edited by Lorna Hinson
Seductive. Dangerous. Sexy. Girls with fangs, women who hunt vampires,
lovers who only come in the dark of the night. Vamps are not just female
vampires; they're femmes fatales. They're the women your mother warned
you about, and the things that go bump in the night. They're beautiful
and terrible, loving and disdainful.
From JT Langdon's Seven Come Eleven
I stared down at the rotting corpse on the floor. Bits of flesh clung to bone. Some tendons and muscles were still intact. The pelvis told me the remains belonged to a woman. Long, wavy hair that might have been black or dark brown sprouted from the skull like a Chia Pet. The smell was minimal. To the untrained eye, the body might have looked like it had been there awhile, undiscovered, slowly decaying in a cheap Vegas motel room. This tired chica knew better. The fangs clued me in.
"Well?" Detective Shapiro asked.
"It's a dead vampire," I said.
Shapiro turned to me with an expression that resembled a blank Scrabble tile. Not for the first time I thought Shapiro should quit the Las Vegas Police Department and become a professional gambler. With a poker face like that he’d make a killing at the casinos. He was in his early forties, but his hair has been solidly gray for as long as I’d known him. With his boyish face and athletic build he could have looked at least fifteen years younger if he dyed his hair, but for whatever reason he chose not to.
“Thanks, Ms. Ramirez,” Shapiro said, “but I didn’t bring you here to state the obvious. What else can you tell me?”
The motel was one of those dives well off the main drag that never made it into the travel brochures. It was our dirty little secret that not everything in Las Vegas sparkled like glitter. We had our Blockbusters and Dairy Queens just like every else. Ours just had slot machines.
Shapiro and I were standing just inside the door of one of the shabby motel’s shabby little rooms, where the body of the dead vampire had been found by the motel’s day manager that morning. My hours of operation were sundown to sunup, so I was asleep when Shapiro called me. My grumbling and swearing hadn’t fazed him. He insisted he needed my help. Made a girl feel all warm and fuzzy to hear that. By the time I pulled a pair of faded jeans over my cute Hispanic butt, pulled my unwashed dark hair back into a ponytail, and pulled my Honda CR-V into the parking lot the motel shared with a convenience store and a Laundromat, the crime scene team had come and gone, so the place had already been picked pretty clean. There wasn’t much for me to look at but the remains on the carpet. And I hadn’t even had my first Coke yet. Life could be brutal.
“She wasn’t a vampire very long,” I said.
“How do you know?”
“The older ones turn to dust.”