The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Kendra Hale
“Come join us along the coastline of Azure Beach. The white sands against the crystal clear water are calling you. Enjoy the fun in the sun with a seaside bar stocked full with a wide variety of delicacies from the local brewers. During the night enjoy music with DJ Lex Stroker. Locals swear by the killer vibes! This is definitely a vacation you will never forget!”
She comes to my bar, timid but excited. I give her my most charming smile, trying to put her at ease. I have been a bartender long enough that I have learned to spot the body signals, she is a vacationer. She is a virgin though, this is her first time leaving home. She has left the nest and is spreading her wing for the first time. It is a sweet sentiment to know that Azure Beach was her choice.
She is nervous but shyly returns my smile. Her hand comes up to brush strands of her mahogany hair from her face. Her grey eyes catch mine and she looks beyond me to the bottles resting on the shelves behind me.
“What do you recommend?” she says as she points to the ornate array of bottles.
My smile widens as I let my eyes follow her finger. A hmm escapes my lips and my hand comes up to my chin as I pretend to think on her question. I look over the bottles that range in age and color, size and different levels of alcohol. Each one had different names etched artistically and were filled with gold to stand out against the glass itself.
Sure the bar had the usual common brews and liquors in stock, but that was not what people normally came for on vacation. That and the girl had asked for him to choose. I let my hand bruh over the bottles one by one ruminating on my decision for this sweet girl.
“ Let’s see, Alfonso is a sweet sip, Christianna is a more robust flavor, Stephanio builds its flavors in layers.”
She had come to me and had said the magic words. My hand stopped as my decision had been made the moment I had seen her smile. A deep royal purple bottle that reminded most of the one used in that old show about dreaming and genies. The name on the bottle was Eduardo and this was the only option it could have been.
Turning back to her, I grabbed a glass out of the chiller and began to pour the dark amber liquid. The smell hit the air instantly of the light fragrance of honeysuckles. I watched her take a seat finally as her eyes went to the glass.
“That smells delicious.” she brought the glass up to her nose, taking the floral aroma in.
“Azure Beach offers many exclusive drink selections, but this is a personal favorite. Eduardo is floral, sweet, and light. Enjoy.”
I have played this game too many times. I know to be engaging enough while still remaining aloof. Charming. Charismatic. I turn to put the bottle back in its place and I hear her soft thank you. I turn in time to see her take the first sip. A smile lights both our faces, unbeknownst to her, an ancient deal has been struck.
The night goes on and along the beachfront people meander along. Some still sway to DJ Lex’s tunes that sing out, echoing along the beach. Some make their way to their rooms for the night, content with tonight’s adventure coming to a close. The crowd had thinned to a sparse dozen or so left.
The scent of honeysuckle sings to me and beckons demanding my attention. She is waiting for me. The moonlight encapsulates her and the gentle breeze and sounds of the waves along the shore have set quite the stage for me.
I couldn’t ask for more.
I can hear muffled noises behind me and I know that my brethren have claimed those who were chosen to have their drinks.
Azure Beach is special alright. The locals discovered long ago how to merge our vampiric blood, the essence of our lives, into liquors that are unique to us. The receiver of this drink takes us into them. They seal a pact. All with the simple act of asking for me to select their drink.
She tastes of flowers and sunshine, of honeysuckle touched by the sun after a spring rain. For the first time I am saddened I never asked her name…
Fiction © Copyright Kendra Hale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Kendra Hale:
A Gothic Bite Magazine Anthology
A collection of poetry.