Friday, June 04, 2010

The Barkeep

Weekend vampires, they called themselves. Every Friday night, after throwing the vestiges of conventional daily life to the bottom of closets, they donned black and red clothing, painted dark circles around their eyes, and snapped custom-fit fangs over their cuspids. All necessary to join the role play in the edgy back room of The Coffin Club.

He leaned against the cash register and watched the couple who moved to the shadows in the corner of the room. He tried to look away from the thin slice of razor cut against the willing participant's wrist, but could not. He parted his lips slightly and ran his tongue along his bottom lip, keeping his eyes on the blood.

“Hey, bartender!”

Startled and annoyed, he turned to the young man who interrupted his reverie.

What do you want, you damned fool?

That's what he ached to say. But he knew this job required a semblance of polite customer service, so he kept this thought to himself. He leaned forward and waited.

“Two Bloody Vampires,” the young man said, and put money on the bar.

As he prepared the drinks, the bartender knew he would not return tomorrow. While always working the late shifts at similarly themed bars across the country suited his nocturnal lifestyle, he never stayed too long in one place. Recently, though, he found himself thinking more about returning to his country. It was familiar and easy there. Also, while the other members of his family had allowed him to travel abroad and sample life in another culture, he knew that being away for much longer would not please them.

He placed the drinks in front of the young man and watched him take the hand of the girl seated at the next stool and suck her bloodied thumb before they clinked glasses in a toast.

He shook his head and looked at the others, many of whom were drunk on alcohol and fantasy.

Ridiculous, this business of playing games of dress up and spending weekends pretending to be doing something considered erotic and mysterious.

He laughed.

I wish I had that luxury.

He nodded to the people who called to him and requested drinks, and went to fill their orders.

Though he was centuries older than his regular clientele, spending time with them had been such fun. It only remained to decide whom he would kill before he flew home to the nest forever.

After all, he was thirsty too.

71 comments:

  1. The real one walks among their midst. Like an alcoholic in a 'real' bar. Great story. Peace...

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  2. F'n weekenders. It's all a game to them. At least they pay cash.

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  3. Loved the last line- "After all he was thirsty too." Fun story. I love a good vampire tale.

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  4. Marisa, great take on the vamps -- frikkin' weekend warriors. ;)

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  5. Good story. Gotta keep moving if you're going to kill the clientele, eh?

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  6. Wanna-be? Meet professional.

    Professional? Eat wanna-be.

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  7. I liked how the bartender stared at the razor line. Fun story.

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  8. Ominous photo, and great starting hook. I caught on early but still loved this guy's perspective. Nice. :)

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  9. Silly, silly weekenders!
    I hope he kills the rude "Hey, bartender" guy, who didn't even say "please" when ordering his Bloody Vampires!

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  10. You hinted in the beginning with him licking his lips, but the last line was killer (pun intended)!

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  11. Loved it! Very clever, and fun to read, which is even more important than being clever.

    Thank you for sharing!

    And I agree it would be an interesting premise for long-form fiction like a novel. You should do that!

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  12. Ha, they would totally freak if they knew there was a real vampire in their midst! Fun flash! :-)

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  13. is it still big in New York these sorts of activities?

    Fangs for the tale

    marc nash x

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  14. I love a good vampire story! Totally excellent. Stupid humans.

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  15. Eehee! I love it! Very fun! It's great to see a vampire look at vampire role-playing with a good dose of eye-rolling. :P Nice one!

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  16. LOL, I wonder who he does kill? Good one!

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  17. I wonder if their alcohol-pickled blood makes it tastier for the real vampire?
    I wonder what he does with his tips?
    I wonder how come you write so darn well?

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  18. Ha ha...love it. That last line is the best line ever. Another great story!

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  19. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read the story and for leaving your lovely comments!

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  20. I have to love this post. First, because I like Vampire books. I admit it. Second, because though I love vampire books, I never plan on donning a fake set of teeth and drinking blood! There are some strange people out there who want to "join a club" of fantasy. Strange, yup. Excellent job!

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  21. Great story and great character. I loved his quiet, slightly sinister voice amongst all the noisy vampire party people. ~ Olivia

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  22. Enjoyed reading this -- I love a good vampire story. The picture worried me a little, but I liked the way you tied it into the story. I am hoping he picks the rude young man as his meal. ;-)

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  23. Anonymous5:29 PM

    Pff... poseurs. Is there anyone they don't annoy? ;)

    Well done. Must be hard to be surround by food like at a banquet and not be able to eat.

    A fun read. :)

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  24. If you are going to playact, it behooves you to be on the watch for the real thing - just in case.

    This one built nicely though to story. I knew someone was likely to come to a bad end - maybe the guy ordering "two bloody vampires"?

    Careful what you wish for.

    Well done.

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  25. Can we hear more from your bartender? I think he's badass!

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  26. What a fun character! Great stuff :)

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  27. I was looking for #fridayflash vampires yesterday, and poof delivered. Nicely done.

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  28. Well done! Love the bartender character, and really, the poseurs get what they deserve here!

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  29. I really liked this! Brilliant! Great stuff.

    'drunk on alcohol and fantasy.' is a killer line!

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  30. I really liked this! Brilliant! Great stuff.

    'drunk on alcohol and fantasy.' is a killer line!

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  31. Appreciate all your comments. Thank you!

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  32. He showed a lot of restraint, working in that bar. Loved the last line. And why not? One for the road, so to speak...

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  33. Enjoyed the story. Hmm...smells of spilled blood, and a sequel...

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  34. So what, pray tell, is in one of those "Bloody Vampires?"

    I like the different takes on vampirism you and I present. Yours being the predator and mine the prey.

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  35. Centuries older than his clientele, he certainly would be more bite than lark. Well glimpsed Marisa, for bartenders' muses are the see-all.

    Lovin' the way your grand fan base see all too - Tony and Cathy had me grinnin' as much as the thumbsuck action. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  36. Ohhhh - I hate vampires - I think in some other life I must have been chased by one *laugh* - but, I love werewolves - so maybe instead I was in rivalry with a vampire in another life -

    love the vividly drawn images here....

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  37. Fantastic Marisa! Somehow I never pictured you writing about vampires, but you pulled it off well.
    What strikes me the most about ALL your stories are your first and last lines - always perfect.

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  38. So well written. Grabbed me with the first line and I couldn't stop reading. I'll be back!

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  39. great story....the things people do..drunk or not...lol

    Hope
    http://hopelesslycrushingonyou.wordpress.com

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  40. Wonderful story! Love the idea of the real thing watching the ones playing at being vampires on the weekends.

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  41. Ah, what a perfect job for him, well, at least while he is traveling.

    I love that idea of having a real vamp in with the role players!

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  42. Love the ending! Wasn't expecting that, I can see now why he had to move so often!

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  43. Hey Mari-girl! Sorry I'm so late. I've been absent from everyone's great stories. * sniffles*

    I liked your story, but I got a bit lost with all the "he" you used. No names on this one? heh ;P

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