Watch out for midnight.
| “Penny for your thoughts?” Jason Wilder asked, his silhouette descending upon her like a great beast. The sunlight glimmered across her dark hair and softly stroked her flawless tan. I could do brunette, he thought.
“You’re blocking my sun!”
“No really, a penny or two...”
“You’re – oh, never mind!” She started to shift her position. “Do you mind?” she asked, twirling her finger.
“No, yeah sure.” He turned around.
She retied her swimsuit and began to collect her things.
“I’ve never seen you around here before,” Jason said over his shoulder, “you live here? Name’s John Walker, by the way. Can I turn around?” He turned his head slightly and saw that she was already walking up the beach.
He caught up to her. “What are you running away for?”
“I’m not running. Why should I run? Are you dangerous?”
“Not me, I’m a kitty. Meow. Listen, I didn’t catch your name.”
She stopped, cocked her head, and faced him. “No, you listen, flyboy! I’ve got a couple of mouths to feed besides my own, and I really don’t have time for this.”
Kids? “I just thought we could grab a cappuccino?”
“I really don’t have the time.”
“Let me walk you home then.”
“Look, I don’t even know you.”
“Remember: meow? Dinner?” She was shaking her head. “Look,” he pointed towards the boardwalk, “there’s a place called Sea-Legs. Food’s so-so, but there’s a band. A couple hundred people go there every night. Safe enough?”
She was still shaking her head. “Ok, fine, just drinks.”
“Great, see you at eight.”
She turned and walked up the beach. He didn’t even know her name.
She arrived at 8:20 walking towards him in high heel shoes that supported long, tanned legs and ended in a pair of white shorts that were melted onto her body. She wore a pink satin shirt with no buttons, only tied above her midriff, and her hair looked like ebony silk. Somehow, he managed to be standing when she got to the table.
“You look great,” he said, gesturing towards the table.
She ordered a chardonnay.
“You never told me your name this afternoon,” Jason said.
“Maia.” He took her hand. He was surprised she didn’t recoil from his touch. “Why did you call me ‘flyboy’?”
“Because,” she leaned forward, “your fly is your window to the world.”
He noticed the barest scent of perfume, and her breast had come free of her blouse; perfect tan to the areola and her nipple was pert. She noticed his gaze and she slowly ran her free hand down the opening of her shirt, then up again closing it. She gently pulled her hand from his and sat back.
The next few hours they made small talk, the music so loud they were almost shouting.
“Do you want to go outside?” he asked.
Maia looked over at the clock behind the bar. “Is that right?”
“11:40? Yeah, I guess.”
“I’ve got to go!”
“I thought we were having a good time! Walk you home?
“If you walk fast,” she said starting for the door.
He put some cash on the table and hurried out to catch her.
He caught up almost a block away. She had removed her shoes and carried one in each hand.
“Damn, you walk fast!”
He was out of breath when they reached her place; a little house under a barrage of neon suns. When she touched her door it swung open.
“You normally leave your door unlatched?”
“Not usually. Stay close.”
In the house his eyes were having a hard time adjusting to the shadows. Something brushed past his leg.
“You got cats?”
He jumped when a clock on the far wall started ringing out the hour. The clock had just stopped when he felt a sharp pain as teeth and claws attacked his leg. He snatched the beast off his leg and tossed it across the room.
“Something bit me!” He felt blood running down his calf. As he bent down a second creature lunged onto his back and dug claws and teeth into his shoulder. Jason straightened in agony and fell to his knees. Blood splashed his face as he ripped the creature from his shoulder and threw it hard against a wall.
“Maia!” he screamed, trying to stand. “Get to the door! I’ll follow, Run!”
One of the creatures assailed him from behind and sunk its claws deep into his back. The other beast attacked him in front and he felt a nauseating spasm across his stomach. He looked down to find a gash across the width of his torso, and his entrails had begun to ooze out into his hands. A troll-like monster grinned up at him while licking blood off a long claw.
“Maia,” he tried to scream, “run!” Only a hoarse whisper escaped his throat.
“Run?” Maia answered in a low, throaty voice. “Why should I run?”
Jason looked up in horror as a large beast was pulling dark hair and Maia’s face off of its own. Skin and threads of the pink blouse still clung to one muscular arm. Its eyes were crimson and cold as death, and its teeth were death, each crooked fang sharpened to a fatal point. Blood was everywhere: it ran down the monster’s body mixing with mucous and puss from festering sores. Its stench was horrendous as it drew closer to him.
“It’s feeding time!”
The sun had barely crept over the boardwalk, and already the effulgent globe had swept away the morning mist bleaching the sand in brilliance. The night had either burrowed or scattered, and the day began to arrive on feather and foot, spreading wing and towel.
Her light-auburn hair shimmered like the waves and a bead of sweat traced its way along her unblemished, tan back while the ocean’s soft, warm tentacles gently caressed her toes. She was enjoying the heat, but eventually the inevitable cloud stole her sun.
“You’re blocking my sun!”
(word count = 999).
Written for: "Invalid Item" , 3 Mar 2012.
Prompt: Tell me a scary story about what happens at MIDNIGHT.
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