“I’m in the car right now.”
“No, hey it’s cool, I met a trick... I’ll meet you out front in an hour.” Lilian assured him, dragging on her cigarette. William rubbed an eye with his free hand, speaking through his teeth.
“I just sent Susan home after she made several lewd offers of her person.”
“Wow... to you?” she laughed. He threw his phone down onto the passenger seat and pulled the Jaguar into a wide U-turn across the avenue, directing it back toward Avalon.
Desultory business at the Black Moth allowed William to collect his thoughts at the bar, though a waitress, bloodless shoulders sagging over her black basque, regarded him from behind it with a hooded and unremitting gaze, as though she were sick with poison. She picked at the sore on her chin while he regarded the row of smeary spirit bottles behind her head. The stale, bone-grey smell of death floated in the dry ice behind him.
“It's all outta two drums. We got light or we got dark.” she advised.
“Light.” he murmured. At the word, Siobhan slid along the counter toward them as though on wheels, smacking red lips together. The plunging V-neck in the creature’s cerise crepe gown revealed the fleshless hollow on either side of its breastbone; ropy black veins, bloated with stolen blood, radiated outward from its pointed sternum over a narrow fan of ribs.
“What ye havin, Lammeh? Jolene here bin keepin ye fuckin whistle wet?” it croaked, glancing at the barmaid as she shuffled off.
“She’s been great, thanks.” said William.
“Ahm trainin her up. She were real fuckin friendleh t’start with but ah durn beat that cornball shit outta her.”
“I need a stiff. Maybe two. No... one.”
“Well, ye know what they fuckin say bout that. Two’s a crowd an three’s a pardy heh heh heh.” Siobhan mopped at the counter top with a filthy rag, squinting at William speculatively. “What c'ndition ye lookin fer?”
“Fresh is best.”
“Ah got a real nahce tow piece ah picked up down th’ fuckin pier... she were good t’go when she were kickin. Bitch durn wriggle lahk a fuckin cut snake. Now, ah aint gonna lie... she’s shop-soiled... still got skin last time ah looked, but.” Smirking at William’s cool reception of its remarks, the vampyre shook its small head in exasperation. “Ye gotta git over all this shit bout not desecratin women, havin feelins fer em, whatever the fuck else keeps ye awake a'night. It aint natural, an they don’t fuckin thank ye.”
“A stockbroker suicide would be great”
“Speakin a killin sprees... where’s ye bad-seed fuckin son of...”
“Ed’s in Spain.”
“S’at so? Wha...”
“Werkin? Werkin out how ta ass-fuck th’ rest a us with them inbred fuckin Cont’nentals, or partin out some critter that don’t need ta fuckin die jest yet... that’s what he’s fuckin all bout, certes...” Siobhan muttered bitterly. “An what a yew doin anent that shit? Nothin. Feedin ye fuckin jungle dick t’ half-wit poontang.”
William stood from his seat and skirted the loose clot of slaves and predators shuffling on the dance floor on his way out.
By the time he had reached the Jaguar his host had effected its own appearance in the dripping green shadows of the fire escape, pushing a geriatric wheel chair weighed down with a bundle swathed in potato sacks and tied tightly at several points with thick hemp string. The vampyre negotiated the potholes and pushed the chair up beside him with an ingratiating smirk as he sat down behind the wheel.
“Whatever it is, it smells like Eid in Zakatal.” he scowled.
“Quit ye fuckin whinin. It’s as good as ah got. That’ll be four hun’ded and a fuckin thank-ye.” the creature grunted, wiping its hands on the sides of its dress. Siobhan was barely half his size, cheated by the grim colonial deprivation of its nativity and bent by the arduous and unrelenting demands of its own corruption. It reached over and loosened one of the hemp ties, tugging back the sacking to expose the cadaver’s arm. “Nice an fuckin tight. Don’t go tellin meh ye aint got no fuckin use fer em... there aint nothing they kint do.” it chuckled, aiming a laborious wink at him.
The vampyre gasped as though winded, sitting down into the cold lap of the corpse and causing the wheelchair to sag on its joints.
“Three seventeh-fahve.” William wound up the window glass against its leering features and brought the ignition wires together. “Three fifteh.” When it was handed two crumpled bills over the window the vampyre hissed and spluttered, enraged. “Ah must look lahk one a ye cock-hungry bitches, cause ye sure tryin ta git meh ov’r a fuckin chair.”
“In the boot is fine.” he told it, remaining where he was while Siobhan humped the wheelchair over the cobbles and tipped its rigid contents onto the ground behind the car, steering its clattering vehicle back toward the club without a backward glance. Cursing, William got out and stuffed the body into the boot himself, slumped back down in the front seat, frowned, and then leapt back out again, brushing himself off in the alleyway in an attempt to disperse the smell from his clothing.
CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
© céili o'keefe do not reproduce