TW: Sex, swearing and spontaneous dance.
Kirsten’s smile was the evil black of an aching tooth that lived to cause pain. She was the absence that smirks as cars veer of the road in the night. Invisible.
The lovers broke from a kiss with ‘fuck me now’ lust in their eyes. They were youth and beauty. They were hope and health. Kirsten couldn’t resist. The cigarettes and lighter sat on the hood of his car, waiting. Some people like their bacon smoked. Some vampires feel the same about their blood.
Powerless, they lit up with a spark drawing them in, moths to a flame. Not wondering why the packet had appeared on his car, they drew in the tar and toxin from the cancer stick. Nicotine went to work in their brains. Kirsten felt that rush as well.
Letting them have one last hurrah, she made them give in to their hormones right there on the car. Humming ‘Hallelujah’ in her own homage to Jeff Buckley, she let them climax, then drained them dry. An artist with gore, she painted a Vitruvian human with the remains. The police that came later didn’t appreciate her artistry. The owner of the bar was furious until the news teams, police and morbid onlookers came for a drink to calm their nerves.
“What a beautiful night,” she whispered, licking the blood from her lips. Smoky goodness flowed through her veins. The old magic chastised her for the carcinogens in the cancer sticks, but to Kirsten it was a necessary seasoning.
Simian Conqueror drank prune juice with a wheat grass chaser in the war room. Screens played live footage of his armies advancing across Eurasia. One screen was blocked by a black cat called Revenge. A grey cat called Tyranny dozed in Simian’s arms. A ginger tom called Captain Bossy Boots was meowing by an empty food bowl.
“Yes, yes, Captain. I know,” said the suave ape. Crossing to the kitchen cupboard where the tins cowered in fear, Simian chose a sacrifice. The tin screamed silently that it was too young to die, but it being a tin, no one heard or cared. Cold metal burst open, powerless against the cruel blade of the can opener. Innards of the defenceless tin poured out into the bowl. Captain Bossy Boots devoured the remains and licked his lips.
While Captain Bossy Boots distracted the overlord of the simian army, two of the real minds behind the empire set to work. Black paws typed up battle plans for the invasion of the United Kingdom. Revenge scoffed at the name; they were no more united than the cells of candyfloss in a puddle. Cats had been sowing dissent across Britain for centuries, mostly in Scotland. Brexit was a quiet victory for felines. Divide and conquer.
Simon Borg led his team through the ruins of a shopping centre. It could hardly have been more comprehensively ruined if the Blues Brothers had driven their police car through it.
“We’re at war, why are you texting?” Asked the cyborg with a West Country English accent. He liked to do accents because when you have supercomputer processors where humans have genitals, you have to make light of life.
“Instagram, dumbass. Photos or it didn’t happen.” The girl’s pink tipped ponytails flicked as she turned to dismiss him. “By the way, our team name sucks. The Responders?”
“Blame comic books,” Simon said with a broad Californian drawl. “They copyrighted all of the cool team names decades ago, and half of the crap ones as well.” He flicked a fly from the flesh of his toned chest with a metal finger.
“Yo. Should we be shooting at those guys,” asked Mike, eyes glassy. He pointed to a place somewhere to the left of his intended direction. He’d ingested several psychoactive substances at the outset of the mission. Reality and his mind had parted ways.
The rest of the team looked past the broken wreckage of an information stand and a frozen yogurt pop up shop. Ten cloned versions of Simian Conqueror were taking cover behind overturned benches, a pay to ride children’s rocket ship and the shopping centre fountain.
Kirsten watched the soldiers of her army breakdancing their way up the spiral road of a multi-storey car park. A slim figure played Heads Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs as it led them to the roof.
Off with your head,
Dance ‘til you’re dead…
They did. As the vampire watched, fifty cloned soldiers danced their way from the fifth floor all the way to the ground.
Long after the remains of the soldiers had stopped twitching the slim man on the roof was still dancing as though no one was watching. To his knowledge, no one else was.
An invisible spectre in the sky watched the God of Dance change from the form of a man into a woman. That woman cartwheeled her way back down the tight circles of the road to the ground.
Rayelle’s pink ponytails bounced as she skipped through the blackness conjured by her boyfriend. Shawn was a bad shot with the laser gun. He also knew better than to stand between her and the glory of gore.
Arms like pipe cleaners took aim at a clone. Responding to the squeeze of her index finger on the trigger, the gun vomited a beam of light. That beam took its sweet time travelling across the void of the mall and tapped a simian soldier on the nose. Bored of being light, the energy from the beam converted itself to heat. Some of the energy still wasn’t happy. It became kinetic energy.
The soldier exploded, painting the floor, walls and ceiling around it beautiful shades of crimson and ruby.
Rayelle’s manic grin betrayed her sexual excitement as she gave Shawn a thumbs up. He nodded, looking forward to reaping the benefits of playing along. ‘Happy wife, happy life,’ his dad had said. The same seemed true of girlfriends. If they wanted to murder, just let them get on with it.
“Better than Instagram?” Simon asked, casual calendar handsomeness looking at the cloud of impenetrable darkness around the woman with the smoking gun.
“Killing is better than everything,” Rayelle said. She aimed and fired again. Another orb of red raced away from the spot which had been a head the second before.
“What would you do with ten of her?” Shawn asked. His blue eyes were ablaze with the lust young people mistake for love. The brief burning flame extinguished by years because lazy morons couldn’t be bothered to find themselves someone they liked as much as someone they liked fucking.
“Run and hope they cancelled each other out,” said the cyborg, shuddering at the thought. “There can be only one.”
“You think?” Shawn waved a hand theatrically. A dozen Rayelles began popping up all over the shopping mall, distracting the enemy. The real Rayelle took advantage of the distraction to blow up the soldiers in quick succession.
“We’re done here,” said the girl, voice heavy with disappointment.
Kirsten had to take revenge for the Lord of Dance’s slaughter. She came upon a firefight between rebels and the French division of Simian’s army. France never changed. Revolting against kings to create a democracy. Rebelling against smoking bans to flavour themselves for her, not that they knew it.
Four men in heavy body armour labelled police had the high ground in a park. They’d taken down a dozen of Simian’s clones.
She landed beside them.
“Boys. You should be careful with those naughty guns of yours. You could hurt yourselves.” With telekinesis, it was child’s play to point their guns at each other and pull the trigger. Delicious. She forgot all about the war and soldiers as she gorged herself again. Kirsten had always been greedy. That was why she’d become such a powerful vampire.
One of the men had a flask of water in his backpack. Filling the vacuumed canister with red elixir of life, she grinned to think that it would be fresh and warm as soon as she’d digested the rest of the blood in her system. Frown lines that had been threatening an appearance were beaten back into the depths of her hypodermis.
Up into the sky she flew, an acolyte of death.
Tell-tale crackling trickled into her ear, promising more death and gory glory to be found. Flask in hand, murder in mind, she soared across the city. Members of the national guard and a battle mage covered behind a magical shield.
Hovering above the mage, she aimed her flask and let gravity do the work.
A sound that was both a metallic ting and a moist crunch was all the mage’s skull had to say for itself. Feeble last words. The magic shield vanished. Kirsten lifted forty-seven men in camouflage spandex tops into the air. The feat of telekinetic magic was only possible because she’d drunk herself into a stupor. There was a trick to filling her magic as quickly as she lost it. Kirsten cut the jugulars of every soldier with the sharp claws of her mind. Blood came to her with the joy of a lost child running into its mother’s arms. Red threads connected her to every dying pawn beneath. Some tasted of smoke and suffering, others clean living and tofu. It was all sweet death to her.
A cat licked stray blood pooling beneath one of the hovering bodies. Kirsten watched the patchwork kitten covering its white mouth with red. Yellow eyes shot up to face her. It nodded. The swagger as it walked away was off the charts. Maybe a cat was the only cat who knew where it was at.
“So you’re from the future and we’re all going to team up to save the world from Simian Conqueror?” The god of dance was sceptical. Wearing high heels, the deity towered over Simon Borg and the other Responders.
“Exactly,” the cyborg smiled the smile of someone who’s practiced for hours in front of a mirror. “The others took longer to get the concept.”
“Why would a god like me need help from mortals?” Asked the six foot something brunette with poker straight hair that stretched halfway down the back of her white dress.
“You don’t, but like Thor letting gun woman and archer man play along, it shows team spirit.” Borg spoke with the voice of Robert Downey Junior, then clicked his fingers.
A man in a tie-dye hoodie and jeans clicked his fingers and disappeared for a moment, red faced when he reappeared a moment later.
“God,” the golden era Hollywood leading lady styled deity pointed to herself. “Robot,” she pointed to Simon. “Psycho bitch,” she aimed red fingernails at Rayelle, who beamed at the description. “Shadow summoning boyfriend material.” Shawn nodded. “Finger clicking weirdo guy?”
“My name’s Mike,” said Mike, who was falling asleep on his feet.
“And I’m a cyborg, not a robot,” Simon insisted. “Robot implies that I’m a slave.”
“Noted,” said the goddess. “This,” she spun a long, spidery finger around to indicate them all, “isn’t a team. It’s embarrassing.”
“Are you in?” Simon asked, giving it his best Chris Evans as Captain America.
“Fuck no. You’re all losers.” Flicking black hair behind her ear, the goddess raised her hands. “But before I go.”
They danced. Not willingly. Not well. But they danced.