Monday, October 6, 2008

Writing Prompt: Blood and Spirits

Tessa stared at the sign in the window of what used to be the Corkscrew Wine Shoppe and Bistro. “Under New Management.”

What the…? When had the quaint wine and cheese shop gone out of business? What timing. The girls were due at her place in an hour for their weekly chick flick fest and she didn’t have a drop of adult grape juice in the place. She sooo didn’t want to get back in her car and drive all the way to the grocery store.

Tessa glanced at the sign again. “Blood and Spirits now open for business. Hours: dusk til dawn.”

Huh? What kind of place was this? Sounded like some kind of Goth bar.

But the word ‘spirits’ gave her hope. She peered into the darkened windows to see if by chance another wine shop had taken its place but she couldn’t see a thing. The glass was completely blacked out. Not with heavy curtains or with construction boards, but blacked out--as in painted black. That was weird. But she knew they were open. She could hear voices inside, speaking low.

Crossing her fingers that they sold something alcoholic to go, she pulled the door open and stepped inside. There was a collective gasp and then all conversation stopped. She couldn’t see a thing as her eyes tried to adjust from the fading light outside.

“Close the damn door!” someone shouted.

“Sorry.” She let the door slide shut with a click.

As her vision grew accustomed to the dim interior, she could make out tables for dining, a single candle on each providing the only light in the room. Cozy. Romantic.

Okay. And a bit spooky too. There was no one here, even though she could've sworn she’d heard several voices when she was standing outside.

“Can I help you?” a deep, smoky voice spoke from her left. She turned to find a man standing behind a bar, the polished mahogany wood of its surface reflecting the candle glow. Whoa. Backtrack to the romantic mood thing. The guy was drop dead gorgeous, from his wavy black hair to his dark, sexy eyes. Candlelight is definitely his color.

“Yeah, I was looking for the wine shop that used to be here.”

“It’s not here anymore.”

“Thanks for pointing out the obvious.”

He shrugged. “What’s obvious to some can be an illusion to others.”

“Excuse me?”

“Never mind. It’s a Blood and Spirits joke.”

“Oh.” Feeling like she may be the butt of that particular joke, Tessa turned to leave. A hunk he may be, but she wasn’t going to be made fun of.

“Wait, don’t run off so fast. You’ve my first real, live customer…today. What can I get you? It’s on the house.”

“Actually, I was hoping to buy some wine to go. Do you sell it by the bottle?”

“Sure. What kind would you like?”

“A couple bottles of red and white would be great.”

“Sorry. I only have red.”

“Just red? That’s odd.”

“Not really. Most of my regulars prefer it.”

“Okay. Red it’ll be. How about three Merlots and three Cabernets.”

“Don’t carry them either.”

Tessa was beginning to get a bit frustrated with the man, gorgeous though he may be. “Well, what do you have?”

“I’ve got A, B and O neg.”

“What?” A tingly feeling crawled up here spine--and not in a good way.

“Like the sign says, ‘Blood and Spirits.’ I sell the blood and my customers are the spirits.”

There was something seriously wrong with this place. Tessa turned to beat a hasty retreat but found the way blocked by a dozen people, all staring at her. When had they come in? They hadn’t made a sound.

“Ah,” the bartender chuckled behind her back, “looks like the regulars have just arrived.”

Strong hands gripped her shoulders. “Don’t look so frightened, Tessa. They’re a lot of fun once you get to know them. Why, before long, you’ll be one of the regulars just like them.”

A choked scream died in her throat as one after another the ‘regulars’ smiled at her, revealing sharp, pointy fangs.


  1. Why do I hear Twilight Zone music playing in the background when I read this one? :)

    Jody W.

  2. EEEK!! EEEEK!!!

    Talia (running around the room screaming)

  3. Spooky...another one bites the dust.... :-)

    Great story!

  4. See, this is why I don't drink lol Ya never know when you'll walk into a bar-turned-vampire hang-out :)