She hadn’t expected it from him. He was a vegetarian, and not even the judgemental kind. She had worried when she read his online profile that he would glare at the heap of glistening gyro meat on her platter with disdain, but he didn’t even flinch—not at the food or at the spot of grease glistening on her lip.
He sat with his Tabbouleh salad while she explained that “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse was the best album of the 21st century. He did not interrupt once—not even to inform her that well actually she’d probably just never listened to “Dark Side of the Moon” on vinyl. He blushed when she told him there was quinoa stuck between his teeth.
When they got back to her place, he did not press her. She was the one who invited him in. She kissed him first. He asked,Are you sure? and Is this okay? every time he moved his hands against her skin.
Whatever makes you comfortable, he nodded with a shy smile when she asked if they could keep the lights off.
He was even more adept at moving in the dark: skin cold and smooth as granite, a welcome chill with the lack of central air in the stuffy studio loft. He bit her, softly at first then harder. Then harder. She gasped. There was the sound of teeth ripping through skin: splitting, popping like a slashed tire. Blood dripping, then pooling into her sheets.
She tried to tell him to stop, to scream for help, but her sandpaper tongue only scraped soundlessly at the roof of her mouth.
Even in the darkness she could see something different about him: skin taught against his muscles as if shrunken, like he’d been thrown in the dryer on high heat. In the dark, only the faintest bit of shine from the cracked window alerted her that his black eyes were still open. And his teeth—his teeth—were fangs.
He waited patiently for her arms and legs to stop their tiny convulsions, until her muscles slackened to dead stillness. Finally, he rose and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. With disgust, he spit out the bits of skin and sinew that clung to his teeth. He snatched the Listerine from her bathroom cabinet and gargled over the sink; the combination of frothy mint green and red made a thick, brown sludge that slunk down the drain like a sulking child.
The meat of her, he left untouched. Cold and desiccated and alone until a few days later when a neighbor called the super to complain about the smell.
Samantha Blanc holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois, and has contributed to The Maize Report and Montage Literary Arts Magazine. Though she spends most of her time selling her words and soul to the capitalist overloads in advertising, she still finds time to write from her Chicago apartment.