Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Beginning 362

He is young, no more than sixteen but quite tall, and should not be in the club, partying the way he is. I can still remember the way he feels, being with the older crowd, getting drunk, letting loose to the pounding music. Now, I understand how dangerous this is. I draw him to me, and he dances his way across the floor to my booth. I am getting better at this; I used to have to go get them.

He slides into the seat across from me, and starts to say something. I shush him. Taking him by the hand, I lead him out of the bar, into the night. It is damp and cool out here, but his warmth provides for all my needs.

Down the street and under an overpass, it is dark and secluded, and I take him there. He is fascinated with me, barely noticing where we are. I let his hot hands into my jacket and under my shirt, and the warmth of his breath on my face takes away my self-control.

I reach for his head, pulling his neck down to me, and his body comes with it, pressing against me. He wants to fuck me, but this is not what I am after. My fangs pierce his fragile skin, and blood wells into my mouth as I put my lips over the wound.

The young body pushing into mine tenses: the shock that always comes when my fangs pierce the flesh of a victim. But this one doesn't swoon and fall limp; he pushes against my grasp, and with unnatural strength I am repulsed.

Angered at a feed interrupted, I look into his face. And I freeze as the dim light catches on fangtips gleaming against his lip. Damn it. He's a vampire too.

"What are you doing?" he demands.

"Dragging idiot kids out of clubs and draining them is my trademark," I tell him.

He snorts. "Well, pretending I want to fuck older women who wear too much makeup is my trademark."

I turn on my heel and clack down the road. Vampires. They're such bitches.

Opening: Starstruck.....Continuation: Lynn


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:

* * *

She buys the drunken act. They always do. I let her take me outside. Just before we reach the underpass I give Marco the signal.

I decide I might as well cop a feel while I'm waiting for Marco to do his thing. Mid-grope it occurs to me the expression should be colder than a vampire's titty.

Marco sure is taking his sweet time.

She sinks her fangs into my neck, but I'm not worried. Occupational hazard. She only gets in two or three good sucks before her whole body tenses up and she collapses onto the ground.

"Where the hell were you?" I say, clamping a hand to my neck.

He slings his tranquilizer rifle over his shoulder. "Sorry. Takin' a leak."

For a man as big as Marco, he sure does have a small bladder. We load the vamp into the back of the van. Marco drives and I stay in the back with the vamps and the coolers. I roll her over onto her stomach. First item on the list is a pair of kidneys, for which a certain alcoholic Hollywood actor has agreed to pay ten million bucks. Once they're transplanted he can drink all he wants and the vamp kidneys will just keep regenerating. He just needs to stay away from garlic for the rest of his life. And churches, but I don't imagine that'll be much of a problem for him.

Next I roll her onto her back. A chain smoker in Australia needs a new pair of lungs...


I back off quickly. What is this taste? Licking my lips, I try to identify what was on his neck. No longer the drunken party boy, he is watching me. Watching me as the drug takes effect. My vision blurs. He mouths words. I can barely read his lips. ‘My turn.’


Before he expired, I could see flash of recognition in his eyes. He recognized me. Tomorrow, at the teachers' meeting, I'll have to show the proper level of shock and remorse to hear that another student from our school as been "injured." Three tearchers at our school are vampires, so we have to space out our "dates" a bit. I guess I better start looking a less crowded school system somewhere.

--Bill Highsmith

As I begin to draw his hot blood over my sucking tongue he clamps his long arms around my diaphragm and crushes my chest. Losing my breath I disengage from his neck and gasp for air.

"Breathe deep little one." I hear as his silver tongue licks out, points into my ear, and punctures my brain. I feel the suction beginning.

Dammit! As I slump into unconsciousness I waste my last thought. Teenagers. They suck.


I drink greedily, the sounds unnaturally loud despite the rumble of traffic overhead. I savor his taste, young and fresh. I'm driven by ancient instincts as his energy feeds me, but I do not drain him completely. I am not ready to take him, yet. I need him.

He is weakened and his legs cannot support him. I pull away and let him slide to the ground. I know I will see him again. He must not talk of this. He looks at me; he recognizes what I am. I slip the answers to tomorrow's math pop quiz into his pocket.


Evil Editor said...

Nice tone; I suggest the following minor changes:

P1 Add: Soon he will understand as well. (after Now I...)

P2 Delete: but his warmth provides for all my needs.

P3. Change "takes away" to "steals." Also, in the 1st sentence, "I take him" can be read two ways. Delete the phrase or change "take" to "lead" or "bring."

P4: "but this is not what I am after." is clunky. Maybe change the sentence to "He actually thinks I want him to fuck me." or "He wants to fuck me; not in this lifetime, kid."

Dave said...

When I read this on the opening page, it seemed passionless to me. When I inserted EE's changes, I could see the passion. I'm forever amazed how writing changes so much because of so little.

I do have a question, though: Is this same a same sex couple or a hetero couple? There's no clue in the writing.

McKoala said...

Like Bill, I was thinking headmistress in those opening sentences. Good start for a vampire story, though, and nice clear writing. Works for me.

ME said...

I kinda liked this and almost wrote a continuation. (BTW very good Lynn, Lightsmith, and sls is that zombie humor?) I had a hard time, though, with all the commas, in P1. And even though I'd read this several times earlier, I stumbled on the ?flashback? phrase "I can still remember the way he feels" thinking you would describe his physique.

The only vampire books I've read are Dracula and Hawk Harbor (S.E. Hinton) and I've seen "Lost Boys" several times; such are my reference points. I was interested in the female vampire MC. I might read more (based on jacket copy) but I'm not crazy about your style.

PS I wrote this comment with a bit of my own style; if you don't care for it, adjust your opinion of my opinion accordingly.

ME said...

I just re-read EE's comments. Please note, I was griping about the grammar/style. The tone is nice!

Robin S. said...

I enjoyed reading this, and the great set of continuations as well.

Is there a query to go with this one?

I just Googled these words:
why vampire bites erotic -
because in reality, if some guy tried to bite me, well, let's just say I'd do my level best to make sure he spoke an octave (or more) higher. And for a while.

But this really is sensual. Anyway-
here's a thing I found:

Of course, we have no idea if the narrator is male or female; I kinda like it that way.

Starstruck said...

This is the opening to a short story I wrote to see if there was anything new to do with vampires. I picked present tense because I thought the immediacy might be contrary to the usual ancient vampire perspective, but I don't have a lot of practice at it.

The main character (yes, female) has been a vampire for only a few years, created to teach an elder vampire (also female) how to be more modern. It isn't going well. Most of the story is about their different eras clashing in their personalities. The intro is about as erotic as the story got, as I tried to deviate from typical vampire fiction, and the ending dwindled away into horrible telling not showing. Maybe someday I'll try to fix it.

Having the continuations and especially EE's comments was really eye-opening and helpful. The tone/style was intended to be a bit removed and passionless; to the vampire, this is not truly excitement, it's just grocery shopping. What's the difference between tone and style anyways?

As thanks, here's the true continuation:

His body goes limp, and I hold him up, drawing the life out of him, taking it into me along with his blood. My body thrums with his heartbeat, the only way I ever hear my own. I take minimal blood, but his vitality is all mine. It surges into me like a flood, overwhelming, delicious and powerful. When my thirst is quenched but before I glut myself, I force myself to stop, as I have been taught, pulling back with one last swallow. I lick his neck clean and my puncture marks vanish from his skin.

I lower him to the ground as gently as I can manage with his strength coursing through me. He is young and healthy, and he'll recover, no matter what Charlotte says.

Straightening up, I lick my lips and wipe my face. When I check my clothing, I am pleased to see I spilled no blood. I was pretty messy when I first learned to bite, but now I leave no trace.

My neck shivers, and I spin around, expecting to see a stray couple or a street bum in my overpass. There is a man, one hand in his trenchcoat, staring coldly at me, and I know immediately that he has seen everything and is not frightened.

Charlotte's going to kill me for this! I panic, looking this way and that like a stupid animal, and trip over the boy on the ground. The man stalks forward and pulls his hand out from his coat. He's not holding the gun I expected. He's got a long wooden rod, wickedly sharpened, which Charlotte has told me is potentially far more fatal than any bullet could be.

Dave said...

Vampires as not erotic, hmmm.
Bram Stoker has his Mina to love in the novel. It is a novel of seduction. Dracula has lost his wife and is trying to recover her.

Bela Lugosi played an oddly sexual Dracula in his movie. His character is full of old world charm and manners, seductive in the old ways. His courtly, noble-class version stood for years.

Frank Langella played Dracula on broadway in NYC and women swooned and screamed and begged to have his children.

However, the saddest vampires I ever read were in the first Anne Rice "Interview with the Vampire." Louis lives in sadness, wallows in it, fills oceans with sadness. And yet, we never shed a tear.

Robin S. said...

Hi author,

I can't imagine a vampire story that isn't sensual. (The only published vampire novel I've ever read is Bram Stoker's Dracula - I loved it, but I'm certainly no expert in this genre).

I read your continuation. I think it's good - maybe you should keep working to flesh out your story -

I see what you mean about "The tone/style was intended to be a bit removed and passionless; to the vampire, this is not truly excitement, it's just grocery shopping." But I think that your "removed" style has its own sensuality to it - a sense of loss and resignation.

Maybe the teacher-student generational relationship between Charlotte and the narrator could simply be part of the plot, rather than the center of it. Just a thought.

Shannon said...

Vampire feeding is a sex act. It's about penetration and fluid exchange. It can end in little or big death. It can be rape or seduction.

I have seen the vampire story un-romanticized, but that required making the vampire more of a flesh eating zombie.

Phoenix said...

The whole mythic vampire allure rests heavily in the sensuality. What started as the historical stories of an insane nobleman who literally staked (skewered) dozens of human bodies around his castle like shish kebobs quickly morphed into today's sensual anti-hero(ine).

I agree EE's cleanup makes this piece read better, and your writing is nice. However, the opening, along with your continuation, offers me nothing new for a vampire story. No promise there of anything I haven't read before. Especially for a short story where the reader doesn't have the luxury of reading cover copy, you have to hook fast.

It's really very middle-of-the-road for this genre. Not erotic enough or not gruesome enough or not dispassionate enough, depending on where you're taking the story. And the events described are nothing new. I'm really not seeing any deviation from "typical" vampire fare here. I'm simply not drawn into the story based on what's happening and on what the MC is thinking as it's happening. Forgive me, but *yawn*. Even more voice or attitude here would help -- something to differentiate it.

Since the story, from your description, is more about the relationship between the old and young vampires, perhaps you begin with one of their clashes. That would maybe give the reader an insight that this will be a different story.