I was on my ride home after another shift as an orderly in the psychiatric institution within our city. Usually, I always try to get one bus earlier, but today a workmate had been attacked by one of the patients from drug-detox, and so we all had some extra work to handle. It happens.
Public transportation had no political lobby, and so cleanliness and security were far from what could have been possible. An issue many adults knew, as the officials put the blame unto us, cultivating the prejudice that it is our fault, for we did not make it into the more lucrative jobs. Needless to mention, such is against the law and utter BS from those, who abuse their own place in the establishment.
The bus I had to ride on took the tour through the suburbs and several city parts away from the city center, slowly getting from well-funded areas back to regular income classes and worker lifestyles. One reason I prefer the bus ride to the subway is that subway trams encourage a lot more violent crime. While no expert on it, I always thought it is because in a subway tram there is much more place, so criminals find it easier to prepare for their anti-social activities.
This night seemed not that much different from any usual bus ride home. Really, somebody would have become rich, if they would have found a way to sell coffee to go on those longer rides. But it was cheaper for public funds to not increase the costs of keeping the busses clean. Or so they say.
The other passengers seemed nothing special, and at least four of them I had seen ago, supposedly on their own way home from their own jobs.
Thoughts about my injured workmate, worries about money, some daydreams, and some craving for porn crossed my mind, as the route included one city part with uphill roads, making the drive slow, and each stop o embark and disembark us paying folks resulted in the driver needing a skilled new start of the engine. Mostly he did well.
Seated in the middle of the bus, and deep in my own thoughts and worries, I had not even seen the woman approach me. But suddenly a gothic woman in her twenties was seated before me, which I would have ignored if she wouldn’t have been rude enough to stare straight at me for quite a while. Sitting on the seat away from the window, closer to the corridor, she wore one of those black latex coats and some pseudo victorian attire below that. Her makeup was a pale nigh white, and the contrast used was black. I remembered the cinema event, when Interview with a Vampire had lured out such subcultures, and I remembered Vampire Diaries from TV.
Perhaps she works in some esoteric store, or is another prostitute, I thought. Although I also knew gothic fans working in the morgue, or being highly graduated academics.
Behind my smile, I was wary, as the woman had stared at me, which could mean she is some form of criminal selecting her target to be. But it is also true that the gothic cliche triggers certain topics, like vampires and graveyards, when mainstream folks summarize their very limited knowledge of those subcultures and art styles.
I had just babbled about some Necromancy by Clark Ashton Smith, when she took out her smartphone, fingered the touchscreen, and then looked at me saying:
`Oh, indeed. There is an excerpted short story about necromancy by that author, but it is harshly gothic at all.´
My reply came quickly: `It is at least closer to gothic than comparing it with the architecture style of a similar name. I even know there is something like gothic punk in music and some occult underground mentioned in the media.´
The woman gave me a look, which reminded me of looking at a sick pet one has to put into the final sleep at the veterinary clinic.
I shrugged, saying: `Maybe it is just my personal suspicion that gothic is one way of longing for the impossible, that abstract hope that being our own Dracula would allow us to do better than the movie one. I don’t really know.´
She shrugged again. Asking: `If you would be some kinda dark angel or avenging vigilante, how would you think you would start?´ And before the topic could prove itself too complex, she adds: `Let’s say you are a monster, a bloodthirsty vampire, but you do not want to go monster on all people, then who would you choose as a victim, when we limit it to the people in this bus?´
`Certainly not the driver, as else the car wreckage would possibly harm even more innocent people, even, if I could transform into a swarm of bats and flee through a shattered window.´ My reply was quick, more aimed at buying me time to think more on her question, as I was tired and groggy after all.
`Ah, I got it! That dude over there, clearly a criminal brute or gang member. And that woman, as she has a dark and fierce stare.´
The woman followed my gaze, looking at both of them.
`The guy is most probably a college student only doing some gym training and wearing that costume to fit into the low-income neighborhood he has to call home. And the woman may only be bitter, because life was hard on her, while she wasn’t a bad person at all.´
While I saw the wisdom in the words, I also knew the smart-mouthing by psychology students, who always pretended to know it all better. Hence, my reply:
`Forgive me, but I must work with an assumption, I am not really gifted supernatural senses of the predator after all.´
`Indeed, Mister. You merely answered a little game we play, I know.´ said the woman.
But something was odd. During my last words, a part of my mind went Robert Bloch unto me, an urge reminding me of the horrid discoveries that the author mentioned. When I had formulated my last answer the woman’s nostrils had flared as if she was sniffing my breath. And even worse, I realized that something else had nearly escaped my attention, as I was focused on the chat we had.
The woman’s smile was practiced, and absolutely not in tune with her eyes, these dark eyes surrounded by makeup, were clear and mature, not the dreamy eyes of an artist or dopehead.
Erratic, but as inevitable, my mind released memories about female serial killers, with that movie about the prostitute gone murder hobo. It was not fear I felt, it was utter helplessness and lack of understanding, what was really going on. My mind felt trapped!
`Sit still!´ commanded the woman.
Perplexed, I felt my muscles going rigid on that command, paralyzing me into the seat.
With a quickness defying physics the woman moved towards the driver, and again no brutality, but mere words dominated reality.
`Just drive on.´ – The bus driver seemed to comply.
Then the woman was at the muscled dude, who I had considered a threat, and simply told him: `Sleep!´ which made him close his eyes and slumber as if in mommas loving arms.
To the fierce woman, I had found evil she said: `Please, don’t watch this.´
Again, that woman also seemed hypnotized to comply.
The bearded guy, who had caused no fuzz at all, and who had a cultivated, finely cut beard, not the wild one of a vagrant, was ripped up from his seat, the gothic woman proving herself a steroid fury of sorts, and with gravity-defying strength she kept that man up with her right arm, reminding me of Darth Vader strangulating underlings with his Force powers.
`Next life you might want to get the smell of your victims washed off, Sir!´ spoke the gothic woman.
Unable to know, if it was shock, hallucination, or even truth, that supposed businessman smelled of something not fitting indeed, as I could swear he smelled of children and sweets.
`All those crimes, all those merciless cruelties unto helpless children, all the practiced posturing and lying, only for that little bit of body between your legs…´ announced the gothic woman.
The man, struggling against gravity and the iron hold the gothic woman still had on him, could not even look down to his abdomen, but the left hand of the gothic woman, her free hand that moment, glided downwards there, with malevolent energy following her words and accusations.
The man did not scream for help, and the man did not deny her accusations. The rush of the attack had indeed unmasked a criminal aware he was seen through.
But too late, the gothic woman had clawed into the body parts of manhood, and with one more move of her left arm she ripped off whatever she had to hold on. Blood gushing from the wound, the man still dangling in her grip. With no more words, she turned him around, and burrowed her fangs into his throat, drinking some of his blood.
When she discarded him by slamming him to the ground, we all could hear bones being squeezed unto bones.
Long before the bus driver called the police that woman had left, actually by jumping through the roof of the bus, and shock and confusion slowly failed to keep us witnesses in our seats.
That vigilante serial killer was true: It is absolutely not like shown to us in the movies!
Author: Andre Michael Pietroschek