It’s fair to say that Poppy felt drained. Daily. She wasn’t particularly popular, good looking or charismatic and she felt she was going nowhere in life. Her parents were a bore and did nothing but nag, they believed her ambition, dwindling though it may have been, to be an actress would take her nowhere and each day spent talking to them was merely a chore.
They drained her, her energy, her well being and her life. Even Poppy’s best friend Mary had little faith in her. Mary wasn’t like Poppy though, she had a gorgeous boyfriend, a wealthy family and aspirations that were actually realistic. They were only really friends as a result of knowing each other through childhood. However, it was obvious to Poppy that even Mary was tiring of her, she had begun to drain others too. And so, when Chad, a boy in her year, expressed interest in her, it would be an understatement to say she was a little surprised.
Poppy hadn’t had many relationships over the years, a few here and there but nothing serious and nothing lasting over a month. Chad was different though, normally boys would ask her out over text or mumble it to her in a dark cinema, where the chances of embarrassment if she said no were low, due to dim lighting and the loud booming voice of the likes of Tom Cruise or Simon Pegg surrounding them. Chad asked her face to face though, in a brightly lit corridor full to the brim of excited students getting ready to go home as another end of term rolled round. Poppy blurted out a startled yes embarrassingly fast. Chad flashed a brilliant white smile, ‘Great’, he said, ‘Meet at yours tomorrow? 7:30 sound good? It’s 21 Ashbark avenue isn’t it?’. ‘Totally!’, Poppy was about to say, when she hesitated. How did he even know where she lived? Instead she smiled modestly, cheeks flushing crimson for the first time in months and thought, ‘who cares?’. Here was an attractive boy actually interested in her, someone who didn’t know her well enough for her to have drained his soul away yet, going with it she merely said, ‘Sounds good’ and the date was set.
Mary hadn’t heard from Poppy in a while. Poppy had begun to grind on Mary, for what seemed like years now she always managed to somehow suck the life and soul out of everything. It became increasingly difficult to be her friend, even from her pale skin and limp hair you could tell from a mile away that she had given up. It was as if someone had drained the happiness from her and nothing Mary ever did helped. She still cared for her friend, but feeling helpless was all too much for Mary. Always assuming it was depression, Mary had just come to feel sorry for Poppy, her parents were so wrapped up in their own world they’d never noticed it themselves and had never thought to seek help for her. It wasn’t like she hid it all that much, they just put it down to the fact she had always been ‘mopey’, but Mary knew different. Poppy had been quite the opposite a few years ago, alive and joyful.
It was the end of term and Mary was worried. She couldn’t take her mind off Poppy tonight for some reason. Was she worried she would potentially do something stupid? Or was it a creeping jealously after seeing her talk to Chad in the corridor yesterday? She was always happy if Poppy got any male attention at all, but Chad? What on earth had he seen in her from across the hallways? Surely it can’t have been her lingering sad vibe or the way she never lifts her eyes from the floor?
Going round that night, Mary knocked on Poppy’s door, politely greeted her parents and went up to Poppy’s room. They had said she had company and Mary knew it could be no other than Chad, Poppy didn’t even speak to anyone else. From behind the door she could hear a muffling noise. Knowing she was interrupting and was probably about to see something she didn’t want to, Mary entered anyway.
Making her way in, she heard the shattering of glass and looked to find the bedroom window had been smashed there and then. Mary couldn’t believe her eyes, as a bat-like shape flew out of it. Ice pierced Mary’s heart at the sight of the creature and as she realised something was terribly wrong. The room was cold and there was a sweet, slightly morbid smell in the air.
Slowly peering round the bedroom door, Mary saw Poppy sprawled out across the bed. Mary could only describe her as looking monstrous. Her skin paler than usual, almost ghostlike and her eyes sunken and staring wide at the ceiling. Poppy was empty and lifeless, even more so than she had been in life, something Mary hadn’t quite believed to be possible. Gasping in horror, she laid her eyes upon the small, red punctures marks on Poppy’s throat. Poppy had been drained, drained dry.