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THE BLOODY KISS OF DEATH

a story featuring Harvey Banks, by J. Vandersteen, 1998.

 

Paulie was an unlucky s.o.b., especially when it came to women. He was one of those guys who always chased after the wrong women. One of those guys who gets his heart broken on a weekly basis. You see, Paulie is none too clever, but his hormones rule his body. That’s a really dangerous combination.

Paulie was a good pal, though. He was a guy you could talk to. He knew a lot of dirty jokes and he would really listen to you, as long as you were buying his beer.

Every now and then we would meet each other at Denny’s and drink a few beers and talk about the good old days. This was the case that night as well. I had just told him about my meeting with a real life goatsucker (a story he didn’t believe one minute, but you will have to believe is absolutely true -- read the latest copy of The Inquirer for the lowdown on that one) when every eye in the joint was directed at one person. The person who had just walked in the room.

She was incredible. A wet dream made flesh. Long legs, loose, wild dark hair, a great pair of tits. She was dressed in a short skirt which just hid her panties and showed cleavage that made every guy in the bar smile from ear to ear. Still, she didn’t look like a femme fatale, her eyes were just to big and moist for that, her lips too full. She probaby was a moviestar or exotic dancer or something. The way she looked, she HAD to be.

To my amazement she walked directly to Paulie.

"Hello," she said in a warm, throaty voice. "Is this seat taken?".

Before Paulie could answer she was already sitting next to him. She leaned towards him, her eyes fixed on his.

I did what every guy would have done. I got up, went for the door and said goodbye to Paulie. "See ya next week, Paulie!" When I got outside I couldn’t help but laugh. That damned lucky bastard! All right, he was surely going to get his heart broken again, but this time it probably would have been worth it. A babe like that could break my heart any day. Putting up my collar I disappeared into the night. I wondered if Noonan’s was still open.

***

I woke with an incredible hangover. My head was pounding and my stomach felt like it had spiders crawling in it. Then I heard someone talking. Someone in my room? If it was a burglar he had a thing or two coming! Slowly I got up. Then I noticed I wasn’t in bed. Apparently I had fallen asleep in my chair. As I stood on my feet I saw where the voice was coming from. The TV was still on. It probably had been turned on all damned night. Like I didn’t have enough expensive bills to pay.

Then I heard what the voice on the tube was talking about. Instantly I was awake.

"The man has been identified as Paul Goodman. The police are baffled by this violent and strange death."

The sight was terrible. Still, I couldn’t keep my eyes from the screen.

"The victim was found in a garbage dump on 26th street. The victim’s throat appears to have been ripped out by a wild animal, though there are no reports of any escaped animals. What the police doesn’t understand is how there can be only such a small amount of blood on the victim’s clothes. The man himself seems to be completely drained of blood as well."

A vampire. A damned fucking vampire! I couldn’t believe it. All these years as a reporter for The Inquirer I had been searching for one. All this time I had encountered the strangest beings, but never a vampire. Instinctively I knew this had to be the first time I could find one, and poor old Paulie had become its victim! I laughed involuntarily, thinking about all those cheap horror movies. You know, the ones in which every man, woman and their dog are found with the last damned drop of blood sucked out of their bodies but no one ever thinks about a vampire. Until it’s almost too late and some fag in a cape bares his fangs and almost bites their fucking heads off.

That wasn’t going to happen to Harvey Banks. I was going to track down this dirty bloodsucker and put a stake through his dark heart. Paulie’s death was going to be avenged.

***

I always tell myself and anyone who cares to listen that I’m not an occult detective. That I’m not a monsterhunter. Now I was showing people Paulie’s picture and tracing his steps from the time I left him at Denny’s. Sure sounded like detective stuff to me. I was asking questions like a detective and was hunting for a vampire. If I put on a mini-skirt you could have confused me with Buffy the freaking Vampire Slayer.

I visited bar after bar, club after club. My investigation eventually led me to a goth club. I had trouble believing the hooker who told me she had seen Paulie and the mystery-woman enter the club. Paulie hated goths. He almost despised the silly looking kids as much as I did. We never understood the attraction of dressing up like a circus freak in black leather and dance to too loud music. But then, I never understood the hippies when I was a kid either.

After I had bribed the doorman to let me pass I entered the club. The pounding of electronic beats made my head hurt. The flashes of red light piercing through the darkness of the room made my eyes sting. The look of the young, sexy clad girls in their tight leather outfits made my blood run faster. Maybe the place wasn’t that bad. I made my way through the dancing, pierced, pasty faced freaks to the bar.

I bumped into some kid who took offence. He was dressed in leather jacket, his face painted white with black rings around his eyes, face full of piercings. I pitied his mother. He started to yell at me, calling me "a stupid old fuck" and stuff like that. I could take that. He was probably right. Then he started to push me. I never liked being pushed.

"Respect your elders, Lugosi!" I said and went for his pierced nose. I yanked at the piercing, making him howl in pain. When I had pulled his face close enough, I kneed his chin, dropping him to the floor. For good measure I gave him a kick in the ribs when he was down. I 'd never believed in fighting fair anyway. I continued to walk to the bar.

The girl behind the bar actually looked like a reasonably normal human being. No piercings, no white paint on her face, no fangs. Just a black tanktop and a small tattoo on her right arm. I ordered a J.D. and showed her Paulie’s picture.

"Did you see this guy in here last night?" I asked her.

"Yes, I did. I remember him, because he didn’t exactly look like one of our regular customers. Oh, and of course there was that woman he had with him."

"Woman?" I inquired.

"Yes, absolutely stunning looking thing! If I didn’t have a girlfriend already…"

Of course, the only sane chick in this joint, and it’s a dyke.

"Did you see were they went?"

"Well, the seemed to be very… close. They didn’t pay any attention to their surroundings. They were just… you know enjoying each other’s company. Finally it seemed it became too much for them, ‘cause they hurried out the door. I think they were planning to continue what they were doing at the privacy of their homes."

"Thanks," I said emptying my glass in one gulp. "You helped me a lot. Have one on me."

Then I left the club, happy to leave the hellhole.

***

When I was outside I had the feeling I was being watched. Muggers? The goth kid, planning revenge? I looked over my shoulder. Nothing but a few kids making out in the alley next to the club. I shrugged. With the life I lead, you just get paranoid, I guessed.

The kids gave me an idea. Paulie obviously never made it home. Maybe he never made it past the alley. I walked into the alley. The couples didn’t even notice me pass them by, occupied only by each other. At the end of the alley I found what I was looking for. On the wall, hidden between the graffiti there was blood. I was willing to bet my last bottle of Jack that it belonged to Paulie. This is where my friend died.

Suddenly there were eyes in the darkness. A dark form appeared from the darkness. Sharp fangs, a growl. It was a dog, -- no it was a wolf. For a moment we stared at each other, sizing each other up. Time seemed to stand still. Then it made up its mind.

The black furred creature started to run, growling, foaming at the mouth. It was coming for me, with only one thing on its mind. Ripping my throat out. I whirled around and started to run. I heard the footsteps of the rabid beast behind me, spurring me on to run faster and faster. The girls in the alley screamed, their attention finally pulled away from their lovemaking. There was panic on the streets. But no one on the streets feared the ferocious thing as much as I did, because I knew it was coming for me. Only for me.

I made my way across the busy street, filled with people driving to the local clubs and bars. I didn’t pay attention to the traffic. I only wanted to get away from the predator as fast as I could. Horns were honking, brakes were screaming, people were yelling everywhere. Then I was blinded by an intense light. It was a taxi, charging towards me with great speed. There was no chance in hell it would be able to brake in time.

I did the only thing I could do – jump. With my eyes closed I leaped as far as I could. I felt the headlight of the car graze me, sending me into the air. With a thud I landed on my back. Heaving, I tried to get up again. Then I heard a loud crash. The taxi hit the wolf straight on. The beast crashed into the window, sending glass everywhere. The driver braced himself, but his face caught some of the sharp fragments anyway. The body of the wolf contorted into a strange angle, its neck broken. Blood flowing from its mouth.

Using the taxi for support I got up, coughing. The pain in my back was killing me. At least that thing was dead now. Then I heard it. A snapping sound. I couldn’t believe it. The broken, twisted bones of the wolf were snapping in place again. Snap! Its neck was straight again. Snap! Its back!

I didn’t wait for another snap. I stopped another passing taxi and hurried into it. As the taxi rode away from the commotion on the street I eased into the chair, letting out a sigh of relief. Little did I know at that moment, that the real danger had yet to begin.

***

"Sheesh! The city that never sleeps, right!?" the taxi drive remarked as we turned

"Yeah, sure," I replied absentmindedly, taking a swig from my pocketed flask of J.D. to dull the pain in my back. At least it wasn’t broken, the bottle nor my back, I mean.

"What happened there? Some poor sap get run over by some drunk?" the driver inquired.

"Something like that," I answered, getting comfortable in the backseat.

"Waittaminute pal!" the driver suddenly exclaimed, hitting the brake. I almost flew through the damn window.

"What the hell—" I started.

‘Sorry pal, but I don’t think you’ll mind sharing the cab with this passenger. Wotta fox!"

I couldn’t believe it. Slowly, sensually walking towards the car was the beautiful woman from Denny’s. This time she wore a black unbuttoned jumpsuit and as was plain to see no bra. The damn thing was so tight I wondered how she managed to breathe. A strange amulet hung between her round breasts. Shit, she seemed even more stunning than last night.

She opened the car door and gave me a warm look. The same she had given Paulie yesterday night. It was like she hypnotised me, for a few seconds I had the feeling the two of us were the only people in the universe.

Her throaty voice shook me awake. "Do you mind if I sit next to you?" she breathed in my ear.

"Not at all," I said. Like a cat she slid next to me.

We were barely driving when I felt her warm hand on my leg. Slowly she moved up and down it, running circles with her fingernails. She brought her face closer to my ear, and blew in it.

"Take me to you apartment," she whispered. "I long for you."

Now, usually when a broad utters a line like that I can’t help but laugh, but this time I didn’t. I wanted her. Bad. Really bad. God, was I stupid.

***

Embracing each other, kissing we entered my apartment. She didn’t even notice the mess. When she gave me the impression she wanted to go further than kissing I asked her to wait.

"Why not have some wine first?" I suggested, hoping I still had some left. Usually I only stock beer and whiskey.

"That sounds like a wonderful idea," she said.

"Great, I’ll get some," I said and went to the kitche.

"Don’t be too long," she purred.

I smiled. Just like in the damn movies, I had to be dreaming.

As I returned from the kitchen she had taken the liberty of slipping out of her clothes. Dammit! Her body was even more perfect than I’d imagined. I struggled to get my mind back to the bottle I was carrying. I poured the wine, and offered her a glass.

Slowly she put it against her lips, sipping it slowly, some of the red liquid trickling down her lips, like blood. Slowly it ran from her lips to her breasts, to her navel.

"To a wonderful night," she toasted.

"I’ll drink to that," I said, downing my glass in one swig.

Slowly she moved towards me, hips swaying. The look in her eyes betrayed to me that now it was going to happen. Now came the time to see if my secret weapon was going to work. If it didn’t, I was dead meat. Her slender, yet strong hands took off my belt, and a second later my pants were on the floor, as were my drawers. She started nibbling my ear, getting even closer to me, breathing heavily. My heart was beating like a madman, I didn’t know exactly if this was from excitement or fear. Then, grabbing her backside with my hands, I entered her. She looked into my eyes, smiling.

"Yes… Very good," she whispered softly, a look of pleasure on her face, stroking my cheek. Then her eyes turned red. She opened her mouth, showing her fangs. My suspicions were right. She was the vampire. She probably had been the wolf as well. She held me in a tight grip, making it impossible for me to escape. Her sharp fangs slowly moved towards my neck. This was the moment of truth. Life or death. "You’ll taste so sweet…" she breathed.

Just before she could sink her teeth in my neck she groaned. It was not of pleasure, but of pain. She looked at me, surprised. Then she groaned again. Again. Louder each time. Her face betraying more pain each time. I felt her becoming weaker every time. She tried to push me away from her, out of her. I had no intention of letting this happen. I had her – hook, line and fucking sinker!

"I’ll have you burning from passion in no time, baby!" I told her, grabbing her hair in one hand, keeping one curled around her waist. She wouldn’t escape my grasp.

The groans turned into screams. Louder and louder.

"What… what have you done to me? You… you… burn inside of me…" she whimpered.

I grinned, filled with pleasure of seeing this inhuman thing that killed my friend in pain.

"I’m wearing protection. And I don’t mean the rubber kind. I got a tattoo today. A tattoo of a crucifix. And it’s burning inside you right now."

She was amazed. "You knew… you… tricked me… You mean… you tattooed your… Just to get me…"

"Yeah, love can be a bitch, right?" I told her, grabbing her hair and thrusting myself inside of her, violently, just one more time. She screamed like a stake had just pierced her black heart.

Then I smelled the smoke. Her body started to become incredibly hot under my hands. She was sweating like crazy. Small flames started to come from her nose, her eyes, her ears. I knew it was time to let go. I pushed her away from me. Just in time too. Now her entire body was on fire. She was screaming like crazy, cursing me in languages I’d never heard before. Then there was an explosion, sending a fireball into the air. What was left of her was nothing but a heap of smouldering ashes and bones.

I used the smouldering ashes to light my cigarette. I inhaled deeply, then let out the smoke through my nose. "Was it good for you?" I asked what was left of the vampire bitch, and walked into the kitchen. I really needed another drink.

 

THE END

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