a flash story by David G Shrock
The building is alive, music pounding into the stone walls its beating heart, the vibrating steel its rumbling stomach, the buzzing neon sign its voice singing into the night. Doors open swallowing patrons feeding its hunger.
Searching for the music, Mike descends the steel staircase feeling like a feather floating on a current. Lights zip through the haze splashing the sea of dancers. Purple rods lining stone columns, black light, illuminate the waving neon bracelets and flowing white shirts breaking between the storming mass of dark clothing. Stepping onto the dance floor, Mike soaks in the music and begins bouncing to the beat.
Atop the stage, a banshee with blue hair screams into the microphone, her voice switching between demonic thunder and angelic cries. A crash of drums rolls into a new song, the banshee wails about pain and anger.
Goth girls move aside turning their gazes on Mike like predators sizing up their prey. Some of their eyes glow, special lenses catching the black light. Others snarl exposing sharp teeth. They wear costumes celebrating the creatures of the night. The goth girls, even some boys, swarm around Mike, their lulling dance pulling him deeper into the horde.
The pack opens up into a ring, a sinuous wall grooving to the music. Howls and laughter cry out. Electric guitars grind into a chant, the beat met by stomping feet and nodding heads. Fists pump into the air. The banshee screams.
Dispatching from the ring, a woman dances into the center, gyrating hips sending her into a grooving spin. She runs her fingers through her pink hair. Her palms run down her sides hugging herself.
Mike dances close, his steps complimenting hers. Her eyes blaze, a blue simmer in the black light flashing to deep crimson in the shadows. Arms wrapping around each other, hips meeting, they grind to the beat. He breathes in her sweat, tastes her licorice lips. His insides burn like fire. Peering into her intense gaze, he asks for her name, but his voice is lost to the music.
She smiles revealing her fangs. Closing in, her cheek grazes his. Her breath tickles his ear. “Candy,” she says. Squeezing against him, she licks his lips and closes in on his other ear. “Sweet as candy.” She licks his ear.
The sounds of the club fade, the howling voices growing distant. The music is a distant thunder. Mike dances, his cheek against hers, moving in a swirling wave to the music of their own feet tapping the wood floor. They dance into the shadow world.
The club takes a breath, a cool breeze.
Mike finds his arms empty. Glancing around, he finds the dance floor empty. The club is dark. Silence rings shattering thought. Peering down, he finds his shirt covered in blood. No pain. He tastes licorice lipstick on his lips.
Movement catches his eye.
Like moonlight reflecting off the rolling sea, shapes move about the dance floor becoming hazy forms. Apparitions dance in slow motion. As their features become more discernible, their movements increase in speed.
Mike hears the music, slow and quiet at first. Watching the others, noticing their vibrant faces, their sweat, he realizes he is the ghost gazing back at the world. Touching his throat, he finds torn flesh, cold and dry.
The music explodes into Mike’s thoughts, and he dances. The others barely notice him, if at all. This is Club Necropolis where the dead never dance alone.