Music pounded loudly enough to be heard outside, three houses away. She crossed the street and the lawn, ringing the doorbell out of habit more than anything, since no one would hear it over the noise. Even so, a young man of about twenty opened the door, looked her up and down, and smiled.
She did not like his smile, nor what it said, but she smiled back.
“What can I do you for?” he said.
“Mind if I come in?” she replied.
He opened the door wider, letting her enter the house. People were everywhere, young people–fit and beautiful and drunk. Her smile faltered, and she quashed the urge to roll her eyes. Nothing ever changed.
He tugged her hand, pulled her along to the living room. He held her close, grinding against her and giving her looks she knew he thought were seductive.
Oh, how she hated the game…particularly when so poorly played. Still, she bit her lip and smiled up at him. He tried to get closer.
They moved to the deck, the cool autumn air chilling her arms, and his friend poured a beer for her. She eyed the red plastic cup and bit back a sigh, looking up in time to see the looks exchanged between them. The friend smiled at her, a little too widely, a little too surely. She sipped the beer and smiled back.
He led her back inside, through the kitchen, and an arm came up to block her way. She stopped, meeting the gaze of an older boy–they were all boys, to her–who seemed…nervous.
“Who are you?”
“She’s from down the road.” Their host held her by the wrist. She decided against reminding him that she had a name.
She spoke up. “You don’t like older women?”
Their host laughed. “Yeah, he does.”
She caught the quirk in the older boy’s face, the shift in his glance. No, he didn’t like older women. He liked them younger.
She smiled at him, all lips and teeth and wide-eyed innocence. He relaxed, smiled back at her.
They followed her out, the nudges and whispers and laughs grating on her nerves. The smiles she gave them, though, promised so much more.
She made them dance for her, her eyes following their movements as they grasped one another, their eyes wide in terror and surprise, bodies fluid and shining in the dark. They were beautiful to look at, but it was growing late, and the moon was high. She stood, pressing a kiss to their cold lips, each one in turn, and left them there. As she passed into the undergrowth, she clapped her hands once. Their bodies fell like marionettes with the strings cut.
(Happy Halloween, everyone. -G.)