[Sustentation] Chapter 3 - Kareem - Art of Love

Anton Chigur is a figment of Sheriff Bell’s imagination. As the credits roll, I can’t help but believe that was a theory someone just made up because they were bored. Sure, there’s proof, but it isn’t so much proof that it can’t be denied. There really isn’t a reason to make the film any more than it already is. Sometimes, a good film is just a good film. If there is any real meaning to the story it is that violence is going to come no matter what and there is no real justice. Being a good person doesn’t mean you get to have an easy life and being bad doesn’t mean you lose. None of the theories add or subtract from the real message of the film.

The smell of cheap cologne fills my head and I pick up the sounds of timid shuffling feet. That means Wesley is here. The hardest part of adjusting to a new roommate for me is that I hear and smell everything. That’s why The Orc had to go. There’s probably some old school Orc stronghold in the woods somewhere he could live in, but if you’re living in a city, then you need to bathe. The cheap cologne is a pain but at least he doesn’t wear a lot of it and he doesn’t smell like garbage. That’s a plus.

I need to go out tonight, I haven’t fed in almost two weeks. I’ve been surviving on blood treats, but I’m low on those and it won’t work forever. I’ll just hit a night club tonight, that’ll be the easiest way to deal with it tonight.

Blood, blood, blood, why are all of my nice clothes covered in blood? I can’t make Wesley wash clothes. He’d be suspicious about the blood. That lie two weeks ago about the rave was stupid. I should have said I was at an animal rights protest or something, but I didn’t expect him to ask and I couldn’t think fast enough. None of my previous roommates have been so nosey, then here he comes rattling off forty-seven questions every time I see him. He’s got cheap rent and a place to stay, all he has to do is some basic cleaning. The ad said repairs, but there’s not even a lot of repairs to do. I honestly don’t need to keep him around. He can be disposed of. The only reason I take roommates is for the housekeeping, and I can find another person taking the same deal.  

I settle on a pair of black high top air forces, some olive cargo pants and a black long sleeve shirt. Simple, but with a silver chain and a few rings, it’s enough to get me in any club around here. I stand out but not enough that I look like a potential problem. It’s good enough that people will remember seeing me, but I can vanish without being traced as well. I make sure to grab a towel for later and I’m good to go.

“Where are you going,” Wesley asks as I exit the basement into the kitchen.

“Out.”

“Where to?”

“Doesn’t matter.”

“Want some company.”

“Nope.”

“Want to eat first? I’m making burgers,” here come all his questions.

“Pass.”

“How about we watch a movie together?”

“Just told you I was going out.”

“It doesn’t have to be tonight.”

“Then ask me later.”

“It wouldn’t kill you to let a little kindness into your heart.”

“It might, you don’t know that.”

“Do you have a witty comeback for everything?”

“Nope,” I grab my keys from the counter and head towards the front door.

“Have a good night”

“Yeah, you too.”

 Nobody ever looks twice at an old Ford Taurus. It's not an exceptionally nice or uncommon car. Again, it’s a car chosen for function, not design. I’m not smart, but I know how to go unnoticed and how to survive. That’s why I don’t mind driving around until I find the right club for tonight. Sanity has too many people to move around effectively. Ragdoll is almost empty, just showing my face there will make sure people remember me. But Club Cobalt, is just right. Enough people that nobody will notice a few missing and small enough that one or two people can remember seeing me. I park three blocks away and walk to the door. A good way to avoid the ridiculous price of parking and if things go bad, a little vampiric speed and nobody knows where I went.

I’m only half vampire, I get most of the strengths, and none of the weaknesses. I’m not as strong as a pure blood vampire, but most people wouldn’t match up. Not as fast, but I can move faster than most people can see for a few minutes before I’m tired. I don’t heal as fast, but it takes a lot to hurt me. I’m a night person, but sunlight doesn’t bother me. I also don’t need to feed on blood as much, I can get by on edible blood snacks, regular food and stored blood for about two weeks before I need fresh blood. I wish I was this was the movie Blade sometimes. I don’t really have any reason to hunt other vampires, but I’d love to just take a serum every now and then so I didn’t have to hunt. Sadly, that’s not the world I live in, so I do what I have to.

I hate clubs, the music is way too loud for normal people, but with my hearing, it can be disoriented. I’m not wasting any more time here than I need to. I order a Jack and coke at the bar; it’ll make it seem as if I’ve been here for a while as I move through the crowd. I know what I’m looking for. A woman, not necessarily alone, but bored with being here. If she’s annoyed, she’ll be hard to talk to and not responsive to me. If she’s bored, she’ll just be excited that someone is paying her attention. It doesn't take long for me to find someone. She's sitting alone at a table, but there are multiple drinks meaning her friends are probably out dancing and she's in charge of watching the purses and drinks. She isn't doing that, instead she's scrolling through her phone, probably looking at social media. Her face isn't ugly, but she's not Angela Bassett either. She's a little thinner than the women I normally go after, but I can live with it.  

"You busy," I initiate the conversation.

"No."

"Would you mind if I sat here."

"Yes, these are my friends' seats."

"Then would you mind if I stood here while we talked?"

"I don't feel like talking."

"Alright."

I don't bother continuing the conversation. I'm not going to harass her for her blood, there's other women here tonight. Rejecting me saved her life, so I can't be mad at her. I'll just move on and try someone else. But the options are slim tonight. Most people are here in groups, but there are more men than women. I hate that. When there's more men than women, fights tend to break out over the women available. I don't like fighting. Before I can find my next potential a fight breaks out. I knew this was bound to happen. The music stops and lights come up as security intervenes, but the night is over for me. Everyone will be too on edge with adrenaline for me to take anyone home now. A few others make their way outside the club at the same time as I do. I hang around for a moment and watch as the fight participants are brought outside. 

More people follow, each seems to have assembled their own group of friends. Almost as if on cue someone fires a gun into the air and people scatter throughout the parking lot. For a moment I contemplate just snatching someone in the chaos, but that's never been my style. I help a woman to her feet as she falls in the chaos. It doesn't absolve what I'm going to do later tonight, but it makes me feel a little better. I hear the sirens in the distance before anyone else does. 

The entire area is going to be on high alert tonight. I'll need to postpone my feeding for another day. Anything I do around here will cause too much attention and by the time I get to the other side of the city it'll be too late to do anything else. I might go on the rare morning hunt tomorrow.

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