The rain beat against the curved roof of the bus stop, beading up on the glass panels and rolling down onto the wet pavement below. He was burning; his head against the cool glass, but he was burning. Time had lost meaning. There was only this moment, this storm, and his rising fever.
Distantly, the soft canopy of an umbrella left a diffused hole in the otherwise uniform noise of rain. It drew nearer, an emptiness where the sound should be. His fevered mind couldn’t know, but his ears knew, were telling the rest of him. He didn’t know, but he shifted, his eyes curious. His forehead turned, the back of his head rolling against the cold glass. One squinting eye opened.
She was beautiful, wrapped in the blurry vision of sleep and cloaked in shadows, but beautiful. He couldn’t see her face, but she was beautiful. Her voice, so soft, like a lullaby, barely rose above the din of the storm.
“It’s not coming,”
Dreamily, half dead, his head like fire, he mumbled, “the bus.”
“It’s going to be okay,” she assured him. She was closer now, her ice like hand feeling his brow. “Soon,” she added.
“Almost made it,” he sighed.
“No,” she smiled, though he suddenly convulsed, his eyes rolling back into his head. He grew very still. The lights of the bus lit each little drop of rain like sparks pouring from a furnace, and the furious wipers rushed madly from side to side in useless toil. He came to the stop, and pushed the doors open.
There she was, and her eyes bore into the driver. He nodded, and closed the door.
The bus moved on, the emberlike glow of its taillights fading down the road.
Her hand reach for his head. The fever was dying. Reaching her colorless fingers under his chin, she felt his slowing pulse. One . . . two . . . and three didn’t come.
She sat beside him, folding her umbrella and placing it between her knees. She smiled, her pearly teeth, and her viciously long fangs, glinting against the neon light.
“Soon,” she said, “you’ll be as cold as me.”