Alma: a Successful Case Study, Pt. 2 (Poetry)


I got up to approach my patient carefully.
“Alma, what happened? You look pale again.”
She plopped down on the chair
And ran her fingers through her hair.
“Doctor, are these sessions fully confidential,
Or are you obligated to rat me out to the police?”

“Something bad has happened, huh?
Don’t worry, I don’t need to reveal crimes,
And besides, I’m very fond of you, Alma,
So I simply wouldn’t do such a thing.”

A single tear fell from behind her sunglasses.
She took a deep breath and said,
“I’ve fucked up, doctor, real bad.
I’m loving finding new blood to taste,
As well as the feeling of plunging my teeth
Into vessels who can barely defend themselves.
I could hardly get enough,
And I wanted to discover all the flavors.”

She rested her elbows on her knees,
And she wrung her hands as trembled.
“Whenever… I passed by playgrounds,
And saw all those lively kids being happy,
I wondered how wonderful they would taste.
This morning I knew my parents would leave
To visit some family in another city,
So I… started chatting with this cute boy,
And I invited him to play video games in my room.”

“Don’t tell me you raped him, Alma.”
She blushed, but shook her head.
“I’m not into kids! But I drank him dry.
I didn’t mean to. He tasted so fucking good,
Like the nectar of the heavens, doctor.
I couldn’t get enough of that shit,
So I kept sucking his blood until I was full.”

“That boy died, then,” I said.
Alma nodded sadly.
“I-I don’t think I left a drop of blood.”
I rubbed my chin.
“I see how that’s a problem.”

“Yes, it is. This isn’t the first time
I have killed someone with my teeth.
But this was the worst one yet.”
I gasped as I was swallowing,
Which made me cough hard.
“What, this wasn’t the first time?”

Alma hunched over and bit her nails.
“The others were worthless,
The kinds that society wouldn’t miss,
But this was just a little boy, doctor,
Maybe about nine years old.
I feel like I can’t stop myself!
I’m addicted to blood, doctor,
It’s just too damn delicious!”

She hid her face in her hands,
But then she raised her voice.
“I-it’s just my nature, right?!
If this universe created a person
Who needs to feed upon other people
Merely to remain healthy and strong,
Then surely I’m entitled to doing so!”

I grabbed her shoulders
So she would look up at me.
“You’re correct, Alma.
We can’t change your nature;
It is your true self,
And you must accept it.”

She cried until she found the strength to talk.
“Doctor, I was chopping up that boy
When my parents walked through the door.
I guess the family reunion got cancelled,
But I didn’t have a chance to explain.
They just saw all the body parts,
And the boy’s head on the dining table,
And both started shrieking in terror.
My mother collapsed on the floor,
But my father pulled out his phone.
He would have called the police on me!”

“What a dick. On his own daughter.”
She nodded energetically, like ‘I know, right?’.
“So I had to stop him. I ripped out his head.”
“Alma, what are you saying?
You mean you bit through his neck?”
“No, doctor, I just pulled hard on his head,
And it came off like a toy’s plastic head.
You wouldn’t believe how strong I’ve become!
And I get stronger the more blood I drink.”

She took off her sunglasses,
But only to rub her teary eyes.
“My own mother was horrified!
She looked at me as if I were sick.
I didn’t even care, because I was in heaven.
I felt my blood pumping inside my veins,
And all the power coursed through my brain!
Doctor, do you understand how addictive this is?!”
“That sounds like a very nice sensation, yes.”

She smiled weakly, then sighed.
“Anyway, so I kicked my mom’s head off.
I didn’t feel that bad about her, to be honest.
I was dragging their dead bodies into my bedroom
When suddenly the police were pounding on the door.
My fucking neighbors, of course, called them.
The cops saw the crime scene and everything.”

“My goodness. How did you escape?”
“Well, through a window, and ran.
But the issue, doctor, is that now I’m a fugitive.”
“This is all very traumatic, I’m sure.”

Alma stared down at her hands
Like she was searching for something.
“Doctor, is draining someone of all his blood
To get my fill considered a murder?”
“Well, I guess you are technically guilty of murder,
But it doesn’t matter because it was for sustenance.
I doubt the authorities even consider vampires real.”
“Really?” she asked, hopeful.
“Sure, vampires have no rights as citizens.
The government believes them to be creatures of evil.
Vampires can’t legally vote, nor own property.
They can’t even marry nor possess firearms.
In any case, Alma, you didn’t feed upon your parents,
You just decapitated them,
And that’s likely to be considered murder.”

She looked down in despair.
“I’m such an awful person,
But I still want to keep living.
Please help me.”
“Well, what were you planning on doing?”
“I was thinking of finding a safe house,
Some new base of operations.”

I rubbed my chin, deep in thought.
“Why not just come to my home?
It’s a lot safer than a hotel room,
And I’ll protect you from the law.
You’ll get along well with my family.”

Alma raised a hand to her chest,
And had to blink away some tears.
“That’s very kind of you, but I don’t need protection.
I’m a vampire now, so I must live like one.”
“So, like in the sewers?”
“No, I was thinking of a high-rise building,
Or at least some place more habitable.”

“I respect your desire for autonomy,
And I believe you are ready for independence.
I also want you to enjoy your newfound powers.
I hope you find happiness and joy in life.”

She looked at me with a desperate gaze.
“But please, doctor, I’d like to come here again!
Talking things out with you is so important.”
“Of course, Alma. You’ll always be welcome here.”
She gifted me a huge grin.
“Oh, thank you so much, doctor!”
She gave me a hug,
Then she left my office in a cloud of perfume
Which mostly smelled of blood.

Despite Alma’s wishes, I didn’t see her for two months,
But sometimes it felt as if everyone talked about her.
The news kept referring to Alma as a serial killer,
Although they had failed to make the connection
With a series of thugs found dead, exsanguinated
Or merely beheaded as if efortlessly.
I guess the police didn’t believe Alma capable
Of wiping out some of the worst local gangs.

Someone knocked on the window behind me,
Although my office was located in a seventh floor.
When I turned around, Alma was crouched there,
Perched gracefully on the narrow windowsill.

I quickly phoned my secretary.
“Mercedes, don’t let anyone come to my office
Until I say the opposite. I’m going to be busy.”
Then I let Alma in, who had waited patiently.

“I’ve missed you, doctor,” she said.
She was wearing more expensive sunglasses;
A reinforced leather jacket like that of a biker;
And iron grey, full length leggings
That displayed her strong physique.

I was in awe of the majestic young woman.
“Alma, I still remember you as that pale girl
Whose remaining energy barely allowed her to talk,
But you’ve grown so confident and assertive.
Look at you, you are strong and healthy,
Filling out your skin, gaining muscle mass!
Your progress has been extraordinary.”

She raised a hand to her chest,
And let out a noise of delight.
“Oh, you’ve always been so kind to me,
When everyone else just treated me like shit.
I feel much better, I’m fucking so many people,
And I’m close to becoming a full vampire!”
“I’m glad to hear that. You really look great.”

After we both sat down, we started our session.
“Alma, the last time you came, you were on the run,
And you were concerned about finding a safe house.”
She waved a hand dismissively.
“I solved that problem quickly!
I was skulking around at night,
Hoping to come across some place I could take over,
And I was trying to pee in a corner,
When a couple of thugs jumped me, to rape me!”

“Well, I’m sure they’re gone now.”
Alma laughed heartily,
But her eyes shone with a burning light.
“Oh, I left one alive, and he guided me home,
Or at least where his gang had their hideout.
It turned out to be one of the nastier ones.
They were running most of the drugs around.

That day I found out that I can take on
Dozens of guys armed even with firearms.
If I kicked them, they went flying,
Or else I ripped their heads off,
Or incapacitated them enough
That I could simply drain them of their blood,
So they just served to make me stronger.”

“You truly are a mighty warrior,
Now that you’ve become a vampire.
I hope you’ll continue to grow in strength
And become a true master of the world.”

“Oh, I wish you’d been there to see it!
So yeah, I took over their building,
And then I figured I could hit other gangs.
I hate drugs, they are just nasty things,
And that’s ceased to be a problem in this city.
I now own several buildings and businesses,
Which provide plenty of money legally.
I have so much money that I donate some
To charities and groups of which I’m fond.”

“Alma, you are almost a model citizen!”
She smiled widely.
“You’re so nice to say that, doctor.
But you know, I still crave human blood.”
“Of course, that’s just your nature.”

“It became too annoying to seduce people,
So I keep dozens chained or in cages.
I go for variety as well, mostly of ages.
You could say I’ve become a collector.”
She laughed, and I shared her laugh;
I had missed being around this woman.

Alma smiled sweetly at me, and said,
“So I always have big bags of blood
That I can feed upon whenever I please.
If I fancy anyone I see in the streets,
I tell some of my guys to kidnap them.”

“Don’t you have to be a bit careful?
You are still a fugitive, right?”
“I’m not worried about that, doctor!
Many of the officers are in my pocket,
And they know that I can reach their families,
So I could drain anyone in plain daylight
And nobody would dare touch me.
However, that would be trashy.”

I was astonished at her progress.
“You are in good terms with the police, too.
You used to be so shy and withdrawn.”
She reached over the desk to touch my hand.
“That’s because I was restraining my nature,
I was keeping my beautiful soul in chains,
But you taught me I should be liberated,
And for that I’m always in debt with you.”
“What I want is to keep seeing you happy.”

I gave her a moment to wipe her tears,
But then she spoke brightly again.
“I’ve discovered new interests.
Most of the time I don’t just feed,
I also enjoy torturing my blood sacks.
To some that I intend to discard,
I rip off their limbs, or flay their skin.”
“Oh, that sounds so gory.”

“I like it though, doctor. It’s fun to watch
The agony on their faces as they scream.
It makes me feel so powerful and strong.
I’d love to do it to all of society,
Except I think we’d have riots everywhere.
Anyway, I’m into eating human meat too.
I love to chew on it, suck its juices.
I prefer their brains… Or maybe their hearts.
It depends on the quality of the meat.”

“It’s important to keep a varied diet.
Besides, as a vampire you may be resistant
To spongiform encephalopathy.”
“Spongi-what?”
“A disease that attacks the brain.
It’s caused by cannibalism,
Which increases the risk of prion disease.
But you may not be fully human now,
So it would be like eating a cow for you.”

Alma gave it some thought.
“Yeah, I think I’m fine, better than ever.
I get stronger the more blood I consume.
Everything seems brighter,
I’m often burning up with excitement.
All those colors, textures and smells!
I can see farther, hear much clearer.
It makes me feel so special.”
“Special?”
“Superior. Like I am God Almighty.”

“That’s a good sign that your depression’s gone.
You must be glad to have a purpose now.”
“I never felt so fulfilled, doctor.
Not once in my life did I know what it was
To have a reason to live,
But now I see a myriad of futures for me.
I’m always so busy scheming and planning!”
“Good. That’s the best thing you can do.”

Suddenly Alma’s smile faltered.
“You still can connect with me, right?
I mean, I haven’t become that strange
Because I’m developing my vampiric powers.”

“You will always be the Alma I know.
Besides, normalcy is a relative term.
There are people who would call you abnormal,
Because you are a vampire who feeds upon humans,
And also kidnaps, rapes and murders them,
But that’s a natural behavior for your kind,
And you shouldn’t let society dictate your values.”

Alma was overjoyed, and came over to hug me.
“Yeah, us vampires aren’t so bad, doctor!
We are smart, we can make good friends,
And we have lots of fun!
I can even help out humanity
By keeping their numbers low;
It would solve the troubles of overpopulation.”

Our session ended shortly after,
But Alma assured me she would come again.
“Can I find you just to talk,” she asked,
“I mean as friends, not as my therapist?”
She had sounded so adorable.
“Of course! Come talk to me whenever.
I’m always so happy to see you.”

Alma’s expression became sadder.
“Doctor, can you tell me something for free?”
“What’s wrong?”
“Do you really think I’ll make it out okay?”
“Well, you’ve survived this far, and you’re
A very strong and determined woman.
If you keep working hard, you’ll be fine.”

Alma grinned, and climbed onto the windowsill.
“If there’s anything you need, doctor,
Tell me the next time we see each other.
My guys will bring you any kind of supplies.
They’re good at getting things for free.”

I waved, and watched her as she flew off.
She looked just like Superman,
Or I guess any superhero who could fly.
Being a vampire truly was magical.

A month later, a new patient came to my office.
She was a sexy goth girl in her late teens.
She explained that she belonged to a group
Of followers, or a gang: ‘The Vampires of Blood’.
They were a bunch of teens who admired Alma.
“We are so thrilled to have her as our leader!”
They followed her around like puppies,
And tried to be as sweet and polite as possible.
“Please let us feed upon your veins, Alma!”

This girl told me this as if she had invented it,
But I could tell she needed to open up
About her after school activities
That she could be in trouble for revealing.
I was pleased to hear Alma was doing fine.

A month and a half later, in the evening,
I had gone out for a run
When a limousine stopped next to me.
Two huge bodybuilders came out,
Both wearing expensive steel grey suits.
“Please, doctor, come with us.
The queen has invited you to dinner.”

“Oh! You mean Alma! How is she?”
The big guy was dumbfounded by my smile.
I guess most people were terrified of her.
“The queen is always very busy;
There’s lot of problems in this city,
And many people who want her assets.
However, she’s on top of them all,
So you could say she’s doing fine.”

He opened the door and I got in.
I sat between two scantily clad girls
Who started rubbing me all over
While a butler-looking guy sitting in front
Offered me a glass of bubbling champagne.

“Nice to meet you, doctor,” the butler said,
“I’m Alma’s, our queen’s, right hand man.
We know all about you, of course,
How you freed her from her shackles
So she could fulfill her destiny as our leader.
She always keeps people making sure
That no one bothers you or harms you,
And I know she’s just waiting
For you to accept to receive her gifts;
She goes on about this or that you would like.
I would believe if you were truly her father!”
I was so touched I could barely speak,
So I drank some of that tasty champagne.

One of the girls slid her delicate hand
Down my boxers, and jerked me off.
The butler observed her performance.
“Alma ordered to give you pleasure
And make you feel like a king.”

They drained me twice before we arrived
At the tallest high-rise building in town,
And we took the elevator to the last floor.
We exited into a large, dim restaurant
With numerous mirrors and crystal chandeliers.
The polished marble floors reflected every light.

As I walked through the deserted restaurant,
I was already astonished when I spotted Alma.
She was sitting at a table, waiting for me.
She wore an elegant, black slip dress
That seemed to be made of silk and satin,
And fit her perfect, toned figure.
Her long dark hair flowed down to her waist.
She had painted her lips midnight black,
Which contrasted with her pearl white skin,
And she had the confident gaze of a monarch.

I had never seen her look so beautiful,
Like a goddess who lived in heaven
On top of the highest mountain peak,
Reaching for the stars.

I noticed the guards, still as posts,
Dressed with black suits and holding guns.
The waiter that came seemed nervous;
Alma looked so self-assured,
And exuded such an aura of danger,
And could murder everyone in the room,
But for me she was my good old patient.

“Hello, doctor!” she said happily,
“I hope you enjoyed your ride.”
“Oh, it was wonderful. I came two times.”
“Do you like this place? Fancy, yes?”
“Amazing, more like it. It’s yours, I guess.”
Alma winked.
“I own the entire building.”

I waiter brought us two golden goblets.
He filled mine with more champagne,
But Alma’s he filled to the brim with blood.
After she sipped it, she licked a drop
That glistened at the corner of her mouth.

The appetizers consisted of caviar with toast,
Smoked salmon served on crackers,
Fried oysters, and crab legs.
To my surprise, Alma ate them as well,
So I saw fit to comment on it.
“I thought that human food didn’t work.”
“For me they are as nutritious as jellybeans,
But that doesn’t mean I dislike eating them.”

I was buzzed, our conversation was lively.
She was lighthearted, funny and playful.
We laughed and enjoyed each other’s company.
I could tell that her hirelings were surprised.

The waiter brought the main course:
Roast beef stuffed with mushrooms.
As I brought a forkful of it to my mouth
Then chewed on the juicy meat,
Alma rested her chin on her hands
And smiled playfully.
“Can you guess what kind of meat that is?”

I swallowed my bite, then guessed,
“It didn’t come from a cow, did it.”
She nodded. “Her name was Leire,
The most beautiful redhead I’ve seen,
Whose blood tasted like ambrosia.”

I sighed, then chewed on another forkful.
“She tastes delicious. I can see the appeal.
But why would you have slaughtered her?”
Alma looked sad, and shook her head.
“I didn’t! I wanted her as a blood bag,
But one day she cut her own neck.
I have no clue where she got that knife.
All her blood, dirty and pooled on the floor!
What a horrible waste.”

I drank more of my champagne.
“That is truly a tragedy.”
“Yes, so at least I could honor her
By making sure her body nourished me,
Or you, for that matter, whom I love so much.”

I blushed. Her eyes were so alluring,
Not to mention all her power and resources.
“Alma, what a beautiful creature you are.
I’m blessed to call you my friend.”

She fidgeted with the rim of her goblet.
“Don’t you wonder why I invited you?”
“Not really. You can invite me just to talk,
Or just because you want to see me.
You don’t need any particular reason.”
She smiled, and drained her glass.
“Doctor, you always brighten my mood!
But I wanted to offer you a gift,
Or at least the first in a long series.”

“A gift! What is it then?”
Her eyes glistened, and she licked her lips.
“I offer you the gift of immortality,
To become a vampire just like me.”

For a few seconds I only heard our breathing.
I stabbed a morsel of my meal, and savoured it.
The rich, succulent juices ran down my throat.
“Alma, I truly appreciate your kindness,
But I prefer to remain mortal,
Even if becoming immortal sounds nice.”

The butler gasped, and gaped at me.
“D-do you understand what an honor that is?!
The queen hasn’t converted anyone yet!”
Alma raised a finger, and the butler shut up.
When Alma returned her hand to the table,
Her fingers were trembling, but not from anger.

“Doctor, have you truly considered growing old,
Then just dying as if you were never here?”
“I’ve thought about my wife and kids losing me,
But I’ve found ways to keep myself sane.”
“How?” she asked in a sad voice.
“I drink too much wine, take lots of naps.”

She snorted, and I smiled kindly.
“Death isn’t something to fear.
Nothing bad happens to you anymore.”
She narrowed her eyes, deep in thought,
And I sipped on my champagne.

“My dear Alma, we can try forever,
But we will never change our nature,
And if you try to escape it,
You will forever pay the consequences.
People must stay true to themselves,
And everything else will fall into place.

I’m already doing what I was meant to.
I’m an ordinary man with ordinary concerns.
I live to solve my patients’ problems,
And then return home to my cozy family.
You said I would disappear as if I was never here,
But my most successful patient will remain,
And I’m sure you will remember me to the end.”

Alma hung her head low,
And her tears dripped on the tablecloth.
The butler held his breath and stepped back,
And the guards exchanged looks nervously.

When Alma raised her head, she was smiling,
And didn’t bother wiping her tears.
“I understand.
You know, doctor, I was depressed forever.
Ever since I was a little girl,
I felt trapped in a prison cell.
I thought I was destined to be miserable.

Now, I’m more free than anyone.
I’ve ceased to be bound by rules.
I can fuck and eat whoever I want.
I will never starve nor feel weak again,
Because I can drain whole fucking herds.
I’ve become famous, rich and unstoppable.”

I had to wipe my own tears.
“Oh! I’m so proud of you, Alma.”
Her smile brightened the room,
And she warmed my hand with hers.
“Thank you, doctor. You saved my life.
But will you accept other kinds of gifts?”
“Of course! Feel free to give me whatever.”

Two days later, I had a strange dream:
I was sitting on my black leather chair
When it started spinning faster and faster.
I heard myself screaming,
And I ended up flying through the air.

I kept going and going, very far.
I knew that when I fell back to earth,
I would hit it hard and it would hurt badly.
Still, I wasn’t scared.
I looked down at the skyscrapers below,
And all those ant-sized people walking around.

They seemed so small and unimportant.
I was a giant with enormous power.
I could crush them easily and without fear,
And let the wind carry their screams away.

I decided to try flying higher,
So I zoomed towards the clouds.
The darkness crept in,
And I panicked until I saw the stars,
That were millions of miles apart.
I wondered if I could float between them.

Before I knew it, I was floating among the stars.
Among the spinning planets,
I recognized Saturn and Jupiter.
I realized I had been holding hands with a boy,
And he pulled me closer
And his lips pressed against mine
Then I felt him sink his fangs into my neck.
He drained me dry
As I drifted away in space.

It’s been twenty years since I first met Alma.
We keep meeting each other every few months.
Sometimes she comes to hang out with my family,
Or else she brings me to exciting, expensive places.

My house is filled with many of her gifts;
I don’t remember how she gave me plenty of them,
But my family often goes to our summer villas
That Alma bought for us in France, Italy and Malta.
She even paid for my two youngest’s college.
It always makes me happy to see
That Alma hasn’t aged a day.

If I ever get bored of Alma’s gifts,
I think I may paint myself blue,
Or dye my hair bright pink,
And start playing dress up games.
Perhaps I may try being a cat,
Or a dog, or a horse.

Alma ceased to be my patient,
And instead she became my beloved friend,
A brilliant case study on how people flourish
When they live out their full potential.

‘Alma: a Successful Case Study, Pt. 2’ by Jon Ureña

THE END

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