Monstrous Femme

“611, 612, 613 . . .” the portly man muttered. Finally, the correct number was in front of him. Frank reached out a hand and knocked on the apartment labeled 616. After a moment, the door opened, and the woman that stood behind it smiled at him with playful glee.

“You Frank?” she asked in a sultry tone, wiping a few strands of blond hair away from her face.

Frank felt stunned for but a moment, taken aback by something he couldn’t quite understand. She looked just as good as she had in her ad—but there was something strangely off about her, as though an awful darkness lurked beneath the bleached hair and perfect teeth.

“Yeah. Tania?” Frank finally croaked. She nodded. “Easy to find.”

“You want to come in?” said Tania, beckoning him inside with a slight tilt of her head, exposing a fang-like earing on her left ear. Frank hesitated only for a second, then entered, hunching a bit as he stepped past. He nervously shuffled into the middle of the room as Tania shut and locked the door with a curt click. It was then that Frank noticed she was continuing, fastening several more locks which it looked like she’d installed herself.

“What are you doing?” he asked. Tania fastened the final lock and turned to him, offering an exaggerated look of exasperation.

“Oh, it’s this place. I had a break-in with another client a few weeks ago. Addict. You wouldn’t want us interrupted, would you?”

“Well, no . . . no, of course not,” said Frank, offering a slight, forced chuckle. Glancing around, he spotted a large, stuffed wolf’s head, which was mounted above the TV. An ugly thing, its mouth a twisted, menacing sneer of sharp teeth.

“You married?” Tania asked.

“Yes,” Frank said.

Tania chuckled. “I was.” She pointed to the wolf’s head. “That was my husband.” Her demeanor had fully changed at this point. Gone was the feigned sensuality. She sat leaning against a small table, legs slightly spread, with a look of boredom on her face. “I’m going to go strip, okay? Don’t want to ruin this,” she said, tugging a bit at her dress as she glided into the pitch-black bedroom.

Frank felt himself freezing up, his breath becoming labored. He spied the locks on the door. Padlocked. He looked again at the wolf’s mounted head. That hideous black fur. Those long teeth. Suddenly, strange sounds grabbed his attention from the inky blackness of the bedroom: wet, cracking noises, which made him feel sick. A bizarre moan came next, seemingly resonating deeper and deeper as it continued—and then all at once, the sounds ceased.

Frank swallowed, his hands shaking. He watched the empty void that was the bedroom doorway . . . and then heard something huge and heavy running toward him. He screamed.