Fair Warning! This is a horror/dark fiction story so may be disturbing to some. There is strong language and sexual situations.
She was hungry!
The first distant twinges of need were stirring in her belly as she rolled over in Bobby’s soft sleeping place, stretching luxuriantly and pulling the tangled sheets over her. Sunlight winked in through the slatted window covers and she fumbled on the bedside table for the dark, protective glasses.
The tiny room swam into focus and she sat up, massaging her stomach and padded naked to the window, pulling aside the blinds and peering down into a sun-washed rectangle of green behind a smallish habitation. The battered, rust-streaked hulks of vehicles filled the fenced space adjoining the next habitation and a bony dog trotted down a walk between paint-peeling walls.
Dropping the blinds back across the window, she turned to examine the wonders of the small apartment. Colorful posters showing humans on two-wheeled conveyances covered the walls behind a fabric covered sofa and a square picture box like the ones she had seen in the other habitations–a TV Bobby had called it–stood against a wall with several other boxes whose function she did not comprehend. The TV was interesting and she sat before it for a long time, watching several stories in which human females sought or fought over handsome mates. The stories were frequently interrupted by short musical plays that showed many of the wonders of human technology. She had never realized how clean the prey were.
When the last story had ended, she crossed the apartment to a sink like the ones she’s seen on the TV. She turned a tap and squealed delightedly as clean water splashed out. She allowed the running water to fill her cupped hands and lapped thirstily at it while she considered the problem of food.
She had spent the night napping beside Bobby, nestling against his strong muscular back and savoring the sweet, slightly salty smell of his skin. Between naps she had wakened to prowl the confines of his warm, clean place, curling on the sofa to wonder at the forbidden practice of coupling with prey.
No one had ever told her why it was forbidden, only that it was so. Still, she could not see the harm in it, especially when the prey was young and strong and… she searched for a word to describe Bobby’s understanding, his reluctance to force the coupling on her, even though the smell and heat of him had made it plain that he desperately wanted to take her. She was reminded of her noble sire, whose frank good humor and concern for her mam and the younglings had often resulted in his going hungry while they fed on the fresh, paralyzed prey he had carried back to the den in the time of the deep snows.
Bobby was like that. Not like the other cruel humans she had seen practicing their barbarities on her kind in the time of the purge. Alone in the world since his parents had been killed in a vehicle crash when he still was an immature youngling, he had been sent to something called an orphanage, a cold place run by other greedy humans who beat him until he ran away to make his way in the city. Now he worked repairing vehicles and went every other night to a place where he was learning to repair the engines of flying machines like the ones she had seen hovering above the city, and which she had at first thought were great birds of prey.
She had finally crept back to his bed near dawn, pressing herself against his back and worrying the problem. Perhaps the coupling was forbidden in fear that the hunters might grow reluctant to take human prey and thus subject themselves to starvation.
That was, of course, ridiculous. Most of the prey she had seen were better off dead.
He had awakened her shortly after the dawn and she had turned her eyes to the shadows so he would not see the difference in them. Bobby had promised to return that night and he had pressed his warm lips against her hair and left paper money and the keys to his vehicle on the wooden box by the bed, telling her to buy food, instructing her how to unlock the stall where he kept the Accord, not wanting to leave the precious vehicle on the mean streets where it was certain to be stolen or damaged. He trusted her with it.
She had felt an empty place in her heart when he was gone, lying on the soft sleeping space and feeling the lingering warmth of his body. The wanting was growing stronger in her but she no longer desired one of her own breed. She wanted Bobby.
Why was it forbidden?
The dark figure crouching behind the wreck of an old primed Pontiac in the weed-choked yard beside the garage apartment had been searching the rundown neighborhood for less than ten minutes when he had heard the blinds rattle against the upstairs window.
Diving for the cover of the abandoned wreck, he had watched in amazement as the pale figure of a naked female in dark glasses stepped into the light and stood looking out over the yard. He had remained frozen in position, the painful erection in his tight jeans threatening to explode, until she had suddenly turned away, disappearing behind the drawn blinds.
Rising from his crouch and scanning the deserted yard with a predator’s practiced eye, he vaulted the low wooden fence, seeking a way up to the apartment. Discovering a narrow wooden stairway on the opposite side of the garage, he stealthily crept to the top, examining the flimsy lock. Extracting a stout iron rod from his back pocket and inserting it beside the door frame, he snapped the cheap metal with a sharp motion and stood listening for movement inside the apartment.
Sparkling cascades of clear water poured over her body, splashing merrily onto the smooth white walls of the tiny enclosure and disappearing magically through a hole at her feet.
Blinking against the cool spray, she examined a row of bottles perched on a tiny shelf below the water spray. The side of one bottle contained a picture of a smiling human washing his hair. She twisted off the cap and smelled the thick liquid inside. The scent of flowers filled the air and she impulsively poured some on her own hair, gasping in surprise as bubbles foamed up to cover her head. She was turning to place her face under the spray when the line of delicate sensors beneath her lip began to tingle.
Certain that he had returned, her smelling sense deadened by the rich lather running down her body, she pushed open the shower door, remembering to make her lips curl into a smile.
A stranger stood in the open bathroom doorway, his glittering eyes staring openly at her nakedness from behind a covering that obscured all else save his mouth. “Well, hi, sugar.” He smiled, showing his teeth and displaying a long knife. “Here’s the deal,” he said in a conversational tone. “You do exactly what I say and nobody gets hurt. You fight me or scream…” He clucked his tongue in an imitation of profound sadness and displayed the shining blade in the light beaming through the high square bathroom window. “No more pretty baby!”
His name was Eddie Gillette. He was thirty-six years old and he held a job on the night shift of a factory that butchered chickens for TV dinners and airline caterers. Days, when he wasn’t dismembering chickens, he prowled the heavily ethnic neighborhoods of East Los Angeles in search of women.
Eddie Gillette’s life sucked because of women and each time he raped and humiliated one, it was payback. Payback for the twisted religious zealot of a mother who had made him pray on bloody knees when she had caught him looking at the little girl next door, payback for the cold bitch of a wife who got nearly half of his measly paycheck to support her two snot-nosed kids, payback for the cocktail waitress who’d dumped him to marry some stuffed shirt Hollywood producer who promised to get her on TV.
The women he surprised alone like this were usually immigrant women; poor, frightened illegals who probably didn’t even dare go to the cops. He loved it when they prayed, mumbling their hysterical Spanish prayers and weeping even while he did it to them.
He loved that.
Usually they were pretty beat up, even the young ones; their sagging breasts and stretched bellies giving mute testament to the kids they were always dropping.
Not that it mattered.
He hated them all. Every lousy one of them.
Still, the beautiful pale creature standing frozen before him beneath the shower was something else indeed. He was gonna enjoy this one. Maybe even cut her up a little, just to hear her squeal.
He beckoned with the knife, willing her to come to him.
She stepped forward, water running down through the tangle of fine blond hair covering her face.
He smiled encouragingly. “That’s it, Sugar. Come to papa….”
She raised a slender arm, sweeping the hair from her face and gazed at him with crazy yellow eyes.
“What the hell….?
Eddie Gillette was filled with a sudden unreasoning dread. He stumbled backwards against the door frame, his thick purplish lips blubbering as the girl’s face slid away to reveal an array of knife-like teeth.
“Get away from meee…!
His high pitched squeal of terror echoed off the tiled walls as something cold and sharp punched into his throat. His limbs went numb and he slumped to the floor, dimly aware that he was being dragged headlong into the cold shower. He watched through fixed pupils as thick gouts of his own dark blood began swirling dizzily down the drain.