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“Look at all the lonely people,” I mused as the beat of the music pounded in time with my heart. Not that I could tell you who was playing. Some young rock group, pouring their hearts into music that no one was really paying much attention to. The tune seemed somewhat familiar to me, but the group at best needed more rehearsal time, more likely a different career. The smoke from cigarettes, legal and not so legal filled my nostrils and clouded my vision. It was your typical crowded bar scene. Loud and annoying, the perfect place for me to be.
I Leaned up against the bar and watched as the bartender cheated the drunk or high customers. A very aggressive young entrepreneur, I mused with a silent chuckle. He should go far, assuming that he didn't cheat the wrong individual. Listening in on snippets of conversations, I heard young couples flirting, business deals from the hit of some amazing strain of weed or pills, all the way up to the promise of 'very' enjoyable companionship. This was Satan's place, and I blended in perfectly.
Without turning around, I knew she had arrived. I could smell the musky, yet alluring, fragrance of her perfume. Her stilettos clicked seductively with each footfall as she approached the bar. Much about her I knew; her favorite drink, what she smoked, even what she liked for breakfast. I felt as if I had known her for years, but I had never before met her.
No, dear reader, I did not stalk this young woman. Well, I guess I did, but not for the reasons you may think. I did not lust for the curves of her body, sumptuous as they may be. The delicate, tanned skin soft to the touch, held no allure for me. This young creature was desirable to look at, and many a man would gladly go home with this young blonde. Scantily dressed in her tight outfit designed to attract men and to tease them with views of her flesh, her goal was to entice and frustrate. Yes, any man would find her a tasty morsel.
Well, so did I, however, not for the same reasons.
She was my prey. Tonight this young woman would be mine to dine on. She thought that tonight, she was the beast, the hunter. Little did she know she was the hunted.
A month ago, I had feasted on her friend. It was a joke of a hunt to be honest, for I had expected more of a fight from the bodybuilder, the self styled, ‘macho’ man. Laughingly, he was by far one of the easiest. My heart was set on a sort of a match; his supposed martial arts prowess against my supernatural ones. It never even got that far. One flash of my fangs and he was begging for mercy. He even offered to help me get his friends in exchange for his life. The man had seen too many vampire flicks, for I needed no Renfield. Even had I, it would not be him. Through his blood, I knew his friends.
Feeling her presence as she neared allowed me to track her movements. Stopping for small talk with friends, I could hear what she talked about and listened in as she flirted with one guy or another. As she made her way closer to the bar, my hunger grew. Soon I would be satisfied of my cravings and could go back to my normal self for a while longer. Until the cravings returned, and forced me to kill again.
Once again, I cursed the one that made me this way. The memories of that night still made me angry. Working later than I thought, no one was left there to give me a ride. Not minding the mile walk, I exited into the night. The temperature alone should have driven me back inside, it being a quarter to three in the morning and easily over eighty degrees, a humid eighty at that.
With youth comes a sense of invincibility, and in my twenty-seven years of life experience up to that point, had told me I was young, fit, and in no danger. The ten years since, taught me differently, too late.
I left, taking in all the sights and sounds. It is amazing how in this day and age, a city never really sleeps. I heard the sound of partiers, the sound of city sanitation, cars moving, dogs barking at unknown noises; all the noises of a living, thriving community. It should have dawned on me at some point in my journey that those noises had ceased. Then he emerged from the shadows.
Before I could react, he had grabbed me and twirled me around. I was paralyzed in fear, or was it the hypnotic unearthly glow of his silver-blue eyes? Panicking when I saw him hiss at me, it was not from the action, but from the fangs that he now displayed. “This is not happening to me!” , my mind screamed in stark terror and disbelief. Before I could even begin to mount a struggle, he pulled my close and savagely lowered his head to my neck. His fangs sank into my skin and my blood seemed to burn on my skin as it quickly oozed out and was sucked up by his eager tongue. The tongue reminding me of a cat’s, the sandpapery feel as it greedily stole my life. I tried to struggle, but found it hard to move my body.
I still can feel the sensations of having my life slowly drain away. I remember preparing myself to meet God, reciting in my head the Lord’s Prayer. Strangely appropriate, I thought and found myself laughing inside my head. After all, I was in the shadow of death. But I did fear evil; it was standing right here, taking my life. Suddenly he stopped and looked around startled. In my confusion, I was slowly able to hear the sounds of something or someone approaching. Hurriedly, he dropped my near lifeless body to the ground and disappeared into the shadows just as quickly as he came.
That had been my saving grace and punishment to purgatory all in one. He did not have the time to finish the job, and so I was here, quenching my immortal thirst. I shook those thoughts and memories from my mind as, now was not the time to dwell on such things.
She had finally made her way to the bar, smiling wickedly as she leaned forward enough to give the bartender a good look down her dress. There was a bit of space between us, she made a quick glance at me and looked me over and giving an inviting smile before turning to the bartender.
The bartender, apparently in a rage of hormones, did not even bother to disguise lustful gazes while he readied to take her order. Now was the time for me to begin to snare my trap, speaking before she could.
"Vodka, barkeep. For the lady," I said, she looked momentarily amused and surprised. I held a finger up as I continued, "And add just a bit of apple juice for taste."
She went from amused to surprised, "I'm impressed."
I held up my drink, the same drink. "Just recognize someone with selective taste."
I could tell that I had her attention, at least for the moment. In less than a minute the bartender had delivered her drink, refilled the peanuts, and wiped down the area in front of her. Lust can be a powerful motivator I had learned years ago. I motioned to the glass.
"So Kristie, enjoy your drink."
I could see that the amusement had quickly become fear. Her body language became one of a trapped animal. I could actually see that her heart was beating faster, and that made the blood I craved move faster. I fought the urge to lick my lips.
"Do I know you?" she asked with more than a hint of fear and concern in her voice. She seemed to be mentally trying to place me.
Her eyes narrowed, "Then how do you...?" she stammered. I could almost see the fear grow in her eyes, the subtle little things; the quickening of her breath, the way she gripped her drink tighter. The fight or flight in our hormones, just adding spice to her blood. Then trying to regain her composure, she said with a nervous laugh, “Mind reader?"
“Only on weekends, birthday parties and such.” I commented with a smirk, "I am a friend of Morris'."
Visibly relaxing, she held out her hand, "And you are?"
I took it and pressed my lips to it. Never once losing eye contact, "They call me Mackenzie."
"Friends call me Mac."
Kristie reached into her purse and pulled out a cigarette, holding it between her lips as she dug for a lighter. The bartender nearly flew down the length of the bar with a lighter. Giving him a dismissing smile she turned away from him. Crestfallen, he went back to his other customers.
Taking a long appraising look at me and took a long drag of her cigarette. Playfully adding, "And what do I call you?"
"Anything you wish."
She gave a soft laugh, “So tell me, mind reader, what am I thinking?”
Smiling I motioned to the dance floor.
Smiling took a long puff on her cigarette and snuffed it out in an ash tray on the bar. The bartender gave me a stare of both awe and jealousy as we walked off. The music had a definite techno sound to it now. Finally I recognized the tune, and wondered to myself if John Lennon or Paul McCartney had meant their music to be butchered in such ways. The floor was crowded. I fought to control myself, near all those warm bodies, with that delicious blood, pumping wildly just under the skin. All I had to do is reach out.....
Snapping myself back to attention as we started to dance, or at least, what passed as dancing in this club in this day and age. No more was it softly swaying to the music, it was now what could be best called upright sex. Our bodies moved against each other in time to the music. As she turned her back to me, I drew her near me and my hands slowly made their way to her hips. She pushed her body against me, grinding into me. My lips softly nibbling on her ear, then slowly down her neck to the spot where neck meets shoulder. Despite the noise of the club and her dancing, I could hear a soft moan escape her lips.
After a few minutes of this she turned around, wrapped her arms around my neck, pressing her young body against mine. She kissed me hard and passionately, which I returned, our tongues dueling. Kristie smiled seductively and took me by the hand and led me off the dance floor. Every few feet she would pull me close and kiss me, our hands groping each other’s bodies. Thinking that we would be leaving now, I was surprised when she led me to a door far to the back of the club.
We went down a dark passage way that had several openings where I could see smaller private rooms, catching the odd glimpse here or there and people in those dimly lit rooms. What they were doing should remain in the realms of the observer’s perverse imagination.
Finally, we reached an empty room and turning she put her arms around me. Once more, we shared a passionate kiss as she ran her hands over my body. My hands moved to grab her backside and pull her closer. I kissed my way to her ear gently biting the lobe and softly trailed a line of kisses down her neck as her head went back, eyes closing in ecstasy. Her lips quivered in lust and we both trembled in anticipation.
She looked at me and with a seductive smile whispered into my ear, “I need you.” She grabbed me by the hand and tugged me playfully inside the room. Close, I thought, so close.
Once inside, I took a quick survey of the room. The room bathed in a dim blue light was sparsely furnished. A large couch with a easy chair took up on side. The center had a sort of coffee table. We made our way to the couch, kissing and caressing each other. She then sat in my lap, her back to me, allowing my hands to cup her breasts through her dress. She moaned as she ground herself into me.
By now, I was being driven mad with my needs. I could feel her pulse just below her skin. I could feel the warmth of her body and taste her skin. My hands were all over her body, touching, molding themselves to her. I could feel her growing arousal.
I had slowly pushed the zipper of her dress down. My hands and lips quickly moved to caress and kiss the newly exposed skin. She started rocking in my lap, her hands holding the back of my head trying desperately to push my head closer. She moaned in pleasure, but that quickly became a moan of pain as my teeth sunk into her skin and I began to drink.
I could feel her squirm in the agony and ecstasy of the moment, trying desperately to escape; attempts that where getting weaker and weaker as her life force drained into me, then finally ceasing all together. Holding her closer as she went limp in my arms and sobbing quietly in both satisfaction and despair. Looking up I saw our reflection in the mirror, her lifeless body, and my brownish green eyes glowing brightly in the nearly dark room. In a quick grab of her neck and head, I twisted until hearing the snap of certain death and saving her from the life I led.
Mouthing a silent prayer for her and made the sign of a cross then exited the room and melted into the crowd. Quickly making my way to the exit and rushing for my home.
I laid there in my bed drenched with sweat as a replay of the nights events played out in my mind. Every smell and sound down to the last detail. It was then that it hit me in a terrible painful and swift blow; her memories. A curse I carried, as well as a blessing. The memories of my victims were always swept up in the blood. Within in a few maddening minutes, her life was replayed in my mind. The anguish, the love and the lows as well as highs; all now were mine as well. The pain of such an experience caused me to grip the bed sheets and thrash about the bed. In such throws, I fell from the bed and hit the cold hardwood floor.
As the pain went slowly from my body, I pulled myself back onto the bed. Laying down and looking up at the ceiling, tears of anguish and pain fell from my eyes.
Staring at the ceiling in anger, I cursed a invisible god that did not answer me. For the millionth time, vowing my vengeance on he that had made me what I am.
"You okay in there"
"I'm okay Mrs. Rigby, just a nightmare."
"Oh, well I'll be downstairs."
I looked over at the clock and noted it was a little before six AM. Dragging myself out of bed I stumbled to the shower. Maybe a good, hot shower would help. Soon the stress melted away under the steam and heat of the water.
Minutes later, I ran into the kindly old matron, in the kitchen. Grabbing an apple from the table and making my way to the door.
"No breakfast, this mornin'?" she asked in a motherly voice. Stopping I gave the old woman a peck on the cheek.
"Not hungry. I had something earlier” and then added, "I'll be working late tonight."
Mrs Rigby shot me a disapproving look, "Glory be, you'll work yourself into the grave if you keep these hours!"
If only, I thought, if only.
"Have a good day, Mrs. Rigby," and I reached for the door knob.
"You too Father Mackenzie." I heard as I shut the door behind me.
well written! Tell me there is more to this!
Wow! I loved it! Once the suspense got started it was one of those where you HAVE to finish it through. Great job. And I love the end as well!
Very cool story! And nice twist at the end, I didn't see it coming. Good job!
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Raymond Coulombe, Michael Gallant, Timothy O. Goyette
|Outrunning the Storm|