The Taylight Zone - The Vampire Anthology

03 - The Bacchae - Amerika

Another autograph to sign. I obliged the countless orange-faced CD covers being slid to me across the table. The names, all so inane; nothing was interesting. The girls faded and blurred into each other; all the Angie's, the Katie's, the Kellie's, the Rachel's... they were all the same. Oh, they tried to be different, how they tried, but it was pathetic now more than amusing. That's all they were now - little more than entertainment. The irony was sickening.
Another autograph to sign, another wink, another smile. Another girl charmed. Easy as pie. It wasn't even art anymore - it had become
mechanical and unconscious for me. It was my only taste of the feeling of being 'bored with death'.

"For Amelda, please," said a girl as yet another pink, silver-ringed hand eased a copy of Middle of Nowhere my way. There was a name I hadn't
heard before. I took the opportunity to breathe in some variation.

"That's a pretty name you've got," I said as I wrote. "With an 'A'?"

"I'm not Amelda," the girl said stoically. "Yes, with an 'A'."

"Who is Amelda, then?" I asked sweetly, feigning interest and honeying my smile towards the red-headed, stone-faced girl.

"My friend," the girl replied icily. "May I have that now?"

"Certainly," I smiled, and handed her the signed cover. She would be an interesting catch, but probably a dangerous struggle - I couldn't afford to risk it, and I watched her hips sway as she walked away.

The end of the line was nearing, which was good because I was famished.

I hadn't drunk since the girl at the shoe store two days ago, where it had been convenient to slip into the supply room. Now, though, it would
have to wait until I could get the girl away from the throngs, and anyone else.

"Last one," I heard a male voice say, and I looked up from the album cover I'd been handed. The last person in line was a boy.

"There something wrong?" asked the boy, snapping me out of my astonished gaze.

"Oh- no, no. Sorry," I shook my head, glancing at him. At first I hadn't been entirely sure he was a boy; he was dangerously attractive.
I felt my charisma being turned completely around.

"You don't get a lotta guys here, huh?" he said with a half-smile that nearly charmed me out of my chair.

"No, not really," I replied, and forced myself to focus on the autograph. "Who do you want this made out to?"

"To Shaun, please," he said winningly, and tossed his curls casually so that they fell fashionably askew.

"Spell that," I said, trying to resist him.

"S-h-a-u-n," he recited, and laid a hand on the table in front of me to lean forward on. I breathed deeply, signed my name, and handed it back
to him. He looked at me through that ringlet of hair that hung into his eyes, which were chocolate brown to match. Suddenly, he put his hand up to my cheek, and I froze as he brushed my long hair out of my face.

"Sorry," he smiled. "It would've bothered me."

It was making me dizzy, this flirting. He would do just fine.

"Would you like to come backstage with me?" I cocked my head at him.

"Backstage? Are you serious?" he said, seemingly disbelieving.

"Yeah. Since you're the last one."

"That'd be awesome," he grinned. "Are you allowed?"

"Hey, it's my show," I laughed. "I call the shots."

"Sure," he said, I wasn't sure in reply to what. It didn't matter.

"C'mon," I rose from my chair and gestured for him to follow me.

"The first shall be last and the last shall be first," the boy quietly remarked, and I smiled.

"Wait here," I instructed, pushing the boy into the men's bathroom, and he nodded. I ran into the stage wing and caught Jason by the arm.

"I'm just gonna be in the bathroom, okay?" I said, and he nodded and patted my shoulder, dismissing me. I had to inform him of my whereabouts at all times, being that he was my bodyguard.

"Where ya going?" Zac asked as I rushed past him.

"Bathroom," I called, and headed in that direction.

Luckily, it was empty of anyone else when I got there. The boy stood from his place at the radiator, and I grabbed his hand. I was starving.

"Follow me," I said.

"Okay," he whispered, his eyes wide with excitement. Just like a lamb, I thought.

The back room was cool and dark - a wonderful pretext for the events about to occur. I had to make it quick, though, since my excuse was the
bathroom. The boy was breathing heavily when I shut the door and pushed him back against one of the ominous black stacks of equipment.

"Do you want me to be gentle?" I asked seductively to lead on the farce that I only wanted to fuck with him.

"No," he breathed.

"You like it rough?" I whispered, and pressed my hip into his abdomen. He groaned, and I found myself turned on by it all.

"Kiss me," he pleaded, and a smile tugged up at the corner of my mouth.

"I will," I promised, and caught my breath as his hand tightened over my backside, and his other arm pulled me up against him. His penis was a
hard branch against my thigh, even through the corduroy. As good as it felt, I couldn't afford to lose control.

"Not unless I say so," I warned, and he softly apologized, easing me out of his grip.

"That's good," I said, and tilted his head. His neck was smooth and perfect, and I could actually see his pulse against the carotid. I decided to play with him first, like a cat with a doomed mouse. I softly flicked his earlobe with my tongue, and he sucked in a gasp through his teeth, his fingernails audibly scraping along the surface behind him. Spurred on by pride and curiosity more than anything, I nibbled on his ear, sending him into a spastic shiver and moan.

"Do you like that?" I breathed, and he sighed, though it sounded closer to a sob.

"Yes..." he answered weakly, and I smiled. Was I good, or was I good?

The fact that he was indeed a boy - like myself - kept digging at the back of my brain. Was it right? Was it wrong, for that matter? It felt so good, and it wasn't as if I had a whole hell of a lot to worry about.

"Kiss me, Taylor," he begged, gripping my arms. I brushing my lips over his, and pulled back when he advanced to kiss me.

"All in good time," I said, the cliché sounding good to me. I was oddly calm, considering the situation. I regarded him in what little light there was. What was his name again? Stephen... Seth. No, Shaun. Pretty name. He licked his dry lips, and they glistened in the underglow from the space of light coming in under the door. He looked at me with a mixture of desire and what seemed to be understanding.

"Make me a vampire," he said.

He knew. He knew what I was and what I wanted. My mind spun - how could he know? My brothers didn't even know.

"Go ahead," he said, having seen my fear. It was strange from his position backed up against the equipment. "Go ahead and do it."

How could he know? No one could know.

"Come on, Tay," he whispered, now teasing me. "You know you want to."

I slammed him back with all my strength and held his jaw with one hand.

"How did you know?" I growled. He grinned, undaunted.

"Your teeth," he said simply. "They show when you smile."

My teeth. Goddamn it. Just like an erection, or salivating, it wasn't something I could help - when I became hungry, my canines slid farther out of their holes in order to feed. I hadn't been thinking about that.

"Why didn't you run?" I asked.

"Run from you?" he laughed. "Not a chance."

I didn't understand him at all. He knew what I was going to do...

"Make me a vampire," he said, grasping the collar of my shirt.

"You have no idea what you're asking," I frowned. I seemed to recall those words...

"I can be your friend for life-"

"For death! Forget it," I refused.

"Taylor, this is something I want! You wouldn't be alone in this, not with me," he argued.

"Who said I'm alone in this?" I asked, but he didn't answer, only yanked me forward and forced my mouth with a kiss. At first I was outraged - how dare he? How dare anyone? But with his lips pressed to mine, his hands in my hair, I felt an exhileration I thought impossible. Inwardly, I laughed at myself. Imagine! A boy - kissing me! And I enjoyed it!

Shaun pushed his warm, wet tongue into my mouth and I almost objected, but soon found myself releasing a soft whine of pleasure. The things he was doing to me... it would be a shame ot have to kill him. He released me from the kiss and I blinked away the dreamlike fog he'd put over me.

"Please," he leveled his eyes to mine. "Do it." I bit my lip.

"Alright," I lied. "But remember, I warned you."

"Yes," he nodded, and tilted his head once more. I held his neck and kissed the point of my mark, as was customary. His skin broke easily, like paper, and his blood was sweet, hot, and in my mouth immediately. He made faint whimpering noises and held onto my shirt tightly. I was deliriously hungry by this time, and drank deeply from the wound I'd made. I planned to drain him until he was gone - he'd never know, and then my secret would go down with him. At the crucial point I felt Shaun squeeze my shoulder - hard. I pulled out and looked at him impatiently.

"What was that for?"

"I'm not an idiot," he said slowly. The loss of blood was making him weak. "You have to stop now."

"No, just a little more," I lied, trying to coax him back into my arms, but he shook his head.

"No, I know what you're gonna do," he said, and reached into his back pocket. His slurring was repulsive, and I no longer wanted him for anything more than his blood. I wasn't yet full.

"I heard the click of a pocketknife and saw the glint of it in the light under the door, and my heart locked in my chest. Was he mad?

"Cut your wrist," Shaun ordered me. He knew what he was doing. I hesitated, shaking. "Cut your wrist or I'll cut it myself!" he threatened, and I jumped as he gestured with the knife.

How had he even gotten that thing in past the security? I brought my wrist to my mouth and bit.

"Good. Now give it to me," he commanded. Trembling, I extended my wrist to him, afraid he would slice it open and leave me to bleed to death on the back room floor. Instead, he jumped at me and locked my free arm behind my back. I felt the freezing steel press flat against my throat,
and I held my breath, bracing myself for death.

"Bring your hand up to me," Shaun instructed, and I obeyed. I felt hot, frightened tears roll down my cheeks as he gently drank from the cut in
my wrist. In a sick way the whole situation was arousing; I liked the abuse, being forced into this. But I couldn't lose the heartsick feeling
that I would be responsible for the creation of a vampire, and a novice one at that. I began to feel woozy, and for a moment I was afraid he would drain me.

"Stop, please..." I whispered, and Shaun released me. I collapsed to the floor in exhaustion and relief, securing my hand over the wound that
still bled. That was it - there was nothing I could do now. The metamorphosis had begun. I watched from the floor as Shaun became a vampire. He gasped as the pain welled in a trememdous fireball in him, like scalpels slicing every part of him, and fell to his knees in tears, just as I had. He choked back a scream of pain, and just as it was becoming unbearable, it altogether stopped, leaving him doubled over on the floor and completely stunned. He exhaled and, in his weariness, let his forehead drop to the cool cement floor where my cheek was already pressed.

With the pain came beauty, and he was stunning. I looked at him now, and his skin, which had before been only a sickly pale, was now as white as polished ivory. His hair, once a tousled brown hood, was now a mass of perfect tiny curls, mirroring a Bouguereau angel. His lips were pink
like the cradle of a seashell, and his eyes glowed a luminescent chestnut. His canines. of course, had grown.

Shaun stood, a newborn vampire, with strength he wasn't aware of. He looked down at me where I was still sprawled on the floor.

"You're beautiful," he said gently. I didn't feel it.

"So are you," I whispered. He really was magnificent.

"I'm sorry I scared you," he said, and I jolted defensively when he knelt to help me up.

"I won't hurt you," he said soothingly, and I cautiously took his hand. I sure as hell didn't trust him. He pulled me up into his arms; I was too weak to stand on my own. I wobbled on my feet unsteadily and felt my cheeks turn scarlet; I felt like a fool in another boy's arms. But he
was a vampire now, and all rules were off.

"You need to feed again," Shaun said, and sat me down on an amplifier.

His very touch, though it was tender and careful, made me shudder in fear. I hated him, after what he'd done. I felt sick and violated - raped, was the word for it.

As if on cue, voices and footsteps sounded in the hallway outside the back room. Shaun and I froze as one unidentifiable voice separated
itself from the others, and its owner's footfall neared the door. With a terrible creak, the door to the back room opened.

We hid the drained body of lighting technician London Jackson in an abandoned Marshall amplifier in a corner of the back room. Once that was completed, and all traces of blood were cleaned from our lips and fingers, Shaun and I strode out of the back room and into the backstage,
where Jason Browning promptly took me by the shoulders and shook me.

"Where the hell were you? I've got every guy on staff looking for you!" he almost shouted.

"I was just talking to a friend," I thumbed towards Shaun, who waved.

Jason eyed him coldly for a moment, and I almost wished he would ban him from ever coming near me again.

"He have a pass?" Jason asked gruffly.

"I invited him," I explained. Which was a mistake...

"You know we're not supposed to do that," said Jason, more softly this time.

"I know. I just wanted to talk to him," I said. "I won't do it again."

Jason sighed, his hard expression softening into a smile.

"Alright. But promise me, too, you're not just gonna go off like that again. You scared the crap outta us."

"Uh huh," I nodded, and he patted my shoulder, returning his arms to their folded position across his chest, and stared ahead stolidly like
an Arabian guard. I sat defeatedly down at the empty autograph table and heaved a sigh. A signed CD cover was laid before me by a sugar-skinned hand that I never wanted to see again.

"Write your number down," Shaun tappen the case. "There's a lot you have to tell me."

Technically, I wasn't supposed to do that, but it would be wrong to leave him out in the cold. Not that he deserved my help. I uncapped the
marker that laid on the table, and jotted down my seven digits. "I'll only be home for another eight days," I said quietly.

"I won't forget," he smiled, once again charming my socks off. It hurt this time - his was a cruel beauty. "Anything I should know before I

"Don't get too much sun," I warned. "A little won't kill you, but it hurts."

"Anything else?"

I thought. "Never hurt anyone you love."

He understood my faraway look, bent forward, and gently kissed my closed eyelid. That softness was painful.

"I'm sorry for hurting you," he whispered so that only my ears could hear it. "You know that I love you. I never want to hurt you again."

But he did hurt me. I stared forward sadly.

"Please let me make it up to you," he said. I darkened.

"Make it up to me?" I snapped angrily. "Make it up to me?" Do you have any idea what you've done?"

"No, I-"

"I'm just sorry that you did this to yourself! What are you gonna tell your children, huh? What are you gonna tell your family, when they
wanna go with you someplace sunny, huh?" I yelled. "It was just Euphrosene and I, now we have to teach you all about what hell it is to
be us! Welcome to the wonderful world of vamp-"

Shaun clapped a hand over my mouth, but I shoved it away and stood.

"I'm not finished!" I shouted. "Why should I even help you? You forced me into this, and now you want me to teach you what you need to know? You could've killed me! It's not bad enough that I have to be one, now of all people you've turned yourself into a vam-"

He caught my mouth again, his eyes wild.

"Shut up!" he hissed. "You want the world to know?"

I glared at him, not bothering to pull his hand away from my mouth. He looked around nervously, breathed a shaken sigh, and took his hand back.

"You just don't get it, do you?" I looked at him darkly. "You're a vampi-"

He put his hand back over my mouth and I tore it away. "You do that again, and I swear to God, you'll pull back a stump!" I raged as Shaun gesticulated wildly. "You think this is a game?"


It was Isaac who'd called my name. He was poking cautiously around the curtain.

"What's going on?"

"Nothing," I waved it away. "What did you want?"

"It's time to go," he pointed back over his shoulder. "Mom and the kids're in the van, we're all waiting for you."

"Okay," I said, happy to leave, and turned to go. Against my better judgement, I looked back at Shaun, who kissed his fingers, tilted his
hand to me, and blew it away. I jerked my head back around and hurried out of the building, where the night air engulfed me. Tonight, unfortunately, the darkness was no comfort.