art by Melissa Mead
Losing One’s Appetite
by Sarina Dorie
I ran my tongue over my fangs, scanning the crowd, inhaling the scent of warm meat. The thumping of hearts around me drowned out the cheesy Dixie Chicks song.
Then I saw her in vintage Gothic attire, her hair in a 20's bob. Crimson, horned-rimmed glasses sat on her nose as she sipped her Bloody Mary. With an outfit like that in a country bar, she was asking to be my dinner.
I sauntered through plumes of cigarette smoke, locked eyes with the twenty-something man in a cowboy hat seated next to her, and mesmerized him with my powers. "Leave," I mouthed.
He stood and left.
"Good evening," I said, a hint of eastern European inflection seeping through. If there's one thing the ladies dig, it's the exotic accent.
The woman glared after the man. "See if I give him an 'A' on his next paper."
Even under an excess of perfume, her salty-sweet blood made my stomach growl. I straightened my ruby bolo tie and I flashed my most dazzling smile. "Perhaps you would care for the company of someone a little more... mature." Six hundred counted as mature, right?
I now realized she was forty or so, a streak of silver through her black hair. Older than my usual, but really, I was doing the world a favor taking out an aging vamp wanna-be.
I used my look-into-my-eyes tone. "So, you're a teacher? What do you teach?"
"English 201, Gothic Literature, and Monsters in Mythology."
"Monsters? Like vampires?"
Her heavy-lidded gaze passed over my black Wranglers and rested on my enormous silver belt buckle. A smile tugged at her scarlet lips. I turned on my hypnotism, but she spoke first. "You don't actually believe in vampires, do you?"
Again, I was about to bend her will, but she ruined the moment. "Vampires are just metaphors for what people didn't understand with their limited knowledge of medicine in the past." She then commenced to lecture me on Victorian disease until I was sleepy.
I ground my teeth, about to ensnare her so thoroughly she would be my willing slave, but the woman opened her mouth again. "Because the literature reflected the sexual suppression of the era, the monster was often the main character's wife or neighbor, transformed from innocence into a femme fatale deviant. And the manner the empowered woman had to be killed--the phallic stake being the man's tool of choice--how can anyone deny the metaphor of sexual violence?"
I was ready to bite her right there to shut her up. Usually human victims weren't so difficult to control--or this talkative.
She waved to the bartender. "Can I get a menu? I'm starving." She turned to me. "I hope they have garlic chicken wings."
It was now or never. I looked into her eyes. "You aren't hungry. You're thirsty. We will leave and you will invite me in for a drink at your place." Doing the bloodsucking at someone else's house always saved on cleanup.
The lids of her eyes drooped. "A drink... at my place." She blinked. "My place is a mess. No way you're seeing that."