On the second floor of Maryville Hospital, Fran sat at Ethel’s bedside while a nurse, dressed in blue scrubs, hung another unit of blood. Then she looked at her poor friend who was lying on her back, in a deep sleep. The white dressing on her head was thankfully still dry and intact.
“How’s she doing?” Fran asked the nurse who was typing numbers displayed on a wall monitor into the mobile computer.
“She’s stable. Her vital signs are fine and her head wound has finally stopped bleeding,” the nurse said as she rolled the computer on wheels over to the chair next to Fran’s. She lowered the cart and sat down so that she could continue charting.
“That’s good to hear.”
Fran chatted with the nurse for the fifteen minutes she was required to stay at the bedside during the initial infusion of blood. When the nurse left the room, Fran stood up and walked up to Ethel. She brushed a strand of hair from Ethel’s pale forehead and then touched her cool arm. As she pulled the bedspread up to Ethel’s shoulders she heard something tap against the hospital room’s windowpane. She turned around to see a large bird sitting on the window ledge, looking through the glass as a bolt of lightning spread like capillaries through the turbulent clouds. Her lips and chin began to tremble.
She stared at it and it stared back. Fran had never seen a bird like that one before. Based on Ethel’s description, it had to be the bird that ambushed her. But to Fran, this creature was not a bird, it was a giant bat, about three feet tall. She shivered as it wrapped black webbed wings around its rat-like body and watched her.
“Go on, get out of here,” Fran said, motioning with her arms for it to leave.
It did not budge; instead, it truly seemed to be watching her. She knew it was no ordinary bat, it was too large, for one thing. Fran realized there was only one thing the leathery-winged creature could be, and that was a vampire. It was a vampire that had attacked Ethel. That would explain the deep laceration and why it would not stop bleeding.
Fran saw its eyes follow her as she reached for the nurse call button. The thing was evil, she felt it deep in her soul. Moments later a nurse came into the room and looked at Fran who was pointing toward the window.
“What is that?” the nurse shrieked.
Fran could hardly speak. “I think it’s the animal that caused Ethel’s injury.”
The nurse hurried to Ethel’s side. “She’s bleeding again.”
As the nurse ran to get more gauze sponges, Fran walked up to the glass and looked square into its greasy eyes. “I’ll get you. I swear to God I will get you.”
The liminal being winked an eye and then flew away.
At that moment, Fran knew she had just signed her own death warrant.