Snuggled in the nice part of the town, Kandy’s home is a three-story house resting on a hillside of manicured land. Do the neighbors suspect an ancient creature lives next door? Likely not. To them, Kandy is just another eccentric working nights.
Many rooms are without lights, dead bulbs or empty fixtures. On the main floor, light wriggles in through windows splashing furniture from an older era and the carpeted stairs leading to the upper floor where everything appears modern. The bathroom contains a jacuzzi tub large enough to seat five. Uninterested in the wading pool, Steve searches for a shower.
Flipping the light switch, he finds an empty bedroom in the stark light of the unshaded bulb. The carpet appears untouched. Turning the light off, he continues down the hall. A floorboard groans beneath his weight.
A sharp cry followed by a muffled scream sends shivers racing down his back.
At the end of the hall, on the side, soft light glows within a crack in the door painting a line over a framed photograph hanging on wall on the opposite side. A closed door nearly hides in the shadows beyond the photograph. The light wiggles, and a painful moan escapes the doorway.
On toes, Steve sneaks along the wall. He listens to creaking, another whimper, and a pleasurable gasp. It sounds like a minor struggle, but the gratifying sound is what scares him the most. The muffled cries, slap of flesh, and orgasmic cry sends his heart thumping. One soft step, he holds his breath, and peers through the crack in the door.
Five red candles, wax flowing like a frozen waterfalls onto granite countertop, reflect in the mirror, ten wriggling flames send shadows dancing. Condensation drips from the fog at the top of the mirror cutting through half of the candles. Blue jeans and a white shirt lay on the tile floor beneath the counter. Undergarments rest on the toilet seat. The floor creaks, and the walls respond popping.
Touching finger on door, Steve nudges it open another inch revealing a wall between counter and a walk-in shower, clouded glass door hanging open.
Standing beneath the dripping shower head, and fully dressed, Kandy holds a nude woman, moist backside pressed against black shirt. One hand clamped over mouth, the other holds the woman’s arm twisted back over, wrist held like a vice. Kandy bites into the woman’s arm, blood squirts and flows down the arm, dripping from elbow splashing onto wet tile. The woman squirms, feet thrashing, and she falls still leaning against Kandy. The hand absorbs the cry.
Steve cringes as he listens to lips smacking flesh, the dripping. The guttural growl sends his stomach rising, heat flowing into his throat.
Head tilted to the side, Kandy licks at the wound, lapping blood. And she watches him. Her gaze locked on him, she continues licking and kissing the wound. She wraps her arm around the woman’s middle holding her like a doll.
Tearing his eyes away, Steve steps away from the door and turns. His legs feel weak, but he wills them into motion, and marches down the hall. Spotting shadows dripping into the very air like swirling smoke, he stops.
Kandy melts from the air standing right before him.
“What?” He waves over his shoulder indicating the girl in the shower. “Who?” The words avoid him, but his thoughts race faster than his heart. Is the woman the meal for the night? A willing blood donor? The image of Kandy biting into flesh stains his vision, but in the dim hall, he makes out a concerned look.
“You truly don’t remember anything, do you?”
He shakes his head. Concern over the woman overtakes his thoughts, and he spins around. Marching into the second bathroom, he sets his mind to the task, but the sight of blood brings the image back, blood squishing from lips. Inside the shower, the woman sits huddled in the corner hugging her knees to her breasts. And he recognizes her.
“You know her?” Kandy pulls a black towel from the bar on the outside of the glass door.
Grabbing the towel, he kneels and reaches into the shower throwing the towel over Sabrina. It is like at Torx’s apartment finding the same glazed look, and naked chest speckled with water drops and blood instead of pizza sauce. Sabrina appears stoned, barely responding to him drying her flesh.
Kandy cuts a length of gauze. Gently, she takes Sabrina’s hand and covers the wound fastening it with a clip. She leans over and kisses Sabrina on the cheek. The calmness on the Itoril’s face is both comforting and unnerving. Sabrina appears lost as she falls into Kandy’s arms like a child seeking comfort in a mother. Lifting the young woman, Kandy carries her across the hall into a bedroom.
Leaning against the doorjamb, Steve watches Kandy pull the covers over Sabrina. Is this something he has done before? Not with a young woman, but a child. It seems natural that a man his age should have a daughter he tucks in at night. Watching Kandy brush Sabrina’s hair back, he realizes the young woman is more than a midnight snack. There is a bond between them, maybe not like mother and daughter, but something similar.
Led by the hand down the stairs, he feels a little like a child.
Without memories, he is a child.