Warning! This is a horror/dark fiction story so may be disturbing to some. There is strong language and sexual situations.
The pale maiden stood just inside the door of the darkened cabin, the pupils within her golden irises narrowing to compensate for the reddish glow radiating from the dying embers in the stone fireplace. She moved silently to a closed door at the far end of the room, sweeping a long wispy fall of golden hair away from the left side of her head and pressing a delicate ear against the rough wood. The noisy squeak of bed springs and the sound of a suppressed giggle told her that the humans behind the door were still busily coupling.
The hunger tore at her empty vitals as the sweet, heady aroma of the humans assaulted her senses and she had to steady herself against the door frame in order to keep from collapsing. She must feed soon or perish in the stifling closeness of the overheated room.
The time for waiting was over. Yet to attempt to take one of the strong young humans with its mate awake and alert would be foolhardy. In the maid’s present condition the lightest of blows would easily incapacitate her.
Turning unsteadily on trembling legs, she turned her golden gaze on the short open staircase leading to the cabin’s upper floor. Crossing to the foot of the stairs, she dropped to her knees and gazed up into the darkness, attuning her sensitive ears to the slightest nuance of motion. Silence buzzed in her brain. The delicious smell of prey wafted down from above, fueling the hunger until it burned like a white hot star at the core of her being.
Husbanding her last precious reserves of energy for the effort, the pale creature began the slow, painful climb to the sleeping level above.
“No problem, Ma’am, don’t you worry about a thing now,” smiled Vince. He dropped an extra armload of firewood onto the hearth beside the blazing fire he had set a few minutes earlier and straightened to brush several flakes of clinging bark from his parka.
“I just don’t know what I would have done without your help, officer.” The silver-haired woman stood nervously clutching an expensive leather pocketbook in her well-manicured hands. She’d been following him around the luxuriously appointed cabin like a lost puppy since he’d arrived half an hour earlier to flick on the ignition switch of the Jaguar sedan in the drive and close the electric windows she had inadvertently opened while attempting to set the car’s complex alarm system as her husband had instructed.
Following the closing of the car, Vince had entered the cabin to start a fire, checked the electrical system and located the faulty circuit breaker that had darkened the place and re-lit the water heater pilot. In the midst of all the activity, the missing husband, a prominent Los Angeles attorney, according to his distraught wife, had called the cabin from his car phone to report that his brand new ninety-blanking-thousand-dollar Mercedes had stalled in heavy traffic on the San Bernardino Freeway and that he was planning on suing everybody even remotely connected with having sold, serviced or built the goddam overpriced piece of foreign shit. Having gotten all that off his chest, he had insisted the poor woman put Vince on the phone. There was no effing way he was going to make it to the goddam lake tonight and he wanted to be certain the place wouldn’t be stormed by rough mountain types or marauding Hell’s Angels before he arrived.
Suppressing a cartoon-like image of the white-haired lady being carried away from crime-free Condor Lake on the back of a roaring Harley piloted by a three-hundred-pound Angel with a ZZ Top beard, Vince had gotten on the line and soberly delivered the appropriate assurances to the lawyer, who he pictured as short, balding and meaner than a junkyard dog.
Now, having dutifully seen to the security of the cabin and laid in an ample supply of firewood from the rustic shed attached to the screened front porch, he was backing toward the front door with the grateful woman in pursuit.
Her nervous fingers fluttered up from the depths of the pocketbook, a new fifty dollar bill clenched daintily between thumb and forefinger. “For you,” she smiled.
“No thank you, ma’am.” Vince said, in what he hoped was his most authoritative tone. “We’re not allowed to accept money.”
“For the Policemen’s Fund or whatever,” she insisted, attempting to press the bill into his hand.
“You can send a check to the Sheriff’s Department in San Bernadino if you’d like to make a contribution to the Benevolant Fund,” he said, escaping through the front door and breaking for the idling Jeep, “but it’s not really necessary.”
“Well, thank you again, officer,” she called as he got into the four wheeler, slipped the transmission into gear and backed out onto the drive. “I’ll have my husband write a letter commending your excellent service, too.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” he called, turning the steering wheel and driving through a layer of fresh snow toward the lake road. He allowed himself a relieved grin as he turned onto the blacktop and hoped the irritable husband wouldn’t decide to sue the Department because he’d neglected to change the linens. He glanced at the luminous dashboard clock, noting that it was still relatively early–not yet midnight–and considered the pleasant prospect of climbing into the big warm bed in the loft overlooking the lake and nestling up next to Annie’s soft body. He was still officially off duty except for local emergencies until eight tomorrow morning.
The snow was coming down in big clumps now and he switched on the wipers, glancing up through the windshield to peer at the heavy black clouds lowering over the small mountain valley. It was shaping up to be a rough night and he wondered how long the high pass leading up to the lake would remain open. He turned on the multi-band police radio beneath the dash, hoping to pick up a road report from a cruising Sheriff’s or CHP unit on the other side of the mountain. Lights winked on as the radio came to life and the speakers crackled with a call from a harried dispatcher requesting any available unit to respond to a multiple vehicle injury collision on the highway leading up to Condor pass. Vince realized as he listened to a quick poll of units reporting in on the channel that he was a good ten minutes closer to the accident scene than the next nearest patrol.
Shoving aside the cozy thoughts of the warm bed and Annie, he switched on the Jeep’s red and blue emergency flashers, executed a fast U-turn across the slippery road and headed toward the main highway. Activating the voice operated microphone mounted on the visor above the steering wheel, he waited for a break in the hectic radio traffic. When it came, he reported that he was available for service and proceeding to the scene.
The maiden stood at the foot of the big bed centered before a double casement window in the cabin’s upper loft, watching. The bed contained, as she had suspected, two of the young humans, a male and a female. As she had also suspected, they too had recently coupled: The high ceilinged room was thick with the distinctive musky perfume of their rutting.
Egg-sized clumps of snowflakes whispered against the window overlooking the bedstead as she glided slowly forward, matching her feather light steps to the even rhythm of their breathing. The creature paused beside the female, her golden eyes fixed on the softly pulsing spot at the junction of the girl’s throat and shoulder. Although the male presented far more of a threat, his sleep seemed deeper than the female’s and the maiden had determined to take her first. Dropping gracefully to her knees and leaning across her victim’s chest, she stretched her lips back. Beads of poison glittered at the needled points of her tapered, incurving fangs and the translucent lids fluttered over her eyes as she savored the intoxicating smell of the prey.
The female human’s sweet breath stirred the wispy cloud of the vampire’s fine blonde hair as the highly specialized set of muscles at either side of the creature’s slender neck spasmed, driving her fangs into the exposed throat.
The victim’s eyes snapped suddenly open, dark pupils widening in an automatic attempt to focus on the white thing slashing though her skin. A tiny whimper escaped her parted lips as the paralytic neurotoxin jetting into her bloodstream from the maiden’s fangs took hold, cancelling the urgent signals jolting through the girl’s central nervous system. She emitted a soft sigh and her body went limp as the maiden, her eyes squeezed shut in a rictus of unbearable pleasure, bent to the delicious work.
The small wet gurgling sounds coming from the pillow beside his head may have registered on the male’s subconscious, for he moaned uneasily in his sleep and rolled onto his side. The pale maid instantly suspended feeding, raising her head to gaze down at him; prepared to strike out the instant he attempted to rise. When, after several more moments had passed, he showed no further signs of waking, she returned her attention to the dying female, sucking more quietly in order to avoid disturbing his slumber.
Karen Evans was not sleepy at all.
Far from it, following two intense rounds of lovemaking with Jimmy in the embarrassingly creaky bed, she was thoroughly wired.
Padding quiety into the kitchen in the heavy woolen socks she’d pulled on after letting her feet contact the icy floor of the downstairs bedroom, she opened the tiny refrigerator as quietly as possible, searching through the remains of the sandwich makings they’d had for dinner, and retreating with several items and a carton of milk to a dinette table set in a windowed nook overlooking the lake at the rear of the cabin.
She needed to think.
She and Jimmy had remained sitting by the fire for some time after Ferd and Terry had toddled off upstairs like an old married couple. They had talked quietly for a while, then necked for a while longer as the soft white snow had continued to pile up beyond the windows.
Jimmy’s caresses had grown bolder and, although she was still trying to sort out her feelings about him, the wine and the romantic mood of the firelit cabin had proven to be powerful aphrodisiacs. Then, at some point she had opened her eyes to look down as his hand crept beneath the waistband of her jeans and the familiar panic had set in. She really wanted to sleep with him.
But then she had really wanted to sleep with two other boys since high school. In the first instance, she had bolted like a frightened deer at the last possible instant. The second time had been worse; far worse. Her date, aroused to a frenzy of sexual desire after nearly an hour of kissing and fondling her naked breasts, had simply refused to stop despite her tearful pleas. Had, in effect raped her. Embarrassed and terrified by the incident, she had said nothing–which had made the experience even worse because of the guilt she felt at letting her assailant go free, possibly to rape someone else.
That had been three years ago, when she was still a freshman. Karen Evans had not had sex again since then.
Not until tonight.
She poured some milk into a glass and gazed dreamily out the window at the lights of the distant settlement winking through the falling snow.
She had panicked completely as Jimmy’s hand had touched the delicate skin beneath the elastic of her panties–the lace panties she had purchased especially for this weekend. He had felt her stiffen and looked questioningly into her eyes. “This isn’t mandatory, Karen,” he said, withdrawing his hand and letting it rest lightly on her stomach. “I mean, I thought you…” He had gulped and smiled shyly up at her. “We don’t have to do anything. We can just talk if you’d like…”
Karen had felt a sudden wave of relief and she realized that there were tears on her cheeks. “I really do want to,” she had sniffled, “but I’m a little scared… I had… a bad experience once.”
That was when the miracle had taken place. Jimmy Hudson–the same Jimmy Hudson who had thoughtlessly stuck a freezing hand under her sweater just hours before in a fit of adolescent glee–sat up and cradled her in his arms. Whispering quietly into her hair, he had told her he didn’t give a damn if took them another two weeks or two years to get around to sleeping together. It was her that he wanted and no one else. She could forget about the sex until she was damn good and ready.
And suddenly, miraculously, she had been ready. And it had been good. So good, in fact, that she had wanted him again. Thirty minutes after they had slipped into the bedroom and tenderly undressed each other they were making love for a second time. Slow, warm, delicious love.
She had laid awake for a long time afterwards, watching as he finally fell asleep; trying her best to keep the silly grin from her face so he wouldn’t know how hopelessly she had fallen in love with him. Then, suddenly and unaccountably, she had realized that she was absolutely famished.
Karen had left Jimmy asleep and crept out to the kitchen to raid the refrigerator.
Turning her attention to the platter on the table before her, she began to piece together the elements of a humongous sandwich, stacking thick slices of ham, tomato, cheese and lettuce onto a slice of wheat bread. Her eyes darted to the ceiling as something crashed to the floor of the loft bedroom above. Getting to her feet, she walked to the kitchen doorway, glancing up the darkened stairs and expecting to see a light go on.
She heard the creaking of bed springs behind the closed door at the top of the landing and felt a hot flush rising to her cheeks. What in the world, she wondered, were Ferd and Terry doing up there?
Ferd Kramer was struggling for his life.
The prodigious volume of wine he had consumed throughout the course of the evening had finally worked its way to his bladder and he had awakened a moment earlier in desperate need of a pee. He sat up and was in the act of swinging his feet over the edge of the bed when he saw the strange pale creature lying across Terry.
At first he thought it was a pillow. He had reached across the bed to touch it and felt something cold and clammy beneath his hand. Then the creature rose up in a blur of motion and he caught a momentary glimpse of Terry’s torn throat, the gaping wound showing black in the dim light of the bedroom, as a pair of glowing yellow eyes trapped him in their hypnotic gaze.
“What the fuck…?” The words had hardly been spoken before the thing was on him, springing across the rumpled covers like some kind of a goddam cat. One arm had thrashed out reflexively, sweeping a lamp from the bedside table as he felt the predator biting into the thick muscles of his chest. He heard rather than felt the ripping of tissues as the thing chewed its way toward his neck.
Ferd opened his mouth to scream as a weird numbing sensation radiated out from his torn pectoral muscle, purging his body of all sensation. He watched in helpless horror as the creature that looked something like a sadistic artist’s rendering of an adolescent girl raised its head. Thick clots of his own blood dripped from her impossibly beautiful lips.
For a long moment the luminous golden eyes regarded Ferd with a sort of detached curiosity. Then the angelic, blood splattered face slashed downward once more, burying itself in the soft vulnerable flesh of his naked throat.