The alarm on her watch went off at 7am, and her eyes snapped open. The room was pitch black and she couldn't see a thing, but she knew the sheets were not hers as she fumbled for her watch.
I’m more tired than usual, maybe I’m getting sick… extra glass of orange juice at breakfast.
Suddenly, the previous night's events came back to her in a rush: helplessness at the hands of Kirsch, the Faustian deal, loss of control again, then the blood, drinking it, and actually liking it, then the bizarre trial and debutante ball. Her hand crept to her neck to feel for a pulse, but of course there was none.
Erica swung her legs over the side of the bed and stood up, letting the bedsheets fall away as she felt her way to the light switch. The room was bathed in light, and she stumbled her way to the phone. Punching the numbers from memory, she called her manager. Answering machine, as expected at 7am.
"Hey, it's Erica. I'm sick today and won't be in to work, just letting you know," she said, adding a cough and a sniffle for good measure.
Then she turned off the lights and crawled back into bed, falling asleep before she’d even pulled the covers all the way up.
She was awoken again by voices outside her door, voices which quickly faded down the hallway. She glanced at her watch; the small light in the corner of the display lit up and showed 3:37 pm. She wasn't sure what time the sun set, but it was a good bet it was sometime well after 3:30 pm. Too nervous to return to slumber, Erica flicked on the lights again and stepped into the shower. Her skin was cold, and she welcomed the hot water warming her flesh. Curious, she turned the heat up, as hot as she could bear it. She wasn’t sure, but she guessed it was much hotter than what she’d be able to bear before. Now though, her skin didn’t turn pink like it used to.
She dressed quickly, wearing the same clothes as yesterday as she didn’t want to wear her more casual outfits. She did leave the jacket off though. As she let her hair dry in the climate controlled air, she sat at the desk and reviewed her notes from the previous day, scribbling more here and there, filling in the blanks where she hadn't had the time earlier. Before long though, she ran out of things to write, and began pacing, bare feet padding across the carpet. Finally, she settled on watching the Disney Afternoon. Normally she didn’t watch television, but in this instance as she needed something to distract her mind before she lost it, and watching a bunch of annoyingly voiced cartoon characters get into and out of various shenanigans of their own doing seemed somehow appropriate.