I told you, I’m not a goth.

When you meet someone, and they put you in a box….😑😒

An Undead Christmas Carol. J R Manawa.

I told you, I’m not a goth….

“I’m not a Goth!” Nadine had snapped at him, only a few minutes into their casual conversation on the dance floor.

“You all say that.” Caleb laughed.

She grinned. His laugh had pulled her in, like a fly…into a Venus fly trap.

He dragged his fingers down her back and stopped at her waist before he pulled her closer for the next dance.

“So what brings a goth to a club like this?” he asked, casually looking around the floor in a way that gestured to the white leather sofas, neon lighting over the bar and fluorescent pink and green graffiti adorning the walls.

“It’s Sonia’s birthday.” She jerked her thumb over her shoulder at her flatmate.

He’d met her earlier over an in-depth discussion about fake fangs. She thought Caleb’s were particularly well-made.

He nodded, and they continued to dance.
“What makes a goth want to dance?” he asked suddenly, “I thought goths were too enlightened to dance?”

The girl stopped dancing, “Do you have to talk so much?” she asked.

Caleb blinked.

“I told you, I’m not a goth. I like to dance because it allows me to forget the pain of my existence on this planet, and I wear black because I’m not a show pony,” she ducked around a girl in red killer heels and a leopard print mini dress who stumbled her way.

Caleb laughed, and she let out a half smile before she took a sip of her drink.

“I guess whisky helps with forgetting the pain too,” he commented.

She shrugged, “It’s not like I’m sitting alone in a room emptying a bottle of scotch. It’s just JD and coke, and I don’t do ‘getting drunk’.”

“So typical for a goth,” Caleb agreed, goading her now.

“Then surprise me with something new,” she suggested, holding her glass up and then pouring it over the floor of the club rather nonchalantly.

Caleb smiled as she did it. Here was another one, full of bitterness and the pain of the existence that she spoke of. Another one looking for a night to forget, and judging by the way she encouraged him now, another one with a thing for boys that looked like vampires.

So he went and purchased the goth a drink, the kind she would like because it was sweet and easy to drink, even though he knew she would claim she hated it for those very reasons.

When he returned, she was gone. Slightly taken by surprise, he followed her scent to the bathroom where her smell became mixed with the stronger aromas of vomit and human piss.

He was waiting when she came out, still holding the two drinks, one in each hand. A token one meant for him, and the one for her.

She wiped her lips as she left the bathroom, and he could smell the vomit on her. She didn’t even notice him as she turned and walked slowly back to the dance floor.
He fell into step beside her.

“You,” she said, with neither disgust nor interest, but perhaps a small drop of surprise.

“Yes, me.” Caleb had to admit even to himself that this game was beginning to entertain him even more than it usually did. She was new and fresh and her indifference so far was in brilliant contrast to all his other food sources of late.

“I thought you didn’t do ‘getting drunk’?” he said with amusement.

She turned to face him, and lost her balance. He caught her effortlessly and put her back on her feet again, still with both drinks in hand.

“I did say that,” she agreed.

“What’s with the vomiting then?”

“A misdemeanour.”

“Oh,” he smiled a crooked smile. He was making progress. The perfect prey. He almost thought twice however, before he handed her the drink he’d bought. Internally he argued that he didn’t want to taste the alcohol in her blood, and that was the only reason for his hesitation. But she’d already seen the drink intended for her, and she snatched it from his hand.

She raised it to her lips for a mouthful, but the smell clearly reached her nostrils first. The cocktail glass dropped to the floor. Caleb caught it before it smashed, but he wasn’t quick enough to avoid the girl vomiting again, this time all over his shirt.

“I need to go home,” she said, as she looked up from the vomit. She didn’t even apologise.

Caleb’s brow twitched. As he looked down at his shirt he realised quickly that he was no longer hungry, not for her anyway.

The girl stumbled away from him and found a wall. She slid down the wall, and found the floor.

Caleb went to the men’s room. As he washed the vomit from his shirt, he mused over the fact that Levi would find this story delightfully entertaining.

‘Never would I have thought it possible a girl could turn you off your food, brother,’ was most likely what he would say. In Caleb’s own defence, he hadn’t thought her to be that drunk.

Caleb looked at himself in the mirror. He was still beautiful, despite his destroyed clothing and the stench of vomit. He could have seduced a woman wearing only rags if he’d liked to. It wasn’t an arrogant thought – simply the truth. He blinked twice, and let his chest rise and fall once as if with breath, before he pulled away from the sink and strode toward the door.

She was still there sitting against the wall in the corner, sleeping now. The security guards had not yet noticed her, but two men had. They were trying to wake her, though she remained unresponsive. Caleb watched from a distance as one of them picked her up and slung her arm over his shoulder. He held her by the waist so she could stand.

A mere human may not have noticed it in the dark of the club, but Caleb definitely saw the slight nod of the head and the pleased smile that the men shared as they began to drag her toward the door.

At that moment, Caleb could not have cared. Whether the girl died at his hands, or suffered at the hands of someone else, did it really matter? She was just another one, another insignificant human with a pulse.

Afterward he would argue that he did what he did because he did not like it when someone else played with his toys. Even now as he followed them, he believed he only did it out of morbid curiosity. Her friends had not yet even noticed that she was gone, no one was looking out for her, and no one cared as the two men carried her out of the club and up the road until they reached an alleyway leading off into the darkness. They only stopped once to check if anyone was watching before they dragged her into the shadows.

Certainly they did not see Caleb, though he was only a few yards away from them up on the balcony of a fire escape. The vampire licked his tongue over his cold lips. He’d found that he was hungry.

And he’d found the perfect meal.

He fell from the balcony and landed in the alley without a sound. Moving with grace and unnatural speed, he grabbed a handful of hair and pulled back the head to expose the neck of the man nearest to him, whilst snatching up the other by the throat and crushing his windpipe so he couldn’t scream.

His upper lip curled back and his fangs glistened in the dull light of the alley as he pulled the warm throat toward them, and plunged his teeth deep into the throbbing artery.

After the first rush he drunk slow and took his time, willing his waiting victim to watch and witness all that was happening to his companion.

The heart stuttered once, and gasped for blood before it slowed. Caleb let go happily, and the body slumped to the gutter.

“Your turn,” he laughed as he turned on the second.

He released the throat for a second, and the gurgled scream which the man released was not near enough to stay the blood-drunk vampire as he sunk his fangs in again.