Listen to this song while you read. The video is special.
I had a feeling he knew I followed him, though I had climbed up to the roofs. There was nothing in his movement, for his held was forward and a little lifted, his fine nose sifting the scents of the evening, as unconcerned as you would expect a creature that knows he is on the top of the food chain to be.
He walked by a group of girls, sixteen-years old, wearing bangles, hightops, eagles’ hats standing out front of the chinese store. The store had a neon sign saying BEER. One of the girls, a curvy Puerto Rican, said something to him, as they passed and he laughed.
She said it again, “You need a haircut.”
He turned, somehow appearing strong and masculine despite the thinness, “You could cut it for me.”
She said, “I’m going to charge. Take me half a day to cut that mop.” I reflected that is was not a mop. It was hard for a head of hair that full to look so perfectly quaffed. A frozen waterfall. A couple of centuries is all it takes to learn to style your hair perfectly.
He said, “I can pay you so many ways.” His voice went deep, rumbled.
All the girls tittered. Then he beckoned, his thin hand waving like windblown willow wands.
Her girlfriends said, “Don’t go with that freak.”
“Yeah, he pale as shit.
But she said, “What’s he going to do? Skinny-jeans-ass wearing. Nice butt.”
I could have told her but then he’d just drink someone else. Also, she wouldn’t listen to a freak on a roof anymore than her friends, especially when the freak on the roof was telling her he was a thirsty dead man. She followed him out of the glow of the streetlights, through the boughs of a yew tree in an abandoned lot.
I followed him in a little later, dropping off the roofs into a mulberry tree nobody have ever trimmed, onto the weeds and human detritus that coated the abandoned lot. He was wiping the back of his mouth. The girl, so full of energy a few moments ago, was on the ground. Little holes in her neck bled thin trails.
“Knew you were behind me. Like that?” he nudged the girl’s corpse. “Make you hungry?”
It did. Not her, already used, but the friends. “P? Hey, P, you all right.” They were calling from the block.
He said, “Maybe we should go. Don’t want to be around for the funeral. It’s such a drag.” His lips were curled into a half smile.
That half smile sparked something in my head, like, “I know this monster.”
He leaned forward suddenly, his copper tinted eyes staring deep into mine.
It flashed in my head, long fingers’ silently drumming on the desk, the excitement of the Lacanian text in my hand. Looking up seeing those eyes twinkling. The desire to feel their gliding caress, the assurance that it was full of knowledge, on my back, the slender arm, strong as a steel cable, pulling me, what would the tongue and then the teeth feel like? I had met this one before.
He said, “Ah, you remember now. That summer in Prague.”
The girls were yelling real loud from the block now, “P? P!! What the fuck, P? He do something? We ‘bout to come back there an’ shit. Yo, freak-white fiend, don’t do nothing to her.”
I looked back to find him and he was gone.
“Too late,” I said to no-one.
The corpse stirred, and looked up at me. The eyes didn’t; they wobbled and then the pupils dropped down. The head though was toward me. “Dead flesh . . .” she said.
I shook my head. And then she reached for me and touched my knee. And then I got scared, because I was in the tunnel again, and it was closer than before, and stunk, and I knew I had to go down it and that was the one thing I didn’t want.
I shook off the hand, and started running, but I heard her finish, “binds to dead.”