Lurid Detective Stories: “The Price of Blood” – Part 1

“The world will treat you worse.”

***

Connie locks the front door of her apartment, collapses on her sofa, and manages to crack a smile in spite of being dead tired. Although Most has her pulling triple-shifts in the sack room, she’s back to being Constance Ann Smith again. A casting locket is the reason why she can live the lie of her old life. It was fashioned for her by Margo, a witch who lives in the apartment across the hall. As long as Connie wears the locket, she has her mortal appearance. The locket casts the spell of retro-version upon its prescribed wearer.

Smith reluctantly removes the locket, whose enchanted clasp only she’s supposed to be able to undo, and lays it upon the coffee table. The lie concedes to the truth. Connie’s phenotype again matches her genotype. Gone is the double-edged sword which appeases her craving for mortality while paradoxically reminding her of the mortality that she’s lost forever.

Connie kicks off her shoes and heads for a well-needed bath. She leaves a trail of clothes in her wake. TGIF, Thank God It’s Friday, she thinks. She has the entire weekend off for the first time since she went back to work at the hospital. Smith can indulge her Vampiric bathing fixation to its fullest. Nobody worships hygiene like the Lost.

***

As a refreshed Smith emerges from the bathtub, she hears someone knocking. The girl hastily towels dry and slips on a tank-top and jeans. When she opens the front door, she finds her roommate, Jenny Miller. Jenny’s well-traveled Samsonite is strapped to that familiar luggage carrier.

Miller is wearing a slinky fit, totally-impractical uniform that’s guaranteed to make the customers “stand at attention and howl”. Jen, a sky marshal with Pan Am, is enduring the first week of her six-month suspension. While suspended, she must work as a stewardess for the airline. The suspension stems from an in-flight shootout she had with a trio of would-be hijackers, during which, two passengers were injured.

“My flight out got cancelled. I forgot my key. And the damn elevator’s on the fritz again. Shit! What a day!”

Jenny is slender, leggy, and C-cup buxom. Hers is a typical physique for her Elvin gender. She also has the rest of the basic equipment package for an Elf female. High cheekbones, a strong nose, a wide mouth, and thin ruby-red lips, in other words, a beauty-queen-caliber face. A flaming-red muff. And, silky auburn hair.

This drop-dead gorgeous huffs and puffs as she staggers into the apartment and collapses onto the sofa. After several moments, Jenny finally sits up, kicks off her high heels, and lets go of the carrier. She moves her shoulder-length tresses behind her ears: a habit cultivated since childhood.

Like Connie, she could easily pass [for human]. But fiercely proud of being Saved, she makes a point, no pun intended, of making sure whenever she’s around humans, she goes native at least once so said Mundanes know she’s a faerie menace.

“I must be going mortal, because hiking up several flights of stairs used to not faze me at all. Please, help me out of this iron maiden.”

As Connie helps Jenny undo the buttons of the uniform blazer, Jenny takes advantage of the opportunity to French kiss the bigger girl. Connie pulls back, violently spitting and wiping her lips.

“Don’t ever do that again. I’ve told you I don’t feel the same way about you that you feel about me!”

“Liar.”

“Fuck you!”

“Ready whenever you are.”

“You’re impossible, insensitive …”

“And bushed. So, help the maid-of-honor at your wedding out of her duds. I promise to be good this time and not make any more passes. Girl Scout’s honor.”

“You were never a Girl Scout.”

Jenny flashes that patented grin of hers. Connie acquiesces and helps Jenny out of her button-down blazer, scoop-neck tunic, and pencil skirt. Later on, they split a twelve-pack of Bud liberated from the fridge. While they’re sitting at the dinning room table, slamming down brewskies, Jenny, who is wearing only her Bali brand undies, brings up a subject even more delicate than the revised nature their relationship.

“Have you told Gregg, yet?”

“You never give up, do you? You can be a real bitch sometimes! Sure I’ve told him his pristine image of womanhood is now a monster, with a newfound fondness for human flesh and blood, whose temptation is voided by a casting locket; a casting locket, I might add, which Margo refused to take money for. Acting like a real, horny ass sabrina, she’d only take payment in trade. I had to pose in the nude for those fuckin’ horrid Monets of hers.”

“Then, you should have gotten the locket from someone else, someone who would take money, someone who would offer you a better deal.”

“Smart ass! You know I needed that locket quickly, discreetly, and at a reasonable price. And I sure as hell couldn’t afford what those other tricksters were demanding! Margo gave me the best deal.”

“Simmer down, couz. I was only teasing.”

“I’m not in the fuckin’ mood for any jiving around.”

“You seldom are.”

“Get used to it.”

“Says who?”

“Go piss up a rope and suck on the droppings.”

“My, my, aren’t we so very piss and vinegar tonight. The Temptation’s no biggie. In time you’ll learn to control it. At least most of the time. Hell. What waz I thinking? You bez da legendary Cannibal Annie Smith. Ergo, you’ll find the steel to repress your Specters, entirely. Ha. Ha. Ha.”

“Up yours, ho!”

“And don’t worry. I won’t tell your fiancé that you’ve been brought across. You’re my best friend and I won’t do anything to sabotage your engagement.”

Connie ignores Jenny’s mock sincerity. She knows the real reason why Jenny won’t tell Gregg about her inhumanity is that Jen enjoys seeing Gregg, an avowed Humanist, unknowingly dating an inhuman.

“You were right about me needing to re-register as Dark. Will you go down with me to the Species Registration Bureau, tomorrow morning?”

“Of course, I’ll go down.”

While Connie pretends to not notice the risqué in Jenn’s affirmation, Jenny toys with the idea of making another move on Connie.

“You look so delish, Connie. You’re much more attractive Dark than you ever were human.”

“Let’s change the subject, please. You’re getting personal, again.”

“Not half as personal as I’d like to be gettin’. I bet you would have fucked me back when you were a ghoul.”

“Back then, I fucked anybody and anything. That was then, this is now. Subject closed. Besides. Back then, I also killed on a whim, often times during a good jam. Still wish for me as your ghoul lover?”

“There you go again. You’re such a jive talker.”

“You’re hopeless, you fuckin’ monster.”

“How’z ‘bout two frosty bottles of Missouri Mule?”

“Bring ‘em on. I’ve never been the type to refuse 100-proof.”

***

“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.” — Abraham Lincoln

Comments are closed.