This story is by Shantel Brunton and was part of our 2021 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
The man I thought was my true love ripped out my heart. My roommate Isabelle thought she had the perfect cure for me. She worked for a magazine called Party Lust and wrote reviews for them. She’d just received an invitation to review a luxury club. Apparently, people would kill to get in there.
“What’s this place called?” I asked.
“The mecrathin’s den.”
“What the hell is a mecrathin?” I asked.
“Well, it’s based on these popular novels. They’re these creatures who are a combination of ghost, vampire, and demon.”
“Sounds fun.” I forced myself to smile.
“I can’t wait,” she squealed. I borrowed one of her black mini dresses. It was so skimpy and I left my long black hair down so it could be like a cloak around me. Isabelle donned a white backless mini dress. The lace fabric was sheer and I could see the outline of her panties.
“Maybe you want to put a bra on,” I said.
“Oh, it’s fine. Come on, let’s go have some fun.”
When we got to the club, there was no line to get inside. I didn’t hear any loud music, and the area looked abandoned.
“Are we in the right place?” I asked.
“Yeah, of course, we are,” she said. She showed the bouncer her ID and little press card. He smiled widely and waved us inside.
“Have a delightful evening,” he said. I did a double take at his smile, but Isabelle pulled me away.
“Did he have fangs?” I asked.
“Probably,” she said and brushed it off. “It’s to go with the vampire theme.”
The inside of the club looked a lot nicer than the outside. An elaborate chandelier hung from the ceiling, illuminating the room with an eerie light. It seemed to create more shadows than actual light.Oh well, I thought. Most clubs were dark anyway. The furniture was certainly nicer. There were red velvet lounge chairs, an open area for dancing, and a fully stocked bar. I could see several couples dancing but the club was far from full. All the people wore old fashioned clothing. The women were in floor length gowns, and I felt woefully underdressed.
Isabelle tried to pull her skirt down. “Sorry,” she said. “I didn’t know people would be dressed like this.”
“Have you ever read any of the books the club is based on?”
“No,” she said.
“Great job, Izz.”
The music playing in the background sounded like dark classical music. What kind of place was this?
“Come on, let’s grab some drinks.”
Oh sure, alcohol would fix everything. The bartender wore a black damask tail coat. “Good evening fair maidens.“What can I get for you.”
Isabelle slid her corporate card against the table, “It’s on Party Lust,” she said.
“A glass of red wine, please,” I said.
“I’ll take one too,” Isabelle said.
“Fine choice,” he said. He poured us two large glasses. I sipped at the wine, and I tried not to grimace. There was a strong, bitter aftertaste.
“Should we go dance?” Isabelle asked.
“Why don’t you finish your wine. I think you’ll like it,” the bartender said.
Another man came up to the bar. He had long black hair with accents of blue in it. It matched the tail coat he wore. “My, my, aren’t you an exquisite-looking thing. Tell me your name, my dear.”
“Valentine,” I said. I tried to back away, but my feet wouldn’t move.
“How poetic,” he said. “My name is Sylus.”
“Nice to meet you,” I said. I looked over to Isabelle, who started drinking her wine.
“Do you know much about mecrathins?” Sylus asked.
“Not really,” I said. I looked to Isabelle, but she seemed transfixed by the wine. Why did she keep drinking it?
“You look sad. Do you care to tell me what’s wrong?”
“Ah, it’s about a man. Come dance with me, you’ll feel better, you’ll forget all about your broken heart.”
“I don’t feel so good,” Isabelle said.
“Please excuse me,” I said. I helped her to the bathroom. She didn’t have time to make it to the stall. She grabbed the porcelain sink, and I pulled her hair back just before she started vomiting. When the retching stopped, she collapsed, and my eyes were drawn to the blood in the sink.
“Something’s wrong,” she sobbed. I grabbed some paper towel and wiped the blood from her face.
“Come on,” I said and struggled to pull her to her feet. I failed. She was too heavy. “We’ve got to leave.” I felt sick myself and the taste of blood filled my mouth. I resisted the urge to vomit.
“You’re not going anywhere,” I heard a voice say. It was Sylus.
“What did you do to her?” I cried.
“The bartender added something special to her drink. Come along.” He seized my arm and dragged me away from Isabelle. I tried to resist, but he was too strong. Someone else dragged Isabelle out, and they forced us onto the dance floor. There were around twenty people gathered around us. They passed Isabelle around the circle and took turns tearing into her neck. Blood ran down their faces and coated their fangs. I begged them to stop, and I tried to help her, but Sylus held me back.
He pierced my neck with his nails and started kissing me. Isabelle’s body lie on the floor like garbage. People simply danced around her. The dark music intensified. I waited for Sylus to pass me onto someone else.
“Oh no, little one,” he said.
“Just do it,” I said. “Please.”
He drank the blood from my neck and teased my skin with his fangs. “Your blood is sweet.” He stuck his fingers into my wounds and pressed them against my lips. “Here, taste yourself.”
I tried to turn away, but he forced his fingers into my mouth. I gagged at the taste. “Why are you doing this?” I asked.
“It’s what we do,” he said.
“Please, just kill me.”
“Oh, there’s very little fun in that,” he said. The blood spilled down my neck and stained my chest. I felt dizzy. Everything spun around me. My heart pounded and the taste of blood in my mouth intensified. “Do you want to see if your heart is broken?” He placed his hand on my chest.
“No, what are you doing?’ I cried. I tried once again to pull away. I tried to stop him, but there was nothing I could do.
It happened so fast. He tore my skin open, plunged his hand into the cavity, and ripped out my heart. It continued to beat in the palm of his hand. The pain was excruciating, and I barely recognized the animalistic noises which escaped my mouth as my own screams. How was I still alive? He took my heart and squeezed it into a bloody pulp.
“Please make it stop,” I said. How was I still alive?
He pulled me up against him and sunk his fangs into my neck. It felt like being stung by a thousand wasps. I thought my vocal cords would tear from screaming. He pulled away and I thought I would throw up when I saw my blood dripping down his face.
“Just kill me,” I choked on the words blood rushed into my throat and I thought I would drown. The scorching pain intensified with each passing second. It was like a fire racing through my veins, and I had no hope of ever putting it out. A waterfall of tears did me no good. I tried to reach out to someone else and wished they would grant me the kindness of ending my suffering, but they all looked right past me.
Sylus forced me to dance with him. The music in the background was waltzing music. He was confident with the steps. As he spun me the hole in my chest throbbed continuously, but there was no heart to control the blood so it just continued to pour down to the floor. Everything was slippery, and I almost fell many times.
I looked to the other women. “Please h-h-help me.”
Sylus pulled me close and kissed me. His kiss made the pain even worse. I didn’t think that was possible. Shadows flashed before my eyes. My head throbbed. Every part of my body was burning. I tried to feel the wound on my chest to see if something was crawling inside it.
Sylus pulled my hands away and said, “Don’t touch yourself. Your body is mine, and you’ll do as I say.”
“Make it stop.”
“Oh no, my dear. You know the fun thing about a mecrathin bite. You will not become a mecrathin, but you’ll get to live forever, and feel this pain for an eternity.”