This is a short story I wrote about vampires.
The cherry red 1969 Camaro 502 pulled up to the brightly lit Sunoco Gas station. Its store and signs glowed yellow and looked like an oasis for rednecks; a beacon of hope for those parched between sessions of heavy drinking. Moths and other Floridian insect life fluttered about dusty fluorescent tubes and signs for sales were haphazardly taped to the windows.
A tall, blue truck with muddy tires pulled up next to the Camaro’s wide and low stature. Vehicles darted in and out of the nightly stop, busy people with their road beers to go.
“So, then what are we getting then baby?” Missy said putting her hand on his leg, smoothing his ball hugging Levi jeans with long fingered, red nailed strokes. He grabbed her thin little wrist and tossed it back hard in to her lap. “Hey!” She said detesting her hands rough removal.
“Take it easy
She kept her lips pursed, she knew better. She felt trained, but she felt wise--she knew when to keep her mouth shut. She pulled on the cars shiny chrome handle to exit and got one foot out the door in to the cold winter night. “Oh, and Missy!” He yelled as if she were far away. Don’t buy any girly wine coolers this time!”
“Sure thing babe.” She said hastily shutting the door on his voice. She had gotten the Strawberry Daiquiri wine coolers last time for fun because she had grown tired of the sharp and ordinary taste of beer. If allowed she would have gotten them again in a second; maybe an ice cold blue coconut Bartles and James. “Hey there pretty lady.” A voice said from her right. It was some man in the usual redneck attire, pure team real-tree camouflage--all decked out and ready to shine some deer. She imagined him performing this illegal sport-- catching the animals off guard with high powered spotlights, while picking them off one by one with skilled shots to specific parts of their anatomy.
“Hey there yourself.” She mumbled. The fluorescence of the down home southern mini-mart brought reality home. It always did. The eyes couldn’t hide in the bright white light. Even behind rose colored glasses three shades too dark from the evils of intoxication. She was thankful she hadn’t started yet. She was going to be careful to stay away from a night of debauchery. She knew if she had too much to drink she would end up at someone’s house at the end of the night doing a striptease on their kitchen table. Self control was very important--she had to stay in control. She supposed that’s why
The customary electronic ding of the store door sounded off as she gained access. She could see out of the corner of her eye a man ogling her backside as he headed out in to the brisk winter night. Nice, she thought to herself. He probably has six daughters but that wouldn’t stop anyone in town from sneaking a peek at her frayed daisy dukes.
She walked down the narrow isle as a woman in her mid thirties passed by with leathery sun ripened skin, a green tank-top and no bra. That’s why she didn’t like this store. It wasn’t anything like the one near the back roads. A place where the houses near it were bigger and the people who dwelled in them tended to more normal, civilized lives; where the people married for life and families stuck together through thick and thin. The area she was from.
She passed the ten cent candy racks and a small newsstand with the monthly swimsuit issue of Plush. The woman on the cover’s light brown eyes met hers as she crouched down to view the odd selection of alcohol: candy flavored red Saint Ides malt liquor and Zima-like energy drinks. She opened up the cooler to get a 12 pack of canned Busch and the stagnant air from the back room greeted her face a long with the smell of soured milk. She coughed lightly at its foul breath and crunched back over the remnants of a leaky bag of cat litter. It was partially turned in to tan mud from the wall to wall refrigerators condensation.
Missy reached a cluttered isle of magazine racks with Maxim’s and auto-traders. Little Debbie snack cakes and buy one get one free honey buns called out to her as she rounded the counter to get next in line.
“Pump 7. I didn’t say pump 8.” The fussy man said in front of her. “I only put 5 dollars in to my tank and I paid for 45. You see that truck out there? You know how far 5 bucks will get me? About 2 feet.” He huffed for a second. “You know what son? Just give me back 40 and I’ll go somewhere else.”
“You can’t? What do you mean you can’t?”
“Somebody just pumped 45 dollars in to pump 7. I think they just drove off.”
“My 45 dollars?”
“Yes sir.” The cahier said, feeling satisfied that this man was properly screwed out of his money.
“You know what young man?” And he pointed a stern finger at the 22 year old with ragged, poorly cut blonde hair and a red, cheap, cotton vest. “Your manager is going to hear from me. You got that?”
“Yes sir. I’m really sorry sir.”
Missy quickly stepped back as the man stormed passed her. “Wow, rough night huh?” And she clanked down the 12 pack of cans down on the counter.
“Can I see some I.D. mam?”
“My I.D.?” And she leaned over the counter on her elbows. The low scoop neckline of her baby blue shirt dropped low. His eyes followed the edge of her pink lacy bra to the curvy lines of her smooth olive complected cleavage and met her curious gaze.
“Daddy? I have to go potty,” said a little girl behind her. “I have to go potty really bad.” The cahier focused his attention on the tall bearded man who clutched the child’s tiny hand, though his mind was still distant from reality.
“Sir?” The father said. “Could you hurry it up please--unless you’ve got a bathroom key?”
“Here.” The cashier said reaching over the blue cardboard case of Busch, handing the man the key on a wooden lanyard made out of driftwood. Three more people replaced him in line.
“I think I left it in my car outside,” Missy said while tossing her dark brown hair to one side, leaning over slightly further “could you keep the case behind the counter while I go get it?”
“That’ll be eleven-fifty ok?” He said quickly, glancing at her soft curvy features once more hopefully without getting caught. His gaze met her curious dark blue eyes again and then he looked around her at the now ten impatient people in line.
“Hey thanks, that’s really nice of you. I won’t forget it next time--I promise.” She said handing him twelve dollars. She received her change and then bounced out the door with the electronic chime.
Missy took a deep swig of
“Better than wine coolers,” he said in return. He wasn’t witty, but everything he said mattered to her. His brutal words often remained with her but she licked the wounds clean when he was not there. That’s how she supposed she had been with him for so long now, unscathed by his insensitive personality.
“So, we’re going to do what you said before?”
Missy knew exactly where they were headed, to a destination un-known. Maybe not even known to
Missy kicked off her cheap, non-descript white Payless shoes and put her bare-feet on the dash. It was her own secret ploy. She knew he liked it--the curves of her thighs, smooth legs and buttocks on display. Especially when she was wearing her cutoff Daisy Dukes or soccer shorts. It made him look out of the corner of his eye and attention from
“Well?” He said, while sneaking a peak at her sensual pose.
“I like it,”
“Nobody asked you,”
“It’s just some mix I made for you from my brother’s I-Tunes selection.” Missy said.
He pulled off the state road on to a long dirt road that was barely accessible. The aggressive roots of bushes held fast; their leathery leaves of heavy growth brushed against the car as it drove through the thick mess.
The vehicle came to a stop in front of a house up on stilts. When it rained it poured and the nearby reddish brown tannic river flooded out to the edge of the front porch twenty feet up.
“What are we doing here?”
“Whose house is this?” Missy asked. This area was unfamiliar to her and she avoided it. Dangerous nightlife lived here--pygmy rattlers and
“It’s your stop,”
“You know the two new kids in school: Takashi and Frank?”
“You mean those two who are always in the cafeteria with their nose in a book?” She said uninterested.
“Sure thing babe” and she leaned over for a kiss. She knew the drill, though the new
She hurried up the hollow wooden steps. The heel of her left hand slicked a long the mossy wood of the stair’s steep handrail and she slowed her ascent just in case she slipped. At the top there was a porch that wrapped halfway around the house. An air conditioner hummed in the silent night while water dripped from it down on to the muddy sandy soil. Vines trailed up the house strangling it out, fused to the structure that was made entirely out of nearly indestructible slash pine.
Missy knocked on the door. She listened attentively putting her ear to its cold surface, straining to hear the sound of footsteps. She realized she suddenly felt nervous like a little girl knocking on a friend’s house--a residence belonging to someone she might have been more curious about in younger more innocent days.
There was no answer. She started to knock again when the door quickly opened up a crack. The round face of a boy peered out with sullen eyes and then it slammed shut. The sound struck the darkness of the night, but did not wake a thing. All those things were already awake. She heard the latch of the door chain pull back and then click against the top of the door; it opened up abruptly and she let herself in.
One thing she had learned from
“How’s it going guys?” She said as the Japanese boy shut the door behind her. She felt a mild warmth wash through her from head to toe when she met the gaze of the other boy as he emerged from the kitchen. She looked him up and down as a female would showing rare interest.
His lack of attire was appealing. He wore worn jeans and no shirt. His body was overly thin and his ribcage was visible beneath his pale white skin. He face was long and serious and yet his eyes displayed something else entirely--a haunting mystery she wished she could touch. He looked beautiful to her and she felt a longing to cares his frailty.
He looked at her and then walked over behind a heavy looking forest green recliner. “Great. How are you?” He said bluntly--a frankness that, to her, did not match his soothing appearance.
“I was wondering if you guys would like to go to a party.” She said while frowning at the condition of the room. She tried not to let the expression show and her eyes surveyed its horrendous condition.
There was a tall bookshelf next to the kitchen door crammed with books. Magazine lay on the floor in front of it: Popular Science, National Geographic, and Discovery. Magazines that to her belonged in the home of the elderly. Next to it was a computer desk with no computer. Dirty dishes covered it--a molding plate of spaghetti soured her eyes. Dirty clothes and laundry were all over the floor to the bedroom and she could see and hear the ceiling fan in the room. It spun out of control like a dangerous helicopter blade. It was one of those houses so small that every room was visible from the living room.
“A party?” The Japanese boy said with a glum demeanor. Her eyes met a couple objects of curiosity. The first was a long piece of rice paper hung up next to an FHM calendar of a scantily clad woman with bright blue lingerie, a garter and stockings to match. The land of the rising sun was on the rice paper.
It was carefully painted and an elongated bonsai tree was beneath it with Japanese characters scrolled from left to right. “What does that say?” She said, trying to ignore the condition of the room. She almost felt the urge to start picking up things for the boys. “Is that about your family lineage or something?”
“It’s a haiku isn’t it?” Frank said, asking Takashi.
“It is. It says:
‘Kudzu strangled house
Overgrown vines and tangled veins
Summer place of pain.’
“Gee, that’s not very happy,” Missy said.
“I suppose it’s not,” Takashi sighed with his hands on his chubby waistline looking at the piece seriously. “Poetry is about what you feel and that’s what came out at the time.”
“What’s that?” Missy said, looking at the medical instrument on top of the clothing outside the bedroom door. She knew what it was but asked anyways.
“That?” Frank said, and he pointed at it with a long bony finger. “It’s for blood transfusions.”
“I thought so. Why do you have it?”
“It is amazing what you can find at flea markets these days,” Takashi said in a neutral tone as if his melancholy were about to cease, making way for a brief break in the clouds.
“It’s from World War 2 right?” And she tucked her hair back behind her left ear while bending at the knees, crouching down to take a serious look at it. “Why does it look so used?”
Frank nodded his head at Takashi who was looking at him. It was a go.
She stared at the shiny steel instrument. Her long dark hair draped down nearly touching the dried blood of its tubing. It looked like a wine opener with wounded, prosthetic arms on either side crusted over with black--most likely dried blood. It even had a handle with a silver ring on the top, for hanging.
She stood up and Takashi grabbed her from behind. His hands met at her stomach and he lifted her off the ground. “Hey!” She said. “Get your hands off me!” She felt delicate to him yet he could feel the physical strength beneath her softness as she kicked and fought.
“You’re a ball of fire!” He laughed. “Wow. Isn’t she going to be perfect Takashi!” He said excited.
“Guess so.” Takashi said still neutral with his head cocked to the side, looking at her.
She was a tall girl, about 5’8” and about 135lbs. Frank was significantly shorter but he carried her in to the small combo living room, family room, and TV room and threw her with the greatest of ease. She hit the recliner in a seated position and the chair reared back and then back down again with a great thump.
He jumped on top of her pinning her wrists down with his hands.
“What are you doing?” She said grunting and struggling.
“How do you know your medical equipment Miss Missy Baines?” Frank said right in her face.
“Let me go!” She said with a child like persistence.
“I’m preparing to go to a two-year associate degree program to become a registered nurse,” she said quickly “okay--is that all right with you?”
“I’m impressed,” Takashi said, next to them.
“Me too,” Frank added. We didn’t think you were capable of anything beyond the basic process of simple thought. Maybe the capacity to slut around a little and hang out with that loser jock boyfriend Trent.”
“Slut around? I just came here to invite you guys to a party!” She said angrily. She wondered if
“Come on,” Frank said and she had to turn her head and gag because his breath was so bad. “We heard what