I fear the dawn. The night and its soothing darkness are my cocoon. They protect me from an unknown danger. But when the crepuscular insects and I rise with the savage light of dawn, my fragile heart begins to pound. Thump! Thump! Thump! The pounding gets louder and faster. Soon, my hands tremble and my shattered soul case-my mortal shell of flesh-shakes uncontrollably. I fear I will die! I pop a couple pills to calm my nerves. I black out.
Hours pass, slip away, drift to the border of nowhere and are sucked into a black hole – the Abyss. I awaken, my dark eyes heavy, my body curled up in a fetal position in my king-size bed. Slowly, I open my throbbing eyes. The coffin-like room is dark, curtains drawn, no light coming into my womb-like haven.
I sit up in bed and ponder my crippling fears. I fear the dawn and sunlight. My family doctor believes I may have a rare skin disease. He has ordered a battery of diagnostic tests for me. But my shrink tells me my fears are psychological. My freaky phobias are called EOSOPHOBIA and HELIOPHOBIA. No cure, she says, until she discovers the causes.
Yet I can’t wait much longer or I’ll go mad. I must know why soon. Perhaps, I need an oceanic fix of truth serum. I crave the needle now. I call the doc and demand she inject me today. She consents. But she can’t see me until midnight.
What shall I do? She orders me to take a Valium. When it kicks in, I must leave my basement apartment and go out into the world of light. “Go see a special friend,” she adds.
I leave my underground home ensconced between Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach and scurry off. I visit Belinda in Brighton Beach. She’s taboo. Yet I can’t resist my femme fatale.
We spend most of the day listening to soul music, holding hands, and making out. We’re romantics, you see.
But the sultry summer day gallops off into the night. After a long sensuous kiss that seems eternal, I leave my precious Belinda, who has drifted off into a deep sleep.
It is almost midnight. “Goodbye,” I say to sleeping beauty and rush off to the doc’s Gothic mansion in Manhattan Beach by the ocean.
The seething night is a crackling cauldron. I stop abruptly; look up at the lit sky, and suddenly, my throbbing eyeballs roll back and forth like tumultuous waves beneath a fiery full moon. Soon, my frenzied eyes deceive and assault me with grotesque visions-a sprawling sun on fire burns my flesh and scalds my skull and exposed to unbearable light, I scream and plummet into the deep of a burning abyss. A cornucopia of toxic images intrudes and penetrates my mutilated mind and vanishes.
I arrive at the doc’s house. On her front door is a glittering sign, illuminated by a night light-Dr. C.D. Laura. I ring the bell. When she comes to the door, she welcomes me and beckons me to descend the stairs to the basement. “I’ll administer the truth serum below.”
I hurry down the spiral staircase eager to discover the secret roots of my phobias. In a corner of the room is a black leather couch. “Lie down,” the tall slender doctor with long black hair and dark eyes orders. I obey.
She bends down and injects a long needle into my left arm. “Relax,” she whispers and disappears behind the couch. I hear her drop into the black leather chair behind me.
Soon, I drift off into sweet phantasmagoria.
“Do you remember now?”
The vertiginous room swirls around me.
“Wait. The crimson truth will flow through your veins.”
I inhale Dr. Laura’s potent words and taste the free-flowing truth that rises from the seething cauldron of my subterranean mind. Her hypnotic words trigger a chain of memories-a connection to my secret brain.
Now, I remember something. “I’m in the final stage of transition,” I whisper.
“Yes, you are.”
“But I disobeyed you, Dr. Laura. I went to see Belinda.”
“I told you not to socialize with any other patients,” she says sternly.
“I’m sorry,” I mutter, my head bowed.
“On the other hand, I told you to see a special friend.” The doc grows a wide crooked grin.
“Isn’t she a special friend?”
“So you disobeyed and obeyed my orders simultaneously.”
“Yes, I did.”
“Well, how is our precious Belinda?” Her face morphs into a wicked, cruel mask, almost obscene.
After a long ominous silence, I confess, “Dead!”
“We kissed and I lost control. I bit her hard and drank all her blood-drained her dry. I killed her.”
“Wonderful! The transition’s almost complete,” Dr. Laura cries out. “Only one more step remains. After, you’ll transition from a Trans-V to a V.”
My heart pounds mercilessly. I fear it will explode. “But…”
“Don’t be afraid. The process is magical and beautiful. You are beautiful and becoming more beautiful.”
Her soft words soothe me. I look up and see her glowing face. The enchanting lady is standing, hunched over, and staring at me. I gaze into her unfathomable eyes.
She lifts her flowing black skirt and swirls it over my head. It covers my face. I smell her perfumed beauty beneath her lovely makeshift cape.
“I am…C D L A U R A, his daughter,” she purrs, as she completes my metamorphosis in the pitch-black darkness.
“I am free,” I mutter. “But…”
I stare into inner space. Horrific visions of fires and floods and caged creatures shrieking eternally return and consume me. Visions of a dark place and unbearable light eat my brain. And yet, they are strangely familiar and soothing.
“Go now to Coney Island, find some new followers, seduce them, enslave them, and bring them to me,” Dr. Laura orders
“No,” I say softly, dispassionately, as I sit up, take a few deep breaths, and rise. Swirling visions encircle me and then drop me into the deep of my terrible birthplace. A mammoth creature beckons and commands me. My body is in the room with the doc. Yet my mind is far away.
“You are a vampire and you belong to me.”
“No,” I shriek.
I fall into a chasm of flashbacks and circles of Hell. The gigantic monster grabs my throat, kisses my forehead, and laughs maniacally. Then it tosses me in the air, catches and releases me. I kiss its claws.
“I am my Father’s son and I belong to Him. So do you.”
Inside the Inferno, the beast and I listen to the howling and ululations of the damned. It hugs me and shrieks, I am the Darkness, no other. It commands and I obey and forget.
Dr. Laura looks quizzically at me. A dark ominous aura encircles her like an ethereal noose.
“What does He want from me?”
“You, He wants you.”
With demonic pitch-black eyes, I glare at her and burn her cold eyes that retreat into a vacant universe. Her lovely body trembles, for her corrosive doubt frightens and enervates her. Sweating profusely, her mammoth powers ooze out of her hot pale skin. Momentarily, I look away. My merciless eyes burn a circle of fire that encloses her.
“I can’t breathe,” she cries out, grabbing her soft, luscious throat.
I laugh maniacally and follow her into her mindscape, a wasteland of wild fires.
“Goodbye,” I roar ruthlessly across her inner space and breathe Hellfire into her moribund spirit. “Return to Him, return to Him, return to Him,” I scream silently as she vanishes from this world inside my circle of Hellfire. Yes, I watch her burn gloriously as she swirls around and around and transmogrifies into a dust devil. Then magically the floor and earth open up and the whirling dust devil plummets into the terrible nothingness that even vampires fear.
From far away, in His underground kingdom, my Father whispers into my weary mind. “Take the night off, son. Have a blast in Coney Island. Enjoy the rides and feast on lost souls if that’s your pleasure.”
Majestic being that I am, I exit her vacant house, my face glowing and covered with a devilish grin. Wearing a black cape, I enter the dark eerie night, shrouded in fog.
As I saunter off to Coney Island, I dream of the obscene House of Infinity, my birthplace, and inhale the ubiquitous scent of evil in the sultry night.
“What a delightful evening. It’s time for a ride on the Cyclone. And I’m starving too. Guess I’ll devour a couple Nathan’s hot dogs with mustard and sauerkraut and sizzling French fries and… eat some juicy souls and ship the leftovers Federal Express into the Inferno.
Yeah, it’s a beautiful seething summer night for the damned and the demonic.
Dr. Mel Waldman is a psychologist, poet, and writer whose stories have appeared in numerous magazines including HARDBOILED DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE,ESPIONAGE, THE SAINT, DOWN IN THE DIRT, CC&D,PULP METAL MAGAZINE, INNER SINS, YELLOW MAMA, and AUDIENCE. A past winner of the literary GRADIVA AWARD in Psychoanalysis, he was nominated for a PUSHCART PRIZE in literature and is the author of 11 books. Four of his mystery, fantasy, and horror stories were published by POSTSCRIPTS, a British magazine and international anthology, in October/November 2014. He recently completed an experimental mystery novel inspired by one of Freud’s case studies and is looking for an agent. He has been inspired for decades by his patients and their heroic stories of trauma and survival.