Sitting on the edge of a large water purification factory Mitzie looked over the city. For years she sat on top of this tank looking out into the bustling city below, looking for a sign. After years of searching, she finally found her — the only person she felt could change the tides in a long struggle for power.
Mitzie leaped from the water tower easily jumping from the top of one building to the next. Behind her, the words of the water tower grew smaller “O.A. W. P. Jobs, Water, Prosperity” the motto of the Outer Arm Water Purification Plant.
As the stench of chlorine and rust faded behind her, she let Cristy’s scent guide her. She reached a residential neighborhood where she jumped from the roof of a tall building onto the lamp post below. In the rustling wind and darkness, the neighborhood moved. The sad songs of festivities ending and the intoxicated voices echoing in the wind. Mitzie felt the sounds and scents were so intense after so many days in solitude, as she walked through the neighborhood,
As she neared an apartment building sitting on top of a liquor store she scanned her surroundings. She spotted two police officers on the opposite side of the street, but they were busy interrogating two men. She turned into the alley keeping her eyes on them in case they spotted her. She jumped onto the fire escape.
Through the window Mitzie saw Cristy standing in front of a long mirror, teasing her hair and singing along to the music softly blaring from her speakers. She took a second to take in the sweet scent coming through the cracked window reminding herself to control the hunger she felt.
She pushed the window open, moved through the peach-colored curtains with careful movement. Cristy looked at Mitzie through her mirror, “I thought vampires had to be invited in?” She smiled and turned to meet Mitzie’s eyes.
Mitzie grinned “Was your open window not an invitation?” She slowly approached Cristy. Mitzie leaned in as if to kiss Cristy but instead nuzzled her along her neck. Cristy quickly noticed Mitzies eager hunger and pushed her away.
“Nah ah, you promised. We’re going out tonight.” Cristy said as she grabbed her denim jacket and tied her dark curly hair into a high updo.
With a look of dread on her face, Mitzie tried to lure Cristy into her arms, “You’re right, but I’m a little undernourished to be around so many humans right now.” Again pushing her away, Cristy objected, “Oh no! You are not giving me any more excuses, none of my friends think you’re real! We are going out!”
Out of all the Hosts in Mitzie’s past, Cristy was the most demanding. Vampires were supposed to exert an alluring control over their human Hosts, but Cristy was special, and she seemed to know it.
In the room below they heard an argument starting to brew. Cristy lived with an aunt and uncle that fought often. Cristy looked over at the door where the argument began to echo louder, then over to Mitzie pleading. Cristy’s eyes pleading Mitzie to take her away from that cantankerous house.
Mitzie sighed, “Where shall we go?” Mitzie asked as the yelling in the next room grew louder. Cristy smiled from ear to ear, “Hell yes…my favorite spot!” She threw her arms around Mitzie and Mitzie lifted her up easily with her vampire strength. Cristy held on to Mitzie as she jumped down into the alley behind Cristy’s house. They walked through a neighborhood deep in midnight hustle.
They reached a store front with a sign above its door frame in curved red letters:
ANGEL’S ANTIQUE BOOKS
The store looked abandoned with large metal bars in front of a glass window covered in pages from old books and newspapers. Mitzie almost didn’t notice when Cristy turned to open the rusty door that led them inside. As soon as she opened the door, the sound of music creeped out from the back of the store. A tall lanky woman with dark hair and face covered in piercings greeted them. She recognized Cristy and opened the door to the back room.
Mitzie was surprised to see such a place still existed in the Outer Arm, the human need to celebrate in violent times still amazed Mitzie.
Cristy introduced Mitzie to everyone she knew, Mitzie tried to remain focused on the names and faces but every new human brought a new scent to her heightened senses. The music blaring and the stench of alcohol and smoke overwhelmed Mitzie. In less than an hour, she was thinking of excuses to leave. Cristy dancing and drinking with her friends didn’t notice Mitzie’s discomfort.
After a while, Mitzie stopped to whisper into Cristy’s ear. “I need to step outside,” Cristy looked at Mitzie’s face, tense and pained. Mitzie hastily walked out. Cristy stayed for a while longer to dance two more songs with her friends. But when Mitzie took too long to get back she grew worried and stepped out to look for her.
Cristy knew how difficult crowds were for someone like Mitzie. Pushing through the crowd. she went outside to look for Mitzie. She found Mitzie leaning on a wall outside, eyes shut, taking in big inhales of cool air. Music still escaped through the half-opened door.
Cristy threw her arms around Mitzie’s neck and started swaying to the music. Mitzie leaned in taking in her scent as they moved. Mitzie wondered if Cristy realized the power she held in the crux of her neck. One of the most powerful creatures on the planet brought to submission by on artery in this small woman’s neck. She took in the sound of blood pumping in that vein and started to push her fangs in. But right before she could bite down Cristy let her go.
“Let’s go home,” Cristy whispered and led her away.
As they walked passed the strip of bars and clubs open late, they came across someone that Cristy recognized. A tall handsome and brutish man, arguing with someone on his cell phone.
“You see that guy over there” Cristy signaled with hatred in her eyes.
“That bastard raped three of my good friends. He’s probably arguing with someone else he’s messed with.” Mitzie could hear the disgust in Cristy’s voice and her heartbeat starting to rise.
Mitzie looked over with a dangerous grin, “No, not today.” She turned and walked toward him. Humans, as week as they are, can still cause so much harm to one another. Over the centuries, Mitzie found joy in helping women like Cristy find a little bit of justice in their short human lives, a small gift to those she called her hosts.
Mitzie waited near the man and when he ended his phone call she asked him to light a cigaret for her. She leaned into him and laughed at his jokes. After a few pleasantries, Mitzie told him “There something I want to show you, follow me.” He grew excited and followed her into the alley behind another bar.
Cristy, hiding behind a parked car, followed closely behind them. Before entering the alley she reached into her purse to grab a ring of keys. She placed a key between each of her knuckles.
They acted quickly. Mitzie grabbed his arm and twisted it behind him. Her strength startled and immobilized him, Mitzie turned him around to face Cristy. She jammed her fist full of metal into his face. “What the fuck” he screamed. With her other arm, Mitzie grabbed him by the throat. “Shhhh…quiet or were going to make sure you can’t say a word ever again ”
Cristy proceeded to kick and punch him, stopping only to remind him that the pain he felt was small compared to the pain he had inflicted on so many others.
The smell of blood began to ignite Mitzie’s hunger. “Cristy…stop for a moment” Cristy hardly noticed as she kept hitting the man. “Cristy!” Mitzie threw the man on the ground and caught Cristy’s fist as she lunged it drunkenly. Mitzie drew Cristy forward, tasting the blood on her knuckles. His blood tasted bitter, tainted with liquor. He did not move while Mitzie held Cristy shaking with anger. “Is he dead?” Cristy finally asked.
Mitzie chuckled. “No, still has a heartbeat,” Mitzie said. Cristy sight, maybe of relief or frustration. “He’s very drunk. I can taste it.”
“It’s not like he’s going to call the cops, anyway.” No, they were in the Outer Arm of the city, a place that mistrusted the police, who were more likely to find a reason to lock you up than to help. She shrunk down to try and wake him. He roused with consciousness, “If you ever put your hands on anyone else, I’ll find you, and I’ll kill you. Do you understand.” The man nodded before passing out.
“Let’s go, Cris. Now!” Mitzie lifted Cristy into her arms and jumped up to the roof of the building.
Soaring through the air, Cristy felt unstoppable. She had always been on her own, but now, in the arms of such a powerful being, she felt as if she would never need anyone else. Her heart still pounding with excitement she looked up at Mitzie in the moonlight and wondered if she would ever be more than a Host. She wondered if she would ever be as strong as Mitzie.