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Full Moon Struggle
Nighttown Stories #1
Spike stood in a fighting stance, legs apart and feet planted firmly. His right arm was straight out from his side and he was fighting to keep it stiff and extended. The room he was in was pitch-black except for slivers of moonlight coming through the boarded-up windows. Beads of sweat formed on his head, but it wasn’t just from exertion.
“Well done, Spike,” came the silky voice from the dark. “You never cease to amaze me.”
Spike didn’t answer. He didn’t dare to let any of his concentration waver, not for even a second. He couldn’t see what was down at the end of his arm, but he could feel it. He could feel it kicking, scratching, clawing. He could hear the scream coming from it, high and piercing. Yet he could also hear the low, oily voice of the man talking to him. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up as he felt the man move behind him. Even though he couldn’t feel any heat, couldn’t feel any hot breath, he knew the man was standing right behind him. His flannel shirt was soaked in sweat and his short, brown hair was plastered to his head. He had fear running through his vains just as surely as the blood carried adrenaline from his glands to his heart. His lower arm and hand were bloodied from the struggle of the thing, but he couldn’t feel the pain.
“You know,” the voice oozed out of the dark, “I could kill you right now.”
Spike grunted acknowledgement.
“But it would be so much more fun to do something much, much worse,” the voice said. The voice, deep and just a touch gravelly, moved slowly, like a living thing coming to sink its teeth into Spike’s flesh. It lingered over the last few words, like an animal licking its chops over fresh kill. The dark was coming to life around Spike, caressing him like a lover, fondling his bare cheek, brushing against his exposed neck. “Wouldn’t that be,” the voice paused for effect,” just so much fun?”
The struggle at the end of Spike’s arm was slackening. His brain told him not to answer the voice, but he couldn’t help it. Still, his concentration was so focused on the struggle that all he could eke out was, “Can’t touch.”
The voice moved away from Spike, back to the end of his arm. The blonde hair was flying less now, the hands clawing at Spike’s arm were less frantic, growing weaker. The blood-red lips were barely parted, and the shrieking had lessened into a low moan.
“Oh, Spike!” the voice said, a hint of glee flowing just beneath it like fish under an ice flow. “Look at you, you big, strong man!” Then Spike heard a sigh, and felt a push against the girl. The struggle stopped. “It was getting a little boring,” the voice said, matter-of-factly.
Letting his arm drop, letting the bundle at the end of his arm drop, letting the long, sharp piece of wood drop, Spike felt suddenly drained. He wanted to collapse, wanted to let his legs fall out from under him, but he didn’t dare. The voice was attached to a man, a dangerous man. A man who hated Spike and wanted to kill him, or do something even worse. He tried to catch his breath, to collect himself, and finally managed to croak out, “Time to go, Mir.”
Mir stepped into the moonlight, his face made pale, his eyes seeming to glow. He looked at Spike with a mix of feral animosity and blind, unreasoning hunger. He stepped toward spike and growled, “Oh yes, John. It’s time to go.” His arms lunged out and grabbed Spike by the throat. Drained and spent from the struggle with the girl, Spike wasn’t strong enough to resist the grip. But before he could choke to death, the hands moved. One arm moved to support him under the shoulders, the other caressed his face and moved it to the side. There was no heat, no breathing, not quickening heart beat from Mir. But there was a highly aroused, “Oh yes, John. I have waited for this moment for so long.”
The inhumanly strong arms supported Spike and kept him from falling. They also held his head in place, keeping him from struggling. His blood was pounding in his ears, his body was bathed in a fresh wave of sweat. Fear came off his skin, and Mir breathed it in. He savored the smell. His cold, dry tongue flicked out and licked the skin of Spike’s neck. The living man struggled against the undead one, but couldn’t break free. He tried to get his brain to work, to focus, but the fight-or-flight response was too deeply embedded, he couldn’t make himself work properly. His life flashed before his eyes, his childhood, his years in construction, his wife, his child, his church…
“Jesus help me!” he screamed, finding his voice. Suddenly he was hitting the floor hard, rolling on his side. Mir was screaming, cursing, the words flowing out of him like a river. Rolling over, trying to prop himself up a bit, Spike saw the flesh of Mir’s hands smoking.
After a minute, Mir suddenly stopped. Standing upright, puffing out his chest a little, he smoothed out his jacket, pulling down the areas that had bunched up a bit. Then he glared at Spike, his pale face framed in the moonlight and his glowing eyes seeming to bore straight through Spike’s face into his brain. Moving to the window, breaking out a board, he turned to face Spike and said, “Enjoy your little victory John. It’s only a matter of time before you will be just like me.” As he jumped out the window, Spike heard the undead man yell, “Forever damned, John! Forever damned!”
Managing to sit up, John Stephen “Spike” Turnman looked at where the girl had been. Now there was a skeleton. He would separate her skull from the rest of the bones as soon as he was able.
Copyright (c) 2014 christopher w neal
John Stephen "Spike" Turner and Mir Krohf are creations of christopher w neal
All rights reserved