Agent Simpson and I stood in silence. I opened a can of Coke, no Diet crap for me, took a big gulp and my thoughts turned to work again.
‘We’d better get back in there,’ said Agent Simpson as she looked at her watch, ‘see if the doctor needs any help.’
‘Don’t worry,’ I said, ‘he’ll come out here and tell us as soon as he finds anything.’ Agent Simpson looked like she wanted to protest but sat back down on the wall.
‘What about the work Doctor Owen and Doctor Forrest were doing?’ I asked, ‘Can you tell me more about it? You must know more than you’ve told me so far.’
‘As I said, he was working on the treatment for a disease. He has been working on it for years and years. The World Health Organisation has been funding their research.’
‘Why is this treatment so important? What are the symptoms of the disease?’
‘It’s a blood disorder that consumes the whole body. Once you have the disease, you stop being yourself.’
I’m no doctor, but that explanation sounds deliberately vague even to me.
‘It has a psychological effect?’
‘Yes. Both psychological and physiological.’
It was obvious I would have to work very hard to get specific details from her.
‘Does it have a name?’
Agent Simpson didn’t get the chance to answer my question. Not ten feet away from us, a woman was staring down the alley next to the hospital, screaming at the top of her lungs. She had a look of complete horror on her face.
I drew my gun and ran over to her. She didn’t move or even register my presence. She just kept staring directly ahead. I followed her gaze down the alley and couldn’t believe what I saw.
Surely this isn’t possible? What the hell is going on?
Hiding in the shadows was a naked man, crouched over a homeless man sitting against the wall, surrounded by dirty plastic bags that were now awash with his blood. The homeless man was struggling, waving his hands around and trying to escape the grip of his attacker, who was chewing on his neck.
‘Hey! Let him go or I’ll be forced to shoot you!’ I shouted.
The naked man looked up at me with blood covering his mouth. His eyes were vacant and he looked lost. Then it hit me who this man was.
He stood up and started to approach me. I pointed my gun at him and told him not to move but he kept coming.
‘Don’t make me shoot you!’ I shouted. Officer Myers stopped moving and looked up to the top of the high walls of the hospital.
He jumped into the air; higher than I thought was humanly possible. Then he performed gravity-defying leaps from one wall to another and onto the top of the hospital. I ran round the side of the building, hoping to catch a glimpse of him but he had gone.
I walked back to meet Agent Simpson, who didn’t look as shocked as I undoubtedly did. For some reason, I wasn’t surprised.
Then the penny dropped.
Why didn’t I think of this before?
The neck wound, the silver bullets, the blood disorder and Officer Myers coming back to life all added up to one thing. Something terrible that I didn’t want to believe.
I was overcome with a wave of emotion, which felt like the world was shifting around me. This was a dream. A nightmare.
I walked right up to her and shouted in her face. ‘Okay Agent Simpson, it’s time to come clean. What aren’t you telling me about this blood disorder?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Officer Myers just turned into a fucking vampire! Now tell me what’s going on!’