I found her in Vegas, and that’s where I left her. When we first met, she was in a wig, a waist-length, platinum wig with bangs that curtained open between her dark brown bangs. Her eyes were a rotted-wood brown. Her legs curtained open too just like the velvet red drapes at the burlesque show, but that’s not the point of the story. I wanted to tell you about her talent…not that she dances with fire, not that she can swallow swords (and dicks like grape Kool-Aid), but her other talent.
I met her outside of The Charlatan, a fancy new hotel just across from the casino I had apparently disappeared in for over seven hours. When I came out for air, there she was, across the street, standing in black heels and a silver dress, like I said, in her platinum wig. I crossed traffic not worrying much about the cars. Her eyes were locked with mine – while I looked like a lost pup, she looked like she was ready to devour me. I had always been called handsome, but never had I ever fetched the attention of someone I deemed so attractive, someone so magnetic. Hours later, after her show, after I was dazzled by her peacock fans and crystal doused, wire-rimmed stage costume, after the drinks and gambling, we went back to my room and the wig came off. Her hair was as black as tar. Contrasted to her pale skin, she was a vixen. I wondered then why she ever wore the wig in the first place…maybe to protect her identity…maybe because it made her feel like someone else and made it easier to look in the mirror. I couldn’t care less either way. I never lied to myself and thought to try and save her – I just wanted her for the night.
She led me to believe I could have her.
As she came to me, dropping her clothes on the floor, unstrapping her shoes between steps, wiping the bright red lipstick from her face, I felt myself growing uncomfortably hard beneath my jeans. I didn’t want to adjust and distract from the situation, so I just watched…and ached. Call it masochism. I may have enjoyed it. When she shoved her hand down the front of my pants, she ended it. My head fell back, my chest filled with air…she squeezed just enough, and I lost my breath. When her free hand connected with my chest and I flew across the room, well, I was fully awake then and left trying to figure things out in my daze.
I felt pain, hot burning in my chest. I looked down to see a gaping hole…I looked up to see my heart in her hand. She pushed her tongue from her mouth and licked my still beating heart, then buried her teeth in the tissue and took a bite. I waited for death, knew it would take me quick…and when I was still awake to see her swallow, then take another bite, and another, I pulled a few deep, intentional breaths into my lungs and looked down again. Maybe she didn’t have my heart, maybe I was on some killer pills, but sure enough, the hole was still there pumping blood in spurts onto the floor. She came to me again, pushed my heart in my face and told me to take a bite.
I obeyed. Why? I couldn’t tell you. I want to say, “I’ve seen stranger things,” because that’s what you say in strange situations, but I would be lying…this definitely took the cake. What did it taste like? Well, I’ve never had a raw chicken liver, but if I had to pick, I think I would compare it to taking a bite from an oversized raw chicken liver. I chewed, twice, then swallowed. She called me a good boy then stuck the damned thing back in my chest. She told me then that I was one of “them” now and would have to find my own meals from here on out.
“One a week – no more, no less, or lest you’ll find yourself six-feet deep.”
I didn’t speak, couldn’t find any words in my mouth. I sat there like a layman watching her dress and leave. On her way out of my door, “The strip is my turf. I’d steer clear of New York and the entire west coast too. They don’t take to the new ones. Stay south your first few months.” Then the hotel door latched behind her. I didn’t move, didn’t try to. My cell was in my pocket. Instead I texted my parents to tell them I loved them, my friend to say I must have been on some killer LSD, and then I surfed Facebook and Twitter until I fell asleep propped on the drywall.
When I woke, the hole in my chest was gone, but I could still taste the iron on my tongue. There was a small scar over my heart and blood trailed across the room. I resisted at first, tried normal meals, tried ignoring the pangs. Ten days after my “death” I succumbed to my first feeding. I don’t want to admit, but it was a homeless man, the first who seemed eligible when I felt like I was dying, and I do believe I was dying. My skin was tightening, my bones seemed to be cracking – it felt like I was about to crinkle into a ball of skin and broken bones, then spread into a powdery dust. I didn’t even speak to him, I just pushed my hand between his ribs and took it, then left running.
Two years later, I saw her again on the strip, just outside The Charlatan. She gave me a glare – I raised my hands in defense and mouthed, “I’m only on vacation.” This time she crossed the street for me, eyes locked, my gaze as confident as hers. That night I had her…we fucked until the sun came up. As I watched her leave again, I wondered what her heart would taste like. I told myself next time we met, I would find out.
Copyright WB Welch – All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
To see the photo that originally inspired this story, please visit the Instagram link below.