If you are familiar with the Haight Ashbury District of San Francisco, locals will tell you that — like the Ministry song — every day is Halloween. While the area is known for its street kids, old hippies, the homeless, punks, drunks, and junkies — along with the unique shops and relatively inexpensive eateries — it also caters to and shields those secretive denizens of the night. One never knows who one will run into…
By the time Daniel and I were finished with our shopping, it was dark. We had already tore into a bag of Snickers, joking on how that would be the one candy that would not be handed out. We happily gobbled up the chocolate while we discussed the merits of a scary jack-o-lantern versus one that resembled Hello Kitty. As we walked along, the street kids and the homeless began to accumulate on the corners, blocking the sidewalks and generally being obnoxious.
“Hey man — got any change?” asked one lanky kid with long greasy hair.
Daniel raised an eyebrow and looked down at the panhandler with disdain. The kid immediately backed away, and cast his eyes down to his worn army boots.
“You can be a real snob sometimes,” I commented as we continued down the street.
Being totally engrossed with our candy, we walked around a corner into an unfamiliar dark narrow alley behind a few storefronts. Since neither one of us would admit that we were lost, we kept trudging along, devouring chocolate. When we came to the end of the alley, we made a sharp right…smack into a group of young males: three Latino, one black, and one white. The near collision made me drop a mini Snickers onto the ground.
“Damn,” I muttered.
They were Blood affiliates, judging from the red T-shirts and bandanas they wore. I thought it odd for them to be in the area, since the majority of the city’s gangs were in the Mission district, the Western Addition, Hunter’s Point, and Chinatown. Gangs rarely frequented The Haight Ashbury District.
Their apparent leader — one of the three Latinos — lost no time in swaggering up to us, with his eyes on Daniel’s messenger bag.
“Trick or treat, mutha’ fucka,” he said menacingly.
Somewhat taken aback by his threatening body language and foul mouth, Daniel and I remained rooted to the ground. Neither of us uttered a word.
“Wassup!” the kid barked. Daniel sighed and glanced at me sideways. With a deadpan expression, he looked back at the young man.
“The night sky,” he replied.
Not pleased with Daniel’s response, the kid pulled a gun from his coat pocket. “The bag, ese,” he hissed. When one of his companions murmured “He’s a big-ass dude, man…” the gang leader really became agitated.
“Shut the fuck up!” he snapped, keeping his eyes on Daniel. “Dude can’t fight no bullet!” His gun hand shook. “Gimme’ the bag, man!” he demanded, while staring up in Daniel’s face. He glanced at me quickly before returning his gaze to Daniel, demanding “And the purse too, bitch!”
Daniel responded with a low rumbling laugh, which unnerved the gang. “So…you want our bags,” he stated, matter-of-factly. He slowly removed his messenger bag from around his chest, then held it up high by its strap.
“Come and get it.” He flashed a wicked smile.
The gang leader had a wild look in his eyes, and the gun rattled in his hand. He glanced at me when he heard me snicker.
“You are not getting my Gucci,” I said, matter-of-factly. His trembling annoyed me. That, and the fact that I hated most kids.
“Are you nervous, or are you just a crackhead?” I asked. He was wasting our time, and I had a pumpkin at home waiting to be carved.
“Do you even know how to fire a gun, dipshit?” Daniel inquired, with another bored expression overtaking his earlier grin.
The kid swung his attention back to Daniel. “Dude — I will cap yo’ ass! I ain’t playin’!”
“Well…that’s really too bad. Seeing as I like to play.” The wicked smile returned to Daniel’s face. “So. Go ahead and cap me.” His inviting voice was like smooth dark velvet. He shook the messenger bag as an enticement.
Looking at me, Daniel smiled. “I find myself desiring more than chocolate now.” He inhaled deeply and closed his eyes. His sultry aura made me want to ignore the dumb kids, and jump him on the spot…
Wearing a perturbed expression, our would-be armed robber knew that he had to do something. If he backed down, he would be considered a ‘punk-assed bitch’ among his peers. He would lose face, and possibly his status — whatever that was.
With a shaky hand, he aimed for Daniel’s chest and pulled the trigger, shooting him in the left shoulder instead. Daniel’s eyes opened right when the messenger bag fell from his grasp. With the exception of his eyes and hand movement, he was as still as a statue. When he slowly lowered his arm, Daniel stared at the kid who just shot him.
“This is a two-hundred dollar shirt that you just ruined, boy,” he murmured. “If you insist on fucking up my clothes, you could have at least killed me.”
Daniel’s eyes emitted a beautiful eerie yellow glow in the night’s darkness. With lightning speed, he had the shooter’s back to his chest, locking him in a bear hug. When Daniel placed a hand over the kid’s mouth, the shock and realization of what we were brought tears to the young man’s eyes.
“Whatever you have planned, do it quickly. The gunfire will have triggered calls to 911,” I stated, before releasing a bored yawn. Two of the gang members scurried off down the alleyway, while the remaining two stood as still as deer in headlights.
“Many of you kids these days have no respect,” Daniel whispered. He bared his teeth and sank his fangs into the shooter’s throat, feeding quickly. Afterwards — with a clean efficient motion — he broke his neck. The gun clattered to the ground, followed by the thud of the young man’s lifeless body.
The two remaining gang bangers were still rooted to the ground. One of them urinated on himself. Laughing, I walked up to them, and gave each a resounding slap. As I wasn’t hungry for blood, I didn’t feed. I have to admit that slapping the shit out of the little bastards did give me some satisfaction though. Vampire slaps can really hurt. And loosen teeth in the process.
Daniel and I needed to make a hasty retreat. And I wanted to get back to my Snickers. Plus…just looking at Daniel and his bloody lips made me want to have hard, grinding, biting vampiric sex with him.
Retrieving his bag from the ground, Daniel glared at the remaining cholos with glowing eyes.
“Shouldn’t you two be at home doing your homework for your remedial reading class?”
They took off running. One fell down when he got tripped up by his sagging pants. Daniel laughed and yelled after them.
“Trick or treat! Trick or treat! Give me something good to eat!”
I laughed with his taunting.
“I hear sirens. Let’s go, please. I want to carve my pumpkin,” I said, as I handed Daniel some tissues from my purse.
And I want you, I thought, with a grin.
Daniel put an arm around my shoulders as he wiped the blood from his lips. “Yeah. We better get outta’ here…”
And like the secretive denizens of the night that we were, we disappeared into the evening fog.
(From the short story collection ‘Sinful Secrets and Dark Desires’ which may be out sometime in 2020…God willing. lol)