A giggle pierced the night air.
“Shh,” said a young man, admonishing his date. “You want to get us caught out here?”
“Oh, come on,” she replied. Pulling away from him, she looked around at the decrepit old mansion looming in front of them. “This place is in the middle of nowhere. Who the hell is going to hear us?”
He smiled. “Well, you know the legend, don’t you?”
She shook her head, eyes wide.
“Oh, yeah? Then let me tell you all about it.” He tugged her hand and pulled her close as they crept up the overgrown path. “They say a woman used to live here with her daughter. When the daughter was murdered the woman went mad. She started killing anybody who came onto the property, and drank their blood until the body withered up."
A twig snapped under the girl’s foot and she gave a little scream and leaped against her boyfriend. “Shit, that scared me.” She giggled. “What happened to the woman?”
The massive front doors loomed in front of them and he reached for the handle with a wicked grin plastered on his cheeks. “Nobody knows. She’s never been seen again. They say she might still be here.” A groan of the wood door had his girlfriend on edge. The scent of decay swept out with a whoosh of dust. “They say,” he whispered, “that she might even live right under these floors, in the dungeon they found caked with dried blood.”
“Shut up, Sean,” the girl whispered. “You’re scaring me.”
“That’s the point, isn’t it?” He chuckled and tugged her hand behind him. “Come on, Michele. I’m with you.”
The foyer was coated with a layer of filth and grime, dark hardwood floors barely visible beneath. A broken chandelier dangled from the ceiling, supported by two strands of chords, and the breeze from the open door rustled the crystal droplets. From somewhere deep in the house, a floorboard creaked.
“Did you hear that?” Michele glanced around and swallowed, eyes wide.
“Probably just a stray cat,” Sean replied. “Or maybe, it’s the woman coming to eat us alive.”
“Will you stop doing that?” she said with a scowl. “I can’t concentrate on even walking right when you talk like that.”
They tiptoed towards the swirling staircase. Paintings of elegant women and men hung crooked on the walls, their faces withered with age. The stairs moaned with each step, and Michele’s breathing became shallow with anticipation of what would come.
A wide hallway opened on the top floor, with rooms laid out to each side of them. Doors barely cracked open revealed threatening darkness. Michele swallowed and gripped Sean’s hand a little tighter.
“Sean, let’s go. We’ve seen enough.” A soft tap behind her made Michele jump and look back. Nothing loomed in the shadows.
“What’s the matter, baby? You scared?” Sean’s taunts lured her forward, against her better instincts.
Moonlight trickled into the bay windows at the end of the hall, scattered in the ripped silk curtains hanging haphazardly from broken rods. Sean pushed a door and it creaked open to reveal a dark bedroom. A four poster bed sat in the middle of the room, the white bedspread spread out as though someone had been sleeping there. Michele walked forward while her boyfriend looked at the trinkets on the dresser and fingered the soft sheets.
The fabric was warm under her fingers.
Gasping, she stepped back. “Sean,” she whispered, “we have to go. There’s someone here.”
“Have you seen anyone?” He snorted. “Stop being so scared of this damn mansion. Come here and look what I found.”
Michele swallowed and rushed to his side. He pointed to a picture on the dresser, the only piece of glass not smeared with dust in the house. A smiling woman peered out from the photo, her bright blue eyes crinkled on a wide smile. Dark black hair framed her pale face, and a forest behind her only accentuated her beauty.
“Wow, she’s beautiful.”
“You think that’s the daughter?”
The mention of another person brought thought of the cooling bed back to Michele’s mind. “I don’t know. All I know is that bed is warm.”
“What do you mean, warm?” Skeptical, Sean walked to the bed in two steps and ran his hand along the covers. “It’s cold, babe.” He chuckled and looked over his shoulder.
Michele was gone.
“Michele?” Panic fluttered into his chest at the empty room. She’d been just there, standing by the dresser and terrified. “Babe?”
He stepped away from the bed, looking towards the door. Silence echoed from the hallway, and Sean swallowed. A soft thud behind him drew his attention and he looked over his shoulder to find a horrific sight.
Michele lay on the white sheets, her body contorted. Blood pooled underneath her and dripped to the floor from her fingertips. An open, gaping wound on her neck was only just visible beneath her matted hair. She stared at him with wide eyes, trying to form words.
Sean dropped to his knees next to the bed. “Oh, shit. What happened, Michele?” Her mouth opened and closed as she tried to speak. “What is it?” His voice cracked with the fear and grief coursing through his body. “What is it, babe?”
She raised a shaking finger and pointed to the ceiling. Sean blinked and turned his head to look up.
He barely saw the blonde demon dropping on him, but he felt her fangs sink into his neck.
And the other magnificent flashers:
Julie Hayes (m/m)
Chris Quinton (m/m)
Victoria Blisse (m/f)
L. M. Brown (m/m)
Freddy MacKay (m/m)
Lily Sawyer (m/m)
West Thornhill (m/m)
Lindsay Klug (m/f)
Ryssa Edwards (m/m)
Elyzabeth M. VaLey (m/f)