XV. Blood Dolls
Oh my god, no, we’re not some scabby ho-bags down by the Circle Eleven store.
Look around you. You can see we’ve got it all, and we’ve got it right. That copy of the du Pont Registry on the cut-crystal coffee table isn’t there for show, honey. We’re lighting our Sobranies with hundred dollar bills as we invest our Bitcoin in Berkshire Hathaway shares. And this is all beautiful, like our lives, but I haven’t told you the details of the best part yet.
Sit your gold-plated ass down, because it’s time to get immortal!
How do you like that bottle service? Dom Perignon seemed so old-fashioned, it just had to be Iordanov, chilled to perfection. I had Mia add just one drop of the Purest Red for your first drink—I know you could see it, but did you taste it? Mmmm, yes, it’s not exactly like blood at all. It has that… earthy quality to it, like something ancient and solid, you know? The flavor of centuries… darkness and murder that never dies.
God, it’s delicious!
I know you know Salvatore, he’s in shipping with the Boys, and that’s Jenna, she’s moving up in government. They’ve been coming to the parties since, oh, let’s just say, “Studio 54?” Hahahahahaha! That’s right, hookers and blow!
My cousin Prentiss was close to one of the Dark Ones back then, and he told me crazy stories. You won’t believe this, but one time Andy Warhol was pissing in the stall next to them when Prentiss and his Master were slitting this boy-whore’s throat. Andy thought they were fucking in there! He asked if he could take Polaroids! Prentiss had to talk so fast to keep his Master from just killing Andy to shut him up!
Oh they got rid of the body the usual way. No, not the Boys! They don’t like to get involved in that part of things, just ask Sally. Prentiss and his M carried the boy out like he was stoned out of his mind and went down to where some of the poor Dollies go. The ones who have the Habit but not the money or the connections? They go over to these scabby ho-bags and im-ME-diately they know what the Master is. So they’re crawling in the broken glass and the needles and begging for a hit of the Purest Red. Prentiss just doesn’t want these shitstains touching him, and oh my god, who can blame him, right?
The Master just dumps the dead rent boy in the gutter and holds up his hand. The po’ folks Dollies go totally silent. The Master says, “Get rid of this meat now. Do that and I’ll give you one drop.” The poors go crazy and the Master adds, “Only one of you.”
Prentiss told me he just about lost it when the raggy bums all started killing each other. They all wanted the Red so much, but only one could have it, you know? The Master doesn’t even stay to watch, he just says, “I’ll be back in an hour. Do a good job.” Prentiss hung back, watching them kill each other with broken bottles, thumbs in the eyes, anything. The police? Oh, honey. You know what the cops say: “No humans involved.”
So, anyway, the Master like comes back in about three hours, which sucked for Prentiss because he had to be in this shitty part of town with these losers. But what sucked even more is how the scab-Dollies got rid of the body.
They didn’t finish killing each other, you know? They hurt each other bad, but one of them got the others to agree to a contest. They all hate it, but they know they need the Red, so they all agree to do it. They take this dead sixteen-year-old hustler from Ohio or something and they strip him naked, you know, just dump his shoes and clothes in the storm drain. They keep his stuff from his pockets. Hey, you never know when you’ll need a photo I.D. for Ulysses S. Grant High School, am I right? And they scrape together stuff they need for the contest, like a pocket knife, a screwdriver, a sharp piece of metal siding, could be anything. As long as it’s sharp…
Turned out it was an EATING CONTEST! Hahahahahahahahahaha!
By the time Prentiss’ Master gets back, they had all the soft tissues down. These are all like smelly skeleton-people, ‘cause they’re so strung out on you name it, but now they’ve got these potbellies full of blond hustler boy, fresh from the farm! The bones were in a plastic garbage bag they emptied out where Prentiss threw up, and they were breaking them up with a cinder block.
A middle-aged bag lady waddled up to the Master and said, “I won. I ate the most. You can look. He’s gone.” She gave him this prom queen smile with a piece of boy sticking out of her teeth.
The Master turns to the black guy with the cinder block, who dumps the bag of broken bones into the river. There it goes, downriver, bye-bye kid from Ohio who sold blowjobs at the disco. The Master says, “And what was that?”
“The bones,” said the black guy.
The Master said, “Come here and claim your reward.”
The bag lady screamed and raved, just covered in tears and snot and drool, losing her shit, you know?! Prentiss just laughed his ass off! Who could blame him? I mean, what a dumbshit! “Eating contest!” The Dark Ones don’t give a fuck about your “eating contest!”
What they do care about is loyalty and discretion, and nobody knows those things the way we do. You have to work together to stay at the top. We’re not like those pathetic creatures out there in the night, doing whatever they have to do to get their next taste of the crimson stuff. We are valuable people. The Dark Ones want us… I shouldn’t say this, but it’s true, they need us.
It’s a pretty wild ride, isn’t it? Just one drop and you feel not just younger and more alive. You feel cooler and colder, prettier, just fucking better. Watch this. Try to catch this decanter.
Hahahahahaha! See? You’re like a superhero now!
And EVERYTHING is better. Food tastes better, but it takes just a little nibble to keep you full. Perfumes are like a trip to exotic places every time you breathe. No, you’re not imagining things. You can see in the dark now!
Oh god, yes, the sex is sooooo much better with the Purest Red.
I haven’t done it with any of the Dark Ones yet. My Mistress hasn’t given me permission yet, she says I have to earn it. But any sex is fantastic when you’re a Doll. It’s like you’ve finally come alive and you can feel things no human being has ever known before. They say it’s addictive, but honey, isn’t life addictive? That’s what Mistress says. Life is addictive.
No, it’s not bad to be called a Doll. It’s cute, it’s a pet name the Dark Ones have for us. They call us Blood Dolls. We give them blood and they give us blood. But it’s much more than that. We help them in every way we can, each with their own gifts. Lucky us, we’re “Porcelain Dolls,” not “Rag Dolls.” No eating contests! Hahahahahahaha!
Oh, you know… lending and cleaning up and investing money, private deluxe transportation, operating businesses in every sector, holding elected office, working in administration, calling in favors, keeping things out of the media. We do all kinds of things for the Dark Ones.
Hahahahaha! Besides eating contests? Rag Dolls have to do all kinds of shit-eating for their Red! Bodyguarding, step-and-fetch, digging pits, guinea pig duty, cleaning, oh for fuck’s sake, what do we use them for? They’re good for all that and stuff you’d never think of, ‘cause we’re not the Dark Ones!
One other advantage of our natural status in life is that we’re at the front of the line when the Dark Ones think about Dolls. You only need a little Red now and then to keep you happy, but there’s only so much Red to go around. The Raggies never get quite enough of it, you know? They look like shit, they go crazy, all kinds of things. And you know, let’s be real, their lifestyle doesn’t help anything.
We, on the other hand, can party all night, every night, forever, as long as the Dark Ones love us. We can be strong and build empires in the light and the shadows with the Masters’ help, and they’ll make sure it lasts for eternity. Aren’t you glad you stayed in touch with me after prep school?
So good we’re still besties, and so good we’ll be besties forever now.
* * *
Blood Dolls are human beings who have been enslaved by the addictive mutating power of a Vampire’s blood. The strongest Vampire (“Dark One”) blood is drawn from inside or near their cold, unbeating heart and is given to their favorite disciples—weaker blood comes from their limbs or torso, and is given to less favored servants.
Vampire blood gives humans limited versions of many undead powers, from unnatural vigor to the ability to see in total darkness. What it does not do is turn a human into a Vampire. That is a specific and separate process.
There is no normal technological or medical means of detecting a Blood Doll. Despite their weird supernatural powers, they are in every physical respect identical to an ordinary human being… with a few potential changes to their appearance, of course.
Blood Dolls are pale, and if they are given the stronger blood (the Purest Red) they will become prettier, more perfect (in ways even Vampires do not). Weaker blood may result in loathsome aberrations: Scarring, bone structure distortion, mutations of the skin, eyes, and other body parts.
The existence of Blood Dolls is a rumor among the wealthy and well-connected, but very few take it seriously. They’re also known in some strata of the drug underworld, as well. But Blood Dolls are found in every walk of life, from corporations to organized crime, military to religion, the poor and the rich. The addiction claims victims of every age, gender, nationality, ethnicity or other category. Vampires have uses for everyone.
Many Vampires do not care about Blood Dolls, and do not bother to make or control any. They only experience deep annoyance when Blood Dolls accost them for a handout of the Red, or try to bargain for some. Some Vampires see the strategic use of Blood Dolls and intentionally create networks of them to do their bidding.
Two Vampire perspectives are vital to remember with Blood Dolls:
First, if a Vampire thought you had the potential to be a worthwhile Vampire, they would have turned you immediately with the Shadows’ Kiss. So if you’re a Blood Doll… learn to enjoy what you are. Some Dolls have existed for centuries, begging to be turned, and have become favorite jokes of the Vampires. (Current slang among younger Vampires is to call these Dolls “Gollum” or “Dobby”—an update from the old “Renfield,” “Willie” and “Evil Ed.”)
Second, only a fraction of all Vampires have any sentimentality about Blood Dolls. In fact, only a fraction see Blood Dolls with the same regard they have for normal human beings. A Blood Doll who has no patron Vampire that particularly likes and sponsors them is essentially a walking facial tissue ready to be flung in the garbage. Non-favorite Blood Dolls may be killed by a Vampire at any time and no other Vampire (even a regular feeder for the Doll) will bother to pause in their conversation to mention it.
And of course, Vampires feed from Blood Dolls whenever they like. Dolls do not talk about it, preferring to concentrate on how they drink from Vampires, because “they have their pride.” The experience of giving blood to a Vampire is orgasmic for a Doll, but it leaves them with an emptiness inside—an emotional ache they cannot soothe. Very few Vampires have any tolerance for post-feeding angst from a Blood Doll, and most will silence a Doll’s whimpering with threats or violence.
With a ready supply of willing, addicted slaves ready to do whatever they command, give them warm blood and build empires of wealth and crime and power, why don’t all Vampires joyfully embrace the existence of Blood Dolls?
Because every other supernatural enemy they have—and Vampires have many—knows that wherever you find Blood Dolls, you will find Vampires. And unlike Vampires, most Blood Dolls don’t know one supernatural faction from another. So if a weird preternatural creature with glowing eyes and fangs tells a Blood Doll to help them trick a Vampire in exchange for a “rich reward,” how could the Doll possibly know that they’ve just been conned by a Wereleopard of the Lunar Covenant into betraying one of the Dark Ones?
And how would that Vampire know that a Blood Doll flunky had just sold them down the river to a flesh-ripping shapeshifter before it was too late?
Even such subterfuge would hardly be necessary. Blood Dolls guard Vampires’ lairs, run their businesses, even groom Vampires to go out at night. Any interference with Dolls can wreck a Vampire’s existence or even end it.
Most Vampires, especially ones Kissed in more modern times, understand the risks of having a staff of servants and choose to go it alone.
But sometimes a Vampire needs someone as reliable as a slave—someone who can walk by day and knows how to serve their needs. Where this need exists, Blood Dolls will be created and maintained…
Vampires are the dark black hole core of the universe. They are the givers and takers of eternal life. Nothing they ask is too great because the reward they offer is beyond any price. Love the Dark Ones. Worship them.
Fuck. These. Guys. We’re talking about fundamentalist religious extremists, survivalists, paramilitary assholes and career criminals. They’re evil and crazy. They want to kill everything they don’t understand, and trust me, they do not understand anything. If you can kill them or get them killed, that’s good. If not, plant evidence and tip off the authorities. Get them exposed with some really nasty shit all over the internet, wreck their families, get them fired from the jobs, put them on lists. Get them.
The Lunar Covenant
Pretty animals and pretty people! Sex and violence emanate from them in waves. If only they would serve the Dark Ones, too, we could have the best eternity together.
We really don’t know that much about these guys. They’re some kind of terrifying conspiracy between some medical doctors, engineers and bio-medical researchers. They, like, make zombies and shit. I would stay away from them if I were you.
Last year everybody switched from Kabalism to Voudoun before we went to the Burn, and a few of these guys showed up for art shows and things. They’re very intense and the houngan and other Caribbean people we had at the parties didn’t like them at all. They said the Loa Masters aren’t real priests or teachers, and that they practice evil magic that endangers everyone around them. Personally, I think they’re hot.
The best and scariest party I ever went to was with an open marriage group I knew that identified themselves as Cultists. They were really smart and well-spoken, and they knew all kinds of things about neuroscience, music and sacred geometry. We were out in the mountains and they asked if we wanted to be part of a “lesser working.” So we did it, and we did all these crazy things, and then this SHAPE just formed in the shadows in the trees. I don’t know why, but we fucking FREAKED THE FUCK OUT, and I couldn’t stop screaming and screaming and screaming until the shape just disappeared like an optical illusion. The Cultist guys laughed their asses off at us and we had some E. They asked if we wanted to do it again, but better. Jonah said yes, but I said no effing way. In my opinion, whatever they’re trying to do is bad, so I give Cultists the thumbs way, way down.
These guys say they’re magicians, like Alexander Crowley and that Mort Garrison guy who makes British graphic novels. Personally, I was bored when I talked to one, but he kept “staring at my aura” and saying how it was “fascinating.” Fascinate this, bitch!
The Unquiet Dead
Ghosts are real. No fucking shit. I talked to one with my weejee board the other day and she told me to eat—hahaha, no I’m not joking! They are real and creepy! Let’s go to a legit séance and you can see for youself!
I had another conversation at this craft cocktail and single-malt bar downtown with a woman who said she wasn’t really human and that she knew I wasn’t “ordinary” anymore either. I was totally flattered, so we had some Dalmore 35 and she told me she was an Asura. I didn’t know what that was, either! But she said she was immortal, like living immortal not special-immortal like the Dark Ones, and that she had the power of centuries running through every fiber of her being. She had these magic tricks, and the best one was where she could keep this long scythe blade weapon hidden in some kind of pocket space until she needed it. I asked her why she would need it if she was immortal and powerful, and she just smiled and said, “Other Asuras.”
Dude, I totally did her! Who would not?!
You know, you do this long enough and you will hear about other kinds of special things in our big beautiful world. I’ve heard rumors about genies, who are really devils from hell, and a legion of mummies that live in underground caves in South America. There’s Japanese goblins and angels with machine guns. The weirdest ones? Got to be the secret Pan-Asian mecha people and the Geometric People. I don’t even know if those things are real, but they told me you need to just pay attention to what’s in the corner of your eye now and then. I have no idea what that means… uh, what’s that?