My name is Jamie Lynn Dawson. I’m 25 and I’m a stripper. Or an exotic dancer as they like to call us nowadays. I never planned to be a stripper, it just happened. That’s easy when you grow up poor and you have a baby to take care of. It started out just being a way to pay the bills and get myself through college, but the grants and financial aid ran out. So much for college. Maybe later. I’m still stripping for money, where do you go from here?
My son is 5 years old. He is the most beautiful boy on the planet. His name is Dylan James. He lives with my mom and her boyfriend right now. It’s just easier this way. My life is no life for a kid.
I work the graveyard shift at the Kitten Club. When I walk through that door I become Summer. We all become someone else when we walk through that door. You almost have to. It helps to have a couple of drinks too. Maybe a little snort. I try not to over do it like some girls. Most of us are burning the candle at both ends. You make your money by selling bottles and lap dances. Every night you have to hustle. Every night I keep telling myself that I’ve got to get out of this place. But then I get up on that stage and I do my thing. When I’m up on the stage underneath the lights, I’m in my own world. I feel special. Powerful. I can escape to my own music. I have regular guys that come to see me, and tip me. So I go home at dawn, I take a shower, wash Summer away, and I count my money. I call my boy before he goes to school every morning, and the very next night I walk through that door again.
And then one night, he walked in. He was the epitome of “the tall dark stranger”. Tall, handsome, mysterious, long black hair and crystal blue eyes. A striking combination. He smelled of sandalwood and magic. His name was Luke. And my heart was on fire.
There was something about him that drew me in. A strong magnetic pull. I don’t even remember walking over to his table. I just remember suddenly sitting next to him and being hypnotized by those deep pools of blue. We talked for a long time. About what I couldn’t tell you. I think I told him my life story. Ugh. I asked him what song he wanted to hear. I didn’t know the song he requested. I think whatever song he requested was older than dirt. So I just played something sweet and smokey. Like him. He watched me dance. I watched him watch me. I was entranced.
He came in a few more times. I always went to his table. I didn’t have a choice (that whole magnetic pull thing). He wanted to see me outside of the club. A lot of us girls have this rule, no bringing home the customers. You have no idea who these people are. But I said yes to dinner. Such a magical night. We drank wine. We talked. I felt so special. And I went home. Alone. He did not even ask to come in. Such a gentleman. There was something so old world about Luke. And God he was hot.
We dated a few more times before he asked if I would like to come to his home for dinner. I felt like I was being courted in an old fashioned romance. Of course I said yes. I couldn’t wait! His home was beautiful. Everything inside felt like it was 1000 years old. The furniture was red and dark wood. The paintings were huge with elaborate frames. There were flowers and candles everywhere. There were actually dark green velvet drapes. It was like walking through a time portal into some medieval castle. And the music he put on. I couldn’t tell you what was playing. But it sounded medieval too. It was so romantic. It was all so dizzying. He offered me wine. We slow danced. I really was dizzy by this time. I fell into his arms. He carried me upstairs to his bedroom. I remember thinking, “wow, this bed is huge”. The entire room was burgundy and dark wood. More candles and flowers. More wine. More kissing. God could he kiss. I was hypnotized by his gentle but firm touch. So hypnotized, that I barely felt his teeth sink into my neck. It felt so good though. I didn’t stop him. I couldn’t stop him. I was paralyzed. When I woke up I was in my own bed at home. Did I dream the whole thing? I ran to the bathroom mirror to look at my neck. It was indeed red. What the hell happened??
Whatever it was, it was not enough to stop me from seeing Luke. He was like a drug. I was addicted. And I was changing. Both physically and mentally. My eyes were changing. They almost looked red or red-rimmed. My skin was cold and pale. Some days I felt sick. What the hell was happening to me?? And then one day he was gone. Just vanished. What the fuck??!! I went to his house. It was locked up and looked empty. Rage!!! I was just filled with red hot rage!!! I screamed and yelled and banged on the door and windows. Once the anger faded, I was reduced to a crying slump against what used to be his front door. What am I going to do now??? My drug was GONE. I felt sick. I had this incredible hunger inside me and no food would cure it.
I had to go to work that night. I was a wreck. I felt like an animal. I danced like one. I prowled for victims. Deep down I knew what I had to do. The poor soul opening his car door for me had no idea what he was about to get into. Thought he was getting lucky. As soon as he turned to look at me I started kissing him. I caressed him. I lulled him into soft sleep and then I bit the fuck out of his neck. Oh my God I’ve never tasted anything so good. It was like the oldest whisky you’ve ever tasted. Warm, savory and sweet. I couldn’t stop myself. I drank myself drunk with blood. Then I felt power. Power of the night. I got out of his car. My entire body was lit up with electricity. The cops were at the club the next morning trying to figure out what happened. Nobody knew. I had gone home.
Now I must face that which I am. A vampire. Who knew they existed. We do. I have plenty of victims to choose from at the Kitten Club. It’s a matter of where to leave them. Soon I will have to leave my home. It’s heart-wrenching. My son! And still I wait and long for Luke. Now it will be for an eternity. An endless, bloodsucking, eternal life.
Michelle A. Gregory