By Charles Carpenter
I don’t know why I feel so weak this morning…and there’s my back. It started aching the minute I got out of bed. At first I thought I had just slept on it wrong and the pain would eventually disappear. But that’s not the case. The pain isn’t going away at all. It’s growing.
Thinking a hot shower will do the trick and make that ol’ pain slink away, I go that way to drop my shorts and step into the tub to turn the water on full blast. This turns out to be a bad idea. The water is already scolding hot. Frantically jumping back out of the reach of the water, I slip and fall. Luckily, I crash over the edge of the tub and escape being broiled like an unfortunate lobster.
Lying there on the floor by the unflushed toilet, I wonder how the water got so damned hot at this time of the day. It’s usually freezing cold in the morning, and takes forever to warm. At least until today. Lying there watching the steam rise up over the shower curtain, the possible answer comes to me. Either last night’s guest showered before she left, or somebody in the upstairs apartment has been running the water and warmed it up to a red-hot pitch. It could be either guess, I suppose.
Feeling real drained now, I sit up and carefully sneak a hand into the shower to adjust the water to a less lethal temperature. With that done, I smile as I climb back in. This is more like it…but my back still hurts.
Enjoying the water, I stand there with my eyes closed remembering the night before, and the black-haired vamp I had met at the bar. What a beautiful woman; all shapely and everything. Short black dress, extra-white skin, and ruby-red lips just meant for kissing. A true queen of women if I ever saw one. That lady had it all…and I remember hoping she was going to share it with me before the night was over.
It’s funny how that all worked out. I don’t remember asking her up to my flat, but the next thing I know she’s sitting there with me on the couch. There’s a couple of flash-by memory scenes that come to me as we got down to business, but after that, I don’t seem to remember anything else until I awoke with a pounding headache, a dry, cotton-like mouth, and the backache. She and I should have recorded the night so we’d be able to remember what we did.
A random thought suddenly seizes me, and I think I left the security camera on and running last night. It usually shows the front room where I keep all my electronics. Maybe it saw what went on before we made it into the back room for the night. I decide to check it out after I get cleaned up. Only it can tell what actually happened there on the couch.
Toweling off, I swipe a hand over the sink mirror to get rid of the steam that has gathered there, and see I need a shave. As I lather up and begin dragging a razor over my face, the steam from the shower silently leaves the room, and consequently, uncovers my image stuck there on the mirror of the medicine cabinet behind me. I stop shaving the second I see myself, my hand and razor frozen there in mid-air. I can’t believe what I’m looking at in the other mirror. My bare back is a crazy-quilt of scratches and what looks like a series of deep bite marks. To say the very least, I’m totally horrified by the sight. Yet, I feel numb; unable to move. All I seem able to do is stand there looking into the one mirror to see what the other mirror is showing me. Becoming slightly dizzy after a time, I lay my razor down and start pulling on my clean shorts. I’ve got to get that camera cartridge out and find out what happened to me the night before.
With trembling hands, I remove the cartridge and slip it into the player hooked up to the TV, watching the screen come alive with light. A second or so later, there we are, the two of us on the couch, warming up for later and what comes naturally. But instead of the picture showing what I think it will, I nearly fall off the arm of the couch when the two figures on the screen are besieged by a small hoard of hairy little beasts which jump upon us as though starving.
I sit there in utter shock, watching her bite at my unfeeling back; biting quite deep enough to bring forth a dark-red blood to flow aimlessly over my skin. If this ghastly act is not enough, she backs off some after each bite to let a couple of these beasts at the wound. With that done, she continues on until every little animal has a place to lap at my blood. Watching this take place is all too unreal. Here I am being used as a blood-bank café for the starving.
Mesmerized, I go on watching in awe as every little animal gets its fill, and the woman in black finally goes to the door to coax them back out into the hallway. Just before closing the door, she turns back to look at me lying there, and grins. My heart stops beating. She has canine teeth! Or more precisely, feline teeth, needle-sharp and pointed. I can’t help myself. I double up my fist and smack myself in the jaw. This can’t be! It looks like I brought home the Queen of Strays to cuddle with.
Now I’m wondering if I need to go in and get my shots, or have my head fixed so I don’t do this again.
Probably both, I’m thinking.
Yeah. . .probably both.
I just hope she doesn’t start caring about the larger predators. Things could get a little dicey then.
Let’s see, where did I put her phone number? She might know a good shrink with a bottle of iodine.No tags for this post.