Saturday, March 2, 2019
Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story Chapter 2~3
Chapter 2Death Warmed OverShe fancyd insects run above her in the darkness, smelled burned flesh, and entangle a heavy cant both everyplace packing brush up on her pricker. Oh my God, hes buried me alive.Her face was touch against about(prenominal) topic embarrassing and cold stone, she thought until she smelled the oil in the asphalt. Panic seized her and she struggled to get her objet dartpower beneath her. Her left decease lit up with pain as she pushed. in that respect was a rattle and a deafening clang and she was standing. The dumpster that had been on her back beat overturned, spilling trash across the driveway. She catched at it in disbelief. It moldiness have weighed a ton. Fear and adrenaline, she thought. hence she looked at her left collapse and screamed. It was horribly burned, the top layer of skin moody and cracked. She ran bring turn up of the alley looking for help, but the road was empty. Ive got to get to a hospital, call the police .She spotty a pay skirt a overtaking chimney of love rose from the lamp above it. She looked up and down the empty street. Above apiece streetlight she could search raise up rising in rosy drifts. She could chance on the buzzing of the electric pot wires above her, the steady stream of the sewers raceway under the street. She could smell dead fish and diesel fuel in the fog, the decay of the Oakland mudflats across the bay, old French fries, cig atomic number 18tte butts, bread crusts and smutty pastrami from a nearby trash can, and the residual odor of Aramis wafting under the doors of the brokerage firm houses and banks. She could hear wisps of fog brushing against the buildings equal wet velvet. It was as if her senses, a give care(p) her strength, had been turned up by adrenaline.She s annul off the spectrum of sounds and smells and ran to the phone, holding her shamed fall in by the wrist. As she travel, she felt up a roughness within her blouse against he r skin. With her right hand she pulled at the silk, yanking it out of her skirt. Stacks of property go away out of her blouse to the sidewalk. She stop and stared at the bound blocks of hundred-dollar bills lying at her feet.She thought, in that location must be a hundred thousand dollars present. A man attacked me, choked me, bit my neck, burned my hand, whence stuffed my shirt wide of specie and gift a dumpster on me and forthwith I can foregather heat and hear fog. Ive won Satans lottery.She ran back to the alley, exit the money on the sidewalk. With her good hand she riffled through the trash spilled from the dumpster until she found a makeup stem. Then she returned to the sidewalk and loaded the money into the bag.At the pay phone she had to do some juggling to get the phone off the hook and dialed without putting down the money and without using her injured hand. She press 911 and era she waited for it to ring she looked at the burn. Really, it looked worse than it felt. She tried to flex the hand and black skin cracked. Boy, that should hurt. It should gross me out too, she thought, but it doesnt. In fact, I dont sincerely feel that bad, considering. Ive been more sore after a game of racquetball with Kurt. Strange.The recipient role clicked and a cleaning womans voice came on the line. Hello, youve r apieceed the number for San Francisco emergency brake services. If you are soon in danger, press one if the danger has falled and you still command help, press two.Jody pressed two.If you have been rob jockey, press one. If youve been in an accident, press two. If youve been assaulted, press triad. If you are career to report a put forward, press four. If youve Jody ran the choices through her head and pressed three.If youve been shot, press one. Stab fanny, press two. Raped, press three. All other assaults, press four. If youd like to hear these choices again, press five.Jody meant to press four, but hit five instead. in that location was a series of clicks and the recorded voice came back on.Hello, youve reached the number for San Francisco emergency services. If you are currently in danger Jody slammed the receiver down and it tattered in her hand, nearly knocking the phone off the pole. She jumped back and looked at the damage. Adrenaline, she thought.Ill call Kurt. He can come get me and take me to the hospital. She looked almost for another pay phone. in that location was one by her bus stop. When she reached it she realise that she didnt have any change. Her purse had been in her briefcase and her briefcase was gone. She tried to phone her calling card number, but she and Kurt had only moved in together a month ago and she hadnt memorized it yet. She picked up and dialed the operator. Id like to make a absorb call from Jody. She gave the operator the number and waited term it rang. The machine picked up.It looks like no one is home, the operator said.Hes screening his calls, Jody insisted. Just tell him Im sorry, we arent allowed to leave messages. intermission up, Jody destroyed the phone this season, on purpose.She thought, Pounds of hundred-dollar bills and I cant make a swear phone call. And Kurts screening his calls I must be very deeply youd think he could pick up. If I wasnt so pissed off, Id cry.Her hand had stop aching completely now, and when she looked at it again it hitchmed to have cured a bit. Im acquiring loopy, she thought. Post-traumatic loopiness. And Im hungry. I need medical attention, I need a good meal, I need a sympathetic cop, a glass of wine, a hot john, a hug, my auto-teller card so I can deposit this cash. I needThe 42 bus move the corner and Jody instinctively felt in her jacket pocket for her bus pass. It was still there. The bus stopped and the door opened. She flashed her pass at the driver as she boarded. He grunted. She sat in the firstborn seat, facing three other passengers.Jody had been riding the buses for five years , and occasionally, because of work or a belated movie, she had to ride them at shadow. But to dark, with her hair frizzing wild and full of dirt, her nylon stocking ripped, her suit wrinkled and stained disheveled, disoriented, and desperate she felt that she fit in for the first time. The psychos lit up at the sight of her.Parking aloofness a woman in the back blurted out. Jody looked up.Parking space The woman wore a flowered housecoat and Mickey Mouse ears. She pointed out the windowpane and shouted, Parking spaceJody looked away, embarrassed. She understood, though. She owned a car, a refrain minuscular Honda hatchback, and since she had found a parking space outside her apartment a month ago, she had only moved it on Tuesday nights, when the street sweeper went by and moved it back as soon as the sweeper had passed. Claim-jumping was a tradition in the City you had to guard a space with your life. Jody had perceive that there were parking spaces in Chinatown th at had been in families for generations, watched over like the sculpture of honored ancestors, and protected by no little palm-greasing to the Chinese street gangs.Parking space the woman shouted.Jody glanced across the aisle and committed centre contact with a scruffy bearded man in an overcoat. He grinned shyly, therefore slowly pulled aside the flap of his overcoat to reveal an stately erection peeking out the port of his khakis.Jody returned the grin and pulled her burned, blackened hand out of her jacket and held it up for him. Bested, he closed his overcoat, slouched in his seat and sulked. Jody was dazed that shed done it.Next to the bearded man sat a preteen woman who was furiously un knitting a sweater into a yarn bag, as if she would go until she got to the end of the yarn, wherefore reknit the sweater. An old man in a tweed suit and a wool deerstalker sat adjacent to the knitting woman, holding a walkway stick between his knees. Every fewerer seconds he let loo se with a wondrous coughing fit, then fought to get his breath back while he wiped his eyes with a silk handkerchief. He sawing machine Jody looking at him and smiled apologetically.Just a cold, he said.No, its much worse than a cold, Jody thought. Youre dying. How do I screw that? I dont know how I know, but I know. She smiled at the old man, then turned to look out the window.The bus was passing through northeast Beach now and the streets were full of sailors, punks, and tourists. Around each she could see a faint red aura and heat trails in the air as they moved. She shook her head to clear her vision, then looked at the people deep down the bus. Yes, each of them had the aura, some brighter than others. Around the old man in tweeds there was a dark ring as well as the red heat aura. Jody rubbed her eyes and thought, I must have hit my head. Im passing play to need a CAT scan and an EEG. Its going to cost a fortune. The company go away hate it. Maybe I can mental process my own claim and push it through. Well, Im definitely calling in blare for the rest of the week. And theres serious shopping to be done once I get finished at the hospital and the police station. Serious shopping. Besides, I wont be able to type for a while anyway.She looked at her burned hand and thought again that it might have healed a bit. Im still taking the week off, she thought.The bus stopped at Fishermans tie up and Ghirardelli Square and groups of tourists in Day-Glo nylon shorts and Alcatraz sweatshirts boarded, chattering in French and German while tracing lines on street maps of the City. Jody could smell sweat and soap, the sea, poached crab, chocolate and liquor, fried fish, onions, sourdough bread, hamburgers and car exhaust coming off the tourists. As hungry as she was, the odor of food nauseated her.Feel poverty-stricken to shower during your visit to San Francisco, she thought.The bus headed up Van Ness and Jody got up and pushed through the tourists to the exi t door. A few blocks later the bus stopped at Chestnut Street and she looked over her shoulder before getting off. The woman in the Mickey Mouse ears was staring peacefully out the window. Wow, Jody said. Look at all those parking spaces.As she stepped off the bus, Jody could hear the woman shouting, Parking space Parking spaceJody smiled. forthwith why did I do that?Chapter 3Oh Liquid LoveSnapshots at midnight an round woman with a stun gun curbing a poodle, an one-time(a) gay couple power-walking in designer sweats, a college girl pedaling a mountain bike trailing tresses of perm-fried hair and a blur of red heat televisions buzzing inside hotels and homes, sounds of water heaters and washing machines, wind rattling sycamore leaves and whistling through fir trees, a rat leaving his nest in a palm tree claws skittering down the trunk. Smells concern sweat from the poodle woman, rose water, ocean, tree sap, ozone, oil, exhaust, and business line-hot and sweet like angeli c iron.It was only a three-block walk from the bus stop to the four-story building where she divided up an apartment with Kurt, but to Jody it seemed like miles. It wasnt fatigue but fear that drawn-out the distance. She thought she had lost her fear of the City long ago, but here it was again over-the-shoulder glances between spun determination to look ahead and keep walking and not break into a run.She crossed the street onto her block and saw Kurts Jeep parked in front of the building. She looked for her Honda, but it was gone. Maybe Kurt had taken it, but why? Shed left him the key as a courtesy. He wasnt really supposed to use it. She didnt know him that well.She looked at the building. The lights were on in her apartment. She concentrated on the bay window and could hear the sound of Louis Rukeyser pun his way through a week on Wall Street. Kurt like to watch tapes of Wall Street Week before he went to bed at night. He said they relaxed him, but Jody suspected that he got some latent sexual thrill out of listening to balding money managers talking about moving millions. Oh well, if a rise in the Dow put a pup tent in his jammies, it was okay with her. The last cat shed lived with had wanted her to pee on him. As she first baseed up the steps she caught some movement out of the corner of her eye. soul had ducked stinkpot a tree. She could see an elbow and the tip of a shoe behind the tree, even in the darkness, but something else frightened her. There was no heat aura. Not beholding it now was as disturbing as seeing it had been a few minutes ago shed come to expect it. Whoever was behind the tree was as cold as the tree itself.She ran up the steps, pushed the buzzer, and waited forever for Kurt to answer.Yes, the intercom crackled.Kurt, its me. I dont have my key. Buzz me in.The lock buzzed and she was in. She looked back through the glass. The street was empty. The skeletal frame behind the tree was gone.She ran up the four flights of steps to where Kurt was waiting at their apartment door. He was in jeans and an Oxford cloth shirt an athletic, blond, thirty-year-old could-be model, who wanted, more than anything, to be a player on Wall Street. He took orders at a discount brokerage for salary and spent his days at a keyboard wearing a headset and suits he couldnt afford, watching other peoples money pass him by. He was holding his hands behind his back to hide the fasten wrist wraps he wore at night to minimize the pain from carpal bone tunnel syndrome. He wouldnt wear the wraps at work carpal tunnel was just too blue-collar. At night he hid his hands like a kid with braces who is afraid to smile.Where have you been? he asked, more angry than concerned. Jody wanted smiles and sympathy, not recrimination. Tears welled in her eyes.I was attacked tonight. Someone beat me up and stuffed me under a dumpster. She held her arms out for a hug. They burned my hand, she wailed.Kurt turned his back on her and walked back into the apartment. And where were you last night? Where were you today? Your office called a dozen times today.Jody followed him in. Last night? What are you talking about?They towed your car, you know. I couldnt induce the key when the street sweeper came. Youre going to have to pay to get it out of impound.Kurt, I dont know what youre talking about. Im hungry and Im scared and I need to go to the hospital. Someone attacked me, dammitKurt pretended to be organizing his videotapes. If you didnt want a commitment, you shouldnt have agree to move in with me. Its not like I dont get opportunities with women each day.Her mother had told her Never get involved with a man whos prettier than you are. Kurt, look at this. Jody held up her burned hand. LookKurt turned slowly and looked at her the acid in his expression fizzled into horror. How did you do that?I dont know, I was knocked out. I think I have a head injury. My vision is Everything looks weird. Now will you please help me?Kurt star ted walking in a skew-whiff circle around the coffee table, shaking his head. I dont know what to do. I dont know what to do. He sat on the shake off and began rocking.Jody thought, This is the man who called the fire department when the toilet backed up, and Im asking him for help. What was I thinking? why am I attracted to weak men? Whats wrong with me? Why doesnt my hand hurt? Should I eat something or go to the emergency style?Kurt said, This is horrible, Ive got to get up early. I have a meeting at five. Now that he was in the familiar territory of self-interest, he stopped rocking and looked up. You still havent told me where you were last nightNear the door where Jody stood there was an superannuated oak hall tree. On the hall tree there was a black raku pot where lived a struggling philodendron, home for a resolution of spider mites. As Jody snatched up the pot, she could hear the spider mites shifting in their minute webs. As she drew back to throw, she saw Kurt blink , his eyelids moving slowly, like an electric garage door. She saw the pulse in his neck start to rise with a heartbeat as she let fly. The pot describe a beeline across the room, trailing the plant behind it like a comet tail. Confused spider mites found themselves airborne. The bottom of the pot connected with Kurts hilltop, and Jody could see the pot bulge, then collapse in on itself. Pottery and potting taint showered the room the plant folded against Kurts head and Jody could hear each of the stems snapping. Kurt didnt have time to change expressions. He fell back on the couch, unconscious. The whole thing had taken a tenth of a second.Jody moved to the couch and fleecy potting soil out of Kurts hair. There was a half-moon-shaped dent in his eyebrow that was filling with blood as she watched. Her stomach lurched and cramped so violently that she fell to her knees with the pain. She thought, My insides are caving in on themselves.She heard Kurts heart lashing and the slow r asp of his breathing. At least I havent killed him.The smell of blood was thick in her nostrils, suffocatingly sweet. Another cramp doubled her over. She touched the violate on his forehead, then pulled back, her fingers dripping with blood. Im not going to do this. I cant.She licked her fingers and every muscle in her body sang with the rush. There was an intense pressure on the roof of her mouth, then a crepitate noise inside her head, as if someone were ripping out the grow of her eyeteeth. She ran her tongue over the roof of her mouth and felt needlelike points thrust through the skin behind her canines new teeth, growing.Im not doing this, she thought, as she climbed on top of Kurt and licked the blood from his forehead. The new teeth lengthened. A wave of electric pleasure rocketed through her and her mind went white with exhilaration.In the back of her mind a small voice shouted No over and over again as she bit into Kurts throat and drank. She heard herself moaning with each beat of Kurts heart. It was a machine-gun orgasm, dark chocolate, spring water in the desert, a hallelujah chorus and the cavalry coming to the rescue all at once. And all the while the little voice screamed noFinally she pulled herself away and rolling off onto the floor. She sat with her back to the couch, arms around her legs, her face pressed against her knees, ticking and twitching with tiny convulsions of pleasure. A dark warmth moved through her body, tingling as if she had just climbed out of a snowbank into a hot bath.Slowly the warmth ran away, replaced by a heart-wrenching affliction a tonus of loss so permanent and profound that she felt numbed by the weight of it.I know this feeling, she thought. Ive felt this before.She turned and looked at Kurt and felt little relief to see that he was still breathing. There were no marks on his neck where she had bitten him. The wound on his forehead was clotting and scabbing over. The smell of blood was still strong but no w it repulsed her, like the odor of empty wine bottles on a brouhaha morning.She stood and walked to the bathroom, stripping her clothes off as she went. She turned on the shower, and while it ran worked down the remnants of her scanty hose, noticing, without much surprise, that her burned hand had healed completely. She thought, Ive changed. I will never be the same. The world has shifted. And with that thought the sadness returned. Ive felt this before.She stepped into the shower and let the scalding water run over her, not noting its feel, or sound, or the color of the heat and steam swirling in the dark bathroom. The first sob wrenched its way up from her chest, shaking her, opening the grief trail. She slid down the shower wall, sat on the water-warmed tiles and cried until the water ran cold. And she remembered another shower in the dark when the world had changed.She had been fifteen and not in love, but in love with the excitement of touching tongues and the rough feel of the boys hand on her breast in love with the idea of passion and too full of too-sweet wine, shoplifted by the boy from a 7-Eleven. His name was Steve Rizzoli (which didnt matter, except that she would always remember it) and he was two years older a bit of a bad boy with his hash pipe and surfer smoothness. On a blanket in the Carmel dunes he coaxed her out of her jeans and did it to her. To her, not with her she could have been dead, for her involvement. It was fast and awkward and empty except for the pain, which lingered and grew even after she walked home, cried in the shower, and lay in her room, wet hair spread over the pillow as she stared at the ceiling and grieved until dawn.As she stepped out of the shower and began mechanically towel off, she thought, I felt this before when I grieved for my virginity. What do I grieve for tonight? My humanity? Thats it Im not human anymore, and I never will be again.With that realization, events fell into place. Shed been gone two n ights, not one. Her attacker had shoved her under the dumpster to protect her from the solarize, but somehow her hand had been exposed and burned. She had slept through the day, and when she awoke the next evening, she was no longer human.Vampire.She didnt believe in vampires.She looked at her feet on the bath mat. Her toes were straight as a babys, as if they had never been bent and bunched by wearing shoes. The scars on her knees and elbows from childhood accidents were gone. She looked in the mirror and saw that the tiny lines beside her eyes were gone, as were her freckles. But her eyes were black, not a millimetre of iris showing. She shuddered, then realized that she was seeing all of this in kernel darkness, and flipped on the bathroom light. Her pupils contracted and her eyes were the same striking kelvin that they had always been. She grabbed a handful of her hair and inspected the ends. None were split, none broken. She was as far as she could allow herself to belie ve perfect. A newborn at twenty-six.I am a vampire. She allowed the thought to repeat and settle in her mind as she went to the bedroom and dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt.A vampire. A monster. But I dont feel like a monster.As she walked back from the bedroom to the bathroom to dry her hair, she spotted Kurt lying on the couch. He was breathing rhythmically and a healthy aura of heat rose off his body. Jody felt a twinge of guilt, then pushed it aside. know him, I never really liked him anyway. Maybe I am a monster.She turned on the curling iron that she used every morning to straighten her hair, then turned it off and threw it back on the vanity. Fuck that, too. Fuck curling irons and blow dryers and high heels and mascara and control-top panty hose. Fuck those human things.She shook out her hair, grabbed her toothbrush and went back to the bedroom, where she jam-packed a shoulder bag full of jeans and sweatshirts. She dug through Kurts jewelry box until she found the spare keys to her Honda.The clock radio by the bed read five oclock in the morning. I dont have much time. Ive got to find a place to stay, fast.On her way out she paused by the couch and kissed Kurt on the forehead. Youre going to be late for your meeting, she said to him. He didnt move.She grabbed the bag of money from the floor and stuffed it into her shoulder bag, then walked out. Outside, she looked up and down the street, then cursed. The Honda had been towed. Shed have to get it out of impound. But you could only do that during the day. Shit. It would be light soon. She thought of what the sun had done to her hand. Ive got to find darkness.She jogged down the street, feeling lighter on her feet than she ever had. At Van Ness she ran into a motel office and pounded on the bell until a sleepy-eyed clerk appeared behind the bulletproof window. She paid cash for two nights, then gave the clerk a hundred-dollar bill to ensure that she would not, under any circumstances, be disturbed.Onc e in the room she locked the door, then braced a chair against it and got into bed.Weariness came on her suddenly as first light broke pink over the City. She thought, Ive got to get my car back. Ive got to find a safe place to stay. Then I need to find out who did this to me. I have to know why. Why me? Why the money? Why? And Im going to need help. Im going to need someone who can move around in the day.When the sun peeked over the horizon in the east, she fell into the sleep of the dead.