Food Chain

My mother always told me, “Never go monogamous with a succubus.”  A wise woman, Mom.  I wish she were still alive or otherwise available to chat.  I miss her advice.  She never should have remarried.
 
Vampire was such an ugly word to Mom, and had too much fictional
history to be more use than con-fuse.  For instance, as Mom well knew, succubi are fantastic in the sack.  If you’re young enough and she or he’s old enough, the energies involved are actually favorable to both parties, even from a tantric point of view.  As long as you’re not her only Happy Meal.
 
So I really had few qualms when I met Lorien.  I was scoping out the new goth club on 14th Street.  Actually, I date myself a bit here — the club was that more contemporary mishmash of industrial, goth and any other music which compels you to dress black and kinky.  Funny how little the participants understand the underlying principles of their rituals.  Any good Taoist initiate could explain the origins and purposes of the black attire, cave-like atmosphere and even the bat symbolism.  Not that the favorable energetics do the young and the gloomy much good, ’cause they’re deficit spending their life forces on intoxicants old and new and in dancing of dubious skill and grace.
 
Anyway, Lorien was hanging at the club, like you do when you want a
laugh or perhaps to snack on the youthful sex-charged spectra. Seldom a full meal, unless extremely well-researched:  most everybody has somebody who’ll miss them, particularly if they have any scrumptious chakras at all.
 
I had been on a health regimen — meditation, running, veggie diet — and was radiating strongly across all bands.  She drew a bead on me across the dance floor.  The sallow-complexioned writhing junkies were translucent to her.  I saw her Pavlovian response to me and her
predatory-style circuitous approach long before she got to the bar. She was taller than me, hair presently red, model-like in frame but healthy curves.  A black leather form-hugging top bared her shoulders — damn, I hate it when they do that to me.  She had a tongue stud, which is not good for the energetics but we all make some concessions to fashion.
 
She moved next to me at the bar and pretended to be concerned about getting a silly blue drink.  “Beware of Romulans bearing gifts,” I smirked, giving her the pretense for starting conversation.  “Oh, a Trekkie geek, great,” she said with excessive sarcasm.
 
I cut to the bottom line, my style.  “You feeling a bit peckish, eh?”  Her
eyes went a bit wide at this before she remasked her face.  “Is that a
Trek reference, too?”  Still the sarcasm.
 
“Hey, relax,” I said, trying to smile in my most open manner and applying biofeedback to keep my skin tension down, breathing regular and energy flow good.  “I could probably guess your lineage if you gave me a few minutes.”
 
She looked me over, Kether to Malkuth, appetite now mixed with animal suspicion.  “People end up hurt, talking like that,” she growled low.
 
“Sure,” I laughed, “dumb normals who overhear this stuff and try to bluff about with it.  Look, I’m from a friendly family, and I think you’re pretty cute.”
 
Her look softened a bit and she sniffed at me so that only I noticed it, then beamed with a girlish smile.  “Well, I’ll be damned.  Let’s blow this corpsicle stand and exchange curriculum vitae someplace more private.”
 
We strode about the property-valueless desert near the club, exchanging stories.  That’s always my favorite part really.  Even in a major city, there aren’t that many folks I can be myself with, and DC could be such a small town.  We relaxed with each other, and I could feel just the slightest stroke of her static electricity down my arm.
 
I looked at her with mirth and tenderness, saying softly, “Well, it’s not
polite to keep a lady waiting.”  We found a cab and went to my home.
 
I’m assuming that my tale is only for friendly distribution, but in our IT age leaks are unavoidable.  That’s why I haven’t said much about myself or my place.  Those who need to ask, shouldn’t know and perhaps should be quietly killed.
 
Just kidding.  Little familia amica humor there.  If you’re reading this by accident, just assume you’d miss me in a crowd, ’cause you probably already have.
 
Anyway, I assume that anything I write down could be in the Post
tomorrow, so I’m going to get a little graphic now.  This is for the benefit of the normals, so they know just how demanding the scene is before they risk it, and for those of you on the feeding end of the equation, as I think sometimes you don’t understand and even more often don’t appreciate what we go through for our little trysts.
 
Lorien and I had avoided touching till we were comfortably seated on my old couch.  (The residual energy there relaxed her better than any
cocktail would.)  The physical progression with succubi is not noticeably different in gross than that with a normal, but the devil is in the details.
 
Almost as soon as our lips touched, the electricity started flowing between us, and her fingers began seeking skin to scratch, and her mouth sought flesh to bite.  This, despite anything they may tell you to the contrary, is not what a succubus really needs, though it has certainly led to much of their fictional history.  Though she didn’t need it, she thought she wanted it, and it took considerable physical strength to convince her otherwise.
 
Silent negotiations ensued, which if translated would read “allow me to pin both your hands with my left, and with my right I’ll expose more bare skin” or “limit your bites to a gentle gnaw on my hand and I’ll remove more clothing.”
 
Despite the risks and the seemingly counter-intuitive phagism, I couldn’t skimp on licking her other mouth with which she would complete our circuit.  Everybody knows that more moisture conducts the current better.
 
When the circuit of mouth to mouth and loin to loin was completed, she wanted to discharge the potential right away, despite knowing that that would be fast food.  I employed the usual tantric techniques, but with violent physicality to build up the potentials.  This in itself takes considerable muscle energy, and she bathed gladly in the bio infrared. Her predatory clawings became less urgent, even tender. My chakras began to open one by one, and I was alight and aflame, melting and fusing happily into her.  Yet I kept going.  I felt generous, as she was then using all her arts on my nervous system for which her kind are famous.  I’d give her an hour of juice, but no more.
 
Her physical climaxes progressively entreated me to reply in kind, and at the hour I gladly accepted.  The circuit discharged in such fierce incandescence that she squeezed her eyes shut against the blinding frequencies.
 
I retreated carefully to avoid any casual fingernail strikes, but with
apparently no need.  She was purring contentedly.  I placed a sheet
between us and we embraced.  I recited the old formula:  “May our
families always be such friends to each other,” and she broke formula to say “You and I certainly shall be.”  Thus it has been between our kinds for millennia — wild, mystic fun.
 
I felt drained but exultant.  A healthy human can recharge these
succubi-tapped energies in two days (the physical follows the same
cycles as with normals).  No permanent damage, and the experience
promised to get better with repetition as we align.  I was pleased as
spiked punch, and I think she was too, but I didn’t let her sleep over on the first night.  You just never know these days.
 
Before she left, I assured myself that she had other safe energy sources here in town, and then offered her another feeding tryst in a couple of days.  She just smiled and hugged me.
 
And so it went for several months, couldn’t have been happier.  We came to a remarkable alignment, and soon I was scouring the old family lore for energy tricks and magics for further fun and profit.  She was far from domesticated, but I felt her predations have become less dangerous.  I starting allowing her in my bed for the night.
 
But that winter something went deep shit south.  Being a model of
self-preservation, I first noticed the change in me.  Lorien was tapping me deeper, without much recompense.  I was feeling tired and less charming between trysts, and the next tryst always seemed to come too soon.  After a narcissistic self-evaluation, or NSE as Mom would say, I was much relieved to find that I was not the problem.  But that left Lorien.
 
And Lorien was hurting, hurting bad.  I think I missed it because it had
started so slow, and because Lorien herself was slow to notice the
change.  But I could now see how she was showing up more and more hungry to our trysts, anxious and more predatory.  And afraid, I think. Afraid she might really hurt me.  Our alignment was shot.
 
Reasoning with succubi isn’t their strong suit, but my ancestors didn’t get to be a friendly family on charm alone.  So, after one particularly desperate tryst where I could only take the barest edge off her hunger, I had a word with her.
 
I told her what Mom said about monogamy and succubi.  She laughed meekly, “Oh, that’s not it, my Irish dumpling, that’s not it.  I’ve got a couple other boys and girls I play with, I assure you.”  Then, after a heartbeat, “But some of them have been voicing doubts about continuing.”
 
“You’ve been this way with all of them?”
 
She hesitated for another heartbeat.  “Yes, I think so.”  But her eyes were doubtful.
 
I knew right then what was probably going on.  Heuristic solutions to
hermeneutic problems R us, and going over the old lore had helped too. But I couldn’t tell her, or even ask her any more questions in her current state.  She was too far under he/she/it.  So, the indirect approach.
 
“I can help you, I think.  I have something that’ll help your energy flow.
 You’ll need to wear it all the time, including play time.  Capice?”
 
I went upstairs to my third floor sanctum sanctorum.  Returning, I handed her a necklace of exquisitely carved jade, obtained with its twin in the mountains near Kyoto by my grandmother at great cost — fortunately, not my mother.
 
She accepted the necklace passively.  She was far gone or she would have noticed the deception.  It’s usually not so easy to bug a succubus. The other part would be more difficult, whatever her condition.  I would have to track her to her trysts, ’cause    the twin would only work at the range of a cordless phone, at best. 
 
The next two days were not completely fruitless.  Normals who were
managing to hold their own with a famished succubus were usually at
least interesting people to know (and generally cute besides), but they weren’t who I was looking for.  It wasn’t until the night of the second day that the twin gave off a faint heat.  She was going into an old three-story turreted stone house.  A tall Nordic fellow was at the door — he must be the problem.
 
I had come girded to the gills with weaponry from the family armory. My possession or even understanding of such anti-succubi devices I had kept well hidden from Lorien in particular and all others from a cornucopia of caution.
 
Item one was a set of cables that would appear to the uninitiated to be for battery jumping (and they looked like that to me too, but I knew the alloys employed were unique, thank you Society of the Rosy Cross).  Looking at this dream date for Hitler, I doubted I would get close enough for a jump start in reverse.  I also brought some gold-plated spikes under my belt on each hip, in case the old-fashioned ways proved best.  Probably so in
spades.  Finally, brought my very illegal .44 magnum in its stylish Italian leather shoulder holster.  That wouldn’t kill him — somehow the bullets would always be finessed away from anything vital.  But laws of physics still applied with these guys, so I could sure slow him down some.  I would need to catch his initial rush, or I would be toast. Insulated gloves? Check.  Rubber soles and rubber soul?  Check and always check.
 
Now for an overdue word of explanation.  You succubi take notes.
There’s nothing so big-assed tough and predatory that it doesn’t have
something that will eat it, given the opportunity.  If it’s a standard
predator-prey relationship, there’s the usual population pyramid. That
means you’ve got only a few folks out there who are succubi to succubi. But they’re out there alright, and they are damned tough. Vampire might not be too ugly a word for them.  They never go symbiotic with normals, and seldom hesitate to take some full normal meals in-between their succubi hunts.  Worse for you succubi, they’re able to mask their nature, pretending to be normals, and mess with your heads so you don’t notice when the energy is going or who’s getting it.  I’d be doing everybody a favor getting rid of this Deiter.
 
I gave the trysters some time to get going.  Every lion in Africa knows it’s always easier to kill something while it’s eating.
 
I broke in silently and quickly, hoping he’s too involved to pick me up on his bio bandwidths.  They were making happy noises upstairs.  I slunk lightly up to the bedroom door, and set down most of my gear at the threshold, ‘cept for the magnum and a couple gold spikes.  Then I rushed in where wise men shit and run.
 
I’m as frosty as a plastic snowman, but seeing two succubi going at it
even gave me a moment’s sweat.  Even normals can see the glow of that kind of energy, stored up for decades, resonating back and forth between ageless and beautiful forms.  And yet at the core of this vision was the fixed steel gray gaze of the vampire up at Lorien, a gaze which mixed natural hunger with the malice that only sentience brings to simple acts of survival.  And the naked yet still necklaced Lorien, so full of greedy life at our encounters, was oblivious to everything, including my entry into the room.
 
You see, Herr Nosferatu had had the good grace and confidence to allow Lorien to be on top (position having very little to do with flow) and facing the door, a deceptive deference to succubi paranoia which made my job more and less difficult.  I can’t get a clean shot in, but I can get pretty close for the spiking before Fritz notices.
 
Or so I thought.  As I approached, Nordic jumped his track and jerked into awareness.  Without pause or effort he flung Lorien off him and into me.  I back pedaled quick, letting Lorien face plant onto the floor, but then he’s up and charging, steel gaze now on me.  I avoided his stare and gave him a few rounds of the .44.  He was put back on his heels, but his eyes were still drilling me for life stuff, tapping into me from across the room. Didn’t think that was possible, but he was doing it, and I was scared and righteously pissed.
 
I wasn’t about to give his damn eyes more time, but just as I was about to follow through with a spike, a reanimated Lorien grabbed me from behind, all teeth and nails, not realizing that I was there to help, probably not even remembering who I was.  Eyes never blinking, Mr. Nordic smiled, his grin shiny with saliva, and moved in for dessert.
 
Fortunately, this was not a completely unanticipated turn of events.
Freeing one hand, I gave the jade twin a violent squeeze, and Lorien is down, screaming at her burning necklace.  The vampire’s gaze wavered towards Lorien.  Another round from the magnum, and the surprise as much as anything halted our blond friend.  I flew at him with everything I had left.
 
I was lucky.  The stupid bastard had never used his eons of spare time to train beyond physical combat 101.  His powerful arms swung to ward me off, but I finessed and dismissed his blows.  The first spike I hit him with in the neck.  That took the wind and some blood out of him and let me get the second one into his solar plexus.  Not the heart, which is a fine but vital distinction in terms of placement.  (And now all you succubi readers know that I know, and mutual respect may ensue.)
 
He was down, eyes blank, his energies flowing out so quickly he wouldn’t last longer than a D-cell in building-size boom box.  The blood just pools on his stomach, listless for the first time in perhaps many centuries.  I scrambled for the alchemical battery cords and gloves and had the now sedate Lorien wired onto him in no time. Hate to see good juice go to waste.
 
Recharged, Lorien dressed with silent speed, like an actress between scenes.  She took off the jade necklace and handed it back to me without a word.  I asked her if she needed a lift, but she was already walking out of the bedroom, out of the house, outta my life.  I didn’t try to follow or stop her.  Aristocrats have nothing on succubus pride.
 
If Lorien’s feelings about these awkward events are understandable, so are mine.  Word of my escapade got out, with the usual exaggerations, long before I scribbled this little family journal entry. Despite my slacker ethic, my reputation was finally made among the succubi and the families. Thanks Mom.

Author of AMERICAN CRAFTSMEN