Thursday, June 3, 2010

Blind Spot

A response to the Berkeley Rep's "In the Wake", a play about love, hope, and blind spots.

We never know our blind spot until that doppelgänger hiding out of sight emerges to shatter our preconceived notions like a hole bashed through the windshield, glass diamonds flashing shafts of moonlight. Ned, one-time sophisticate, now hungry and unable to sleep, didn't believe in blind spots. He could smell her scent, a mixture of sweat, broken pine needles, and tilled volcanic loam, as she hiked down the Pacific Coast Trail. Squinting while he waited, sparkling reflections off the cold ocean pricked into him like nails scratching at his skin.

He called to her as she passed twenty feet away from his solitary stance. Ned thought she would go, but she paused with the wind wisping her dark curls before she approached. Her name was Ellen, and she liked to talk. Ned listened to her voice, questioning her in brief staccato bursts. He swallowed his hunger, barely hearing her words over the roar inside of him.

The sun dropped below the coastal clouds robbing the sky of its sunset hues. She didn't seem to notice. He traced his long fingernails along her outstretched arm, watching the sun-bleached hair's stand on edge and remembering the electrical tingle that had washed over him not so long ago. Her cherry mouth formed a moue as he pulled her after him into the pounding surf as he led her to the black rock cave. Sand covered the floor sucking at his bare feet.

The hunger took him, world appearing black and white in the dim late evening as he kissed her lips, his hands pulling at the soft T-shirt to expose the neck. A splash of drool sizzled when it hit his forearms. She struggled, her arms flailed lacking purchase as he brought his fangs down to her neck. He bit, the white blood streaming across the skin and staining the T-shirt. A frenzy. He couldn't get the blood out, it leaked past his lips and he couldn't find the suction to get more than a couple drops down that merely whetted his appetite. She struggled, her arms battering his back, a dull noise behind the thunder of his hunger.

He loosened his hold, turning her to see if he needed a different angle. Her kick caught him on the knee. The light flashing like the sound of the surf. Raving hungry, he lost his grip on her, licking his fingers, drinking in the salty water, he turned snarling a deep growl echoing through the cave. The smell of her blood, raw sweet iron, turned his vision red. Blind, he stretched his sense of smell towards that solid essence of blood. Reaching towards it, catching his hand on a sharp rock. He fell, crawling out of the cave as the surf washed over him and the rip current pulled him out to see. He tumbled underwater as he was rammed against a jutting rock. The breath punched out of him. Struggling against the waves, he swam back to shore. Remnants of her scent triggered hunger that forced his stomach to quake as he let himself fall to the shore.

He crawled into the shade of the cypress. Nothing but the smell of sand and grass on the wind. No more hikers until tomorrow. Ned waited blindsided by his feeding virginity.

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