Here’s another little vignette starring rockabilly vampire hunter Alex Rains, star of the soon to be released novel The Devil’s Mouth.
Terry leaned sideways across the armrest of the old couch, one hand behind his head and the other across the back of the couch, holding a lit cigarette between two fingers. His mohawk wasn’t done up, and the blonde stripe of hair fell down to one side. He was shirtless, and had a skull tattoo over his heart.
Amber leaned into Terry, her head against his bare chest. Her tank top rucked up over her lean belly, revealing a bangly navel piercing. She readjusted and scooted higher upon him, her knees tucked up close.
The little house was dark, only lit by the TV.
“Babe,” said Terry, “I’m hungry.”
“I know,” she replied, playing with his hair. “But I can’t do it again. Not this soon.”
“Oh come on, just a little bit.”
“No, Terry. I can’t. I’m still dizzy from last time.”
“But I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Terry picked up the TV remote from amongst the mess on the coffee table and changed the channel. “But baaaaabe, I’m hungry.”
“You just ate yesterday.” She rubbed her hand against his bony chest. “You said you’d be good for three days.”
“But I’m hungry now.”
“You know I can’t do it again so soon.”
Terry took a drag off his cigarette. “I don’t see why you have to be such a bitch about it.”
“Come on, Terry. I love you.”
“I’m just kidding.” He blew out smoke. “Bitch.”
“Don’t say that.” She snuggled against him like a child. “Just love me.”
“I love you even though you’re a bitch.” He tapped ashes onto the floor and then snaked an arm around her shoulders. She sighed contentedly.
Terry leaned in, parting his lips as he neared her neck. “I’ll just take a little bit. Just a pint.”
“No, babe. Please.”
He pulled his lips back, razor sharp fangs slick with saliva. His breath was hot on her neck. “But you taste so good. You know you want it.”
“Please no, Terry, you know what’ll happen.”
“It’ll just hurt for a second.”
“Bitch.” He leaned in, and suddenly his hand was an iron collar around her neck. “You couldn’t stop me. I could just take what I want.” He rested his lips against her neck, and the tips of his fangs just grazed the skin. Her breath hitched.
She squirmed, halfheartedly pushing against his chest. “You know I couldn’t. But you love me.”
Terry grinned. “If you won’t do it, maybe I’ll go find some girl who will. Maybe I won’t be so nice to her. What about your sister?” Still holding her fast, he leaned forward and dropped his cigarette butt into one of the empty beer bottles on the coffee table.
She grimaced, and her voice was a childlike whimper. “Please, babe. I can’t. I’m still sick from last time.”
“Don’t you love me?”
“You know I do.”
“Well I’m hungry.”
She let out a shuddering sigh. “Okay,” she said. “Just a little bit.”
He smiled gleefully. “I love you, babe!” He released her neck, and slapped her ass as she stood up. “Bitch.”
She walked into the bedroom and returned with a shoebox, then sat down next to him and opened the lid. He watched hungrily as she took out a length of surgical tubing and tied it around her arm. Amber clenched and unclenched her fist, watching as the veins swelled in her forearm. “Just a little bit, babe.”
He nodded. “I know. Just a little.”
Amber took out a length of plastic tubing, terminating at one end with a needle. She made sure the plastic ratchet clamp was tightened on the tubing, sighed, swallowed, and slipped the needle into her vein.
She undid the tourniquet around her arm. Red flowed up the tube to the clamp and stopped. She took a length of tape and secured the needle in place, then put the other end of the hose into a simple drinking glass.
“Hurry up, babe.”
“Almost there, Terry.” She released the clamp. Red flowed and looped through the clear plastic hose, sputtering and pouring out into the glass. She watched the level carefully, her fingers hovering over the tube clamp.
At about two fingers, she reached for the clamp.
“Wait,” said Terry. He held her wrist. “Just a little more.”
“No, babe, it’s too much.”
His eyes narrowed. “Who fucking cares.”
“Babe…” She made to sit up, and he pinned her down with a hand around her throat. Careful not to disturb the hose, he straddled her, holding her down with his weight. She struggled and he held her fast. “Babe, please.”
He screwed his face up into a parody of hers, “Babe, please,” he whined.
The level of blood in the glass still rose.
Her eyes fluttered. Her skin grew pale and clammy. She tried to fight him, but could not. Tears flowed down her cheeks.
“You know what, I’m fucking sick of you.” The glass brimmed, and Terry took the hose and popped the bloody end into his mouth. “You know why I never bit you? It’s cause I wouldn’t want you to be a vampire. The thought of listening to you whine for eternity makes me want to fucking kill myself.”
“Say goodnight, bitch. I think you’ll be a better lay after you’re dead.”
Her fingers trembled and twitched.
A shotgun blast shattered the stillness of the summer night. The doorknob of the tiny house spun across the room and put a divot in the drywall. The cheap hollow core door, mortally wounded, twisted on its hinges.
The man in the white cowboy hat racked another shell into the shotgun as he kicked the remains of the door away. He wore a gaudy Hawaiian print shirt, unbuttoned, with a white tee shirt underneath. A Japanese sword hung at his waist. His eyes were dark as the shadow of a tombstone. He levelled the shotgun at Terry.
Terry spun Amber around as a shield and cowered behind her. She hung limply in his grip, her head lolling over his fist. “Who the fuck are you, man?”
“Boy, I’m the fucking grim reaper.”
Terry’s eyes danced around the room, searching for escape. “I’ll fucking kill her, I swear to God.”
“Looks to me like you already did.”
“Are you sure of that, asshole?”
“Seems she’d be dead either way. And really, what’s one more? See, I been lookin’ for you, boy. Been followin’ you since Taos. I know about all of them. Jessica. Sarah. Bethany. Rachel. In the big scheme of things, one more don’t matter to me. What matters to me is putting your punk vampire ass in the ground for good, and that’s gonna happen one way or another.”
“Then why don’t you just shoot through her, asshole?” Terry laughed, “Yeah, that’s what I though. You fucking pussy.”
Amber’s eyes fluttered open. She reached her hand around and seized the tube protruding from her arm. In one smooth motion, she ripped it free and jammed the needle, still spurting blood, into her lover’s eye.
Terry screamed and let go of her throat as he brought his hands to his face. She fell to the ground.
In an eyeblink, The vampire hunter fired. Terry’s head, from the nose up, ceased to exist. A red mess decorated the far wall. His body fell headlong over the couch, coming to rest at an obscene angle, legs dangling crazily in the air. Amber sunk to her knees and sobbed once.
“Easy there, little darlin’.” Alex drew his sword as he approached Terry. “It’s all over now. You best look away.”
She didn’t look away.