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  Table of contents Issue Sixteen ONE NIGHT STAND OF THE DAMNED



know what you are,” she says, slightly breathless.

I resist the urge to roll my eyes.

Her body twists and sways in the rhythm of shadow, conveys sweet unspoken urgency in the simple act of walking to the french doors leading out to a balcony choked in honeysuckle. She opens them wide to welcome the night. Dark wind pours in from the bay, thick with the fragrance of salt, flowers, and sin, setting the gossamer white curtains billowing around her. Long black hair joins in the ethereal avian dance as she turns back to me, clutching an elaborately sculpted silver crucifix to her heaving bosom. And might I just say, what a bosom! This chick is C straddling D, au naturale. They're bound to be all soft and warm and oh so sensitive to just a little pressure on nipples that I bet are pierced.

“I'm afraid,” she breathes.

Now that part's kind of a load. It's not exactly accepted as scientific dogma that creatures like myself haunt the night, but any horny, lonely, typically kind of melodramatic chick has heard the rumors and they're drawn like moths to a bug-zapper. She wouldn't have brought me back to her place if she was actually afraid. Girls like that think we're dangerous, but not really dangerous. More like mysterious and brooding and waiting to find the lily pure primavera of feminine mystique that is them to bring us out of the darkness and back to the sun which, of course, doesn't make any sense considering the lethality of the sun where we're concerned. I usually find that type insufferable, but to be unapologetically honest, this chick is really hot. I mean really, really hot. And I know exactly what I've got to say to get her off.

“You should be.”

And of course I drop my chin, glare up through my eyebrows, feign aversion to the big silly cross that would only hurt if shoved up hard against my skin, all the while wondering where the hell she got a prop like that. WWW.GothCliché.com?

“You want to kill me, don't you?”

“I never want to kill,” I say like she wants me to, circling wide and slow, appreciating the way the wind makes my hair dance. “It is a thing I must do to survive. I don't want to kill you.” Feeling like a douche about it I bring on a burst of preternatural speed to lunge at her and knock the big gaudy cross from her hands. “I want all of you!” Hissing with a bit more douchebag emphasis I lock an arm around her waist from behind using just enough force for her to feel safely dominated.

Those boobs somewhere between C and D are milky pale in the moonlight and heaving against her plastic boned corset. There's something about the way corset laces criss and cross that make a guy's upstairs brain start working when he's at the point to let the downstairs brain take over, like trying to work out the Gordian Knot knowing all the while Alexander's method is the only way to go. Those laces get my civilized mind engaged just long enough to deliver the next expected line of dialogue.

“Nearly a century of nights, an endless procession of horrors too dark to speak aloud, wonders too deep to fathom, how can it be that only now I feel as if I am truly alive again?” In this kind of situation, I've learned, it's best to be Socratic and not use contractions.

“Tell me about the past,” she pushes out in a throaty whisper.

I was sired in Wisconsin in the mid-eighties. The ball-tripping-mind-expanding-angry-punk attitude was nothing new, but the idea of consequences were. Let yourself blackout in crazy circumstances you maybe wake up with Hep C or HIV. I woke up with a different condition, and it wasn't exactly easy for me to romanticize. Also, I don't know shit about the past.

I have a flash from that nightmare where I’m in front of the class in my underwear trying to describe a book I've never read. My stupid brain calls to mind The Sound of Music.

“My family was in a convent cemetery,” I say. “We'd locked ourselves behind a gate of cloistered cenotaphs to hide from the Nazi's. My baby sister asked if it would help to sing about our favorite things. Our stepmother smiled like nothing was wrong and told her that this was one time it would not help, that we must be very quiet.”

The silence after I say this seems to last forever. This is the moment of truth. If she's seen the movie I'm fucked, or more to the point, not fucked.

“Oh,” she finally moans. “I sense the pain in you!”

Apparently she's not a cinephile. On the opposite wall there's a full-length mirror where it looks like she's alone, breathing heavy and holding herself at an awkward angle. I can see her pupils dilating in that reflection. Still, even though she's ready to go, the amateur mistake would be to charge in now, and I'm no amateur. I keep talking.

“The soldiers started to rattle the gates,” I say. “They shoved their flashlights through the bars as we cowered behind the funeral marble not daring to breathe until they passed us by like the angel of death.”

“Oh!” she moans again, her fingers finding their way down over her body and deep between her thighs. It takes me a moment to pull myself together again.

“Finally they left,” I say “and our hearts started beating again. While the others went ahead I held back to make sure we weren't being followed. That was when Rolf found me, and my heart has not beaten since.”

“Yes!” she cries. “Yes!” and for a second I'm a little creeped out by the fact that she's getting wet hearing someone describe his own death, even if it has been shamelessly appropriated from Rodgers & Hammerstein.

But I stop thinking about it when her hands reach back and slide into my hair. I lean my head over hers and she eagerly brings her lips to engage against mine. Her mouth tastes like a watermelon Smirnoff daiquiri. I expected as much. In my experience goth chicks tend to like really fruity drinks. Her tongue flicks through my lips and begins to slide over my fangs with weird intensity. I try to go with it. I knew coming in that she had a fetish, and who am I to judge?

“Take me!” she hisses when she finally pulls her mouth away, and she falls back against me like we're playing Light as a Feather Stiff as a Board in summer camp.

Again utilizing a bit of superhuman speed, I scoop her into my arms. She lets out an ecstatic squeal, then leans up close and in whispers guides me to the bedroom. Upon crossing the threshold I'm thrown for another loop.

When I'd met her earlier in the evening, my breath still red from breakfast, it was pretty obvious what she wanted and who she wanted to get it from, but I had no idea the kind of lengths she'd gone to in preparation. While the satin sheets and elaborately draping sheer canopy might have been enough to set the mood for most horny goths, this girl had also gutted a few dozen roses to cover the bedspread and hardwood floors with petals and every inch of flat surface plays host to a veritable army of softly glowing candles.

Again, though, she's really really hot, and if I've got to go along with this harlequin dog and pony, so be it.

She trembles as I lay her down on the flower petals and looks up at me with wide shining eyes and a very slight frown. Once again, it's only a pantomime of fear. Trust me, by now I know the real deal when I see it.

Looming over her I press my long white hands to the sides of her face, drag them down along her neck and sternum, and slip them under the restraining fabric of her corset to massage her breasts. They're warm and real, nipples pierced as predicted. She gasps at first at the deathly chill of my skin but soon her warmth begins to bleed into me. Her eyes drift shut and her fingers deftly run down the line of buttons on my shirt and the firm hairless expanse of porcelain smooth muscle beneath.

That intricately laced up corset of hers has an easy access zipper on one side and in no time at all she's half naked beneath me and it takes a concerted effort to keep my eyes on her face like she wants me to. Though it's clearly not a situation that warrants any complaint on my part, I still find it a little irksome that even in a one-night-stand so much effort has to be put into convincing her that we've got some kind of profound mystical connection.

So I kiss her tenderly, make eye contact, and whisper sweet nothings as I gingerly guide her out of her pants, pull the little lace triangle of her thong aside, and slide my fingers in deep.

I'm hard as a railroad spike as she frees me from the last vestiges of my attire and I want her to sit back on top of me so I can watch her perspiring skin aglow in the candlelight. I take her by the hips and bring her around. She doesn't seem to like being on top, however, because she rolls us right back over with an apologetic giggle then puts her wrists together on the soft valley between her breasts.

“Hold me back,” she says.

Again, not really my thing. I'd much rather she keep her hands free and find some clever way to occupy them. But any good lover knows that the key is compromise. So I grab both slender wrists in one hand and pull them back over her head with enough force to have her draw in a breath that's hard and shuddering with twisted excitement. With my other hand I continue to probe two fingers firm and slow in and out of the honey geyser between her thighs while my lips tease over the smooth lines of her face and neck.

I'm about to let go of her wrists so I can reach into the pocket of my discarded jeans for a rubber when she throws me for yet another loop.

“Mmmmm, bite me!” she moans.

“Um …” I let my vocal fumble trail off into a nervous chuckle. The thing is, I'm not a biter. It's a pet peeve of mine. I prefer to use IVs or at the very least a scalpel. Biting is messy and unhygienic. If the living human mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, just imagine the undead. Call me craven if you must (my victims do often enough) but that's just how I roll.

“Bite me!” she moans again, arching her body up against mine.

“Mmmmm, baby,” I purr, kissing her ear, “let's just make love.”

“Please!” she whispers urgently, the soft smooth expanse of her body trembling against mine, burning hot as ember.

I smile at her and kiss her deeply, moving my fingers a little faster inside her.

“But there are so many other things we could be doing.”

She seems to relinquish, rocks her hips against my hand for a while, then gently guides me back, pushes my legs apart, perches between my knees like a carrion bird and descends upon me, putting lips and tongue to expert use. When I come she lets out a moan of rapt enjoyment like it's a mouthful of sweet cream she's swallowing. After all these years I still freak out a little about fluid exchange, but my condition is purely blood-born, so I try to will myself to relax.

“Now bite me,” she commands, rising up to her knees and licking her lips with a triumphant smile. I smile back even as I narrow my eyes.

“All's fair,” I reply, lunging at her with unholy strength and forcing her back to the dismembered flower petals.

She closes her eyes and arches her neck. I aim away from any major artery and force my teeth down through her skin. The warm thick stream begins to pour in while all the while she's moaning and heaving her naked body against mine.

While she was going down on me I'd thought of the awesome, ugly, little pug I'd had as a kid and the day I'd seen him get hit by a car. I'd thought of the tumors on my grandfather's back and the way he used to chew his dentures. I thought about the Joker from the old Batman TV series from when I was a kid. It takes a similar train of thought to keep myself from getting too excited now, so I'm able to pull away in time. She lunges forward to kiss me before I even have time to wipe my mouth which, considering the fact that she doesn't process blood the way I do, is actually pretty gross.

I press my hand into her neck to staunch the blood flow as we lay back together and continue to kiss and caress. When it's safe to assume she's sufficiently clotted I move my hands down to her breasts and begin to trail my lips along the line of her abs as she runs her fingers through my hair. I rub my hands up and down the long creamy expanse of her thighs a few times then guide her legs open as she did mine and feel my mouth water in anticipation.

But before I can get started she starts screaming. The first conclusion I jump to is that another fledgling has decided to challenge my claim on this territory. It's happened once or twice before though never at a worse time. But when I dart around to assess the threat I see nothing but mottled candlelight. Still, turning back to her I see abject terror a world away from the melodramatic tremors she's heretofore been faking. Her eyes are not just wide, but bulging. Every muscle in her face is tensed and screwed up, cutting deep lines in skin that was as smooth as glass seconds before.

She's jerking her body frantically from side to side and feebly scratching at my arms with black acrylic nails. It takes me a second to remember how strong I am and the moment I move my hands away from her legs they snap shut as though she'd been resisting with all her strength.

“Baby, baby, baby, what's wrong?” I ask, sliding away a cautious inch as she scrambles back until she hits the headboard and screams again. She's screaming so loud there's a very real risk some well intentioned goober is going to hear her and burst in all Van Helsing. And without my equipment that's just going to end in more biting, fluid and bacteria exchange, all kinds of things to get you cringing and hungry for a mouthful of Listerine.

“Don't!” the shrill incoherent panic of her voice finally forms. “Please! No!”

“Please no don't what?”

“Don't bite me there!”

It takes a moment for it to click. Yet another double take.

“Baby,” I coon, inching cautiously closer, “I was just going to eat you out a little.”

I don't know where she hid the vial, but I'd say it's already been fairly well established that this chick has one hell of an imagination.

“Don't call me baby!” she screams, and suddenly there's an ounce of holy water in my face, and fucking ouch, okay. I'd put my game face on, wet my lips for unholy slaughter by whatever unhygienic means necessary, but she doesn't seem to want a fight. Instead she runs to the bathroom and locks the door behind her.

This, you'd think, would be my cue to exit. But then I hear the sound of her crying and after a second of quiet panic I force myself to knock on the door.

“Um …” I try real hard to remember her name but can't. “Are you okay?”

Her only response is another shrill scream.

So I'm a hell of alot faster than your regular Joe. That just means I can trip on my own feet that many more times before I finally reach the kitchen where I can't help but notice she's got Betty Boop salt and pepper shakers.

Feeling a bit guilty about rummaging through her stuff I find the cabinet where she keeps her dishes. I can't find a proper glass so I grab a coffee mug and turn the tap to cold and supernatural speed has me back at the bathroom door in no time. I dry swallow and knock again.

“I brought you some water,” I say.

“I'm in the fucking bathroom!” she shouts through hyperventilating sobs. “Why the fuck would I need water?”

By now the burns from the holy water have healed so it doesn't hurt when I slap my free hand over my face.

“I didn't know what else to do!” I finally manage to say.

“Just get the fuck out!” she shouts through the door. “I resend your invitation!”

“Um … that one doesn't work.”

“Get out!”

“I … I can't. I need to make sure you're okay first.”

“I'm okay, now get out!”

“Can't we talk a little first? Will you please come out?”

Maybe the door would be as easy for me to tear through as wet tissue paper, but both of us have conveniently managed to forget that fact.

“I've got protection,” she says, and for a second I've got to wonder if she really expects me to perform after all this drama. “Rosary, garlic, the biggest fucking stake you can imagine.”

“Oh. Oh!” I say. “Good, fine, okay.”

My throat starts to feel dry so I take a gulp from the Popeye mug. It's the first time I've had water since nineteen eighty something and it kind of makes me feel sick. I hear the lock clicking, the door squeaks, and there she is in a robe of thick robin’s egg terry cloth, a necklace of gnarly white cloves, and hanging off a rosary a far more utilitarian crucifix then the swirly silver-painted number she'd brought out earlier.

“Hey,” I say.

She takes the mug from my hand and drinks all the water real fast.

“Hey,” she says. “Just so you know, water doesn't fix everything. Tell all the boys.”

“I will,” I'm eager to agree.

“It helps a little,” she admits.


“I'm hungry,” she says.

“I don't eat,” I tell her.

“Okay,” she says, careful to keep her rosary between us as she passes. “I'm gonna make eggs.”

In the kitchen she breaks the yolk, shreds pepper jack into the mix, and stir fries a jalapeno. She pours herself a Dr. Pepper with lots of ice. Rosary wrapped tight around her fork hand she eats in perfect silence until there's nothing left but dirty dishes. Then her eyes dart up to me and quickly away once again, and a trace of a smile escapes her.

“Ever had a sexual fantasy that goes a bit too far?” she asks.

I think back to nineteen seventy whatever. Social studies with Mrs. Isley. It was the only class I'd payed attention in. She was a sweater enthusiast with feathered brown hair and more freckles than you'd ever expect to see on a grown woman. She smelled like textbooks and a plain gold cross pendant danced perpetually between her cleavage. One after-school study date lead to another. Finally I had her red and brown cashmere sweater sliding down her body, my lips pressing that little shiny golden cross into her breasts, and after all those pounds of wasted Kleenex I finally came to glorious fruition between her thighs. But then she showed me her caesarian scars, started listing off all the women her husband had fucked, and begging me to tell her she was still young. Forget about paying attention, I stopped going to social studies entirely after that. I even had to go to summer school because of it.

“Yep,” I say. “That's the problem with fantasies. They don't always end when they're supposed to.”

“You can say that again!” she downs the last of her Dr. Pepper. I remember the taste of Dr. Pepper, and suddenly I miss it.

“You know, all that stuff about the convent graveyard and Nazis—”

“Dude, I've seen The Sound of Music. My favorite von Trapp kid was always Brigitta. That little bitch crammed a hell of a lot of character into precious few lines.”

“You know she was Penny in Lost in Space?”

“Of course I know.”

And conversation carries for a while in that vein. Anna Leonowens and Henry Higgins may have been mentioned. The merits of Kirk versus Picard may have been debated. The fact that the sun is going to rise eventually, giving me a perfect excuse to motor, is a constant in the back of my head. But for all that, when the sky finally begins to pale and I start to feel all savage and desperate I still ask if she'll give me her number before I lurch out through the oceanic honeysuckle smell and run hissing against the impending daylight back to my current lair.

Just before I go dead far away deep and secure in the dark I look over the business card she gave me. It says she's a guidance counselor. I'm not even a little bit surprised.




Jodie Keenan is a New England based photographer and graphic designer. She has written and directed several short films and has recently completed her first novel. She'd rather not talk about the things she's done with vampire cosplayers.

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