Seeing Red

Posted in The People on November 7, 2009 by justwritecat

Vampires get a bad rap.  Sure, some of us are monsters–taking our thirsts to extremes, leaving dead bodies, battered and drained, in the wake of our lusts.  But where others manipulate, I–charm.  Where others feed without restraint, I go easy.  Could be it’s all about perspective.  Or maybe, it’s just a matter of style.  Whatever, there’s no need for the kind of bloody violence I’ve witnessed in this damn town.  I’ve seen lives taken out before their time, but this morgue’s  getting thick with bodies.   And last night, I shared a drink with the one who sent ’em here.

She was sitting at one end of the long, oak bar at 10 Seconds & Counting–which is about how long it took me to recognize the bloodlust in her eyes.  She was knocking back shots of Old Grandad with Jim Beam chasers.  A bit rough around the edges, but she had that ‘time with me is time well spent’ sort of look about her.  And I’m always looking for a way to spend time.  I caught her eyes, or maybe she caught mine.  Either way, by the time the bartender set my drink in front of me, she was setting herself down next to me. 

The place was crowded, so she had to sit real close.  She waved for another round, sniffed my drink and said, “So you’re a scotch man.  Smooth or rough?”

“That depends on my mood,” I said.  “But I always start with smooth.”

“Same here. I’m betting we could get along,” she said.  “But you should know my mood changes real fast.  Think you can keep up?”

“I’ve never been accused of not being able to keep up.”

She laughed, a throaty sort of laugh that started deep and stayed strong.  “You’ll do.”  She looked me over, licking her lips when she reached my mouth, and said, “and probably more than once.”  She finished her drink, and her chaser, and then said, “So, you hungry yet?” She showed me a quick flash of her fangs, and I felt mine start to grow in response. 

“I’m always hungry, doll.”  I signaled the bartender for the tabs, paid both, and then said, “What did you have in mind?”

And then she showed me.

Something’s Going On…

Posted in Detroit, The People, The Places on October 30, 2009 by justwritecat

This town’s getting dark.  Three overdose victims in less than a week.  Now, that alone doesn’t seem out-of-place for Detroit.  Or any major city, for that matter.  But the way these three met their end is far from typical.  They’d been pumped full of some molotov concoction of drugs.  And while that alone would’ve burned a hole through their body and killed them quicker than quick, it couldn’t account for the rapid blood loss each vic suffered.  Drugs will kill you, but it takes a vamp to leave you practically blood-dry.  

Given the first vic was discovered by a cop, I had no choice but write-up an official autopsy report.  Fortunately, a medical examiner knows how to fudge a bit; my report offered a plausible explanation for the blood loss.  Per the report, the vic had taken a fatal mixture of heroin laced with various hallucinogens.  Which led to the vic making numerous and increasingly harmful razor cuts to his extremities.  He shot up, bled out, and o.ded.  Guy was a drifter with the markings of a long-term drug user, so the cops didn’t spend too much time worrying about it.

I found the other two bodies.  That happens sometimes when you work your nights trolling neighborhoods.  Spend enough time feeling out the back streets and dead ends of a place, dead–or almost dead–bodies get to be part of the scene.   It’s easy to dispose of bodies when you’re an ME.  Sure, you want to give ’em their proper due, but sometimes that takes a back seat to keeping secrets.  

With one official report filed, and the image of two bodies that can never be claimed still in my mind, I figured it was time to get to the real work. 

Finding the killer wouldn’t make these three any less dead, but it might prevent a full-blown epidemic of the bloodsucking kind.

Nice to meet you. Call me Joe.

Posted in Detroit, The Blood, The Places with tags , , on October 20, 2009 by justwritecat

Yeah, not my real name.  Any vampire knows a name carries baggage.  If you’re a young enough vamp, a name means you can be traced back to before you changed, back to your human connections. That tie to your past, that yearning to go back to your life of old, can make you weak, careless.  And that won’t do. So for now, just call me Joe. 

As a human, I wore many hats.  Brother, son, doctor, boozer, lover.  All that changed the night I was turned against my will.  Well, maybe not all.  Still love scotch and women.  Especially the women.  But the rest…I had to leave behind.  For a time I kept up a medical practice, figured it would come in handy should a fresh supply of blood ever run low.  After one or five potentially embarassing…examinations, I decided to call that quits, too.  Still, a vampire’s gotta eat.  So I traded in one lab coat for another and began my time as a medical examiner.  That’s the thing about being what I am–you learn all the secrets of the dead real quick.  Comes in handy when you’re working a crime scene or performing an autopsy. 

Right now–I’m working a case in Detroit.  Tired, depressed and devoid of all hope–that’s Detroit in the here and now.  Me–I like to keep a bit sunnier disposition.  Always try to find that silver lining, even when it surrounds a pool of crimson.  But let me tell you, finding anyone worth tapping in this town’s proving difficult.  Not finding a source so much, as being able to stomach the taste.  Nothing worse that the taste of despair.  And I prefer things on the sweet side.  Still, there’s bound to be some dame out there who can keep me in the red.  And seeing as I’m getting a bit…hungry, maybe it’s time I headed out and found her.