[Sustentation] Chapter 4 - Kareem - Street Walker

Prostitution is the world’s oldest career. We’ve put men on the moon, built a space station, got phones that are basically small computers and technology still continues to move forward way quicker than anything else. We've got automated car washes, grocery stores, fast food and even surgeries. But through it all, you can’t replace a prostitute.  

Sure, there’s plenty of people willing to have sex with anyone, but you have to put in work. Plan a date, get to know the other person, but a prostitute, not so much. You play by their rules and you’ll have a good time. It might not be the best sex you ever have, and it might be a little dirty, but you’ll get off, and that’s what you’re after. Then again, there’s different levels. I’m sure a $40 prostitute on a street corner is a lot different than $1000 at some brothel. They’re judged for being sex workers, but they provide a valuable service to the communities they serve. The people that hire prostitutes are lonely, they aren’t all looking for sex. I saw a documentary about a woman who gets paid just to cuddle or hold hands with people, and another about a man who just has dinner with others. Loneliness probably kills more people than anything else, the silent killer. They should do a study on that. Sex is just a way for some people to feel as if they aren’t lonely. My first time was with a prostitute. I did a job, and for the first time ever I had some money in my pocket, but I didn't have anyone to spend it with. She offered me a good time; I didn’t know she meant sex. We got dinner; she took me to a tattoo shop and then we had sex. Sex for the first time was really enjoyable, but I was just glad to have someone to talk to. Her name was Jackie, but she pronounced it the same way they did on 227. I wonder what happened to her, I hope she’s doing well.

Tonight, I’m not lonely, I’m hungry. One of these women is going to be my dinner, but I don’t know which one. I hate feeding on prostitutes. Most of them have lives beyond prostitution. I’ve learned that some people do it because they love it, some do it for the money and others do it because they don’t see any other choices. I think that’s messed up. I don’t think sex work is bad or disgraceful, but the world does. It takes a lot to beat someone down so bad they see a job they hate and look down on as the only option. I think it’s wrong for anyone to feel that way, and those are still the people I prey on. They don’t question me and are willing to go along with whatever I want them to do. I’m sick, I wish I didn’t have to do this, but I don’t have a choice.  

I’m a Dhampir, only a half vampire. I don’t get to make thralls that just come feed me like Primeval vamps. I can’t fly like Talamaur, or heal near as fast as Nachzeher, and I don’t have the true immortality of Adze. Those are the big four and they’ve all got their little special features. I still get sunny days like today, I don’t have to feed nearly as often and if I ever decide I want kids, it’s as simple as insert rod into slot.

“Yo,” I say quietly out my car window to draw the attention of a blonde woman.

I can smell her; she doesn’t clean between customers. Her extensions are somewhat ragged, but she doesn’t look to be abused by a pimp or anyone else. She’s got all the signs of the kind of person I’m looking for.  

“Hey honey what’s going on.”

“Just seeing what you’re trying to get into.”

“You’re a little young aren’t you,” she smiles, good teeth, no drugs.

“I just look young, you want to see some ID?”

“I’ll take your word for it handsome.”

“So you trying to get out of here.”

“Where to?”

“Warehouse, right off the avenue.”

“Where the old factory used to be?”

“Yeah, that’s the one. You know it?”

“Yeah, I know the spot.”

“Cool.”

“What are you trying to do?”

“A little this, and a little that.”

“You got any cash.”

“I got money,” I flash a bankroll of cash.

“I’ll meet you over there,” she says.

I park in the shade, under an awning where semi-trucks would have unloaded. Nobody can really see the car but she finds it right away. I suppose I’m not the first person to bring her around here. She gets in the car and asks what’s the plan. I press the button to lean my seat back, and unbutton my pants. She’s not rookie, she knows what I want.

Her mouth is dry, but her technique is good. It doesn’t take long for my blood to flow south. She takes her head as far down as she can go. I stroke her hair as she continues to work. Part of me is ashamed of what I’m going to do to her this afternoon. That’s the human part of me, killing is wrong unless it’s in self-defense. I know that. The vampire part of me knows different, killing is part of survival. It’s just like killing and eating a deer. It feels different because the deer has a face like my own.  

She works harder, adding hands to the equation. My attention comes back to her, and the current moment. I always have a problem keeping it up when I’m going to kill her. I’ve never been able to finish in these situations. I’m not a serial killer who gets off on the kill. She’s annoyed, some women have really pulled out all the tricks.

“Hey,” I put my hand under her chin and lift her. “It’s cool, don’t worry about it.”

“You a queer? Just testing the waters? You’re too young to be struggling to keep it hard. Should be solid like a steel beam.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” she uses a napkin from above the visor to clean my up. “Hey, how much do I owe you?”

“$40 and we’ll call it even.”

“Here’s $60,” I hand her three twenties.

“Thanks, you mind giving me a ride back.”  

“Nah, it’s not a problem. I’m sure you got family to get back too.”

“It’s just me and my dog,” I guess that’s one less thing to feel bad about.

I move my seat back to normal and star the car before fiddling with the radio station to stall for time. This is the part I always feel bad about. I mumble an apology under my breath which leaves her confused. Before she can ask what I said I’ve already covered her mouth and snapped her neck. At least it was quick, and she didn’t see it coming. I don’t have time to mourn before the blood goes bad. I take off my shirt and pants. I’ve always been a sloppy drinker, just something I don’t have control of. My mouth could never form that vacuum like seal other vampires do. Another sign that I’m defective. I don’t always undress, but I have somewhere to be this evening. I rip her leggings and bite into her thigh. The femoral artery is my favorite place to feed from, the blood is always the warmest. The smell of semen, fills my nose as I feed and I remember she wasn’t the cleanest of prostitutes. A neck probably would have been better in this case, but I was just eager for the whole thing to be over with.

The world around me slowly becomes quieter, the smells aren’t as strong and the sunlight isn’t as bright. My senses aren’t dulled by taking in blood, but they’re fine-tuned. I can still hear, smell, see and sense everything I could before, but now I have control. I’ve finally had my fill, and her body is turning pale from the blood loss.  

Usually, I’d get rid of the body, but I don’t have time. For now, I’ll put her in the trunk and then drop her off in my shed for storage. Not the best idea to store murder victims in your house, but it won’t be for long. I drop her onto the sheets in my trunk and wrap her up tight before cleaning the spilled blood from my passenger seat. Finally, I put my clothes back on and leave as if nothing happened. I don’t have a name for her; I didn’t want one. I just have a face for her, and now it’ll be forever burned into my memory like so many before her.  

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