She waits. She knows he will come. He has before; when she wanted him. She sits in her bed, the only furniture in her room. The blue walls are bare, looking like ice by the single
small lamp. Bars cover the windows. She knows the bars will not keep him out. They were not meant to, for those who put them there (and took everything out of the room) do not believe in him.
She reads the Book. It is the way she calls him. She props it against her thighs, and reads of his seduction of Lucy. How he entered Lucy’s room in a fog. How his white face
bent to her throat. The momentary pain, then the swoom.
She remembers her first time. She began by reading the Book. She became fervantly involved, reading faster and faster. Then the hairs on her neck tingled. She looked up to find her room filled with a thick mist. Out of the mist he emerged. She recognized him from the description in the Book. He was tall and thin. His aquiline nose, separating his burni
ng red eyes, the pupils black holes. Thick red lips beneath a large mustache, two sharp teeth protruding. His dead white skin enhanced by black clothing. He moved to the end of her
bed. She could not take her eyes from his. He glided to her side, reaching down, enveloping her in his long, powerful arms. He bent his head, she could feel his hot breath on her
flesh. His incisors punctured her vein. Her mind reeled. She felt as though she were floating in warm air. A dark world was opening to her.
* * *
The next day she sat on the flowery sofa, in the living room of her Mother’s house, where she lived, and told her fiance, Art, about her experience. After she was finished, he sat quietly, a frown marring his handsome face, his thin lips pursed. His long fingers twirled his curly blonde hair.
Finally he looked her in the eye. “It was just a dream, you know.” The pitch of his voice wavered slightly.
“It was not a dream,” she stated emphatically. “It really happened.”
His frown deepened, his blue eyes squinting almost shut. He stood, taking a few steps away from her. She watched his short sinewy body tense, the muscles rippling through his tight fitting shirt. He turned on her suddenly. “You’re nuts.”
She threw up her hands, sighing loudly. “It happened. It really happened. I’m not nuts.”
His face blanked. “Are you trying to get rid of me? Is that it?”
“No, Art! I loved you. But I’ve found something...” she paused for a moment, thinking “...unique. It’s totally different from anything I’ve ever experienced. And I don’t want to give it up. I want to go all the way with it.”
“You are nuts!”
They sat on a sunny afternoon in a sidewalk café, she and her best friend Willie, sipping Long Island Ice Teas. A light breeze cooled their bare legs. She told her, as she had told
“And you told this story to Art?” Willie asked, after silently watching passers—by for several minutes.
“I felt I owed it to him to be honest,” she explained.
“And this is what you told him? Are you crazy?”
“I’m not crazy. It’s all true. Wonderfully true. It’s the most fulfilling thing to ever happen to me.”
“I thought Art fulfilled you. That’s what you told me. That was why you and I only made love once. Because you only found fulfillment with Art. But now you tell me about how
you’ve read some silly book, had a crazy dream, and found fulfillment.”
“It’s not a dream. It’s real, it happened.” She leaned forward, her eyes wide, her mouth firm.
“What’s happened to you? This is crazy talk. Are you...”
She didn’t listen to Willie anymore. She just didn’t understand.
She told her Mother she had met a wonderful foreigner, whom she was going away with. Mother sat in her usual high-backed chair. As her story went from start to finish Mother moved
from slight tension to rigid indignity.
When she was finished, Mother rose stiffly from the chair and walked across the room to the phone, where she called a psychiatrist friend and made an appointment for her
“It’s for your own good, dear,” Mother said as she hung up the phone. “You obviously need help. You should be marrying Art, not running off with this strange foreigner.”
She sighed. She knew the futility of arguing with Mother.
She sat patiently in the doctor’s book-crowded office, wondering how many of those books the doctor had actually read.
The doctor sat behind her orderly desk, twiddling with her pipe, deep in thought.
“And has this ‘experience’ recurred?” the doctor asked.
“And what was it like?”
She thought. “I was reading the Book. I dosed off. I had some strange dream. I was flying over a forest. He was flying beside me. I looked at him. He smiled and whispered my name. I awoke to find him lying beside me. He kissed me deeply. He kissed my whole face, worked down to my throat. Then there was that slight piercing and my head swam. It was like when I was little and I used to like to lay on the bottom of the pool for as long as I could hold my breath. I felt elated.”
“Mmmmm,” was all the doctor answered. Then she opened a drawer in her desk and took out a stack of large cards. She tapped them on the desk, straightening them like a card dealer. She then pulled the first card and faced it towards her patient.
Indicating the inked design on the card, the doctor asked “What does this make you think of?”
She studied the card for several moments. She knew what the doctor expected her to say. There was the center “body”, oval shaped, with sections on both sides that swept up and
down, wing-like. A bat came to mind.
“A butterfly in heat,” she answered.
The doctor frowned. She put the card at the bottom of the deck, wrote notes on a pad of paper at her elbow. She took a second card, an oblong spot with four spires reaching
upwards. The patient studied it, thought about her answer, then gave an entirely different one. It was the same with the third, fourth, fifth, through countless nonsensical shapes.
The doctor methodically took notes, her frown changing the wrinkles in her forehead.
* * *
After that they confined her to her room, taking out all the furnishings, except the bed. They put the bars on the windows. They took the Book.
But now she sits reading a paperback edition she kept hidden as an emergency copy. She is reading of his third visit to Lucy. When he comes, it will be her third visit also.
Lucy sat in bed with her mother. He crashed through the window in the form of a wolf, scaring Lucy’s mother to death. He transformed into human shape. He walked slowly to Lucy’s side, took her in his arms, and drank from her. Lucy, both fearful and excited, did not resist. He pulled away, finally, opened his shirt, and cut a vein in his chest with one sharp fingernail. He put his hand behind her head, drawing her face to his wound. She drank greedily. His power flowed into Lucy’s veins. She would become like him.
She calls out to him as she reads. She can see him, in her mind’s eye, as he rises from his coffin deep within the mountain castle. He climbs ancient stairs to a window, where
he metamorphosizes into a bat. He flies over the forests, over the cities. He is coming to claim her.
She is so caught up in her anticipation, that she does not notice the headlights cross her window as a car drives up to the house.
She lays dazed as two men dressed in hospital blue and white enter her room. They approach her slowly, whispering something soothing. She looks first at one, not focusing,
then the other. She smiles. She sees through his disguise. He has come for her, will take her away with him, right under the noses of those who would stop them. If they only knew.
Maybe after her change she will tell them. Maybe she will show them.