There's a crack in the sidewalk by my toe. Bright, hurtful light from the passing cars flows along the street like iridescent liquid, filling the crack with its brilliance briefly before moving on. It moves on and leaves me in the soft, candy-apple glow of the signs. The pretty signs make me pretty too; all electric blue and red...
A man wearing a suit that's too nice for me walks by. I ask him if he wants to take me home. He doesn't say no, but he doesn't stop walking either. He doesn't even look at me, that man with the tie. Doesn't like the pretty girl in the pretty light. Doesn't feel my pretty tits before going home to his wife. Doesn't like me, not really.
I'm waiting for Jerome to come. Jerome always makes me happy. He'll pull up in his little curvy car and let me inside into the warm curvy car air. He'll talk to me in his curvy car voice.
"Do you like snakes?" He'll ask. I do. And apples too. Yum.
"Do you want to see my black serpent?" He'll ask. I'll say yes, even though I know he doesn't really have a snake. He just has a big cock. Funny. Maybe I'll tell him that. You don't have a snake, Jerome. What you have is a rooster.
No. Roosters don't spit like his snake; and Jerome doesn't like it when I talk.
Another man goes by. I don't talk to him because now I mostly want to see Jerome. Jerome can always make me happy.
"Hey." The man says. He's a vampire man without the teeth. He has a long, thin, pale face; with a long, thin, pale, nose. He touches my pretty face. A car goes by and the light from its head-lamps makes him into a shadow man.
"Are you waiting for someone?" Asks the silhouette. I tell him I wait for Jerome. Wait for the curvy car.
"Is Jerome your pimp?" I shake my head. (Don't you ever be no whore, girl. I'd just die if you was a whore.)
"A customer." No. Why do you want to know so much about Jerome, Vampire Man? He doesn't have a pretty face and a nice, round ass. He just has a big snake. What do you think about that?
Jerome pulls up in his curvy car, but the Vampire Man doesn't fly away. I go to the car and put my head through the space where the window was before Jerome made the door eat it. Jerome did that just for me. Jerome loves me.
"Hey." Jerome says. Somebody else already said that to me tonight. You just stole the word.
"Who's that?" He asks. Who? The Vampire Man standing behind me? Nobody matters to me but you. Do you have my happy stuff?
"Sure baby." He says, even though I'm not one. (You'll always be Mama's baby honey.) He shows me the happy stuff in its happy little baggie. I take it and start to get in the car but the Vampire Man pulls me away. Jerome grabs his gun and points it at him. No, not that gun. That's funny. I laugh.
"Easy, man." The Vampire man says. He isn't scared of Jerome's big nasty gun. Bullets can't really kill Vampires though, not really.
"No, man, I don't need her. Tell you what, you give me fifty bucks you can have the bitch and the junk." No, Jerome, don't say these things. I know you don't mean it, you love me. I forgive you.
The Vampire Man gives Jerome some money and he drives away. I still have the happy stuff, and I didn't have to play with the black serpent. That makes me happy, even though I don't mind having Jerome's dick in my mouth, not really.
The Vampire Man takes my hand and walks away with me. (Help! I'm being stolen!) He walks fast and for along time. Please stop Vampire Man. I can't keep up.
"Alright." He says. He walks for about a block more and then he brings me into a coffee shop that I used to go to a long time ago. We go inside into the warm air and he sits me down in a soft seat.
"Do you want some coffee?" He asks. No.
"Something to eat?" No. I want my happy stuff.
"Heroin?" I nod and show him the happy little baggie. And you can't have none. It's all mine.
"What do you take it with?" I reach into my pocket and show him the really good needle I found in the alley. Some dummy just threw it away. Now it's mine. You can't have this either.
"Using dirty needles can kill you." He says. So what? The happy stuff's going to kill me anyway, dead, dead, dead.
"You don't want to live?" Nope. I just want to feel good. Don't you want to feel good, Vampire Man? Isn't that why you bought me? (I'd just die if you was a whore.)
A teenager with greasy hair and an apron comes up to our table.
"C'mon man, put that away." He whispers. "You can't do that shit in here." I look up at him and the Vampire Man grabs my happy little baggie. He walks out of the shop very quickly. I run after him. He turns around in the street and I try to stab him with my needle. I'll teach you not to take my happy stuff. He steps away and grabs my wrist. Once he has my needle he smashes it with his hand. No! Why did you do that, Mister Vampire Man? What did I ever do to you?
"Shut up. You tried to kill me. Now do what I ask or I'll dump this shit down the first sewer grate I come to." What do you want, huh? My lips? My ass? Just tell me what to do and I'll do it, I promise. Please don't throw my happy stuff away.
"Follow me." He says, and he walks away so fast I almost have to run to keep up with him. I get so tired, but I don't stop. The Vampire Man has my happy stuff, and Jerome won't come back till Wednesday.
I follow the Vampire Man to an old, empty building. The walls have things growing out of them in places and moldy boards cover the windows. Is this where you have your coffin? He brings me around to the door and raps on it with his pale hand. Another vampire person opens it from the inside, a black woman who has faded to grey. She looks at my feet, and then slowly lifts her head till she's looking at my face.
"Why her?" She asks.
"She has black hair," says the Vampire Man, "like me; like Marissa."
"Ah." Says the Grey Lady. Even though that's not a word, not really.
The Vampire Man brings me inside into a big room that smells musty and wet. He takes me to a flight of creaky, vampire stairs, and we walk up them till I loose track of what floor we're on. We go down a hall way and he brings me into a bedroom with a little futon in it. A Futon-Room. That's funny. I laugh.
"You have a nice smile." He says. (All the better to eat you with.) "You're very beautiful." He lights a lantern that sits on an old sewing table with paint peeling down its legs. Can I have my happy stuff, Mister Vampire Man?
He grabs me and pulls me to him. I feel his breath on my lips.
"Fuck me, Marissa." He whispers. "Fuck me good and then you can have your junk." I kiss him, even though my name isn't Marissa.
The Vampire Man feels the part of my pretty stomach that my shirt doesn't cover, and then pushes his hands up till it doesn't cover anything anymore. It's cold in the futon-room and my nipples are hard. He kneels and licks them, sending little fire-fly tingles all through me. Oh God, Mama, I'm sorry if sometimes I like it. I know it's bad. I'm going to do the bad thing with this Vampire Man. I'm going to let him inside my bad, wet place and it's going to feel so good. I'm sorry.
He unbuttons my tight, black jeans and strips them off. He kisses my pussy through my panties before taking them off too. He makes me stand with my legs apart and then he kisses my pussy again. French kisses it; spreading the lips apart and pushing his tongue into me. I feel the screaming building up in me, filling me. Oh, I like it so much. I want you in me, Vampire Man. I want your essence to coat my insides.
He stands up and takes off his pants. Can you read my mind Vampire Man? His cock is long and thin, like the sword of Prince Charming. He picks me up and pushes me against the door. Shutting it and pinning me. I wrap my legs around his waist and he pushes into me. I lift myself with my legs and let myself fall into his thrusts. The screaming is all through me now, fighting to get out. I slide against the door as fast as I can and kiss him as I come, letting the screams out into his mouth. He spins around and lowers me to the cold, wooden floor. He keeps fucking me until he comes too. He covers my face with kisses. Little vampire kisses.
"Marissa... Marissa." He says. Did you like that Vampire Man? Was that good?
"Incredible." Good. I liked it too. Can I have my happy stuff now?
He pulls out of me and stands up; still in his sweater and long coat, but with no pants. His penis is limp now, and shiny in the light from the street. He goes to a closet across the room and opens the door. I see him reach onto a high shelf and take down a shoe box. Are you going to get high with me Vampire Man?
He sits in front of me indian style and opens the box. It's filled with white powder. I've never seen so much in my life. I dip my finger into it and then into my mouth. It tastes like chalk though, so I spit it out. I hope you didn't pay too much for that Mister Vampire Man. It's not what you think it is.
"It's not cocaine." He says. What is it then? What does it do? How do you take it?
"You breathe it. I blow it into your face and it kills you." Kills? Dead? That doesn't sound like fun.
He holds up my happy little baggie.
"This shit kills you too, only it kills you piece by piece. First it kills your brain, then it kills your pride. Pretty soon you find yourself selling your ass for ten bucks on a street corner just to get more of the stuff. Eventually though, it kills your body; and then everything's over. You're dead and you never come back." So what, Vampire Man; at least that way you die happy. (Mama, I didn't mean to be no whore. I'm sorry.)
He picks up a handful of the Powder.
"But you see, the special thing about dying this way is that you get to come back. And when you come back you're better. You never need to eat or drink, and you never get sick. You never feel sad or guilty. You can live forever if you want to; and this," He holds up my baggie with his other hand, "you'll never need this again. All you'll need is the Powder." No, thank you. I don't want to die, not really. I don't want to be pale like you. I just want my happy stuff. Then I'll go away.
"I don't want you to go away, Marissa. I want you to stay with me forever."
I get up and run for the door. I don't care about my happy stuff anymore. He can keep it. I'll find Jerome and he'll give me some more. I know he will. He'll give me a new needle too; because Jerome loves me.
I pull on the door but it's stuck. (Oh, I don't want to die.) I spin around and the Vampire Man is standing right in front of me, with his handful of Powder between our faces. I gasp, and he blows it down my throat, into my lungs. I try to scream but the Powder's so dry it takes my voice away. Oh no, no, no, no.
"I'm sorry Marissa," He says, "I just couldn't let you leave me this time. The Preacher can't hurt us here."
My legs start to feel like they're made of play-doh. I think I'm going to fall but the Vampire Man picks me up and carries me to the futon. He kisses my forehead and stands up. His face gets blurry when it's so far away. The futon isn't long enough for my pretty body. I think it must have been made for some little vampire child.
He walks to the door we came in and yanks on it hard so that it opens. Oh, no Vampire man, don't leave me in here to die. I'll fuck you again I swear; just take your Powder back okay? Please...
He leaves and shuts the door behind him.
Oh, my legs won't move, oh God. The air tastes so good. I don't ever want to stop breathing. Everything is getting blurry now. I'll never see the pretty lights again. I'm so scared. Jerome, come save me. Come take me away from here and make me happy again. I don't want to go to hell. Mama says all whores go to hell. Why am I all alone? What did I do wrong? Oh please. God, tell me. I'm not bad Mama I swear... I swear... I'm so scared. My name's not even Marissa.
It's day out now and the room has no curtains. The light hurts so bad. Need to sleep more. Nowhere to go... Just sleep.
The sun is going down and taking the light and heat with it. The sky turns deep purple and fills the room with its hue. The futon is uncomfortable and I don't have a blanket. The air smells like old sex. I want to take a shower but I don't know where one is. The door to the hall way opens. Vampire Man? Is that you coming to kill me again? No. It's another one of the vampire people. A woman, but not the grey lady I saw before. A tall woman with stringy, blond hair. Her eyes are hidden behind it so I can't tell what color they are.
"Marissa?" She asks in a soft voice. I shake my head. That's not my name. That's just what the Vampire Man calls me.
"Are you the girl he brought in from the street last night?" Yes. That's who I am. The girl from the street.
"Can you be Marissa for me?" She asks. I nod. (I'll be anything you want honey, just don't leave me okay?)
She pushes aside her hair and smiles. She's pretty like me, but with sad eyes. I think she remembers things too.
She helps me up and takes me over to my clothes. I get dressed and follow her into the hallway. She leads me to another room on the same floor.
"This is my room." She says, and opens the door. There's a big canopy bed and a chest of drawers with a mirror on top inside. They both look old. Like stuff from the junk yard.
She brings me inside and takes me through another door. We're in a bathroom now. A bathtub is against a wall. It's one of the old kind with the little monster feet holding it up. It's filled with steaming water.
"Do you like where I live?" She asks. Yes I do. You have a beautiful little girl room. Like the one I had. I had a bed like yours once.
"Would you like to take a bath?" Sure, Sad Lady. I like baths.
She stands behind me and pulls my shirt over my head; letting her hands feel my pretty tits before she takes off my pants and underwear at the same time. I didn't bring my shoes.
She helps me into the tub and rubs at my back with a washcloth. Nothing feels real.
"Let's get you all clean Marissa." Who's Marissa? Why do I have to be her? Why's she so special?
"Marissa was his sister. She lived with their Mother far away from him; in the country. When he would go to visit he and his sister would sleep in the same bed; even when they were to old to be doing so and started having desires that they shouldn't have been having. Their Step-Father was a preacher, and he saw no reason they shouldn't spend the nights together since he believed that God protected his house from incest and all other forms of sin."
"Do you know what incest is honey?" Sure. Incest is the bad thing Uncle Phil did to me when I was twelve, and I did to him when I was fifteen. Did the Vampire Man do it too?
"Yes. He started fucking his sister when she was in ninth grade. It was bound to happen eventually. It was so hot there in the country that they slept naked. Sometimes they got into tickling fights. Wrestling with a naked girl would make him hard and one night he just slipped into her. After that they did it all the time. They liked it. Knowing that there was someone in the house that thought it was evil just made them like it more. They fucked every night they were together for a year." Yes? What happened then?
"The Preacher walked in one morning while his Step-Son was taking his sister from behind. He howled in rage that Satan had invaded his home, and stormed out of the room. He came back in a few moments later with a shotgun while his children were still dressing. He shot them both, and then himself. Only one of them lived." The Vampire Man? Of course. He didn't die till later. Not until he breathed the Powder.
Oh God. He blew the Powder down my throat. Am I dead now Sad Lady?
"No, of course not. You might have been for a while, but now you're fine." Am I a ghost? "No. You're Marissa. You're everything he's ever wanted since that day in the country." Oh, Sad Lady, I'm so cold. Why did you make the water so cold?
The Sad Lady kisses my forehead. "You need some more Powder."
She helps me out of the tub and dries me off with a big fluffy towel from a hotel. She leads me into her bedroom and leaves me standing naked on the floor while she opens the top drawer of her dresser and pulls out a small metal box. She lifts the lid and takes out a handful of the Powder inside.
"Take a deep breath." She says. I do and she blows the dust into my face. I look past the Sad Lady and into the mirror on top of the chest of drawers. The Powder makes my face all white. I rub it away but I'm still so pale. A pretty Vampire Lady now; with a pretty white face framed by pretty black hair.
"You're beautiful." She says. "What's your name?" You already know my name, Sad Lady. I'm Marissa.
"Good." She takes me into her arms and kisses me. Her tongue darts into my mouth and licks my teeth. All she's wearing is a short black dress with a zipper on the back. I undo it and let it fall to the floor. She pushes me gently onto the bed and bites my neck hard. I side my hand beneath her panties and feel her ass. It's not pretty and round like mine. It's tight and narrow, like a young boy's. I roll her over onto her back and pet the hairs between her legs. (Don't touch yourself there, girl. It's a bad place. A bad, wet place.)
I put my first two fingers inside her and fuck her with them. She moans softly at first, but screams when she comes; like I do. Shh, Sad Lady. You're going to wake the neighbors.
She kisses me again and then runs her tongue down my body till she reaches my pussy. She licks till the hair there is as wet as it was in the tub. Then she explores my insides with her mouth. Tasting, licking, sucking. I've haven't been with a woman since that time with Johnny. I did it for him, then, and I didn't really like it. I like it now though. The Sad Lady takes my clit into her mouth and tongues it until I stiffen and bite my lip. She stops and rests her head on my leg. I taste blood in my mouth.
"Sleep now." She says. "I know you must be tired." No. Mostly I'm hungry, even though the Vampire Man said I wouldn't need to eat any more. I never get tired after sex. Not like Johnny did. But I close my eyes anyway and try to take a nap on her big, beautiful, canopy bed.
I was a little girl once. I lived in a flat top house with its own backyard. I had a little orange cat named Fairy that loved me. The man Mama made us call Daddy loved me too. Sometimes I would try to play outside with the other children, but they always called me names.
"Crazy girl, crazy girl!" Toby shouts at me, circling me and shooting me with his squirt gun. Leave me alone. I just want to play Barbies with Patty.
"Well Patty doesn't like you crazy girl. Hazy, lazy, spacey, crazy girl." Shut up! Why don't you shut up? I yell and yell, but the children never stop teasing. They hate me. Just like Mama. Mama hates me cause I'm always doing bad things.
"I just got off the phone with little Mike's Mother you little bitch. She says you were showing your bad place to that boy. That's a bad, evil thing, do you hear me? Evil!" Mama's face gets so red when she's angry; and she puts it so close to mine. Her breath smells like cigarettes. I'm sorry Mama. I didn't want to but he said he'd buy me a candy bar if I did.
"Then he's almost as bad as you! Do you know what you're going to be if you keep doing that? A whore! Don't you ever be no whore girl. I'd just die if you was a whore."
The man Mama makes us call Daddy is home now. Mama is telling him about all the bad things me and Rory did today. I'm in bed, hugging Fairy close and trying not to listen; but her voice is so loud. Rory is teasing me through the wall.