I've been in a lot of small bars in my time, and I usually know what to expect, because they are the same no matter where you go: the smell of stale smoke and old beer mixed with a kind of cheap disinfectant, a couple of dimly-lit pool tables with a decade or two of stains from spilled drinks and the occasional fistfight, and the jukebox filled with a mix of country and pop-rock about five years out of date. It's kind of comforting in a weird way, because you can always feel a little bit at home.
This one was different. It was a tangible feeling as soon as I walked in the door-- the first thing that hit me was the smell, which wasn't stale at all, but a kind of pleasant, woodsy musk mixed with something else, something deeper and darker and indescribable. The music was next, a tribal-sounding dance mix that was intense and hypnotic, and a dance floor that was packed with a swarm of flesh, bodies writhing in a sweaty frenzy; I could feel the heat their bodies generated from several feet away as I stood at the bar and watched.
The barman gave me a beer, a local brand I hadn't heard of before, but it was ice-cold and tasty, and before long I had another, and another.
I noticed that the people on the dance floor weren't your usual pot-bellied hicks, but they all seemed to have an animal grace about them, like they all sensed each other and were moving around each other without actually touching. It looked almost like some kind of game, like the goal was to see how close you could get without actually touching flesh to flesh.
She wasn't beautiful when I saw her. Her nose was maybe a little bit too long, and her eyebrows were a little bit too pronounced, but her body was unbelievable. She was thin and lithe and muscular, and the dress that she wore accentuated every curve and line of her body, and when she looked at me, her eyes were a frosty ice-blue that just locked on like a missile.
She walked up to me and gestured, and I caught a faint whiff of perfume, the same dark stuff that I first noticed when I walked in, and suddenly I was on the dance floor with her, our eyes locked together, our bodies moving to the same hypnotic trance beat, our bodies narrowly missing each other in ways that couldn't be accidental.
Just let go was a voice in the back of my head, and I let the beat wash over me, the heat from a hundred bodies filling me with an urgency that went beyond sex and into raw need, and filled me with the sense of everyone in the room. I could feel everyone around me, and knew where ever my body would be, there would be just enough space for it and no more, and I watched the eyes of the beauty in front of me fill with a hunger that I knew and felt as intensely as she did, and I wanted nothing more than to touch her.
And I did. I reached out to her, and pulled her body into mine and she stiffened, then relaxed. And I sensed more than saw the crowd slowly pull away from us as we danced together, our bodies moving as one unit, flesh touching flesh and electricity coursing through our bodies. We became the music, it filled us, and I watched as her eyes blazed blue fire and bored into my soul.
I heard her voice in my ear. "You have chosen to touch me."
"Yes," I said, though I could hardly form sounds.
"Of your own free will."
She pulled me closer and kissed me with a ferociousness that almost frightened me, like she wanted to devour me, to be inside my body. At that moment, I wanted her more than anything else in the world. My head was spinning and I could feel her on me, sense every inch of her flesh, and the heat of our skin where we were touching.
Everything kind of blurred together at that point, and all I remember is being back in the hotel room with some of the most passionate and intense lovemaking I had ever experienced. I had never let myself go so completely like that. I remeber kissing and licking and biting and scratching and screams of pleasure mingled with pain and taste and smell and touch...
I awoke this morning with a headache and a metallic taste in my mouth. I couldn't open my eyes because of something wet and sticky on my face, and when I wiped it off with my hand, I recognized the smell of blood.
I sat up and slammed my eyes open. There was blood everywhere. The bedsheets were coated, and my hands were a bright red.
And she was gone.
I felt the gorge rising in my throat, and ran to the bathroom just in time to spew all over the toilet, chunks of meat, blood, and bits of what looked like bone.
I vomited over and over, until there was nothing left coming out, and I collapsed into the mess on the floor.
It was beginning to look like it was going to be a bad day.