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Group 205: A Perfect Match

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KagaChan211 View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KagaChan211 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Group 205: A Perfect Match
    Posted: 02 Feb 2021 at 6:53pm
Sci-Fi/A Makeover/Bartender

Warning: Blood and Gore

A Perfect Match

Roman, a bartender, finds himself attracted to a patron during his shift.

Little did he know it would be his last. 

There are two types of lives for a bartender, and it all came down to the area you worked in. If it was in the ghetto or poorer districts, you dealt with the rowdy crowd and worked in an unhygienic environment, but if you were lucky to be in the finer districts?

    The job could be seen as utter bliss, and this was the case for Roman.

    He wouldn’t trade his job for the world. The tips were divine, and with his looks, he could very well pick up a patron for a night of blissful release. Both men and women fawned over his skills, and he had a reputation that made people come around just to see him.

    For him, his life was absolutely perfect, and tonight would be no different.

    As Roman stood behind the bar counter, he could feel plenty of eyes on him, and who could blame them? His dark brown hair was slicked back but held that spikey wave customers loved, while the white of his button-up undershirt made tanned skin pop under dim lights. Even with these traits, he knew the most captivating of all was how his black vest made his amber eyes glow.

    Many had fallen under the trance of his stare, and with that thought…

    Who would he pick up tonight?

    Glancing around, it didn’t take long for predatory eyes to lock on a lone figure near the end of his bar, and he had to admit, the man had a charm to him. His skin appeared to be soft and pale under the dim lights while blond hair fluffed out and around his face, which hid the gaze that was presumably down at the empty glass in his hand.

    Well, now that was a shame.

    Placing down the glass that he’d been buffering, Roman made his way over, and when he stood before the patron, he rested an elbow against the counter and smiled, “So, care to tell me why a charming man such as yourself is alone?” 

    When the person turned their attention up toward him, it took everything within the bartender to learn how to breathe.

    The male had the most intense blue eyes he’d ever seen. It felt as if he was staring into a glacier kissed by the sun. They held such an intensity that Roman actually had to clear his throat and collect himself before continuing, “How about I make you a drink first, then you can answer. It’ll be on the house, so what would you like?”

    The look of shock slowly disappeared from the customer’s face and was soon replaced with a gentle smile, “A Mai Tai sounds lovely, thank you.”

    Even the man’s voice was smooth. It was softer than the silk sheets he slept in at home, and it was with this thought Roman knew this would be the person he would take home tonight.

    Reaching out, the brunet gently took the glass from his hands, and with a small smirk, he winked, “Good choice, I’ll get that right up for you.”

    As he walked away to make the drink, Roman couldn’t help but notice how overheated the other was, but then again, he could just be cold right now. 

    So, going through the motions, the bartender quickly made a Mai Tai before coming back and setting it down, “So, care to tell me now why you’re by yourself?”

    The blond gently reached out and took the cup, and it was only when he took a sip that he spoke, “I was supposed to meet someone here tonight…”

    The sentence didn’t need to be finished, and Roman couldn’t believe his luck. It would be so easy to sweep in that he found himself doing just that, “What a shame. They’re obviously missing out on something spectacular. The name is Roman, care to share yours?”

    A small flicker of something went through those glacier eyes, but it was there and gone before he could see what it was, “Leo. My name is Leo.”

    Unable to hold back a smirk, Roman leaned against the counter, his amber eyes full of amusement and arousal, “What a name. Tell me, you appear to be shy, so does that name apply to your behavior in the bedroom?”

    This got a blush out of the blond, and after clearing his throat, he replied, “Well, I don’t know, you would have to tell me that now, wouldn’t you?”

    Oh, this man was good. Roman could already tell. There was a tension growing between them, and glancing over at the clock, he noticed that it was close to closing. Turning his attention back toward the patron, he leaned in. He made sure his lips brushed up against the shell of the other’s ear, and with that, he spoke in a husky tone, “Wait here until my shift is done, and I will gladly make you live up to your name.”

    Hearing the shaky breath and feeling the slightest quiver against his lips, Roman pulled back with a smirk of victory, and from there, he couldn’t close the bar fast enough. It’d been a while since someone had entranced him this way. 

So, when the day was finally done and the doors were locked, Roman didn’t hesitate to pin Leo to the wall and take a taste of what was to come.

    The sweet flavor of pineapple and the heat of rum rang through, and before he went too far, he took ahold of Leo’s hand and led him down the street, “I live close by, so we’ll be there in a few minutes.”

    This got a breathy laugh in response, and feeling the hand in his own tighten, Roman couldn’t help but smirk, “Excited much?” 

    The words were a playful tease, and Leo was quick to tease back, “It seems you’re more excited than I am, after all…”

    For the rest of the sentence, the blond leaned in and whispered it into Roman’s ear, and the reaction was instant. His hold on the other’s hand tightened, and now, he felt the urgency to get to his apartment as soon as possible, which thankfully didn’t take long. 

The elevator ride was full of kisses and brief touches, and once they’d walked through the door to his apartment, Roman was quick to push Leo up against the wall. Nimble fingers weaved through golden locks, and pressing their bodies together, he sealed their lips in a passionate kiss.

    The blond felt like fire against him. The heat was near unbearable, but feeling shaky hands move to unbutton his vest, the brunet couldn’t help but groan. 

    This would be a good night; he could feel it. Once both of his shirts were gone, he would-

    Before he could finish that thought, a sharp pain jolted through him. It cut through the fog filling his mind, and with a gasp, Roman pulled back. 

What was happening? 

Why was he in excruciating pain? 

It took everything within him to breathe and looking toward the source, his eyes widened.

    There, he saw Leo’s hand deep inside his stomach.

    Gasping for breath, Roman looked up to see a wide smirk on the once soft face. His eyes were hidden behind the golden veil of bangs, but once he looked up, orbs of amber widened.

    The hypnotizing blue was gone, and now all he could see was blood red.

    “As I thought, this body is quite grand. I think you’re the makeover I’ve been looking for.”

    Even the voice that spoke no longer held such an innocent tone. It was deeper, more confident and the chuckle that followed was full of pure amusement, “You appear to be shocked. This vessel was too when I took it over, but I never bothered him with an explanation. He was too bland, but you? I may give you one if you beg.”

    It took everything in Roman to collect his thoughts, and his first reaction was to get away. With a bloodied hand, he gripped Leo’s wrist, and as he tried to pull it out, the laugher surrounding him only got louder, “Even now, you try and resist! How grand, maybe I should have let things progress, then again, this body is having a hard time holding me, so I couldn’t do that.”

    At this point, Roman knew what he had to do, and even though every fiber of his being was against it….

He had to know what was going on. 

    It was his only possible way of escape.

    “Fine, tell me what the f**k is going on.”

    The words were hissed through gritted teeth, and this caused crimson eyes to glisten with mirth, “Oh, I really did choose right. Feel honored, for I will tell you what is about to happen.”

    With that said, the hand in his stomach pushed in deeper, and it took everything in Roman to remain standing, “Right now, I’m making a pathway up to the back of your neck. You can’t feel it, but once it’s done, I’ll be taking over your body.”

    The brunet couldn’t believe what he was hearing, but it only got worse from there, “What do you humans call species not native to your planet… Aliens? This isn’t like what you see in the movies, though. It’s not a whole colony seeking domination, but rather one specimen. Once I’m at the top of the chain, I’ll change things here to what I see fit and make this place you call Earth truly thrive. You, Roman, will be an essential stepping-stone toward my goal.”

    Roman couldn’t believe what he was hearing. 

This type of stuff didn’t exist, it didn’t-

But, then again… here he was, bleeding out and glaring at the being before him.

“So what? You’re going to kill me and wear my skin?” Roman snapped, which only caused more laughter to fill the hallway.

“Oh, no. We’ll coexist. I can already tell we’re a perfect match. The link between us will be strong, and your body won’t tire like this one. I’ll be keeping you as my main vessel and pet unless I find one that’s better. But I find myself becoming bored of this conversation, so I’ll be taking over now.”

Roman could feel himself begin to hyperventilate, and before he could do anything, his vision began to fade…

It was when he was about to lose consciousness that a comment rang out, one that made his stomach churn and chest ache:

“Thank you for the makeover; I’ll treat your body quite nicely, Roman.”

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mallorysuzanne View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mallorysuzanne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2021 at 8:01pm
I really like the concept of your story. It's an interesting seduction switch, and it plays well throughout the plot. 

You have some really nice wording in here as well, like "and this caused crimson eyes to glisten with mirth" and "he made sure his lips brushed up against the shell of the other’s ear."

The ending felt a little rushed, and seemed to have a lot of "tell" in the sequencing instead of "show."

And while I really do like the ending line, I'm not quite sure why it's in italics, and why Roman's name is bolded.

Overall, I think this is an interesting take on our prompts, and was a very intriguing story! Best of luck with the judges!

Edited by mallorysuzanne - 02 Feb 2021 at 8:01pm
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powerofcitrus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote powerofcitrus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2021 at 8:28pm
Interesting take on the prompts (particularly “makeover”). Some nice imagery (I really liked the sun kissed glacier description of Leo’s eyes). If I could make a suggestion, maybe reduce the number of commas you use to improve the flow of your words. You may also want to avoid repeating the same figures of speech—I think you used “it was everything in him...” a few times. (From personal experience it can be surprisingly difficult to catch repeated words/phrases as you’re writing, but they tend to pop out after a later re-read.)

Best of luck with the judges!
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Deanna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Deanna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2021 at 7:00pm
Oh I love the twist! Was not expecting it but perfectly timed! In fact, I think there was really good pacing throughout. I was a little confused at the earlier line where Roman described the man as overheated. I liked how it tied in later with the man not being human but when I first read it I was confused as to how Roman knew he was overheated - maybe an allusion to their hands brushing or something would be good here? Another small thing is that until the key scene, I was wandering where the sci-fi would fit in. This is more of a personal preference really, but it might be nice to set the scene a little more like if they were on a different planet or a future where aliens visited earth to give it more of a sci-fi flair.

But I did enjoy this piece and I really like how you interpreted the prompt - very clever! 
Read my 1st Round suspense story titled Access Granted
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Qsparkletastic View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Qsparkletastic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2021 at 5:25pm
Thanks for sharing. I appreciated the twist taking this in a fresh direction. As another reader commented, before then I was wondering what made this sci-fi. But you did set it up nicely with the too warm glass and slightly off reactions. I wonder if you could give "Leo" more oddities for Roman to ignore? It's pretty much all in his hesitance and his eyes right now. Something a little more concrete that Roman is too cocky to see could help us feel more of a sense of "no, no don't do it!"
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Rae Chell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rae Chell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2021 at 6:45pm
Your twist was great! I liked the steady build of tension leading into your ending -- it worked really well. I wasn't sure what was overheating exactly and how Roman knew this, but later it came through that the body was struggling to contain. When you rework this piece, perhaps a bit more to specify that would be good. Also consider building out your ending a bit more to really let all the horror of it sink in. Overall I really enjoyed this. The heat in your moments and descriptions were well done. Good luck!
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LMBird View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LMBird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2021 at 1:55pm
Hello, group-mate! *waves*

Like the others said, it has a great twist that was quite unexpected.  It's very gripping, and I'd love to see a continuation of this.

As far as constructive crits, I would suggest that if you're going to swear, go for the gold.  Don't censor yourself.  If you don't feel comfortable using the full word, I would suggest either dropping it entirely, or using the prose to indicate he swore without using the actual word.

Overall, great story!  There's a lot of really tough competition in our group ^_^
Short Story Challenge 2021 R1 G205 The Intergalactic Welcome Wagon
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jackhennigan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackhennigan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2021 at 4:17pm
I really enjoyed this. I thought the dialogue in the bar was excellent--Roman is a sexy bastard and he thinks very highly of himself. The flirting with Leo worked for me too. I found myself wondering where the science fiction was going to come in but when it did it worked. If I could make one critique: we have Roman, who has dark hair, and Leo, who is blonde. I noticed that more than once you referred to them simply as "the brunette" or "the blonde." It made sense during the part where they were making out because I figure it's two sexy people being sexy, why not highlight their physical characteristics? But then it happened after everything took a turn--it just felt a little off to me. But a very minor quibble. I enjoyed the story very much. Thanks for sharing, and good luck with the judges.
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