“Hey dimples, did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?”
The bleached-blonde Oompa Loompa scrunched up her face, grimacing as if she’d just discovered a toe nail bobbing in her appletini.
“Pimples?” She slurred, hands flying up to her make-up spackled cheeks. “I don’t have pimples, you jerk!” She downed her drink, spun woozily, and stormed off into the nightclub gloom, tromping in her six inch heels with all the grace of a new-born reindeer.
Larry watched her sequin-shiny butt wiggle-waggle, until it wiggle-waggled out of sight. He sighed around his toothpick. That appletini cost him twenty four dollars.
Meh, he thought. Her loss.
Plenty of fish in the sea, and ol’ Larry was the biggest, baddest shark of them all. The spot was packed. The music was so loud he could feel it in the roots of his teeth; almost see it. Larry leaned against the bar, casually popping loose a button on his shirt the snickering bouncer had insisted was a blouse. Larry knew better. They didn’t put bad ass flames, and a rhinestone skull and crossbones on no ladies shirt.
He scanned the dance floor, absently picking at the zit in the corner of his mouth. Or was it a canker? Cold sore maybe? He gingerly patted his Rogaine damp comb-over, adjusted the roll of quarters in his pocket, and locked eyes on his next victim. A woman crammed into jeggings and a tube top that looked like it deflated for good about twenty years ago. She was standing at the edge of the dance floor, swaying drunkenly to the music, chewing gum a little more rudely than a cow chews cud. Because he was a classy guy, Larry ordered her a champale before sauntering over.
“Do you have a map? Cuz I keep getting lost in your eyes.”
She snatched the champale, chugged it, and shot Larry the universal sign for “talk to the hand.” Where this lady comes from people still do that. It was her left hand, and it had a milky cubic zirconia jammed on the ring finger beneath a chipped, zebra manicured talon.
“Sorry, bub,” she belched. “Murried.”
Larry smelt champale and onion dip. Mostly onion dip. It was going to take a whole lot more than that to stop him; the admission and the smell. He arched his unibrow, flashed a yellow smile, and winked at her.
She slapped him across the face. Hard. Hard enough that one of his colored contacts jarred loose and flew off into the strobe-lighty haze. His toothpick didn’t budge. Rubbing his jaw, Larry smirked at her playfully, one of his eyes still movie star blue, the other one suddenly porta-potty-water brown. He opened his mouth to say something legendary and deal closing, but she was already gone.
Moon walking back over to the bar, Larry coaxed his wallet out of his vacuum sealed white jeans. He ordered a Smurf on the rocks. The graphic tee slinging drinks must have flunked out of bar tending school, because he didn’t have the slightest clue how to make it. Larry settled for a beer.
The nightclub was jam packed, yet a dead zone existed around Larry for five feet in every direction. A stumpy gal in a frilly dress made the mistake of breaching it to order a drink. She avoided eye contact like he was Medusa. Larry gawked at her, up then down, letting his eyes linger on her round parts. He leaned in.
“Does your left eye hurt? Cuz you’ve been looking right all day.”
Slowly, the woman faced him. She was wearing an eye patch. For medical reasons probably, but throw a parrot on her shoulder and she could have been Blackbeard’s doppelganger. Before Larry could cram his foot down his throat any further, she splashed her freshly ordered drink in his face and stomped away.
Mmmm, Larry thought. Cranberry.
Sticky, blood colored booze drizzled down his blouse, staining his jeans, splashing onto his thrift store, alligator skin boots.
“Well that wasn’t very nice,” a voice whispered in his ear, sweet as honey.
Larry turned. A goddess stood next to him. Dark hair, dark skin, back-lit by seizure inducing strobes that made the whites of her eyes pop like fireworks. Her dress was fire truck red, the size of a handkerchief. All the best parts were poised to burst out. She smelt like vanilla, and fresh rain, and Christmas morning. With a surprisingly long nailed finger, she wiped a drop of liquor from Larry’s crooked nose. She tasted it. Larry struggled for breath.
“If I said your body was…good…..would you hold it….uh…somewhere?”
His brain stalled.
The woman’s laugh tinkled like an angels harp.
“My name’s Andromeda,” she said. “What’s yours?”
“Uh,” he drew a blank. A rolodex of scrambled pick-up lines spun through his head. “Larry?”
More laughter. Flirtatious laughter.
“This place is dead, Larry,” Andromeda said with a devilish smile. “You wanna get outta here?”
Larry yelled “YES!” like a man holding a winning lotto ticket. Before he knew it Andromeda was dragging him across the dance floor, passed slack jawed gawkers, out the door, and across the dark parking lot. Her grip was strong. Surprisingly strong. Somewhere between rock climber and incredible hulk strong.
Her jeep was parked at the back of the lot, shadow drenched under a burnt out streetlight. They climbed inside, but not before Larry discreetly swallowed an entire tin of breath mints. He waited roughly three quarters of a second before trying to jam his tongue down her throat.
“Wait,” Andromeda said. She pushed him away like he was made of paper. “I haven’t been entirely honest with you Larry. There’s something I need to tell you,”
“Okay, sugar lips,” Larry said. He didn’t have a clue what she was about to say, but Andromeda could have told him she was an intergalactic prostitute with a flaming case of space crabs, and it wouldn’t have made any difference. He shot a finger gun at her. “You can tell ol’ Larry anything.”
Andromeda reached up and pulled off an eye lash. Than the other one. Than her wig.
“My names not Andromeda,” she said in a suddenly lower octave. “It’s Andrew. I’m a dude.”
Larry took a deep breath. He shrugged.
“Well,” he said. “I suppose I haven’t been entirely honest either.”
Larry began to tremble. His one remaining contact lens fell out into his lap. His jaw dislocated. With a flutter of his lids, his eyes blinked from scab brown to glowing, feline orange. Crowns cracked and burst off his teeth like microwaved popcorn kernels, wafting five hundred year old morning breath out with them. His real teeth were tiny jagged barbs of broken glass, and he bared them at Andromeda with a smile. Cram a porcupine and a great white shark into a blender together, hit puree, and you’d get something resembling the contents of Larry’s mouth. Only less scary. Andromeda was frozen with fear. Larry leaned in, opened that demonic garbage disposal up wide.
“You maybe got a sister or sumthin?”
Andromeda thawed and fled screaming out into the night, leaving his/her sanity behind in the form of a urine puddle on the driver’s seat. Larry sighed. His shoulders slumped. He checked his watch. The club was open for another forty five minutes, and before Andromeda had appeared, an uptight librarian-type had been batting her eyelashes at him from the bathroom line. She looked like she just might be buying what ol’ Larry was selling. He got down to business, picking crowns off the dashboard and floor mats, jiggling them back in place over his fangs. With his real smile camouflaged, Larry stepped out of the car, busted out eight and half push-ups in the parking lot, adjusted the roll of quarters in his pocket, and headed back to the bar.
Finding love can be a tough.
Especially for a pacifist, vegetarian, hopelessly romantic Vampire.