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December 04, 2023

The Building 22

By Lydia Manx

The contents of the refrigerator were beyond bleak. There was nothing that Jerry Cooper could see that would feed a semi-delusional human. She didn't even have crackers. He began to look at the half-empty bottles and containers on the door. He looked at the bottle of ketchup in the fridge and shrugged. Taking a coffee cup from a shelf he dumped half the container in and added water. Thinking back to his misspent youth he looked on the nearby shelf and found some spices and dumped a little basil and pepper into the mix. If nothing else, it would give Tricia some much needed energy.

With dismay he looked at the microwave on the counter. Vampires rarely used microwaves, at least in his clan, and he pushed some button that said express with hesitation once he'd placed the cup inside. The microwave began rotating the cup around and humming. In a minute it beeped and he cautiously opened up the microwave. The handle was hot so he grabbed a linen hand cloth from the counter and wrapped it around the cup and took it into the spare bedroom Tricia Sanborn used as her office.

She was still sitting in her chair looking at the now dark screen. He pressed the cup into her hands and said, "Drink."

She did. Soon the sugar and liquid hit her bloodstream and he could feel her slowly wake up. She'd been depleted by her own money temptations and his sucking down a pint of blood. The makeshift meal worked, and she began to look around the room.

"Oh, fuck, you're still here. I already got off, why are you hanging around now?"

Yes, she definitely was getting back to herself.

"Don't you remember wanting to go for a drive and enjoy the lovely evening? It just rained and the air is clean and crisp." Jerry began planting suggestions to guide her to go see Celina. Tricia Sanborn had outlived her usefulness as a blood donor and was getting too aware of him in all the wrong ways. He pushed another mental button by asking, "So who did you say was trying to hack your hack this time?"

He knew from some of her past ramblings she had some competitions locally that were in her field of expertise. She wasn't the only female hacker stealing from the rich giving to themselves. In fact, from her rants there were two other talented women doing the same thing within ten miles of her. At times she went to clear out an account and found it had already been scraped dry. He planned on finding one of them and making her his blood slave. The computer skills were necessary for his survival.

"She calls herself Lonely Lola on the net and traps the horny old married men that won't tell anyone when they get robbed. She's a greedy bitch and is making it harder to find donations." That was one of Tricia's pet phrases for what she did. She claimed to collect donations to a worthy cause. Herself. But now since he had her flash drive of information he would be the recipient of her worthy cause.

She just didn't know it. His talents at charm and a nice solid streak of paranoia in Tricia helped him convince her to create a thorough back up of information where she stored her money and how to access the banks.

"Hmmm, that was the one that stole all that money from you six months ago, right?"

A sour look crossed her face. "No, that was Stephanie. She used to be a roommate of mine in college. The mother-fucking bitch used me to pass a few of her classes when the professor was either gay or not interested. She literally slept her way through college to get her degree. Then once she graduated -- with my help -- she dropped me like I had leprosy."

Jerry'd seen folks with leprosy and somehow found it entertaining how humans a century later were still afraid of the relatively curable disease.

Tricia thumped a tightly closed fist in her hand and said, "I'd kick her fucking ass if I ever saw her again. She avoids going to places she thinks I'd go. I heard it on the grapevine that she was hanging out in the lobby of Marriott in Delray Beach with her laptop as if waiting for a meeting. She'd pull numbers from wallets and the front desk clerk who was half in love with her."

An evil grin lit her face and Tricia said, "Hey, why don't we drive up the coast to Delray Beach and see what's shaking? Oh, hell, here I go talking to you like you exist! I must be going fucking crazy."

As supposedly her imaginary fantasy lover, he tried to keep quiet mostly since she loved the strong silent type. He didn't regret planting that seed inside Tricia's head but at times it was disconcerting to hear her rants at herself. But her vulgarity along with her extreme sexual nature had begun to wear on his last bit of patience.

"You really want to ruin a good evening with her? How about we go down and check out Miami's night scene and look for a few celebrities. You know, they are filming quite a few major motion pictures here along with those series." He wouldn't swear like she did but he did try to appeal to her guilty pleasures. He knew she watched some locally filmed television programs late into the night and was somewhat star-struck. The celebrity magazines were hidden like pornography under her bed, he'd discovered one visit.

Grinning, she said, "Sure, that's a good idea, if I do say so myself." She giggled, "I guess I am saying so myself to myself." More giggles she was completely slap-happy from lack of food and sleep. Jerry shuddered mentally and nodded trying to look like he cared.

"But first let me slip into something sluttier." Looking at her short white shorts and her black ribbed tank top, he didn't see how she could but refrained from mentioning it. She danced away without waiting for his reply. He hoped she didn't take an hour to get dressed because they were losing the night with the delays as it was. Jerry was impatient to track down Celina.

She began stripping as she walked to the bedroom. Jerry wandered around her small house looking at her various bits and pieces of scraps that made up her life. He wanted more information on the two female hackers but wasn't certain that pressing Tricia any more at the moment would be productive. Actually, from what he'd noticed, it would be possibly destructive. He wasn't ready to destroy her quite yet.

He would start with the known one, Stephanie and from there find Lola, if need be, from Stephanie. From everything Tricia had said the hackers were all known to each other and competed for every dollar. That settled in his mind, he began to anticipate the joy of bringing Celina the justice he well knew she'd earned.

To his utter amazement he could hear Tricia heading back towards the living room. She was dressed as trampy, but she'd done it remarkably fast. Her skirt was the expected black but with lacey tattered material covering the micro-mini it had the look of a strung out ballerina's outfit. Coupled with a dark purple spaghetti strapped tight top -- braless naturally. With her custom-made breasts straining against the material, she looked like she had been dressed by a blind child. Her heels were black leather and at least four inches tall and peek-a-boo styled with little glittery bows above her big toes. Thigh high fishnet nylons that went up her legs to just below the skirt completed the trollop's attire. Her eyes looked deeper and darker than earlier. It took him a second to figure out what was different -- she had artfully applied makeup to give her a sultrier look than her usual distracted air of a ditzy waitress she projected.

"Damn, I really need to get out. You're still here. I need to find a real man some night and erase any lingering thoughts of you." She said while looking at Jerry pouting. Her lips were covered with a dark deep burnt red and a sparkle of something glittery calling his eyes to her mouth. She saw his glance and smiled, "Shit you are still making me wet. I'm going. You going to stay here and keep my bed warm?"

He laughed and said, "No, I think I'll sit next to you in the car and see the sights with you."

"You sure as fuck better disappear when I find myself a live man. I don't need to be caught talking to you and have to explain to someone that I really am not crazy." She walked out of the room without a glance back. He moved rapidly to slip past her into the garage before she finished locking the door. There weren't any neighbors peering out, so he waited and watched her eyes get a bit larger seeing him standing next to her car.

He could have kept following her, but every now and then he liked to create the illusion that she was imagining him, and beating her to the car without her knowledge added fuel to that fire.

"Damn, I really am impatient. I'm even fanaticizing you racing to get the door. I don't think that'd work no matter how active my imagination is." She used the remote on her key fob and chirped open the locks. She opened the door slowly while he moved quickly again so she wouldn't see him slither in on her side. In order for her to keep believing he was just a figment of her imagination, it was necessary to not do anything in direct opposition to his 'imaginary' status.

She laughed when she saw him in the passenger seat.

"My, my, don't you look tasty." She ran a fingernail down his cheek. "I so love a man who I can control."

"And I love a woman I can taste to the bone." He figured he needed her to be more suggestible and since they were no longer inside near a bed he knew she could only do so much.

Again he hadn't counted on her nature. She laughed, put the car in drive and began softly stroking herself, moving her skirt while driving. She'd changed her white thong for a lacey black one with slits artfully cut in the little material nearly used to make up the article of clothing. He wanted to open the door and fall onto the road. He'd take his chances with a truck or bus running him over rather than have to deal with her in this mood all the way down to Miami. She continued moving herself in time with music driving with one hand on the wheel and her right hand in her lap.

He'd never taken a ride with her before and he was questioning his sanity as she drove recklessly down the road. They flew over the drawbridge with little regard for how it narrowed in the middle. The metal slats twapped the tires with a disconcerting noise to Jerry's ears. The bell for the drawbridge was chiming as they hit the middle of the bridge. She punched the gas harder and the car swayed with the infusion of fuel. The gate on the other side was already descending and there were no cars thankfully coming towards them. As the car cleared the other side of the bridge the gate swooped down behind them and Jerry could see in the side mirror the drawbridge begin to rise for a tall sailboat puttering through the Intracoastal.

Still flying down Hillsboro, Tricia continued west towards the freeway. To Jerry's relief, she took her hand out of her crotch long enough to negotiate the hairpin turn onto the 95 freeway. Flipping on the stereo system she began pushing buttons and cursing the lack of 'tunes.' Jerry still contemplated bouncing out of the car when she jammed a CD into the slot and loud music assaulted his ears. It was going to be a long ride to Miami.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2011-07-04
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