He drops the needle on a vinyl record. The Wreckery; an underground outfit known and appreciated by all too few.
He wants to go out.
He needs to go out.
He should be working.
But he’s already been caught breaking curfew.
The old biddy in 1A has been watching him.
She’s always watching him. She’s always got her nose in other peoples’ business.
A week ago, he’d slunk home, in the shadowy hours of early morning, to find one of her letters shoved soundly under his door.
An orange one.
What a bore.
He pissed on it and flushed it down the toilet.
Now, he drags on a cigarette and stares out the window as the fine white curtains billow around him on an ice-cold breeze. If it weren’t for the stench, it would be totally nice. But the dude upstairs in 3D is cooking ice. Again. No doubt, he’s bored as hell too.
He clenches his cigarette a little tighter. Everyday he’s stuck inside, the walls close in a little tighter driving him to utter distraction. Despite his companion, or perhaps because of him, the apartment is getting smaller and ever more claustrophobic.
In time, he knows he will lose his will.
And quite possibly his mind.
A noise, a thump, a bump on the bedroom floor, yanks him from his stupor. He glances backwards toward the source of the sound, towards his companion. His wilting donor. The boy from next door who moved out—the day the city gates were firmly slammed shut.
‘I didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye,’ the boy had said, as he stood outside the front door.
There before him was a lifesaver, an angel, who would sustain him in the hellish days ahead.
He couldn’t help but smile as he invited the boy inside.
The boy had watched wide-eyed as he’d poured the wine and wondered why they hadn’t done this before. Then they’d supped and made small talk about the state of the world, small pleasures, and ships in the night.
And things that bite.
‘How old are you, boy from next door?’
‘Nineteen,’ he’d replied. ‘Old enough to know what you do.’
‘Maybe so,’ he’d smiled back, ‘but are you old enough to know what I need?’
They’d turned the record over and drank more wine as truths were shared and confessions made. The boy aspired to a life he could not attain. He needed blood to sustain his body and soul.
It was a match made in Heaven.
Then, when the moon had fallen from the black velvet sky, the boy had risen to take his leave.
‘Don’t go,’ he’d petitioned, before pressing his lips to the boy’s. ‘We can get through this together.’
Finally, he’d taken the boy by the hand and led him down the hallway to the bathroom.
Candles had flickered in cardinal corners as vestments had been shed and they’d stood together beneath the shower’s cleansing waters.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Or so they say.
Then he’d taken a blade and dipped it in flame before carving a line in the boy’s pale pink flesh.
The boy had gasped and gritted his teeth, but the slice was superficial and none too deep.
And tiny pearls had soon bubbled to the surface of the thin red line.
He’d been still and silent as he’d stared at them. Then he’d leaned into the lesion and lapped at the life-giving liquid. Metallic. Molten. Sticky.
When he’d cleaned the wound, he’d raised his eyes to the donor and whispered, ‘Will you give me more?’
The boy had smiled as he’d replied, ‘Yes, I will give you more.’
Then he’d bidden the boy to the four-poster bed they would share for the duration of lockdown.
He’d held his breath as the boy had laid back on the silken sheets. All shoulders and limbs, he was a wellspring of youthfulness that was ripe for the picking.
His mind and soul hungered for their connection. But his body… His body had hungered for the boy’s vitality. It was a hunger so fierce he would have done unspeakable things to obtain it.
He had done unspeakable things to obtain it. In the past… This hunger is uncommon. Misunderstood. And is one that can never be sated.
He’d looked the boy up and down, so beautiful, so vulnerable, so willing, then climbed onto the bed beside him and kissed his cheek, his neck, and his jaw. Before long he was stroking his ego while slipping a hand between his welcoming thighs.
The boy had sighed. Cried out. Had moaned and begged for more. He was enthralled and utterly intoxicated.
And he could wait no more.
He’d slit the boy’s vein before taking him from behind.
He’d moved his hips as he’d gripped the boy’s wrist and drunk deeply. The blood had flowed so freely he’d begun to wonder if there really was a God. After all, who else could have sent him such a delicious, unsolicited gift? He’d swooned with the unbearable pleasure of it.
And the boy… He had bared his soul and closed his eyes as he’d clutched at the sheets with long sweaty fingers.
Bom bom, bom bom, bom bom… His heart had begun to drum in his chest as their pleasure approached its inevitable crest and he’d taken one last drop from the boy before releasing him.
Before he knew it, he’d filled the boy with more passion than he knew he’d possessed.
And had left the boy lingering somewhere near death.
Every night since that first night, has fed from the boy. It’s become a cycle of feeding, sleeping, and having sex. It would seem like an ideal existence.
Suddenly, the building’s cat springs onto the windowsill. ‘Hisssssssss…’ The moment it sees him its fur bristles.
He shoos it away. The mangy thing.
He takes a long, slow drag on his cigarette before flicking it into the street and swilling the rest of the half-empty glass of wine on the windowsill.
Then he heads for the bedroom to put his guest out of his misery.
Format: short story/flash fiction
Published: in The Village Views anthology (titled Apartment 2D).