Vampire 2.0 – Wayback Machine (Part 1)

Missed where it began? Slide on over here…

Wayback Machine

Monica stared at the intersection’s crosswalk light, as though sheer force of will could make it change. Lord knew she had a surplus of angry willpower this evening. Having been dragged away from studying by Lucita for the purpose of attending a pre-convention party, forced into an outfit she would have described as questionable at best, and subjected to a series of bizarre, fetish-obsessed males in the throes of a feeding frenzy that would have made a shark envious, she was in no mood to be balked by the absence of one little green man on a sign.
Taking a deep breath and feeling slightly better about herself for having decided to buck the system – even in such a small fashion as walking against the light – Monica took a step forward. Almost immediately she heard a horn blare, and she jumped backward on sheer reflex. Half a second later, a Hummer painted the most obnoxiously violent shade of yellow she had ever seen blew through the space she had been occupying. A small red fist – that looked to be missing fingers – shot out of the window and shook at her as the vehicle passed, while an angry voice with a thick New York accent drifted through the slipstream and back to her.
“Watch where ya goin’, ya dumb broad!”
She raised her middle finger and shook her fist at the motorist.
“Watch this, asshole!”
Lowering her arm, she sighed, staring down at her feet and the ridiculous thigh-high boots she was wearing.
“It’s what you get, Monica, thinking you could come out and play,” she muttered to herself.
All in all, it had been a terrible evening. Maybe she’d have been better off if the misogynistic idiot in the yellow Hummer had run her down; at least then her physical state would have matched the mental one.
Giving her head a brisk shake in an attempt to clear it, Monica took another glance up and down the street, checking for any other stray military vehicles. Seeing none, she scurried across.
As she got one foot mounted on the opposing sidewalk, vibrations began assaulting her thighs. Monica took a moment to realize it was her cellphone, trapped in the waistband of the Lycra pants she had donned that evening. Pulling out the phone, she scowled at the screen for a moment before swiping it and placing the device to her ear.
“Date not going so well, Lucy?”
Monica glanced around herself, orienting the neon haze of the strip to her right, before continuing down the street. Part of her wanted to call a cab, but after her experiences tonight, she thought the walk would do her good.
“Eh, Paolo was a turd. But there’s plenty of other guys, you know, lots of opportunity. I think there’s even a firefighter or two!”
Monica sighed, careful to turn her mouth away from the phone first. Lucita’s obsession with public servants – particularly of the tall, strong and dumb variety – had always been a mystery to her.
“You’re doing that sideways sigh thing again, aren’t you, Mon? I totally you know you’re doing it. You know you snort right before, right? Just because I can’t hear the sigh doesn’t mean I don’t know.”
Monica coughed, sputtering for a moment. She considered half a dozen responses, looking for the one earmarked get out of jail free, but before she could decide on one, Lucita was already prattling on.
“Besides, you could do with someone throwing you over their shoulder and lugging you up some stairs. Maybe with a little pole action…” Lucita’s voice became reflective. The addition of a throaty moan did nothing to improve Monica’s mood.
“Why, yes, Lucy. That’s just what I need. To be lugged. Way to make a girl feel special, honey.”
Monica blew an errant lock of her chestnut hair from her face, glancing behind her again to make sure the Vegas strip was still in the right place. She’d been strutting while Lucita daydreamed without paying much attention to her direction. Thankfully, she was still on course. Three more blocks, and she’d be at the Dunkin’ Donuts. A right turn and two more blocks, and she’d be home. She tried to tell herself that the donut shop was merely a helpful landmark and not a destination in and of itself, but the rumbling in her stomach seemed to feel otherwise.
“Oh, come on, Mon. I didn’t mean it like that. Jeez, you know if you’d stop whinging about it less people’d care, right? We get it, you’re fat. Deal. Isn’t like I let that stop me, am I right?”
Monica rolled her eyes again, cringing at Lucy’s use of the word “whinging.” She must have been on thesaurus.com again. The flickering of shame at the edge of her mind was tempered by a bit of anger. Of course Lucy didn’t complain; she also didn’t mind throwing herself with desperation at anyone who looked at her, like she was somehow desperate to prove every stereotype about bigger girls ever spilled on the internet.
“Lucy, look, I’m kind of busy right now… if you had a point, maybe you could get to it?”
She tried her best to sound laughing and light, but Monica wasn’t really in the mood. Between the walk, almost being turned into dog food by a lemon-yellow war machine, and the latest aborted attempt at socializing, all she wanted was a Bavarian cream and the safety of her bed and a book.
Lucy didn’t seem about to give up, however. Whether she was ignoring the undertone of irritation in Monica’s voice or quite simply didn’t hear it was open for debate. Lucy was not known for her social awareness.
“Well, duh, I have a point. Two of them, in fact, and in just the right places, if you know what I mean.”
She laughed deep in the back of her throat in a poor impression of suggestive allure. Monica knew what she meant; it was doubtful anyone, when subjected to something Lucy thought was innuendo, wouldn’t catch it.”
“But… I also had a reason. I’m switching venues and I need a wingman. So what do you say, Mon?I mean, I’m sure there’s a donut calling your name, or one of your dumb books, but it’ll be better this time, I promise!”
 Monica sighed, this time not bothering with the charade of turning the phone away. She knew she should tell Lucy to stuff it – the comment about books and donuts had riled her up – but she also knew she was going to go, regardless. Her friend wanted her – or perhaps needed her, for some sort of self-validation – and Monica discovered that maybe she wanted a drink more than that donut. Besides, what could it hurt?
Diverting her course from the street that would have eventually taken her home, Monica started glancing around for a cab.
“Fine. Where?”
Lucy squealed, forcing Monica to pull the phone from the side of her head until the feedback whine died down.
“I knew it, I knew it! The place is called Gothique, and trust me, it’s way cool. Much better guys there. Guys that you might like, the kind who read and know what a Shelly or a Stoker are? I think.”
Monica had her arm up, trying to signal the cab that was rolling down the otherwise mostly deserted side street, but stopped to put it to her forehead instead. Between the name and Lucy’s description of the men on display there – always the most important part of a venue in Lucy’s universe – she had an idea of what sorts of folks would be hanging out there. It left her less than enthused. Still, Lucy was trying to be helpful and friendly in her own bizarre way, and that mollified Monica. Somewhat.
“Right. Okay. I’ll be there in a few. Try not to fall out of any windows or be lugged off by any firemen before I get there, okay?”
The cab was pulling up to the curb, the driver glaring at her and pointedly glancing at his meter and his watch. Taking the hint, Monica squeezed in to the back seat, hanging up on Lucy without a trace of guilt. If it became an issue later, she’d just claim her phone lost signal. Happened all the time anyway.
“Where to, lady?”
The cabbie didn’t sound at all pleased; Monica suspected he’d been on the side street hoping to sneak through the last few minutes of his shift without any more troublesome customers. She was beyond caring at this point, though. She flapped her hand in the general direction of the strip as she answered.
“Place called Gothique. Not sure where it’s at, exactly.”
“Ah, the vamp club? Don’t know why you’d wanna go there, especially crammed into that outfit, but hey, what does Dmitri know?”
He yanked down on the gearshift and lurched into the street, flipping an illegal u-turn that made Monica nauseous.
Sure, Monica. This sounds like it’ll be great fun. A scream, in fact. She shrugged, huffing to herself. Something to do, anyway.


(The story continues here!)

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