"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

27 March 2011

Bite Back

Around the time my x-wife and were separating, I did not drink. Seriously. It had been just a few years before that my father's father had died because he never figured out that one's too much, but ten was never enough. I was in my early twenties, and one could not get something alcoholic down my throat on a bet.

Back then, with my marriage decomposing into ash, my little escape from reality was the weekly trip to catch the witching hour showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. That was my drink and drug and coping with a bad time. For however long that film lasted, I didn't have to bother myself with anything else. I'd just immerse myself in the absurdity of Tim Curry being a sweet transvestite.

There were vampires there. Too young for the juke joints, and not wanting to hang out over at Muddy's Coffeehouse, they'd congregate in the parking lot of the cinema house and do whatever it is vampires like to do when not being vampiric elsewhere. One silly practice got dubbed bloodletting, a blatant rip-off of the seminal Concrete Blond album of the same name, which they all took to mean the biting of random bipeds on the neck.

It was about a week before my x was going to move out when this one vampire, who really did not understand the virtue of bathing, and for some reason, was a little sweet on me, decided to sink her fangs into my neck. I was talking with my friend from the Philippines at the time. It was quite the shock. I stiffened and growled, but not in a happy way. When she was done, she bounded off to be with her friends like nothing happened.

"Nice hickey," my friend commented.

I stalked over to the nearest reflective surface to inspect the damage. See, even though, as far as I was concerned, my marriage was over and done with, and the legalities and all were merely a formality, I really didn't want to show up with a fucking hickey. It was a matter of decorum. I had resolved not to do anything or anyone until after my x was moved out. This made sense to me.

There was indeed a mark. A nice little bruise shaped like a particular vampire's mouth around my jugular. I growled again. I wasn't having this. This would not do.

I found the vampire by stench alone, grabbed her hair, and snapped her neck back. My friend from the Philippines would tell anyone who asked that my eyes were just about glowing when I growled. To this day, I'm not sure if that's true.

"My turn," I said just as I drove my teeth into her carotid.

I released her hair and clasped my hands behind my back, because I didn't want to touch her any more than I had to. Not to brag, but I do have decent strength in my jaws. I was not gentle. There was the taste of blood, and I would move my head side to side in a way that is all the rage with predators on the Serengeti.

Oddly enough, she seemed to dig this. Her moans, in fact, were like those of someone who was seeing gods they did not believe in. Not the desired effect. Sort of like the time I growled murderously at Jezebel and she just fanned herself and playfully asked me to it again. I felt like the wind was knocked from my metaphoric sails and was disappointed.

With a sling of my head, I spat the vampire into her friends, licking her blood out of my teeth. There were a few small punctures along the right side of her neck. I straightened and growled once more, and not in a happy way.

"We are even," I said, and then walked away.

That vampire's mark lasted but a few days, maybe a week. Thankfully, my x-wife never saw it. I would have loathed to explain it, figuring she'd not see the humor or bestial logic in the story. It was weeks, maybe a little over a month, before the damage I inflicted on that vampire started to fade. Almost a year later, when I ran into her at a souk, after helping her back up out of courtesy, she showed me where my teeth left scars.

"Whoops," I said more out of courtesy than any semblance of regret.

So, what's the moral to the story? You mean there has to be one? Is it required?

I supposed if I were to go with that expectation I could say; do not go biting me. Even and especially without my consent. See, I have a nasty tendency to bite back. I bite substantially harder. And not always in a happy way.


  1. I loved this story. It's a bit different from your usual writing but I still love it. Especially the last paragraph, brilliant!

  2. Thank you. In some ways, I guess it might have been a stylistic experiment.

  3. An interesting post. I read the introductory paragraph and wondered where you would take this, but it certainly went in a different direction than I had expected. I imagine pictures would not do justice to the images that your words conjure in my mind.

  4. Brilliant stuff. A complete surprise and for just a second or two I thought we were going to go into fiction.

    Nice work RG.

  5. Light208; Thank you. I'm rather glad photographs do not exist of that time. There are some interesting memories, but...

    Baglady; Thank you. This was one of those events that bordered upon fiction, or as the cliche goes; truth is stranger than fiction...