Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"GAMES" (1995)

Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway on a warm afternoon I’m beginning to feel drowsy from the pleasant sensations of warm air, the smell of the surf, watching the waves crashing on the beach, so inviting, so inviting.
Marie lays asleep in the seat beside me, and I realize I can’t seem to remember life without her; I certainly don’t want to imagine life ahead without her.
As I look out over the passing beaches, to the blue sea, I notice that there are no people on the beaches. This is strange, it being such a warm, sunny day. I would expect to
see at least a few sunbathers.

I come around a bend in the highway, and suddenly there are people everywhere. I slow down and pull into a “beachcombers” restaurant. Marie finally wakes up to my nudging. We get out of the car, and with a passing word she heads off to the bathroom.
I head into the restaurant.

Inside, there are people going off in every direction at once. I feel discombobulated. I’m not sure why.
I see someone who looks familiar at the bar to one side of the wall of windows overlooking the beach. I walk up to him. I’m not sure I know him —— I can’t place a name with the face -- but there is a gnawing feeling that I do know him
from somewhere.
As I stop in front of him he looks at me, opens his mouth as if to greet me, but then a look of perplexity covers his face. “Dont’t I know you?” he asks awkwardly.
“I think so, but I can’t think of from where,” I reply, slightly releived at his shared uncertainty.
“At school, maybe?”
“Maybe.” But what school did I go to? I’m drawing a blank. Did something happen to me out on the highway, that I’ve now blacked out?
“What’ll ya have, my friend?” the bartender asks.
I am suddenly terribly thirsty, so I order a soda. I look around for Marie. She is nowhere in sight. I start to really need her there, now, with me.
“'Scuse me a sec, I just wanna find my girlfriend,” I say to my friend.
“Sure,” he smiles. “Come on back, we’ll have a beer.”

Outside the wind has died down, and I feel the heat pounding on my head. I look around, don’t see Marie. I look towards the car. Not there either. I’m worried.
Now there seems to be some kind of raucous going on. From the direction of the beach, I hear shouting. Now screaming. People start running up from the beach. Others out
from the restaurant. I force my way back into the restaurant to see what’s going on. My heart is pounding out of my chest.
At the window I look out onto the beach. I can’t believe my eyes.
Hovering just over the surf are three strange looking ships. They don’t look like anything I’ve ever seen before. There is something totally alien about them. The sun shines
brightly on their metal skin. I assume it’s metal.
People run away from the ships. The beach is practically empty. I stand in awe. What is this? What should I do? Where’s Marie?
The ships move up above the beach. Ramps drop down from underneath them, and lines of —- men? -- march quickly down onto the sand.
I run out into the parking lot. No one is in sight. I feel fear in every fiber of my being. I run across the street. I don’t know what I’m running from —- Russians? Aliens? Time-travellers? -- but I know I must get away from them.
I duck behind some bushes on the other side of the highway. I carefully peak through them back at the beach. I see a couple of the invaders coming onto the parking lot. I’m
not safe where I am.
I creep along the rows of bushes, keeping low. They lead down a little side—street. I follow along.
I’m well out of sight of the beach, but I don’t feel safe yet. Up ahead I see a couple of small houses. I decide to head for them.
Suddenly, from behind me I hear, “Halt!” I run head long down the Street.
Before the closest of the houses is a large tangle of bushes. I dive in. And...

...crash into equipment. I sit up. There is one of the invaders manipulating a controlboard. It looks at me. I feel trapped.
As I try to rise I am suddenly held down by several more of them, who have come up behind me. I want to scream, but I am paralyzed. They hold my arms out to the side. Are they
going to kill me?
One, who signals the others with it’s hands —— it is in charge? —— stands before me. It rips my shirt open. I do not comprehend. I look down at my chest. There is some kind of
panel on it. The thing before me opens the panel. I do not understand. What is this? The thing reaches in. It pulls some wires...

"SHE WALKS" (1987)

She walks. Work is over. Another day is ending. Now the train ride home.
Preying eyes watch her as she walks. She feels them on her way to the station. She hears whistles.
She stands on the platform. People mill about. Amoung them are the eyes. One moves near her, looks her over, “Hey pretty mama, how about some fun?” She looks at her feet. “Bitch!” he barks as he moves away, eyeing other women as he passes.
On the train, more preying eyes. She finds a seat. All around eyes look at her. She wishes she could shrink up small.
A good-looking man enters the train. Their eyes meet. He smiles. She looks away. He sits beside her. She looks at him. He smiles again. She smiles.
The train slows down. “The wonderful efficiency of the Transit System,” the man quips.
“Maybe the conductor’s taking a nap,” She returns.
He laughs. The train speeds up. They are silent. The next stop comes up. He gets off. As the doors close, he looks back and smiles, but says nothing.
Another man sits next to her. He smells of beer. “Whatcha doin’ tonight, sweet lady?”
“Blowing up trains,” she answers.
“Hey, sounds like fun. Can I join you?”
“I only do solo.” She looks at her feet again. She feels depressed. Why doesn’t he go away?
“Not very friendly, are you?”
She says nothing. The man’s attention wanders elsewhere. He whistles some out-of tune.
She exits her stop. As she climbs the stairs to the street, she passes a panhandler who makes sucking sounds at her, as if she were a dog.
As she waits at an intersection for the light to change, a pack of wolves, closing up their construction site for the night, begin howling and whistling at her. One says, “Hey good-lookin’, how ‘bout you and me and someplace private?” They all laugh.
Her face heats up. Her eyes swell and become itchy.
More cat-calls, whistles, lip smacking. One comes over to her. “Hey, babe, how about a kiss?” The others cheer him on.
“No thank you.” Her throat is tight.
“Now, now, you’re not just a prick-teaser, are you?” he leers.
“Oooohhhh!” the rest chorus.
A male cop comes along his beat. “Aliright boys, you've had enough fun. Leave the poor girl alone.”
A downcast “ohhh!” comes from the pack. The ‘boldest’ one rejoins them.
The light changes. “They really don’t mean any harm,” the cop offers.
“Don’t they?” Her eyes tear, her brow creases.
She crosses the street. Walking fast. Down her block. She feels the eyes following her. Peering from windows. She looks up at the buildings she passes. The windows look like many eyes, coldly watching her.
She quickens her pace. Almost running. She must escape the walls of prying eyes.
She enters her building. Her heart is pounding. A neighbor man is at his mailbox. He gawks at her legs as she climbs the stairs.
She opens her door. Quickly, she enters, closes and locks it. She is safe.
“What took you so long?” demands her boyfriend. He stands in the entrance to the kitchenette, his arms folded across his chest.
“The train was...” she starts, low.
“What?! Speak up I can’t hear you!”
“The train was slow.”
He snorts. Walks back into the kitchenette. The depression envelopes her. She was safe, but...
“I’m hungry!” he calls to her.
She longed to just hold him. But he is grouchy when he is hungry.
She thinks about what to cook him for dinner as she crosses to the kitchenette.
Another day has ended. Another night begins.

"THE MORNING AFTER" (1983/'87)

Her eyes open.
The motel room. It’s dark.
She sits up. In bed. Naked.
The place beside her is disarrayed. She puts her hand over it.
She gets out of bed. Slowly she crosses to the window. Pushes open the curtain.
Blinding sunlight.
She puts a hand to her eyes. Sways, unsteadily.
She turns and walks to the dresser.
On it, her wallet lies open. She picks it up. Anger and frustration well up, covering her face. It is empty.
She looks into the mirror. She does not like what she sees.

The party.
She sat at the kitchen table smoking a cigarette. Why had she come?
People talked. Useless party talk.
She waited for the bathroom. The woman behind her, whom she had briefly, started rambling on.
“Great party, huh?” the woman asked.
“Yah, great,” she through out.
“Some great guys here, huh?” the woman continued.
"Yah, great.” “Got your eye on anyone?” “No.” “I do.” “Good.” “Jack. The one with the long blonde hair.” “Great.” “He’s such a hunk.” “Yah.” She was saved from further insight when her turn for the bathroom came up.
She entered the living room. Some guy stood in the doorway. Shirt open. Gold chains. ‘I’m cool’ written all over his face.
“How ‘bout you and me, babe?” he actually said.
“I have herpes,” she replied, and calmly moved on.
She watched the partiers. They seemed to be straining to have a good time. They drank, and smoked, and snorted, and dropped. They acted foolish an laughed about it. One very sexy woman, who was practically falling out of her dress, stood between two men, playing one against the other. She’d lean on one, then the other, laughing all the time. The men’s eyes burned.
She wondered where her friend Janice had got to. Janice had bought her to the party, then wondered off somewhere.
A spot on the couch was vacated. She sat down. Next to her sat a drunk jock. Singing some football song.
Suddenly, he noticed her. He lurched at her. Reeked of stale alcohol. She pushed nun away. He made kissy-kissy noises, and babbled something.
Another man came to her rescue. He told the jock that more beer had just arrived. The jock lumbered away. The new man sat down. He was nice.
“Thank you,” she said smiling.
“I can never resist a damsel-in-distress,” he smiled too.
They talked. For hours. She liked him.

She looks at her face.
She picks up the bottle of Jack Daniels left sitting on the dresser, and takes the last swallow.
She looks down at her breasts. Covers them with her arms.
She goes to the bathroom. Closes the door.
She gets into the shower. Turns the water on.
It feels good on her face.

They came here. The motel.
Both of them were drunk. Very drunk.
He kissed her hard. Took a swig of Jack Daniels. He offered it to her. She did likewise.
They went to the bed. On opposite sides, they undressed.
He rushed, and jumped into bed. She hesitated, then hurried and finished, and got into bed.
He got on top of her. They kissed. They fucked. He came. He rolled over and went to sleep.
She had a cigarette.
And cried.

She finishes dressing.
She looks at the bed.
She goes to the dresser. Picks up the empty liquor bottle. Examines it. Drops it in the wastebasket.
She takes a piece of gum out of her purse, unwraps it carefully, and puts it in her mouth.
She walks to the door. Opens it. Steps out. Closes the door.
She looks down at the “Do Not Disturb” sign. She flips it over.
“Maid Clean Up”.

The End


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.
“Yes. Once.”
“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.

"CAT & MOUSE" (1988/'93)

The blade that shot out from the woman’s hand slices through the soft skin on the punker chick’s throat like butter. Blood flows out in a wave, pouring down her shirt. She stands for a moment till her knees buckle, dropping her to the floor. In a flash her short life zips by finishing with her impatience to get into the club’s one toilet, only
to find the woman with a big skinhead’s blood on her face, the skinhead looking like he’d given it all.
Then the floor rushes up and hits the punker chick in the face.

“Fuck off, Jack!” Suzi jumps off her bar stool into the swelling crowd of clubbies. Jack turns back to his drink, chiding himself for his petty jealousy. After all, he knew from the beginning that she is a “free spirit”, as they used to say, and would see (i.e. fuck) anyone she chose. But he really likes her (never admit more) and it bugs him
that she sleeps with all comers.
Jack is so busy with his reverie that he doesn’t notice the enigmatic woman, dressed in New York black, slide up and sit in Suzi’s vacated seat.
But she notices him. She studies him for a moment. Then, leaning forward, “Ohhh, why the long face?”
Jack blurts out a startled “Huh?”
“Why you so sad?” she queries in her slight accent.
Jack studders uhs and wells and such.
She laughs. “Has the cat got your tongue?”
Jack laughs nervously. “No, no, it’s just, well...I just had an argument with my...girlfriend.” (Ooh, bad move that.)
“Tsk, tsk,” (sultry, so sultry) “you shouldn’t take things so seriously. Life is to enjoy, not waste on small problems.”
Jack forces a laugh. “I suppose you’re right.”
“Of course I am right.” A very persuasive “Trust me. I have seen much of life,” wistful “and death, and I know.”
“Oh, come on.” Jack the Gallant. “You’re pretty young to be sounding so old.”
As from deep within the earth, she looks deeply into his eyes, a wry smile just touching her blood red lips, “I’m much older than I look.”
“Yeah, how ol...?” (Mistake #2 only just avoided.) “Sorry, I forgot myself.” (Then reinforced.)
“That’s all right liebchkin. No harm.”
Jack is swept up into a killer pause. The woman just smiles.
Jack suddenly regains consciousness. “So, uh, you wanna join me for a drink?”
“I never drink...liquor.”
“Oh?” Jack puzzles. “Then what brings you to the bar?” He throws out a laugh (again).
The blood rushes to his head. “Uhm, so, what’s your name?” he studders.
Jack’s in trouble. “Ersha...bee...”
“You can say the English. Elizabeth.”
“Oh. Thanks. Elizabeth. I’m Jack.” (Such a conversationalist.)
She draws up close to him. “Hello, Jack,” she purrs.
Jack feels the desire to say something clever, but nothing comes of it.
“So, liebchkin, you live near?”
“Huh?” he blurts. “Uh, yeah, not too far.” His stomach becomes numb as the next question rises to the surface. “You wanna, uh, go to my...“ (swallow) “...place?”
Now the blood rushes from his head and swells in his crotch.
“Well, shou..you want to, uhm, go now?”
She laughs deep in her throat. “Yes.”
She slides off her seat. He does likewise, fumbles for a moment, then motions for her to precede him to the door.
Once outside, Jack hails a cab.
As the cab careens along, Elizabeth watches Jack fidget. Twirling her fingers in her hair, she asks “What is the matter, lover? Afraid I bite?”
Jack laughs, “No, no, it’s just...” he looks at her “well, I’m not real good at this sort of thing.”
Now Elizabeth laughs, “Don’t worry, you will do fine.”
After what seems like an eternal silence to Jack the cab pulls up
in front of his apartment building. Jack pays the driver, and they get out.
In the lobby Jack stops a moment.
“Yes?” Elizabeth asks.
Jack hedges. “Well, I, uh, we...I’m afraid we have to...walk up...six flights. I’m really sorry,” he gushes out.
“No problem,” she says calmly. “You want to race?”
“Huh?” Jack is thrown. “Uh, sure.”
They cross to the foot of the staircase.
“On the count of three?” ventures Elizabeth.
They both run upthe stairs, Elizabeth taking them easily, Jack stumbling a bit.
Elizabeth quickly outdistances Jack. By the fourth floor he is terribly winded, struggling to keep running. She is nowhere in sight.
Jack finally pulls himself to the sixth floor landing, panting heavily. He sees Elizabeth standing easily against the wall, no sign of fatigue.
He struggles, between breathes, to say “You...a track...star...or...some... thing?”
She just laughs. (A lot of that.) Jack leads her down the hallway to his door, which he unlocks and opens, letting her enter ahead of him. She walks into the darkened apartment without the slightest hesitation. Jack switches on the overhead light.
Jack walks into the closet cum kitchen. “You wanna drink...oh, right, you don’t drink. Well, I also have...” he opens his refrigerator (if it could be called that) and looks in at — two beers, left over Mcie D’s, and a glass of water, “...water?”
“I will have something...later,” as she circles the room, moving her hands over everything.
“Hope you don’t mind if I have one,” as he opens a beer.
“Not at all.”
Jack exits the kitchen, finds Elizabeth reclining on the sofa (his bed).
“Join me lover?”
“Yeah, sure.” His groin swells again.
He crosses to her. He has butterflies (more like swirling snakes) in his stomach. He takes a swig of beer and sits next to her. She pulls him into her arms.
“So, tell me about your little girlfriend.”
“What?” (What is this leading to?)
“I saw you argue.”
“Oh, yeah. Well, she, uh, we aren’t really serious.” (Uh, well, she isn’t that is).
“No? Why not?”
“Well, she likes to see other guys, and I see other girls...” (correction) “... women.”
“Yah.” He “opens up” “Like this drummer she just met. She’ll sleep with him tonight.”
“You don’t sound happy. “
“Oh, I don’t care.” (Liar!) “It’s her life.”
“Why you with her? You need someone to take care of you.”
“Hey, I can take care of myself.” (Oh, and what a lovely job you're doing.) “Anyway, I write poetry, and she puts music to it. So it’s a working relationship."
“Why’re you so interested in her?”
“I am interested in you.”
She pulls his head back by his hair and kisses him. He drops his beer. His heart pounds. They kiss long and hard. He fumbles to undo her top. He gets his hands underneath to find no bra, her breasts firm, her nipples cold and hard. There is something odd about her skin, but he barely gives it a moments notice. (He’s going to get laid!)
She pulls his head back farther, kisses his throat. He doesn’t see her draw back her lips, and how sharp her pearly white teeth are. She rips his flesh with them. He yells and jumps off the couch, feeling the broken skin.
“What the fuck?” He looks at his hand and sees the blood on it. He steps back.
“What do you think you are, a vampire?”
“I am from Transylvania.”
“Great joke, lady!”
She laughs, unforced, “Are you afraid, lover?” She stands.
He takes two steps backwards, “Of course not.”
She moves forward suddenly, making him back up too fast, and fall over a chair. He scrambles to his feet, panicking for a moment, then regaining some (very little) of his composure.
“Now. . .
She laughs, advances on him slowly. He backs away.
“Getting a little kinky on a first date, don’t you think?”
Elizabeth mocks a pout. “Oh, come here lover.”
Jack stops with his back to the wall. She draws the tip of her tongue around her lips.
His mind searches for a way out. (So polite.) It grasps something. He opens the door.
“I need to borrow ice from a neighbor,” then he’s out, slamming the door behind him.
Jack hauls ass down the stairs, to the fourth floor. He runs up to a door and knocks frantically.
Seconds pass like hours, jack watches the stairs, listening to every sound. He knocks again.
A groggy voice from behind the door, “It’s Jack.” The door opens a crack, a sleepy man’s face sticks out. “What’s up, Jack?”
Jack being loud and quiet at the same time “Mark, can I come in?!”
Mark gazes at him a moment, follows his frantic look to the stairs, then opens the door, letting Jack enter.
Inside the apartment, which is the same as Jack’s, though more thoughtfully furnished, Kathy turns on a light, then asks “What happened? Another fight with Suzi?”
Jack leads Mark away from the door. He speaks in a hushed tone as he begins to explain, “I brought this girl home...”
“Jack!” Kathy disapproves. “And where’s Suzi?”
“We had an argument. Then I met this girl...er, woman. I think she’s crazy!”
“Why?” wonders Mark, “because she came home with you?”
“Look at this!” Jack shows them the scratches on his throat.
Kathy sighs, “God, Jack, one psycho after another.”
“Hey!” is Jack’s paltry protest.
“Well, you do pick some strange ones,” throws in Mark.
Jack tries to protest further, but can think of no defense. Finally he asks “so can I stay here till she gives up and leaves?”
Mark laughs, Kathy sighs and shakes her head.
There is a knock at the door. Jack freezes. Kathy frowns. Mark lifts his eyebrows. Mark starts towards the door, but Jack stops him.
“No, don't, it's her."
“Get a hold of yourself,” Mark losing patience. “How would she know where you are?”
Mark crosses to the door.
“Calm down, Jack.” Kathy begins to see the humour. “We won’t let the vampire get you.”
Mark looks through the peephole. No one in sight. He turns back to Jack and Kathy.
“No one there.” He takes a few steps. “Must’ve been a mistake.”
The door bursts in, splintered wood flying into the air.
“Hey!” is all Mark can manage.
Elizabeth moves right up to him, backhands him across the face with such force, that his neck snaps audibly. He bounces off the wall and drops to the floor.
Kathy opens her mouth to scream, but Elizabeth is upon her, grabbing her by the lyrinx, crushing it, and lets her crumple to the floor.
Jack clambers out a window onto the fire escape. He runs down the steps. He slips and almost falls, grabbing onto the railing to right himself. He doesn’t see Elizabeth fall past on her way to the ground. He hears her laugh, and looks back up, but cannot see her.
“Come on, loverboy,” she calls to him.
He becomes confused, looks down, and sees Elizabeth standing on the pavement below, looking up at him. She laughs deep in her throat.
He is stunned, the fact of what he sees taking moments to penetrate his consciousness.
Then he freaks.
He spins around looking for a way out, stops, staring wild-eyed at the adjacent window. He throws himself through it.
Jack hits the floor hard. The apartment he so gracefully entered is pitch dark. He scrambles on the floor to where he hopes the door is.
The overhead light comes on, revealing a shivering old man, who stares wide-eyed at Jack.
Jack throws out a “Sorry,” sees the door, jumps up to it, fumbles with the locks, gets the door open, and runs out, slamming the door behind him.
Jack hops down the last flight of stairs, pulling up short in the lobby. Flattening himself against the wall he cautiously peers out the front door.
He hears Elizabeth whisper (as if in his ear) “Ja—a-ack.” He looks about him frantically, but she is nowhere in sight. He slowly inches his way to the door. Then on the front steps he sees her ascending. He vaults down the hallway to the back door.
He opens the door just enough to stick his head out. The back alley is deserted. Jack runs out, down the alley and out into the street.
He sprints down the street. After a few blocks he slows down and looks back, panting heavily. The street is empty. He walks over to the nearest stoop and sits down, trying to catch his breath. He watches the street.
A cat meows behind him. “Don’t bother me, little one,” he warns. He feels it rub against his back. He turns to shew it away, and finds himself face to face with Elizabeth.
Jack screams and jumps up. Elizabeth grabs his shirt, which rips as he shoots headlong down the street.
As he runs Jack looks for help. It is amazing to see no one in sight. He knows banging on the front door of an apartment building will get him nowhere.
At an intersection he spies a police car parked down the cross street. He stumbles in his attempt to change direction. As he starts for the police car Elizabeth rises up from behind a parked car and crosses between him and it.
Jack grabs his hair, groans, turns and runs in the opposite direction.
His heart pounding, he blindly runs, on and on, for what seems like many miles.
Finally, his lungs bursting for air, dragging his feet, he collapses.
He lays on the ground, face down, hyperventilating.
He strains to raise his head. He rolls over onto his back, and stares, his eyes glazed over, up at the sky.
He slowly focuses on graying heavens. He blinks a few times, uncomprehending. Then gradual realization seeps into his mind.
He sits up. He looks at the horizon.
Sunrise. He stands up and squints at it to be sure.
Yes. The sun is rising.
“Yaaahoooo!!!“ he cries. “Here comes the sun, here comes thé sun, and it’s airight,” he sings (don’t give up your day job!). He dances around like a fool (what else?).
Finally, he plops down on his ass to watch the morning glory.
“It’s all over”, he laughs.
He leans back into arms that wrap around him like an iron maiden. He lets out a yelp, struggling uselessly. Elizabeth holds him fast.
“Ohhhh, I can hear your sweet blood flowing,” ecstatic anticipation.
She bites his ear, drawing blood. He screeches, thrashes violently, to no avail. Her blade comes up slicing his jugular vein.

A limo driver stands by his parked vehicle looking down on a couple embraced on a beach, as the sun brings on a new day.