The door of the club oozes shut behind me. I pause, just long enough for the room to acknowledge my presence. The form that envelopes me is statuesque. Blonde hair with flaxen streaks whispers to my shoulders, and my lilac dress clings and flows with my rhythm. Men’s eyes ravish me and women’s flash with envy. Until my smile disarms them, and they too desire me.
Casually, I scan the room. A tree-trunk of a man plants himself in front of me, suave and confident, the kind that crosses the finish line first. He favours me with an arrogant grin, one that promises pleasure such as I have never known. I place the crimson nail of my right index finger firmly on his massive left shoulder and nudge him away, relishing the astonishment in his eyes.
A few steps deeper into the bar, and a woman, almost my equal, sashays into my view. Our eyes lock as she sips from a frosted glass and then runs her tongue over glossy, red lips. I give her a smile of regret. Perhaps some other time.
My peripheral vision picks up a man, somewhat undersized and less confident. A droplet of sweat trickles down the left side of his narrow face, forging a path from his rising hairline, through the gorge of his cheek until it plummets from his jaw and crashes, disappearing into a synthetic wasteland. He contemplates me covertly. His downward glances and the chewing, biting and licking of his lips scream his doubt and timidity. He thinks I am not for him. But, this is his lucky night. I bestow an inviting smile on him, and pretend that I don’t notice when he trips on the cross bar of his stool as he stands. His meager chest expands and contracts erratically as he seeks his opening line. His voice trembles as he asks me if I’d like a drink. How original. I hesitate, just for the pleasure of it, and he’s afraid that he’s made a terrible mistake, that I was really looking at someone behind him. I cup his face and tell him that what I’d really like is to go someplace more private. He appears to lose the power of speech until he manages to stammer, “Whe-whe-where?” I take him by the hand and tell him that my place isn’t far.
We stand, forehead to chin as he looks up adoringly at me, waiting for me to take the lead. His eyes blink in bewilderment and he exhales stale breath in anticipation. What should I surprise him with first? I hold his face in my hands to make sure he doesn’t look away as I allow my skin to alter. He blinks as soft alabaster becomes first a minty hue, then darkens to deep olive and finally, reverts to its true form, what your kind would call putrid green. His eyes widen, and he tries to pull away, but he’s powerless in my grip. His face bleeds in my scabrous hands and I flick out my tongue for a taste. I use my claws to hold his eyes open, so he doesn’t miss a thing. Ecstasy flows through me as horns erupt from my skull. My lovely dress rips and shreds as my body grows. Lilac is no longer my colour, anyway. I twist his head, just a little, so he’s looking over my shoulder as my tail swishes. If I thought he could answer, I would ask him if he still thinks it’s his lucky night. There are many things I could tell him, but I’m hungry. His screams as I take the first bite only add to my thrill. I see in his eyes that he dies having learned an important truth. There are monsters among you.
Dawn Brunelle was born 66 years ago and wrote her first short story at seven years old. Except for a few dry spells in the interim, she has almost always had a pen in her hand (or the current version of a pen). She has written many letters to the editor, most of which were published, and many letters for Amnesty International, some of which were possibly not even read. She had a short story called “Gord and Marta’s House” published in an anthology entitled POINTE-CLAIRE, THE CITY WE SHARE. She studied Creative Writing part-time at Concordia University, and attended a local, weekly workshop for several years. She has belonged to a small, informal writing group for five years and is also a member of the Quebec Writers’ Federation. Now retired and living in the country, she is plying her craft with renewed enthusiasm and hopes you enjoy her story.