The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
One for the Road
by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
“It’s a quarter to twelve. There’s nothin’ on the shelf but my fancy phone.” I sang new words to the old tune. Not well, of course, but I hadn’t been chosen for my singing voice. Only two candles illuminated the room, casting a warm light onto the settee and allowing velvet shadows to pool in the corners.
“Oh, Marcus, you’re such an amusing, dear man. How is it no one’s snatched you up?” The pretty, though rather generically blonde, model I’d picked up at The Emerald Pussy Cat smiled at me, her blue eyes heavy with a welcome bit of lust and bleary with wine.
What was her name again? Julie? Jennifer? Josephine? Joanne? Something with a J. “I possess hidden depths, um, J—” I dragged out the J sound.
“Joyce.” The drunken little minx over-pronounced her name.
“Ah, yes.” I checked the time again and refilled Joyce’s wine glass. She’d asked me to make her a martini, but I’d claimed not to have any vermouth. Untrue, of course, but wine produced a cleaner effect on the blood.
Joyce – it was Joyce, right? – oh, well, whatever her name, she leaned back against the oversized pillows on the settee and tilted her face toward the ceiling. The arch of her neck was truly lovely. Shame about the utter lack of intellect.
“Marcus, why don’t you come sit beside me? You’re w-a-a-a-a-y over there by the fireplace. So very far.” Her eyelashes fluttered in what I can only surmise she intended to be a seductive gesture. She looked rather as though she were undergoing a seizure of some description.
A darker shadow breathed within the gloom surrounding the doorway. A sidewise glance at the clock on the mantle confirmed that midnight had arrived. I slid onto the seat next to Joyce (yes, that was the name) and took her carefully into my arms, turning her head just so.
Veronique – my mistress, the vampire queen of my life, the one who held my soul in her delicate hands – swooped onto the creamy throat and fed while I gripped the thrashing body. The fight lasted but a few moments. Veronique lifted her bloody mouth to mine, my reward for a job well done.
“Oh, my lady,” I murmured, “soon you’ll be well again and able to hunt for yourself once more. Will you still love me then?”
Those cool, blood-red lips curved ever-so-slightly. “My Marcus, how could you doubt it?” Her eyelids lowered. “But I’m still hungry. Can you find me another?”
I kissed her fingers and sang, “One more for my vampire. One more for the road.”
Fiction © Copyright Mary Ann Peden-Coviello
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Mary Ann Peden-Coviello:
Fright Mare-Women Write Horror
Short Story: One Hour Before the Dark
Women write horror and have written it since before Mary Shelley wrote FRANKENSTEIN. This anthology is to highlight the fact women write great horror and to kill the fallacy that they aren’t in some way up to standard. They are. Read here stories by Elizabeth Massie, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Lucy Taylor, and a plethora of other great writers as they work on your nerves, get inside your head, and bang out some of the scariest tales written today. I’m proud to present these women for your consideration, as Rod Serling might say, as I ask you to step into FRIGHT MARE. Lock the door and windows, put on a light, and remember, it’s not real. It’s not real. Midnight awaits, monsters scheme to take you away, the strange and weird wait in the shadows, but it’s not real. Is it?
Edited by Billie Sue Mosiman, the author who brought you the SINISTER-TALES OF DREAD collections and her latest suspense novel, THE GREY MATTER.