A summer night, by the beach of a lake, with a bunch of friends around a campfire, playing guitar, signing along, having fun, drinking beer, smoking weed.
Well, the perfect summer party.
“What is that?” asked Karen, looking at her right, toward the forest.
“Probably just a bat.” said Lynda, casually.
“A b… a BAT?” almost screamed Karen, loudly enough for the gang to stop signing.
“What? Where?” said one of the guys. “I’ve always wanted to see one.”
“In the woods.” calmly said Lynda. “The light of the fire attracts flying insects and the bat eats them. They sometimes fly close to us, but there’s no big deal. My dad has had this cabin before I was born and nobody got hurt by a bat.”
“Do… do they… bite?” asked Karen, visibly afraid.
“No, Karen. They’re insect eating bats. Not blood thirsty ones.” said Lynda.
“Unless it’s the blood of a virgin,” said Phil, “so… you’re safe, Karen.” he said, laughing, the gang laughing too. Karen’s fondness for sex wasn’t a secret
“Ha, ha. Very funny.” she said, knowing that, well, it was rather obvious.
A short while later, she got up, rubbing her hands on her hot, tight, vinyl legging, warmed by the fire and stumbled on her wedge high heel sneakers toward the cabin for a pee break.
People were signing, not paying attention, until they heard a loud screech. Lynda took her flashlight and shone it toward the scream, lighting Karen who seemed to be fighting with… air.
“It bit me! IT BIT ME!!” she was still screaming, whipping her arms, with nothing around.
“What the hell, Karen?” said Lynda, rushing in, “What bit you?”
“The bat! The bat bit me… Look!! She said, showing her neck.
The whole gang was now closer, intrigued.
“Cool” said Phil. “Can we see the bite mark?”
Lynda brushed him away and helped with the flashlight, looked at the area.
“There’s nothing there, Karen.” said Lynda.
“Yes, there’s something there! I can feel it.” she said, rubbing her hand back and forth on her neck.
“Karen, remove your fucking hand… Well, there’s some redness, and maybe a little scratch, but… you haven’t been bitten, Karen.”
“But it itches!” she said, still rubbing it.
“Okay. I’ll get you some antiseptic ointment.” she said with a shigh. “Drama queen….”
The gang laughed and returned to the campfire.
They all finally went to sleep, after a bunch more songs and beers, all sleeping anywhere in the cabin, mostly on the floor of the living room and kitchen.
Slowly, they were awakened by the sun entering the large south-facing windows, each taking its turn at the bathroom, until Karen went in and let out a high pitch screech.
“What is it, again?” asked Lynda.
Karen got out, holding her neck, getting close to Lynda and removing her hand.
“Here, look. Two holes! I told you I was bitten.” said Karen.
“Those don’t seem…” began to say Lynda, trying to have a closer look, but Karen walked back, preventing her from looking.
“No, don’t touch it. I’m telling you. I’ve been bitten.”
“Whatever.” said Lynda, turning away, the other, not really interested in another of Karen’s drama skits.
“No wonder you’re still single.” said Phil..
Karen answered by pulling her tongue out at him. So mature.
She put an adhesive bandage over the “bite mark” and they went their merry way, getting ready for departure, as this was the last day at the beach.
A week later, they all gathered at a bar. Karen was still sporting an adhesive bandage on her neck.
“Ah, come on, Karen. I didn’t see anything, and it’s been a week. The joke is getting old, Karen.”
“No… It’s serious… I mean, it itches and it poses…” she said, lowering her voice, “black blood.” she added, from a dramatic whisper, eyes wide opened.
“Yeah, right.” said Lynda, not buying it, quickly reaching for the bandage and ripping off.
“Oh my gosh!! What the hell is that?” she said, startled, holding the piece of bandage, stained with black blood, and with slimy tendrils going back to two small bumps on Karen’s neck, looking like popped-up pimples.
“Ouch ! Don’t…” quickly said, Karen, grabbing the bandage from Lynda’s hand and rushing to the bathroom, to come back later with a fresh bandage on her neck.
“What the hell was that?” asked Lynda, giggling, but not so sure anymore.
“Told you. I do not know. But it’s less awful than Monday. It’s getting smaller, like curing.” said Karen.
“You should go see a doctor,” said Phil.
“Yeah, but… Yeah. I know. I should.” said Karen.
The focus changed as the local football hero entered the bar, and the beer was flowing. Karen’s neck was quickly forgotten.
The next week, she had just two small red dots on her neck and nothing after that. It was all forgotten.
Until that Halloween night, on October 31st, under a full moon.
Karen joined the gang at the regular bar, all of them disguised for the party, but she was looking sick, holding her neck, not in disguise.
“What’s wrong?” asked Lynda, a grin on her face, fed-up by Karen’s childish behavior about that bat, from which they still have no proof she got really bitten..
“My neck hurts where I got bitten and the dots are back.” she said, showing her neck where two black dots could be made out, “and it spurt out some more black stuff.” and added, showing her fingers, stained black.
“Then what the hell are you doing here? You should be at the hospital!” answered Lynda, eyes shooting darts.
“I… I don’t know… I… I just wanted to… you know… see the party, and your costumes… and… go after…” she said, looking elsewhere, like looking for an answer. “But… where are you still in scrubs?” she asked, lookin at Lynda.
“That’s my disguise. I’m a Superhero!” she said, smiling under her breathing mask.
“But… You ARE a nurse, Lynda.” said Karen.
“Exactly!” she said, turning around as the waiter was bringing more beer.
Karen looked at the drinks and went pale.
“I think I’m gonna be sick.” she said, putting her hand at her mouth and running for the toilet.
“What’s wrong with her?” asked Phil.
“Dunno.” said Lynda. “Morning sickness…”
They took a gulp of their drink then headed for the dance floor, coming back after a few songs.
“Has anyone seen Karen?” asked Phil.
“Geesh… no.” said a concerned Lynda. “I hope she… oh. There she is!!” she said, pointing at the crowd splitting to make way to a tall woman, clad in a shiny latex catsuit, waist crushed by a blood red corset, walking on knee high, lace-up platform leather boots, showing her hands as if they were claws, hissing, protruding impressive fangs.
She walked, like a monster, stomping, making wide gestures, hissing at people that were laughing at her, heading straight for Lynda, hissing and growling, getting closer and closer, almost to her face.
Lynda was not reacting, although she was admiring the lights of the bar reflecting on the shiny suit.
As Karen had stopped close to her, panting heavily, Lynda simply raised her hand, approached Karen’s mouth and flicked her finger at her fangs who went tumbling down on the floor, leaving a stunned Karen.
“I’ve seen my share of crazies, Karen, and I recognize the mascara you used for your… dots on your neck. That bat hasn’t transformed you into some bloodthirsty monster… wearing latex? Come on. You couldn’t think of something more… scary? Nice costume, tho…”
Karen, stunned, almost stopped breathing, frozen in her overly dramatic pause, people around who had witnessed the scene laughing.
Another song began to play.
“Oh yeah!” said Lynda, lifting one arm in the air while taking a gulp of beer with the other one. “Coming, Karen?” she said, getting up and heading for the dance floor.
At that same instant, someone opened the door and the moon light of the full moon entered the bar, hitting Karen on the head.
For a short moment, her eyes became red. Her suit seemed to grow thicker, tighter and become shinier, accompanied with a creeping creaking sound.
“Then it’s time to stop fooling around.” she said. But it was not her voice. It sounded like out of this world, coming from her guts.
Phil was looking at her, his beer in his hand close to his mouth. He shuddered and took a large gulp of beer as Karen turned around and walked toward the dance floor, stepping on the plastic fangs with her high heel and crushing them..
A careful observer would have noticed that claws seemed to grow out of the tip of her fingers and that fangs were growing in her mouth. Longer, bigger and a lot sharper, with a small drop of black liquid hanging on the tip of them.
© Pete / monsterp63 – oct 29, 2020
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