I keep dreaming that my teeth are falling out. Whatever else is happening in my dream, after a while, my hand wanders up to my mouth and starts working away at one of my incisors. It disturbs me how much it gives, shifting in the gum with a wet creak, and soon it comes loose. I pull it out. The tooth sits in my palm, its root brown and withered, still warm. I can taste blood on my tongue. Then I start on the next one.
Pete tells me it’s a sexual dream. He doesn’t know in what way; he just heard something similar on a talkshow once and remembers the guest guru diagnosing it as sexual. It doesn’t feel sexual to me. I wake up panicking, trying to squeeze my fist in my mouth. It makes me feel sick.
‘Exactly. It makes you feel sick because you’re frigid.’ Pete says when I wake up in the middle of the night for the fourth time in a week.
‘I am not frigid. We did it last Friday.’
‘No, I did it last Friday. You just happened to be there.’ He turns over and takes most of the duvet with him. Pretty soon, he is snoring again. I cannot snore: I cannot sleep. I want to wake him up and argue but I cannot speak either. I am stunned. What the hell does he mean, I ‘just happened to be there’? Does he really think I’m frigid?
I don’t wake him up because I know deep down that he is right. I think back to last Friday night and every other Friday night since we moved in together. It’s always the same. I am halfway to sleep when I feel his hand slide over, parting the sheet and the duvet like lips and creeping up to me. He spends a moment or two stroking my back which I have deliberately turned towards him to ward him off. When it’s clear he isn’t going away, I quickly turn to face him to stop him contemplating my buttocks. Then he is on me. I lie there till it’s over, till he plunges his face into the pillow above my shoulder and lets out a muffled yelp.
Before we lived together, when we used to do it at every opportunity in dens and bushes and barns and backseats, Pete would always bite me when he came. After a gasp of anticipation, his head would burrow into my neck and I would feel a sharp sweet pain as his teeth dug into my flesh. As his hips juddered and his lips sucked, I would come, crying out loud.
The first night we moved in, all that ended. After the open air, the bedroom felt closed in, claustrophobic. Even with the window open and the central heating off, I felt too sleepy and as we started to kiss, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I let him in anyway and, as I cried out, I heard an angry thumping on the bedroom wall from the flat next door. My orgasm died and I pushed Pete’s bloody face away. The next night, I made him bite the pillow instead.
‘What’s the point?’ he demanded, eyes flashing with the old angry fire. ‘I don’t care what the neighbours think.’
‘Well I do. Please, Pete. I have to look these people in the eye everyday. I don’t want them thinking I’m some slut from hell.’
‘But you are a slut from hell.’
‘No I’m not. Not any more. We gave all that up when we chose to grow up, remember?’
I lie still, staring at Pete’s sleeping back, and think about all those times before we moved in together. Back then, I hardly ever slept and only woke up panting with need, my fist plunged between my thighs, rubbed sore and still rubbing. When I cried out back then, my foster parents thought I was having nightmares, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. The nightmares only happen now.
I close my eyes, but already I can feel my teeth weakening in their soft beds. Then I have an idea.
I push what’s left of the duvet over on to Pete and feel the sting of the night air on my bare skin. I gaze out through the open window at the dancing shadows of trees and the moon scratching its nails through black clouds. I breathe deep and slow, imagining I am out there with the damp earth beneath my back and the wind running its chilled fingers over my body. I imagine there are no neighbours, no nightmares, no fears, and I feel my teeth harden in bone.
My fist pushes down to my thighs and opens their warmth. I remember the first time we did it, in the abandoned quarry, my breasts white and sharp as fangs in the moonlight. I remember the best time, pressed down on the gravel of the graveyard, his mouth cutting into me like jagged glass. My fist moves faster and I moan. Quickly, before my cries can give me away, I pull my fist free, turn Peter onto his back and climb onto him, forcing him inside. He hardens instantly and so do my incisors. I feel their roots shooting down through my gums, strong as steel once again, sheer enough to cut my tongue.
I close my eyes and I am outside. I am young again and wild and free. I am a slut from hell: I am a vampire and the neighbours will never know. They will not hear me this time.
My hips judder and I lunge forward, plunging my face into Pete’s neck. His eyes are wide and bright. They pulse as I puncture his skin and taste blood running warm on my tongue. He cries out as he comes and the wall starts to thump and hammer, but Pete does not stop. He cannot stop. He screams and screams as I silently suck.
As dawn breaks, sleep descends. I surrender happily and do not dream. Much later when I awake sated and smiling with the old fire in my eyes, I tell Pete that all dreams are sexual. They just mean that you shouldn’t be sleeping.
(c) Joy Wilkinson. All Rights Reserved
Tags: Bloodlust-UK, Dracula, Joy Wilksinson, Short Story, The Meaning of Dreams, Vampire, Vampire Fiction, Writers
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