I was travelling on a train through Sweden, but the mountains flashing past me through the window reminded me of the Carpathians. Draculated and moody, the mist collecting at the tops of the trees where the shadows hung unseen in the dawn. I’d had some brandy and some meat pie. Liver and prunes heated with a bit of pate brisee. I felt I should be writing in my journal but my fingers felt like sticks of meat. Mutton. Rotted and gangrened mutton. I’d lost my passport somewhere in Munich, and had to hitch a ride with Bjorn, the delirious dentist who liked scraping his toenails with a dental pick and drilling holes in his own teeth for fun. We were quite the pair. He the society derelict inhaling a bit of rustic pleasure, and me, a bashful yet aggressive forbidden thing who’d forgotten herself somewhere during the last full moon. I was one of The Rapture’s leftovers, strutting my slayer shit like it was a courtesy not a curse.
I was a Van Helsing, so I said was my destiny, though I wasn’t sure whether knowing that was an inspiration, a victory, or just a stalemate between what I needed and what I desired. I’d been hunting for a while, and I took the dating rules seriously. I wasn’t just a heckler in a crowd of pork rinds, pop-corn blondes, and sperm donors. I was in it for real, but I needed bone marrow with deep roots, no Bella Lugosi knockoffs for me. That’s why I was running, chasing shadows around the world and back again with Dr. Dementia over there.
The last one was a disaster …
We’d met at one those meat packing warehouse raves. He was glowing in the strobe lights. Pale, handsome, his nails — painted black — shimmered like flickering stars. He pressed me up against the wall in the alley. He felt heavy and cold, colder than the wall, and he was eerily brazen, so I told him to shove it.
“I wanna Suck it and Fuck it,” he said when I kissed the frigid skin of his neck.
“Do what you will,” I told him. “I can’t stand you, and I don’t fucking care.”
He said he liked the wild ones and that I had “spirit.” Said I looked like I was worth a taste. Then he said he was a thousand years old as if it made any difference to me. It didn’t. I pulled out the three-foot stainless steel and African Mahogany stake I had hidden in my trench coat, and he just said, “Kinky, but what am I supposed to do with that?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “Fuck it, Suck it. Do what I tell you to do with it. You are my darkness. I love you, and I can’t deny you, but I won’t ever fucking say so.”
He fondled my tits. Pinched my nipples through my bra. Then forced his hand down my panties and grabbed my cunt. He said he wanted to Suck it and Fuck it again, whispered it, with hot spit on his lips, and I told him, “Do what everyone else expects you to do. I feel indifferent, and you care too damn much about your image to think for your fucking self.”
He backed up, threw his hands in the air, and then called me a tease and a bitch and a whore to which I replied quickly and without words. Thwump! A swift kick to his chest. A gurgling exhale, and the sound of a hammer against steel, echoing off the wet brick walls, left the moon with little recompense.
The boy looked surprised, his black eyeliner running down his face. He just kept saying, “Fuck fucking fuck,” while grabbing and tearing at his oozing chest.
“Nosferatu,” I screamed. “Fucking piece of maggot riddled shit.” That’s what he was, with a bad suit and a gold card, no less. I’m never wrong about these things. I bent over and smiled at him. “It’s wet, and dark, and cold, and you know it. Just like all the fucking promises you whispered to me when we met.”
It’s hollow, he replied. I’m hollow.
“And you are a miserable excuse of a monster.”
There isn’t enough of me
To fill the empty space
I thought I had left
After that, every time I saw a full moon, I would think of that night long ago. I would think of Milan in the spring and all the blood splatter everywhere.
Now the dentist drills their teeth out for me so I can wear them around my neck. He’s not bad company, really, and he makes damn sure I never fall in love again.
By Cheryl Anne Gardner