The early morning sun caressed her almost naked body as she started to open her eyes. Her vision blurry, it took a moment for the room to take form. The dark corners were the first to appear, then the pile of clothes on the floor between the door and the bed she was lying in. Then, a hairy leg that poked from under the duvet. She held her head as last night’s events slowly appeared in front of her closed eyes. Taxi, pub, cider, club, loud music, too many shots, a cute guy with a wine stain on his shirt and a diamond in his mouth. Slow dancing, bodies pressing together, sweat, more drinks. Then, another taxi, deep kisses, hands all over, stumbling into a flat, hurried undressing, a number of different poses, more sweat, a total blackout. She crawled out of the bed slowly and picked the first piece of clothing from the floor on her way to the bathroom. The sun had climbed higher as she leaned against the sink and looked herself in the mirror. Her dried mascara framed her eyes and nose, and what used to be her lipstick looked more like some sort of a rash. After she had washed her face, she looked herself again and smiled. “Cute”, she whispered to her reflection and grabbed her phone that she had taken with her to the bathroom with the intent of messaging her friend about the eventful night. Then, a sudden knock on the bathroom door interrupted her train of thought. “Hey… you… umm, sexy lady… come back to bed! I promised you something special if you stay for the night”, a male voice said on the other side of the locked door. She wasn’t sure, but she thought that it was the sweet-talking dude from the nightclub. “Sure… but first, let me take a selfie.”
The man’s clock radio showed “3:00 AM” when he suddenly woke up from a nightmare. “What? I’m sure I heard someone scream…” the man mumbled as he adjusted his pillow and rested his head against it again. Just as he was slowly sinking back into the comforting arms of deep sleep, the same scream-like sound woke him up again. “Holy shit!” he exclaimed. “This time I’m sure the sound was real.” The man got up and looked out of his bedroom window, trying to locate the source of the sound. He could only see his street, resting in the rainy October night completely silent, and the empty, abandoned house across the street. “I must have imagined it. No one has lived in that house for years…” the man thought to himself and turned to go back to bed. Then the screeching sound filled his head again, this time so loud that the man had to kneel down and hold onto his head. Knowing that it was probably his dumbest idea, the man dressed up and hurried to the house across the street. “Maybe some local psycho is using the house as his personal torture chamber…” the man thought to himself as he got closer to the front porch. “Or maybe I have read too many horror novels.” The front door was ajar, which the man thought was the doing of the local kids. As he stepped in, he found the house was dead silent and all the doors locked. “What the hell is this?” the man mumbled as he ascended the squeaky stairs, trying every door on his way up but they were all locked. Finally, he reached the third floor that had only one door, right at the end of the staircase. As he climbed up the last couple of steps, the door opened slowly and a cold breeze greeted him. The light in the mouldy attic room was somehow different and it took the man’s eyes a few minutes to adapt to it. “I’ve been expecting you”, a woman’s voice said as a half-naked character appeared in front of the man from the shadows. “You have?” the man asked, still rubbing his eyes. He noticed a bright full moon glowing behind the window even though there has been no sign of the moon earlier that night. “Yes. It is time to fulfil your destiny”, the woman said, blood dripping out of her mouth as she licked her lips and grinned at the man. The door slammed close behind the man and he could hear the lock click. As the woman’s cold hands grabbed the man’s arms, he felt a freezing void spiralling inside his body, getting stronger and larger until he couldn’t breathe. “Give yourself to me…” were the last words the man heard. Then came the darkness.
For weeks, she had had her eye on this one guy that she had ran into in different places. The last encounter was when they had to share a cab because they lived in roughly the same direction. “Oh crap, I left my wallet at the bar”, the man sighed as the cab pulled over in front of her townhouse. “Oh no… and I only have my card… but I think that I have some cash inside. Would you like to come in for a drink and then we can call you another cab?” she asked as she paid for her share of the ride. A drink, or two, later, she felt courageous enough to ask the man if he would like another drink while she changed into something more comfortable. “You know, I should probably go soon…” the man started but his words were cut by the sight that had emerged from the bedroom in front of him. The man’s eyes widened and he was unable to utter another word. “Code red… I’m on fire…” the woman whispered as she walked towards the man. “You ignited the flame the first time you looked at me.” The man leaned back on the couch as she climbed on his lap. They didn’t end up having those third drinks until 5:30 am the next day.