He did it again. He suppressed what he could. He rounded the corner and she was there – suddenly on his truck hood. Her face was sharp and poignant. Getting out of his truck, he went to her. He even tried to breathe life back into her body. Then he held her and knelt down in her blood which formed a puddle beneath his feet. Eric didn’t kill her; she committed suicide – why else would she be there on that street in the middle of the night? It was All Hallow’s Eve. Eric went home and placed her in his bed. He pulled the sheets and turned on the TV. Jason has a chainsaw – Eric watched gore. He licked his fingers of her; she smelled good. He ate cherries that were like her nail polish. Eric imagined her as alive as the fruit flies which found his tomatoes. He kinda enjoyed the juxtaposition of carnage and being alive; “We are all here to devour one another,” he told himself in the mirror. For Halloween he never bought candy, but he’d dress as Dracula and suck blood. Blood was like the fruit he watched turn to something moist, sloughed in skin. He thought about her. Then he forgot.
Halloween gave him the opportunity to be someone other than Eric Morris; he was plain and typical, an average guy with the brain of someone mad – a real scientist in blue jeans and a sleeveless shirt. He applied makeup that buried his scars in thick-like paste. He wore contact lenses to conceal his overbearing blue eyes. His contacts were black. He painted his hair black. He wore eye liner. He was more like a demon. He thought being demonic was over the top, so he posed as Dracula – that was acceptable. His tongue was stained in cherry. He craved blood even when the supply wouldn’t leap out in front of his moving truck. She did not die. He relished in her means of introductions. No one ever tried so hard, but he did it again. He said he would not.
Eric left his house to join the streets; the outdoors was sparsely lit by city streets beneath the omnipresent moon. There were hundreds, it seemed, gathered on the city block; the bars were plentiful. He passed by Cher, a poser, and had a look at her ass in a black thong the way the celebrity walked when she sang. She was a good poser. He went down Sleepy Hollow Street and found the poser standing there with her head hanging crooked off the left shoulder; he bit her too hard. They were being intimate. He couldn’t resist; she was his first. His first at everything. He suppressed her. He left her there, in an inconspicuous way, to bury the past inside a coffin made of guitar strings and glass; when she screamed, his mind snapped and he took up his guitar and hit her over the head. The glass at her feet cut her face. He placed her in a bed made of roses. He could not bury them.
He would bury the thought of them. In the deep recesses of his mind. But how was she standing there? She was left in the quilt his grandmother made for him. She was the queen in a king bed; Sarah King had it good there. He approached her.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” He shouted.
“I didn’t die you idiot!” She threw up her hands.
“I should have buried your rotting corpse…”
The zombies, ghouls and disfigured creatures were staring. He fled. He suppressed her. She was gone, as far as he was concerned, from his memory. He felt trapped of them. Then he started to lose it.
Her beautiful suicide didn’t alarm him.
“She walked right out of the fucking bed,” he told the body he hit with his truck.
She lay with eyes wide open; they were green as emeralds. Her hair jet black. Her mouth like cherries – how he loved cherries. His Jane Doe had a purse; he rummaged. Melissa Vann, her license said.
“Are you fucking going to come back, too?” He cursed when he was angry; he was ashamed he didn’t bury them.
Then there was a knock on his door.
“Mr. Morris?” He heard them say, and they knocked again.
He opened the door quickly.
“I’m fucking Dracula!” He was mad.
“Yeah, well…” one Officer said to the other, “a demonic Dracula,” then sniggered.
“We’re here to take you in…” the female Officer said, and he slammed the door.
“No! I don’t want to fuck you, you bitch! You whore!”
They tried breaking open the door. He broke free from the window. He saw the Headless Horseman mount his mighty black horse.
“Hey, you need a ride?” The Headless Horseman offered beneath a cape.
“Yes!” Eric sprayed as he spoke.
The Horseman took him toward the night, and they took a path by the light of the moon and stopped in the now darkened alley behind Elm Street.
“I always had a thing for Dracula,” the Headless Horseman dismounted.
“Yeah?” Dracula said.
The Headless became a head with dark and sinister eyes. He leaned in and kissed him.
“You taste divine,” the head of the Headless Horseman said.
“Oh, yeah?” Dracula was gloating.
“I also like blood…” his voice was cracking.
“I completely understand my friend, like keeping a vile of your lover’s blood…”
“Around your neck for safe keeping?”
Dracula wanted more of him. Finally someone understood him.
The Headless Horseman took Dracula to his mansion. They made love. It was undignified and thirsty. They drank of one another. Then he forgot. He buried them deep into the recesses of his mind to never let them rise from their death.
“Do you even want to know my name?” The Headless Horseman chuckled.
“Yes,” Dracula smoothed his tongue over his skin.
“It’s William …”
“William, I don’t give a fuck…”
“You are too charming,” William said, “call me Will sometime.”
“Am I?” Eric ate an apple.
William wiped his lip. Then there were police outside the alley.
“Give up your phone,” William gave him a stern eye, “they’re tracking you.”
“How do you know?”
“Well it must be you, because it is not for me.”
To conceal himself, Eric left his phone on the bedside table and fled down the alley into the dark night where hundreds crowded him. Eric found the werewolves one street over.
“Hey man,” he said to one of them, “you got a light?”
“Yeah, man, here,” the grayest of the wolf pack tossed him a light.
Eric ran home. He went through the window. He sat beside her in the bed. Her eyes peered at him.
“I just had the best flipping night,” he decided not to curse. His desires were satisfied. “But you little lady are going to get me into trouble.”
He went to the cemetery to bury her in an unmarked grave. He kicked the dirt where he spread his father’s ashes because his father would have sided with her. His father never understood his preferences. She wouldn’t either, he decided. He didn’t lay down flowers. Her grave was in the dark corner of the lot where he could bury his past and walk through the night to face yet another day as being different from the rest. As Dracula he stood out, but he fit in. Another paradox in the grand scheme of his emotions. Then he had William to bury. Next, he thought. Because no one should really know him. It’s better when they don’t care because he has always been quiet. Unnoticed. And he fled to William where he hoped to put him to bed. He had already dug the hole in the cemetery.
His phone was missing. William was gone. The police were nowhere to be found. The streets were quiet. He felt normal. Unafraid and doomed. The waning moon was amusing. He thought of the werewolves. He thought about quitting cigarettes. Then he forgot because he buried them there, the three of them, and wondered when he’d grow thirsty again. Next year, he thought. He’d be Dracula with the dead, aimless bride.
Candace Meredith earned her Bachelor of Science degree in English Creative Writing from Frostburg State University in 2008. Her works of poetry, photography and fiction have appeared In various small presses. She also earned her Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) from West Virginia University. She currently lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her fiancé, two sons, daughter, six cats and three dogs.