[Short Story] Fantasy Fan Con Panic [Excerpt]

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Back inside, Jack and Crystal eyed the couple from the second story terrace overlooking the hotel lobby. They watched a crowd slowly form around their two targets while they swapped use of the Chem-Thermo goggles that had been provided for them.

Among the crowds of cosplayers interspersed with the banner advertisements and kiosks showcasing the newest trends in manga, anime, and fantasy there they stood among them all. Even dressed in costumes like the other con goers, it was frightening yet intriguing spectacle to see these kinds of predators blending in with the other humans down below.

The vampire looked no older than perhaps twenty as he spun his cape and flashed his fangs for the adoring fans that took photos of him and his poses. The young Dracula cosplay look that he was going for must have been some sort of meta-joke of his, or a blatant invitation for someone to stake him right then and there. Even so, he fit right into the costumed clientele of this particular convention. Crystal zoomed in on him, noticing his thin, smooth, innocent, and androgynous looking face with piercing, pale-blue eyes. Crystal raised an eyebrow as he pouted at one of the cameras that coaxed him for another photo. Under the therm-optic filter his body took on a greyish blue hue in a sea of deep red pedestrians that stood or passed him by.

The succubus — the vampire’s partner — was able to spoof her heat signature better among the crowd, but she also shared her undead boyfriend’s meta sense of humor. She was standing next to him with her bat wings and black horns on full display. They looked real, but could just as well be chalked up to being the product of well done prosthetic make up and accessories. Like the vampire, she had a conventional beauty and confidence in the way she carried herself. She wore armor, but nothing that could be considered practical. It reminded Crystal of Xenia the Warrior Princess, but with a shorter leather skirt. Not much left to the imagination. Jack and Crystal switched to the chemical tracer filter on the goggles and could see that she was already releasing pheromones into the crowd. People who

might have been uninterested in the impromptu photo shoot in the lobby, were now transfixed and slowly growing attached to this attractive couple posing together. On the surface, things looked innocent enough, but Jack and Crystal saw it for what it was: lambs being lead to slaughter in some anonymous hotel room later tonight.

As the crowd grew from a dozen to nearly twenty in a matter of minutes, Jack and Crystal got up from their table and began to walk down to the lobby area. They were dressed in post-apocalyptic duster jackets. A cosplay grab that fit with the eclectic dress code of the nerd convention. As they walked, they fingered the holstered, plastic-looking guns that were actually loaded with silver and holy relic tipped subsonic ammo. They were suppose to take this demon and vampire in alive, but if worse came to worse, the subsonic ammo and suppressors would quietly dispose of them. Jack and Crystal each put on their shades and pulled on their gas masks to counter the vampires hypnosis and the pheromones of the succubus.

Now in the lobby, they walked casually into what was now turning into a fan mob. Not a single person among the crowd of ninjas, transformers, and alien princesses noticed nor raised an eyebrow at the Mad Max cosplay couple making their way to the front to see the vampire and succubus “models” gaining attention.

When Jack and Crystal reached them, the two supernaturals noticed them, and momentarily paused their act. For a split second, it felt like a connection was made between the four of them. Fight or flight began to take hold. The vampire and succubus noticed the gas mask and shades Jack and Crystal were wearing and tensed up. The fear in their eyes seemed to surprise Jack momentarily before realizing that he had already put his hand on his gun.

[Flash Fiction] Crystal the Vampire

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“God damn it…”

It was the only thing Crystal could bring herself to say at the start of the evening when she emerged from her coffin to find a dead body on the ground. The man, a gray, naked, husk of a corpse had obviously been drain and left vacant of any life force that she sought to drink from. She grimaced at the dried erection that stuck out from the dead man like a flag pole or in Crystal’s mind, a phallic grave stone.

Crystal remembered bringing the guy over the night before just to take a bit of his blood for feeding. He was so healthy and full of life when she found him, that she knew he’d make a great weekly food source to snack on. Maybe she’d kill him or let him go, but either way, he was too good a catch and too ripe for the taking for her to pass up.

What Crystal forgot to do, however, before going to bed that pre-drawn morning, was lock her bedroom door. There was only one person in this apartment that could have done this. Only a succubus could leave their dead with a boner like that.

“You fucking bitch,” Crystal snarled to herself, her fangs barely able to stay retracted in her mouth as she worked herself up into a fit of rage.

Crystal leaped from her coffin, picking up the dead body as she went, and kicked open the bedroom door. She carried the dead man into the living room where Kimberly was eating a bag of chips while watching something on T.V.

Kimberly, the sultry succubus, looked up from her show. She had another chip just inches away from going into her open mouth before noticing Crystal storming in. Kim blinked with wide eyed surprise.

“Yeah?” asked Crystal, with a raised eyebrow, “remember this?”

Crystal dropped the body onto the coffee table, which caused Kimberly to jump slightly from her half-sitting-half-fetal-position on the couch. Kimberly maintained her composure, as she finished eating her last chip, but her voice betrayed a nervousness that wasn’t fooling anyone.

“His name was Justin, b-by the way,” Kimberly started, “he, he was studying business and liked video games. He was actually…”

“Shut up,” Crystal interrupted.

“Okay,”

“Seriously, what the fuck is your deal, lately?” Crystal asked, her voice rising into a shout, “you know he was mine, right!?”

“W-well,” Kimberly whimpered, “I didn’t take his blood. You can still drink him, right?”

“It’s dried blood, Kim,” said Crystal, speaking slowly as if to a small child. She even lifted one of the limp arms of the corpse and shook it for emphasis as she spoke, “you think I can drink this shit? I need fresh blood! You don’t fuck corpses, do you?”

“I was just…”

“What was going to be our rule?” Crystal asked, though at this point the ask sounded more like a demand.

“Please, Crystal,” Kimberly pleaded, “I was soooo fucking hungry today!”

“THE RULE!” Crystal shouted.

Kimberly looked back at the T.V and took a deep breath before exhaling the longest sigh Crystal had heard from Kimberly thus far.

“Any food that’s being kept in our bedrooms is to be off limits to the other room mate,” Kimberly stated, repeating the vow verbatim.

“Yeah,” said Crystal, nodding, “this is third time you’ve done this to me. You know how hard I had to look? How many nights I wasted trying to find a guy like this?”

“I’m just…” Kimberly tried to speak, but Crystal was having none of it tonight.

“I’ll tell you!” Crystal interrupted, shouting over her room mate, “I had to go to some shitty night club. One of the few in this godforsaken college town, by the way. I had to listen to shitty techno music, while pretending to enjoy shitty drinks, and act like I’m having a good time with shitty twenty-somethings. All this bullshit so I can find myself a fucking human specimen worth taking home with me, because I’m starving as fuck!”

“But, you look like a twenty-something, anyway,” countered Kimberly, “what’s the difference?”

“Kim, I’m forty-fucking-five,” Crystal responded, dead-pan, “doesn’t matter that I got turned at twenty-two and haven’t aged since. You know I can’t stand their music. Fuck I even got a gaming PC to keep these boys occupied while I sleep during the day. Do I look like a gamer to you?”

Kim didn’t have anything to say about that.

Crystal sighed and planted herself on the couch next to Kimberly. She looked at the corpse as a wave of depressive resignation washed over her.

“You didn’t even get rid of the body…” said Crystal.

Kimberly looked down, ashamed at what she had done and quietly placed her bag of chips down on the floor.

“You’ve never had this problem before,” said Crystal, “I know you’re not the dumb slut you pretend to be to snare guys. What’s going on?”

Kimberly looked up at Crystal and looked back at the T.V. To Crystal’s surprise, Kimberly was starting to tear up. Kim bit down on her lip to fight the tears, but she soon exploded into a full on sob. It was the ugly kind of crying that was a rare thing for a demon to do. Crystal had never felt more uncomfortable in her unlife than she did right now.

“Oh no…” Crystal was not equipped for this right now.

“He broke up with me!” Kimberly wailed.

Crystal tried to think for a moment about who Kim was talking about.

“Lazerus…?” Crystal asked.

“Yes!” screamed Kimberly, “that piece of shit! That fucking demon man whore dumped me!”

Kimberly resumed her crying while Crystal turned away and allowed herself to get hit by the pain and guilt she had allowed herself to get mixed up in. Kim always had her ways of making Crystal feel like a total bitch.

[Flash Fiction] Kimberly the Succubus

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Kimberly did it again. This time it was with a guy named Brad. It was in the same place where she did it last time: her bedroom, on the bed, with the lights off, and naked. She tried being on top this time, and everything was going okay, but somewhere between his first orgasm and her second he stopped breathing. She should have known that she was crossing a line when Brad said “baby, you’re growing horns” in between his gasps of pleasure, but both of them were too into it to stop. Just like Ben and Justin, Brad had succumbed to Kimberly’s succubus wiles.

“Brad…?” she whispered.

She turned Brad’s head to face her and saw the same, goofy, smile that all her victims had staring right back at her. Yep, she thought, he’s dead.

“God-fucking-dammit,” Kimberly moaned.

This was not a good month for her. Ever since Lazerus, that incubus douchebag, broke up with her she’d been in desperate need of a rebound. A human was certainly nicer, but they never lasted long. Crystal, Kimberly’s vampire room mate was right: she was too selfish of a lover, especially when it came to human guys. Although, Kimberly preferred the word “passionate,” because it sounded better and she still wasn’t willing to own up to the deaths of Ben and Justin that she begged Crystal to help her get rid of. Now Kimberly was going to get the speech a third time.

“Have to stop doing this,” she told herself, in the quietness of the room, “Brad, I’m so, so sorry!”

Kim knew what she had to do. Crystal wasn’t going to be home for at least a few more hours. Kim was going to clean up her mess this time, get her shit together, and try dating demons again. She wondered if there were any nicer ones out there, unlike Lazerus, THAT FUCKING ASSHOLE!

[Short Story] Our Vampire, Lenny [Excerpt]

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When Lenny the vampire heard the rumor about the incubus and succubus couple who had fallen on hard times, he made a point to be at the nightclub Radion so that he could bump into them. The transients from hell, and those who served it, whether they be vampire or demon, alike, was a small enough world once you narrowed it down to a single city. On this piece of sprawled urbanization, there were maybe less than a hundred vampires and demons living among the whole two million of human population. Lenny knew a younger succubus who was an acquaintance to the other. This mutuality assured camaraderie would be Lenny’s in. These new friendships between immortals was how it always started: acquaintances and introductions.

Lenny sat at the edge of the bar and looked on past the crowded dance floor as the loud synthwave beats blasted inside the warm, dark ambiance among an array or lasers and black light. He craned his neck above the other strangers – what his kind mockingly called prey – and watched as his young, she-demon, friend talked to the couple. All three demons were in human form; no horns or wings to see, unlike Lenny who simply had to look less pale than usual. He carefully observed the cordial mood between the three of them and the eventual turning to his general direction when Lenny’s succubus intermediary pointed the couple towards him. Lenny simply smiled and raised his drink. The incubus and succubus couple smiled back. The wheels were now turning.

The couple moved slowly but purposefully together, arm-and-arm around each others waist like two individual organisms who had just evolved into something symbiotic. Lenny watched their walk as they skirted just at the edge of the crowd and made their casual approach towards him. Lenny could see what they were doing. It was something that could barely be picked up by the human eye, but obvious for any preternatural or supernatural in the room. The pheromones that the two demons were emitting were like a hazy miasma that was spreading over the crowd. The humans with the weakest of constitutions got hit by it first and couldn’t help but turn and look at these two objects of human beauty that passed by them. Lenny saw what was in the eyes of the humans too overcomed by it to not stop and gaze at this man and woman. They were the kinds of looks that were all too familiar to Lenny: worship, awe, intrigue, and lust; emotions that would all eventually lead to obsession. Lenny could only sit and feel thankful that he was immune to the kinds of chemical controls used in the wheel-house of demonic persuasion.

The couple walked by Lenny, very nearly passing him at the bar before stopping and turning their heads to look at him.

“Can we get some privacy somewhere?” the incubus asked Lenny, his voice a sleepy, but honey-laced purr of an accent that carried itself gracefully over the noise of the club.

“Follow me,” said Lenny, smiling, as he got up from his seat, “allow me to introduce myself, I’m Lenard, my friends call me Lenny. I’m a friend of Kimberly’s.”

The succubus extended her arm and gently shook Lenny’s hand.

“Yes, she just told us about you earlier,” said the demoness, giving off a polite, erudite, tone that similarly commanded formidable volume over the loud sounds of the club, “My name is Lindsay and this is my partner Derreck.”

“Nice to meet both of you,” said Lenny, matching both of them among the crowd, “let’s step into my office shall we?”

Inside the quiet and red plush furniture of the privacy booth, all three were able to get a better look at each other. Lenny could see the model good looks of both of the demons sitting across from him. The woman was a thin and tanned redhead with freckles and a small diamond stud sticking out of her nose. She had high cheek bones and large green eyes that contained a twinkle that danced if you stared into them long enough. The man was of similar skin tone and hair, but with a well trimmed beard and a muscular, well cut body hiding under his T-shirt and vest. His eyes were a deep shade of blue that seemed to take in the world with a tired, but quietly non-judgmental sense of contentment. His smile was small, closed, and serene like a monk who just experienced transcendence. The woman’s smile was playfully haughty with an undertone of slyness that begged to be pushed through to find the mystery that was hidden beneath.

For some reason, the couple saw fit to dress like groupie hipsters in a matching red leather and gray cotton fabric color scheme that came off surprisingly fashionable.

“You two must get mistaken for models quite often,” said Lenny, breaking the ice.

The two smiled at each other and looked back at him.

“We did a few photo shoot tours in England and Italy for a few years off and on,” said the succubus with a shrug, her voice, in the quiet of the booth, was now slow, soft, and peppy in tone; but in the process of smoothly transitioning into something mature if not sensually husky “that is until both of their economies collapsed and we had to move here.”

“Well, the free city-states in this part of the world are much more stable,” assured Lenny, “I was around when this one successfully seceded from their homeland and it has been worth the effort so far. No bloodshed, total independence, and plenty of money flowing in and out.”

“Because you vampires control the banks supporting these enclaves, right?” asked the incubus.

Lenny grinned at the question.

“Well, not exactly,” said Lenny, “but my kind — through several intermediaries — handle the finances that maintain the economy here.”

“Kimberly told us you can help us with that,” said Lindsay, her tone was still polite, but had a sense of urgency that Lenny picked up on.

It was the kind of urgency that Lenny liked, and needed, in order for this to work.

“She said you work with moving money around,” continued Lindsay, “and you’ve help plenty of people, humans included, with jobs like that.”

“Well,” said Derreck raising his arm, “we had a go at attempting some investing, but it didn’t work out.”

“Oh no, what happened?” asked Lenny.

“We trusted the wrong person, unfortunately,” said Lindsay solemnly.

“Who did you trust?” asked Lenny.

“A freelance, financier, a warlock operating in Paris,” said Derreck shaking his head in anger, “defrauded us out of everything we had and then some.”

“Last we heard, he fled to Hong Kong, hiding behind the services of some vampire lawyer he hired,” cried Lindsay, “and he was a half-breed, too, can you believe that?”

“Appalling,” said Lenny, shaking his head, “Warlocks and sorceresses are a tricky, terrible group of people when not raised by fellow Kindred or Lilim, like ourselves.”

“I’d have his lifespan for dinner, if I knew he wouldn’t enjoy ever last second of it,” Lindsay said coldly.

“We could really use some help in the meantime,” said Derreck.

“Yes, I heard both of you were looking for some assistance,” said Lenny, “I’m sorry to not beat around the bush, but tell me, how much help were you two looking to get?”

“We’re…,” Lindsay’s voice trailed off.

There was a short silence.

“Over one-hundred-thousand in the hole,” said Derreck with a sigh.

“My Lilith…” said Lenny, for the first time, actually genuinely surprised by the debt, “that much?”

“It’s extremely embarrassing, I know,” said Lindsay, “we’ve been hiding it for months now.”

“So, what can you do for us?” asked Derreck.

“Well, here’s the thing: I actually wanted to come to you two with a business proposition,” said Lenny, choosing his words very carefully, “it’s not another loan or some kind of debt consolidation, it’s a job.”

“What kind of job?” asked Derreck.

“I’m a salesmen,” said Lenny, “I deal in all kinds of product and I could use two people such as yourselves to help me with my business.”

“What kind if business is that?” asked Lindsay.

Lenny looked down and smiled. It was one of his only tells that revealed any kind of reluctance on his part.

Copyright © 2017 Philip N.R Hauser