“Thank you for considering the attached short story for publication in your esteemed online magazine. It has no vampires in it. No werewolves, either. Nothing supernatural of any kind, in fact. I throw myself upon your mercy.”
The piece was indeed rejected by the online magazine maybe for many reasons. Probably not for lack of supernatural beings in the cast, but more likely because it opened with a dream sequence. I should know better.
Still, I liked the sequence, it had a function even if that function was pretty cheap. I’ve since lopped it off, but because I like it, and it deserves better than to die an obscure, uncelebrated death, I’m posting it here …
His protest, which had begun at dinner, was ineloquent, but earnest. Tireless. Words upon words upon words having some point she could not understand. Unless his point was to mortify her, in which case he’d succeeded. Relatives and friends bore the indignity with poise, eyes down, cutting at their meat and fish, laying flatware onto fine china with discreet clinks.
Only his mother spoke, saying between forkfuls of salad, “Ignore him, he will go away.”
She did, but he did not. So she left, and he followed, out of the dining hall, through the kitchen, to the veranda overlooking first a tropical rubber plantation, then a fog-cloaked city, then an ocean, a desert, a mountain forest, a frozen lake on a tundra and under a sliver of moon, a pageant that would have been beautiful and happy had he not all throughout diminished it with a wheedling, vexed accompaniment. She left him again and, by a route she’d not taken before, arrived at the white marble foyer. Under an oil portrait of him, her boy, and herself, under a heavy brass lantern hanging by a chain from a high ceiling, before palatial doors, she folded her arms and faced him.
He conceded. He sighed. He withered. He said, “Woof.” She scoffed, rolled her eyes, but did not deign to say the reason was he had not been apologetic enough.
He went to all fours, turned up his nose, and released a jet of piss onto the floor without lowering his pants, or even opening his fly. A stream ran to her toe, pooled, and rose quickly to her ankle, her knee, her thigh. She asked aloud, “Why don’t I feel anything?”
“You will,” he said, and sure enough she did, when it reached her hip.
She shuddered. “It’s cold.”
“It’s the best I can do.”