Dousers

 

Mia wrestles with the thrashing man and grabs his chin from behind. Then she reaches under his arms and laces her fingers behind his neck before plunging her captive beneath a crest of foaming brine.

Mia uses all her prodigious strength to keep the man entangled before driving twin fangs into his neck. She displaces sea water out both nostrils and greedily sucks until his thrashing stops.

Then she dives fifteen feet straight down before tying his swooning body to a kelp bed with a rope taken off the back of her free-floating hair. Mia remains submerged several moments before resurfacing for a fresh breath under the moonlight.

Mia swims expertly toward shore before standing in waist-high surf slathered with clusters of slippery sea foam.

She eventually steps onto the open sand; her scarlet swimsuit displays sculpted muscle tone in the spotlight beams as Marshall hands her a dry cotton towel and a pair of sandals.

One onlooker among many asks, “You lost him, didn’t you?”

Mia wipes off her fiery red hair answering, “He sank beneath the waves just as I reached him. I dove under and searched; but even the spotlights didn’t help.” The onlookers break up and meander along the shore line.

Marshall smirks at his partner as the spotlights start scanning the beach again, “You’ve got a puzzled look, Doll.”

Mia finishes drying and looks back toward the surf, “I’ve never encountered anyone that strong before; I only managed to subdue him because I was a superior swimmer.”

“Maybe it was some kind of maximum adrenal rush.”

Mia shrugs both shoulders before walking back toward the skeletal white timbers of a lifeguard tower with Marshall beside her. He wipes drool off his mouth before asking, “How was his flavor?”

Mia didn’t answer until they were topside and sitting in tandem recliners facing the shore, “His blood tasted strange.”

“How?”

“Normally human blood smacks not only of its standard coppery and salty savor, but it also possesses taste traces of the last meal ingested before encountering death.”

“That’s right, Doll, everything from succulent meats to vegetables, fruit, dairies and cereals; not to mention all the sugary delights people can imagine! It’s the only way we can still savor such flavors now!”

“But all that man yielded was the taste of blood alone.”

“He must’ve starved himself for a long time before going in to avoid a cramp, or something like that.”

Mia ridges her brow answering, “Perhaps, but I’ve never imbibed such a bland victim before.”

“Maybe your thrashing prey was already dead.”

‘Oh sure, Stud, maybe he was some floundering zombie from a cut rate horror film that feigned drowning to lure me out there for a bite of his own!”

Marshall strokes her hair as they routinely scan the dark beach before saying, “I was just pulling your chain; anything else strange about your latest frolic in the surf?”

“He was unusually strong; it took all my strength to pin him in a Full Nelson and finish off underwater.”

Marshall chides, “Maybe you’re just losing your touch, Doll.”

Mia stretches back on her recliner still watching the surf, “And maybe I’m just sick of working here. You know, I liked that tropical lake resort on the other side of the Pacific Rim a lot better. Human flavors were crisp, hearty and swimming in natural spring water.”

“You sound like a tuna can slogan, Doll. Besides, it’s a lot easier feeding here with such a large population of transient guests. Back at the other place, we could only kill once or twice a month while rescuing all other swimmers to avoid suspicion.”

Mia retorts, “You know that was never enough. We were forced to feed elsewhere between an occasional slake drowning. And Sebastian always commanded us to drain every victim near the point of death before drowning them.”

Marshall sits forward and replies, “Don’t mock our bellwether, Mia. Sebastian’s idea of draining our prey before drowning them to avoid any vampire overpopulation has worked exceptionally well!”

“I can’t argue that.”

“Besides, by the time our sunken victims are found, their bodies are usually fish struck enough to destroy any chance for fishing coroners to identify the cause of death.”

“No system’s foolproof. One of these days, our dousing methods will be uncovered.”

Marshall leans back in his recliner while propping both hands behind his head, “Then Sebastian will think of something else.”

A sudden clamor along the shoreline in front of them impels both lifeguards to stare at the gathering crowd ahead. The tourists mingle screams with cheers as a lone swimmer stumbles out of the surf.

Marshall picks up some binoculars off the end table between their chairs peers ahead; he gasps.

“What’s up?” asks Mia.

Marshall hands her his field glasses.

She utters with disbelief, “My latest kill is back? But that’s impossible! I drained him like a wine bottle!”

“He’s already ashore and passing through the milling crowd coming straight toward us, Doll!”

The revenant reaches the tower stairs and climbs straight to the top before stepping onto the boardwalk platform.

Mia stands up confronting their guest, “What are you?”

“I’m the one who thought he was claiming you for his next victim, Beautiful.”

Marshall leaps to his feet and stands between the newcomer and Mia.

“Take it easy, Son,” says the stranger still picking traces of kelp out of his hair, “It’s obvious that the lady turned the tables on me.”

Mia confirms, “You’re one of us, aren’t you?”

“Certainly, Miss…”

“My name is Mia, and this is Marshall.

The stranger bows before announcing, “My name is Cyril Montague, my congratulations on subduing me, Mia; that’s never happened before.”

“Then we’re even; I’ve never had prey come back to haunt me before.”

Marshall interjects, “But even as a vampire, Mia drained you! How did you manage to resurrect?”

“There’s always plenty of living blood in the sea, my boy! The trick is not to alert any sharks.”

Copyright © 2017 by William F. and Alice L. Johnson