The Blood Lottery

Here’s another flash fiction challenge entry. This week we were to choose from 10 titles, selected from a bunch submitted to the www.terribleminds.com site. I chose a pretty popular title, but I couldn’t get this story out of my head until I got it down. I’d love to hear what you think, if you care to leave a comment.

The Blood Lottery

Eric nearly cancelled the Grindr date the entire time he spent getting ready. Ethan wasn’t nearly his usual type: he was too tall, to wiry, too ethereal-looking. Eric usually went for more muscular types. But something about him compelled an agreement to meet. It’s just coffee, Eric kept convincing himself. It’s no big deal.

Ethan was already sitting on a burgundy pleather couch at the coffee shop when Eric arrived. He looked glaringly out-of-place: while the shop was well-lit and brightly decorated, Ethan emanated dark and broody. It wasn’t just that he was dressed entirely in black, but the air around him seemed more subdued. He looked even taller and more slender than his profile picture, if that was even possible. Once again, Eric considered turning around and heading home, but before he could move, Ethan’s eyes met his. They were the most astounding, perfect shade of emerald green Eric had ever seen; they didn’t even appear human. At once the almost-brooding face burst into a smile that was welcoming but also made Eric feel as though he were a bird caught in a net.

Ethan stood as Eric pushed open the door of the shop to join him. For all his imposing aura, he turned out to be only a shade taller than Eric.

“Eric. Good to meet you.” He offered a pale, long-fingered hand.

Eric grasped it lightly and immediately started as if struck by lightning. The crackle of electricity moved along his arm and straight into his spine, which stiffened even as his cock followed suit. Ethan pulled in his arm, drawing Eric closer, and leaned in towards his ear.

“I was hoping you might be up for an adventure.” His voice was like a caress of silk against Eric’s neck. Eric, speechless, could only nod his head.

“Good. I know just the place.”

Minutes later, they arrived at an old abandoned-looking warehouse. Eric had managed to regain some composure when they broke physical contact, but he still felt as if he were under some sort of thrall. Ethan led him to the side of the building and knocked on the door: 3-5-3. A large, meaty bouncer swung the door outward and glared at Ethan.

“You’re late,” he grunted.

“I apologize,” Ethan replied, turning his hand toward Eric. “I brought a guest.”

The bouncer grunted again, something Eric couldn’t interpret, and then stepped aside to let them in.

Inside the warehouse was a huge club with a bar on one side and a small stage set up on the far wall. The area was so dimly-lit Eric could barely see the stage and it was crowded with people similar to Ethan: tall, lithe and inhumanly beautiful. Ethan left Eric and headed to the bar to get them drinks; Eric shrank against the back wall, suddenly very uneasy away from Ethan’ s presence. He did not belong here.

“WELCOME ALL. WHO IS READY FOR THE LOTTERY TO BEGIN?”

The stage was suddenly brightly lit by two spotlights trained on a man standing in the center. He was dressed all in black, like the others. The crowd clapped and a few of them cheered. Suddenly, millions of little red flashes exploded all around the club. Ethan returned, and as he handed Eric his drink, Eric realized he was wearing a bracelet that had tiny flashing red lights around it.

“LET US BEGIN WITH OUR FIRST BLOOD!”

The bracelets stopped flashing. A blonde woman in an inky black gown towed a petite brunette onto the stage. Eric could tell, even from this distance, that she was probably drunk or drugged. She swayed on the stage and the blonde had to hold her upright. The girl then briefly lifted her head and Eric could see that her eyes were glassy and unfocused. Eric turned toward Ethan.

“What the hell is going on here? A lottery? Of people? What do the winners do with them?”

“Just watch,” he replied, his voice barely above a whisper yet Eric could hear him above the noise of the crowd. Ethan then placed a row of soft kisses on Eric’s neck, nearly blinding him with lust.

“HERE IS A PRETTY LITTLE SPECIMEN! CHANTAL PROMISES THAT SHE WILL BE A SCRAPPER, ONCE SHE RECOVERS.”

A few of the audience members snickered in response.

“EVERYONE CHECK YOUR BRACELETS! THE WINNER OF THE FIRST BLOOD IS…”

A cheer a few rows from the stage and a blinking bracelet raised in the air.

“AH YES. COME UP AND CLAIM YOUR PRIZE.!”

The winner, a stunning auburn-haired woman, climbed the few steps onto the stage. The blonde took the girl’s hands and placed them in the hands of the winner, who led the girl offstage, a predatory smile on her face.

“LOOKS LIKE ONE SATISFIED CUSTOMER! LET US SEE WHO IS NEXT!”

Eric’s desire faded as the girl was led away, the curiosity he had before returning, along with a growing sense of dread.

“What is she going to do with that girl?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Ethan replied, again with the dizzying kisses.

Eric should have been afraid, but the fear he had mingled with desire, paralyzing him where he stood. It was all he could do to watch as the next Blood was brought on stage, the next bracelet flashed, and the next winner claimed his prize.

Once again, the spell wore off, and Eric regained his senses, his stomach plunging and a wave of nausea hitting him as a realization, as ridiculous as it was plausible, took form in his head. He turned to Ethan with more questions, but before he could open his mouth, Ethan took his hand and began to lead him toward the stage.

“Do not worry. I bribed the host so I should win you.”

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