Kate left for Mexico on Friday, for two weeks of Spanish language immersion. I'm leaving for New Mexico bright and early tomorrow, for two weeks of Taos Toolbox writing workshop with Walter Jon Williams, Kelly Link, and Stephen R. Donaldson. Whee!
Today was JayCon, celebrating jaylake's birthday and triumph over cancer, and many were the barks and giggles. In kenscholes's absence, newroticgirl and I (and one other person whose name I didn't catch) read Jay Lake stories of our own.
by David D. Levine
The urbane vampire stepped from the alley, pausing to inhale the sweet, fresh scent of the rain-washed streets. Pale moonlight glimmered on the wet sidewalks and turned his already pale hair to shimmering silver. "Fine weather for a snack," he observed, and set out in search of prey.
It wasn't long before he found a tasty morsel -- a fine, elfin female in black leather and chains, staggering slightly as she headed home from some gothy club. "Hullo, pet," he said to her as he strode up from behind.
"Wha--?" she managed, whirling around, eyes wide but not quite managing to focus. He hoped she'd been doing nothing stronger than alcohol; street drugs did tend to spoil the taste. Still, such a sweet treat was not to be spurned even if slightly tainted.
"Spike's the name," he said, extending a hand. She took it warily. "And I'll be your killer tonight." Without warning he pulled hard on the hand, drawing her into an unexpected embrace that left her throat enticingly exposed beneath his teeth. He grinned, exposing suddenly elongated incisors; just as suddenly his face transformed into a demon mask, eyebrows furrowing and eyes going hard and yellow.
She struggled in his grasp, and he relished the moment, lowering his mouth slowly to the warm and tender throat...
"'Scuse me, son, but I believe Goth girls are out of season."
Startled, Spike raised his head. Long blonde hair, pointy wooden stake, jaunty attitude... goatee!? "Who the fuck are you?"
"Lake. Jay Lake." The stranger sported a loud Hawaiian shirt. "I'm afraid your usual Slayer couldn't make it tonight. Something about a final exam."
"Sorry, pet," Spike said to the girl, and straight-armed her away. "Duty calls." As the girl sped away, boots clopping on the wet pavement, he sized the stranger up. Despite the execrable taste of his shirt, the man carried himself with panache and was rather plump in a not-entirely-unappetizing way. This might be fun.
Spike leapt, covering the twenty feet between himself and his opponent in a single bound. But the fat man was surprisingly fast on his feet, dodging and spinning away, leaving Spike to land in a rolling crouch. "Impressive, for a mortal."
"Not just any mortal," the stranger replied, passing the stake rapidly from hand to hand. "I'm a science fiction writer."
Spike rolled his eyes for a moment before lunging in with another attack.
The two men grappled and sparred, tumbling over and over on the wet pavement, exchanging the upper hand again and again. Spike was impressed. He hadn't fought such a worthy opponent since...
With a sudden "Kiai!" the stranger leapt, pinning Spike against a wall. The two men panted face-to-face, the mortal's chest warm against the vampire's. This man was... very unusual. Spike's heartbeat would have raced if he'd had one. "I don't usually do boys," he gasped, "but in your case I'm prepared to make an exception."
"Sorry," Jay Lake replied, jamming his stake in under Spike's solar plexus. "This isn't that kind of fanfic."