An Introduction for the
Recently Embraced

Perfect. I grin into the mirror. Six-one, dark hair, dark eyes, smile that can be sweet and wicked all at once. Hair meticulously arranged to look like it wasn't. Leather jacket, black shirt, black jeans, silver jewelry, black boots, just a touch of makeup. Shades for effect, although it's already close to midnight. Pretty goth boy going out on the town.

Still smiling, I drop the Mask, force myself to keep staring as the reflection in the mirror warps. Grin runs like water, takes on more twists than a mountain highway. Sharp outfit becomes whatever was in the Goodwill box 18 months ago. It patchily covers a gnarled tangle of limbs sticking out in various directions from a lump that would make Quasimodo climb to the top of his bell tower and praise the grace of God. Chest down to my waist. Yeah, that thing there - that scabby patch of crust with the pus dribbling from its cracks - used to be a face, once upon a time. Smell hits then - a perfume far different from the ones I wore as a mortal. "Eau du Nosferatu" is enough to make even me gag. I stand there and count to 10, slowly, like I do every night when I wake up. Gotta keep things in perspective.

Enough's enough. I'm good and pissed. I turn the Mask on again - Demon Lover reappears in the mirror. Time to hit the town. I know what I'm looking for, and I know where to find it.

I open the grate and slide into the sewer tunnels adjacent to my haven. My fingers slip on the algae and worse that line the walls. Creep along, splashing in the dark, occasionally stepping on something that squishes between my toes or wriggles away altogether. Not far to go until I hear the throb of Club Nocturne's backbeat, high above me like the music of the spheres or something. I know you're up there somewhere, flopping about on the dance floor like a wounded fish. I can smell you.

There's an access tunnel into Nocturne's maintenance room, one only me and the other Rats know about - and the goddamn Toreador think they run the place. I clamber up, like Satan crawling his way out of hell, and emerge amid wires and lumber and debris. The sound surrounds me - the backbeat hammers in my head and pisses me off even more. I check the Mask - I want to look real pretty for you. Yeah. I am a veritable artiste, as it were. Nonexistent boots glisten under the single bulb, and my nonexistent silver ankh gleams against the black canopy of my nonexistent Dead Can Dance T-shirt. My grimace of disgust no doubt appears as a pretentious pout sure to charm you.

I walk out of the maintenance room, veiled in shadows. Slipping right past the bouncers, who don't see me because I don't want them to, I stroll - no, strut, gotta strut - down the adjoining corridor and onto the fog-shrouded dance floor.

I scan for you through washes of muted underwater colors changing a hundred times a minute. Purple and blue and green and stark white flash off my nonexistent sunglasses in time with the drum program of "Days of Swine and Roses." Christian Zombie Vampire... This shit, and the shit dancing to it, make me want to puke, though my reaction appears to you as a sexacious moue.

I brush past one particularly annoying little poser, a pallid little black-clad creep. His teased black hair is caked with dye, and his pimply face is smeared with white greasepaint. I can't tell whether he's trying to look like Robert Smith or the Joker. He's got a drink in each hand and as I pass him I drop the Mask for less than a split second - almost subliminally fast. The drinks go flying across the floor and the kid's face contorts in shock. Hope he pissed himself. Demon Lover once more, I glance back at him and smile sweetly into his disbelieving stare. He doesn't even notice the snickers of all the people who saw him spill his drinks.

But enough of pleasure. You're my business tonight. I cut through the crowds near the bar, feeling hungry eyes upon me. I could have just about anyone in the club tonight. Your place or mine? Oh, pardon the piles of excrement and putrescent cats.

But I don't want just anyone. I want you. I know you're here somewhere. I silently reject three imploring stares as I sweep the bar. And there you are, writhing seductively under the strobes.

Oh, you are perfect. Let me guess. You're twentysomething, but creeping inexorably toward the big three-oh, though you try to pretend you're not. You've got a day job in a bank and you try to pretend you don't, which is why you're dolled up like Siouxsie Sioux's little sister. Yes, you are stereotypically adorable, Neil Gaiman's wet dream, a cute little Death - doll tripping the light fantastic through the club scene and trying to forget about the inevitable - the husband and the real job and the 2.5 kids and the station wagon and the PTA membership and the couch in the house in picket-fence suburbia where you'll spend the rest of your life vegetating in front of the TV set till you die. But that's next year, right? Tonight is now.

You get off on this shit, don't you? The endless sea of cookie-cutter angst whirling around, trying to be alluring, trying to forget the half-lives that await them six, seven hours from now. At night, under the concealment of the strobe lights, no one has to know about all the boredom and insecurity hidden under the leather and lace and pancake makeup.

Bet you've read lots of Anne Rice read the whole series, haven't you? Yeah, you sometimes fantasize about Lestat and wish he'd appear to whisk you away into the night. You'd love to be a vampire, wouldn't you? That's the life, right? No job, no responsibilities, no need to deal with all the other annoying people, no wrinkles, no gray hairs, no crow's-feet. Just endless balmy New Orleans nights of whirlwind sex as the blood runs down your body like the food on that Basinger chick in 9 1/2 Weeks.

Well, it's your lucky night, sugar. You're gonna live forever. Tonight you're gonna find out what being a vampire's all about.

I wait till the first melodic strains of "Tin Omen" envelop the floor and then maneuver myself opposite you. As predicted, you meet my sunglasses-shrouded gaze with a slow smile that attempts to evoke mystery and reveals only transparency. I thrash around with you and say something that you can't hear over the music anyway, and you nod and laugh. I move closer to you, and by the time This Mortal Coil starts playing, we're in each other's arms.

I lead you off the floor, lips locked. You're already pretty tipsy, and a few more drinks ensure that you're trashed. I'm not much of a conversationalist and you just don't have anything interesting to say, so I cut the preliminaries short and escort you out the door toward my waiting Camaro. You giggle and snuggle into the vise of my arm, putting your feet on autopilot, trusting my lead. You're pretty drunk, and not that smart anyway, so we're several blocks into the Barrens before you realize Club Nocturne's parking lot lies in the opposite direction. As the first glimmer of alarm illuminates your dull cow-eyes, I decide I'm tired of this game. No one around to hear you except the bums, dear. Time to take the masks off. Demon Lover disappears, replaced by Demon.

What's the matter, darling? Don't you want another kiss? A long, slow one? No one's going to answer your screams, but they're awfully irritating, so l clamp my right talon over your mouth. I pin you against the alley wall and leer at you. I want you to feel it. I want you to become fear. I won't let you faint - I want you conscious.

You sob and beat your fists against my breasts. Futile, dear. It's like socking lumps of gristle. But I don't understand. You look like a vampire, you dress like a vampire, you act like a vampire, you immerse yourself in vampire chic. And now I've introduced you to a vampire - a real, dead vampire. Don't you want to be a vampire - just like me?

Oh sure, there are "real" vampires, honey - or, at least, the kind you'd call real, the kind you ape in your condescending pretentiousness. Art-fag Toreador, too-rich-for-your-blood Ventrue, Lost Boys-wannabe Brujah - beautiful people. But they don't want you. They've got more important people to suck. Nope - you're getting a one-way ticket to hell courtesy of Clan Nosferatu.

I gouge my mouth into your neck - I'll give you the luxury of the traditional bite anyway, 'cause I'm, such a sweetheart - and your muffled shrieks subside to whimpers . Then there's nothing except your eyes, like those of a deer in the headlights, looking at me in confused horror, silently screaming, "Why?" Why? I don't really know why. Guess it's 'cause assholes make me sick. And misery loves company.

This info is ©1994 White Wolf. It is currently used without their blessing or permission. I'm real sorry 'bout that...but I mean 'em no harm. And if they say to remove it, I'd be happy to. I'm not doing this for money, or glory, or anything except to further the reach of their already incredible game system, and probably making 'em even MORE money...but still...