Sunday, May 19, 2013

(#Thirty-four: Transition) Wuthering Nights: Inspired by Wuthering Heights

Chapter Thirty-four
    In the dark, Kate had whispered, ‘Heath, you have come back to me.’
     He lifted his head, contemplating her neck, only for a second.
     Kate stirred as he leant in to whisper, ‘Don’t leave me. I cannot live without you…come back to me, come back to me... I never stopped loving you.’
    Heath pulled her arm towards him and rested his head in the crook of her shoulder.
    ‘Nor I you, I just wanted to make you... suffer. I’m sorry Kate. Stay with me, don’t leave. I cannot be without you…’
     ‘You don’t have to,’ she whispered ‘…if it’s not too late, turn me into you, even as a ghost, let me haunt you, drive you mad...’
     ‘Your transition may take…decades. Changing you will change me. Neither of us will ever be the same.’
     ‘I don’t care.’
      He had been warned by Greta that she had only minutes left. It seemed like seconds. The doctors had done all they could.
     Heath barely paused before he lifted her towards him, plunging his teeth into her wrist, then her neck. The taste of her blood was honey and nectar to him but his tears were bitter. Without her, he felt nothing. With her by his side, they were invincible. Kate shuddered and closed her eyes.
     She did not stir. Moments passed. He could hear the doctors discuss how many more seconds they should be left alone. He’d been inside Kate’s room for less than three.
      Heath turned and looked at the blackened sky. It reminded him of their shared childhoods. He resolved to take her, drag her out of the window if he had to, but physically, her recovery was quick. Her wounds began to heal, almost immediately, but the venom of a hybrid was not as strong in transition.  Heath felt weaker. He wasn’t sure this would save her.
      Kate opened her eyes, yet her skin remained white, almost translucent. The fever, hot, began to cool. Her fingers responded to his touch as he lifted her from the bed to see the view from the window, the view in the night across Hampstead Heath and towards Hareton Hall, where she grew up.
      ‘Heath,’ she said, ‘there is no man on earth I love more than I love you…’ Then she shut her eyes. Kate’s body lay mute and lifeless in his arms and Heath let out a howl in the dark that made the staff and Edmund come rushing into the room.
    ‘And that is how the story went…’ Greta said, ‘A sad story, with no happy ending.’
     Greta looked around her as she took the keys from the kitchen fruit bowl, freshly filled with blood oranges. The older woman’s eyes filled with tears.
     ‘Katarina, your mother would have been glad that you came here, to discover more about her, but now I think you should leave and think twice about coming back…You see, when we burst into the room that day… her body was lifeless. Then, they took her from him and she was buried far beneath the ground. There is no coming back from that. But people say… no body exists where she was laid to rest. Heath was raving on about immortality for days after but he was talking to a ghost.
       I tried to placate him, but he was inconsolable. She’d whispered something in his ear before she passed; something to drive him mad. He bared his teeth and hissed at me when I found him lying beside the place she was buried and to my shame… I ran. I always knew that he was different. I thought it made him special, but that night… he was beyond help. I only imagine what he may have done to bring her back…at least, partly.’
      The wind blew a gale outside. The night closed in on them.
     ‘There are ghosts here,’ Greta said. ‘And more than that, besides… You don’t want to make the same mistakes your parents did…’