An excerpt from Starblood, by Carmilla Voiez.
Walking on the edge of the country road, she sees the lights of an approaching vehicle. The car passes her, then stops and waits patiently for her approach. A group of four teenage boys sit within its steel frame.
‘Got room for one more,’ one of them says as she starts to pass them.
‘Where are you heading?’ she asks them.
‘Anywhere you want,’ they promise her.
She can feel their excitement. They can barely suppress giggles as they look towards her.
‘The city,’ she tells them.
One boy eagerly opens a rear door and climbs out, letting her sit between the two of them on the back seat.
‘You’re lucky we were passing,’ the driver says, grinning at her over his shoulder. ‘It’s a long walk to the city.’
He puts the car into gear and drives. She is crowded in the back. The two boys next to her keep breathing on her face, their breath rank from alcohol and cigarettes.
One stretches to put his arm around her, when she doesn’t try to fight him off he giggles again. She stares at the blur of trees through the window. The car slows and turns a sharp right. Then it heads up a steep hill. The driver brakes and switches the engine off. He turns towards her, leering through eyes glazed with lust.
‘You might think this is your lucky day guys, but it isn’t,’ she warns.
The car doors open. The boy to her left grabs at her jacket and drags her out. Fabric tightens around her arms as he yanks at her. Outside the car she stands tall among them. She smiles and they stop grinning. They shuffle about, staring at their trainers, uncertain of what to do – like actors who have forgotten their lines. She waits too, watching them, not willing to be their prompt.
The driver speaks first. ‘Goth girls are always hot to trot.’
His words break the spell and they descend on her like wolves. Lips and teeth bounce off her skin and her clothes are tugged again. It is as though her body no longer belongs to her, and she feels them push her steadily towards the floor. Someone else has claimed her flesh shell as their puppet and is moving its limbs without her help or agreement. Is this how the magician felt inside her skin? He seemed to enjoy the experience, for her it has already grown tiresome.
‘Come now, guys. Are we not gentlemen? Let’s not crowd the lady,’ says the tallest. His smug grin will be the first she grinds under her heel. ‘Let her choose who she wants first.’
As the wall of boys parts around her, she stands back up and looks at them. Spotting the arrogant bastard, she walks across to him and challenges him with her stare. He smiles, confident in his masculine power.
‘You,’ she says and pushes him back hard. He falls heavily and grabs his arm, yelping in pain. She lifts her boot and smashes it down through his teeth. The bones crunch under her heel and she spins around to stare at the other pale and fearful faces.
‘Who’s next?’ she asks the three.