I met my old friend Tom at an all-night bar I’d never been to before. He’d said, “Come before midnight on Friday, and we’ll drink and talk till we drop dead.” I found him sitting at a table for two, opposite the mahogany long-bar. Relishing an expensive malt, we chatted about work, women, and adventures since we last saw each other a year ago. The place was packed with trendy women and men, all eyeing each other and looking for a good catch.
Shortly after midnight, a rare beauty walked in and the spotlight of every eye lit her like an actress on stage. The other women disappeared into the void, as her stilettos clacked against the wooden floor in tune with the beat of the soft music. Dressed in black, fishnet tights, a leather mini-skirt, and a shawl wrapped around her, she strolled towards the only empty seat at the long-bar with a reserved sign. Slipping off the shawl, she tied it around her narrow waist, like a belly dancer, before settling on the stool.
“Who’s she?” I asked Tom.
“Désirée. They say she’s an actress, but I’ve never seen her in a play or in a movie.”
“Maybe she’s a chorus girl.”
“Who knows?” Tom grimaced. “Perhaps she shape-shifts after midnight and looks for prey here. She talks to the barman as men drool over her. If she likes someone, she asks them to dance with her, then she chooses one and takes him home.”
“Have you ever?”
“I’d be terrified I might become a victim.” Tom fingered the rim of his glass. “I’ve seen her moves too many times. I just enjoy watching how men gawk at her fishnet stockings.”
“I must see her up close.”
“Do you dare?”
“Just be careful.” Tom warned. “Though I’ll keep an eye on you.”
By this time, the crowd of men around Désirée had completely blocked her from my view like a wall of bodyguards protecting a celebrity. Thinking it would be difficult to ease my way through the mass of bodies in heat, I decided to make a horizontal approach from the other end of the bar. I proceeded slowly behind the seated and standing customers, trying not to swing too far from the fountain of intoxication. Stopping to order a drink, I chatted to a couple of guys and women, while heading for my target. As I did, I caught snatches of conversation.
“She’ll chose someone and take him home tonight.”
“Not sure about that. The word is no one ever sees the men she leaves with again.”
“A myth, probably. Is she a vampire? Perhaps, she ties them to a pole and takes her pick at random.”
“Who knows? It’s a mystery.”
About a couple of paces away from Désirée, I paused to sip my drink and had a good look at her. Dark hair cascaded down the shoulders of her long-sleeved, black t-shirt. Her slim fingers caressed the stem of a champagne flute while she spoke to the young man next to her.
Then, she turned and our eyes met. A smoky, hazel gaze that pulled me into its depths. Awakening from her spell, I made my approach and stood in front of her. The deep V of her body-hugging shirt revealed a generous bosom and a perfect ivory complexion.
“Désirée, I’d like to dance with you, but I’m lame.”
She looked at me, then grabbed me by the lapels of my jacket and pulled me towards her. Her spicy perfume that hinted of cinnamon, apples, and cloves inebriating me for a second, I came to my senses.
“Désirée,” I whispered in her ear, “I desire you, but I love my life more.”
She pushed me away and glared at me. I could see revenge and anger clouding her hazel gaze, as she licked her rosy lips with a snaky tongue. She blew invisible smoke from an electronic cigarette, and turning her back to me, resumed her conversation with the young man next to her.
Walking away from the chain-gang around her was easy. I sipped my Bloody Mary, being careful not to spill it on my white shirt.
“What’s with the limp?” Tom asked.
“An act to save my life.”
Sebnem E. Sanders is a native of Istanbul, Turkey. Currently she lives on the eastern shores of the Southern Aegean where she dreams and writes Flash Fiction and Flash Poesy, as well as longer works of fiction. Her flash stories have appeared in the Harper Collins Authonomy Blog, The Drabble, Sick Lit Magazine, Twisted Sister Lit Mag, Spelk Fiction, The Bosphorus Review of Books, Three Drops from the Cauldron, The Rye Whiskey Review, CarpeArte Journal, and Yellow Mama Webzine, as well as two anthologies: Paws and Claws and One Million Project, Thriller Anthology. She has a completed manuscript, The Child of Heaven and two works in progress, The Child of Passion and The Lost Child. Her collection of short and flash fiction stories, Ripples on the Pond, was published in December 2017. More information can be found at her website where she publishes some of her work: https://sebnemsanders.wordpress.com/