A modern gothic story centered on the reaper and his quest to find fresh new souls.
A thorny rose, she stood surrounded with no clear avenue of escape. Just like the most elegant flowers she erected her stature as grand and gracefully as she could, disarming all comers with an open smile. Flashes from her eyes welcomed select approaches to her voluptuously lithe and comely posture. If they became over assertive then she danced away like smoke on the wind, yet always keeping the distance frustrating and constant. Meanwhile those foolish enough to approach carelessly found them pricked to the quick, and subsequently abandoned the game with bleeding pride.
This unapproachable intimacy she displayed dulled the ardour of the clubs’ many one-track minded folks. The serious courtiers left, though, mutually cooperated to keep this dynamic exclusive when they didn’t sabotage the efforts of the other. Barry found this boys’ club so competitive that he used his gangly frame to forcefully leverage his way into the inner circle to provide Yasmina her drink. She’d just turned and smiled softly, kissing his cheek and squeezing his knotty biceps as payment. Yasmina immediately returned to the vapid attentions of her admirers.
Sullen and brooding, Barry stood off to the side with his ropey arms folded across his chest. Somehow the man managed to feel isolated on the crowded dance floor. Watching Yasmina’s social maneuverings reinforced his feelings. Though not a participant in the dusky woman’s manipulative game, he threw angry eyes at all the other males jostling in on his territory.
Despite intimidating a few, Barry found his advantage weakening as Yasmina begun dancing. Pissed, Barry crossed her social distance. “You’re cruel, and what you’re doing’s fucked up, Yaz”, Barry’s words jumped over the loud, cresting music and into Yasmina’s ear. “I don’t understand why you can’t ever dance like this just for me. It’s as if you either like making me jealous or you’re damned exhibitionist. Shit!” Clumsily Barry attempted to move his body with out grace to Yasmina’s rhythm and the music’s alternating electronic beats at the same time.
Transforming her unconscious grimace into a charming smile, Yasmina hid her petty annoyance behind a lovely rosy cheeked, dimpled mask. “Calm down, dude”, she said. “I’m still going home with you tonight. It’s not like I ever hold back my best fireworks displays from you.” Yasmina winked and her supple rosy lips blew a kiss that smacked into Barry’s pride.
Brooding in his silent anger, Barry stormed away, leveraging a path through the thickets of swaying, sweating bodies with his long stringy limbs. Yasmina’s disregard for his feelings insulted Barry’s manhood on some primal level, leaving him upset with himself. He wanted nothing more than to vex, but given the rules of society he swore to uphold Barry found it very difficult to justify his actions. So he resorted to intimidating other males with browbeating stares and hostile grimaces in a feeble attempt to hold on to what he had.
Bullying his way to the bar, the militantly pissed man rudely ran up an ugly tab. Knocking down several whisky shots, Barry turned around to survey the club scene. It’s as though no one even saw his sad dance moves on the floor. The strobing lights alternated with the shifting colour-filtered lights in a frenzied chaotic pattern that sympathized well with the electronic thumping harmonies. Everyone caught dancing under this technological spell seemed to gyrate rhythmically with an inhumanly epileptic grace.
Barry’s pupil, however, witnessed Yasmina in her own light. Moving with the serpentine rhythms of her own culture, she danced as both the snake and the charmer atop of a cubical podium. The ever-shifting lights lent a fiery copper halo to her bronze skin. A radiant golden nimbus unnaturally highlighted her dark hair. Hips and chest rotated independently of each other about her spine, while her supple breasts bounced freely despite the restraints she wore.
“Some party”, a cool, calm voice said to no one in particular. Yet, Barry found the source a little to direct and close for his comfort. Turning to the source, he found a man standing a head shorter, supported on a thick, short muscled neck. Barry observed that the stranger carried his swagger on a well-toned athletic frame supported on two thick stalks. Loose fitting faded black jeans draped the stranger’s lower body while his upper body struggled inside of an over-stretched sleeveless tee with horizontal red and black stripes. Of course, faded leather-bound saddle boots rooted the man to the earth with the confidence a deathless, ageless redwood.
Taking the man in with an air of incredulity, Barry snapped back at his unwelcomed visitor. “I don’t see you putting out any fires, since you seem to think this club’s so hot!” Tipping back his head, the man laughed a deep, throaty laugh. “I’m not the fire department. Besides, someone must stand here and hold the bar up or else it’ll crash and spill all of our drinks.”
Barry didn’t expect such a reply, probably due to the fact that he had a few. However, that didn’t stop him from being jerk. Barry noticed that the man wore sunshades that never fell off, no matter how he turned his head. “Hey Dracula, the sun went down about four and a half hours ago. Don’t you think you should take the shades off?” Barry found himself staring deep into his own metallic reflection, but his reflection looked away from him. Blinking out the alcohol from his vision, Barry proceeded to switch from hard liquor to beer.
“Now, now, dude”, teased the stranger. “You don’t know me well enough to go sayin’ somethin’ like that. Only blood relatives are allowed to call me Dracula. Get it?” Scratch laughed at his own joke. Barry threw a mean look his way. “No seriously, I go by either Mr. Shades or Scratch here. On the sunny side, when you’re as cool as me, the sun never sets on you.”
He held out his right hand to shake Barry’s, but when his gesture went ungreeted, Scratch snapped his fingers to the beat of the music. “I see you were quite a dancer out there”, observed Barry with biting sarcasm. “It’s a shame you stopped before you started, though. I think some of the girls began admiring the way you moved and grooved.”
Holding his white, toothy smile, Scratch pointed off in some direction. “You mean chicks like her? If I’d have known, then I’d never stopped dancing.” Barry’s vision trailed behind Scratch’s finger and lining his sight up in the direction in which it pointed, Barry’s sight grew blurry in a blind wrathful rage. Not the words Barry wanted to here. He retreated to this spot in order to forget Yasmina, but now he’s forced to remember her against his will, but more seriously, against the alcohol he consumed. Once more Barry had to contend with his impotent jealousy.
Splashing another swig of beer down his throat, the admixture of potent refreshment clamoured for release. Feeling the urgent need to relieve himself, Barry sulked away without excusing himself. Once inside of the men’s’ room, he let some of his anger stream out, along with the alcoholic elixirs he imbibed that night.
Meanwhile the dance floor still pulsed with vibrant synthetic notes and mercurial spectra. Everyone on the floor abandoned themselves to the pulsations and stripped down to just the essentials. Sweat lubricated exposed flesh, making it smoother and more seductive to glide and ride on another human body. Even Yasmina ran around in her black bra, wearing matching black tights billowing out in bell-bottoms. The hot pants accentuated her pear shaped rump and suggestively arched the small of her back. Around her folks coupled in lust dry-humping and grinding to the hard euro-beats. In time, the entire dance floor swayed this way, in one massive chaotic unified mass.
Those who could not keep up with the beats retreated, seeking easier prey. Scratch continued his role as voyeur, focusing his black lenses on Yasmina, capturing her dancing soul even though she left the dance floor. Flickering like a candle flame, Yasmina’s soul still danced in those rims long after the events of that night.
Back in the dungeon, smooth electro-rhythms, techno-harmonies and synth-pop receded as Yasmina walked cat-like on bare feet to a quieter section of the club. Cool air teased her fresh copper skin, kissing each goose bump with a downy lightness. Her pale green eyes rolled back into her lids as she surrendered to the sensation. Her dimpled, reddish, desert skin exploded in rosy blossoms.
Barry stood transfixed at the sight of her. Behind his girl, freaks and hard core rivet-heads stomped and moshed to the riotous and thrashy guitar riffs accompanying the industrial noise. Yasmina smiled in her lover's general direction, happy that she escaped from the heavy stomping thundering on the dance floor. Scanning through the undulating forest of human bodies, the Asiatic girl spied an open door leading out to an outside patio.
Quickly ducking and dodging the human obstacles, the raven-headed teaser obtained the open freedom she sought. She sipped the fresh, spring night air with half-closed eyes. Enjoying the intoxication of sweat-free air she licked her half-open rosy lips. Shaking her head, her long sable tresses whipped at the stars hovering in the nighttime canopy above her.
Taking refuge underneath an overhanging awning, Yasmina relaxed into the smooth wooden bleachers. Her arched feet screamed for joy when she finally stretched and massaged her toes. Using her careful, knowing fingers, the exotic beauty also managed to caress out any and all cramps from her soles. Her feet blushed their thanks when she finished. Yasmina sighed her relief, sucking on a thin mentholated cigarette. The cool, minty fire chilled her throat, fired her breast and made her head lighter.
Outside, she enjoyed the music a little more. It sounded less harsh, and more melodic, making it easier to dance and flirt. In fact, Yasmina even recognized a few eighty's tunes. With a couple of the songs, she even allowed to strum the chords in her heart. Feeling romantic, she looked to see if Barry followed her out. A brief scan back inside the ball room revealed that Barry’s besotted soul remained glued to the bar, swallowing his anger with every shot. His erect posture, straightened limbs, and taut muscles told everyone to avoid him. The wide smile that decorated Yasmina’s face quickly faded when she witnessed Barry’s pitiful, downcast condition. She sat back down, dejected, crossing her legs very tightly. Her arms crossed over her chest, chin held firmly in an angry palm. Firm, focused eyes set forward in her head glowered ahead of her.
To her right periphery, which she did not immediately catch, appeared a gray, unrefined mass. Startled just a tad, Yasmina found to her surprise a warm, outstretched hand holding a long-stemmed wine glass, filled with red merlot. Her eyes lost its’ icy hardness long enough to travel up the muscular arm to the swelling deltoids attaching it to a smoothly defined proportioned body. But it was the face that attracted her: a face that always grinned, never seeming lost for mirth.
Unable to smile deep into his eyes, Yasmina smiled at Scratch’s mouth and blinked into her own reflections. “Forgive me for being forward”, piped up Scratch, “but I didn’t know what you like to drink, so I figured I buy you something that matched your lips.” Yasmina felt her lips tingle and her cheeks flush hot.
She just gaped at the chiseled face smiling down at her. His abrupt courtesy surprised Yasmina out of her angry reverie, forcing her to smile when she really didn’t want to. Her body turned to face him under its’ own command without her knowing. Hovering above her, Scratch’s face displaced Yasmina’s thoughts, so that her mind scrambled senselessy to form a socially acceptable reply. “Um, hey…thanks…um…,” was all that she could spit out. She didn’t know if she wanted to run and seek shelter in her lover’s stiffened arms or if she wanted penetrate the mystery of his eyes.
“I can see that a glass of wine may not have been the best way to approach you, babe” oozed Scratch’s confidence. “So if you don’t mind”, Scratch reached over, and grabbed the goblet and concealed it under an unfurled napkin he plucked from some secret pocket inside his leather jacket. He turned away from Yasmina before she could protest and turned back towards her holding the same napkin. “Here you are, m’sweet, I believe this is more appropriate, all things considered.” And he handed the concealed object to Yasmina.
“Thanks“, complimented Yasmina warily while still holding on to her smile. The napkin slipped away of its own the moment the two made the exchange. Yasmina’s pale green eyes grew wide so that they ate the stars out of the sky. Her open mouth swallowed the sounds before they touched her lips. All she could do now was to scream silently in her throat. Wide, hungry eyes deliciously consumed a scarlet deep rose.