VAMPIRE, VAMPIRISM, VAMPIRIC, VAMPY!
A collection of short stories which explore and celebrate the vampire genre with talented, world-class writers. There’s something here to delight and horrify even the most seasoned vampire fan.
Abraham R Nox, Adrian Bond, Dennis Kriesel, Emily de Rango, Eric S. Brown, Frank C. Gunderloy, Jr., Greg Beatty, H. Turnip Smith, J.R. Corcorrhan, Jean Burnett, Jennifer Moore, Joshua Alan Doetsch, Laura Cooney, Lester Thees, Liz Williams, Lorna Dickson, Miles Deacon, Mordant Carnival, Raymond T. McNally, Richard Jones, Sheri Morton-Stanley, Stephen Minchin, T. P. Keating, Tom Phillips, Trent Walters.
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A vampire story by Laura Cooney – Featured in Fangers Inc. Volume One
It was two in the morning. I stood by the steps, outside the club called Fire, waiting for him to come out with his latest girl.
You wouldn’t think I had a chance with him, but I have a strange power to seduce, an odd charisma that I shouldn’t have. Not with my ordinary looks; this puffy club roll of a body. When I’m walking down the street, men look twice at me and they have no reason to. I’m not the tall blonde in the mini dress or the voluptuous brunette in the tight leather T. I have an intensity that makes people stare. I’m not bragging, just stating a fact.
Once I’ve caught someone’s attention and lock their eyes onto mine, that clinches it. They’re mine, but it’s boring, cause usually, I don’t want them.
But he’s different. He’s the one they all want. He’s usually with the supermodels, but sometimes it’s an actress or a rock chick. Always, they’re tall and they’re beautiful and they seem very sweet and easy and vulnerable.
He’s not handsome, doesn’t have fabulous pecs or a great ass. Truth be told, he’s a little odd looking with soft woman’s skin and a large, crooked nose. But he’s rich and well known and he appears on TV. And therein lies the charm.
I never believed Bryan was a vampire. I don’t believe in them, except in the metaphorical sense of sucking the life out of beautiful young girls.
I liked to see Bryan with these women who were perfectly aware of what he was doing and what they were doing. Yet, like Dracula’s Brides, who claimed in their coffins that Dracula’d hypnotized them, that all that they did and all that happened to them was done against their will, they knew exactly what they were doing, and they enjoyed it.
I knew what I was doing too. His shallowness excited me, as did his lack of caring. I wanted to take his game further than he’d planned.
When he first put his teeth to my neck, he was playful and nipped at me like a kitten. I told him I wanted him to really bite me hard, to break the skin.
He said he didn’t want to hurt me.
“Bryan, you’ve been with virgins, haven’t you?”
He looked surprised. “Yes.” He smiled.
“When you took their virginity, you knew it would hurt, didn’t you?”
He laughed. “These are some odd questions, Beatrice.”
“You knew it would hurt them, but that didn’t stop you from plunging it in.”
“What a way to put it.”
“My neck is virgin territory. You have to plunge into it.”
“You’re a very kinky girl.”
“Don’t worry about hurting me, Bryan.”
I wasn’t pretty like his typical girlfriends but what I was offering him was not beauty; it was something much more compelling: the pleasure of giving pain.
Faces of murdered girls are in the newspapers constantly. Wide, warm smiles. Luxurious and silky waves of hair. Dimples. An eyebrow arching coyly downward. They’re dead.
Inevitably, you think, “She’s pretty, she’s dead.” But you refuse to make the connection. You can feel it in yourself. It is a horrible eroticism, compelling and fascinating and utterly cold.
Dig the juxtaposition of the photo and the fate. It’s strange to feel the sexuality emanating from it, unsettling to be intrigued by it. The uncomfortable, sexual element we acknowledge with disgust in the perpetrator but deny in ourselves. Imagine the act taking place.
I stare at their faces, smiling out in black and white newsprint. I look at the pictures too long. Sometimes they print a cavalcade of pictures of murdered young girls, all done in by the same man.
How wonderful that I can experience vicariously murderous, sexual acts through these sweet young things. Thrill to the horror! It’s something I should not admit. But there it is in the newspaper, baiting me. Experience without doing, experience without being done to.
But the paper’s description of the act was not enough and the vicariousness of it became unsatisfying. The papers had it all there, but it was in flat black letters and a white background. I needed something I could experience with my fingertips.
People say the tabloid representation of these murders is cheap and sensationalistic, but it’s deeper than that. Maybe the naysayers were cheapening the deaths and all the girls endured at the hands of their killers. Maybe they were the ones being callous and cold, objectifying when they thought they were being respectful, patronizing when they thought they were being kind.
On that first night we met, out by the steps, that was when I decided I’d become a newspaper girl and Bryan would be Dracula.
Bryan stepped out of the club and stood at the top of the steps with a beautiful blonde whose stature diminished him. Poor Bryan, he was not much above five foot six, but all the women he dated always seemed to be hovering around six feet and, in their heels, they were nearly a full foot taller than him.
I knew he wouldn’t notice me at first. I focused my eyes on his as he posed with his prize at the top of the steps. Bryan blinked nervously and looked down at me. He seemed surprised that he’d taken notice of such an ordinary, uninteresting female specimen. I gave him what I considered an enigmatic smile.
He opened his mouth slightly as he stared at me. I’d caught him off-guard and that was good.
The leggy blonde looked peeved.
“Bryan, I’m tired,” she said.
He turned away from me.
“You’re beautiful when you’re tired.”
The blonde and I rolled our eyes simultaneously. The Golden Couple descended the steps.
“Mr. Rourke!” I called out.
He stopped and walked over. The blonde’s eyes rolled again.
He looked back at her. “Rule number one of show biz, Tatiana, always be good to your fans.”
He turned to me. “Isn’t that right?”
I smiled as I locked my eyes on him. “Not necessarily.”
“How should one treat one’s fans?”
“Beat them into submission with a big stick.”
“Do I take that to mean you’re not a fan? Or are you…something else?”
“Should I coyly say, ‘I’m definitely something else?’”
“Only if it’s true.”
“I’m definitely something else.”
He laughed. “I’ll bet you are.”
“She’s a bit of a drag. Why don’t you come see me after you give her the obligatory shag and we’ll do something interesting?”
Bryan’s eyes got big, like he was making faces at a baby in a playpen.
“Are you one of those stalkers?”
I pulled out a page from my autograph book and wrote down my address on it.
“Here,” I said, handing it to him.
He looked at the paper, trying to figure out who I was by the curls on my K’s, from my half-formed R’s and the left-slanting words.
“You’ll expect me to be fashionably late?”
Well, as I mentioned before, or should I say it in a TV way since Bryan is a TV star?
“Previously on, ‘My Boyfriend is a Vampire’…”
Bryan nipped at my neck, but I wanted a big ole nasty bloody bite. Bryan was hesitant, but I was determined. MY WILL BE DONE!
It’s a tough thing to do, to bite to break the skin. It requires guts and gumption and a taste for blood. You also have to be a bit nuts.
Tune in, right now, to find out, the following:
“Don’t worry about hurting me, Bryan.”
“It’s not something I really want to do, Beatrice.”
“You never know if you’ll like something until you try it.”
I raised an eyebrow. Bryan relaxed a bit.
“Something to tell the grandkids.”
“You’re a livewire.”
I lay out my neck, cleared the hair from it and offered him the pretty pinkish little thing. Bryan giggled nervously.
“You’re not joking, right?”
He put his mouth on my neck but all I felt was some warm saliva. His lips moved on me like a moist suction cup and copious amounts of saliva oozed down my neck, staining my blue silk blouse. That got me miffed.
His teeth made contact but with very little pressure and a warm breath and more saliva.
I grabbed his balls and squeezed. Bryan bit into me like I was an apple. The pain was sharp, becoming softer as it spread out like capillaries across my neck. A sensation as delicate as a butterfly’s wings. And then the warm liquid that was so much more graceful than spittle glided down my throat.
“Bryan, suck it out of me.”
I looked at his face. His eyes were large, excited, emotional. He put his mouth on the opening and made suckling noises. I flashed one of those Madonna and Child paintings from the Renaissance. I didn’t know the artist. She was in blue of course, and he was in white.
It struck me that Bryan and I were wearing those same colours. I’d thought his white suit was too Tom Wolfe, but now I knew it was perfect.
Bryan was uncomfortable with our relationship. There were the desperately casual suggestions of spending “nights at home, just hanging out” from my confirmed clubber. It wasn’t just that my looks were wrong, Bryan was wary of my wit and originality and intelligence.
Also, it looked bad, very bad, to be seen “out” with me.
I enjoyed the jealous, uncomprehending, catty looks of the model girls who couldn’t believe Bryan Rourke was with me. Sometimes when I caught one staring, I’d lick my lips at her and the beauty would turn her head away.
Bryan was at ease with their ordinary, stupid and shallow personalities. Nothing better confirmed to the predatory male his inborn superiority to the ‘weaker’ sex. In their feeble minds, he was a teacher and a wit, and he loved that almost as much as he loved fucking them. But never as much as he loved being seen with them.
When he was with me, his hackneyed lines fell flat at my big feet. I was unwilling to pick them up, so we ended up staring down at the floor.
The only way he could assert his dominance over me was in sucking my blood. It was good to feel this unworthy man taking away bits of my strength every few nights. I corrupted him with my blood. He corrupted me with his saliva. It was like an infected mosquito bit into me, taking just as much as it needed. No more than a minor irritation, a red bump and some itching, but it was in my blood and fed on me much more ravenously than Bryan.
I began to stare like Bryan at the models in the clubs. Their red lips, delicate noses, large and heavy lashed eyes. Thin, fragile bodies with big macho breasts ready to scrap. Bryan took notice of my interest in his ladies.
“Want me to invite one over for a threesome?”
“Don’t be disgusting.”
Truth was, I didn’t want to share them with him
They are common enough things, these girlish affectations that extend well beyond girlhood. The nervous giggling, hair-twirling, a finger across the lower lip, the downcast eyes, fluttery lids and hands. The smile for no reason. These models were models of insecurity and self-doubt. They were rampant and easy prey, and their beauty and vulnerability pulled me in. I wanted to, as the saying goes, “drink them in.”
I thought of the beautiful women of the ‘60’s and the ‘70’s and surveyed the damage done by time to them in my mind’s eye as I plucked out some stray grey hairs, always a tricky affair. The strands were easy to see, but hard to grasp, even harder to pull out.
What these girls needed was a vampire. They didn’t want to fade and bloat and degenerate like the ‘60’s and ‘70’s starlets who in their waning days caked on the make-up like they were morticians getting the corpse ready for a wake.
The red and the beige and the blue that fell into lines and wrinkles like soldiers into a foxhole. Necks that looked like the skin was stretched too tight across two knitting needles. Eyes sunken in purple pools. Teeth jutting out unnaturally, like a horse. Bloated bellies overhanging spandex skirts.
I didn’t want to see it happening to them.
He could be sucking on their breasts. Instead, he was sucking on my neck, bringing the blood to the surface, gripping my shoulder tightly. He could be having sex, but he’s licking blood off me.
His desire changed into something that was more intense and unquenchable than just sex.
For me, the sensation of the suckling, the blood, and the throbbing of wound was exciting, satisfying and, strangely, comforting. The fingers pressing hard into my skin, leaving red imprints, pinning me to this point in time, on this precise spot, where I was held in place like a bottle of beer.
I liked the feeling of being a vessel.
“Bryan, enough, stop…”
He took his mouth off me. I covered the wound with my hand and massaged the back of my neck with my fingers.
There was red near his nostrils and above his upper lip. He looked like a cat after a kill. He licked his lips.
“That is so good, but it gives me indigestion.”
“It makes my neck stiff.”
“Love ain’t easy.”
I laughed. “Yeah, love.”
“I was never with a girl like you before. I mean, I should have dumped you by now.”
“It is a puzzle.”
“But how many girls would let me do this? You are a gem.”
Bryan was always so spent afterwards. He went straight to bed.
I, on the other hand, decided I’d go out to the club alone. I knew they’d let me in since everyone now recognized me as “Bryan’s girl.”
The models were all watching me as I walked to the bar. When I first started showing up here with Bryan, they all resented me. Who did this average-looking overweight woman think she was showing up here with a TV star? Gradually, I became a fascination and they started staring at me more than they did at Bryan.
Tatiana came up to me with a neon yellow margarita in her hand.
She smiled. “Busy night?”
“Bryan doesn’t have a helluva lot of stamina.”
Tatiana laughed. The peek of the pink of her tongue and her parted lips made me want to put my arms on her and bite. My forehead started to perspire. I brushed my fingers across it to wipe away the damp.
Tatiana nodded. “It is so hot in here.”
“It is a bit, yes.”
“Where’s your drink, honey?”
I looked at the table, touched the water stain on the empty coaster. It wasn’t water, it was sticky. I looked down at the floor and stared at Tatiana’s black spaghetti strap sandals, her high-arched feet that were curved like ballet slippers and the bright yellow nail polish on her toes.
“You like them, Beatrice? Four-hundred fucking dollars per shoe and worth every penny.” She laughed.
The black straps went so tightly across her skin, it looked like she was wearing bondage
shoes. Binding feet to keep them pretty, like the Chinese.
“They’re nice, pretty.”
“Let’s get you a nice cool drink. A strawberry daiquiri. I love those.”
Tatiana wore a mini dress that was yellow and black. Her shoulders were honey in the light of the club. The skin soft but toned and firm and round as a brass doorknob.
It was a strange association that made me want to put my hand on her and open her up.
Tatiana had her hands in front of her face. The palms were facing one another, her fingers curved and swaying slightly, as if moved by a breeze. I stared dumbly, unable to take my eyes away from her dancing fingers.
“I love that way the daiquiri glass is shaped. I love to hold the glass in my hand. Do you want me to get you one?”
“Yeah, thanks, Tatiana.”
“It’s my pleasure.”
As she got up from the table and walked toward the bar, some strange sensation rose in my chest. It was warm and pleasurable and gave me a wonderful feeling of well-being.
Those long thin legs were moving away from me and then they’d get the drink and turn around and come back to me. The knees would bend, and she’d be sitting across from me. The beautiful long golden hair, the beautiful heart-shaped face, the beautiful blue eyes, the long, elegant neck, the tops of her breasts peering out over the scooped neck of her dress.
I was shaky and sick with excitement. I didn’t want to feel this way. Not about her. Not about something as shallow as her beauty. I blamed Bryan and his sick saliva that was creeping through my veins.
The thud of the glass made me look up. Tatiana twirled a strand of her hair and grinned down at me.
“Look at that,” she said. “It’s like a work of art isn’t it?”
The glass was tall with exquisite cuts that picked up each shaft of light that hit it. The liquid was pink and thick and creamy, with slices of strawberries on top, arranged like a still life.
A white spiral staircase and glass steps that seemed made for voyeurism. I followed behind Tatiana. With each step up she took, a little bit more of her thigh was exposed. A cheek like a strawberry jutted to the right, near my nose. Then a little bit more left thigh and the left strawberry grinded.
I watched my hand glide along the shiny white banister.
“Step, step, up, up,” I repeated to myself.
At the top, Tatiana stood aside and held out her hand like a magician’s assistant.
They were all there. All the top models, sprawled about the duplex, shifting their negligible weights against walls, the arms of sofas, the mahogany bar.
There wasn’t a man among them. No hot young band frontman. No handsome leading man. No moneyed businessman.
“Where’re all the guys?”
“It’s girls’ night in,” Tatiana said, and she giggled like there was a man around she was interested in.
A green-eyed brunette in a silver flapper dress came over to me. I recognized her as Charla Z. who did those magazine ads for the perfume, where she posed provocatively on toilet seats.
“Hey, B,” she said. “We got some serious stuff to discuss.”
I looked down at the polished parquet floor and took in a breath. My fingers felt weird, numb. I thought I could be having a heart attack or maybe a stroke.
I was feeling good and bad at the same time and I knew this was a place I shouldn’t be.
Charla’s cool soft hand was soothing, as she led me into the living room. She sat me in a rust-coloured chair with velvet cushions. The back of the chair jutted out long and narrow and reminded me of bat wings. Which was pretty funny, considering the things Bryan’d been doing to me.
Tatiana stood in front of me, next to Charla and all the other girls were looking like I was the guest of honour at some surprise party.
My stomach hurt. I looked at all those lovely, mascara eyes, and knew then that mine had no power to captivate. That it was some shit I’d read in romance novels. All those orphaned heroines who had wonderful magical eyes that flashed and sparkled and were kept averted from the brooding men they loved.
Nothing special about my eyes. They were small and weak, and I had a tendency to squint.
“How do you do it, Beatrice?” Tatiana asked.
I felt like I’d just woken up and someone’d turned on the light in the middle of the night.
“Keep Bryan interested. What’s your secret?”
They were all staring at me like I had something important to say. I always believed I had special powers to draw men in, but now that these beautiful girls were looking at me like that, it seemed ridiculous.
“I’m just myself.”
“What does that mean?” Charla asked.
I was afraid. I was afraid of these girls. It was so stupid.
“I heard all about you,” Tatiana said.
“Bryan drinks strong stuff and it’s not Bloody Marys,” Charla said.
“It’s bloody Beatrice!” one of the models called out and they all laughed.
“Let’s taste her. Let’s see how good she tastes!”
They were all on drugs, I decided, because I felt like I was on drugs. Charla and Tatiana each grabbed an arm and lay me down on the floor. I was weak and sleepy.
A gentle touch on my neck as the bandage was peeled away. Models knelt around me, feeling like too many breaths on me, o.d.-ing on carbon dioxide. I breathed their heat and felt lips on me and, and the dull pressure of white capped teeth breaking into Bryan’s wound and the suckling noises.
Am I a newspaper girl?
One finished and said, “Yuck.”
Another sweet voice said, “It’s my turn, let me.”
Mouths were on my legs, and arms, and neck, and stomach and thighs. All biting and tearing and sucking me. Liked it. Better than Bryan, but, so many, and all wanted a try.
Very draining. Too weak to make joke but smiled at dumb pun as no magic eyes got very, very heavy, like with hypnotist and lids close and… dark…and… sleep…
(c) Laura Cooney, All Rights Reserved.