The Dark Dance
Los Angeles, California- 1991
The loud music pounded in my
ears, delicate words screamed in rage and torment. Dark music always made me
feel better when I wanted to be alone. I chewed hesitantly on a small
carrot-stick, the pesticides burned my taste buds- threatening to make me vomit
up last night's feeding. I was too detached for anything of the sort to happen,
though. Far too detached…
A hand brushed a strand of
my sandy blond hair away from my face, causing me to gasp aloud. I opened my
blue eyes and took off my headphones.
"Hey Mike!" I looked up at
the sound and svowled slightly. I really hate being called Mike. "God, you look
so depressed. Lighten up, will ya?"
"James-" I stated
reluctantly. He shook his head and pulled me up from my slouched position.
"Come on, you old grouch." He teased softly,
"Tonight, let's party among the blood-filled living."
"Eh?" I frowned darkly. "I thought we were going
to the safehouse tonight."
"Naw," the young vampire smiled, "You've been
around those depressing dead too long. I swear, if you get anymore lost in your
own world, I'll have to send a search party." James picked up his jean jacket
on his way out the door, smirking back at me. I shook my head with a sigh,
knowing that arguing would do no good. I was stuck- following James wherever he
may go had become one of my hobbies it had seemed. A rather trying and
undesirable hobby. I snatched my black trench coat up from my desk and
followed… as always.
- - -
Have you ever passed through life
as if it were a dream? Like you were not an actual player, but a pawn in a
stupid game that some divine power decided that it would play? Good Lord, I
know I have. The lights were flashing fitfully, driving a rather strong
headache into my skull. Blue, yellow, red, purple, and green came over and over
as lasers flickered along the brick-like wall, providing the only glimmers of
light in the small dance club. Cigarette smoke poured across the bar and onto
the dance floor, obscuring the shapes of the dancers as they twisted and
shuffled to the pounding music. The
noise was deafening, but I smiled all the same. James had been right- it was a
lot easier to be excited around this than the dreary safehouse. I willed my
vision to become sharper, searching through the smoke for my boyfriend. I found
him within a few seconds.
A thin film of blood sweat
clung to his pale brow, not too noticeable in the darkness, but still obvious
to my keen senses. His bleached hair was cut in a modern fashion; his white
neck decorated with a teenage style short chain-necklace that were coming into
fashion. His blue, button-up shirt hung open, exposing his white designer tee
shirt. I chuckled at my friend, surprised how well he fit in with the youth. If
it had been up to me, I would have requested a more gothic bar, one where my
dark tastes would fit in. But then, I never really spoke up, did I? Oh well.
James gave me a hard pat on
the shoulder, smiling triumphantly. "Man, this place is sweet. You really
should get out there and have some fun."
"Oh shit." I sighed, leery
of his cocky expression, "Okay, out with it. What the hell did you do?"
"Nothing." He smirked wickedly, his crystal like eyes
shimmering with excitement. "I just fed a bit, that's all." I groaned, silently
hoping that he had not caused a fuss. James had a way of always stirring up
trouble. It was times like this that I missed my old companions- like my maker,
Victoria, or my dear Esteban. No matter what annoying rules those two fussed
with, at least they were not crazy. Funny how those were the first two
adjectives that came to mind when I thought of James.
"God, don't get all bent out of shape." He laughed
harshly, "I didn't do anything stupid tonight… not yet anyway."
"Oh, that's reassuring." I half-laughed and
half-scoffed. There was something about James that just drove me off the wall.
I had noticed this the first day that I had ever met him. Even then he seemed
to find something incredably entertaining about pissing off a vampire that was
more than four hundred years older than he was.
"Oh come on," he grinned a
toothy grin, his bloodteeth showing in the fluorescent lighting. "Have a drink
with me… a lot of the teenagers out there are either high or drunk anyway. You
know that they taste the best."
"Don't draw attention to
yourself." I warned, although God knows I've broken that rule enough. But I was
tired. I wanted to get out. I drew my black coat around myself tightly and
turned to leave.
"Michael!" He impudently
grabbed a fist full of my chin length hair and gave a hard tug. I hissed in
"Come on! Just dance with
me! Have a drink with me! Stop moping, damn you!"
and hit him… hard at that. He gasped and let my hair go, clutching his cheek
tenderly. His eyes narrowed into menacing slits. "Fucking jerk." He slipped
back into the crowded mass of people, his scent dissolving into the odors of
sweat, marijuana, and beer. My chest ached a bit with guilt. I hated that James
was mad at me, even if he was being a moron. But still…
I felt caged, alone, and powerless. This
happens to me a lot. I go through stages and moods more than I do books of old
poetry, and that's pretty sad because I'm addicted to poetry. I searched the
crowds with my eyes, my stomach panging. I felt sick. I rubbed my fingers along
my wrist, wanting to bite at the thin skin there. The pain and taste usually
comforted me when I was depressed. I slashed at my wrists soemtimes too, but it
was usually too messy and it was easier just to bite. James cursed at me when I
did that and told me I was a "fucking idiot". Oh, James… I know.
Not that James really helps me with my depression.
In fact, more often then not, he makes it worse. He's a hopeless control-freak,
really. Anytime I seem stronger than he is, he has to find away to prove that
he's in charge. That usually involves making me scream. I try at those times to
keep my composure- to not give him the satisfaction- but sometimes those hands
of his… shit, half the time I end up in a state where I'm still trying to keep
from crying and instead I end up blacking out instead. It's pretty scary,
actually. That critical point where pain and passion combine is always painful
with James. Always.
But what drew me to
James was not what drew me to my wonderful Esteban, or anyone else that I have
ever loved. James was different in the fact that I did not adore him, nor did I even dwell on his image or his affection-
if there really was any affection there. On the contrary, I often needed to get
away, drowning myself in books and music for days without his presence. In
fact, he did a remarkable job of pissing me off. So why did I continue to
follow James like a faithful puppy, and why did I remain for years upon years?
Because without him time went back to normal and that was too much to bear. No
matter how much James and I yelled, or fought, or cursed each other, I never
cried when I was around him. Nor did I ever feel like life had abandoned me
into that hellish daze that caused my stomach to twist and my eyes to refuse to
stay open. I hated that James made me feel so angry, but I loved that he made
me feel. I loved him.
Now, standing alone in the
dance club, the emptiness started to creep back, causing my throat to clench
and my eyes to water a bit with blood-tears. "Damn it." I finally sighed,
slipping into the crowds- against abundant torsos and fleshy frames, thick with
perspiration and bright outfits. I coughed at an extra thick cloud of smoke,
aware that the drugs in it were stronger than was allowed in any bar. I was
surprised that no human seemed to notice. Suddenly, a soft hand grasped the
back of my neck, spinning me around forcefully. Hot lips met with mine, causing
me to gasp aloud. I pushed the figure away swiftly, although I did not really
want to. "I told you not to make a scene." I groaned as James's hands glided
back around my shoulders.
"Oh, shut up." He laughed,
"These mortals are all high anyway. It doesn't matter."
"It does to me." I sighed, pretending
to be just slightly annoyed.
"Well, tough." James eyes
were a little glassy, the only real side effect to drinking drugged blood. I
was silent. "Fine!" He sneered abruptly, thinking that I was not gladdened with
his attitude. "Let's just go home."
I snatched his wrist and
jolted him backward, a smirk materializing on my face. I kissed him again and
nuzzled in his brittle hair a bit. "No. Let's just dance." James's expression
softened and he laughed, his youthful eyes glistening with memories of his extensive,
rock-and-roll mortal life.
"Sure you can keep up with
me, old timer?" He chortled softly.
"The question is- can you keep up with me?" He laughed and just smirked knowingly. James and I joined the
crowd of mortals; two more nameless figures dancing in a company of shadows,
wishing silently that morning would never come.