Like I said, If you've never been to a Sundown club, you haven't lived. Or maybe I should have said, "You ain't seen crazy shit till you've seen 200 or so creatures of the night tearing each other apart in a mosh pit." It's mostly just the young ones that get into it. The old ones, the A vampires and scarred up old werewolves, they know better. They know that if you're going to live a couple hundred years, you should try to take care of your body at least a little bit. Of course, the demons don't give a shit since they can regenerate whatever they want.
I suppose I should talk a bit about the music scene in these clubs. It's the most underground music there can possibly be, since only trackers and insane thrill seekers ever get to hear it. You can buy bootlegs of the shows, but they're expensive and hard to come by. Plus, it's not the same as actually being there: hearing the screams of the mutilated above the shriek of guitars, the fetid stench of so many un-dead in one place, and the feeling of danger that comes rolling off the crowd. It's really something let me tell you...
The place filled up quickly that night, like it usually does, and I ordered another beer and took it to one of the booths on the side of the pit. The band hadn't started yet, even though the crowd was already looking restless and particularly angry that night. Full moons will do that.
Rec saw me and climbed down from the stage. Rec, the bands bassist and only human I know that's crazy enough to hang around with a bunch of un-dead freaks, is an old friend of mine. He used to be a tracker himself, but got a little too close to getting his throat ripped out one time and called it quits. I asked him once how hanging out with a vampire, a changeling, and a demon were any less dangerous than tracking, and he replied that he thought that by making friends instead of enemies in the night-world, he'd live longer. Rec's a nice guy, but not very bright.
He sat down in my booth and stole a slug from my beer.
"You're lucky you're my friend," I said and smiled, "If anyone else did that, I'd cut their head in half."
Rec laughed. "Someone did do that to you and you did cut their head in half remember? That stupid werewolf with the funny looking scar on his forehead?"
"Yeah well, that scar was an from an initiation into a rather nasty werewolf gang. I didn't have a very fun coupla months after that."
I pulled the sleeve of my leather jacket down and showed him the long jagged scars on my forearm.
"I had to kill every single one of those motherfuckers before they'd leave me alone, and didn't get a damn cent for it."
"It's gonna catch up with you man. You should get into the music biz...like me!" He smiled and pointed at himself like a two year old.
I laughed. "Can I ask you a question Rec?"
"No, I haven't seen Riham naked..."
"I was gonna ask how you can stand up there on that stage with no shirt on when you're about 3 feet away from a writhing mass of claws and fangs."
He laughed and got up to go back on stage. "I get hot up there! I'll see ya around man."
He started to go and stopped.
"Hey check it out, over in the corner. A vampires. Word must be spreading around about us eh? Welp, see ya around!"
He climbed back on stage and the band started on one last sound check. I looked slightly in the direction he had indicated. It was odd seeing A vampires in a dive club like this. They usually held their own private parties where they stood around drinking blood martinis and talking about the "good old days" when their powers were at their peak and they didn't have to survive on animal blood. I've crashed a few of those parties, they're rather pathetic.
It was mostly B and C vampires that came to these places and mostly Cs that went in the pit.
C vampires. The absolute scum of the earth. They're like insects, no matter how many you kill there's always more and no one's quite sure where they come from.
The brainless defilers of everything the new laws were set up for. If someone's found dead in an alleyway, it's almost always a C that did it. They're so much trouble that it's actually legal to kill them on sight.
One good thing about them though, they're easy to kill. A few good hacks with a machete and their heads come right off. They know they're safe in these clubs though, surrounded by their brothers of the night, as long as they don't try and interact with anyone outside of the pit. I saw a changeling turn into a panther and tear one apart one time for trying to seduce her into becoming his next meal. It was funny shit.
The band launched into it's first song and the place went wild, like it usually did. A scream rang out and I watched an arm fly up above the crowd, silhouetted by the low lights of the stage, before falling back down into the mass. Odd since it was kind of early for that sort of thing to happen. I guess the moon really did get to them that night. I sipped my drink and watched the chaos.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see the group of A vampires. They didn't seem to be talking at all, they just sat and sipped their drinks. Finally one got up and walked over to my table. She was an alright looking vamp except for the fact that she only had one eye. I wondered how many years she'd been "alive." 300? 1000? It was hard to tell.
A voice spoke up from inside my head.
"Is this seat taken?"
It startled me. I had forgotten some of them had that power. It was a good thing too, I wouldn't have been able to hear her over the screaming guitar and pounding Hell drums.
I pushed a thought back.
"Well it was, but the guy can go to Hell."
An icy laugh and then:
"I've heard people say this world is Hell on earth."
"Depends on how you live. Sit down..."
"Thanks. You're a tracker aren't you?"
"How could you tell?"
"Well, the leather jacket is a dead giveaway. That and the fact that you're not dead."
"Maybe I'm just a random thrill seeker looking for kicks?"
"Maybe. How'd you like to go to a real party?"
"An A vampire party? No thanks, I've been to a few, not a lot of fun."
"Oh I know, but we're different. We know how to have a good time."
This was intriguing. Common sense said it was a bad idea, but I'd handled large crowds of vampires before. If they jumped me, I had my defenses. I pushed a thought back:
"Seems kinda dangerous for me to be walking into a vampires den isn't it?"
She gave me a coy look. "I thought you were a thrill seeker?"
Something flashed in her one good eye, that thing that all vampires do to lure in their prey. It was a dead giveaway that something was defiantly wrong with the whole thing, but I didn't care. It'd been so boring lately, I needed a challenge.
"Well, my lady, when are we going?"
"Right after this song. I love this one. I think it's called Lover's End."
All of Riham's shrieking sounded the same to me but I nodded.
After the song was over she introduced me to her group. A male and a female named Seroth and Sefer. Vampires always had the stupidest names. Hers was Kerren though, which I didn't mind so much. We walked out of the club into the cold late summer night. As we walked back down the alleyway, the music faded and was replaced with the mechanical chirping of crickets. I knew I might not live to see the sun rise but I felt more alive than I had in months....