Copyright © 2013 by Michael Litzky
Lavinia’s screams were quiet, intense and climbing in pitch. The sun was full on her face and her blazing eyes were wide open. She wasn’t burning or turning into ash or whatever was supposed to happen to vampires in the sun.
It sure sounded like she was coming.
Sally, still kneeling beside her, saw that her face was ecstatic. Color seemed to come back into her cheeks. As much as she could with her nearly paralyzed body, she undulated, making almost imperceptible thrusts with her hips.
Through her confusion, Sally was getting aroused. Lavinia had always come with her eyes open. It was one of the many ways they were alike in spite of the age difference: Sally had longed all her adult life for a lover who would look into her eyes during orgasm. Graphic, intense images came blasting back: Lavinia looming over her, cunt pressed wet and musky rich against her mouth and nose and cheeks, pubic bone rocking against the bridge of her nose so that even her eyelids were wet and dripping, grabbed Sally’s hair, tilted her head so their eyes met, roared in a mighty voice, “Yours, baby!” and come hard against her, eyes pulling Sally along so that Sally more than once saw a universe of stars streaking around them as she followed Lavinia to some secret place.
She couldn’t bear it. She shoved her body into the path of the sun. Lavinia quickly stopped screaming but her breathing continued deep and panting. Shaking, Sally could feel her nipples still crinkling against her shirt, her vagina throbbing wet against her panties and that secret thrill shining in her belly and inner thighs.
“What the hell was that?!” she yelled, just as Lavinia mumbled “Hoe. Lee. Shit.”
Then they were both silent. The sound of morning traffic on a nearby street reminded Sally that she was parked in an alley with a vampire and that it might be a good idea not to attract attention. Lavinia’s breathing gradually slowed. The color in her cheeks must have been an illusion; she was as pallid as before. The camper was filled with the heady smell of sex and of unwashed bodies (they hadn’t had a chance to shower for two days before coming to the rally).
Whatever had just happened, it had changed a lot of assumptions. Sally was now ready to take a certain risk. Using a moment when the sun went behind the clouds again, she turned and fixed the broken curtain. She got the round knob end back into its plastic holder but the metal rod itself was bent. She straightened it as best she could without snapping it in two and got the sagging thing back in place.
Then, heart beating harder, she turned back and before she could argue herself out of it, stretched out beside Lavinia and wrapped her arms and legs around her, pulling the limp, heavy body around so they were face to face. She nudged a pillow under the hanging head. Those still-marvelous eyes met hers with a kind of wonder.
Sally had never read any of the vampire literature which had been popular before vampires became a plague. She had never had the slightest romantic or erotic fantasy about a vampire lover. The love and arousal she felt was completely and solely because Lavinia was still Lavinia. She actually didn’t like the faint and mildly pleasant odor of otherworldliness about Lavinia now.
Elsewhere in the city, Charity Claire cradled a mug of coffee in a small cafe, exhausted, knowing she should go home and sleep. There were no more dinner restaurants or ice cream parlors or take-out pizza joints but there had been a worldwide explosion of brunch and lunch places and coffee houses.
Malcolm Donald grabbed a quick nap while assistants hurriedly bought the biggest, solidest tent they could find and other assistants argued with the police who wanted him to leave the plaza.
Jesse and Walter shared brunch. Jesse wished he could comfort the exhausted looking girl with the mousy good looks at the table near the wall while Walter rolled his eyes in exasperated affection.
And Sally held her dead lover in her arms and talked with her.
Lavinia quickly confirmed that she’d been in ecstasy. “I never felt anything like it. Well, no, I’ve felt something like it.” She smiled weakly at Sally and Sally wanted again to kiss her but didn’t, still halfway between excited and nauseated.
“It don’t make no sense,” Lavinia went on. “Everybody knows sunlight destroys vampires. Don’t they? But hell, did we ever actually see a video or read an eyewitness, actually saw it? I fuckin’ don’t know. I thought I knew, but maybe I just assumed, like everyone. But fucking Christ, you’d think the vamps would know!” Her voice was a little stronger, more like her old emphatic self. “They dive for the sewers and the basements, soon as the sun comes up. I almost did that too.”
That made Sally curious. “How did you wind up in here?”
Lavinia’s face suddenly became almost shy. “Don’t laugh. It may’ve been some kind of, I dunno, magic. Prob’ly not,” she added hastily.
“Magic.” Sally kept her voice neutral. But in a vampire-infested world, what was so impossible about magic?
“When I was in Germany, back in ‘75, I bought this leather jacket from an old ledermacher. Oh, yeah, I told you about him. Old German hippie, long gray hair, patch on one eye. Anyway, I fell in love with this one and paid, well, what was a lot of money then for it. Because of the raven emblem.”
Sally pulled back to look once more at the emblem on Lavinia’s jacket. She had admired it before, though she’d thought it was a crow. A raven, perched on a shoulder, whispering into an ear, flames in the background. And tiny letters that spelled out the German words: Fliegt heim ihr Raben.
Suddenly several pieces fell into place. “Fly time her robin.” Lavinia had been quoting the words on her jacket as she reached for the emblem with her hand. And the words were familiar because they were from the Wagner opera Götterdämerung: the opening of Brünhilde’s last aria before she throws herself into the fire, to burn with her beloved. “Fly home, thou ravens.” Fly home.
And the god to whom the ravens were to fly home was Wotan, Odin, the Norse god who gave up one of his eyes to win his wife.
Sally looked back up at Lavinia’s watchful face. “You’re not trying to tell me that old guy was…?” She couldn’t even say it.
“Well, you can’t blame me for thinking it once or twice. Prob’ly just a stoned-out old hippie with one eye and an amazing talent.” She looked embarrassed. “But I always kind of told myself there was a little something in this jacket more than just good leatherwork.” This, then, was the source of her embarrassment when Sally had asked about the jacket several months ago.
Lavinia closed her eyes and, with pain spreading over her face again, told Sally of her descent into hell.