28 Oct There’s No Such Thing
“There’s No Such Thing”Written by Eli Pope Edited by Craig Groshek Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek Narrated by N/A
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⏰ ESTIMATED READING TIME — 40 minutes
She sat in the window seat of the Allegiant direct flight from Springfield, Missouri to Tampa, Florida. Cruising at 42,000 feet above the earth, Elsie was dressed to kill, wearing a crimson red halter top and black yoga shorts so tight they appeared to be painted on. It was no wonder why any human male would take notice. She sat next to an older couple who also tried to peer out through the same small oval window as the young almost eighteen-year-old watched the blue and white skies surrounding the plane. Her leg was bouncing to the beat of whatever was playing in her earbuds. The grooving tune happened to be “Give it away” by the Red-Hot Chili Peppers. It wasn’t a current song because quite frankly, Elsie’s taste in music was, well, as quirky as she was. She sang some of the lyrics just under her breath, “Give it away, give it away, give it away now….”
The older gentleman was sitting next to a lady that Elsie presumed was his wife. The sophisticated gray-haired woman sat tightly squished in between them, looking uncomfortable but still smiling brightly. Her husband however bore a look of, ‘Lord, what the hell happened to this generation’s kids today.’ It was practically stamped across his face. Elsie glimpsed over again and witnessed the old man’s disgusted glare in his eyes, as they also gleaned a mix of lust, he made no attempt to hide. The geezer’s perverse expression promptly pissed her off.
“What are you looking at, Mister?” Elsie blurted out when she noted his gaze sliding down to her cleavage. The old man’s face darted away from her. “Hey, ma’am, I’d keep an eye are your husband, he’s got nasty on his mind.”
There it is again. Loss of control. Elsie wasn’t normally so blunt with people, especially the elderly, but she had no tolerance for creepy old dudes, they always left a bitter taste in her mouth. Rusty turpentine came to mind. And today wouldn’t be the day to mess with her. Today—she would end up with Spence, the boyfriend she’d dressed to seduce. The Old Man Horndog, who was ogling her top’s fleshy contents blushed at her continued comment, “You could have been my afternoon snack later, if I wasn’t already filled to the rim,” she leaned in with a whisper as she ran her soft red tongue across her glistening sharp eye teeth. The old fart suddenly appeared as if he’d stroke any moment. He instantly turned almost as ghostly pale as she was.
The thought of meeting Spence at the end of her flight, gave her that edge that caused the quick fuse to respond.
Elsie had planted the seed of a covert meeting in Spence’s thoughts weeks ago. Her plan was simple, she’d drop a subtle hint she could be free on this one particular weekend—and would love to have some alone time with him in a quiet little beach town called Redington Shores. Maybe a quaint motel room on the gulf coast without the distractions of parents and friends.
“I hear it’s almost deserted once you drop below Clearwater, mainly quiet retired visitors.” A simple complete plan. She was born a calculator, much like her father. A plan was just a part of everyday life, ensuring success in any endeavor. The one major aspect the two shared. “Nothing good comes from happenstance,” Elsie’s father would regularly recite. Her mother held a much more scattered form of living, which is why she was a daddy’s girl.
Elsie and her dad were brilliant at hiding their feelings of dealing with mortals most of the time. Occasionally she would reach her limits if they tugged at her psyche beyond the control that she’d almost mastered. Her father always contained dominion over his emotions. There was a slight dilemma though. They lived on opposite sides of humanity’s ideals and how those tenets should be dealt with. Daddy was a cop in this crazy world, which was an ironic oddity at best, considering he was a vampire. Enforcing human laws all the way up until feeding time and only then casting those sacred laws to the side. It seemed a conflict of interest and Elsie could see it. Her father would just smile and wink. “The undead do need to feed, honey, or our eternal benefits all disappear.”
Of course, Elsie was also a member of the “the vespertilionid family”. Being very different from her friends and having to keep it hidden, led to frustrations. This internal conflict of her past human side now struggling with her present desire to feed on what she once was, is what led her to discover her creative side. Her mother had told her, “The fact you can find refuge from your conflict of interest through artistic creativity, will help lead you to accept what you have become, Elsie. It’s nothing to feel guilty about, you held no choice in the matter. It’s just our way.”
“I realize that mom, and while making things with my hands do help alleviate some of my guilt, it’s not a complete cure. I wish I could solve my two worlds colliding like daddy has. Hopefully someday.”
Painting from drawing on her emotional challenges did inspire artistic masterpieces with hidden meanings that were boldly displayed in vibrant splashes of the same color. Different shades sometimes, but always in crimson red. People appeared to be in awe of these pieces of art she’d painted with. Elsie’s art teacher, Ms. Wallace, constantly bragged about how she could pull off such wonderful pieces with only textures and tones breaking up the single pallet of red. Ms. Wallace practically worshipped Elsie’s artistry.
“Miss, excuse me, miss…” Elsie turned away from the airplane’s portal to the outside and saw the attendant, “Yes?” she answered with her eyebrows cocked.
“Would you like something from the drink menu? Or a snack?”
“I think I’d like to have a Bloody Mary…” She leaned a little closer where the old man’s wife couldn’t see her face, but the husband could, “…but of course, it’ll need to be a virgin drink, I’m underage.” She looked down playfully at the old man who practically swallowed his tongue as his hand sat in his lap forcing an adjustment in his seat. She smiled knowing the old coot would be thinking of her tonight at their hotel room while he attempted to frisk with his wife.
This action was a major difference between Elsie and her dad. Elsie’s demeanor could change on the fly, quiet and reserved one minute and the next as bold as a bull in a china cabinet with no worries of what crystal trinket may be broken.
Thaddeus Michael Vanderhoffe, Elsie’s father, was reserved for the most part. He was keen and alert. He knew everything and could usually perceive it before it would even happen, whatever it was. “Octavia, it’s absurdly humorous that our daughter and her boyfriend, would actually believe they could pull a weekend disappearing act without my detailed intuition being aware of such a plan.”
“Oh, Thaddeus, she’s not only becoming a young vampiress, but she’s also sprouting her own wings. Let’s not forget about our clandestine weekend all those centuries ago,” she smiled coyly as she snuggled up and ran her fingers down his back. Octavia leaned in close, “That weekend was so magical …” She sighed, “…I was soft clay in your hands by the time you introduced me to your world.”
The subject of Elsie’s plans was Spence Davy; a quiet kid and, nothing like her father. Spence and his friends were more the type that would hang out during lunch at the south wall of the gym, smoking cigarettes, or even weed at times. They deemed themselves rebels of sorts, raging quietly against society’s machine. But not in a disrespectful or dangerous way. He had tried to get Elsie to smoke pot with him once, but she’d immediately declined and shut him down. She rarely even drank alcohol, even though she had plenty of opportunity to do so. She saw these vices as a weakness of being human. She held no qualm against those that did, it was a personal choice that one should expect to be held responsible for whatever repercussions it brought. She didn’t need to drink booze or get high to enjoy life, she did partake in a beverage, but her libation was drawn from another’s vein, not a bottle.
Elsie’s friends in school would be the WOB’s (wear only black) or the girl that other parents would see as pretty, if it weren’t for their magenta and turquoise-colored hair, pierced lips and eyebrows along with high-heeled spiked boots. And while Elsie seemed to enjoy being surrounded by these quirkier kids, she wasn’t about to publicly display such obvious signs of what lay hidden inside of herself. She dressed very conservatively except for occasions like today—she was usually found in more understated earth tones and coarse weaved sweater tops than to boldly wear her true wildness on her sleeve. She enjoyed her subtlety although you’d never know it from today’s outfit. But today was different. Much different.
Spence was distinctively different, and it’d taken Elsie’s dad some time to accept his daughter’s choice in her male interest. Her father may have not seen it at first, but Elsie noticed Spence’s charm immediately on his first day at school. He wasn’t a typically hot athletic jock type—but he owned something that attracted her attention. A spark, and she felt it upon sight. She was thrilled when he showed up in her fifth hour ART 3 class.
To get his immediate attention, she “accidentally” bumped into him while he got into his art locker. Yeah, she knew it was a cheesy movie kind of maneuver, but when needed, she would give her normally quiet demeanor a slight shove to get what she wanted. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t hurt you, did I?” She smiled.
“No…” He smiled awkwardly back. “…I think I’ll be okay….”
Elsie closed her locker, feeling rejected and disappointed until Spence added “…I…uh…should probably get your number though…if…I…have a…delayed reaction or discomfort later?” He grinned. “My name is Spence, Spence Davy.”
That was the day Elsie hatched her plan that led to a rendezvous with Spence in Redington Shores. She’d never flown on an airplane before, but she was a frequent flyer of sorts.
The sinking and rising of the plane’s interior drew Elsie’s attention away from the window. She briefly looked at the old woman asleep, oblivious to her husband’s still intense interest of her.
Elsie didn’t suffer any fear or anxiety from the plane’s amusement park ride-like movements. In fact, she rather enjoyed them. The feeling of her body sinking quickly pushing her stomach up to her chest brought on excitement. Much like the free flight of a bat, changing direction and altitude instantly at will. She loved that feeling and her smile showed it.
She wondered for a moment if the old man had met up with his wife years ago like her and Spence were about to. Maybe a scandalous clandestine weekend getaway, sharing the passion of their bodies sliding against each other’s hot moist skin. The picture of the couple began slipping into her thought overtaking her daydreams of Spence. She quickly shook her body as if to erase such an odd segue from enjoying the climbing and falling of the plane’s fuselage.
Redington Shores had been her idea from the beginning, he was, of course, a willing participant who now was drawn to the thrill the experience would be bringing. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect. The thoughts it brought titillated her. She wondered if he was expecting anything more than just foreplay. They hadn’t done much of that in their relationship yet, although there had been some fumbled attempts. It always had felt awkward to them. At least her anyway. When getting right down to the nitty-gritty of it, the act seemed carnal, something only animals should perform. They, after all, weren’t wanting to conceive a child, and that was what copulating was for. It now seemed funny to Elsie that her previous thoughts about sex seemed ridiculous and unimportant. Because now the act boldly spurred a surging adrenaline inside that became more smoldering with the closer, she got to her destination. She was still a virgin, something most seventeen-year-old girls could no longer boast. Especially her since technically, she was almost a hundred now, in human years, of course.
Elsie looked out the window again after drinking down the last of her virgin Bloody Mary. She liked the way the drink glass looked in her hand. Glamorous yet cavalier. She knew she would be famous one day. She wasn’t certain of where this fame would be born or in what way she would achieve it, but if she were ever forced to take her last breath of air within her lungs, she would refuse to leave this world before accomplishing that fame. She wouldn’t allow herself to exit this mundane existence, until she’d set the stage for the world to be introduced to Elsie Nicole Vanderhoffe. Infamous would be an adequate title also. She had a wicked side hidden deep within and barely kept at bay. Quick fused and a strong will to win at any cost.
As the plane landed, she thought about her planned weekend with Spence as she ran her tongue across her teeth, feeling the inset points of her hidden fangs still kept sheathed for the most part.
Spence’s parents were out of town in the Caribbean somewhere. It was the norm for them. His mom divorced his birth father a year and a half earlier and moved Spence and herself to the small town of Ozark, Missouri. A far cry from the Utah desert they’d come from. She quickly met an odd, older individual who was building a fortress in the outskirts of town in the Ozark Mountains. She hadn’t known it at the time of meeting him, but he was worth millions—if not billions of dollars. She and Spence moved from their small two-bedroom house on Third Street, into the stone castle being erected in the middle of a mountainous forest. His mom and William Garrett Houston hadn’t married yet, but it looked like that could follow shortly. Of course, their travel together was frequent, leaving Spence alone in an unfinished castle. He regularly answered phone calls from the contractors constructing the fortress along with William the Wealthy. That was what he quietly called him. Spence rather detested how money could attain such a hideous richness while there was so much poverty surrounding them. William was somewhat generous, and he was handsome for his age, but he couldn’t see why his mom would be interested in him, if the gargantuan estate and travel weren’t included with the package. But it was, and so here he lived, along with an expense account that more than likely quadrupled the holdings in all of Ozark’s yearly progress budget. He was certain William the Wealthy couldn’t care less what he withdrew and spent, if he refrained from complaining about his mom traveling the world with him. He passed no guilt, because he knew his mom was in love and she deserved to finally be happy.
Long story short, his circumstances afforded him to have the time and money to set this little getaway to Redington Shores for he and Elsie. If Elsie could keep her end up and find a way to escape for the weekend and board the flight, they would be able to enjoy each other with total abandon. It would be like two lovers shipwrecked on a beautiful island. He’d called in sick a couple of days earlier to school and flown out beforehand, getting a room in an old retro-style hotel. It was the ugliest one on the entire Gulf coast, but being so, Spence felt like they would be more likely to slip into the background of the scenery. Besides, this was an adventure. The motel was one of very few throwbacks left from the fifties. Bright turquoise in color, wide and oblong in a shape causing it to look like a World War II submarine that had surfaced on the beach and become stuck in the sand. Hell, the old place appeared to have been captured and held hostage since back in the day before central air. Above each room’s door sat a window air unit tucked into the wall. He’d laughed as he imagined what William the Wealthy would think about his choice of places to seduce his girlfriend, considering the amount of cash, he held access to. But it appeared to be clean, and it was only steps away to the beach, and the bed was a king-sized freakin’ playground.
Spencer nervously smiled as he looked down at his watch, noticing Elsie’s plane should have landed ten minutes ago. He’d given her cash and had her load the Uber app onto her phone. It shouldn’t be long now. It was funny, but the thought of them being here alone made his stomach queasy. They’d been alone many times together at his house where they could have done anything they’d wanted, but that never made him feel nervous like now. Why would being alone a thousand miles away be any different? He thought about it. Awe, because now that they were here at the beach under such clandestine planning, there would likely be stronger expectations beyond what there had been before. It’s okay he thought. He was prepared. He felt a movement in his pants as he pictured her young pale white-skinned body and auburn hair. He smiled. “Yep, I’ll be okay.”
Spence sat in the wooden beach chair underneath an umbrella, staring out into the rolling waves of the coast. The echoing and unbroken cadence of the water raced towards the shore he sat on. Each wave began swelling into a large curling power before thunderously breaking over and washing up the beach in a frothy, bubbly pool just inches away from his toes. The swelling water would repeat the same exercise with rhythmic sound. Hurling themselves forward with all their might as if to attempt to be the winner by reaching the most distant dry sand before slowly retreating in either victory or shame. Back to the world it had just tried to escape.
Spence watched and then smirked at his analogy of the ocean and Elsie. She was a power that pushed full force into escaping the world she felt trapped in. Time and time again, she too had retreated back to the home and family she was familiar and comfortable with, but so strongly wanted to abscond from. She talked about wanting to break away and live her life without needing to explain the why’s and how’s of her choices. She knew her parents meant well. She’d told him this story over and over, that one day she would be victorious. Spence was certain he wanted to be there to witness it. He knew she loved her family, but maybe she’d matured earlier than most, or maybe she was just born with an undying independence that swelled within her soul. All he knew was that same struggle of breaking free also was alive in his bones, deep inside the marrow, and when Elsie got here—they would live that freedom together, for at least the weekend. A thousand miles away from family literally, but worlds away figuratively.
Spence was so deeply concentrated on his daydreams of Elsie and just what they would do, he hadn’t noticed the shadow of a tall, thin, young woman walking up from behind in silent footsteps, hushed by the soft powdery sand.
Elsie quietly placed her backpack down a few steps before she stood behind Spence. A smile as big and bold as her face carried in this moment were seldom and far between. She usually carried a stern distant look on her face, as if she held no interest in the ones surrounding her. But not this afternoon. Excitement filled her demeanor with an unusual beaming. She reached a hand around either side of Spence’s head and then cupped her palms over each eye. He jumped and began to turn, but Elsie’s strength was strong, and her grip held him steadfast. She leaned in and whispered, “Hey, fellow fugitive of Missouri! What do you say we saddle our ponies together and ride like Custer into the valley of Little Big Horn? Throw caution to the wind!” And then she let him go.
Spence’s head now able to continue his rotation behind, knew exactly who the culprit was, and his heart skipped several beats before being able to stand up and turn to meet her gaze. “Elsie! You scared the bejesus out of me!” His arms pulled her in close and her hands almost reluctantly drew in to hold his bare stomach. His lips wanted to travel the distance between his and hers, but an awkward nervousness kept him at bay. Their relationship was perplexing, it always had been.
* * * * * *
The intelligence held between the two would certainly skyrocket off the charts. It was more than likely their overanalyzing tendencies that got in their way of just letting go and enjoying each other. They’d been friends since early in their junior year when Spence moved to Ozark with his mom. Getting to know each other was a slow process, but each seemed comfortable in their relationship and the progression it had seemed to move toward in the year and a half. But there was that niggling nag in the back of each one their heads, always nudging one to doubt the other’s readiness for something more or to take the initiative to explore it, to visit that next step.
* * * * * *
Spence lightly dragged his fingers across Elsie’s ribs as he drew his hands back to himself. His eyes scanned Elsie’s as they peered out from under the wide-brimmed sun hat she adorned. Her blueish gray irises seemed to reflect the ocean’s glimmer of its complimenting colors perfectly. He sighed.
“What, Spence? Are you nervous to see me?” Elsie asked innocently, but with a small spark of sarcasm woven in. It was probably a ploy to take control and win the lead. Her competitive drive again popping through her veneer of sweet innocence. That was the part of her that was his kryptonite. A weakness of his and he didn’t know how hard to push back.
“Um, I…I can’t…believe you are here…and…we…uh…we pulled it off,” Spence smirked with a grin.
“Well, we haven’t actually gotten away with anything but the escape yet—we still have the sneak at the end of the weekend.” Elsie’s eyes and mirthless smile reflected. “Remember, my dad is a cop, and a very smart and thorough one at that.” Her expression was hard for Spence to read. Was she seriously nervous—or was this another mental cat and mouse game set to keep him guessing? She loved to play the part of making you calculate if her demeanor was an attempt at sarcasm or being austere. “By the way, where is our room? I’d like to put my bag away and either put on a swimsuit and get wet…or something bright and larkish! I feel…sporty today!”
Spence grabbed her bag in one hand, her pale hand in his other, pulling her through the sinking sand to the questionable “Sea Rocket” motel. They walked down a narrow sidewalk between the sand and line of doors until they reached number 7.
“Oh—my lucky number,” Elsie stated as Spence paused and dug for his key. The door slowly opened as Elsie craned her head inside to look—she wore a skeptical face because the motel didn’t look like something a boy with the amount of money he had available to him would pick. “Oh my God!” Elsie quickly exclaimed with twisted exuberance.
“What’s wrong, Elsie?”
She turned to face him, they nearly bumped noses as they stood closely together just inside the doorway. “Uh…really? Only one bed? What is on your mind?” Elsie asked with eyebrows furrowed and a flat line across her lips.
“I…uh…I wasn’t…assuming any…anything…I was gonna sleep on the couch, Elsie….”
Elsie dropped her bag to her feet then reached out and grabbed Spence’s arms with both hands, “I bet you were…” She held her face displaying shock and disgust as long as possible before relinquishing and dropping her hands down to Spence’s shorts. She looked down, and then drew her gaze upward and to his now twitching eyes. She let her palm brush against the front of his khakis and then smiled. “I’m only messing with you! There’s no way you’re sleeping on the couch! I didn’t sneak away from my family and climb aboard an airplane to fly at forty thousand feet for two hours—to sleep alone with my…special…friend laying on the couch watching me all night long in an aching pain! You’d probably have a busy hand under the covers.” She laughed and moved her hands up quickly to his cheeks. “I want to explore while we’re down here. Do things we wouldn’t normally do. Dangerous things. Things that make our hearts pump wildly. Naughty things.”
Spence stood still in shock. These were words and conversations the two had never shared. He’d thought them to himself many times. He’d pictured them explicitly in mental moving pictures as if they’d already happened between them many times before. But he never imagined she would have these kinds of thoughts, let alone speak them. Even in vague clues of wonder or sarcasm, which was her usual form. Now that he stood there looking at her, he saw a look in her eyes he’d also never seen. She wanted to experiment; he could tell. He maintained eye contact with her as his breathing became harder and her lips became wetter. He kicked the door shut and then pulled her into his arms while he owned the moment and moxie to proceed.
Spence turned over in bed expecting to see Elsie still lying next to him. He couldn’t believe he’d fallen asleep and yet, he realized he hadn’t been dreaming at all. They’d done the things he now reflected in thought. They were reflections of a reality this time instead of his imagination. He couldn’t force the smile across his face to disappear. His victory too sweet on his lips.
Spence’s ears perked at the noises in the bathroom. He knew she must be in there. He would be nervous again to face her, but he hoped she wouldn’t play the stand-off game. He never knew exactly how to react when she wore that distant look. A look that made him think she held regret of whatever had brought it on. He knew he held no regrets today though. He felt fantastic. He had no idea the real thing would crush the self-gratification by so big a landslide.
The doorknob rattled and slowly opened. Elsie walked out with a bold black form-fitted top with bright crimson red flowers imprinted and clung just above her belly button and a matching crimson short mini skirt accentuating her body’s beautiful lines. Those curves he’d just enjoyed wrapping his hands and body around. An outfit like this and the one she’d worn earlier were miles from her usual style. What the hell was going on with her? He liked it but was taken back. Was this the new Elsie Nicole Vanderhoffe? If so, he could most definitely conform his opinions to accept it. She smiled at him and asked her question with only one word. “Hungry?”
Spence was silent at first, taking in the sight of her standing in front of him. He was in awe of the different persona he was seeing from the one he’d known before—before she’d snuck up on him at the beach earlier. He quickly thought to himself that nothing about the two of them would ever be the same. They’d known so much about each other, yet so little. If one thinks about all the possibilities in a life of forty, fifty, or even sixty years of life shared with someone, the calculation in moments of learning new and different things about each other would be astronomical. There would be no other way other than decades spent together that one could ever know everything about the other or vice versa. They did now know one important part of that equation though. His smile stretched even wider.
They’d just learned how each other’s physical bodies reacted with each other. Like mixing one chemical with another to see what kind of a spontaneous effect or combustion would take place. Spence saw this litmus test between them as a complete success. There were magnificent explosions where there were supposed to be. He felt somewhat surprised but confident it had been a victorious experience in bringing them even closer. He noted to himself with a grin, thinking, more research would be necessary. He did however have questionable contemplations of how Elsie’s feelings would be affected by this milestone between them, after the dust settled. Her psyche was a hard equation to solve and come up with the same answer each time he tried. In some respects, it was like she was from another world. One he held no understanding of.
Elsie walked up to where Spence still lay, the sheet still covering his naked body. She smiled a sinister grin at him and again asked, “Hungry?” Before he could answer, she reached over toward his shoulder and grabbed the corner of the sheet, giving it a quick tug down to his ankles.
Spence struggled to cover himself in certain places as his face changed three shades of red that matched her outfit. “My God, Elsie! Why did you do that,” he questioned as he tried to wrestle the sheet back from her hand.
Elsie giggled. She saw the embarrassment in Spence’s face and couldn’t believe it. “My God, Spence! You’ve seen every part of my body up close and completely naked, and I’ve seen your—stuff—you’re going to play modest now? That makes no sense,” she said in a most practical tone, sprinkled with sarcasm. “We’ve been one, together! You’ve been inside me. There’s hardly any other way we could be any closer now than that. Please, I just want to see what I’ve let be a part of me. I want to see the magic my body felt.”
“That’s just…that’s…well, that’s just…weird, Elsie.” Spence thought a moment as his blood drained back to the places it should be instead of all pooling in his face. With some hesitation, he threw his legs out from under what small amount of sheet still covered him and his feet landed onto the floor with thuds as he stood up. “…here you go, for your viewing pleasure,” and he dropped his hands to his sides, uncovering his genitals as he began to move in circles like a merry-go-round.
“Well now, I do like what I see, yes, I can see why I felt so warm and gooey,” she smiled. Again, something Spence wasn’t used to seeing or hearing from her.
“If I realized I had the ability to give you warm smiles like this, Elsie, I would have stripped naked months ago and paraded around.” He walked toward Elsie. “Seriously, El, you look fantastic wearing a smile like this…uh hmm. I’d like to see more of it! Now, it’s your turn.” Spence stepped back to watch, now seemingly comfortable in his birthday suit.
“What do you mean, my turn?”
“Let’s have a good look, Elsie. You’re surely not going to play bashful, are you? I want to scrutinize the package I’ve laid with too. I mean, it was unwrapped so quickly and then covered by the bedding….”
Elsie’s mouth dropped. Her smile now dripping down toward her chin. “You can’t be serious? I just got cleaned up and dressed. I’m ready to go out on the town, out to eat….”
“But—first things first.”
“Not fair! You were already just lying naked under the covers. I’m not going to let you watch me take my clothes off that I just spent time putting on! That’s ludicrous! I’m no stripper, Spence.”
“Then I guess I’ll unwrap you myself.” Spence moved in closer.
Elsie began to back away, her stubbornness not allowing her to let Spence win. She began pulling her black top displaying brightly red-colored flowers, over her head, bearing her pale white breasts. Spence stopped advancing and backed up to the edge of the bed to sit, his eyes never leaving Elsie’s body, his erection growing.
Elsie nervously looked down to where her hands began sliding her skirt down, shaking her hips back and forth to enable its removal, nervously avoiding eye contact. This moment in time instantly changed her mood from playful fun into a mental challenge she now found very uncomfortable. Elsie didn’t like not being in total control. She despised losing and saw this as anything but a win. This would be a lesson she’d learn from and never let herself get backed into a corner like this again. Ever.
Spence watched as the warm smile quickly diminished from Elsie’s face. “It’s okay, El, you don’t have to finish. The game is over.”
Elsie slowly looked up and into Spence’s eyes and continued to let her skirt fall to the floor. “No, Spence. It’s not over. It’s never over until I say it is. Now, watch me.” She reached around and slipped her fingers under the waistband of her panties and tugged them downward, bending at her waist to finish pulling them from one leg at a time.
The room was completely silent except for the light sounds of the waves crawling up the shore in the muffled distance. The tension in the room grew thick as the air conditioner fought to keep up with cooling the heated space.
When Elsie was completely naked, she lifted her cold grayish-blue eyes to Spence’s and stared. He looked as if he didn’t know if he should speak or remain silent.
Elsie stood completely still for a moment, soaking in the discomfort within the walls of the room. She then slowly began to turn in place, one circle after another, as if she were being searched under a spotlight by a detective in the interrogation room. She knew she’d won by Spence’s lack of speech or gesture. This was less pleasant for him now than her. When her back was completely opposed to him, she let a broad smirk escape her lips, knowing he was as nervous as a whore in church. She’d made him pay dearly and he wouldn’t ever forget this day. Her body slowly rotated three-hundred and sixty degrees twice before she slowed to a stop and then slowly lifted her left leg up onto the mattress, exposing herself openly directly in front of his view. “Is there anything else you’d like to see, Spence?”
He remained still and silent in the room. Elsie’s eyes remained firm and ungiving.
“Now, we’re done. Game over.” She turned away, dropping her leg back to the floor and then bent over to retrieve her skirt and panties, poking one leg in the hole and then the other before sliding them back into place. “Well? Get dressed, I’m hungry and I want to see what Redington Shores has to offer.”
She put her top back on, covering her perfectly firm breasts as Spence still sat in shock wondering at what point he’d stepped on the landmine that had blown up in his face.
When the bathroom door clicked shut, Spence snapped to, and began to put his clothes back on. His face appeared as if he would have no idea what personality of Elsie’s would exist when the bathroom door opened again, and she came out.
It would be an uncomfortable crapshoot.
The moment the door to room 7 smacked shut, it was as if a light switch clicked off. What had happened between them inside, was left inside to dissipate into a distant past. It seems that agonizing moment shared inside, now no longer existed. Elsie reached down and grabbed Spence’s hand, taking it into hers and giving him a very quick smile before taking the lead toward Gulf Boulevard. She made an instinctive left at the sidewalk and began to walk. The wind was blowing which helped a bit with the sultry hot air that slapped them across their faces when they first left the air-conditioned discomfort of the room. The steam outside almost matched the heated moment inside. Spence didn’t want to dwell on what happened, but it clawed at his attention to remain vigilant around Elsie now. He now understood that she could instantly become a dark mutation of herself with the subtle vicious bite of a vampire. He had always known she was competitive, strong, reclusive and quirky—but he thought to himself, my God, this girl almost scares the shit out of me. Have I gotten myself into something I will regret? Other recent memories also entered the mix though, I’ve never felt like that before, her body so beautiful and so uninhibited while we were….”
Elsie gave Spence’s hand another squeeze, only this time with more pressure in her grip. “Hey! Whatcha thinking, Spence? Still picturing me on top of you, our bodies gliding back and forth in forbidden pleasure? Because I have another big surprise for you tonight. Do you like surprises?”
He turned. “You, Elsie are bat-shit crazy, you know that don’t you?” Spence knew once he’d allowed the words to escape his mouth, he regretted the repercussions they could bring.
Elsie glanced into his eyes, “Yes—I know that, but you’re so damn mesmerized by me now that we’ve…” Her smile turned sinister, “…fucked like wild animals…that is what it was, isn’t it? I mean, we’re not in love or anything too committed like that…are we?”
“Elsie, I don’t know what the hell we are right now? I thought I knew, but that was some crazy shit back there. You were…” Spence stopped walking. “…I’m not sure I’m brave enough to keep having this conversation, but you weren’t the person I’ve known before after we…‘fucked’ like animals, as you call it.”
Elsie stared back with question on her face. “What do you mean, Spence? I’m still plain quirky Elsie, like the first day we met in art class. Guys like girls like that, don’t you?”
“Like hell you are… or were…just minutes ago….and…and…I like what…you know…but….”
“You pissed me off, that’s all. I’m over it. I don’t like losing and you made me feel like I’d lost. Get over it, Spence, I have!” She turned the question mark in her face back to one of excitement. “We only have the weekend; we can have some fun, can’t we? Together like we always are?”
Spence turned his head back forward, shaking it slightly as he began walking again, their hands still knotted together by fingers entwined tightly as vines that had grown together. “We can have fun, Elsie, but honestly, I may sleep with one eye open the rest of the weekend. Just in case….”
Elsie stopped suddenly, pulling Spence’s hand with almost all her strength. He snapped back for a moment and twisted uncontrollably around to where he faced her. She let go of his hand and moved in quickly, her hands gripping his cheeks, she pulled their faces together until their lips met and touched. Her tongue parted his mouth and plunged ravenously past his teeth and swirled inside his mouth as she sucked and slurped. It was almost manic, but he conceded to her sensual attack and his pants tightened as they publicly stood on the sidewalk along Gulf Boulevard. Elsie ground her body into his. Cars were passing in pairs, horns blared as they drove by, followed by whoops and hollers of, “Get a room, brother” being yelled from rolled down windows. There were various other quips and catcalls that followed. Elsie’s hand began to move south quickly as she sensed his growing arousal.
She stopped immediately as she’d begun, her hand falling away as she pushed him back, leaving the tent she’d helped erect in his shorts, stand alone on its own. She coyly grinned a look that he seemed unable to decipher as friendly or adversarial.
“See?” She stood standing with her hands to herself for several seconds before continuing, “We’re still capable of fun and pleasure between us. I’d say it’s all up to you—but I’d be a liar. We both know it’s all up to me, I’m the princess of darkness that’s holding control. Get used to it! I have a feeling you may end up loving it forever!” She laughed and grabbed at his hand but let it slip her grip as she once more started to walk.
Spence stood perplexed in the middle of the sidewalk watching Elsie’s silhouette calmly walk away from him, never turning back to check. It was as if she knew he’d follow her like a lost puppy. And yes, that is exactly what Spence did. He double sped his steps to catch up and maneuver to his spot on her right, the traffic side, which is where any gentleman would know to be. Just like her pet Doberman back home, he slid in next to her side. He was captivated, under Elsie’s spell. She was like none other he’d ever met. He could love her and hate her in the same breath. Was this how true love grabbed control of someone? He asked himself these questions as the two continued north up Gulf Boulevard until they saw a quaint little restaurant called “Kenny’s Korner,” spelled intentionally incorrectly. He knew this would annoy Elsie, but she reached for the glass door and pulled it open with no contrary words.
“Good afternoon! You are just in time—we are on last call, only open for breakfast and lunch! Just the two of you?”
“Yes sir, glad we made it in time, we’re starved!” Spence answered.
Kenny, Spence assumed, sat them at the bar and asked if this was okay, to which Elsie smiled and nodded in agreement.
“This works best so I can answer any questions about the area if you have them.” The older tall, pale gentleman smiled a convincingly genuine smile. “Kenny’s my name, what’s yours,” he asked in a heavy New York accent.
“Mine is Spence and….”
“And I’m of course Elsie…” She interrupted. “We’re visiting from the midwest.”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you Spence and Elsie.” He grinned rather oddly. “I hope you two enjoy your stay while you’re here. You happen to be here on a full moon night tonight! The bewitching hour is soon upon us this evening!” Kenny grinned again and winked at Elsie as he passed them a couple of menus. “Anything you like on here, breakfast or lunch! I’ll be glad to prepare it.” He turned to Spence, “I think you’ll need the energy for this one tonight, son.” He winked and smiled.
Spence gave Elsie a confused glance to which she smiled and cupped his hand with hers after giving it a quick tap first. He understood the signal to just go with her flow, but he didn’t have any idea why the mystery hovered so oddly in the room. He wondered if for some reason she was worried about her cop dad finding them. They’d be back before he’d even know they’d been missing. And what the hell was up with the winks and grins between Kenny and her? It seemed like something was—understood—between the two of them as if they knew each other already.
Spence listened to Kenny and Elsie continue their gab, but his mind wasn’t letting him concentrate on anything but the sudden madness this weekend had seemed to bring from the moment Elsie Nicole Vanderhoffe had cupped her hands over his eyes as he sat staring out at the vastness of the Gulf Ocean’s shoreline. He couldn’t help but wonder if instead of entering Redington Shores, Florida—they’d instead entered some kind of “twilight zone.” Just what in hell was in store for him tonight with her surprise?
“Spencer! What will you have, sweetie? I’m having the ‘Hippie Hash.’”
“Hippie Hash? Just two eggs scrambled and white toast and whatever kind of fried potatoes or hash—minus the ‘hippie’ part.”
They decided after eating, they would walk to the end of the block from Kenny’s Korner, toward the beach to see if there was an entrance to walk out to the sand. They’d walk the beach back to The Sea Rocket hotel. After maneuvering around some dumpsters, they jumped onto the smooth sand and made their way out toward the shoreline. They waded out into the waves that rolled up slowly onto soft sand, each wave slowly chugging up the beach before it retreated out from where it had just come. Swish…Swish…Swish. Giggles and squeals of young children running and splashing mixed with the constant music of the waves. The only interruption was by the songs of seagulls either announcing their arrival as they glided into the soft sand or possibly scolding in their language for us to stop trespassing on their turf.
Elsie looked out over the ocean’s horizon and squeezed Spence’s hand tightly. She turned to look at him, a question sat upon her lips.
“What are you thinking, Elsie? Any regrets for meeting me here?”
“No, you?” Elsie quickly retorted.
“I’m glad we’re here, but you do have me strung out in clueless-ville—like a kite blowing wildly in the wind yet tied to a string that you keep letting flop quickly and loosely like you want me to crash. But then just as quickly, reel me back in again within the boundaries of your grip.” His eyes stared deeply into Elsie’s attempting to penetrate deep enough to break into her mental vault and discover what was hidden safely inside them.
“I have a question, Spence. It’s a very serious thing I want to ask.”
“Uh oh, this sounds scary as hell!”
“Eternity. Ever think about it and the importance it could mean? For us?”
Spence chuckled. “Um—eternity? Forever for you or me is probably about seventy or so more years if we don’t die unexpectedly beforehand. Looking at seventy more years may feel like an eternity now…hell, almost four years of high school feels like an infinity since my freshman year started!” He chuckled.
“I’m serious, what do you feel about spending an eternity with me, Spence?”
Spence looked out across the gulf waters, taking in the salt-filled breeze. He watched several herrings flying low to the water’s top layer spotting food and nose-diving into a kamikaze crash breaching the surface, beak first to clutch its meal and carry it off once again. “Life is designed a specific way, Elsie. You know it, I know it and nothing else is possible. We’re all visiting this world for an unknown, limited amount of time. I’m okay with it being like this. That limited amount of time is what makes life precious. It’s what makes sharing it with someone meaningful.” He turned to see Elsie’s scowl as if she knew better. He could tell she didn’t like listening to his reasoning of eternity’s impossibility of being anything more than a dream here on earth or how easily he accepted it as further reasoning of why marriage held so much value. “We can hang out together as long as we don’t kill each other first for as long as we can, I suppose. Possibly sharing our eternities together as they pass us into the next phase of existence.” He smiled, knowing Elsie wouldn’t accept any answer or explanation other than her own.
She plopped down suddenly and sat on the sand. Spence was afraid some crazy tantrum was about to begin because he’d dare to contradict her protocol of life’s inner workings. But nothing followed other than a short sigh from insolent lips. A calm washed over them both as the wind seemed to lose its will to continue blowing in from the distant horizon. It seemed to be a perfect visual metaphor for what they’d experienced after what had been an incredible physical awakening for them both. He didn’t want any more awkwardness; it didn’t appear Elsie did either.
“What if I could offer you a way to spend an eternity with me?” She glanced up. “Would you take it?”
Spence smiled. “Sure, Elsie, you know I would, without a doubt. Even though you scare the hell out of me!” He smiled. “But let’s go swim out in that ocean right now!” Spence looked over at her. He wanted to calmly steer her questions into another direction since she wouldn’t retreat with them on her own.
“Hell yes! Let’s just do it,” she answered as she got up and began pulling her skirt down.”
“Whoa, Elsie! Let’s put on our suits back in the room first.” He paused a moment. “Is it the salt air here? Who are you, Elsie Nicole?”
“I’m the girl that’s going to share forever with you, whether you believe me or not!” she laughed as she pulled her skirt back up and then reached to help Spence up to his feet.
“You are one crazy girl when you get away from home, aren’t you?”
Elsie smiled wickedly, “Sweetie, you don’t know the half of it….”
The two took off and headed back to The Sea Rocket, the only turquoise motel that could be seen from the beach. For that matter, the only building left from the late fifties that had survived several hurricanes.
After reaching and opening the door to room 7, they looked at each other as they began to change into their suits. Spencer suddenly knew their time together alone this weekend was limited. The countdown to boarding the plane and getting back had begun.
Elsie felt the timeframe slowing with every secondhand crawling into the next increment. There was her calling deep within, and she felt the hunger. She craved to be fed something only Spence could give her. Something he wasn’t even aware of. She looked across the bed to where he was standing, his swim trunks half pulled up, his nakedness exposed because he wasn’t about to be modest after the earlier dispute.
Elsie crawled across the bed, hunger in her eyes. She almost appeared animalistic. Her eyes deep black and thirst-filled. The two looked at each other, the ocean now losing its zest and call, paling instead to something more carnal. Spence let his trunks drop back down to the floor as his male anatomy soared north. He stepped out of them and pounced onto the bed. They quickly became tangled together and coupled in ravenous passion. As Elsie sat on top of him, her mouth felt pulled into the warmth of his neck as she gyrated back and forth in rhythmic movement. She ran her tongue in small, tiny circles around the part of his neck where it met just above his shoulder. The lure to bite was an urge hard to resist. She craved to gently force her eye teeth under the skin and drink, but the time wasn’t right yet. It would happen soon, once the day’s sun dropped into the sea and the full moon rose high, alone in the sky above them. She began to orgasm with the friction between them and the foreshadowing excitement of becoming even closer to Spence than before—she would soon help usher him into eternity within the fellowship of the Blood Guild. Her colony.
Elise screamed out as she pulled her head away from his neck and began to wildly ride Spence’s lap. His eyes wide open as he shook and trembled in ecstasy, instantly drained of all energy he had just owned. Elise dropped down on top of his ribbed stomach and lay looking wantonly at his bulging jugular, seeing it throb as his blood rushed violently in rushed pulsating surges through it just below his soft flesh. Her thin sharp eye teeth being forced by will to recede back into their internal sheaths.
“My God, Elsie! You’re going to kill me….”
“No, Spence, I’m going to give you life forever, so we can enjoy these times without end. I promise.”
“Elsie…” Spence began but had to take a deep breath before continuing, “as much as I want that, you do know…” He turned and looked into her glossy gray blue eyes, “…there’s no such thing…” He breathed in deeply again and sighed. “…no matter how much we may want it….”
Elsie smiled to herself as she turned away and tucked her warm bottom into his stomach, her breath vanishing into a whisper under her breath… “oh, but there is, my love.” She would instantly feel vindicated in the act she would take once the full moon was riding high above. It was all down to proper timing and sequence now. Elsie’s spent body comfortably nestled in, as if she were in a cocoon. She quickly drifted to sleep, fangs safely tucked away from view.
Spence lay still in bed, but now wide awake and refreshed, he could smell the fragrance of what was just shared earlier. A scent he’d never taken in before today, but now craved. He could hear a faint snore or heavy breath coming from Elsie, who lay sleeping by his side, facing away. He noticed a darkness where the light once shone through the shaded window across from the bed. It glowed a faint halo through the fabric of the curtain. It was night. Spence suddenly felt a warmth he needed to cool. His body flush, more than likely sunburnt skin as he was rather pale-complected. He wanted to swim but the sharks fed at night in the ocean’s shallows—and the damned Sea Rocket motel had no swimming pool. The Redington Surf next door did though. He carefully got up, trying not to wake Elsie. He stood over her and looked at her partially naked body barely covered from the sheet. She was gorgeous, her pale white skin glowing in the low light. She could be one messed up unit, but he was happy they were together.
He found a pen that bore the Sea Rocket Motel logo on it, a tiny red spaceship, and he wrote a note saying he was going to attempt to sneak into the pool next door. If she couldn’t find him, he’d either drowned or gotten arrested. He snorted quietly from his sense of humor as he quietly pulled the door to a close.
He walked across the sand and around the building to where their pool sat, unattended at this hour and no one swimming. He quietly lifted the locking knob on the gate and slipped in, checking out all the windows that overlooked the pool. Everything was still and silent. He slipped in, stepping down the stairs into the placid cool water that radiated blue from the single dim light that shone at the bottom of the deep end. He rolled onto his back and sucked in a deep breath, his toes peeking up through the water’s edge as his mouth and eyes lay just cresting the surface. He floated silently on his back; arms outstretched like a Christian cross. The liquid cooled his heated flesh as the scent of love wafted from his skin and hugged the water’s surface. An urge began to grow inside his trunks once again with the remnant of the smell of sex tickling his memory of recent lovemaking. He’d waited longer to lose his virginity than most of his friends, but it was worth the wait, he hadn’t wasted the experience on the wrong girl. He couldn’t imagine enjoying the experience any other way or with anyone else. Elsie had been his everything the last year and a half. She’d overtaken his entire world and he’d offered it to her with wide-open arms.
The thoughts began to untangle in his mind as the water slapped against his skin. Occasionally he would need to wave his hands underwater to maintain the balance of flotation, but generally he was relaxed and watching the full moon sneak in and out between the luminescent clouds. The breaths he breathed in and out were muffled inside his head from the water that filled his ear canals. Only enhanced sounds of his breathing in and slowly exhaling, mixed with the pool water gurgling through the pump. The tones resounded as if he were in a cave.
The contained echoes were barely tangible yet heightened his awareness of being alone. It was hypnotizing and softening his senses to the world outside of the muffled one he now floated within. He wondered to himself if he could fall asleep nestled within the cool water. He inhaled deep breaths and expelled them in regimented rhythm. He felt himself become easily suspended with each relaxed breath. Floating, hovering above the silent world which contained him in the moment. The billowing of the garbled hollow water and low ringing in his ears seemed to excel his ability to relax and release any tension he’d held within his body.
His meditation became so attuned, he no longer forced the action to hold air within, enabling him to float. If he were listening to the Maharishi’s voice to the background of sitar music and rhythmic chants, he couldn’t be more at peace or ease. He balanced just under the surface of the cool water as if it were a magic carpet keeping him afloat. The wind softly moved him around the pool, gently bumping his body against the sides as he effortlessly traveled around in circles, unaware of everything outside his hovering peaceful slumber.
Elsie stirred, her perspiring body twisted and turned within the cocoon of the sheet she lay nestled. A coolness that chilled her damp skin snapped her senses to alert, her nipples firm and taut.
The full moon called to her and gently nudged her cognizance to the Blood Guild Collective’s calling. Tiny high-pitched tones no human is capable of detecting. The Family would soon be gathering for her colony to convene for the Tithonian Blood Letting. This celebration within the calendar of the Collective only befell three times within every decade. The stars required proper alignment with the moon in accordance with the ocean’s tide. This left only a small window for a seventeen-year female member to become eligible to be offered up to the Chief High Princess and Priest for approval. A ceremony would be performed to offer such a union along with eternal life within the colony. Elsie and Spence were those accepted recipients. Spence would be accepted into the colony’s fold after the necessary ritual had taken place under the distant supervision and order of the Coven Guild. Spencer met the requirement within the age not exceeding eighteen followed by being acknowledged and accepted as the recipient of the highest form of the cult’s Collective Blood Guild’s honor of eternal membership. Spencer was to become their colony’s fully vested and vetted partner in the ever after with Elsie, who was offering him. The only obligation to remain for Elsie, the active living host by birth, would be to feast from Spence’s blood. The mate would then be obligated to share the act of taking a human life by killing them and drinking the life-giving liquid substance of their blood every calendar fourth day of every third month—eternally. It sounded far more barbaric to the human world than it really was. There was a price to pay for the gift of eternity and humans must pay it. Christians chose their faith in beliefs of how to obtain it, and the Blood Guild held their ways.
Elsie had chosen and nominated Spence to be her life partner in eternal Blood Guild membership. The only step left for her to complete, was the drinking of Spence’s blood and then a shared human kill between them.
She sat up very aroused and aware, her senses heightened to their fullness. She took in a deep breath through her nose, sensing her betrothed was not within her presence. She darted around the room taking in every scent that could be collected and then she saw the note.
* * * * * *
Spence appeared to be a floating vestige, a leftover trace from an ancient ceremony celebrating the death of a warrior. The victorious legionary laid upon a floating vessel and set off to seek the next life. The full moon shining down, lighting his passage in its glowing beam, afloat upon a river.
Elsie’s heart pounded as she slowly entered the cool water step by step attempting to avoid creating a ring of movement. Time would soon reveal the appropriate sign to pierce his skin and drink in the salty lifeforce that would seal Spence’s acceptance into the family. Elsie slipped through the water, slicing her trail until she stood next to his nearly naked form. She glanced up to the moon seeing its white surface beginning to become reddish pink. The cycle of their season was close. Elsie brushed against him, his body very cool to her touch and he stirred with the warmth of her body’s caress of his skin. His eyes opened and his pupils glimmered as they mirrored the reddening of the moon’s brilliant reflection. Spence’s legs instinctively pulled themselves down toward the pool’s floor as his bare chest rose broke the surface of the water. Arms searching through the resistance of the liquid until they met Elsie’s shoulders and engulfed them, pulling her in closer as her skin chilled to his cool touch.
This moment was magical, comparable to a human traditional marriage ceremony between a young couple. Something far more than just two lovers meeting in a beautiful surrounding. There was only one word Spence could find and push through his lips as his gaze at the moon’s brilliant crimson reflection collided with Elsie’s blueish gray eyes. “Beautiful,” spilled quietly in a loving whisper and the three syllables collectively entered her soft receptive ear—an explosive sigh was her response. He knew instantly he wanted to wake to her beauty every single day for an eternity, like she’d hinted could be made possible.
Elsie whispered “you can” in silent mental telepathy.
Spence felt as if she read his mind and spoke to him, and he answered her as if she had, “But there’s no such thing….”
A sadness broke through his expression as the realization that this night, this weekend, and eventually this feeling of love and even life itself would slowly spiral to an end. Nothing lasted forever. There could be no eternity shared, there’s no such thing. Those four resounding words were like thick mortar being dovetailed between their hearts, sealing a closeness, but defining permanent separation as time would bring a hardening of the cement of their limited epoch.
Elsie leaned in close, engulfing his chilled body with her warmth. She began toying with his lips, her wet fingers running a line from one corner to the other before she drew her mouth to his and pushed her tongue past her finger and his parted lips. Spence breathed in her moist breath deep inside his lungs and suddenly relaxed as if her breath were a sedative to calm his sadness of their time together drawing closer to an end.
Pulling away ever slightly, and staring deeply into his eyes, Elsie placed her lips to Spence’s ear, the sensation of her moist heated breath brought comforting tingles up his spine, goosebumps invaded every inch of his skin and he sighed. Soft words were whispered, “Eternally we will be together, you’ll see and soon you will know and believe it too.” Her lips dropped down and she ran her tongue playfully in circles close to where his neck met his shoulder. The action must have caused wonderful sensations because he turned even farther to the left, exposing the bulging jugular vein just beneath his prickled skin. His willful act of submission. Elsie blew her warm breath on the targeted area as she lightly nibbled and sucked the tender skin, numbing and preparing the area for the sharp jarring entrance of her now protruding fangs.
Spence’s eyes rolled back and hid under his lids that now covered them from seeing the moon turn a glowing blood-red crimson as it began to spill from the edges into the night. Every sound fell silent. No birds, no gentle splashes or laps against the pool sides, no traffic or rolling pound of the surf up the shoreline. Only tranquility as Elsie slowly opened her mouth wide, gently, yet firmly to plunge her two white-hot carnassial teeth into his reddish-blue vein. These carnal vampire tools were the vehicle that would induct Spence into the realm of his new eternity, a place he’d denied its possibility. All of this would come rushing, crashing into his psyche with a sudden jolt like volts of electricity and pain at the bloodletting he was now seconds from experiencing.
Spence pulled away with a sudden spasm as his skin’s surface was penetrated. The excruciating discomfort quickly subsided to small pulses of quick numbing twinges. Elsie drank in the warm, salted and metallic tang, instantly gifting her with a satisfying quench of thirst. An excess of the bright crimson red nectar spilled down her chin and Spence’s neck, entering the cool water encircling his chest. The substance designed to instantly begin to coagulate, now thinned and fanned out in a light red cloud as it comingled with the water, shading its clearness pink. The sharp pain had caused Spence’s eyes to jar wide open spontaneously without control during the initial puncture of his skin. The deed nearly completed, Elsie leaned back, his blood still dripping from the corners of her mouth and the tips of her hollowed fangs. She watched as the whites of his eyes became like two moons until all his pain and fear of the unknown subsided. Spence’s body slowly accepted the changes happening within, experiencing only moments of distress and resistance before caving in and relinquishing his soul.
Elsie smiled with joy at her feeling of accomplishment. Her family, including her dear uncle Kenny, had watched with pride from an elevated distance. The Collective’s family and tradition would carry and pass forward as soon as a child was born from their union in their future.
The crimson red color began to wane, fading to a pink hue across the face of the full moon and the sounds of the surf as well as every minute whisper, clank, and clatter became noticeable once again. Life returned normal while most humans slept through the ceremony, hearing or knowing nothing of it happening.
Spence now wide awake, his senses keener than ever before now felt a pulse of energy he couldn’t explain surging through his veins. An urge he’d never felt, suddenly craved to be fulfilled. He first mistook that craving as sexual and pulled Elsie into his grip as he reached below the water and ran his hand across her pudenda, only to find she wore no panties underneath the white gown that danced enchanted in the current’s underwater. He quickly pulled his shorts away and maneuvered Elsie’s back to the side of the pool.
Spence noticed he tasted the salt heavier in the air and felt the breeze thicker upon his skin. Sounds more intense to his ears, almost too keen for comfort. New urges more raging than before were awoken and now found comfort housed within his body. Elsie smiled at watching Spence experience these new sensations that were taken for granted before because of the lackluster intensity just moments ago. She blew a soft stream of her breath into his face, his hormones concealed within sparking his testosterone to pulse even deeper. As she laid her head upon the deck of the pool and arched her back, Spence gently pulled her legs farther apart and entered her, becoming one again. This time the feeling of connection with her was beyond any understandable intensity. The tingles and shivers more acute by tenfold, if not a hundred. The waters around them stirred and seemed to bubble as if beginning to boil. Several minutes later they relaxed, still connected as the waters calmed. Energy spent and hunger overwhelming. The early morning lights of the “normal world” people, began to twinkle on as they prepared their lives for the daily duties of mere existence. Surviving until death called them home.
Elsie looked into Spence’s now graying blue eyes and asked, “Are you ready to feed?” She grinned a devilish leer and continued, “because it’s time to quench your thirst, honey—it’s your first meal, I’ll let you pick her out….”
In a shear instant, two small, winged bat’s silhouettes became backlit by the moon as Elsie and Spence began their first flight to the hunt together. Not too long after, a brief scream rang out and echoed throughout a resort alleyway.
The Redington Police found a mutilated body drained completely of its blood. Every drop was missing from the scene except for the abstract-like painting smeared on a stark white cement wall as if it were created from a pallet of the victim’s blood. A crime scene investigator who was also an admirer of fine art, quietly confided to a reporter that if it hadn’t been for the loss of life, he’d consider the suspect as a damned talented artist. He’d never seen a painting so descriptive and vibrantly brushed in only one color and tone. Blood red.
After word got out what was found within the area, the unknown suspect was named The Jackson Pollack Killer, who instantly became infamous among bloggers and podcasters. It seemed Elsie had been correct. She would become famous for something after all. That fame lives on in ironic anonymity to this present day. News instantly became nationwide, following back to even the woods and small towns of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Later crime scenes more local became possible works from either a copycat killer or an artist of different styles. The Monet Killer still displays works smeared of his on canvas’ that are left at the scenes of the unsolved crimes to this day.
One gallery stated they had an anonymous art enthusiast offering $1,000,000 for a signed copy, no questions asked.
🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None AvailableCraig Groshek Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek Narrated by N/A