By Jaime Baker

The scream came from the allyway's murky abyss. It was shrill. It was harsh. Its tone pierced the midnight hour.

She frantically looked around. She looked for a way out. All she saw were specks of light and darkness. She could feel her life draining. She could see his shadow. It was within the light of the dimly lit pole. It seemed like it was holding him there, holding him like a prisoner, holding her like a prisoner. She longed to be safe. She longed to be away from this nightmare. But, she knew differently. She knew it was real. She knew he was going to kill her.

"Let go of me," she screamed again.

A hand quickly silenced her cry. "Shut up, bitch!" her attacker whispered. The low growl of his voice sent shivers through her spine. A low sob had replaced her tears.

Gathering the courage, Anna responded. She bit the man's hand. He winced in pain. Catching him off guard, she kicked him. It was where men hated to be kicked. "Go to hell!" she screamed.

Falling to his knees, Anna managed to slip from his tight grasp.

"Slut!" he shouted. He was holding himself. He shook his head simultaneously, trying to regain his senses.

She began running, her dark blue heels click-clacking against the pavement. Her breathing became more intense. More strained. More desperate. More helpless.

Her attacker shot a glance at his hand. He could see the bite marks from the flickering of the pole lamp above him. He noticed that a trickle of blood had formed from her bite. "Bitch," he mumbled. He sucked on his tiny wound, licking and tasting the blood around the bitemark like a newborn vampire. He pulled himself up. He stumbled through the darkened alleyway in a somewhat drunken stupor. Falling over trashcans, he started to chase after her.

Anna kept looking over her shoulder; her attacker seemed only a shadow away. Dark shapes, dull shadows, and flickering lights were all playing tricks on her. He wasn't as near as she had thought. Neither was he as far away as she would have liked.

Still, she quickened her pace. She bit at the ropes, chewing at them. She spit out pieces of nylon. Frantically, she tried to free herself, trying to free her life. Coming out of the dark of the alley, she tripped. She rushed to pick herself up. She looked around. Her attacker was nowhere to be seen. The dimly lit street was silent; a police siren wailed in the distance. She stumbled toward the steps of an abandoned house. It's shade casting a darkness over part of the street. The once-bright white clapboard was now chipped and peeling off. The once red-colored door hung from its hinges. Only specks of red remained. The door creaked as the wind spoke quietly upon it. Pushing herself up, she frantically looked for a way out of her nightmare. All the thoughts, images and memories of the many horror movies she had forced herself to watch as a child came swirling back . . . Nightmare on Elm Street . . . Friday the 13th . . . among the more famous few.

The tormented woman breathed a sigh of relief and sank down the stone steps against a rusted, iron railing. Her head kept turning at every little noise almost expecting him to be there when she turned around. But he wasn't, and she sighed a moment of relief. But it was in the deafening silence that she strained her ears for any sign of her attacker. At one point she thought she had heard him whisper behind her and she refused herself the permission to look back, hoping it was her imagination, more fearful that it was he. All it was, all her increased senses had picked up was a tiny, harmless mouse. A fuckin' mouse, she thought, a fuckin' mouse . . .

She had managed to loosen the ropes binding her wrists, carefully picked the knots apart with her teeth. Lucky for me, she thought, he had done a shitty job. By now, she was expecting him to show up at any moment. She cursed herself for not getting as far as away as was humanly possible in her current state. Worried that he would soon be upon her, she screamed for help. The only reply was a dog barking in the distance.

She pulled herself up. Her hands now free. She bent down and hit her heels against the concrete step. She knew she could run faster with the heels on her shoes. That completed, she felt her wrist and decided that the chafing was only minor. A killer who cares for his victims, that's a first she thought. He even had asked her if they were too tight. She started running down the street wanting to get as far away as possible from this, her own little Nightmare on Elm Street. She moved her head from side to side, wanting to change the Elm Street to match her own horror, but realized that the street had no name. It looked like the post has been run over years before. Probably by a drunk driver, she surmised. All was left were a steel pipe hole, jagged and cracked in places. She decided she would have to leave her thought alone. More pressing problems needed her attention.. "How the hell am I gonna get outta here?" she spoke quietly to herself.

A breath of wind sailed across her bloody arms. In her frantic state, she hadn't realized that he had tried to slash her to kingdom come. Every little noise now startled the life out of her. An empty chip bag skirting across the street with the light breeze to the miserable wailing and screaming of an Irish banshee, all would have the same effect on her nerves. She constantly looked back and forth, up and down, side to side, around and around, expecting her attacker to jump at her at any moment from the shadows of the moonlit night. She finally reached the end of the street. What seemed like an hour journey to her was to real time only ten minutes. A tear rolled down her eye as she thanked her God for sparing her life.

It was then she felt a cold chill run over the hairs of her neck and the tip of knife scratching at her neck. Her eyes moved down as her head remained motionless. She could see her reflection in the blooded butcher knife. It had felt as if the devil's own hand, cold, dirty, bony, deathly had welcomed her home.

"Going somewhere, my pretty?" asked the raw, rancid voice. He spoke in a tone similar to Baum's Wicked Witch in the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

She stuttered a response, "Please, please don't hurt me . . . " She begged him for her life.

The tip of the knife now tickled her throat; she thought she was going to cough. He placed his arm around her and felt her breasts. He rubbed his matted, shoulder-length blond hair beside her face. She could almost taste the sick, fetid, vomit smell of alcohol that covered his body and was present in his hair. He licked his lips; savoring each word as if it were a feast. And he was king.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't slice your throat, right here, right now," he spoke in a normal tone. This frightened her more than before. This voice sounded as if he was willing to reason with her.

Confused, she didn't reply but her mind raced with the thought of dying at the hands of this madman. Had she listened to her sister and not gone out? had she just stayed at home? Those questioning thoughts alone were almost killing her. The voice in her head fell silent as he whispered into her ear, "It's time to go."

Grabbing her by her long, brown hair matted with blood (she now realized that her head was bleeding) he took her back into the ally. He dragged her up a flight of stairs, but she offered no resistance. All of it had drained from her hapless soul when she felt the tip of his knife at her throat. He kicked open the door to his apartment. The place was littered with empty beer cans, liquor bottles, broken syringes and ash trays overflowing with half-smoked cigarettes. The wall was plastered with Satanic verses overseeing a circle of blood. Several black candles lay on the circle of blood, lit. Glancing at an upside-down cross, he bowed. In her mind she cursed him to hell and back. She knew that is where he would go and she took a great solace in knowing that tiny, insignificant piece of fact. It was something he couldn't have, he couldn't take and she knew it. She savored it.

She stood in the middle of the room, now knowing what to do. Turning back at her he grabbed her by her bloody arm and shouted, "Bow, bow to the real god and I will consider sparing your life," he smiled.

She stood her ground. She would rather die than do anything that would break her faith in her God.

He screamed at her again, this time his tone ringing in her ears. "I haven't got time to play your little fuckin' games. Bow!" Again she refused. "Bitch!" He slapped her onto the couch stained with vomit and blood. She knew where the blood had come. She knew where the vomit had come. He looked at her with devilish eyes and smiled. A smile of pure evil, she thought.

"I suppose you're wondering how I'm going to kill you? Will it be like the others? Strangled? Or will I slice your throat? Hmm, so many ways," he put his finger to his face and tapped his chin, "But, I'm positive we have lots of time. Lots and lots and lots of it." His cold glare could have easily reached to her and ripped out her heart. He turned toward the small kitchen. She had seen bloodied knives, pictures of strangled women covered in blood and it made her sick.

Thinking about this, Anna was again close to vomiting. But she refused to show him weakness; instead, she swallowed it. That act itself almost made her sick again. The small apartment had one window to the outside world. Hung from it was two tattered and faded velvet drapes. It kept the darkness of the alley out. Or did it keep the darkness in? she thought. The room was a sick, disgusting shrine to the dark prince. That was what disgusted her most, the pictures of slain women. Pictures covered in blood. She dared not to think where the circle of blood had come from. But she knew. She took solace in the fact that the dark prince was nothing more than a worthless, sulky, can't-do-his-own-work wanna be god. And this made her smile. She knew that her God, benevolent, all-powerful, forgiving would save her. Even if she left these earthly bounds, she thought quietly to herself, she knew she would be with Him. And right now, that was all that mattered to her.

She was expecting herself to be the next victim of, what the cops had dubbed, the L.A. slasher; this she now had accepted (including the fact that she knew she would soon be with her God). Her one chance of escape had been thwarted. A tear rolled down her bruised, left cheek. She did not know his name. She did not know his age. She knew absolutely nothing about him; nor did she care to know. The only thing that she cared about and the only thing she wanted from him was her life. But she knew that he was not going to give her that. If he did, he would lose his power over her; he would lose her fear. It was her fear that fed his need and was the food for his powerless god.

He came back into the room. The white bread had spots of blood on it from his fingers. He asked her if she wanted any of the blood stained bread but she didn't answer. He shrugged his shoulders. After finishing the last bite, he looked at her and said, "Now what were we going to do? Oh, wait a minute, you're going to die." His joke did not amuse her; she swallowed in fear. It was then that an outside sound became, to her, the voice of God. He, her God, had saved her. A flow of redemption circulated throughout her body. She felt rejoiced; another tear rolled down her eye. She knew that her God would never forsake her at the hands of this madman.

Her reality returned as the voice of her God spoke through one of His doers of good will. It was a police officer with the phrase, "Come out with your hands up! We have the area surrounded. If you're not out in five minutes, we will have no alternate but to take you by force!" The bullhorn wailed as the officer shut it off.

His mind raced. He did not know what to do. He knew that cops often lied, but this was L.A. and you couldn't trust L.A. cops. They were doers of His will he thought. Not that of the real god, my god he thought.

The one thing he knew and believed was that those bastard cops had a tendency to put the needs of the many over the needs of the one. And this thought sickened him. He knew that he wasn't getting away; he knew they had the place surrounded. But he also knew that he wasn't going to jail. Then, it occurred to him. A smile sneaked across his face. He was no longer worried about Anne.

"That'll show them," he thought to himself, "They won't get me."

He pulled back the tattered, bloodstained drape and looked out. The alleyway was swarming with police officers. He again heard the voice in his ears, this time it was a roaring, commanding voice, "Do it, my friend. Do it."

"Yes. Yes." he spoke out aloud.

"Who-" Anna began. Her attacker looked at her for the moment.

"Shut up, bitch. I have more important things to attend to."

He opened the door an inch and called for them not to shoot; he was coming out. The police continued to hold their guns high as he pushed open the door. He took a few steps back and ran toward the door. With a mighty leap, he jumped over the railing. He landed with a thud on the pavement five stories below. Cops rushed to him; he was dead. Blood oozed from his smashed skull. Another three cops ran up the stairs to discover the distraught woman. They took her to the hospital. She cried. It was over. Finally, it was over, she thought. It was finally over as they lifted her into the ambulance.

"Sir, he's waking up." A voice spoke over him.

"Excellent. Bring him here." He blinked his eyes for a moment and sat up wincing in pain.

"Please, do not get up. You are hurt, let me take care of it for you." he spoke with a thick Carpathian accent. The man, dressed in black from head to toe, waved his hand over the man's nude body. He immediately felt better.

Sitting up, he asked, "Am I in heaven?"

Those seated around him, let out a loud roaring laugh.

"What's . . . what's so funny?"

The man in black smiled as well. "No, my child, not exactly."

He rubbed his eyes and face and looked around the room. It was then he realized he was on a cold, metallic table and nude. He put his hand over his groin. The man in black apologized to him and ordered some clothes. Minutes later, a black rope with a red silk interior was brought to him. He slipped it on. The man looked around again and asked, "Do I know you? Do I know them?"

The crowd seated around him laughed once again. The man in black raised his hand. "Be quiet. He is new. I will explain."

"My name is Vlad Dracula. If you have not already discovered from my accent, I am the leader of this," he stopped, as if searching for a word, "let us say, club."

The man shook his head and asked, "I'm dreaming right?"

"No dream. This is very real, my friend."

"Am I in hell?"

"No, not exactly. Let me say it is a very special branch of hell, devoid of all torture. We are his . . " he paused, as if searching for words, again, " . . . his special, eternal guests."

"Who's that? The devil?"

Vlad Dracula's face flared with rage. The guest could feel himself being strangled. He couldn't breathe. He could feel the fury. "Blasphemy!", Vlad Dracula screamed. His breath reeked of death. "Do not use his name in vain!" The voice calmed as quickly as it had raged. "He prefers the more formal Satan. But, yes, it is he."

"Who else is in this . . . " he paused, looking around once again, " . . . this special club?"

"Of course, how ignorant on me? Let me introduce you to just a few of our famous or should I say," he smiled and slowly passed his hand toward the club, "infamous guests. You will be introduced too many others later and your purpose here explained."

Vlad Dracula put out his hand. The guest noticed a long table that seemed to disappear into the darkness. Quite mumbles bounced around the room. Vlad Dracula pointed to a man dressed in the same garb as they. "This is Jack the Ripper. I'm sure you're acquainted with him." The man nodded as he crossed his legs.

"Here we have Adolf Hitler." The man stood, nodded and clacked his back boots together. "I'm quite positive you know of him." The guest nodded.

"And our most recent addition. Whom we are so glad to have, Mister Jeffrey Dahmer." The man stood up and nodded.

"Who sits in the empty chair?" he asked Vlad Dracula.

The sultan of death smiled. "Ah, that, my friend, is a very special chair. It is for our newest member."

"And who is-" He stopped, the sound of his question caught in his throat.

Vlad Dracula nodded. "It is for you."

"But I haven't done anything close to what these men have done," he argued. This response bought on a slight chuckle from the group.

Vlad Dracula smiled. "Ah, but you have. You see, killing people, in your case women, and committing suicide both are mortal sins. Each mortal sin you commit increases your chances of becoming a guest here. And according to our records . . . ," he paused to pull out a black book with gold embroider lettering from within his garb. Slowly flipping through the pages of the book, he pointed. "Here we go. Right here," he tapped at the page. The man looked into the book. The names all of the lives he had taken were listed, concluding with his own.

"But . . . but, there are people who have done worse things than me. Why have I been sent here?" he asked blankly.

Dracula smiled. "My lord hand picks his faithful servants. Those who have committed crimes in his name and those who show great potential are offered this paradise. Do not question my lord's judgement. You would not like the alternative, friend."

"But, why am I here? Why did he choose me?"

"That I do not know. But, I'm sure it has to do with your potential in serving our master."

He looked blankly at the pale face of Vlad Dracula. "You have done quite well, my friend. My lord is especially pleased." The guest felt as if he were going to throw up. Vlad Dracula continued, "Welcome, my friend, to the club of the damned."

Copyright 1997 by Jaime Baker

If you liked this story you can e-mail Jamie at:

About the Author in his own words: "My name is Jamie Baker and I am a 22 year-old student attending Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am currently completing a BBA in marketing and entrepeurneurship as well as a minor in Computer Science. Concurrent with my BBA, I am also doing my double major BA in history and english. I enjoy most sports including baseball, which I am actively involved in the local league as a coach. My hobbies includes music, computers, and writing!! My hompage can be found at:

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