Lilith sucked lazily at the cigarette that hung from her lip, inhaling the chemicals deep into her lungs. She savoured the power of the smoke on her tongue, tasting it like a lover. Then, when the potency of the vapour was almost at its height, she expelled it out into the cold air. The smoke lingered in the stillness of the dark evening, curling like parchment towards a pale crescent moon.
She wondered listlessly about the evening ahead. Who would she take tonight? A question that had once filled her with passionate longing now fell flat, like a deflated balloon. Work had been such a drag these last few months.
Lilith took a moment to examine the lethargy that lay, crumpled in the place where otherwise a heart might have dwelt. Despite her current feelings, the job had seemed like the perfect way to feed her hunger. It allowed her to abuse her authority to the advantage of her desires. Men who might have run from her were now booking appointments and waiting in orderly queues for her services. It was convenient, there was no doubt about that. Lilith had never heard of McDonald's, but if she had, she might have laughed at the similarities between fast food and her current situation. But there was little challenge in stealing from the generous and the yielding of her victims only served to increase her longing for something more nutritious.
She missed the chase most of all. The giddy nausea that swan under her skin as she selected a victim and initiated the game. It was difficult enjoy the hunt if the fox presented himself to the hounds, rolled over to expose his fleshy underside and parted his fur to enable a clean bite. The game had been spoilt when Lilith broke the rules, and for that she was truly sorry. But it was too late to apologise now and in the end the only person who had been cheated was Lilith. The men would die regardless of how the game was played. Their part in the drama was small.
But her victims always went to their graves happy. How many other demons could boast such a service?
Lilith smiled and inhaled another lungful of smoke. She remembered the face her last victim, the bliss etched into every cell of his skin and they writhed together, performing his last rite. The chase may have been dampened, but the act itself was still exquisite.
Still, in this new shape, Lilith felt decidedly uncomfortable. The Hippocratic oath was anathema to her, and if her sisters could see the depths to which she had sunk...
Lilith plucked at the name badge on her lurid blue uniform. 'Lilith Stevens, Clinic Nurse.' She leant over and spat meditatively onto the ground. It wasn't an ideal situation, but it served her ultimate purpose. That purpose was to feed. She contented herself in the knowledge that she was the duplicitous arachnid, hollowing out the body of a larger insect and using its familiar colours to lure its prey.
And just like a predator, she would wait.
The wind had begun to bite now and frost had already begun to appear on the windscreens of the cars parked opposite the entrance to the clinic. Lilith finished the cigarette and immediately lit a second. There was no reason not to.
She considered returning to the chase. She could leave here and begin afresh. Prowling the nightclubs and seedy back-water drinking dens, where persuasion and charm would ensure that her exacting tastes were met. But it would be foolish to give up on such a good thing – especially given the steady influx of willing volunteers. Most were drifters and would not be missed. Suspicions would not be roused for some time.
As she began the third cigarette, a young man approached the entrance to the building. A dusting of snow clung to his hair and shoulders, and he brushed it off with a gloved hand as he moved through the automatic doors. Lilith watched with detached interest as the man stamped the snow from his boots and crossed the atrium in the manner of a child, fearful of being caught at mischief. Lilith smelt his scent and the taste of blood rose in her throat setting her eyes ablaze. It was time to steal. Time to feed.
She entered the building, moving silently through the open-plan space and alighting, like a glittering moth, at the reception desk. The young man glanced at her through long greasy hair.
“May I help you?” Lilith intoned.
“Yes,” Said the man, whose face was thin and pre-maturely lined, “I'm here to donate some sperm.” The man glanced down at his shoes once more as he uttered the last word.
“This way,” Lilith smiled, leading the stranger towards the donating room. He entered and she pulled the door closed behind him, her hand lingering on the handle. She sighed, it wasn't quite the as satisfying when the lambs came so willingly to the slaughter. She went into the room.