I notice her immediately, not because she is prettier than the others, but because she seems to need me as much as I need her. Where she seeks attention, I seek her essence… her life force.
The thrill of spending the evening with a stranger entices her. A gaze that penetrates her soul, makes her stomach flutter. It’s hard for her to resist. Maybe she’s lonely, tired of being the only single girl in her circle. Or maybe her boyfriend neglects her and she seeks recognition in all the wrong places.
Doesn’t matter, really. Her story is irrelevant. What matters is her blood. The scent emanating from her skin. The flavor of it as it flows freely from her veins onto my tongue. This one is particularly sweet with just a hint of bitter at the very end. From the first sip, I savor the oxygen, the water, the minerals flowing through her body… nutrients I no longer need, at least not in the way she needs them. I know what she had to drink tonight, the alcohol molecules riding along with her bloodstream, dulling her sense of right and wrong. Wise and foolish.
I taste her appetite for attention, her hunger for validation. Her ache for her life to extend beyond the mundane. It comes through as a metallic aftertaste that lingers on my tongue. And just as her light begins to fade, I taste her regret. The salty notes on my palate turn much heavier as her fear takes over. Her heart rate elevates; I’m draining her too quickly. Doesn’t stop the panic though. The overwhelming sense that there’s no way out of this. And her blood tastes thicker… more acidic…
And then the release. The blood thins as she realizes her thirst for danger and adventure comes at too high a cost.
I leave her there, on the bench where I drained her. Someone will find her. They don’t really know or understand what happened, but they will make up a story to rationalize what they see before them. Animal attack. Accident. Girls disappearing or ending up dead because of a bad decision. She’s one of many who will be forgotten after a while.
But not by me. I remember each one I meet.