I sat on the edge of the bed and stroked Laura’s hair. Unconscious or asleep, the girl rested in a tangle of bedsheets. Listening to her heartbeat, her music, warmed me. Her scent was like an intoxicating flower.
Pressing upon my mind was what I had found under her bed.
Holding the two syringes in my hand, I searched their nearly transparent bodies and razor sharp needles. I could still smell the contents. The silver fangs had dripped Itoril venom.
On the streets the drug was called, vampire ice. An effective pain killer, vampire ice was also a powerful hallucinogen. As far as I knew, there was no such thing as synthetic venom. Chemistry, and a freezer, allowed venom to survive in a container outside of a body, a tricky process I had been told on several occasions. Of course, the most challenging part was obtaining Itoril venom. Few Itoril were venomous, and those that were could kick some serious ass.
I didn’t know which bothered me more: fellow Itoril had died for the drug, or that Laura could casually inject herself with vampire ice in my home. I felt cheated.
It took some rousing, but finally, Laura awakened and gazed at me with her sleepy eyes. I held up the syringes and asked her where she had obtained them.
She spat curse words at me.
Unaccustomed to being spoken to with such disrespect, I had a mind to correct the teen as boys and girls had been corrected back in the day when I was young, a belting to her bare behind until she bled. These days there were easier ways to punish a teen. Reaching over to the bed table, I snatched her phone. I marched out of the room and held the door shut.
Laura pounded on the door and shrieked obscenities.
With all the commotion, I barely noticed I wasn’t alone in the hall. Dark talons lashed out, and I spun away. The wraith, not much more than a shadow, crept closer. I threw the phone and syringes, and they passed right through the wraith.
Facing this creature yet again, I realized I needed to consider a strategy. Without any immediate ideas, and weaponless, I ran.
The creature followed me down the stairs. On the second floor, I crossed into the shadows between our worlds hoping I could lose him by doubling back into my realm. Turning, I searched for my assailant.
Standing alone in silence, I peered through the ghost structure of the restaurant spotting Laura’s ghost moving in slow-motion in the hallway above. Nothing stood on the stairs, or the second floor balcony overlooking the empty stage.
It seemed odd the wraith had departed without a fuss. I exited the quiet place to the sound of creaking wood.
Standing on the stairs, Laura glared at me. Pulling up the end of her night shirt, she scratched her leg. Right where I had bitten her, on the inside of her thigh, her flesh appeared smooth and untouched.
“What the hell?” asked Laura. She held up her phone revealing a crack in the corner.
I apologized for damaging her phone, and asked her again about the vampire ice.
“I haven’t used in weeks,” said Laura. She shook her head. “You killed my dealer. Have you forgotten?”
Having no idea what she was going on about, I questioned her further leading me to a troubling thought. I no longer controlled some recent memories. She, of course, had no memory of my attack due to my venom, and using vampire ice in the past could have blurred her understanding of events. The lack of scarring on her leg, however, proved she hadn’t experienced my bite.
It was as if I hadn’t fed, yet I felt satisfied.