Lilith’s Dream: A Tale of the Vampire Life

Lilith’s Dream: A Tale of the Vampire Life by Whitley Strieber Read Free Book Online

Book: Lilith’s Dream: A Tale of the Vampire Life by Whitley Strieber Read Free Book Online
Authors: Whitley Strieber
and looked upon a body transformed. What had been plump was now as shriveled as dry fruit. His pudgy biceps were like ropes of beef jerky stretched along his bones. The bones themselves were black and dry. His eyeballs glittered in his head like moist prunes. The mouth, drawn wide by the sudden desiccation of the jaw muscles, revealed a tongue that pointed straight out, a screaming finger. Pooling on the floor were feces and urine. She cursed mildly. She’d forgotten to put down paper. Miriam used to recommend standing them in a catbox.
    She found paper, and got a shock. It was a Sunday Times from fifteen years ago—the last Times ever brought into this house. Leo had gotten it herself. She even remembered that Sunday, going down to the corner of Fifty-fifth and Third to the newsstand and thinking, I’ll be reading the paper in a hundred years, if there is a paper then, or a thousand…and feeling as if she was rich beyond calculation or dream.
    She got the mess cleaned up and thrust the paper into the fire. Then she unhooked the body. It dropped into an angular heap. She opened the furnace door again, opened it wide. The corpse was still somewhat pliant, so she straightened it out, arranged the hands down the sides, and slid it in like a log.
    She closed the door quickly on the hissing and spitting of the grease, and trotted upstairs.
    A body meant homicide detectives. A missing person meant that the case would be filed and forgotten in seventy-two hours. Never, ever leave a trace.
    She went to the second floor, careful not to turn on lights, and stood for a moment in the pregnant silence of the back hall. Then she entered her old room, sat on the narrow bed of her girlhood. She took off her shoes, then stripped naked.
    Lying back on the bed, touching herself with idle fingers, she giggled a little. Something of him, a slight dampness, still clung to her down there. Usually, she was pensive at this point—feeling absolutely marvelous, but also a little sad. A life, after all, had been destroyed, a human being’s hopes and dreams shattered. People had been left in grief, never to know what had happened to their loved one.
    This time, however, she felt much better. She’d actually done some good, killing a man who was at the least a rapist, and most likely a murderer.
    She walked into the bathroom, turned on the water. She was careful. From experience, she knew that it would be exceptionally hot when the furnace was running. Miriam would have taken a soak, then wanted an hour of careful massage. Leo wasn’t like that. What pleasure she got from life, she got onstage. The rest was hell, especially this, even when the victim deserved it.
    She took a quick shower, using the now dry crust of soap she’d left behind when she was last here. She raised her face into the water, letting the hard, hot stream blush her a little. Then she made the streams into needles and held her breasts so that they pummeled the sensitive crowns and nipples until she squirmed.
    She got out of the shower, went to the makeup mirror, and turned the makeup lights on. To make it as brutal as possible, she’d put in two-hundred-watt bulbs. She swabbed away the steam with a towel and beheld the face that looked back at her. Carefully, clinically, she examined the area around the eyes, the corners of the mouth, the tender skin between the brows that could so easily constrict into a frown. What looked back at her was a sensual, vulnerable girl of perhaps eighteen.
    That was enough, done. She wasn’t interested in enjoying the miracle, only in doing what she had to do. The idea of getting old and dying no longer horrified her. On the contrary, what horrified her was the reality that she could never do so. Either she must live endlessly or die endlessly. “We linger, Leo,” Sarah had said. “If they kill you or lock you away, you’ll be rendered helpless, but you won’t die. So don’t take any chances.”
    She returned to the Sherry, walking through

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