Read the following short story, “Monster Love” by E. M. Duesel and then give it your vote for the short story contest by Something Or Other Publishing, LLC. by clicking onto the link immediately following the story.
A shadow stood amid the trees in the dark of the night gazing up at Lila’s well-lit room; her curves sensuously slid across the folds of pink silk that adorned her body. His own body pulsated with desire from head to toe. Though sexual in pretense, he played that part in many lifetimes, and in each period of living, his style reflected the sensuality of the times. Mysterious and erotic, he enticed ladies into his darkness, and they succumbed to his allure. In each lifetime his desire grew with the blood lust that cursed him. But, it no longer was enough for him to ensnare his prey. The ravenous need for blood now lacked the interest it used to, and Lila was the first woman of late to pique his interest and who might dare to satiate his unexplained appetite.
Stas Bardhi’s jet-black hair, sleek black jeans, custom made black leather jacket and boots, all enhanced the power he needed to lure 21st century ladies to his crypt, but this century kept him on guard for those girls who lived his lifestyle. Vampirism was now blood sport and humans enjoyed a certain fascination with the legend. They understood nothing about the reality – the salty but slightly metallic drink of human blood meant to furnish life to centuries long dead people. Still, they knew enough to thwart his plans if they got too close. Thanks to them, Stas was able to control his craving for blood due to the vampire group that so enthusiastically recruited him – amateurs… human… and willing. The women fell at his feet. His charm was irresistible to them. But, this one… this one showed no interest – not even a glance.
Lila stood before her mirror, she brushed her blonde hair with sensuous strokes, making love to the honied locks. Song drifted from her elegant mouth. Stas hissed a sigh of feral desire. Her magnetism levitated him to the second-story window where longing very nearly exposed him. His breath shortened while his body trembled. Claw-like nails emerged, his canines surfaced, and he haphazardly scratched the pane closest to him. It was enough to startle him out of his stupor.
With a voluptuous twist, Lila stopped brushing her hair and gazed undisturbed at the window. Without breaking her song or her stride she slipped out of the silk robe, exposing long legs and a nighty that covered just enough, but not too much. Stas’s heart pumped fiercely. “Control, Stas… control!” he stammered. He dropped to the ground and ran away.
Lila Pernell was slotted to sing at The Treble Clef the following night. New talent came and went through those doors. Some went on to more illustrious careers while others were content to play and sing for themselves. Lila didn’t seem to have that hunger for celebrity, and Pete Burger, the owner of the establishment was just fine with her coming every week to sing. She had a following who were hypnotized when she sang, and they were all drinkers. If a guy was lucky, he left with Lila at the end of the night. Pete never saw repeats, but always a new one mesmerized by Lila and thrilled to be chosen.
The cool evening settled in. October breezes juddered the leaves from their branches and keen bargoers bustled into The Treble Clef. Alone and out of sight, a frustrated Stas waited across the street for the provocative temptress who not once gave him an encouraging look.
“Hey, girl! You singing tonight?” A lovely young brunette called out to Lila who just seemed to manifest out of the park next to the bar.
“Yes, I am. Are you coming?”
The girl linked her arm into Lila’s and said, “I am.”
Lila brushed something from her shoulder and as it fell to the ground, Stas waited and then retrieved it after the ladies entered the bar. It was a feather. It wasn’t a small feather either. It had to be at least ten inches long. Striking blue and yellow, this climate was an unlikely place for this kind of bird to exist. Where in this park would there be a bird with this kind of feather? He pocketed it and went into the bar.
As he found a table, Lila had already settled in behind the microphone. The small crowd, mostly men, hushed with anticipation. Lila’s sultry voice began singing a bluesy melody that sent shivers down Stas’s spine. The same excitement continued from last night and grew within him. His ears throbbed. Blood pumped potently through his veins… ka-thump, ka-thump, ka… “What can I get for ya, Stas?”
Stas’s intense physical reverie was disrupted by Pete Burger. “Uh… uh… what?”
“Can I get you a beer or somethin’?” Pete smiled as he chewed his gum, knowing what Stas had on his mind.
“Uh, yeah, sure. A beer. That would be good.” Stas smiled and then directed his attention back to the oh so stimulating tones of Lila Pernell. Lila’s deep V-cut dress revealed a plump cleavage which rose and fell with each controlled breath she took. Stas was entranced and had to find a way to get her attention. He was not used to being ignored.
“Here ya go. Would you like an introduction?” Pete asked as he plunked the beer down.
“You… uh… you can do that? I mean, you know her?” Stas had never been so bemused by a woman. Usually, he was the one who did the flummoxing.
“Sure, stick around after her set. I’ll let her know you want to buy her a drink. That work?” Pete loved watching these guys get thrown over. It was a sick kind of fulfillment, but it floated his boat.
“That’s great. Yeah, thanks.” Stas managed to keep a level head while Lila sang one sexy song after another. Sweat seemed to surface with each quiver. To date, he was unaware that vampires perspired. He swiped at his brow oblivious to the effect she had on him.
Lila finished her set. He saw Pete whisper something in her ear and she looked in Stas’s direction. Stas managed a suave kind of smile. She slayed him and he didn’t know why. She returned the smile and coolly walked over to his table.
“Hello, my name is Lila Pernell.” Lila held her hand out.
Taking her hand in his, Stas kissed it and then blurted, “Yes, I know. Uh… I’m Stas Bardhi. Won’t you sit down?”
Lila slid into the chair next to him. She leaned in and said, “Do I know you, Stas?”
“I… I come in to hear you sing. Maybe you remember me from here.” Stas stammered.
Lila moved in closer. She lifted her lips to his ear and whispered. “Do you make a habit of slinking around a girl’s bedroom window?”
Stas gasped. He turned to face her. “I… you are the most appealing woman I have ever seen.” He took a second to regain composure and then gazed into her eyes. “And, you see, I have known many, many women.” Stas, feeling his old charm, moved his face closer to Lila’s. “You…” Stas swallowed, “… you unnerve me. You take my breath away.”
Moving even closer Lila said, “Ohh… well, we should leave and maybe I can give you your breath back.” Lila’s lips barely touched his.
Stas’s heart launched into rapid drumbeats against his chest. He had to squelch a rising growl in his throat. “I would like that very much.”
Her neck pulsed with such intensity that Stas didn’t know if he would be able to control his desire. His fangs were right there – right next to her jugular. Her heartbeat was strong and steady. He was stimulated to the point of clumsy. He stood up and stumbled over the leg of a chair. Captivation overruled embarrassment. He followed the enchantress out. Another feather lay on the ground before him.
Once outside, Lila took Stas’s arm and led him into the park. It was dark, but Stas liked the dark – the darker the better. He was trying to decide whether to toy a little with his prey. The kill should not be tonight, but another night when he had finished feeling every sensual caress, smell, taste, and touch this exquisite creature had to offer. Only then would he finally plunge his canines deep into her sweet, porcelain neck. Maybe a third night should be added to foment the blood that coursed through that luxurious body.
Lila eyeballed the young vamp walking so suggestively next to her. She stopped to molt a bit and shake off the down before he saw. He didn’t know. She was surprised, because she didn’t think her real self could be hidden from other cursed creatures. But, here he was… all hers. She took him deep into the park, but before she got to her lair, Stas stopped. Lila said irritated, “What?”
Stas pulled Lila into himself. He placed his arms around her firm body and brought her close. She sighed a breathy song as he licked her neck and nuzzled her breasts. He pulled her body close enough to bring her breasts to his ear. He could feel and hear her beating heart. Lila was so taken aback by the passion that her defenses softened, causing her song to escalate. It hypnotized Stas. His fangs emerged and his nails grew, but before he lost total control he fought off his animal urges and stopped. Lila’s song ceased. They stood apart regaining control.
“Well… that was…” Lila gulped “… that was something.” She didn’t know what to think. The heat between them was baffling. Why didn’t she just continue her song? Why didn’t she lure him into her lair? She had the advantage. He didn’t know her real secret.
“Yes. Well, that was quite… unusual.” Stas wanted more, but he needed to wait. He moved nearer to Lila. “Let’s do this again… tomorrow.”
The fascination was so strong. He craved her; to taste her just once more before he left. Lila rubbed up against him. She began to hum a hot, sensuous tune. Stas tried to control himself, but it was all too much and again they found themselves entangled. In a fever, he recognized that if he wanted more it had to be drawn out for only one more night. Lila’s power over him was too much.
Knowing that she too wanted to tease her plaything, Lila wrapped her arms around him, but as she began to kiss him, down sprouted from her follicles. She stopped her song and let Stas continue to nuzzle her, but when he noticed that she was no longer singing he lessened his grasp. Lila’s arms reverted to their normal smooth and silky appendages. Surprised and entranced by each other and still breathless with desire, they brushed lips, stepped apart, and departed.
Stas walked back to his crypt. He was hungry and knew he must find a willing participant. It was a mere necessity. If he wanted to prolong his encounter with Lila, he had to be satisfied. The vampire group would have to suffice, so he arrived there and found ample women to feed on. None of them was Lila; none of them lifted him to the heights that she did. None of them riled his blood… none but Lila. After eating, he went to watch… just watch her once more.
Lila’s bedroom was perfect. She made sure that the windows were long and wide so if she wanted her prey to see her, they could. She felt his eyes devouring her. It was her snare, but she felt the most comfortable in the cave she inhabited in the woods – her lair. It allowed for her to be in her natural state. She could preen her feathers and if she lost a few it didn’t matter.
Standing in front of the mirror, Lila stroked the long hair that took the place of her beautiful plumages. She pondered how she would get Stas into the lair. He might just go willingly. There she could seduce him, and no one would hear his growls and hisses. It excited her to think that she had caught the eye of a vampire. He was divine – handsome, sexy, and oozed obsession. It was such a shame that he would only last another day as he was about to become her greatest conquest. His death deserved passion; a death song meant for carnal bliss.
The next evening, Stas joined Lila at The Treble Clef. As they sat together at a secluded table, their legs touched. Sparks ran through them and drove them to impatient attraction. Lila had just finished singing her set, which pushed Stas over the edge. Body heat nudged them to the bar exit, and they left to walk through the park, but this time Lila walked them deeper near her lair.
“Lila, let’s talk.”
“Are you going to tell me that you love me?”
“I can tell you that I love you as much as someone like me can love.”
“Is that it? Should I sing to you some more?” Lila pressed her body against him laughing.
“No, please, not just yet.” Stas laughed. “I need to tell you something. It will probably shock you, and I may lose you.”
Lila pouted her lip, “You gonna tell me that you’re a vampire?”
Stas was stunned. Did Lila really know? “Are you kidding?”
“I’ve known from the beginning. What you don’t know is…” She slithered closer, “… that I’m a siren.”
Stas jolted away from her. “Okay… wow. That’s why you affect me the way that you do.”
“Yes. It leaves us with quite a dilemma, don’t you think? Do I kill you or do you kill me?” Lila laughed at the quandary. “I mean, we’re monsters. That’s what we do, right?”
“Lila, I’m a vampire. I don’t die.”
“But, I’m a siren. I have the ability to sing you into sweet insanity, and then to death.”
“You mean I could die, like die, die?”
“It’s what I do. So, what will happen to me if you drink my blood?”
“I can either drain you completely, and you’ll die, or I can turn you into a vampire like me. That’s what usually happens. But you are a siren, so that’s up for grabs. What’s left for us?”
“I don’t know. What do you want to do?”
“Look, all I know for sure is that you send me into orbit when you sing to me and when you sing while I am turning, it’s all I can do to stay sane. It has been a long while since someone could do that to me. I have never felt such excitement and I’ve lived over two centuries, so… look… if it kills me then it kills me. I mean, what a way to go, right?”
“I don’t die unless someone escapes me. When I start my death song, maybe you could run like hell away from me. Then I would die.”
“Trust me when I tell you that I may not have that kind of willpower. I say we leave it up to fate. But, until then let’s enjoy.”
Lila giggled. “Let’s play.” She slinked toward him singing her sexiest blues tune.
Stas was helpless. He moved in on her and found new places to explore as his fangs crept out and his fingernails grew to claw-like points. Lila maneuvered Stas into her lair all the while letting him gently nibble on her neck. He grazed it with his canines. Lila shivered. They tripped through piles of bones that lined the cave. Lila’s singing quivered from excitement and Stas became even more aggressive. They didn’t know who would live through it this final time and they didn’t care.
When Stas tore her clothes with his nails, Lila’s song reached a feverish pitch. Stas howled with excitement. He couldn’t get away, he didn’t want to run away, he wanted to devour her. He lunged at her knocking her on her back. He straddled her and Lila’s song intensified. Stas’s fangs plunged into the sweet, soft neck he fantasized about, and her blood gushed into his mouth and trickled down her throat reaching her breasts. He licked and sucked the red substance from her breasts and Lila’s voice lifted to a deafening pitch. Stas screamed in pain, holding his hands over his ears. Lila’s passion was out of control as she sang the siren’s death song. Her monster could not stop. Stas reached out to her one last time before he disintegrated, and his ashes joined the bones strewn across the ground of Lila’s lair. She finished her death song as her neck pumped out her final bit of blood. She dropped drained, closed her eyes, drew one last breath, and died.
Monster love – ain’t it beautiful?