Contain adult sexual themes. Suitable for readers aged 18+ only.
Walk with Pandora through many rooms, through halls and labyrinthine passageways. Then, finally, emerge from a stateroom and out onto a balcony set high in the wall of a tall tower overlooking a plain star-speckled with campfires, dots of light embedded in darkness stretching into infinity.
This world of vampires chokes in a perpetual night where twin moons hang suspended in a sky of pitch velvet. Each satellite is shadowed in its orbit by a violet, Mars-like planet the size of Earth’s moon. An even larger moon will slip onto the stage of the heavens ten hours from now when the orbit of the leading moon makes its exit.
You have seen no daylight, no sun in the sky since you arrived here.
Say to Pandora, “How can your world have no sun?”
“The moon we call Mandack perpetually eclipses our sun. It has been that way since The StarSpawn, five hundred years ago — before the great unsettling.” She searches for words to try and make you understand: “Our Hak-Ok-Ol — there is no equivalent in your reality. Perhaps the Spartans of your ancient world, how their warriors made slaves of the neighbouring peoples?”
“Yes, Helots. And now other things have joined them — things older than our need for blood. Beyond the walls has become a home for creatures even I can’t explain.” She is silent for a moment, scans the panorama below before saying, “And soon they will destroy us.”
Back in the world where you once lived a life, you must learn to hunt.
Underground, in a black-walled club, sniff for prey in this almost darkness and then follow your nose. Wind through too many dancing bodies and look into their eyes as you pass them by. Try to see beyond the obvious; the rich, complex beauty of human mortality, the selfish necessity of so much blood.
You must be close now. Feel how intensely Starspawn clings. Wonder how long she has gone without a new human soul.
Catch a glint of carnality in the blonde girl’s eyes when she returns the look you shoot her. You are used to it now — the way they all stare. But there is something in this big-boned wench, this construct of meat and blood, that elicits much more than appetite and desire. A song of need sings through your bones, a compulsion that turns you on your heels. When you retrace your steps, Starspawn’s fabric tightens around you, becomes electric. The dress has sensed the girl’s depravity. Know now, she will fulfil both of your needs.
That’s right, hold her gaze as you begin to dance, leave her no doubt you can become everything she could ever hope for in another. See her wide eyes, her secret pleasure, how pleased she is to think her beauty has drawn you to her.
At the bar, ask her what she wants to drink. See how she scans the wall of bottles, takes her time before saying, “Rhubarb and liquorice gin, on the rocks with a slice of lime.”
Say, “Really?” as if her taste is charming, idiosyncratic.
Sit at the bar on stools of chrome and cushioned black leather while you watch her sip from her glass. Listen to the usual questions and try not to stare at her bare legs. Sometimes nod and smile, be quick with answers that will please her.
Imagine how different your life might have been.
Hear her ask, “What a beautiful necklace. Mind if I touch?”
Stay quite still when she reaches out and takes the intricately worked, five-thousand-year-old Mesopotamian gold pendant between her thumb and forefinger and studies the jewel set at its core. Best not say how it is a memento of a beautiful, not quite human girl you once drained of blood, your very first Taking, her flesh and bones heated and compressed into this most fabulous of gems.
“Is it antique?” the girl asks, her face so close you smell the soap that taints her skin. The heady redolence of the scent she sheds fails to mask the call of blood in her flushed cheeks. “That stone!” she says. “It can’t be a diamond — can it?” The juniper of her gin sodden mouth hardly masks the reek of red corpuscles on her breath. Your mind becomes giddy with lust.
Try to sound enigmatic: “The dealer said it was quite old. I like to imagine the lives of all the women who once wore it, all those poor dead pretty things so many centuries ago. Just think of it: every one of them no longer beautiful at all.”
“How do you know they were all beautiful?” she asks, her eyes still bewitched by the jewel.
See her longing. Then take the pendant and hold the gem before her. See it sparkle as it reflects the bar’s spotlights. Try to sound urbane when you say, “Just a feeling,” and then look into her eyes and throw her a lie: “But I can’t imagine any were as beautiful as you.” See! She is blushing. Nobody so gorgeous has ever said anything to her quite how you just did, so genuinely, so intensely, so guilelessly — you breeder of make-believe.
Sense how desperately she wants you. People are such open books since you became what you have become.
Ask about her friends, the ones she was with before you lured her off the dancefloor.
“Never mind them,” she says. But all the same, see how she looks around the club. Know how she doesn’t want anyone to see how she might soon leave with you.
Later, she tells you her girlfriend’s name, the word Maisie a promise of betrayal on her lips.
Be pleased she is a deceptive little bitch. Say, “What a wicked person you are.”
“Why do you say that?” she says as quick as an execution, and then regrets her defensive retort, smiles and tries to take it back with, “What am I even doing here — letting you buy me drinks.” She laughs out loud. “I’m usually so monogamous. This is not me at all.”
Love how easily she lies. Know that soon you will give her something Maisie can never give her. And don’t feel guilty for being a monster, either. You are way beyond conscience now. You can’t help it — it is in your blood. So funny, haha! Smile a secret smile. But only a little.
Your mind leaves your body and hovers close to the ceiling. God, how beautiful you look in the pulsating living dress that is Starspawn.
Back in your body, confess: I’m Arabella, and I’m a vampire.
“What a coincidence: I’m a vampire too,” she quips before leaning forward and snapping outrageously so that her bared teeth skim the skin of your neck.
Reach out your hand and stroke her face. Smile as if you want her, need her like a living girl wants another living girl. Think about your new shoes and how they pinch.
Start to wonder if it will be girls like this for-ever-and-ever, one after another, for all of eternity. No more trolley runs in Waitrose; these Friday night pickups your new domesticity.
She is expecting a kiss, leans in — only for you to turn a cheek. That’s right, deny her and tell her, “Not here.”
She wriggles on her stool, is about to slide off it and stand up. But she’s changed her mind, merely crosses her legs, looks around.
She asks what you do for a living. Think hard and remember you really once were once a lecturer. Think of your students — the girl ones the most. Imagine blood in young veins. Note to wicked you: return to work soon.
Remember more details of your old life. Try to sound self-effacing when you say: “I’m a writer. A novelist.”
She raises an eyebrow. “A writer as well as a vampire?”
“I try to combine the two.”
“So you write about vampires? That’s your thing, is it?” See how she regards you, know she is going to share: “When I was a little girl, I dreamt three beautiful vampires stole me away and took me to their world. Last week I dreamed that dream again. What do you think it could mean?”
Be mysterious, say: “Sometimes dreams about vampires are the strangest dreams of all.”
“I only see one vampire now.” She decides this is silly. Says, “Does writing make you lots of money?”
Try to sound human. Like your old self: “Hardly. Just the one novel so far. But it sells pretty well. And some stories in anthologies.”
“I’ve never met a published author,” she says.
Think about what you have become. Try not to imagine the taste of her blood. Instead, ask: “Are you at uni?”
“That was last year. I work at Granada studios now.”
Tell her something complimentary. “I just knew you’d be an actress.”
“Oh-my-goodness, no! I’m far too self-conscious to be an actor. I’m just a runner for the local news team.”
Be polite and ask her: “What does a runner do all day.”
“Errr — the clue is sort of in the job title.”
Pretend you really are that stupid. Look hurt by her snark, say, “Oh, run errands, answer the phone, make drinks, look after the guests who have come to the studio to be interviewed — generally lick arse.”
Be outrageous. Say, “Do you enjoy licking arses?” See the twinkle in her eyes and be pleased that you said it.
“That depends on the arse I’m licking.” She laughs with uncertain embarrassment; hopes she has not overstepped the mark.
Think about your nose in her arse, how she will moan when your tongue finds her stitched little nest.
Hold her gaze and say, “I have to pee. Promise not to run away.”
“As if I would,” she says, the glint of erotic promises are shards of starlight in her eyes. Snake your way through the bodies and look at the face of every pretty girl and imagine she is Maisie. Then, in the restroom, see the girl with the Ristretto-hued flesh standing at the mirror and imagine that she is Maisie too.
Go into a cubicle. Sit and pee while wondering what Maisie and her girl do in bed. Clean yourself with paper and realise you don’t know Maisie’s girl’s name.
On the way back to Maisie’s girl, keep watch for Maisie; see her in every female you pass.
When you get back, Say: “Hey, Maisie’s girl. You never told me your name.”
“You never asked!”
“I’m asking now.”
“I’ve never met an Esme before.”
“Neither have I.”
Say, “My apartment is close.”
“Of course, it is.”
At the club entrance, before stepping out into the night, turn around to make sure Esme is following you. Repeat her name. Esme, over and over again.
Out on the pavement, after only five paces she tells you to wait, says: “I can’t walk in these,” comes close and places a hand on your shoulder while she brings each foot up in turn and takes off her Jimmy Choose.
Think about how her feet will get dirty. Say, “You’ll ruin your feet,” and then take off your shoes too, and then walk with her, arms hooked at the elbows while shoes dangle at your side by their straps.
Try not to think of the blood in her veins. Instead, wonder what she’ll think when she sees the house. Its façade has morphed since the night Chloe brought you home.
“This can’t be right,” Esme says when you’re both standing inside, looking down the hall that still has all those doors and the grand staircase.
Don’t even try to explain. How could anyone believe in a house that is so much more than a house? Its actuality is something that even you still don’t understand, even though Pandora explained about this place, how the house is an alien consciousness that juts into this reality from another dimension, how no single location can anchor it down. “As mutable as the phases of three moons,” she had said and then told how the Sisterhood takes advantage of its existential instability, uses it to travel the cities of the Earth. Manchester today, maybe Nairobi tomorrow.
Tell Esme, “It’s our very own Tardis.” But, of course, she will think you are joking; such a tired cliche. Distract her with a kiss. That’s right, put your hands around both shoulders and pull her close.
Her desire is tangible, something more than you anticipated, her tongue too insistent. It expresses the craving she has endured since the first time she saw you. She has one hand high on your back while the other has found your buttocks and pushes the living material between your butt cheeks. Your arousal mingles with hers and awakens the fabric. Starspawn contracts and relaxes about your body and hips, tells you of its need. Reassure the dress: tell her she will soon have what she has waited so patiently for — for far too long.
Esme thinks she’s the stronger one, that you will be her bitch. What a little madam she has turned out to be! Take control. Use your mouth to subdue her bumptious tongue and set a new pace as you return her kiss, a rhythm to lull her that will make her amenable to your will. Do you feel it now? How her self-importance is diminishing, her narcissistic lust for you replaced by repentance, an all-consuming desire only to please you.
She has become a ragdoll in your arms.
“You feel fabulous in this dress,” Esme manages to say in a voice from a place far, far away. “Where did you get it?”
“From a friend. Would you like to meet her?”
Become aware of the house stirring around you. Feel its sentience in the walls and ceiling, doors and fittings, the very air itself. Sense how Pandora and Chloe are awaiting their moment, aware of Esme’s presence, and the blood pumped through her veins. Sense their thoughts, eager to watch your first Taking. And those others, those ethereal strangers who often pass you in silence. So many strangely beautiful women who open and close doors, their coming and going along the passageways of this house. All those exquisite horrors and their dresses.
Still dreamy from the spell of your lips, Esme asks, “Is there someone you want me to meet?”
“Two beautiful creatures.”
“Pandora and Chloe?” she offers. See how the house speaks to her. “They might not like me.”
Kiss her sweetly on the forehead like a mother reassuring her fractious daughter. Now betray her. Undo her sense of right and wrong. Negate all those illusions she has believed about herself all of her life. Non will stand the onslaught of your beauty, your need. You have already loosened the foundations of her being with your lips and tongue. If you kiss her again, the supports will go and her selfhood will come tumbling down.
Take Esme’s hand and command her: “You will trust me.”
“I do so want to trust you,” Esme says. And you sense how she does.
In the plush room that you have prepared for her, command Maisie’s girl to undress. See her tanned flesh rich with blood, its incessant flux as it courses through veins and archeries, the intricate traceries of a million capillaries.
Be pleased that you chose such a fine human animal.
When she is naked, tell her to, “Trust me.”
Now call Pandora and Chloe from the shadows in which they have waited. They bring ropes and leather manacles to please Esme, give her what she secretly desires. The pair work as deftly as professionals, binding and securing her wrists to the iron hook and chain that dangles from a beam.
The minds of your slithering sisters settle about you, enfolds your consciousness and blows away the lingering tatters of your humanity. Chloe and Pandora have each taken one of Esme’s breast and are gently licking, sucking. Occasionally they playfully bite. Sense how the three of you take the girl beyond herself, stoke her excitement to the nth degree. Esme has fantasised about a night like this in her most private moments, longed to be restrained and ravaged by three gorgeous females. Starspawn has read her well, saw her need from the first moment you laid eyes on her on the dancefloor at the club.
Now give independence to your greed and send your mouth to taste every inch of her flesh. On your knees, your tongue at Esme’s cunt. Throw her down into an abyss of self-loss. Sense the dark port wine of life’s sustenance quickening beneath her skin, provoking the reckless gnarling of your teeth that might yet undo the careful orchestration of arousal. Imagine how her blood will ooze, clot and congeal, smear the palomino hue of her tanned skin.
In your head, the spirit of Pandora tells you fresh prey must be tenderised, kneaded by lust and coaxed to fever-pitch before you can draw blood and liberate her soul. Only then is it a suitable gift for the one who hungers human essence as much as you crave their blood.
Her flesh is sodden, steeped in the blood you crave. Tell yourself not to bite — not just yet. For now, assure yourself that what flows beneath her skin is not the-be-and-end-all of your pleasure, that Esme is a gorgeous woman, someone whose beauty you would have relished before you became what you have become. Let your kisses be gentle and lulling. Take your time while anticipating the sweetness she contains while you promise Starspawn her soul. This girl will nourish you both. There is a slowing of time in which each beat of her heart becomes an eternity of anticipation.
While Pandora and Chloe’s lips, teeth, palms, fingers and nails ravage Esme’s entire body, put your lips to her throat, not knowing but sensing the right place. The closer you get, Starspawn’s scintillating fibres electrify your flesh, thrill you to your sad dead core.
Long primed, your mouth opens wider than you ever thought possible, your jaw straining, cracking, revealing teeth surgical-sharp that now crowd your gums. Then it is beyond your control, four canines sinking implacably. Hear that! Her exquisite gasp of bliss
Enjoy how she squirms, her flesh overcooked by the pleasure three mouths inflict on her. The groans of satisfaction are the song of approaching death in her throat trilling against your lips. Swallow and swallow and try not to spill precious fluid. Relish its viscosity, how it adheres to your teeth, tongue and palate.
Chloe and Pandora now join the taking, a token feeding from the femoral of each leg.
Need abating, her blood satisfying, mollifying the hollow ache you have endured day after day since your return to this world. Swallow and swallow, great draughts of her life. Sense how her essence animates your body’s cells, transforming them completely, putting an end to what was merely a becoming.
Savour Esme’s blood. Become content with how it satiates you. Understand that the draining is a thing without comparison, engendering a bliss that no worldly drug can ever compare. The girl’s body, her reflexes, muscles are all fretful now. See how she twists herself, tries to break free. Starspawn has hooked her soul, draws it from her only half-living body and claimed it as her own.
You realise the dress contains many souls. Their voices call out to you from the living fibres, a shrill chattering of despair. Esme becomes subsumed in the hell that is Starspawn, her soul adding power and beauty to the weave of the fabric.
Soon, what you have tasted is just a memory. This feeding on female blood has no more consequence than muesli for breakfast once had.
Share a deep kiss with Chloe and Pandora, lips and tongue thickly blooded, gluey with gore. And where drops have spattered onto your gowns, the living threads shiver and pulsate, burst bright with snaps of iridescence before fading as the weave devours the gory nutrient.
Feel how your Starspawn begins to change, transmute, evolve into something more refined, each fibre and strand becoming intricately delicate, the weave subtly pressing against your skin. They insinuate themselves slowly into your flesh, becoming no different than cells of muscle and skin. Starspawn is melding, banishing all boundaries between dress and flesh. You and she merge, become seamless, one creature, inseparable now and for eternity.
Begin to understand. Throw back your head and laugh out loud as Pandora and Chloe watch the union. See how pleased they are with you, their protégé.
Or are they? Look into Chloe’s eyes and see only the dull gaze of a sated shark. Somewhere within you, in a far corner of what little remains of your mind, the last of your humanity is diminishing. And from that faraway place, the echo of the woman you once were begins to see what you have become; not a romantic misunderstood creature impelled to take life to sustain itself, but a mere adjunct to another, the parasite that rides you. And before the last spark of your former humanity is snuffed out forever, think of other souls like Esme’s, the ones who you will hunt for, and then offer to Starspawn. And among the cacophony, the cries of a hundred imprisoned beautiful dead things, hear the sad sobs of Esme weeping for her lost life.
THE END.Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in