Starve (Phorzhicoa Story) #30days #30days2018 by Cherie Ann Turpin

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Last time I saw him he stared at me without blinking for 20 minutes straight.  I sat in a low leather chair sipping on an extra dirty martini pretending to not notice him as I read my phone messages.

Starved.

I’ve seen that before.  The last stage before converting to us, the Phorzhicoa.  He’s so far gone he wouldn’t have known the difference between the food and the feeders.  To most humans he is, in urban vernacular terms, “thirsty,” in need of something other than the usual attention given to men and women who are moderately attractive.

You’ve encountered the type before, the kind who were surrounded by sycophants and fans in their younger days, the popular set of folk who were sharply dressed, well-spoken, and of course never missing out on receiving some really delicious sexual heat from lovers and bedwarmers.  But eventually that sort of heat gets cold, and the thirst grows sharper with age.  The young, nubile, strong bodies of hopeful fans are replaced by earnest, desperate, and somewhat shrill voices of men and women who hope to taste a bit of an aging star who begins to realize with more than a bit of panic that she or he is no longer being fed and maintained but in fact is being sucked dry.

Starved.

The makeup is flawless, the haircut is perfect, but the soul is in great need.  The hollowed out eyes of one who is ravenous enough to not know that he is staring at a version of himself is unmistakable and indeed, quite irresistible.  Truth is I’ve kept myself off the radar of the Queen by refusing to feed for some years now, and it has kept me safe from some of the more aggressive types who look to compel us solitaries into joining families to hunt. And yes, he is desirable, but I do not give chase.  I prefer to be chased because the taste of his astonishment is so much more satisfying.  It’s a moment of mutual recognition, that we are more alike than different, that I am not prey but a sister hunter like him.  But he is still in pre-conversion, not quite Phorzhicoa yet.  He may give chase, but I saw him long before he even realized he saw me as a meal to consume.

This fledgling sitting across from me has been semi-stalking me for some months without speaking or even admitting to himself that he hungers, that his body and soul feels the crush and call of the Phorzhicoan way.  The sex itself is beyond words, but the energy that floods you is like a tidal wave of ecstasy that floods every cell of your body for what seems to be an eternity.  Time ceases as you are filled once again.  To be mutually fed by your own is to die and live again in a state of utter joy and relief.

But I don’t chase fledglings, especially not in my own starved state. I feel no motivation to move, much less speak.

Instead, I watch and wait for him to turn.

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Blood Coffee #30days #ww470

My cell phone alarm wakes me up at sunset, my morning call to stretch my legs and step out of my walk in closet where I sleep post-conversion to vampire.  And no, I don’t sleep in a coffin–I hate tight spaces as it is, much less a box fit for a dead body. I’m vampire, so that makes me alive and itchy near the sun, not dead. When I get my next    to the next paycheck I will spend a few dollars on some tinted windows for my bedroom and bathroom so I can start sleeping in my bed again instead of that sleeping bag in my closet.  For now, I endure the closet and try not to go into panic mode.

My first meal of the night isn’t really that different from most people who need a pickup before work: hot coffee. My stomach takes most liquids, including liquor, but since conversion to vampire I prefer beans soaked and roasted in blood, as well as a blend of Type A+ after pouring the hot brew into my favorite cup.  By the time I’ve finished my coffee, I’ve read my work emails, watched evening rush hour news, and texted my boss.

Not much difference from anyone else, save for the faint impression of blood left on the table that never seems to disappear even after scrubbing the surface. Might need to buy another table before inviting humans over for brunch.

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Bottle Service #7 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days) by Cherie Ann Turpin

Bottle Service #7 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days)
by Cherie Ann Turpin
bottle_service_main
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.
BOTTLE-SERVICE
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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“Rehab” #27 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

“Rehab” #27

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days
junk
So, I’m on a plane headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Mind you, I’m in my traveler’s coffin, the one with the tacky sky-blue lining and extra pillow to help me sleep (I have neck and back issues).  I don’t want to go, but my vampire posse staged an intervention and threatened to kick me out of the group house and report me to my maker, something I fear more than being homeless in a city known to be hostile to derelict vamps.

My drug of choice is heroin, or more accurately, heroin addicts’ blood.  The first time I got high I was at a party and I ended up feeding on this frat boy who I thought was drunk.  I didn’t realize he’d snorted some heroin/oxy party powder in the kitchen earlier.  I almost puked the blood out the first time, but after a few minutes I felt like I was floating into space.  He didn’t even feel me biting him again, but I was careful not to drain him.  I wanted to keep my drug cow healthy enough to keep me high.

It worked for about two months.  He’d score the drugs, and I’d pay him to let me feed on him after he snorted or injected himself.  Then, after a two month run, the frat boy dropped dead from an overdose.  According to one of his frat mates at the frat house where they found him, he thought he could do more of the drug and not get sick because he believed I was sucking away his addiction.  Maybe I was, but if I did, I ended up with an itch that burned through my core stronger than my urge to drink blood all by itself.  It set my hunger on thermonuclear, and made me a danger to not just humans, but other vampires who smelled like they recently fed on addicts.
opium
When my friends found me I was staying at a motel with a recently deceased prostitute who, like my frat boy supplier, OD’ed after spending two weeks with me on a heroin binge.  He sat on the toilet with a glassy-eyed stare, the needle still stuck in his arm.  I’d already fed on him, but I guess he wanted to top off his waning high to augment what my feeding had done to him.  He looked disappointed, a corpse not happy to be a corpse.  The vamps quietly wrapped him in sheets and dumped him into the river.

Clearly, I am not the only one dealing with this issue:  human junkies have been showing up in ER with gaping bite wounds and severe loss of blood by the dozens over the last six months.  The human authorities still don’t know we exist, but it’s only a matter of time before that changes.  If that happens, the Vampire Council will put me down like a rabid dog for sure. That’s why right now I am packed away in the baggage area, waiting for the plane to land so I can be transported to the vampire rehab facility just outside of Santa Fe.

I hear detox feels like you’re being exposed to the sun.  So not looking forward to that.

No bloody sunscreen.

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Immurement #15 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Immurement #15
by Cherie Ann Turpin
(30 Stories in 30 Days)
#30Days

 

They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” – Revelation 6:16

Voluntary immurement was not a submission to the torments of old used to punish the sinful, where the guilty were literally sealed behind walls to put them out of sight and left to starve and suffocate, slowly.

To be precise, voluntary immurement, or VI, as it was now called in polite company, walled away citizens from the Phorzhicoa, the collective of Watchers who picked through every conversation, every thought, every emotion, seeking out succulent strands upon which to feed and give purpose for continued existence in this state of ultimate vicariousness.  Those who could afford complete VI immersion enjoyed a pampered existence free of federal and state monitoring, as well as a much-envied freedom from Watchers by virtue of the physical and spiritual walls reinforced with armed drones.  For those who desired a less extreme version and were willing to risk an occasional run-in with Watchers, semi-VI became the choice of wealthy celebrities, professionals and venture capitalists with the cash to burn to secure their dream of living a partially buried existence.

Semi-VI  condo units and VI homes began to appear first in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, London, Paris, DC, Rome, and even sunny LA, as entertainers began to make use of virtual interactive presence (VIP) to “phone in” movie set performances, concerts, celebrity appearances, and interviews, thereby avoiding the scourge of the Phorzhicoa and the Paparazzi.

Complete VI immersion was still considered to an unconventional choice, though viewed by many citizens as enviable, as it was reserved for those few trillionaires who were wealthy enough to build a fully staffed, town-sized compound and farm that included medical professionals, teachers, and other compound workers who committed to ten-year contracts with generous benefits and compensation, including their own customized semi-VI condo units upon completion of their contracts.

Some of the wealthiest people on the planet were no longer seen or heard in public.   VIP technology was now standard practice for business, meaning those of the Oligarch became invisible rulers, while the masses of the outside world coped with squeezing out an existence between the encroaching Phorzhicoa and perpetual government surveillance.

Disappearing from the public became a sign of the leisure class.

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“Quitting Smoking” #11 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

“Quitting Smoking” #11

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

2012-07-29 20.24.50
#30days

 

The first thing I noticed the night after I turned vampire was that I no longer felt a need to light up a cigarette.  That was stranger than having to sleep in my walk-in closet to keep out the sunlight.  Contrary to the myth, the sun rays don’t kill vampires, but it makes us weak, sleepy, and more than a bit itchy.  I work as an online writing instructor for a virtual university, so it’s not like I have to worry about missing work time.

I sat up, walked into the bathroom, and looked into the mirror, expecting to see nothing.  Instead, I saw my twisted hair in somewhat of a mess.  My eyes were bloodshot, and I looked somewhat gray in skin tone.  I opened my mouth and saw….nothing but teeth and a tongue.  Okay.  A couple of other myths destroyed there.  I jumped into the shower and washed quickly.  I found some jeans, a tee-shirt, and a pleather jacket, along with my usual lace-up boots.

I thought it odd to not feel a need to smoke.  I grabbed the gray pack of American Spirits and stuck a cigarette at the corner of my mouth.  I lit it and slowly pulled smoke into my lungs.  And held it.  After about ten minutes I blew a cloud of smoke into the dark room. Well, it seemed I discovered two things: 1) I no longer felt a buzz or tasted the cigarette and 2) I no longer needed to breathe.

Instead, I felt a craving for something else, something I could not satisfy from my kitchen or even from delivery.  Suddenly, I felt a hunger so painful it seemed to turn my insides into liquid metal.  Falling to the carpet, my body began to shudder and twist.  I felt my teeth sharpen and push out from my gums, as a strange, beastly growl emerged from my throat.  Cold hands suddenly grabbed me and calmed me, while a warm, coppery liquid filled my mouth and throat.  I swallowed greedily, wondering if the hunger was always this painful.

“For young ones, yes, but not for long,” spoke my rescuer, reading my thoughts.  He pulled me up as he stood, a tall, balding man with dark, piercing eyes and full lips.  His fangs flashed as he smiled at me, warmly.  “I don’t abandon my children, and you have much to learn before I send you on your way.  I will teach you how to live among humans without drawing attention to your true nature.”  He gestured to my laptop.  “You already know how to support yourself without stealing or killing.  You won’t have too many issues living among them in this city.”  He walked to the door and held out his arm for me to take.

“Let’s take a walk.  I feel like eating out for a change.”

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Mark Undone (Continuation of “Meet Mark”) [a fragment] Story #14 (30 Stories in 30 Days) by Cherie Ann Turpin

Mark Undone (Continuation of “Meet Mark”)
[a fragment]

Story #14 (30 Stories in 30 Days)

by Cherie Ann Turpin

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Tall, dark, and willowy, she was a striking woman with almond-shaped, fierce eyes, and the walk of a thousand-year old vampire. She had the ability to blend into masses of people or shine like a neutron star at what could only be described as “her will.” Daylight delighted her, as did chocolate and strawberries. When it came to humans, she fed on something much more delicious than blood.

No one who met her could provide a clear picture of her identity, or even a clear description of her up close. She was more like a distant figure in a candid photograph with blurred, distant faces. He proved to be the exception to that rule, not that it gave him much comfort. Her rare physical presence produced a familiar, phallic hunger, but her absence cut through him like a raw, flayed sensation, a longing that could not be abated.

He could barely type out a word without recalling the first moment of hearing her low, vibrating voice as she breathed out “hello.” Months after that moment he felt as if he had been marked by her, as if he were to be later retrieved for purposes or uses unknown. A growing realization of this marking left him shaken to his core, even as he found his hands spending more time below his waist than on his keyboard as his obsession with her engulfed his psyche.

She frightened him.

She excited him.

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