back to the floor face first. Catching himself with his hands, he settled his posture to sit on his knees and threw his head back to yell at the ceiling.

“ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!”

He was fully aware that the voices that speak to him—the ones that beg to be fed and filled—were not real. He knew it was simply because he was a ghoul, that there would always be a hole in him that he would never be able to fill. From a young age he was told that it was coming, that once he'd aged to maturity, raw meat from animals would no longer be enough to satisfy him. Nonetheless, the warnings were for naught, and it helped his sanity to call out to them as if they were.

Crawling back over to the body, Connor lifted it by the head. His sobs had subsided, and he was focused now, his only solace that the sooner he complied, the sooner it would be over. He had to finish what he started. As if in a trance, Connor’s nails dug into the cheeks of the man so deeply that if he were alive the scratches would have scarred. He noticed the skin and muscles of the neck strain to keep it attached to its now useless body. Connor grimaced, continuing to pull the body toward him. Once it was close enough, the boy brought the mangled neck to his mouth and began to chew once more. It didn’t take long for Connor to finish making his way through the last of the muscle and skin. The man in his lap was still being held only by the nails in his cheeks, and with one final bite the body slumped and then fell to the floor with a thump.