From the author: A short horror story for Friday 13th.
It was the predator's sort of bar, dark and devoid of mirrors and far from even the meanest church, and his favourite sort of clientele, young and sceptical, reckless and passionate and delicious. The sobes in the cafes tasted fresher, sweeter, but they had good memories and knew each other too well; older winos and other addicts were easier prey and were rarely missed, but their blood was foul and they had no more fire left in them than old cigarette butts. The predator sipped on his mineral water, and watched the crowd.
One girl turned around as though his gaze burned her. Even in the bar's dim and sour light, her face was as bone-pale as his, but almost everything else about her - her long hair, her leather jacket, her skirt, her gloves and stockings and boots - was black as blindness. A goth, a vampire-wannabe; excellent. She raised an inky eyebrow in return and danced towards him. "Hi."
He leaned closer to her, to make himself heard over the noise. "Would you like a drink?"
She stared into his eyes, then shook her head. "I love your accent. Where are you from?"
"Vienna," he lied. "My name's Sebastian."
"Mine's Martina. Do you want to dance?"
"No. Would you like to talk?" He smelled something strange about her; not fear, and more than just arousal... silver, he realised. Just a little, probably just the rings in her nose and ears and eyebrow, and harmless unless it had been consecrated, which seemed unlikely.
"Can't talk in here. Too noisy."
"My thoughts exactly."
She looked at him a little warily, then nodded. "I have a place near here."
"What sort of place?"
"Where I work. Quiet."
"Half a block." She jerked her head to the right. He knew the street outside well. It was a low-rent area, favoured by adult bookshops, inexpensive restaurants, and backpacker hostels, but not zoned for massage parlours or brothels; the vice squad believed in containment. He smiled a little more broadly. If she was a pro, she was freelancing, and he disliked brothels; they almost always had mirrors and cameras. "'Let us go then, you and I -'"
"I love that poem," she murmured, and smiled, showing teeth as white and almost as sharp as his.
"So do I." They walked out of the bar into the half-deserted street; the bartender looked away, and no-one else seemed to notice them leave.
* * *
They walked past a cafe and a travel agency and a nightclub, occasionally quoting snatches of Eliot at each other, then crossed the road - empty but for litter - hand in hand. She stopped at a narrow alleyway between two adult bookshops, and fumbled in her pocket for her keys. "I have a room in the back," she explained, while he glanced at the sign in the shop window. Magazines * Books * Videos * Toys * Lingerie * Live Strips * Walk-Through Body Piercing * Confidential Photo Developing * Fully Equipped Dungeon. He followed her into the alley, watching her walking surely through the dark.
The door was steel-lined, with heavy locks, and it took her nearly a minute to open it. Moving quickly, she pressed a lightswitch, closed the door behind them with a heavy thud and re-locked it, turned to a box beside the door and inserted a key to deactivate the alarm, all in the three heart-beats before the fluorescent tubes had flickered on. "This way," she said, leading the way into a small curtained booth in the shop's rear corner.
"What is it you do here?" he asked. The booth contained only a padded table, a chair, a desk-lamp, a few coat-hangers, a handbasin, and a little black attache case.
"Would you like me to show you?" She nodded towards the chair, and he sat down. She unzipped her jacket, threw it onto the table, and then quickly peeled off her black t-shirt. To his surprise, there were small silver crosses hanging from her nipple-rings. She glanced at the mirror above his head, noticing that he cast no reflection; just as she'd thought.
"I do body-piercing," she whispered, as her skirt fell to the floor. There was a short wooden stake strapped to her calf; with one swift movement, she drew it and impaled him through the heart. The chair collapsed underneath him as her thrust pinned him to the wall, and the last thing he heard her say was, "and I'm thorough."
This story originally appeared in Jackhammer E-zine.