A Stranger In a Nightclub

It's Halloween at your favorite club. In the middle of July. The Cavern does stuff like this all the time—throw costume parties in July, Valentine's Day parties in November. Once they did a National Grilled Cheese Day for giggles. Any excuse for a party.

You're dressed up all gothy in a little black dress,  batwing glasses, earrings and a Wyvern choker to match. Siouxsie Soux eat your heart out, you think, dabbing a little more black lipstick in the ladies' room. “Carmilla, hurry up!” Jenny shouts. She's in last year's costume: a vampy Dracula, complete with cape and fangs that make everything she says sound muffled. “I wanna see who wins the costume contest!”

“Just give me a sec.” You smile at your reflection in the mirror before Jenny grabs your wrist and tugs you back out into the nightclub. It's 2041. You and Jenny are young, second year uni students at Britechester University (go, Wvyerns!), and neither one of you has a care in the world.

Well... at least for now.

Some ancient Lana del Rey song is playing over the speakers. You and Jenny are dancing, partying like it's 2022. You dance so much your sunglasses slip down the bridge of your nose. As you pause to adjust them, your eye catches the figure of a man—tall, dark, handsome, the works—watching you from the balcony overlooking the dance floor.

He's dark-haired, dressed in a sleek black suit, a black-and-gold watch glinting at his wrist. His hair is long, tied back at his nape. One corner of his mouth turns up when he sees that you see him watching.

He lifts his glass in a little salute. You salute back, flicking two fingers off your forehead.

Jennie turns to see who you're saluting to.  The man in black smiles wider, as if he hears her. But that's impossible, isn't it? In this noise, in this packed club?

He backs away from the balcony and out of sight. As if on cue, the microphone shrieks. People groan in unison. The music stops. “Okay, okay!” The MC swaggers up on the stage—a stout but charismatic fellow dressed as the Devil himself. “It's the event we've all been waiting for, ghouls and goblins. We're crowning best costume in just a few minutes, so listen up.” The crowd quiets down. Someone whistles. There's a smattering of heckling in the crowd.

“First of all, we wanna thank our sponsors--” Your attention wavers as the MC lists off a bunch of names, thanks the establishment, yadda yadda. You turn to look at the balcony again, maybe catch a glimpse of your tall, dark, handsome stranger, but of course he's nowhere to be seen.

Just then, something brushes your shoulder—something cold.

“Excuse me,” a voice says. It's deep and dark, with an implacable accent. On your shoulder is a hand—white and cold, long fingers and black nails. “I think you dropped this.” It's your stranger in black, and he's holding out your sunglasses.

Closer now, you can see that he's dressed, probably, as a vampire. His contacts are eerily green, and his fangs... they look almost real. Nothing like Jenny's dimestore fangs.

You sputter. “Oh hey, thanks.”

“I like your necklace,” he says.

You stammer out another thanks. He smiles, holds your eye for a moment, and then turns to watch the MC fumble his way through the rest of the sponsors. He leans toward you, and in a conspiratorial whisper says, “I have it on good authority that there's an even better party going on somewhere... else. Would you and your friend care to join me?”

It's strange, but something in you says that you probably shouldn't. It's the part of you that's seen thousands of horror movies and knows that sometimes tall, dark, charismatic gentlemen might be axe murderers. And yet another part of you—the part of you that's read all of the Twilight movies and hopes every tall, dark, charismatic gentleman is a vampire, that thinks vampires are wonderful, are tasty—wants to see what might happen.

After all... it's Halloween.

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