"There really should be a red-light district that appeals to women..."
Skye Rayvn was no longer young. In fact, she was pushing toward middle age, and she didn't like that. Not at all. Her college boys had grown up and gotten married (ugh) and had kids of their own, and didn't want to keep in touch any more. Other men she'd known had gotten old (another ugh), or were too busy with stuff... and the younger ones, well, she had the awful suspicion that they now considered her too old (the biggest ugh of all).
It didn't bode well for future relationships. She'd have to figure something out while she still had her good looks.
So it was with pleasant surprise that Skye noticed Terecito Alvarado out on her sidewalk one evening, and quickly picked out an outfit that, she hoped, would finally get his attention. If this doesn't work, he's gotta be gay. No man has yet resisted the Jungle Girl.
"Hel-low, Terry. What brings you out here tonight?"
"There's a lot of new houses getting built out here. I thought I could look at some of them this afternoon - we need a new place, the boys and I. But now that it's dark - "
"The boys?" Skye said, hope rising eternal. Roommates? Lonely roommates?
"I adopted twins," Terecito explained.
" - Oh." Hope slunk back down again.
"I didn't know you lived out here, but actually, there was something I wanted to ask you," Terecito said.
Skye decided not to get her hopes up again. "Yes?"
"Were you ever abducted by aliens?"
It certainly wasn't what she'd expected. "No, of course not. For one thing, I'm a woman. Maybe you noticed?" She tried to keep the sarcasm out of her voice and failed.
"Yes, I'd noticed. But I was wondering because the boys I adopted, their human father was abducted by aliens. And they have the same eyes as my oldest son, Storm, who's in college right now. Well, when I visited Storm in college the other day, I realized his cheekbones are kind of familiar, and the hair color, and - "
It took Skye a moment to remember the baby she'd dumped on the social worker long ago. Oh NO! There's no way Terecito adopted that kid! "Whoa, whoa, whoa there, mister. That sounds like really circumstantial evidence to me. And like I said, I was never abducted by aliens. I mean, my mom was an alien, but not a green one, you know? Different dimension or planet or something." Where the hell did the get the abduction theory? At least that much is true, I never got carried off.
"I know, I would've thought children by abduction were all green-skinned and black-eyed, but the bio-father of my twins said he was abducted. The twins have eyes of many colors, like a rainbow, and so does my oldest son Storm. So I thought perhaps - "
"Well, you thought wrong," Skye said. "I never got abducted." Just don't ask if I ever had a kid. "And I don't like your attitude, Terry. You think you can blame anything on aliens or half-aliens, is that it?" If I catch him off-guard, maybe he'll drop the whole thing. "Get the hell off my property and don't come back."
"All right, Skye." Terecito began to walk away, then began to turn back. "But did you - "
"I said GET OUT!"
~ ~ ~
Skye's mood was in the crapper after Terecito left. Great, not only was he apparently as queer as a three-dollar bill and thus immune to her many charms, but her nerves were shot, and now she had no plans for the evening, either. Just great.
So she changed clothes and called a cab to visit Atlas Park. Maybe some drinks and dancing would help.
Of course, the best dance club in town would be closed that night because of heroes fighting gang members. Naturally. So Skye went to the next available place, an all-night diner.
Can this get better? Oh, wait. A Goth LARPer. Joy!
Even more fun, she was asked to share a table with him.
"So, you're a vampire, huh?" Skye said, not really caring.
"No, I'm not. I'd planned to become a hero, using a 'reformed creature of the night' shtick since I've already got the odd skin color. But, y'know, there actually isn't as much demand for reformed vampires as you'd think."
"Huh." Okay, he was slightly more interesting now. "So how'd you get the skin color?"
"Too much colloidal silver. I thought it was an urban legend, but boy was I wrong. Anyway, I got the red contacts and the tooth caps so I wouldn't look like a drowned zombie, but it hasn't really panned out. I suppose I'll go back to the carnival if I can't find work here in Paragon."
He said his name was Bryce, though of couse his public persona at the moment was Count Ivan Awfulitch. They talked all through dinner and Skye decided maybe the evening wouldn't be a total waste after all, especially after a few drinks.
"I dunno, sometimes there's just something about a guy that really grabs me..."
The evening was still young by Skye's standards (one in the morning) when she decided he might be worth bringing home for the night. Bryce seemed amenable to the idea.
~ ~ ~
After the woohoo (which wasn't bad, particularly once he got in character) Skye and Bryce went to the kitchen for some cold pizza.
"Mm, Skye, I think I could go for something besides pizza..."
"Uh-huh." Maybe she was just jaded; before she would've taken him up on it right away, but by now the prospect of just average bedplay wasn't doing it for her.
But then he grabbed her, pulling her close and violently kissing her.
"Ew, Bryce, stop it, you're gonna leave a hickey!"
In her struggle to get away - he was stronger than he looked - Skye accidentally bonked into the ceiling lamp.
She yelled at him to get out before she called the cops or set fire to him - the only threats she could think of, dizzy as she was - and after he left, she staggered to bed.
~ ~ ~
Skye felt pretty crappy the next morning. She used to be able to drink a lot more than that. Getting old sucked, and she wasn't even old old yet. So now her mouth tasted like dust, her head hurt, she didn't even know what had woken her up. Maybe the stupid birds outside or the chickens that somehow survived despite their complete lack of care.
"Maybe some fresh air'll help," she mumbled to herself. "Wonder if Gothboy tried to slip me a mickey."
Not caring that she was still in her underwear, Skye went outside to get the paper. It wasn't like there were that many houses out here yet - she could prance around bum-naked if she wanted to and nobody would notice but the pigs and chickens, which was also a depressing thought.
The bright light hurt her eyes and made her headache worse, which she hadn't thought was possible. Oh, man... screw the fresh air, I'm going back to bed and sleep this off. Good thing I've got all Mom and Dad's insurance money to live off of. I'd hate to have a job, then I'd have to call in sick.
Her eyes watered from the sunshine, and she thought she smelled smoke. What the? Is someone burning leaves again?
Then she realized the sunshine felt very, very hot on her skin, and looking at herself, she realized the smoke came from her own skin.
What the hell?!
Ohmygawd he was a real vampire! The lying cheating SOB! He tried to make me his vampire slave! Skye was pretty sure that was what vampires did to hot women like herself. I gotta get back inside -
Unfortunately, she came to that realization a bit too late.
The curious farm animals, semi-feral since her parents had died, came to look at the warm pile of ash on the doorstep, and the nonexistent wind rattled the old scythe out by the pigpen.
Death came to collect, and when he was done with his work, the animals pecked at the tombstone that suddenly appeared in their midst, as an errant breeze stirred the ashes.