Wednesday 15 February 2017


Ann Dixon

Redbush Tea

Bella De Sang scanned the assembled crowd on the platform. What a dull, lifeless lot they all seemed, she thought. She had hoped to find an interesting and good looking travelling companion to help relieve the tedium of the long journey down to London but none appealed to her.

      The station intercom suddenly crackled into life,  announcing the imminent arrival of the London train to Euston. As one, the crowd picked up their luggage and slowly made their way to the platforms edge. It was then that Bella spotted him., a handsome dark haired man standing near the ticket office. He turned towards her and Bella drank in his rugged good looks. Now there was a man she could happily spend a few hours with she thought. He had a muscular build and a fine chiselled  face that even Apollo might envy. A mop of unruly hair, curled cheekily towards his large almond shaped eyes; but - a sudden pained expression spread  across his face. Deep furrows lined his brow changing his features from heroic to pitiful. Bella watched in fascination, as the young man  limped awkwardly towards the train. Not that his limping  mattered to her of course, her plans did not require physical perfection, just a healthy fascination with the opposite sex.     

      Unaware of Bella's gaze, Ben slowly made his way to the train. He shuffled along the corridor and selected an empty carriage at the rear, hoping fervently that he would be left alone. The last thing he wanted was to be forced into meaningless conversation with someone he didn't know. Through long periods of illness he had lost his lucrative position as chief executive of Marlow and Sons, and  Mira, his long term partner, had recently left him for an oily bank manager. His now somewhat reduced funds, had meant giving  up his beloved luxury apartment overlooking the River Thames, for a pokey little studio flat in Darrington. Life was at an all time low for Ben and he simply wanted to be left in peace.

       After stowing his briefcase in the luggage rack, he sat down for what he hoped would be a silent, solitary journey.  Minutes later however, the door slid open and in walked  the most stunningly beautiful woman he had ever seen. Dressed totally in black, she was tall, slim and supremely elegant. She closed the carriage door and before sitting,  pulled down the window blinds. Long, diaphanous white hair wafted softly across her pallid face. Her eyes, a  hypnotic violet and her sensuous full mouth painted deepest red - fair took his breathe away. She sat down directly opposite him. Her gaze was overwhelmingly captivating and so intense, that it made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. Ben was transfixed by her fervent, bewitching stare and could not look away.

      The train gradually gathered speed and was soon singing its rhythmic tune.  Bella leant forward to observe her handsome Apollo more closely. It had been an extremely long, time since she felt so strongly attracted to anyone and why this young man should appeal so much to her, was a bit of a  mystery to her.

       As she held him in her gaze she drank in his rugged looks, but then, as she probed his handsome features more intently, she also sensed his pain, his loneliness and an all consuming sadness.  There was a time of course, when despite those wondrous looks, she would have dismissed such a physically weak creature out of hand, but this young man was different  somehow and Bella was determined to help him.

       'Why not come and sit here,' she said to him, her voice deep and sonorous. Her long, china boned hand, indicated the seat next to hers. A  mesmerized Ben did exactly as he was bidden. 'Now!  close your eyes,' she instructed. Ben dutifully obeyed. Bella revealed her fangs and with a delicious tenderness, she drank the exquisite, dark, ruby elixir of his life. The taste was sublime.
       When  Ben eventually opened his eyes the train was pulling into  Euston Station and of his alluring travelling companion there was no sign.
His mouth felt desert dry and when he stood, his head was a  little light, but that apart, he felt inextricably stronger and healthier than he had done for many months and his heart now throbbed with a strong, steady rhythm. He collected his suitcase from the rack and made his way off the train without the merest trace of a limp.  

       Before heading off to visit his specialist, and eager to quench his thirst, he headed off to the station cafe. Ahead of him in the queue stood a young, pretty, blonde haired girl and Ben felt strangely attracted to her. He watched as she ordered a latte and sat down in the deserted courtyard at the back of the Waiting Room.  Ben needed something stronger and ordered a double espresso.

       With espresso in hand, he strolled into the courtyard and sat down opposite he, eager to examine those delicate features more closely. . He sipped his espresso. The girl looked up and their eyes met. Without warning, a dark all consuming  sadness flooded his mind and a strange alien feeling stirred within him. His eyes blackened and Ben's ice white fangs slid gently over his lips. Yes! The taste would be sublime.

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