When the Rain Kills the Flowers

My slant on vampires. Very, very old story. I don't normally write this stuff. 18+ content. Please be aware.

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1. When the Rain Kills the Flowers

 

An Enigma.

            I suppose, if I had to sum her up with a word, that would be the only way. There are others: beautiful, doll-like, gothic, happy and funny. Any others? Ugly, negative, humourless and morbid. The first set describes the physical and the positive. The second, the inner being. These negative, inner traits began to rise within her, slowly and ominous like brooding serpents from a death-black lair.

            It was about a year ago when I first met her. A friend’s party, bored shitless amid the drones of Sharkey’s stereo. Like a herbal fog, the pot-smoke drifted, wrapping around me and filling my alcohol-dazed senses.

            A little box. That’s how I always feel at parties and other gatherings; the dull hum of chatter bouncing off the sides, a mush of lost talk. No matter how many bodies surround me, it's always that same cut off feeling. Cloaked in my own gloom, a gloom thicker than any pot-smoke. My own little box. I’m probably giving the wrong impression of myself. I’m no misery, no permanent black cloud hovering over my head wherever I walk. In fact I’m considered quite popular, hence the invites to parties and the like. Nobody wants a tortured soul to bring the atmosphere down. It’s just that I find it increasingly hard to relate to people in a Joe Bloggs manner. Conversations such as: football, the lottery, new tiles for the bathroom or who’s shagging who – all subjects which press my cut-off button. Anyway, back to Sharkey’s party.

            I was about to make my pathetic excuse and leave when someone knocked at the door. As Sharkey bounced off the sofa to answer it, Charlotte (or her indoors as Sharkey calls her) drunkenly giggled her way to the window, peering outside to see who it was. She turned to all of us wide eyed and seemingly sobered at what she had seen outside. She announced that someone called Jude was here. Wide grins lit everybody’s faces, looking at each other with wow expressions. Obviously, I was the only one in the house ignorant of who the new arrival was. I decided to stick around a little longer to see what all the fuss was about. Looking back – I wish I hadn’t.

            Framed in the living-room doorway stood the girl who was to be my love for the next year. Her etched, blood-red smile filled the room and the pit of my belly with warmth. She was adorned in leather and lace; long, long tendrils of hell-red hair fell like blood-silk way past her shoulders. A black-clad Madonna, crowned with a molten halo.

            I remember the times I would look at her as she slept as soundly as a newborn, her naked body moulded next to mine. I would often blow long, gentle breaths into that blazing hair and watch, as it seemed to ignite as the candlelight flickered through each fine strand.

            I’m sorry, my mind’s wandering again

            By all the kissing and embracing that was going on when Jude walked into the party, everyone seemed to know her very well. It seemed that by pure osmosis, she filled the room and the people within with fresh life. Eventually I was introduced to her, she smiled brightly and gently shook my hand - she seemed to hold on to it forever. She explained to me that three years ago she had packed up, left all her friends and family to live in America. She had settled in Georgia to write a book of poetry and worked on a novel. I asked her how the novel was coming along – she told me to come and read it sometime. Her book of poetry had been published and was already receiving world-wide accolades. From her pocket she pulled out a copy of the book, wrote something inside and gave it to me, she said it was a present. I thanked her already feeling myself beginning to melt inside. Jude’s voice was already showing signs of having been infected by a deep-south drawl, sliding into my ears, dripping into my mind like thick, sweet honey. Before I had the chance to carry on the conversation, Jude had been whisked away to the centre of the room by Charlotte; both of them whispering and giggling to one another like two naughty school-kids. Finally composing herself, Charlotte appealed to everyone for silence and announced that Jude was about to read some poetry from her book. Jude sat down, all of us circling her, restless with anticipation. My own heart pumped as if it were about to burst as she opened her book; an expression of nervous excitement followed by stern concentration covered her face. She began.

            She took us through every emotion possible. We held our breaths,' we laughed, felt sorrow and heartache. After her reading she lifted her head and thanked everyone for their attention. Restrained tears blurred my eyes and as I looked around, I saw everyone else had been touched in the same way by Jude's poetry. Again she was kissed thanked and praised. Nervously, I shook her hand and commended her on the hypnotic insight into her mind. What I really wanted to do was bury my tongue into that soft, lush mouth.

            By the end of the night everyone began to leave. I was also on my way out, when I was tapped lightly on my shoulder. It was Jude. She asked me if I'd read the inscription she'd written for me in her book. I replied that I was leaving it until I got home. She stared hopefully at me and smiled. Opening the book I read her inscription: Hope you enjoy the book. Now take me upstairs and let me fuck you.

            How could I refuse?

            That night, in Sharkey's spare room - we fucked.

            Our bodies became glossed in one another's sweat; the smell of new sex overpowered us. I slid about Jude's body like hot butter. Nestling my face into her soft, doughy breasts, my tongue lashed out at the hard rubbery peaks before taking each one in turn between my teeth. She asked me to bite - I did.

Harder - I did.

She wanted to see her own blood - she did.

The coppery taste filled my mouth and slid slow and warm down my throat. Jude moaned with pleasure and pain as she saw my lips slick with her own blood. I buried my tongue into her hot mouth, letting her taste herself before I disappeared into that red-flossed void between her thighs.

In the following months Jude and I shared a flat together. We fucked and she wrote obsessively. Orgasms, for Jude always smashed through any signs of writer's block to the point of inspiration. Many was the time after sex, I would wake alone, only to find Jude asleep in her study, sunk into her large, leather chair; naked and knees pulled up to her chest, reminding me of a beautiful overripe foetus. On the floor beside her would be a note-pad filled with pages and pages of post-sex prose. I would always take the slumbering Jude in my arms and put her back into our bed were she would sleep like a babe for the rest of the day. That, was our life, we would hardly ever leave the house, only to shop for food or to collect my dole cheque. She didn't want me to work. It was as if I left her, then so would her inspiration to write. So, we ate, we drank,  we fucked and she would write. The perfect relationship. Nothing could go wrong - could it?

Jude's ultimate goal in life (and, I suppose of most writers) was to write her magnum opus. But to achieve this she needed the ultimate inspiration.

            Her writing was becoming darker and darker, slowly stripping her soul bare of everything she had. Reading her work was like walking down a dimly lit corridor. The further I ventured, the darker and more oppressive it became; smelling of rotting, cold earth which sang with the agonising choirs of the dead. Eventually I could no longer read her work, it disturbed me too much. As was the look in Jude's once lifeblazing eyes. She was beginning to change.

It started with the little things.

On waking, I would instantly feel uneasy. One night I awoke for no reason at all to find Jude sitting on the end of the bed, her expression aloof and lifeless. Just staring - at me. At first I thought she would break into one of her girlish grins and join me beneath the sheets. No. She raised her naked body off the bed (she always walked around the house naked) and simply returned to her study. At the time I put it down to artistic temperament  but the sweet rose which had once been Jude's mind was beginning to wither, blacken and crumble to eternal dust.

A few nights later, Jude wasn't to be found anywhere. None of her clothes were missing. She couldn't be outside I thought - could she? Opening the curtains I saw her. Standing in the garden bathed in a shower of moonlight, Jude's naked form was spinning round and round, eyes fixed to the floor. I smiled to myself as I crept outside to meet her. My soul soon darkened as I heard little pieces of childish songs fell from her mouth. Tears of helplessness stung my eyes like acid as I realised just how low Jude had fallen into her own private hell. From the window I took it for granted Jude had adorned her skin in body paint (she sometimes did this to both of us before sex). But standing next to her - the smell - that fucking smell. She had smeared her body in her own shit. My limbs shook as uncontrollable sobs burst from my mouth. I tried desperately not to look at her but how could I not look? - my woman, my friend , my lover. She eventually fell to the ground exhausted; supine she lay, eyes wide as if counting every star in the sky. Using the garden hose, I swilled the filth from her unmoving body. Lifting her up in my arms I took her to the bathroom and bathed her again under the shower. Sitting her on the bed, I dried her with a towel. A single tear fell from her eye. I know what it's going to be, she said. She was referring to her writing, her magnum opus; I know that now but then when I asked her what she meant she remained silent, got into bed and slept.

            The following morning I awoke alone. A tide of dread washed over me. I checked the garden - no Jude. Opening the door of her study, my mind eventually calmed. She was asleep in her chair, pad and papers on the floor. All seemed as normal. I made us both breakfast, picked a rose from the garden and placed it on the tray beside her food. Walking back into the study something on the desk caught my eye. A letter. On the envelope in bold capitals it said: MAGNUM OPUS.. Beneath that was written my name and a message:

To my dearest Emily,

My inspiration always

The only woman I will ever love.

After reading the letter I walked over to my love and sat beside her. From the second I finished reading those words I knew that for as long as I ever Walked this earth, no matter how hard I breathed into that head of embers, I would never see it glow brighter again.

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