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!
It started with the sound of thunder, followed by an earthquake accompanied by what felt like a roaring explosion of deafening magnitude. The earth shook and the sounds of crashing steel and brick filled the small, underground room. It was these noises that woke up Catherine inside her small, stone encased, box of a bed that protected her. Inside her space, shrouded in pitch, black darkness she waited patiently for the noises and shaking to stop. She tried to count the time, but it was useless to measure anything beyond just mere minutes in her current state. Maybe hours passed. Perhaps days. Finally, things quieted down, but Catherine was unable to go back to sleep. She allowed herself to remain laying down until the slow creep of hunger began to over take her and force her out of her deep sleep.
When she emerged, Catherine was surprised to find so many people hiding in the labyrinth with her. Usually, no one was foolish enough to make their way this far down here, and that was the point. Still, she was awake, hungry and there these people were. Fresh blood for a fresh start. Most of the dozen or so people were shocked into hushed silence when she emerged from her place of rest; her bed was well disguised and hidden within a stone platform that doubled as an alter. However, as most of these situations tended to play out, this sense of awe did not last long as the people began to scream, cry, and pray as soon as she grabbed the first victim that was within arms reach and started draining them of their blood. After finishing him, Catherine lifted the dead body of the haggard man she had just bitten into and tossed him to the other end of the room. Despite her petite body, Catherine was pleased to find that her superhuman strength hadn’t left her while she slumbered. She looked down at the red and white sun dress she was wearing and remembered the hat that went with it. She turned back and rummaged around in her coffin and found the matching hat: it’s large rimmed frame and deep red color illuminated with the rest of her inside the darkness of the small, stone basement. Delicately, she placed it on her head, ignoring the soft, scared, whimpering noises of these new guests of hers. Finally, after adjusting her hat to a perfect tilt, Catherine looked at them a spoke:
“I need a mirror,”
A woman, who was wearing a black business suit that reminded Catherine of her late father spoke up. This woman looked liked she hadn’t bathed in awhile and her clothes looked slightly torn and dirt stained like the rest of the crowd.
“A mirror?” the woman stuttered, her voice trembling like the rest of her body: shaking like a wilted leaf.
“Yes,” said Catherine, “I need to see if my dress is stained. It was given to me by a well respected duke in his day, you know.”
The huddled crowd looked at each other, confused by what they had just heard.
“I don’t think anyone has a mirror here,” the woman answered back.
Catherine sighed and walked over to this woman and bent down to meet her at eye level. She squinted at her, getting a whiff of this woman’s odor and grimaced.
“I should have known,” Catherine groaned, her condescension becoming almost as palpable as the smells in the room, “you people look absolutely filthy. Does no one not take pride in their appearance anymore?”
Catherine rose up slightly to get a closer look at this woman, but the woman’s eyes widened in fear and she held up her hand to stop her.
“Wait!” the woman yelped, “wait! I have something, a phone.”
Catherine rolled her eyes.
“You have a phone that turns into a mirror?” Catherine asked, unconvinced.
The woman pulled out a white rectangular object from her pocket with a small glass eye and held it in front of her face with both hands. There was the sound of a snap, which caused Catherine to raise her eyebrows at this contraption, curious as to what the woman had done. The woman shakily turned the rectangle around and showed her.
“Here!” she held it up to Catherine, nearly dropping the object, “this is you!”
Catherine held the thing in her palms and looked at it. It took her a few moments to realize that this was a photo of her, probably the highest quality photo she had ever seen of herself. It was like looking at a living painting, she thought. It showed her in the sundress, along with her hat, her pale skin, blonde hair, and green eyes all in color. Never before had she seen herself like this and Catherine couldn’t help but feel moved by it.
“How lovely,” Catherine whispered, marveling at the device.
It has been a long and grueling process. Two months of research, sixteen months of writing, eighteen months of work. 84,885 words: 126 pages single spaced, 246 words double spaced. It’s done. However, it’s not done-done. I still have editing and revising to do. There will be many more drafts before the final manuscript; but at least I can say I got this far and I’m one step closer to completing my novel…I think I’m probably going to go take a nap now, lol. Bye!
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
If you don’t follow my twitter account, or didn’t even know I had one, I don’t blame you. I’m not nearly that cool to warrant a large twitter following (yet). However, if you do you follow my twitter, you probably saw me have a minor fan freakout earlier this week over Limited Run Games doing a re-release of the infamous, but cheesy FMV game Night Trap.
What is Night Trap? The best point and click FMV game of the 1990s with the world’s best, worst acting money could buy for a Sega CD ROM exclusive. If you need proof just watch the 25th anniversary trailer here:
This game, I kid you not, was actually considered so violent and in poor taste, that the United States Congress held the worlds most awkward committee meeting over Night Trap’s possible ban. This threat of banishment back in 1993 was one of the catalysts that lead to the video game industry to create its own rating system known as the ESRB. Although, when you look at modern video games and consider the amount of violence that — thanks to technology — has been rendered to be as real, prevalent, and as intense as it is today, it makes Night Trap almost seems hokey and quaint by comparison.
Despite the dark premise, it’s actually loads of fun; and I remember having an absolute laughing-to-wailing, riot of a time playing this game the first time I managed to get a copy of it running. If you have a PS4, you need to give this disc a spin. You will not regret it.
Now if they can just get a Snatcher re-release up and running…