Friday, January 01, 2010

Friday morning, 5AM

God, I hate it when it gets this late. It's tough to stay awake this close to morning.

I looked around the room. Just a few wasted, washed-up people. I fit in just fine.

I turned back to my drink, deep red wine. It's just for show, something to do while I wait. The barkeep knows me, leaves me alone.

I use the mirror behind the bar to keep an eye on the room. Who knows? I might be able to fit one more in before I sleep.

I see him, off to the right, looking at me. I know the look. You do this long enough, you can't help knowing. I size him up. Desperate, that's what comes across. He's not getting much, I can tell. Thinks I can fix that for him.

I glance around the room. It's too quiet to make a move. It doesn't do to disturb the rest of the insomniacs.

I look over at the barkeep, my eyes flicking towards the back way out. He just nods and goes back to polishing glasses.

I make a production of emptying the wine glass and sway through the room and out the door. The alley in back is cold, deserted, perfect.

I've only moved a few steps before I hear the door open and close again.

Yeah, it's him. I turn to him and he puts his hand on my shoulder, pushing me back against the wall. Ouch. The uneven bricks press into my spine.

"Hey, not so rough, big boy," I say. "I've got what you need, don't worry."

A grin splits his face, almost making him look passable. It freezes as my right hand shoves the thin, sharp stake up under his ribcage, left side.

I spin him around, slamming him back against the wall.

"Not so comfortable, is it, big boy?"

He snarls, lips pulled back, fangs clearly visible. The stake holds him immobile as I slice through his neck. The specially sharpened blade does a good job and his head topples, rolling away down the alley.

I shudder as I wipe the blade clean. Exhaustion, I know. I'll be glad of the shorter nights, later in the year. These mid-winter nights suck.

"Home is the hunter..." I quote as I make my way uptown and home.


  1. Those long winter nights would be tough on a hunter, I hadn't thought of that. :) Nice build up to this. Loved his head rolling down the alley!

  2. And I thought this was just a pick-up ;^)

    Some tight writing, and loved the androgynous feeling to this. HNY! Peace, Linda

  3. Kevin J Mackey does horror? Awesome. You build awesome suspense, the ending is especially shivery.

  4. @Laura "Loved his head rolling down the alley!" Dear me, Laura. You're more bloodthirsty than I am. :)

    Glad you enjoyed the story.

    @Linda Yes, the story could've gone a few different ways. Hoped you liked the choice. Thanks for the comment about the writing. Happy New Year to you too.

    @Jodi Yeah, it's not all haiku and small bright creatures around here, you know. :) Glad you liked the suspense. I'd hoped to create some.

  5. Liked the androgynous feel to this. The slicing and head rolling felt like a reward. Cool.
    -David G Shrock

  6. Really liked the atmosphere you built up here. I think the head came off a tad easy - there was some more mileage to be had there, either grisly detail or simply implied. I know which Laura would have preferred.

  7. Great stuff, Kevin, fabulous atmosphere in the bar.
    And surely any alley that is "cold, deserted, perfect" deserves to have a head rolling down it!

  8. The deep red of the wine..the mysterious glances..nice way to ease us into KjM doing horror.

    "These mid-winter nights suck." made me laugh.

    spare and sharp.
    nicely done.

  9. Excellent piece. Reminded me of the Anita Blake series but your writing is better!

  10. I thought the head came off too easily too [don't want to know what that says about me], but other than that I really enjoyed this.

  11. Great atmospherics going in the bar there, Kevin. I did not expect vampires at all. I knew the guy following was in for no fun, but did not expect a vampire slaying.

    The head worked for me. After all, it was a specially sharpened blade. Hot knife through butter sort of thing. ;)

    Happy New Year. You're off to a good start.

  12. Nice! It's so satisfying when the right heads roll. I got all excited when I read "fangs". :)