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Welcome to HELL WEEK y'all. Here is the sixth and final of my SIX entries for the week laid upon the altar of the mighty Idol gods. As always, may they be exceedingly kind and generous...

His eyes were wide, stretched open to the point of absurdity.

“Scream for me,” I said and smiled.

My fingers dug into his neck as I held him against the wall and pressed my lips to his. Slowly and steadily, I drew his life force out of him and took it into me. It was heady, intoxicating and altogether delicious. After a few moments, the rush of his force became a trickle and the trickle eventually dried up. I took a moment to savor his essence, to luxuriate in the warm flush of my body. Sighing, I dropped the dried out husk of body to the dirty and debris-strewn ground in the alley. Somebody would find him eventually.

Some people think it’s the thrill of the hunt, the chase that gives the kill its ultimate pleasure. But the people who say that are looking at it all wrong. It’s not the rush of excitement that gives the kill its flavor. It’s the fear and pain you cause your quarry that does. Look at it like this, when you take in somebody’s life force, their essence, it’s like vanilla ice cream. It’s nice but nothing to get excited about. But when you can add in extra emotions like fear, anguish, pain or the like, it’s like slopping on hot fudge, sprinkles and chocolate chips. It just makes it taste better.

The problem is, the essence of the people in this city is dwindling. I’ve lived for nearly four hundred years now and people way back lived a lot more than people seem to today, despite all of the advances that have been made as a species. People spend their lives worrying about nothing but work or keeping their jobs, the kids and their mortgage. I’m finding that people aren’t really living anymore. Oh, once in a while, I’ll stumble across the thrill-seeker, the adrenaline junkie who loves jumping out of airplanes or riding the world’s fastest roller coaster. Those people know how to live and that makes their essence sweeter and vastly more pleasurable. But most people today are so caught up in the mundane minutiae of day-to-day life that their life force, their essence is… well… as bland as their lives. They work, they eat, they shit and they fuck. As a result, I’m finding that it takes more and more to fill me up. Where I used to go a week or two between kills, fully satisfied, I’m on the hunt almost nightly now.

“Hey mister.”

The voice startles me. I’d assumed that I was alone with the drug dealer I’d had for dinner in that alleyway. Looking down, I can see a pair of eyes set in a dirty, grimy face peering out at me from a cardboard box.

“I didn’t see nothin’ or nothin’,” he says and coughs up some wet phlegm. “But do you got any change?”

I smile. “Tell you what, you are more than welcome to rifle through his pockets,” I motion to the dead man. “And whatever you find, you may keep.”

The man looks at me and I can smell the fear on him. Barely. His body odor does a splendid job of masking the scent I so crave.

“You’re like not gonna do the same nothin’ that happened to this guy to me, are ya?”

“Certainly not,” I laugh. “I have some standards and taste.”

I walk down the alleyway and out into the night not quite sated but in good spirits. I try to limit my kills to those who are a drain on society. Thugs, murderers, drug dealers, rapists… those who prey upon other people. I see a sort of poetic justice in it. Plus I see it as a point of civic pride. I’m just doing my part to keep our fair city clean. But I do draw the line at the homeless. They’re so often unclean and foul smelling that I can’t properly take their life force without retching.

I walk along the sidewalk, my hands in my pockets. The autumn air is cool and feels good against my skin. Cars crawl along the congested streets ,horns blare and middle fingers are extended. I watch everybody passing by me on their way to this meeting or that appointment, taking their kids to practice or to a recital. Everybody was so busy living their boring, tedious little lives. People really need to learn how to fucking live again.
So caught up in my reverie was I that I stumbled when I bumped into a girl coming out of a book store. She dropped her books on the ground at my feet.

“Oh I’m sorry,” she mumbled.

“No, it’s my fault,” I said as I knelt down to pick her books up. “I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.

She smiled as I handed her books back to her. I noticed that they were books on travel to Europe.

“Thank you,” she said.

“Taking a vacation?”

She took the books from me and smiled, never quite meeting my eyes. “I am,” she said shyly. “It’s my dream to see the world.”

I smiled at her. “And a fine dream that is. I hope you get to see as much as you could possibly want.”

“Thank you,” she said. “And I’m sorry for bumping into you.”

“My fault entirely.”

I gave her a slight bow and watched her walk away. She was a cute girl. Cute but not stunningly attractive. But there was something about her that kept my eyes fixed on her. I inhaled deeply and felt a rush of excitement deep in my body. Her essence was pure. It was strong. It was powerful. And I had to have it. I hadn’t gotten a whiff of something like that in more than a decade and was slightly buzzed just from the scent of it. I imagine this is what junkies must feel like when they get a whiff of some pure heroin.

I started off the way she went, following well behind and keeping many people between us since I could track her by that amazing scent she exuded. It was full dark and there were fewer people out when she cut through the park. Being seen was always a risk but with so many bushes I could take her to in the park, I was willing to take the risk for a chance to taste her essence.

A cool breeze buffeted by me and I shuddered. Whether from the chill or because the wind carried a hint of that wonderful aroma, I couldn’t say. The trees and foliage in this part of the park were a little denser which served my purposes even better as it would be more difficult to be seen. I rounded a small bend in the path and drew up short. The girl was standing there holding her books to her chest and smiling at me.

“Are you following me?” She asked.

I looked down at the ground and attempted to look embarrassed. A difficult thing to pull off when you’re not exactly human and your mind is dizzy with the need to consume her that I felt.

“It appears so,” I said. “There is just something about you I found entirely compelling and I wished to speak to you again.”

“Is that so?”

I nodded and stepped closer to her, the mere scent of her arousing my senses even more and threatening to drive me into a frenzy. I breathed deeply, trying to control myself. As sweet as she was sure to be, I wanted the added toppings on my sundae.

“Well here I am,” she said and smiled demurely. “What did you want to talk about?”

“Well, in truth—”

My words were cut off as she dropped the books and in a flash, her hand had me by the throat, gripping me tight. I struggled for air as she drew her face so close to mine that the tips of our noses touched. A feeling akin to fear stole through my body as I watched the black pupils of her eyes expand until the whites were completely gone. Eyes darker than midnight in the desert stared back at me.

“You are a rare treat indeed,” she said. “I haven’t tasted one of your kind in decades.”

“Please,” I gasped. “Let go of me. I think we’ve had a misunderstanding.”

The tip of her forked tongue slid out of her mouth and licked my lips. She looked deeply into my eyes and smiled, a ghastly and terrifying sight.

“Scream for me.”

This has been my entry for [ profile] therealljidol Season 8, Topic 36(F): Pain We're down the Final 8 left standing and things are getting intense! As always, thank you so much for stopping by to give me a read and thank you for all of your support over the course of this season. It really does mean the world to me and I know that I wouldn't be here without you guys. Should we have a poll this week, don't forget to stop on by, read some of the other fantastic pieces and spread some voting-love around! THANK YOU EVERYBODY!
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October 2012

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