February 16, 2005
This is a story I wrote for an independant study class in creative writing in highschool... let me know what you think.... WARNING it's a little long...
Brock Thompson hated animals. Why he owned a dog, he did not know. At present, the small terrier sat pulling incessantly on Brock’s towel. Grumbling profanities at the unwanted animal, he once again kicked the dog away and went back to his grooming regimen.
Having already showered and shaved, he’d moved on to his hair. Squeezing a fairly large amount of gel into his palms, he worked his midnight black hair into its usual perfection. He brushed his teeth and smiled, loving the way they shone against his artificially bronzed skin.
Moving to the bedroom, he shed his towel and began pulling on the carefully pre-planned outfit; black pants and a blue shirt, which complemented his eyes impeccably. Black socks, a silver Rolex and large platinum chain completed the ensemble. After a few more stops in front of the mirror and the subsequent gathering of his wallet, keys, cell phone and pager, Brock headed for the door, only to discover the dog readily enjoying the flavor of his $250 black leather shoes. Cursing his sister for the worst birthday present ever, he roughly scooped up the dog and hurled it across the room. With a yelp, the dog impacted hard against the wall dissolving onto the floor in a whimpering heap.
“That’ll teach you to keep your slobbery mouth off my shit!” Brock bellowed, tugging on the soiled shoe. Watching the dog limp away, tail tucked securely between its legs, he smiled and closed the door behind him.
He walked the short distance to the elevator and punched the down button, a few seconds later the door opened revealing a cheerful elevator operator and the annoying drone of elevator music. He stepped curtly inside and turned to face the closing door, not an ounce of attention paid to the young operator.
“Where to Mr. Thompson?” he asked politely. A shiny nametag hanging neatly from his pressed uniform read ‘Bobby’.
The ride from the top floor to the garage was a long one. Brock began to tap his foot on the oriental patterned carpet in increasing frustration. The elevator music and the pungent aroma of the bottle of cologne that the boy had seemingly spilled upon himself were quickly producing an ache in Brock’s head.
After what seemed like an eternity, the elevator began to slow. The doors opened slowly to reveal a dimly lit, cold parking garage. Brock stepped eagerly from the elevator.
“Have a pleasant evening sir!” the boy chirped after him. The doors closed behind him, and with a mechanical whir, it began its ascent toward the next unlucky occupant.
He unlocked his car with a cheep and quickly crossed the garage toward it.
Making his way to the driver’s side, he ran his fingertips lightly over the car’s hood. The metal flowed smooth under his touch. Like his hair, clothes, teeth, shoes, basically his life in general, it was the epitome of perfection. There was not a dent, scratch or even a smudge on the black sports car. Even under the poor light of the garage it shone. Climbing into the racecar-like seats he started the car, thoroughly enjoying the low hummm the engine made beneath him. Just the power of the machine got him all warm and tingly inside. He slowly backed out of his parking spot, sped toward the garage exit and emerged on the street, beginning the long drive through the city.
Although Brock enjoyed some things about New York City, the nightlife, never ending clientele and the people, the traffic was something he could do without. Ten miles and an hour later, Brock took a sharp left into the club’s parking lot.
He smirked at the valets, watching the hope fade from their eyes as he drove passed them and pulled into one of the few remaining spots. “Sorry boys, not tonight,” he said to no one but himself. Brock trusted no one with his baby.
Turning off the engine, the immediate roar of his music was replaced by the garbled sound of the club music escaping the tinny warehouse.
After taking a last look in the mirror, smoothing his hair and checking his teeth, he effortlessly climbed from the car, set the alarm and dropped his keys in his pocket. With powerful strides he quickly covered the short distance to the front entrance of the club and the line of people waiting to be admitted. He gestured to the bouncer, a friend of many years, and was quickly brought to the front of the line and admitted to the club.
The club was actually in an old abandoned warehouse that had been retrofitted and modernized by a party-hearty businessman just a few months ago. In the short time since it’s opening, the club had become the local hot spot for the upper class club-goers.
Crossing into the interior, the heavy metal door slamming loudly behind him, Brock became engulfed in the atmosphere of the club. Lights illuminated the large dance floor in shades of red, green and blue. Large disco balls hung high above the bustling crowd throwing bright cheerio shaped rays of light on every surface. Techno music pumped from the dance floor at a volume that bordered on deafening.
Walking further in to the club, Brock hung a left and made his way past the crowds to the bar, where he managed to wriggle his way into the last available seat. He motioned to the bar tender who waddled over to meet him.
“What can I get ya?” he yelled over the din, speckles of spit flying from his mouth and showering an unappreciative Brock.
Brock wiped a large glob of saliva from his cheek and impatiently yelled back, “Smirnoff Ice.” Rolling his eyes, the chubby bartender disappeared beneath the bar. Looking at the couple next to him, Brock impatiently drummed his fingers against the polished bar top. He grimaced at the large bowl of nuts positioned between the two. The woman faced him. She chatted nosily with her counterpart, shoving nut after nut into her gaping mouth. She gestured wildly and suddenly erupted into bouts of laughter, half chewed nuts rolling about in her mouth, tiny pieces falling into her lap.
Brock nearly gagged at the sight. How anyone found a woman like that attractive, he did not understand.
He liked his women thin, with long arms and long legs; graceful. He preferred blondes over brunettes, but occasionally made exceptions if other features could make up for it. Those that were of lower intelligence, or perhaps just naïve were ideal; he found they tended to be easier to manipulate and asked fewer questions. Brock didn’t have relationships with women, only encounters.
Quickly becoming annoyed at the prolonged absence of both the bartender and his drink, Brock turned back to the bar. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror behind the assorted bottles of tequila, vodka and brandy, and smiled, he knew he looked good tonight.
Finally the chubby bartender appeared Brock’s drink in hand. With a toothy smile he slid the bottle across the bar.
“That’ll be $3.75,” he yelled. Brock slapped a 5 on the counter.
“Keep the change,” he yelled, frowning at the man’s plump waist, “maybe put it toward a treadmill.” His voice held not a hint of sarcasm. With an icy smile, Brock turned from the stunned man and made his way into the teeming masses.
Taking a swig from his drink, he slowly surveyed the quarry that lay before him. He was undaunted by boyfriends and stared at whomever and whatever he pleased. He’d become a near expert at determining bra size at a mere glance and could often guess the kind and color of a woman’s underwear. Even had he not been so gifted, Brock enjoyed the game so fully that he would have participated anyways.
His above average stature gave him a good view of the dance floor and he easy scoped a few prospects for the evening.
A tall blonde danced eccentrically off to his left, her long arms making great gestures to and fro. Her wavy hair pulled back into a playful ponytail, her pink pleated skirt and button down shirt giving her a schoolgirl appearance. Pausing only a second to enjoy the view, Brock moved on. Although he toyed with the idea of taking her home, the night was early and he knew he could do better.
He spotted a group of girls sitting on a couch off the dance floor. They laughed and smiled at a joke known only to them. He watched them intently, studying the way each gestured, talked and touched the others in the group. One girl stood out above all the rest. She was average height, but lean and very pretty. Her expressive eyes and full lips gave her a dramatic appearance. She suddenly broke into peals of laughter, her sun-kissed blonde hair flying into her face as she doubled over.
Brock circled the group as a shark circles its prey, scheming, devising the best plan of attack. He watched from afar, waiting for an opportunity to approach her.
A pause in their conversation came and the women held up an empty bottle and gestured to the bar. Brock smiled as she walked away from the group and made his way through the crowd until he was walking directly behind her. He admired the way she walked, the way her calves pulsed with each step, the sway of her hips. He grew more excited by the second; sure he’d found the best in the house, his victim for the evening.
She arrived at the bar; barley squeezing in between two occupied bar stools, yelled to the bartender and ordered a drink. The bartender quickly handed her the drink with a smile and told her it was on the house. Brock scoffed and thought how lucky girls were; all they had to do was bend over, show a little cleavage and they could get a guy to turn over the world.
All the while, Brock stood confidently behind the woman, blocking her exit, forcing a conversation. She thanked the bartender profusely, lightly running her fingers down his hand as she took the drink from him. The portly man’s eyes lit up like the fourth of July; she’d just made his night. Laughing, she turned to walk away and found herself staring at Brock’s rather well built shoulder.
Brock stood casually, taking a swig from his Smirnoff, pretending at first not to notice her there. She looked up at him admiringly, standing on her tips toes and leaning forward to meet him, “Hi,” she said seductively, her voice barley audible over the music. “I’m Tiffany.”
He cockily smiled down at her, thinking how astonishingly easy this was going to be. “Brock,” he said smugly, taking another drink from his bottle. “Wanna go find a seat?” he asked, stabbing a thumb toward a vacated couch in the corner of the club, one of the few places where the music was low enough that a conversation could be carried out. She nodded. They made their way slowly through the crowd of flailing arms, whipping hair and sweat soaked bodies.
Finally reaching their destination, the pair sat on the oversized couch which reeked of sweat and an obnoxious mix of perfume, cologne and God knows what else.
“So, Brock,” she said, “where ya from?”
“I live in a penthouse on the top floor of the Waldorf Astoria,” he said matter-of-factly, trying not to think of the consequence the couch was having on his $400 pants.
“Wow, really? So are you rich or something?” She cocked her head to the side in a quizzical matter, her eyes lighting up at the idea of his wealth.
“You could say that,” he shrugged, although his tone was anything but modest.
“So, like, where’d you get all that money?” she asked.
“I’m an independent consultant for large companies, mostly here in New York, but sometimes my expertise is needed in other cities.”
Her brow creased in intense thought. She paused for a second before asking, “So what exactly do you do then?”
“When large corporations have problems, usually fiscal or personnel related they call me to fix them. I go in and instruct them on exactly what they need to do to fix the problem, whether it be changes in interoffice policy to increase productivity, where costs can be cut or how to attract more clientele.”
“And they pay you a lot to do that?” she leaned closer to him now, intrigued.
“Yes, a lot.” Brock smiled. He always thought it entertaining the way that even the most unattractive of men (although he by no means fit this category) could instantly attract women when the size of their bank account came in to play. And for Brock, his riches usually sealed the deal. Most women he’d met seemingly could not resist the idea of sex in a penthouse.
The two chatted for a while longer. She told him of her occupation, house, puppy and the substantial collection of designer shoes organized by color on a revolving shelf in her closet. She was a daddy’s girl, born and raised with anything and everything she could ever need or want. Struggling to keep his eyes above the neckline of her low cut shirt, Brock’s mind began to wander further and further toward the events of later that night than the conversation at hand. Before he knew it, she was standing before him.
“I” she cooed seductively, “am going to the bathroom. Maybe when I get back we can get out of here; find a place a little more private.” She ran her finger down his shoulder, lightly tracing the curve of his collarbone. A touch so delicate it would have sent shivers down a man more easily impressed than Brock.
Mercy watched him through intense eyes, as she had been for most of the night. Even as he stalked his so-called “victim for the evening” she’d been watching from afar, knowing he and the woman would never even make it out of the club together. Why she was so drawn to his presence, she did not know. He was unlike anyone she’d ever sought after before. Even from afar he emitted this power, a supremacy that she could not explain, could not comprehend. After all, it was her who was supposed to have the overwhelming power of seduction.
Lost in her own thoughts, she almost missed the blonde’s departure. The woman stood slowly and after a few words to the man, headed toward the large red ‘bathroom’ sign at the far end of the club. Knowing a better opportunity would not present itself, she followed. Warmth flowed through her body as she crossed the club, endorphins reaching her muscles, preparing her to fight. She embraced the feeling she loved so much. Fists clenched at her sides and eyes set in a beady stare, she entered the bathroom after the blonde.
The girl whipped a tiny cell phone out of an even tinier purse. Flipping it open she dialed quickly, foot tapping on the tiled floor.
“Brittany, this is Tiffany. Let me just say… Oh. My. God.” She gestured each syllable with her free hand, “I just met like, the most hottest guy…Yea, I’m at the club…No, don’t bother, I think we’ll be leaving soon anyways.” She was leaning over the sink now, contently studying her face in the mirror. “Yea, I know. And here’s the best part… he’s loaded! I guess he lives in this huge penthouse on the top floor of a hotel.” Balancing the phone between her ear and shoulder she searched her purse for lipstick. “I know, can you imagine, sex in a penthouse! But, seriously I gotta go, he’s waiting… Yea, yea, yea, you’ll hear about it all tomorrow… Ok, bye.” She hung up, tossing the phone back in the black hole of a purse and triumphantly pulled out a bubble gum colored gloss.
Disgusted with the phone conversation and sick of waiting, Mercy slowly approached the blonde, who was so amazingly self-absorbed that she’d failed to notice the existence of another in the room. Approaching quietly from behind Mercy tapped the oblivious girl on the shoulder. Surprised, the blonde whipped around to face her.
“Holy crap!” she breathed. “You scared the hell out of me!”
“Little old me? Why, I don’t bite.” Mercy smiled slowly, revealing a deadly set of canines. The woman’s eyebrows shot up, she leaned closer squinting at the large teeth..
“Wow. Those are like the biggest, pointiest teeth I’ve ever seen. You know I have this dentist who can, like, grind those down for you so they’re not so ugly.”
“I happen to like them,” Mercy said leaning forward to meet the woman. Intimidated she tried to step back, but with her butt against the sink had nowhere to go.
“I could show you why, but I need to save my appetite,” Mercy said tauntingly. The blonde cocked her head slightly to one side, much like a confused little puppy.
Moving faster than any human could, Mercy placed a hand on each side of the beautiful blonde head and with a satisfying ‘snap’ broke her neck. The woman crumpled to the floor in a lifeless heap, never having the chance to scream or beg.
With not near the satisfaction that a blood bath would have produced, Mercy left the bathroom.
Brock had begun to wonder where his catch had gone when a woman of equal beauty suddenly appeared out of the confusion and to his surprise sat, without hesitation, beside him. Her thigh brushed his, startling him with the tingles it produced. Temporarily forgetting all about the blonde, he stared mesmerized at the total stranger residing beside him. She stared back with eyes so incredibly dark they appeared black. Her dark hair fell loosely around her face. Coupled with high cheekbones and cherry lips, it provided for a striking contrast to her abnormally pale skin. But above all else, her eyes drew him in. They seemed to emit a kind of power, a force unmatched by even the strongest of words or sexual innuendo.
For Brock, it was the first time he’d ever had his breath taken away so completely. Feeling like a sap, he mentally shook himself. A few rapid blinks succeeded in further weakening his daze.
“Someone’s sitting there,” he stated smugly, although not as convincingly as he’d hoped.
“Yes, someone is.” She turned her body toward his, leaning forward until he could smell her sweet perfume, her hair, and her breath. Undaunted by her decreasing proximity, Brock held his ground.
“Would you like me to move?” she spoke with a confidence that suggested she already knew the answer.
He hesitated, conflicting feelings causing turmoil in his gut. His instinct, all he’d ever known screamed ‘Yes, tell her to leave!’ that this woman was bad news hidden behind a pretty face. Yet, she had a presence he could not ignore, with each lost inch and every syllable she uttered with those perfect lips, he yearned to know more. “No,” he said very slowly.
She leaned closer. “You want to get out of here?” she whispered, her lips so close to his ear he could feel the warmth of her breath with each word. She pulled back slowly looking him in the eyes, her face only inches from his own.
She stared with such intensity that Brock could have sworn she was trying to look right through him. He struggled to break the spell he seemed to be under, to blink, to look away, but he could not.
Even before the change she’d had an incredible talent for seducing men. But now, they were like puppets and she their puppet master. She let them believe that it was they who were seducing her. When they’d ask her to join them at their humble abode (which they always did) it would seem as though they were the ones who were seducing her.
Lately her prey had become so easily manipulated that she was becoming bored with the hunt. But, just when she’d almost lost hope in the human race, thinking every man who thought for himself had been killed or had moved away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, she met Brock.
He sat there next to her, a struggle visible on his face.
Moments passed like hours as he stared into her eyes, fighting the overwhelming urge to simply say yes, to jump on her, to claim her as his own.
“I can’t,” he said slowly at first, struggling with his own thoughts, “I’m waiting for someone... she went to the bathroom.” He breathed a great sigh of relief, ‘There, I did it,’ he thought to himself, ‘I said no. Not so hard after all.’ He gave himself a mental pat on the back and turned forward, looking across the club toward the bathroom. All at once he felt more powerful, in control once again. He shifted away, completely breaking contact with her, his willpower readily returning. He continued to stare defiantly forward.
‘Shit,’ she thought, her chest tightening with angst as he moved away. Without eye contact or physical touch, she was merely a pretty girl in a short skirt, nothing out of the ordinary in a club like this.
In the long years since the change, she’d become somewhat of an expert with her powers. Having not understood them at first, her killings had been messy, compulsory. Then, as she’d come to realize how it was they worked, the importance of contact, she’d been able to lure men away, kill them slowly, painfully. With some of the weak she’d had enough control that she’d forced them to slay themselves, or even better, she’d forced them to kill others.
But now her power, her pride, was being threatened. Something she would not stand for. With a new intensity she turned to him, her hand running gently up his thigh.
Brock gulped, caught completely off guard by the dicey move on her part. Cold shivers ran down his spine.
Suddenly her hand was on his cheek, pulling him to face her. He resisted at first, steadfast in his efforts to ignore her charms. But, as the warmth between her hand and his cheek grew, his lust for her surfaced again and he allowed himself be turned to face her. Their eyes met and he felt himself be drawn into her. Slowly, slowly they were leaning in, inches turning to centimeters, their lips dancing around one another.
And with not an ounce of willpower left he kissed her. His hands shook as he reached around her back pulling her closer. Completely enveloped in the kiss, the world had disappeared. He forgot the club, the people, even the loud music faded from conscious thought. Only her lips mattered then, her soft bangs brushing against his forehead, her hands tracing the length of his thigh.
He wanted her then more than he’d ever wanted anything in his life.
Without warning or hesitation she pulled away and stood. She reached her long fingers out to him, beckoning him to take her hand. He looked at her for a moment, breathing heavily before he took it.
Together they left the club, a more strikingly dark pair had never walked the Earth. As the heavy door closed behind them, a woman’s shrill scream of horror could barley be heard over the music. Mercy just smiled.
They walked slowly to the car as valets and people out for a smoke ran inside to see what all the commotion was about. Brock disarmed the car with a loud ‘chirp’ and the two climbed in.
They sat in the dark car for a moment before he started the engine and the car roared to life. As his music came loud from the speakers, filling the empty space, Brock sat there beside her struggling to pinpoint exactly why he found her so irresistible.
True, she was beautiful, delicate and graceful, but she was not so far above and beyond his normal prey that he should be so ridiculously enticed by her. He studied her profile for a long moment before shifting the car into gear and pulling quickly away from the club. An ambulance drove by in a rush of lights and sirens, making a dangerously fast turn into the parking lot from which they had just exited.
Noticing, but not really caring, Brock drove off into the night. Even at reckless speeds, the ride home took too long in Brock’s mind. Then again, at this point a second seemed like a frustratingly unbearable time to wait.
Finally pulling to an abrupt stop in his parking spot beneath the Waldorf Astoria, he looked over at her for the first time since leaving the club. She opened the door and stepped casually out. Much to Brock’s dismay she seemed not nearly as anxious as he felt.
Turning off the engine and quickly climbing from the car, he briskly walked behind her, both making their way toward the elevator. Even in her high heels she reached the door first; with blood red nails she punched the “up” key. Only a few seconds passed before a ‘ding’ announced the elevators arrival and the doors slid open smoothly, revealing the goofy looking elevator operator.
The couple stepped in immediately, and they began their assent. Bobby winked at Brock with a tiny nod and a thumbs up not unnoticed by Mercy herself. ‘Imbecile’ Brock thought, and reminded himself to look into the boy’s replacement the next day.
The elevator ride took entirely too long. By the time an elderly couple had joined them on the 23rd floor, Brock’s heart was racing, adrenaline coursing through his veins, his palms beginning to sweat. Finally reaching his floor, the two stepped from the elevator.
“Have a good night Mr. Thompson!” the boy yelled after them, his tone anything but vague.
Rolling his eyes Brock quickly led the way to his door. Quickly unlocking the door, the dead blot slid back with an audible click and the two stepped inside.
No sooner than the threshold had been crossed and the door began to swing closed the two were on each other. Hungry for one another the two kissed like love starved teenagers. Hands ran frantically over thin clothing. Her hands found his strong back and gripped the muscles, fingers digging in to almost the point of pain. His hands lost in her long hair, pulling her into him. Shoes, shirts and pants were subsequently abandoned as they hastily made their way to the bedroom.
Mercy awoke with the innate feeling that dawn was hastily approaching, a sense of panic quickly clearing the fog in her head. Looking quickly at the bedside clock, she breathed a sigh of relief discovering it was only 5am, at least an hour remained until the sun peeked over the horizon.
She climbed carefully from the large bed, searching the floor for her clothing. Quietly pulling on her bra and underwear she became increasing aware of the hunger building inside her. It had been over a day since she’d last fed.
Tiptoeing slowly to the living room, she gathered and replaced the remainder of her clothing. Before leaving, she took a final glance back into the bedroom and smiled, the first smile not connected with death, destruction or mayhem in years.
She grabbed her high heels and quietly exited the penthouse. The elevator arrived after a few minutes and Mercy stepped inside, hungrily eyeing the rosy cheeks and neck of Bobby the elevator attendant.
With an overly sweet smile she steeped into the elevator, the door slid closed.
“Where to miss?” the boy asked, smiling back at her like a dopey little puppy.
“Parking garage, please,” Mercy replied, studying the supple flesh of his neck. She grew hungrier by the second. She reached over to him, gently fingering his name badge.
“Pretty shiny,” she said batting her long eyelashes.
“Y-yea,” he stammered, her unexpected touch startling him. She took a step closer, his eyes growing wider by the second. Sweat began to collect on his soft forehead as they slowly descended toward the garage. He shifted his weight nervously from one foot to the other as she leaned in closer, her face only a foot from his.
“You have the kindest eyes,” she said slowly tracing the length of his brow with her red nails. She could smell the nervous sweat on the man and it only heightened her excitement, her hunger.
Brock did not expect to wake up with a tongue exploring his teeth, and he most definitely did not expect that tongue to belong to a flea ridden canine. Harshly shoving the dog off the bed he wiped his mouth on the back of his hand, disgusted at the idea of dog saliva in his mouth. Rolling over he became aware that now, with the dog gone, he was quite alone in his large bed. Yawning he pulled on his boxers from the night before and wandered into the kitchen.
As he groggily walked around the large empty apartment he half expected to find Mercy in the shower, casually making breakfast, or reading the morning paper on the balcony. However, she was not doing any of those things, in fact she seemed to have left hours ago, leaving not a scrap of evidence behind to convince Brock that last night had been anything but a long dream sequence.
Sighing, he made his way back to the bedroom. Grumbling he changed into running pants and a tight fitting t-shirt. He fully accredited his bad mood to the fact that there was nothing to eat in the refrigerator and an awful night’s sleep.
Tying his shoes, he stalked toward the front door, planning a nice long run about the city. Maybe go through Central Park, perhaps a stop at Starbucks for a cup of coffee. As it was Saturday and no work was to be done, Brock had few plans. Depressed at the thought of boredom later that day he set out for his run.
Just as he was closing the door behind him he noticed a note taped to inside of the door. A feeling of unexplained hope ran through him as he snatched the note form the door and read it quickly.
‘Had fun,’ it said, ‘914-625-3872’ and that was it. No ‘thank you for a wonderful time; no appreciation and no praise. Brock was not used to being so readily dismissed, forgotten and used; it was he who was the user. His anger returned as he crumpled the note, threw it on the floor and stormed from the apartment.
His irritation increased ten fold when the elevator finally arrived and he discovered the attendant missing. Mumbling about the cost of the penthouse and the services that were supposed to come with it he angrily jabbed at the “lobby” button. Luckily it was still early and no one else had to suffer his ill temperament on the elevator.
Thinking perhaps someone else had complained about Bobby the elevator attendant, Brock stopped by the front desk.
“Good morning, sir!” a well-kept receptionist chirped. “What can I do for you?”
“What happened to the elevator guy?” he asked
“Excuse me?” she looked confused.
Brock tapped his foot growing impatient. Did everyone have to be incompetent? “There’s no one operating the elevator right now.”
“Oh, that’s odd. Bobby is supposed to be pulling a double shift through this morning.” She pushed her small frames further onto her nose. “I’m very sorry for the inconvenience to you sir, I’ll look into that right away.”
“See that you do,” he said with a self-satisfied smirk. With long strides he crossed the large reception area and emerged onto Park Ave. The sun beat intensely on Brock’s dark hair, making him wish he’d put shorts on instead of long pants. Breaking into a slow jog he headed in the direction of Central Park.
It felt as though years had passed since he’d last run through the park, but the people had not changed one bit. Young women bouncily jogged by in spandex and cropped t-shirts. Old men sat contently playing chess at one of the many tables scattered throughout the park. Yoga lessons were going on, people of all ages stretched and bent in positions Brock was pretty sure he could never return from. A gruff looking man nearly twice Brock’s stature, sat peacefully on a park bench, legs crossed, reading a hefty looking novel.
Running swiftly now, Brock crossed under trees. He ran quickly through he beautiful mosaic of sun spotted sidewalk and leaves. An older couple strolled slowly by hand in hand and thoroughly enjoying each other’s company. An image of Mercy flashed though his mind. He smiled and ran a little faster, now in the direction of home.
Having decided to skip Starbucks altogether, Brock ran straight back to the hotel. Although he should have started his cool-down routine as he passed ________ street, his absentmindedness led him in a full out run right up to the revolving doors where he stopped dead in his tracks.
An ambulance, sirens wailing and lights blazing, flew into the parking garage with a squeal of rubber.
Brock stood and stared for a few seconds before curiosity won over and he sprinted toward the garage entrance. Ducking the security arm he raced ahead, tennis shoes slapping loudly against the moist cement.
A dizzy array of sirens and lights led him to the elevator that he’d always taken, the one he’d rode only a couple of hours ago. A police officer held a large roll of yellow crime scene tape. He walked briskly, quartering off a perimeter around the scene. Brock hurried forward, increasingly interested to see what the big deal was.
“Sir,” a police officer, who was approaching him quickly yelled. “Sir, you can’t be here. This is an official crime scene and I’m going to have to ask you to immediately evacuate the premises.” The man stepped directly in Brock’s path, effectively blocking the further exploration of the scene. The police officer held up two open hands in a ‘stop’ gesture.
“Please step back sir,” the officer said sternly. Brock looked down at the lanky man in uniform and bit back a satirical remark. He eyed the growing number of officers and obliged to the man’s command, stiffly turning and walking away. Only then did the gravity of the scene hit him. Heart racing and sweat dripping wildly down his spine he exited the parking garage and once more made his way to the main entrance.
Not surprisingly, several policemen and-women stood in the lobby. Two sat on a couch with the receptionist Brock had complained to earlier that morning. She sat shaking between the two officers, tears and make-up running uncontrollably down her cheeks.
Brock walked slowly across the lobby, eyes straight ahead, for once in his life trying not to draw attention to himself. He passed several officers without so much as a glance or a nod. He did not need to ask what all the commotion was about; he had seen the body for himself.
The slightly chubby frame of Bobby the elevator attendant had looked incredibly pale sprawled out on the cement floor. The rosy flush, which had nearly always covered his round cheeks, had been replaced with a deadly pallor and smears of dried blood. His eyes stared forever transfixed straight ahead, their usually adolescent shine replaced by the glazed look death brings.
Brock almost felt a sort of pity for the man, his final moments of life spent staring at the grimy cement ceiling beneath the hotel where he’d worked as an elevator attendant. ‘A pathetic demise for a pathetic life,’ Brock thought. He hoped for a much more dignified demise when his time came.
One of the two main lobby elevators was now a crime scene. Bobby’s death had apparently caused a certain sense of paranoia amongst the elevator attendants, because Brock now had to operate the second elevator by himself. Agitated and nervous, he jabbed a finger the large button that read 25. Figuring there was nothing he could do about the man’s death, and thinking about it would only serve to depress him, or in the least make him edgy, he pushed the grisly thoughts from his mind.
The ascent to the twenty-fifth floor was slow and Brock spent his time finding Mercy in all the features of the elevator. He saw her hair in the dark grain of the mahogany, her pale face in the ivory numbers overhead, the radiance of her sultry smile in the brass doors ahead. He sighed, thinking of the anger at her note, which he was now most glad she had left.
Feeling very much like a lusting teenage boy, he quickly fled the elevator when the first crack of light appeared as the doors opened to reveal the familiar hallway of the twenty-fifth floor.
His legs proficiently carried him to his door where he hurriedly unlocked it and strode inside.
“Son. Of. A. Bitch,” he said hotly, staring at the dopey-eyed puppy eagerly chomping on Mercy’s note. He charged threateningly at the dog who took the hint and scurried away into the kitchen. Brock picked up the slobbery ball of paper and carefully unfolded it, his hands becoming sticky with saliva.
The tightness in his chest dissipated slightly when he saw that the numbers scrawled so beautifully on the scrap of paper were still legible. He walked quickly to the kitchen where he snatched the phone from the receiver and hastily dialed the phone number. The phone rang once, twice, three times with no answer. Brock’s heart dropped slightly with each unanswered tone, although he refused to admit this to himself. Two more rings followed before the answering machine suddenly picked up.
‘Hi, this is Mercy. I’m not here, leave a message.’
Outwardly frustrated and inwardly disappointed, Brock hung up the phone and roughly placed it on the kitchen table where it mocked him for the remainder of the day.
Every time he walked by the kitchen, the phone seemed to ridicule him, to beg him to just hit “redial”. He refused its calls, insisting he was not the type that left messages on answering machines; he had too much to do to waste his time talking to an appliance. He filled the slow hours of the afternoon with leftover paperwork from the week and CNN news. He fixed himself a 3-course lunch and took a long shower. As afternoon slowly faded into evening and the golden light of the sun turned to a pink haze, Brock’s thoughts returned once more to Mercy. He stared out the twenty-fifth floor window at the lights of the bustling city below and wondered briefly what she was doing at that hour. Perhaps preparing for another night at the club.
Deciding it would be no large sin to try Mercy just once more, he strode quickly across the kitchen, grabbed the laughing phone and punched the redial button. The phone rang shrilly. ‘I did have fun with her last night, there’s no shame in wanting more of a good thing,’ he reasoned to himself as the phone rang yet again. ‘And she obviously wants to see me again,’ he smiled arrogantly, ‘who wouldn’t?’
“Hello?” Mercy’s sultry voice inquired from the telephone. The sound of her voice made Brock weaker in the knees than he would have liked and he struggled with his words for just a second too long.
“Hello?” she asked again, a raspy quality in her voice that fell nothing short of seductive.
“Mercy?” he asked, his arrogance quickly fading.
“Hi, uh, this is Brock,” his cheeks reddened at the foolishness he felt, “from last night…”
“Hi,” she said simply. Brock imagined the excitement she must have been feeling.
“I was just wondering what you were doing tonight?” a little of his confidence returning.
“I’ll be over in 20 minutes,” she said quickly and hung up, leaving Brock no chance to object or permit her suggestion. He stood dumbfounded for a moment before bringing the phone slowly from his ear and placing it back on the table.
With a bit more bounce in his step and the smallest hint of a smile he began preparing for his night. Although he had no idea what the evening would entail, he imagined dinner at a fancy restaurant, maybe a walk about the finer parts of town and perhaps a show. He dressed for the occasion in fine black pants, a silk button shirt and a fitted sports coat. Shiny black shoes completed the rather classy looking outfit.
He stepped boldly in front of the mirror, loving the way his jacket sat squarely on his wide shoulders. He smiled, checking his perfect teeth for leftover food debris, and moved into the living room. He was contemplating fixing a drink, or at the very least bringing out a bottle of wine when there was a sharp rap on the door.
His heart leapt into his chest in anticipation. With a calming breath he made his way to the door and pulled it slowly open.
She stood casually on the other side, hands on hips and weight on one leg, even more beautiful than he’d remembered. She smiled slightly, red lips parting and revealing a perfect row of shiny white teeth. Palms sweating, Brock motioned for her to come inside. He smiled as she walked by him, his eyes dropping admiringly from her face to her chest and butt. He took his eyes off her momentarily, closing the door with a solid click. When he turned once more, he found himself looking right at her forehead.
She smiled up at him, a menacing sparkle shone in her eyes that drove both fear and desire into his heart. He looked down at her, reevaluating the night on the town and thinking perhaps the evening would be more enjoyable if spent at his place, most preferably in his bed. She leaned into him, her chest grazing his, their thighs meeting. Hot tingles ran through his body as she ran her hands gently down the back of his neck pulling him forward and down, the supple flesh of her lips meeting his skin. She lightly kissed his collarbone, and then moved up his neck, each kiss growing in intensity. His hands cupped her hips, pulling her into him, his excitement quickly growing.
Her hands became tight on the nape of his neck and shoulders, the touch bordering on painful. His eyes shot open in surprise as she bit him and a searing pain encased the right side of his neck. He tried to push her away, thinking perhaps the strength of her bite was unknown to her, but she grappled tightly to his shoulders. He pushed harder moving his hands to her shoulders as the pain in his neck increased and he felt the warmth of blood seeping over his shoulder and slowly down his back.
A terror he had never known before engrossed him as he felt his knees grow weak beneath him. She gripped him harder sending a wave a nausea crashing through his body. His apartment grew fuzzy around him, tables and chairs became one, the wallpaper blurred into oblivion. On the edge of unconsciousness he felt his knees fall from beneath him and the entirety of his 185 pounds slumped onto Mercy.
As his breathing slowed and his heart became a sluggish thump in his chest his eyes rolled back and his world faded to black.
Mercy had become so involved in the passion of the feed that she’d nearly forgotten her purpose in returning to this place. Feeling the life slowly trickle from this once powerful man exhilarated her, and she had to will herself to stop drawing from him before he died. His body slumped against hers and she slowly withdrew her fangs, licking the last spilled drops from her lips. She smiled, looking at the extreme pallor in his face and thinking it suited him nicely. She laid him slowly on the ground and began searching for his car keys. She found them on the kitchen table next to the now crumpled ball of paper that had once been the note she’d left him. She smiled despite herself, knowing deep down she was glad he’d called.
Keys in pocket she walked briskly back to the foyer where she threw one arm beneath Brock’s armpit and hoisted him to as close to a standing position as could be obtained in his present state. She dragged him slowly toward the door, cursing herself for not leaving at least a little bit of walk left in him, at this pace it was going to be a long trip to his car.
He moaned incoherently as she threw open the door and pulled him into the hallway. She was glad to discover its vacancy. Mercy slowly moved toward the elevator and punched the down button. The slow shifting of gears could be heard overhead as the elevator jumped into motion, quickly arriving at the 25th floor. The large brass doors slid open to reveal the large empty compartment. Mercy dragged Brock quickly inside, very grateful for the lack of other passengers and the seeming absence of the attendant. She smiled, thinking of her victim from the night before, so naïve, thinking she would make advances toward the likes of him.
Mercy slumped Brock heavily against the side of the elevator, pulling the collar of his jacket over the fresh wound in his neck. The doors slid closed behind her and they started their slow descent toward the parking garage. Mercy stood quietly over the unconscious man, studying the flickering of his eyelids and the twitching of his fingers. His head bobbed a few times and with each bob he would emit a low groan. She smiled at the weakened man, at his pain and at her victory.
She anxiously eyed the pale numbers above the door, the light clicked slowly from one to the next, ’13…12…11…’. Mercy felt the elevator slow beneath her and come to a stop, the number 10 illuminated above the doors, which proceeded to slide open. A small man of about forty stepped briskly inside with a wide, crooked smile.
He was quite a short man, with mousy brown hair and equally mousy eyes that opened wide in surprise as he noticed Brock slumped listlessly on the floor.
“Oh, my!” the man said, concern echoed in his voice. He turned to Mercy, “Is he okay?”
Mercy smiled shyly, sweetly, “Oh yes,” she giggled, “he just had a bit too much to drink.”
The man smiled nodding his head in understanding, “Yep, I know how that can be.” He laughed a little, “He looks like shit though.” He eyed the paleness in Brock’s skin, “Better get him to bed.”
Mercy smiled again, wishing the ugly little man would mind his own business, “That’s just where were headed!” she said innocently batting her long eyelashes.
The man nodded in approval. “Well, here’s my stop,” he said as the elevator slowed and the doors opened to reveal the ornate lobby.
“Have a good night!” Mercy called through the closing doors, coldness in her heart that did not match the voices. “Stay safe!”
The doors closed once more and they began the short decent to the parking garage. As the light above the door turned to “P” and the doors slid open, Mercy once again heaved Brock from the floor and slumped him against her side. She spotted the familiar black sports car parked a few yards away and dragged Brock the final few feet. Digging the car keys from her pocket she opened the passenger door and slumped Brock inside. She checked to be sure all hands and feet were clear of the door before she slammed it shut and quickly made her way to the opposite side of the car. She climbed in to the low seat, the smell of new leather tingling her nose. She started the car and left the parking garage. Brock lay seemingly unconscious in the seat beside her, slumped sideways, his head resting lightly on the doorframe.
Brock’s hearing came back to him before his vision. He was vaguely aware that he was in a car, more specifically in his car, and he knew he was moving. He heard the low drone of the engine and the mechanical noises that accompanied shifting gears. His hands and feet felt far away, as though his brain was floating independently of his body. His neck ached profusely, throbbing terribly with each feeble beat of his heart. The car slowed to a stop and loud music could be heard next to him.
He was aware that his head was resting on something, perhaps the window and his brain seemed to rattle as the car began moving once more and the road vibrations increased. As he fought back the fog that had seemed to overtake his mind, and struggled mercilessly to open his eyes, he felt his body being pressed harder against the door and realized the vehicle was turning.
He slowly opened his eyes to find a world out of focus. He saw the shiny silver logo on the dashboard in front of him and tried desperately to move his head, to see more of his surroundings, but he could not. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a fuzzy hand on his wrist, long red nails probing the underside for vein.
“Almost there,” a woman whispered. He knew at once she was not talking to him, perhaps did not realize he was awake.
Brock felt his useless body lift from the door as the car made a swift right. They drove a little further and the lights of the busy street faded into near darkness. The car slowed and then stopped. The hum of the engine abruptly stopped and he was aware of movement beside him. A door opened and closed quickly and the sharp click of heels echoed outside the car.
With a click, the door beside him opened and the cool night air rushed inside the car sending cold shivers down his spine. Two hands pulled on his tight jacket, lifting him easily from the car. He felt his knees straighten and his world once more faded to black.
Time had passed; he had no idea of how much, although he knew his environment had changed. The air around him felt moist, damp and inexplicably evil. It smelled of must and something else that try as he might, he could not place. His mouth tasted metallically, almost as though he were sucking on a penny.
He slowly opened his eyes and in horror discovered he could not see. Panic rushed through him as he thought of a life without sight, a rush of adrenaline awakening him further. He opened his eyes wider and breathed a labored sigh of relief as his eyes adjusted to the near lightlessness of his surroundings.
As his pupils dilated to their full potential he began to recognize the outline of the large armchair in which he sat. He wiggled his fingers feeling the soft velvet beneath his fingers and the dampness of the fine fabric. He turned his attention to the wall far off to his left and realized in shock that it was stone; he was in a cave. Thin trickles of water snaked their way down the jagged stone, passing over molds and slime as they reached the smooth floor. A single candle stood on a small stand near what seemed to be the center of the enormous cavern. He was suddenly aware of a presence behind him, eerie footstep echoed softly all around him. He dared not move for fear that any sudden expenditure would sending him spiraling onto the floor in an unconscious, helpless heap once more. His body tensed in anticipation as he heard the footstep grow slowly closer.
The room suddenly jumped into brightness as a row of candles erupted into a fiery ring about the room. The space turned out to be even larger than Brock had previously estimated. The ceiling rose over a hundred feet above his head, long stalactites jutted precariously down, jagged teeth ready to shred any poor sole who happened to walk beneath. The candle he’d thought sat in the middle of the room turned out to be less than a quarter of the way between him and the far wall.
The footstep grew closer still and Brock’s interest no longer lay in the scene before him, rather he wished very much that he could see the scene behind him. The dainty footstep stopped behind the chair and rested there precariously.
Brock’s already shallow breath caught in his throat as he waited for his life to be ended. Instead of a lethal blow, thin fingers reached over the chair and gently fingered his sweat soaked hair. He drew a sharp breath, but still dared not move.
“Nice to see you again.” A woman said quietly. Brock instantly recognized the voice as that of Mercy. She stepped forward to the front of the chair, gently running her fingers the length of his arm. Although the air was cold and Brock sat shivering, a cold sweat began to collect on his back and in his clenched palms.
“In 1812 I was 17 years old and I thought the world was a perfect place.” She walked slowly around the front of the couch, her full figure now visible to Brock.
“ I dreamed of one day becoming the Queen of England with the whole country looking up at me. I would be beautiful and powerful, and I not my husband would rule the country.” It struck him how utterly normal she looked and spoke, as though they were simply having a conversation at a booth in Starbucks. She wore black jeans, tight against her thin legs, and a simple t-shirt a local band name printed wildly across the front. Her smooth dark hair was pulled back into a sleek ponytail, small wisps of hair hung loosely around her pale face.
“My family was well to do and looked it. Our house was large, as were the dresses I wore. My mother would tie me so tight in them I’d nearly pass out from asphyxiation. But I loved the way I looked in those dresses; like a lady.” She stared off somewhere behind Brock for a moment before continuing.
“On my 18th birthday, I met a man. His name was Thomas Archambault the 3rd. He came from a rich family like ours that was also held in high accord among our peers and the royal family themselves. Accordingly, my parents adored him and felt he would make a fine husband for me, their only daughter. And I, I did not object for I also adored him and in truth, thought I was in love with him. Really, I think it was his money, his prestige, which drew me to him. We courted for a few short months before Thomas proclaimed his undying love for me and proposed we be married. I accepted most excitedly and we were set to be wed before my 19th birthday.
“Time passed quickly in those months before the wedding. Everything was arranged so beautifully; so perfectly, or so I thought. A day before our wedding was to be held, Thomas sat me down and took my hand. I’d never seen him so serious and as naïve as I was I thought some detail of the wedding had gone awry.
“He sat there for only a second before he told me very bluntly that he was a vampire. Back then there were no movie theaters, no made for TV horror movies and even had I been able to read, I would have been hard pressed to find a book about such creatures. I had not a clue what he was talking about. He sat there beside me for a long time then, explaining to me what he was; how he survived. I’m sure you already know.” She looked up at him. He nodded; although he was not a great fan of the cinema, he’d read Dracula in high school and recalled having seen a few recent movies starring the bloodsuckers.
“Naturally, I was appalled at the idea of drinking the blood of other creatures, let alone other humans, to survive. I tried to run from him; tried to escape the creature that I’d come to love. But, I was not a skilled athlete in those days and he caught me before I’d had the chance to scream. And then he bit me. I was shocked and repulsed at his cruelty; I did not understand why he would want to kill me, the one he claimed to love so deeply. As I lay helpless in his arms, he told me that he did love me, but that if he couldn’t have me, no one would, and that if we were to be together, it would be for all eternity. He gave me a choice, die or live--forever.” She stared at Brock intensely, the pain of a decision over 200 years old still showing in her eyes.
“Imagine that,” she continued. “At 19 years old, having to make a decision like that! Of course, I didn’t want to die, my life had only just begun.” She turned suddenly, and walked away, her hands bawled in fists at her sides. After a few rushed strides, she turned once more to face him. “Besides,” she said as though rationalizing for her own benefit, “I really did love him and his promise of eternity seemed genuine, noble almost.” A few more steps carried her back to her original position in front of Brock. “So I told him that I wished to be his forever and he made it so.”
Brock sat stiffly in the chair staring at her with not an ounce of expression on his face. He knew not what to say, if anything. He remembered her advance on him at the apartment, the bloodthirsty look that had lain so dangerously in her dark eyes. He’d thought then that she was only hungry for his body, for another night like the one before, but he had no idea. It made sense to him now, the power she seemed to have, her seductiveness and why she had left so abruptly before dawn that morning.
A tingle of fear crept over him as he realized the direness of the situation he was in. He was not a stupid man; by now he had figured out that she was offering him the same ultimatum that Thomas had offered her so long ago.
“I am assuming you now know that I am making that choice yours. I see a power you that has not been seen among men in centuries. Together we could rule. This whole city could be ours.” She gestured in a large circle. Brock knew not whether she spoke of the underground world which he seemed to be in, or of New York itself. Either way, the idea of power enticed him, sent cold shivers down his spine. He listened intently as she continued.
“However, if you should choose not to join me, know that you will die. I could not justify letting you leave here; not with what you’ve seen.”
Brock stared incredulously, his gaze transfixed on the small dancing flame of the single candle ahead of him. He felt as though suddenly he was the unwilling star of a low budget cable horror show. His gaze transferred slowly to the walls where he half expected a group of people to jump out from unseen nooks and crannies carrying party balloons and yell “April Fools”.
That, however, did not occur. He turned once more to face the creature before him.
“What happened to Thomas?” he asked slowly. Mercy laughed tremendously at the question, her head bobbed back in bouts of hysterical laughter, her cackles echoing throughout the cavern.
She took a deep breath, “Thomas was hunted down like a dog and slaughtered when my father learned of what he had done to me.” Her tone reflected not the least bit of remorse. “And then I, being lovesick and ‘heartbroken’,” she gestured a sarcastic quotation, “murdered my father. Too bad I was so rash… he would have made an excellent ally.” She sighed deeply, her thoughts seeming to drift to another time and place.
Brock was left with out a doubt about the certainty of his fate if he should choose not to join her in an eternal life. He knew she would not hesitate to cover the short distance between them and snap his neck like a toothpick if he should but shake his head “no”. He began to tremble. Goosebumps rose like tiny pins across his arms, legs and neck, making him acutely aware of each current of air passing gently over his sweat moistened skin.
He feared his own demise more than anything else in the world, however the idea of a life of eternal murder and damnation didn’t seem much more appealing. He weighed his options quickly in his head until the thoughts became a jumbled mess inside his brain, each one overlapping the next.
He briefly wondered if perhaps he could outrun Mercy but upon consideration of his physical condition concluded that the very act of standing would probably leave him helpless at her feet.
He stared up at her shadowed features and wondered how he’d gotten himself into this mess. Only a few short hours ago he’d been a normal guy looking forward to a night on the town with a beautiful, seductive woman. And now he sat with that same woman looming over him forcing a life or death decision, his life or death no less.
He knew that none of those things mattered now. It didn’t matter how he’d gotten there or what he could have done differently. He was here now and all that mattered is where he was going next. A certain sense of determination began to flow through him as he stared up into her icy eyes and a lone thought ran again and again through his tired mind.
“I am not ready to die,” he whispered.
Mercy just smiled.
Posted by berg1511 at February 16, 2005 10:03 PM
I stumbled on this from Google and wanted to say thanks for posting
Posted by: fine black at July 5, 2005 3:15 PM
Anyone know where I can read up on more info on this
Posted by: girl whipped at November 12, 2005 4:04 AM
I couldn't read it all due to those horrible back diamond/question marks replacing the apostrophes and whatnot.
Posted by: egon at May 11, 2007 9:34 AM
In situations like that in a bar, I think a girl needs to know how to have confidence so as to show a strong personality. In that place dominated by men, girls really has to have confidence and show some guts and not allow other people to just look down on her.
Knowing how to have confidence can help a person, especially a woman, defend herself in tough situations. It will also help her boost her self-esteem and will be respected by people.
Posted by: How to have Confidence at July 30, 2007 10:28 AM
Blogging really isn't an different than running a booming business operation, You best be doing something different from what your the competition are doing.
Posted by: Samira Bolejack at January 15, 2011 1:49 AM