THE VAMPIRE STORIES
by Andrew J. Müller
It was a pretty boring party so far. Jacqui had arrived the traditional half hour late and wondered at the time if she had turned up too early instead. There was no shortage of people, but there wasn't any sparkle at all, in fact, she had been to slightly more enjoyable wakes. Still she hadn't expected much, Hendon was scarcely the place she would have thought to find wild excitement.
When she had first arrived, she had been virtually accosted by the host, a small wiry man whose breath smelt strongly of, well, something unpleasant she couldn't quite place, and who had a nervous tic under his left eye. His hair was thin and greasy and he seemed generally unwashed.
He had come straight up to her and spoken, but had never once looked any higher than her cleavage. She had thought about turning around there and then and leaving, but decided this could just be an unfortunate first impression. Nevertheless, she squirmed away from the arm that snaked around her waist as he showed her inside. She didn't catch the hard glint in his bloodshot eyes.
Things hadn't really improved since then. The only music that seemed to be available was shit like the All Spices. She had got caught up by one geek after another. First a couple of Sloanies who kept on spouting about their precious baby (who was so precious they had, of course, left it with a complete stranger for the night) and how they both managed to work despite a child and how they couldn't stand `fwightful oiks' who complained all the time about not being able to cope with working and children. Then a grossly fat man had engaged her in conversation about cricket and how it wasn't what it once was. Then the noisome host found her and started making extremely unwelcome advances.
She was slowly drifting into catatonia, when he reached out and brushed her thigh. She deposited the contents of her wine glass over his face and made to leave. However, as she was leaving someone caught her eye. She hadn't seen this man before, though where he had been hiding she wasn't sure. He was tall and blonde with hair that flopped over his forehead lankly, partially obscuring cold green eyes. He was thin, almost boney, but he stood out from the rest of the people around him. It was almost like one of those pop videos where everything else is in monochrome and only he was in glorious technocolour. Like the bit in The Wizard of Oz where suddenly everything is in colour. He was dressed soberly, in fact, almost totally in black with a shirt so white it almost gleamed. He was standing in the arch of the doorway to the kitchen, leaning there nonchalantly and seeming to be as bored as she was.
She was walking towards him when a woman approached him from the kitchen. This woman too seemed to shine out above the rest of the mediocrity. She too was blonde with the sort of figure that both men and women would kill for. She had blemishless skin, pouting red lips and odd almost lilac eyes. He hair was back combed and the dark roots showed through slightly at the crown. Jacqui stopped in her approach. This had to be a girlfriend, or maybe (she hoped) a sister?
For a while Jacqui stood and watched, and then, without any signs of affection, the woman moved off, walking straight past Jacqui and into the lounge. Jacqui watched her pass and then turned her attention back to the man. He was gone. A moment of irrational panic. Then Jacqui realised he must have gone into the kitchen. Jacqui went into the kitchen, but he wasn't in there. There were just two rather sad looking women talking about fondues, or futons or some rubbish.
However, there was another door. Jacqui went through it and found herself in a dark corridor. There were stairs leading to an upper floor, and the only illumination was light spilling out from underneath the door to the lounge, from whence came the thankfully muffled strains of "Wannabe" for about the sixth time this evening.
Jacqui reached for the light switch and nearly jumped out of her skin when a hand came down over hers and prevented her from switching it on.
A dark brown, accented voice whispered into her ear. "Don't turn on the light. Is not the dark more..." A pause. "Interesting? Exciting?"
"Exciting." Jacqui confirmed.
She could feel him close behind her, he was much taller than she had thought. She craned her head around. Yes, it was the same man. He looked gaunt in the vague light, slightly eerie. She shuddered involuntarily, but wasn't sure if it was from unease or pleasure.
He didn't speak again, he just pulled her hand away from the light switch and began to lead her up the stairs. At first she paused, but then she thought, `What the hell, this party isn't going to get any better' and allowed herself to be led. At the top of the stairs, in almost total darkness, he turned left, then right, and then paused to open a door. Inside it was only lit by the moonlight from outside. The man pulled Jacqui inside.
She was startled to see the blonde woman from downstairs in the room already, standing by the window, leaning over a figure on a wickerwork chair. The figure was leaning forwards as if asleep, but it was the blonde woman's hands that stopped Jacqui short. They looked wet, oily as if covered in some dark substance. There was some on the woman's chin too. A car passed outside and lit the interior of the room briefly. Then Jacqui saw what the substance was; it was blood, fresh, wet, red, bood. The figure on the chair was a man, and he wasn't asleep, at least not to judge by the amount of blood soaked over the front of his shirt he wasn't.
Jacqui tugged herself free of her escort's grasp and turned to leave only to have the door slammed in her face. The party's host had been standing behind the door and had pushed it shut as soon as Jacqui started to panic. He smiled and his teeth were....no that was ridiculous...they couldn't have been sharp? Her escort suddenly took a hold of Jacqui's hair and yanked her off balance. With a screech she stumbled and fell back onto the bed. The woman, still with blood on her hands, gripped hold of Jacqui's shins. The hands were wet and slimy. Jacqui started to panic.
The host came over to her, and knelt by the bed near Jacqui's head. He leant over her and licked her neck. His tongue was cold against her taut skin. She felt nauseous.
Then there was a crash from downstairs. The host looked towards the door and grinned wildly. Then there was another crash, then the screaming started, and the sounds of panicking people.
The host leant close down over Jacqui's face, and she felt his rank, cold breath on her neck.
"Listen, my lovely, haughty beauty." he said as he sank his long teeth deep into her neck and began to suck like a baby on a nipple.
"It's party time."
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