This whole town was dusty. Wet, from the previous night’s rain. The Dusty Inn Motel. Right. That’s where we found ourselves that night. Jason, Mike and myself. On a road trip cross country. All three of us just graduated college and wanted to see the United States before we `started our careers and began the rest of our dull lives. This was probably going to be the last time we would be able to, the three of us.
“This place looks like a wet shit hole.” Mike says, getting out of the truck.
“Maybe so.” I say, “But I’m tired of driving. And I want to drink tonight. The town’s bar looks mighty alive.” I pointed behind us. Both Mike and Jason look, turn to each other and smile wickedly.
“Bar is packed with the ladies!” Jason says excitedly.
“I’ll go check us in, grab our bags and meet me up front.” I turn and walk up to the motel.
“Hey Max!” Jason called out. “How bout getting a room with two beds this time huh? I’m not up for sharing a bed with you two assholes again. That night was horrible.” I laughed a little.
“Yeah, two beds this time, I got you.”
I walk in and see an elderly man sitting behind the desk with a toothpick in his mouth reading a Hustler magazine. The scene could be set in a horror flick I thought. This dude seemed out of time.
I say, “Evening sir. Looking to rent a room for the night. Me and my two buddies.”
He looks up with one eye, slowly checks his vacancy sheet. He says, “Room 9. Two twin beds. It’s all I got left.”
“Looks like room 9 it it’s then.” I hand over the cash and walk out with the key. Jason and Mike are walking up.
“Room 9 gentleman. Let’s put our bags in and head to the bar. Cool?”
“Hell yes.” They both say.
Walking into the bar brought the smell of cheap beer and cigarette smoke. There was laughter throughout the bar. It seemed like a great atmosphere. Two billiard tables in the middle of the bar. We walked up to the bartender and asked for three beers. Were surveying the room. Taking in the scenes of the evening. There was an aggressive game of pool being played. Money on the table and a man sweating profusely who seems to be the man at the losing end. Jason and Mike are in a never ending conversation about who would win in a fight, Hulk or Superman. This argument, filled with who is stronger, who can heal faster, etc. Stats that are useless. But it entertains them, so I stay out of it and let them be. Across the bar, toward the back I see three beautiful women. Talking and laughing. I am stunned at their beauty and then I’m caught staring. Not in a bad way. In a friendly way I suppose. She looked at me and smiled. We were having a moment I guess you could say. We would catch each other staring and then laugh a little at each other.
Everything comes to an end of course. The man who just lost his betting game of pool angrily stomped his way to the part of the bar we were sitting. Demanded a shot of whiskey. I caught his attention, staring at the girl across the bar. And this angered him even more.
“You ain’t from around here are ya, city boy.” He said in an angry tone. Not knowing he was talking to me, I didn’t answer right away. He slammed his palm right in front of me. That startled me and caught my attention.
“I’m talking to you boy!” he yelled. “You ain’t from around here are ya?”
I look at him quizzically. “No, we aren’t. We are just passing through. Be here the night and well on our way tomorrow morning.”
“Well then, we don’t take kindly to outsiders starin’ and oogling our women. So I strongly suggest to stop staring at her and mind your own damn business.”
A threat. So here is the thing. I don’t take threats to well. In fact I kind of lose control. Get angry and things don’t end up to well. By this time both Jason and Mike’s attention were on the situation at hand.
“Shit.” Mike whispered. I stood up and got nose to nose with the man.
“Well, I don’t kindly to anyone threatening me. Especially when you could have conveyed your problem with me without the threat.”
“Is that so. And what do you suppose you’re…” He didn’t have time to finish that sentence when my forehead smashed his nose and cracked it severely. Blood came gushing out. He squealed and stepped back. “You broke my fuckin’ nose!”
“Get out of here, all three of you before I call the cops.” The bartender yells.
“Let’s go.” I say. “We’ve got a long day ahead of tomorrow anyways. Mike pays the tab and we all walk out. About half way across the street we hear a voice yelling for us to to hold on. It was the woman I was having a moment with. I wasn’t expecting this, so we stopped. And she walked up to us.
“That was quite the scene in there.” She says. “That asshole’s name is Bob. There isn’t any rule about out of towners flirting with us townies. Believe me. He was pissed he lost the game, was drunk and looking for a fight. Not many people knock Bob for a loop, or break his nose. But it was due. Anyways my name is Jane.”
I chuckled a bit. “Poor Bob, name is Max. This here is Jason and Mike.”
She nods in their direction. “What you guys up to tonight? Just calling it a night? Or you guys up for some company. I’m guessing you are holed up in the motel there?”
“You’d be correct. And yeah,” I look over at the boys with them shaking their heads in agreement, “We would like some company. Room 9.”
“Great, I’ll grab the girls, get some beer and we will meet you guys there.” Jane turned and walked back in the bar.
“Nice.” Mike said. “Your temper turned this night into a better night than it started out at as. Let’s just hope that it stays that way and nothing else happens.”
Twenty minutes later there was a knock at the door of room 9. I opened the door and there was Jane, beer in hand and two of her friends stood beside her. Jane was smiling. Her brunette hair laid past her shoulders in braids. She had green eyes that shined. Her smile seem to light up the room.
“Hey stranger.” She said. “You gonna invite us in?”
“Well of course, come on in ladies. I’m Max. Over in the corner on his phone is Jason and that there is Mike next to him.” Both stood and welcomed them in. As all three walked in Jane introduced her two friends along with her.
“Hi guys. I’m Jane, this beauty next to me is Sara and this here is my cousin, very shy and hardly talks, Natalie. Jane walks over to the dresser with the TV and sets the beer down. She rips it open and throws each of them a beer. Except for Natalie. “She doesn’t get one. She hasn’t been real fun at all this evening. A real bore actually. I take her out to get her out in the open. All she does is sit around her apartment all day and sleep and stays awake all night. It’s weird.”
Natalie walks over to the bed where no one else is sitting and sits in the corner. Puts her knees up to her chest and her arms around her knees.
“See. There she goes.” So what brings you boys to our part of town huh?”
“Yeah, just passing through right?” Echoed Sara.
“Yep. Just graduated college, so we decided to take a much needed vacation and see the states before we all end up blending in with society and live out our mundane lives.” Said Jason.
“What were your majors?” Asked Sara.
I say, “Our very own genius over there Mike majored in Physics. Jason was Political Science, he loves his politics. Just don’t find yourself in a debate with him. Way too much passion.” Jason chuckled. “And myself, well my major was boring to these to. English. But was can I say. I love to write.”
“Hmm, a writer huh?” Asks Jane. You going to write a book? What’s your genre?
“Well I love literary fiction. And I find myself partial to horror. So I’ll mix up the two. Flesh out the human experience through horror.”
“I like that idea. I’ll leave my number and when that book ever drops, give me a call and I’ll buy it.” Jane smiled.
“You got it.” I look over at Jason who is now sitting next to Natalie. Trying to talk to her Doesn’t seem like he was making good progress. But I gave him credit for trying. I take a sip off my beer and nod to Jane to look at Jason and Natalie.
“Treading in dangerous waters.” She says.
“He’s not one to back down from a challenge. Why is she like that anyways? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“Not at all. It mostly started a few years back. Her parents died. She went missing. Then turned up out of nowhere. And ever since she sleeps all day, up all night. Never really leaves her home and when she does it’s at night. She doesn’t say where she is going. I try to play the loving cousin. Try and get her out to meet people, so she can regain her life back. Never works and tonight is my final attempt. I can’t really do anything for her if she doesn’t want my help.”
I nodded as if I understood. I didn’t. I haven’t had to deal with someone like Natalie in my family. I didn’t really have a family left. My father died two years ago and my mom remarried and was enjoying her life with her new husband. A rich surgeon. I am an only child.
The evening was going good. Jason was still giving it his best shot with Natalie. Although she seemed very annoyed. Not really responding to him. Jane gave him credit though. But laughed at his attempts. Mike and Sara were hitting it off pretty well. We were down to our last few beers out of the thirty-two pack Jane had brought with her. Some local beer from the brewery right here in town. I had excused myself from Jane to go to the bathroom. Six or seven beers in and my bladder felt like it was going to explode. In the bathroom relieving myself I was swaying back and forth trying not to fall and spray my piss everywhere when I heard Jane scream. I shake and zip and run out of the bathroom and what I saw will haunt my dreams until my death.
“What, what!” I yelled. Jane pointed over at Jason who was savagely convulsing on the bed, blood everywhere and this, creature on top of him face buried into his neck drinking or sucking his blood. It was Natalie. She had tuned into this horrid looking bat creature. Her wings rested beside her almost covering Jason while she fed. Sara and Mike were huddled in the corner across the room by the other bed horrified. Shaking violently. I didn’t know what to do. I was horrified myself. Jane had moved ever so silently closer to me. I look at Jason and he was still alive, his head bent backward, his eyes fixated on mine, blood streaming from his mouth. He tried to stretch his arm out toward me as if begging for help. Just as he was trying the creature jolted her head up, eyes burrowing into mine and let out this blood curdling screeching,roar that hurt all our ears. In a single, fluent motion she ripped Jason’s head clean off and threw it at me. Blood splattered my face and Jane screamed. She threw her wings out and flapped them in one single flap with a WHOOSH and was on top of Mike. Sara screamed and tried to hit her, half defending herself half defending Mike. Natalie took one swipe with her hand which had claws of some sort, sharp as knives and ripped open Sara’s throat. She immediately grabbed the wound choking. She slid down the wall gurgling with all that blood she died instantly.
Natalie grabbed Mike’s neck. She didn’t bite him right away. She dragged him to the door, choking him. He violently tried hitting her. She broke his fingers and he tried to scream in pain but it was muffled. She opened the door slowly. Locked eyes onto to Jane and I.
She says, “I’ll be right back for the both of you.” She takes two steps backward outside, looks up and with one flap of her wings she becomes airborne. Jane and I run after her and look up. She is flying higher and higher. The she stops. Hovering high above for what seems like an eternity. She is hard to see because of the motel’s lights in our face and because of how high up she is. Then suddenly we hear a faint noise. Like a quiet crying. Louder and louder the noise becomes before I finally realized what is happening. She had flew all the way up there and dropped Mike. I grab Jane and pull her inside with me as fast as I can. Just as we fall in Mike’s body hits the pavement with a loud THUD. His body broken and shattered. Blood splattered. Right behind him, lightning fast, the creature Natalie had become, landed in the doorway.
“Natalie, stop, please.” Jane pleaded for her life. “I don’t know what happened to you. How you became this monster. I know you lost everything when your parents died. I can only imagine the pain you feel. I tried—”
“Quiet! You didn’t try. I was a chore for you. A bother. You never once tried to get inside my head and really feel my pain and my loss. I was your headache. Then I did meet someone who cared enough. Listened to me. He..he gave me a way to deal with all this pain. This monster you see is what I have become inside because when my parents died, I died along with them to everyone else!” Natalie’s voice became deeper and more desperate toward the end. Jane didn’t even have time to respond before Natalie was on top of her biting her neck, drinking her blood. All the while she plunged her hand into her chest, twisted and turned and finally ripped Jane’s heart out. A trophy she displayed. But I was already gone. But still not at all lucky.
While she was distracted feeding I found my route around the bed and out the door. I was halfway down the empty street just before dawn,screaming for help. Drenched in blood. No one cared. No one listened. I thought I was going to make it. I really did. That’s when I heard the rushing wind of her wings flapping behind me as she grabbed me, shooting straight up into the cool morning air. My heart felt like it was going to explode. The only thing that saved me was the sunlight. And she let go. I plummeted to the earth. Screaming the whole way down. I hit the earth hard. I thought I died. Next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital. Handcuffed to the bed. I was told I had broken both my legs, my right arm and my back. Suffered a severe concussion with internal bleeding. But I also was being blamed for the massacre in the motel room. And not a living soul believed my story of a vengeful vampire creature who is still waiting, watching, for when she can steal me in the night and finish what she started.