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Being the new girl in town wasn’t something I really wanted to be going into my senior year. Every other person would know one another and I would be alone. My last year of school and I would have no one. I begged for my parents to get new jobs close to home but they just said a new start would be better. So here I was seventeen and starting all over again. My parents had said there was a girl my age in the apartment next to ours, but I was still doubtful.
The apartment complex we were moving into wasn’t exactly the nicest in the world. We had everything from junkies to hookers living near us, but that was life, we couldn’t afford the nice homes in the village. We had to make do with what we had-which wasn’t much. The complex was small only four stories and held about twenty five apartments. It was tan colored under the layers of graffiti sprayed all over it.
We arrived around seven thirty p.m. the streetlamps-the few that worked- flickered giving our street an eerie feel to it. A teenage girl dressed in black was standing outside talking to a group of guys. We parked next to a red jeep and got out dragging what little luggage we had with us. The girl motioned for me to come over. I let out a sigh realizing I had been spotted. I made my way towards the group taking notice of everyone. There was a tall guy with blue spiked hair and a lip ring, a short guy with ratty brown hair, and a thin skeletal looking guy with eyes so dark they looked black and shaggy black hair. The girl was medium height, skinny, but not without her share of curves, and had long sleek black hair. They all were extremely pale.
“Hey, are you the new girl?” The girl said, her voice had a ring to it that made you want to answer.
“ Uh, yeah. I’m just moving in.” I said sounding lame in comparison.
“ Are you going to the Community Collage?” Spikes asked me.
“ No, the high school.” I said sounding defeated, I had really been looking forward to meeting new people I could sit with at lunch.
“ Oh, Rune,” the girl gestured to the short guy, “ and I are going into our senior year.”
“ Yeah, oh sorry.” she said shaking her head, “ my names Lilith, the short one is Rune, the one with blue hair is Jet, and this,” she put her hand on the skeletal guys shoulder, “ is Ash.”
“ Nice to meet you guys, I’m Mandy.” I said while dork-ily sticking my hand out. They all laughed. I put my hand in my pocket and looked down. Great job Mandy, I thought.
“ Sorry, we didn’t mean to sound rude,” she said.
“ Its cool, I didn’t mean to come off dorky.” I sighed finally looking up.
“ So have you heard about the club?” Rune said in a sly voice.
“ I just-”
“ She just moved here Rune, what do you think?” Lilith snapped stepping into his personal space. It was obvious who the leader of the group was.
“ Its okay,” I said, “ Really, now what’s this about a club?” I asked. Lilith sighed and glared at Rune, when it was clear he was too angry at her to speak she turned her glare onto Ash. He looked at her, nodded, and then turned to me. His eyes were so dark I was afraid to look at them, everything about Ash shot warning signs through me. He is bad. I thought then mentally chastised myself for judging someone I hadn’t even spoke to yet. I couldn’t stop looking at his eyes though, no matter how hard I tried. It was as if I was in a trance.
“It’s a night club, called Toxic. It’s exclusive. Not too many people know about it. It’s a one night thing.” he said in a deep, knowing voice that made you want to listen to him.
“If it’s so exclusive how do you guys know about it?” I challenged, tearing my eyes away from his and forcing myself to look at anyone, but him. No matter how…alluring he was, he still gave me the creeps.
“Jet has a cousin working there.” Lilith said smiling at Ash. “We all get in for free; because he had his cousin put our names on the VIP list. We could have them put your name on too if your interested in going?” She asked.
“I’d have to ask my parents.” I said. I could feel Ash’s eyes on me and all I wanted was an excuse to run to my apartment.
“Seriously?” Lilith laughed.
“You do realize that it’s a night club. As in no one under eighteen allowed in? Do you really think your parents would let you go?” she sneered.
“Well then maybe it is a good idea that I don’t go. I mean I’m only seventeen so I-” Lilith shot Ash a look and he laughed. I turned on him.
“What?” I asked sort of peeved.
“You can come, we’ll take care of it, don’t ask your parents okay Mandy?” Ash said softly, staring straight into my eyes. All I could hear were his words swirling in my mind.
“ Ye- yeah, you guys will take care of it. I don’t really need to ask my parents,” I said shaking my head. What was I thinking?
“ So, uh-,” I shook my head trying to remember what it was I wanted to say. But all I could hear were Ash’s words getting louder and louder.
“You arrived just in time, the club comes tomorrow night. Lilith will come to get you at ten. See you then.” Ash’s words kept swirling in my head. I tried to walk to the car, but everything was dark and blurry. I couldn’t hear anything but the amplified words of Ash. Eventually I just gave up.
Finally the words ended and I was shaking when I awoke. I expected to be on the hard cold pavement of the parking lot. Instead when I opened my eyes I was safely in my room lying on my bed. I was still fully dressed, and had no idea how I had gotten into my room and even less of a clue as to how it was all set up. I ran down the stairs and ended up in the kitchen. It was dark outside and there was a note on the fridge. I walked over and picked it up:
“‘Mandy, we didn’t want to wake you after you unpacked your whole room. Don’t worry we went out to eat, promise to bring you home a doggie bag.
Mom & Dad’”
I blinked my eyes and tried to remember setting up my room but couldn’t for the life of me. I looked up at the wall clock and saw that it was just about ten. I had to be ready at ten, but I couldn’t figure out why. It was during my mental search that the doorbell rang inviting me back to reality. Maybe its Mom and Dad and they forgot their keys, I thought when I opened the door. I was wrong. Lilith was standing in the dim hallway with a tight black spandex dress, stilettos, and lime green extensions in her hair. Then it hit me. Everything from last night became crystal clear. Of course, we were going to that club tonight.
“Um, where are your cloths? You don’t look like you’ve changed since last night.” Lilith pointed out. I looked down at the blue jeans and plain white t-shirt I wore.
“No I just woke up.” I shook my head, then looked at her.
“ Well, we can be a little late but hurry up, I brought cloths for you to wear,” She lifted up a dark bag with red writing on it.
I was walking to the stairs when Lilith called, “ Aren’t you going to invite me in?”
“ Oh yeah, sorry. Come in.” Lilith smiled as she walked in and joined my by the stairs. She handed me the bag and said that she would be waiting for me downstairs while I tried it on.
Everything in the bag not only looked good on me, but fit too. I was dressed head to toe in black. My outfit was colorless except for the single lime green hair extension. I walked downstairs and Lilith smiled again. Then she looked at the clock and sighed.
“ Alright we need to get going,” Lilith said. For the first time I noticed the color of her eyes, they were black, just like Ash’s.
“ Your eyes are black?” I blurted out. Lilith turned on me, jaw clenched. Then she shook her head and gave a strained giggle.
“ No they’re contacts, we all have them.”
“ Oh, well they’re creepy,” I said as we walked down the street.
It seemed like we had been walking forever when we finally stopped at an abandoned warehouse. The door was steel and had a single toxic waste sticker on it. Lilith smiled at me obviously excited. I however was a bundle of nerves, I had never been to a club before and I didn’t want to get caught by the police and thrown into jail. There was a peep hole where two eyes greeted us. Lilith walked up and smiled the door immediately opened. Inside there was a huge thick man that patted her back and leered at me. I should have left then. Instead Lilith grabbed my wrist and pulled me into the main room. Thick red and yellow fog was blocking the view of what had to be over fifty clubbers. A mixture of rock and techno music was pouring from the speakers. After a few seconds the rest of the crew showed up each with a guest, I relaxed then and thrashed around with Lithia.
After a few hours and the club hadn’t closed I began to get worried. Not trusting my gut and leaving was probably the worst mistake of my life. The music stopped. “ Now its time to get a little…TOXIC!” A tall pale guy screamed into the microphone. Lithia looked at Ash, and grinned an unbelievably wide grin. It looked like every other person in the club was looking at him, so I figured why not and looked to see what the hubbub was all about. Ash seemed to be looking directly into my eyes and everyone else’s eyes at the same time. His black holes were mirrored in Lilith, Rune, Jet, and a large population of people in the club. Everything went black.
Stuck. I was stuck. I tugged my arms only to hear a feeble, ‘stop, don’t move’ come from somewhere near me. Unlike the last time I woke up I had a full memory of last night, and I wasn’t groggy. I just didn’t know where I was. My eyes were swollen and every part of me was weak, and soar. I turned my head, feeling a slight stab of pain, until I could see who it was that told me to stop.
The girl looked worse than I felt. She was limp and zombie like. She had dull black hair that spilled around her, she had bright alert, chocolate brown eyes that burned with a metallic sheen in them, her full lips were parted and chapped. She looked Fermi lure, but I couldn’t put my finger on why.
“ Hey, are you okay?” I asked.
“ Shhh,” she strained, “ don’t speak above a whisper, don’t- don’t eat the food.” the girls voice cracked more than a wood fire, but she had an edge to it that made her sound like she knew what she was talking about.
“ They, will hear you,” she looked scared.
“ They? Who are they?” I asked
“ They are what brought you here, what brought you to that club. They are who will drug you through the food. They are Vampires. They are harvesting humans for-” she broke off in a convulsion of wet coughs and gurgles.
“ Are you okay? Vampires are not real.”
“ I’m fine, and yes they are as real as me.” she shivered.
“ But nothing all of the other humans have either died or stayed drugged because they refused to listen to me. Do you want to end up like them?” she asked.
“ No,” I sighed, what choice did I have. I may as well listen to the nut job.
“ Good,” she smiled, “ It‘s me, Lilith.”
“ Oh my god!” I exclaimed and for the time being I was glad that my arms were bound so I didn’t make a dork out of myself by going for an inappropriate hug.
Now I had a chance to survey the room. The ceiling and walls were made out of a cement type substance. The walls were an off white color and had a lot of spider webs and red spatter on them. I shivered at the thought that the walls were covered in blood. I turned my gaze onto what seemed like hundreds of teenagers lying on slabs similar to mine, all of them had a blood bag hooked up to them. I started shaking, maybe I was trapped in one of those sex trade things that they had specials about on Discovery channel
“ Pretend you’re asleep.” Lilith whispered before going limp. I closed my eyes and tried to stay still. The two male voices were boisterous. They were talking about shipping us off first thing tomorrow, and something about 12 hour routinely check ups. Then the room grew quiet. I opened my eyes slightly and saw the two huge guys hovering over a thin blonde, they each had one of her arms. The two things bit into her arms and made deep growling and wet slurping sounds. My stomach lurched and for a few minutes I wondered if not being drugged was worth it.
Home. She was home. Not in her new crappy apartment. Home. The dry air was warm against her skin. She giggled like a little child. She felt like a child. She felt weightless and care free. She started twirling around and singing. Then she fell. The brilliant orange sky began to come apart piece by piece, like an unglued puzzle. Mandy started to cry. She couldn’t understand why her beautiful world was falling apart. Lilith appeared then her dark hair unmoving, it was as if she was made up of something different than the rest of the world. “ Wake up Mandy they’re gone,” her voice was loud, strong and projected across the room. “ Mandy its time to wake the hell up!”
I woke up gulping lungful after lungful of air. It felt like I had fallen one hundred floors and was jolted awake. Adrenaline surged through me. I felt capable of anything. I looked over at Lilith and shook my head. Lilith looked dead. She was white and feeble, she looked as if a piece of dust could break her.
“ Lilith, are you okay?” I whispered urgently.
“ I need..” she drank the air, “ I need…” she was horse and wouldn’t look at me.
“ What? What do you-”
“ Blood,” she gasped, “ I need blood!” she was seething now.
“ What?” I was dumbfounded for a few seconds then it hit me, maybe those, things, had taken her blood, too. Maybe she needed a blood transfusion or something, like the other people.
“ Your wrists, their skinny, your ankles too, you can slip through the restraints,” she was frantic and thrashing. I listened though. My feet came out easily enough it was my right wrist that I had trouble with, I cut it on the way out. Lilith stopped thrashing then. Her head turned exorcist style towards me. Her eyes turned pitch black and her mouth became unhinged, row after row after row of pointy white teeth filled her mouth. I froze. Lilith sniffed the air, looked at me then growled. She sounded prehistoric. Not human. I had to resist the urge to scream. I wanted to leave, but I couldn’t. I was too scared. When I realized that Lilith was stuck where she was I looked around, every person was hooked up to a blood bag, but instead of the blood flowing into the respective bodies the blood was being pumped into the bag. Lilith wasn’t crazy, there were actual vampires stealing our blood. And the worst of all was that Lilith wasn’t here to help me, she didn’t need a blood transfusion because she was weak, she was a vampire and she wanted the blood. I sat up. I was dizzy and weak from not eating and the adrenalin was starting to wear off. I pulled the needle connecting me to the blood bag out and fell off of the slab I was laying on. I crawled to the door when I realized Lilith wasn’t thrashing anymore. I looked behind me and saw that she was no longer on her slab. Her slab was wrecked and covered in blood.
I started hyperventilating. I tried to stand up, but I fell back down immediately. There was a loud ringing in my ears and everything was going blurry. It took me a few tries, but eventually I got the door open. I took two deep breaths and ran. I was outside, it was daylight, and nobody else was out here with me. I started looking for a car to drive away, or even any sign to show where the hell I was. Finally I found what I was looking for. A road. I started to gun for it when I heard a wild guttural noise. I screamed and turned around. It was Lilith, but she looked nothing like herself. Her eyes weren’t a black like I had thought before, they were void. Empty. Depleted of any emotion or thought. She was primal. Her mouth had enlarged to twice its size and resembled a sharks. She gave one more yell before charging at me. I fell backwards onto the ground. I scurried back until I ran into a fence. I cursed mentally before hearing a sizzling. I turned to face Lilith, but I was too late. With a shriek she exploded into a pile of red mush. I put my head between my legs and expelled the contents of my stomach.
When I finished I found my feet. I ran along the road until a kind stranger picked me up. He was nice enough to drive me all the way home. I thanked him and when he asked said it wasn’t necessary to contact the police. It was already dark when I walked into my apartment and started to cry. I couldn’t believe I had escaped. I ran into the living room only to find it empty. I disregarded it and headed upstairs to my parents room, only to find that it, too, was desolate. Figuring they had went out again or had maybe gone to the police, I went into my room to find my phone.
When I walked into my room I froze. The window was open and my curtains were blowing in the breeze. I walked over and shut them. I sighed in relief when nothing popped out at me. I turned to leave the room when I saw a shadow. Thinking it might be mom or dad I walked towards it. Lilith stood in the doorway of my bedroom. I screamed and lunged for the door, but Jet grabbed my arm and Rune slammed me to the floor. I started crying.
“ I thought you were dead!” I managed to sob out.
“ Oh that? No I just merely disposed of a skin that didn’t appreciate the daylight. You didn’t recognize the friendly man that gave you a lift?” she smirked then and an image of the man popped into my head. It was Lilith, looking back he had all of her mannerisms. Lithia had changed her physical appearance. She had been the man.
“You can’t come into a house unless you’re invited?” I screamed.
“Oh Mandy, you already did that, remember?” Lilith laughed.
“Yeah, when she came to pick you up for the club?” Rune grinned, his mouth was blurry, like it was moving, changing.
“Only it wasn’t just me you invited in Man-dy,” Lilith dragged out my name while scraping her nail across my door.
“Where are my parents,” I demanded.
“Oh, I don’t know.” Jet said smirking. Another voice joined in then, one that immediately made me shake uncontrollably.
“They never did come home after dinner that night, did they Mandy?” Ash’s voice rang.
“Let me go,” I squeaked. Ash turned on me then eyes flooding with seas of black inky threads.
“You seemed perfectly able to do that last time all on your own,” he said intensely, “but could you do it with a broken leg?” Immediately I felt my leg snap under his hand. I screamed out in pain.
“Arm?” Lilith asked breaking that too. I groaned. Rune laughed fiendishly then broke my other leg. A blood curdling scream echoed somewhere, but I couldn’t tell if it was real or inside my head. Everything was going blurry.
“Please,” I cried, “ stop.” Ash grabbed my face, holding it with his hand, his eyes burning into mine. His face changed then. His mouth widening, just like Lilith’s, and with his lead Jet, Rune, and Lilith all morphed into the same horrific monster. He grinned then before letting out a long, nightmarish roar.
The last thing I saw were the teeth that ended me.