Raymond had no idea of how he got into such a dark, wet and filthy place. It couldn’t be the dungeon as its only water seeped from the cracks of the castle’s centenary walls. For sure, it was that red head’s fault. He was dead thirsty when he entered the inn determined to satisfy his instinct as fast as possible. The girl never stopped gazing at him. The face was hard, but the glance had an enticing twinkle and the breasts were so generous that seemed inflated with milk, red milk… His seductive artistry didn’t let him down.
“Not here,” she said giggling promiscuously after a third drink, “I know a very private spot, I’ll take you there.”
He would have followed her to hell if necessary only for a sip of the liquid running through her veins, for everything about her inspired sensuality and bloody wantonness.
She hurried along the alley, pushed a metal door and the damned portal opened. They descended the steep staircase way down to the bottom of the tunnel where turbid currents were flowing. The stench was disgusting as well of the sight of enormous rats playing hide and seek, their eyes impish dots glittering in the greyness. Had he really reached hell?
The slag seemed amused instead and started giggling again, the voluptuous mouth seductively open.
“No one will notice us, love,” she assured.
She, too, wanted a taste of him; the louder the giggles the more gripping the thirst. Raymond grabbed her scarf and pulled her towards him, then pushed back the russet curls and started sucking till her screams blast his ears.
“What the heck are you doing?”
“My job,” he replied impassive.
Another scream followed before the girl buttoned up her blouse and staggered away.
The scarf was at his feet, a morbid sparkle of scarlet hue in such obscurity.
The vampire’s pleasure was so intense that it exhausted him. He huddled in a narrow recess within the massive wall; enfolded in his black cloak with the head reclined on the chest, he resembled an enormous bat in torpor.
At about midnight of the following day, the infamous urge for his nightly nourishment was driving him mad again; he had to find a way out as fast as possible.
For sure he was living a nightmare, a stinking one. He looked around and repulsion showed on his face. After removing the slush from his boots and dusting the cloak, with the silk handkerchief on his nose, he began the search of the stairs that would bring him back to the upper world.
The subterranean corridors were endless; sooty pipes netted the ceiling and eldritch sounds could be heard all around. At last, he discerned the stairs, went up and found an infinite number of garbage cans on the landing, the stench more rancid than ever, then a sequence of steps apparently endless. The fact that the structure seemed to develop in height rather than in width puzzled him. Were the steps leading to the tower? He couldn’t recall such a high castle anywhere.
Breathless, he paused before a door that opened on a corridor totally different from the one he came from. A pleasant fragrance replaced the stink and the pavement was covered with a soft brown carpet. There were lots of doors, all with numbers. Now and then, the fluttering of young and pretty maids rushing up and down made him relish the taste of their crimson fluid, but they quickly disappeared around a corner or into one of the rooms.
A semi-closed door caught his sight. He slightly pushed it open. The heavy smell of cigar almost choked him. A stout fellow, totally absorbed by his game of solitaire, was sitting at a table. The aspect was crass, the attire sloppy.
On getting up to refill his glass, he became aware of the newcomer.
“So you are our man tonight,” he sneered after scrutinising him thoroughly, “the Countess shall be most delighted to entertain such a dark Sire.”
‘At last, he was among his peers,’ thought Raymond even if suspicious.
“Where is she?” he cried impatient.
He hinted at a door.
“You have to give me the bucks, first.”
What on earth was he talking about? For sure, the guy didn’t know who he was dealing with.
“The Countess will be most pleased to see me,” he grinned and let visible his fangs.
“Halloween is over, buddy, better give me your damned money or you’ll fly out of that window in the wink of an eye,” and added, “consider this is the twentieth floor.”
The vampire’s wrath was at the utmost. ‘How dare he?’
His fist resolved the matter and the promise he would get back to him doomed the bloke to his nefarious fate.
Brigid, the Countess as she was called, was standing by the bed. A black veiled robe enwrapped the most sensual body he had ever seen, a medley of the sublime and the divine while the smile was more intriguing than evil itself.
“This is for you to unlace,” she whispered as she placed his hand on the satin ribbon that fastened it.
“My dear Countess, it will be a privilege for me to disclose such beauty,” he muttered.
Pondering what to do, he stepped back.
“What are you waiting for, darling?”
Also her voice was charming; the tone inviting and slightly submissive. She wasn’t one of those ordinary wenches that pullulated the castle, indifferent if they would be left dying on a bed of hay as long as their master made them his.
Somehow, the Countess had mesmerised him; inexplicably, his heart was throbbing like a mortal’s one. Instinct and will were struggling in his corpse with a human fierceness that made his frame of dust shudder.
Dismayed, he looked around. The setting was most unfamiliar, the furniture looked awkward and the many mirrors an offence. What horrid castle had he entered? And what was the noble lady doing there? Certainly, the working of another nightly creature who had secluded her in that horrid place…
Now she had laid her hand on his arm, her eyes fixed in his. “I’m sure you’re an expert of wickedness,” she whispered alluringly.
Hesitation was unknown, but an unfamiliar sensation was pricking his inner self. Contempt and shame overwhelmed him, but he couldn’t do otherwise; with the driblet of saliva left, he swallowed, cleared his throat and disclosed his true nature.
If Brigid consented, he would make her his bride and her beauty would be preserved forever, if not, he would come back again and again until she did. Her love and devotion were as precious as her blood.
The girl gazed at him bewildered. A maniac or at the very least, a lunatic had managed to get into her room. Surely, that stupid guy’s fault, always drunk and letting in whoever knocked at the door.
“Don’t you touch me,” she cried, glaring at the bleak stranger.
“No worry, my dear, I’ll give you all the time you need,” he uttered, bowed and walked out.
Then he fed on the man and left him agonizing on the floor before going back to the sewer.
After all, it was a momentary abode. Sooner or later, the portal would open again and he would go back to his castle with Brigid… The thought that he would visit her every night made his fetid bed less miserable.
Raymond didn’t know that the police on finding the guy’s body and after hearing the prostitute’s story of the bloodsucker had taken her to the city’s asylum where she was put on a massive treatment before further investigation.
Olivia Arieti lives in Torre del Lago Puccini, Italy with her family. Her stories have appeared in several magazines and anthologies like Enchanted Conversations, Enchanted Tales Literary Magazine, Fantasia Divinity Magazine, Cliterature, Horrified Press, Thirteen O’Clock Press, Infective Ink, Pandemonium Press, Sirens Call Publications, Blood Song Books, Black Hare Press, Breaking Rules Publishing, Dark Dossier Magazine.