Monsters and Dust

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“You’ve got another sore there too—what the hell happened? Doesn't it hurt?”

“I’m still drunk I think. I celebrated last night.”

“But you’ve got blood everywhere—even your neck. Jesus, Brice, you’re getting blood on my mug.”

“I passed out in a bucket of KFC, leave me alone.”

“Some party.”

“I’m a new man today—look at me. Top shelf. I’m top shelf. Just look.” He pointed his thumbs at himself.

“Well it looks like you been bit pretty bad.”

“Hey, hey Bricey—you get some cat scratch?” Ollie chortled.

“Take off your shirt.”

“Whoa there,” Brice liked this game. “I’m not that kind—”

She was on the other side of the counter, unbuttoning his shirt. Her face was close to his, and for a moment he thought of nothing else, only then horror transformed her features and she stood back, staying arms’ length.

“Jesus Christ, Brice. That’s serious. That’s disgusting. You need a doctor.”

Brice looked down at his chest. It was perforated with little bites. He did not know where they had come from but they hadn’t been there the day before.

“Hah!” Ollie said. "Those cats sure know how to scratch, boy!” He raised two hands up and squeezed the air with soft nails. “Scratch, scratch!”

“Jesus Brice, you’re gonna turn into a vampire.”

“Eew,” said a woman to her napkin. No one recognized her.

“Scratch!” Ollie scratched the air in her direction.

“That’s disgusting,” Loretta said to Brice’s back. “Good God. Did you bleed all over your bed?” she asked.

“Don’t remember.”

“How much did you drink last night?”

“Coupla beers.”


“Like, I don’t know. I bought a case.”

“A case?”

“It was nice. Set up my whole sound system—watched some HBO, fried chicken. I had a night of it.” He felt weak.

Ollie was winking to the woman with the napkin.

“What the hell bit me?”