Bottle Service #7 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days)
by Cherie Ann Turpin
A quiet crowd hovered in the alleyway between  street leading up to the dull, gray door of Aremwen’s Parlour near opening time, 11 p.m. Two Nephilim hybrid brothers, one with Black skin, one with White skin, stood at the entrance as security, quietly surveying the makeup of the chic crowd. Both men wore matching black suits, sunglasses, and Secret Service style earpieces, but they reserved the electronics for human eyes and ears, as they were adept at telepathy and teleportation. They were quite useful as security not just for their 7’8 height and massive chest and arm muscles, but because they were magical beings like the clientele of this private club.
The bar was located in the alleyway near an art gallery just before the C&O Canal at the bottom of Georgetown. It was the only venue that openly welcomed Phorzhicoans, witches, vampires, demons, angels, shifters, warriors, extractors, telepaths, fallen deities–in other words, all uber-natural beings often not welcome among humans in social settings. Mary, who was a vampire, owned Aremwen. At 300 she still looked like a slender teenager with smooth, dark brown skin, and a tall Afro cut down the sides into a mohawk. She was originally brought to the New World as a small child from Ghana.
After surviving the Middle Passage, Mary was sold into slavery to a small farm outside Jamestown, Virginia. Her Vampire Mother, under the guise of a freedwoman midwife, rescued her from the lecherous slave master whose nefarious intentions had already resulted in an unwanted pregnancy and birth of a stillborn girl. After smuggling the almost dead 19 year-old from the farm, the “midwife” offered Mary the choice of a quick death to relieve her of the painful, uncontrollable bleeding that would certainly result in her eventual death, or a new life that would free her of human pain and enslavement. Several centuries later, Mary owned a high-end bar that offered Bottle Service to VIPs, a complicated but extremely profitable service, given the special appetites of her VIP clientele.
Few of the ordinary patrons who sailed through the bar could afford Bottle Service–contrary to the myths, most supernatural beings these days struggled to make ends meet by working like the humans–but there were a few who had not been around long enough to know of Mary’s wrath who deemed themselves cocky enough to attempt to run a scam, i.e., get Bottle Service and skip out on the bill. Such was the entourage of new vamps in the corner, loud enough to partially drown out the techno music pumping through the bar. Some of them were too young to even have the knowledge of comparing vampire powers. Had even one of them known the full extent of Mary’s power none of them would be destined to be tied to each other with heavy silver chain links, prone, and in a pile like logs to be set afire in the venue’s basement.
Mary would soon have a nice talk with the Nephilim brothers, because they were either clearly off their game tonight, or she had two very strong creatures who were in on the scam. Either possibility brought dread and not a little bit of irritation to Mary, as she stared at the quivering set of baby vampires in the corner.
This was not going to be a good night.
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