Authors: R. M. Gilmore
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Horror, #Occult, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Crime, #Murder, #Supernatural, #Vampires
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Three months ago, the first corpse was found up north in the outskirts of Fresno. Slashes at the wrists and missing blood made everyone raise their brows. Since then, six more bodies have been discovered; all female, all exsanguinated. Three more girls were found in or around Fresno, two turned up just outside of Bakersfield, and the last was found right here in good ol' Los Angeles, making it body number seven and a ‘vampire’ in my backyard.
To no surprise, the media glommed onto the tragedy dubbing it the
. These murders have had the biggest West Coast media coverage since that football player slaughtered his wife and some waiter. Oh, sorry, ‘allegedly’! I make my living as a journalist, mostly freelance, but since the media has freaked over these recent murders that slightly resemble a ‘vampire attack’, I’ve decided to do some digging into the case and write my first true crime novel.
Seeing as though these murders have yet to be solved and the case come to a non-climactic end, I obviously have very little basis for a best seller, but I've got to start somewhere. The way I see it, the cops are all sitting around with their thumbs in their asses waiting for clues to fall into their ever expanding laps. My plan is to have a little chat with some local vampire kids. I figure I’ll get more insight into the world the media has so easily clung to as the culprit of these crimes, in one night than all of the counties upstanding police force have in three months. Or, I'll just be bombarded with a bunch of dip shits in black lipstick and plastic teeth who read way too much Anne Rice and don't know squat. Either way, I have a premise for a book. I'm thinking either “When Vampires Attack” or “Vamp Kids: Kill 'em All!” A best seller either way.
As long as I can keep my head on straight and my blood where it belongs I’ll be alright.
Let’s face it, naked dead bitches are turning up missing blood, there’s no way this’ll end pretty
A well paid source let it slip during a very early morning phone call that a garbage man had stumbled upon the naked corpse of a young female in an alley near Bonita Terrace this morning. This would be the seventh and latest victim of the so-called Vampire Massacres. According to the many flapping jaws, the latest dead girl was a stripper that worked at a seedy little joint in the badlands of West Hollywood called Le Pussy Cat. If putting the “Le” in the title was supposed to make it classy, it wasn’t working. After a thorough check of the morning news, I was certain this tidbit of information hadn’t made its way to the masses just yet.
In hopes that my favorite homicide detective will be there just dying to let me know all the dirty little details, I’m hauling my chunky ass to that crime scene and pronto. Okay, so I usually have to beg, steal, and borrow to get anything out of him, but in the long run, it's usually a win-win.
Squeezing into a pair of jeans and worn-in Converse, I whipped my dark, wild hair up into a ponytail and called it a day. I figure, if in the event
detective isn't investigating this particular crime scene, I'd better not look like part of the swarming vultures waiting with pens and microphones in hand. I’ve discovered in the last four years as a professional journalist, only witless, toothless, I-didn't-really-see-nothin'-but-I-wanna-be-famous-yokels, actually talk to the media. On the other hand, people love to talk to each other. They enjoy revealing what they know and what they saw to others in their community. Trust me, it’s damn near pointless to interrupt the hard working police from their standing-around-doing-nothing-duty to ask a few questions.
I grabbed my purse, which is really just a big pocket for my money, keys, and phone. As I did, I caught a glimpse of the scattered mail on the table by my front door. On the very top was my most delinquent bill, open and screaming at me to pay it. College isn’t cheap and now, three years after graduation, I’m faced with the repayment of over twenty thousand dollars’ worth of student loans. I groaned at the thought of extreme debt and shoved the damn thing in my purse. At that, I threw my shades on and I was out the door.
My piece of shit door has been busted since the day I moved in so it takes me a while to get it locked up. I have to pull on the knob while I turn the deadbolt over. It’s such a pain in the ass, but after a full minute, and a few choice words; success! Now, down a flight of quite treacherous stairs, past one barking dog, and under a very low tree branch just over the last step, which I have complained about twelve times now to no avail, I emerge onto the city street.
Damn you sun. Vampires in Sunny California? My ass.
It's May, so it's not quite sweltering yet but the seats in my Geo Metro were close to scalding. Living in a tiny quad-plex provides very little parking, so nine times out of ten, I have to park on the street, which provides no shade. I turned the key and the engine fired right up. Trusty old piece of crap, I'll give it that much. The A/C, on the other hand, not so much. I cranked the dial over to “blasting” and waited while the air flowing from the vents slowly moved from broiling, to tepid, to bearable. Five minutes later, I was finally pulling away from the curb near my apartment on my way to see a man about a dead girl.
The air in my car was finally cooling my skin as I found an empty spot of curb on Hillcrest Avenue to lean my two door hatchback against. I was about a block down from all the action, but I could clearly see the crowd. I got out of the car and let my soft soled shoes meander across the cracked pavement towards the horde of people corralled on the safe side of the yellow tape.
When I finally got close enough to see the real action, I was thwarted by some crazy insanely tall people, although being only five-foot four, most people are taller than me. I had to wriggle my way between concerned neighbors and your usual gawkers. Once I got close enough to touch the police line, I scanned the scene for my friend on the force. I use the word
loosely. A more accurate statement would be
. At least, that’s what we’ve been shooting for anyway. Alright, that’s what I’ve been shooting for.
As per usual
, there were a handful of newbie officers guarding the perimeter trying to look very official. Behind them were a couple of people looking behind a blue dumpster covered in graffiti and dried sludge. They wore surgical gloves, and black shirts with “FORENSICS” in bright yellow on the back; no badges, just laminates. There was no naked dead girl to be seen, so I assumed they’d already hauled her away.
The surprisingly overweight officer standing slightly to my left finally moved revealing a police cruiser about forty feet away where two men wearing shirts and ties were talking and smiling: obviously detectives. One of the men was short and round, kind of like Santa. His hair cut so short against his head, I could see the red of a sunburn showing through on his scalp and his nonexistent chin disappeared into a high white collar. Not my guy. The other was tall and largely shaped, like a football player not like a fat guy. With perfectly cut and expertly combed medium brown hair. I watched him talk and smile. I liked his smile; it made the corners of his beautiful aquamarine eyes crinkle up just a little. This was Detective Michael Petersen. My only trustworthy and usually generous inside-man. Who also just so happens to have seen me naked on more than one occasion. It was a thing.
Waving your hands about and yelling, ‘Hey Mike’, is not the way to go about this one Dylan. Think of something else.
I call myself by name when I talk in my own head. I also give excellent advice. Usually.
I stood there for a moment, purposely looking confused and scared. It didn't take long before I had an officer hovering over me. The damsel in distress act works every time.
“Is there something the matter, Miss?” Flapped the overweight officer who’d been blocking my view only moments ago.
“Um...yes. It's just that...I saw that woman last night. I'm not sure what kind of information I can provide, but do
think I should speak to a detective?” I gave him my best doe-eyed look.
“Wait right here for just a sec', alright?” He looked panicked, not sure who to go to about this.
Lucked out with a newbie. Score.
I nodded once before he spun around on his heel and headed off toward my detective. I watched as he explained what he had just heard. I watched as both detectives looked over and around the large uniform to find me. Then I watched as Mike, Detective Petersen, realized who I was, rolled his eyes, and gave the “I'll handle this” nod to the others standing around him. He briskly walked my way, giving me the stink eye the entire time.
Oh, this is going to be so much fun.
“What?” he asked abruptly, trying to intimidate me with his six-foot three bulky build.
“Such hostility, Mike. Did we not get our Wheaties this morning?”
“Cut the bitch act, Dylan, I’m in no mood to banter with you today.” He was serious.
Cut the shit or lose out, idiot.
“You know why I'm here. What can you give me?” I looked at him as sincerely as I possibly could for a second, then finished it up with a crooked smile.
“I dunno...what can you give
?” He smiled too, adding a dirty little wink at the end. It drives me nuts when he acts as though I might actually sleep with him at this point, but desperate is as desperate does.
“Nothing, right now. It's hot and your friends are watching,” I said, nodding toward our own personal audience. He glanced behind him to see the other detective and the uniform staring at us from their spot at the cruiser. “I just want to know if she’s girl number seven...can you tell me that?” He paused and stared, the muscles in his jaw moved letting me know he really wasn’t in the mood for me and my shit. “Look, off the record. I’m not even working on a story. Just getting my facts together. Swear.” Sort of.
Relenting, he finally sighed and let it spill. “A body turned up behind that dumpster early this morning. We are almost certain she lived in these apartments. There was a small cut on her neck and inner thigh. Apparently her clothing was only partially removed” This was shocking, not only because of her career choice, but because she was the only one left that way.
“Is she 'The Counts' latest victim?” I asked with a light chuckle.
“You really have no heart do you?” I opened my mouth to rebut, but he continued before I could answer that. “We can't be sure until we get the M.E.’s report back. We didn't find any obvious traces of blood in the area, but we need to know if she has any left or not to be sure.”
“You think maybe they were interrupted? That would explain why she still had some clothes on. Although, I’d always assumed the clothes were removed ante mortem. It’d make sense that the clothes need to be taken off in order to...perform...the blood draining,” I said indifferently.
“We'll know more once all of the evidence is processed. As of right now, we can’t officially say that this girl was the seventh victim. But, Dylan, off the record, watch your neck. There are vampires roaming the streets of Los Angeles.” He flashed a halfhearted smirk, turned, and walked away.
I stood for a minute more watching the police do their work, listening to the murmuring speculation of the crowd behind me. It was starting to get really hot standing out in the open sun. Sweat began to drip down the backs of my legs.
Ugh, fuck jeans
I had gotten what I came for
. It was hot, and all these people were making me nervous. I turned slowly, so as not to slam into the nosy person standing directly behind me. I had to push my way back out of the herd of people pressed in around me. After a few elbows and snide remarks, I was out of the thick of it and headed back to the sanctuary of my car. I opened the door and waited for a second to let the hot air trapped inside waft out. I plopped down into the seat, instantly regretting it as the heat soaked through my jeans and burned my skin. I quickly turned the car on and waited for the A/C to kick in. Once the air was cool enough, I shut my door and headed back home.
On the way home I began processing the events that had just transpired. I thought of the blue dumpster, the alley it was parked in, and what Mike had said about the girl being partially dressed. Ugh stupid Mike, “Oh watch your neck there's vampires in L.A.”.
’s no such thing as vampires.