A Tale Of Two Farewells

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    Judith – Part I

    Three nights.

    Three nights of this endless tangle of limbs, red smears, a hand lost in a tuft of dark hair, a chorus of wailing, panting, fang striking fang – the symphony of Dante’s second circle. Judith was pressed between two men, someone’s teeth in her breast, her fingers lazily anchored around a cock, legs spread, a greasy tumble of blonde hair moving between her thighs.

    There were six of them. Men and women alike.

    She had sucked and fucked each one.

    All dead.

    All unliving refugees of NYC.

    Two were…like herself. Baali blood putrefying in their veins, newly and recklessly made with no name to give themselves. She could have explained, but even a third of what she could tell them would not save them from the stake or the sun, both of which they were likely bound for. The other four were an uneven mix of Toreador and Brujah. Not one was even a year into unlife, by blows of the invaders and invaded, all given this dark gift in futility.

    They came together on the ship. Each one crammed into their own pathetic hiding spot; a crate, a barrell, torporing under the crackle of a tarp, brine burning their skin in the hull. She was no different. She had run just the same. She had stolen over longer distances with less currency for her children but there were comforts she could afford herself if dared. She did not dare this time.

    The sense, that evil hollow breath always at her ear, had told her this much. No, it was better to endure this journey wretchedly and with the wretched like herself, unseen, with faces whom she did not know and who would not survive long enough to recall her own.

    How it came to this…

    They were wary of each other at first, each having hoped they were alone in cold, stark hull of the Carrion Doe, a frightful name for its frightful cargo. After a few nights there was an uneasy tolerance of the other, another few and there was talking, a few more and they were now the most intimate of companions. There is the smallest streak of opportunity, Judith had found, in freshly forged alliances born of necessity and not entirely consensual, where there was genuine trust. Too young and uncertain to risk dominance, too tired of war to fight, they worked together, taking turns to ration out a crew member or two, never overly greedily, until they were all well fed and content. That was the first night it happened. Bereft of escape, in a metal prison, with nights and nights of the black Atlantic rolling beneath them, they did with each other what they did. It was not entirely boredom, or even that strange new essence for senseless debauchery that ever leached into the air from Judith’s presence but a lack of reasons for why not. At any moment, they could be discovered, destroyed, staked, tossed over the railings, or devoured by older, hungrier predators who perhaps were elsewhere unseen aboard the ship. They had run from the apocalypse. Why should it not follow them here?

    And so it started with a joke. Snatch the drunk, Afonso, they thought they heard him called, who often worked below deck and was always drinking himself into a stupor, stumbling into perilous places. They’d almost killed him the first night. The second, the first of this infernal love-in, they did. Blood drunk, imbibing by proxy the spirits in his veins, it began swiftly and with little grace.

    At first, it was the women, Judith finding little discomfort in this, some part of her relishing the wild cat-calling of the men as they swapped bloody tongues. She had no particular taste for her own sex, it was simply that she had been a whore, and a good one. It was the most easy fantasy of a John’s to fulfill and the production was cheap with an inflated reward. But then they were shrugging out of their cloths, the animal stirring, the mechanisms of pleasure not entirely bound to blood still well oiled and grinding for vampires too young to have forgotten they were once alive.

    There is line, a very red one, that when crossed abandons reason and simply enjoys.

    When she and the blonde had their fill of each other, fingers and tongues having explored and exploited a climax from every viable orifice, they found they were no longer alone. Soon she found herself pressed against a crate, rough wood sanding her flesh bloody as the fat lick, a man with an overhung belly, bloated with blood, and a prick like a soda-bottle, fucked her clumsily. In life, he had been a man with two much cock and no proper idea of what to do with it, in death, with a creature whose flesh easily mended, it was of little consequence. And eventually it did not matter who she felt inside of her, who fangs seeking what veins, or what manner of genitals her tongue caressed – it was just a serpentine churning of blood and flesh, each as sweet as the other.

    For three nights.

    There were no words, everyone recklessly falling into torpor entangled with another.

    On the fourth, the distrust finally came.

    There had been an unequal exchange of blood, Judith knew herself to be the blame and by rights all should be fully bonded to the other but there was a silent and strange incongruence now. They could be thin blooded or perhaps the practice had been nullified by the constant exchange of the same fluids. Whatever it was, two of the women now woke with shame in their eyes, the men saw the thinness of the veins and felt cheated of something. Again, there were no words, for they had risen again, still whole and with now fewer miles ahead of them.

    Bacchic origies find ennui polluting their revelry when the wine is low and death is not so close at hand as once thought.

    Judith collected what remained of her clothes, stiff with blood, and tossed them overboard, stealing into a washroom and scrubbing the red from her flesh. She made a crude stola of a laundered bedsheet and wordlessly went back to her box.

    Her box.

    She remembered now, cold purpose slowly replacing the dull pulses of pleasure still hammering between her legs. When she put her fingers on the lid it instantly sobered her. She turned from it and slipped up-deck, gleaning what she could about their destination and satisfied return to the box. The others were gone, hidden in their own hovels, and she did not look for them.

    She never knew their names and when she climbed inside the box, and fastened each of the many locks she had placed there, slipped into torpor and no longer cared.

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