Le Cirque d' Erotique
Lee and Livvy travel to the border town of Flow Water, New Mexico, in search of Phaedra, the vampire siren who turned Lee.
Just outside of town, Lee and Livvy encounter a circus filled with erotic acts beyond their wildest dreams. These strange and sinful delights attract men from the nearby territories like bears to honey, and once they enter the strangely colored tents, they are changed forever.
It is up to Lee and Livvy to destroy the circus and the evil that resides within.
Kiowa Territory July, 1855
“Wonder what’s got the cows going?” Craig Downing muttered as he tossed the dregs from his cup into the fire. It struck, hissing, snakelike; the stench of burned coffee grounds rose into the air.
“Coyote,” Ben Cleaver replied as he stoked the flames. He squatted on his heels, leaning over the tripod that held the coffee pot suspended above the embers. He paused; stick in hand, as he heard a noise.
“He ain’t supposed to be back until tomorrow,” Craig said. “Relax.” He looked at the expression on his friend’s face. “You’re as nervous as the herd.”
“I thought I heard something.”
“Probably did.” Craig helped himself to another cup of coffee. “The boys are still out there, checking the herd, and Cookie is down by the stream washing up. They’re all probably ready to head back since it’s nearly our time to go out.” He paused, frowning; the firelight cut deep red etches in his face. “Come to think of it, they’re might overdue. Wonder what’s holding them up?”
“Probably off chasing coyotes again,” Ben said.
“Or maybe squaw hunting.” Craig snickered.
“Could be.” Ben bit his lower lip, and gazed out into the darkness. He felt a strong urge to reach back and pull his pistol from its burnished holster, but resisted it.
“If it’s injuns you’re scared of, don’t worry. Kiowa ain’t gonna bother us.”
“Kiowa ain’t known to be the friendliest of injuns,” Ben replied.
“I swear, Benjamin, you’re getting to be as fretful as an old maid.”
“Maybe I got cause to be fretful,” Ben stated. He pointed up to the sky. In the north an enormous comet flared brilliantly in the heavens. “You know what that is. You know as well as I do that those things bring poison and death.”
Craig spat. “Ain’t nothing but foolishness. Stuff old women jabber about while hulling peas.”
“I don’t know,” Ben said, doubtful. “Seeing what was left of those torn up cows this morning messed me up, and then seeing that thing up there in the heavens just after sunset. I tell you, ain’t nothing natural about any of it.”
“Pah,” Craig admonished. “Them cows died ‘cause coyotes got to ‘em, that’s all. And that comet out there? It ain’t nothing but a big ball of light and dust. How can light and dust cause plagues and poison?”
“I don’t know,” Ben conceded. “But I know it happens, my Ma said—”
“Your ma said. Good God, Benjamin, what kind a man are you?”
“A scared one at this point,” Ben admitted. “I ain’t scared of injuns or bushwhackers. But seeing something up in the sky like that worries me something fierce.”
“My God you are an old woman.” Craig eased back, resting his head back against his saddle. He slid his hat over his eyes. “Hot night, and a weary day tomorrow. Running low on water and grub and you scared of a light in the sky.” He yawned. “God, but I hate punching cattle in this heat.”
“What about the boys? They ain’t back yet. Suppose something happened to them?”
“Suppose they’re down by the creek jacking off,” Craig said as he lit the stub of a cigar he’d been nursing since Abilene. “Relax a bit; they’ll come in when they’re ready.” Craig settled down further until the saddle cradled the back of his neck. “The longer they’re out the less I have to do.”
“I suppose,” Ben said.
“God, but I hate the smell of cows in the summertime. They reek of shit all the way down to the meat,” Craig complained.
“The money’s good though,” Ben said, relaxing a bit himself as he banked the flames and propped himself up in the lean-to. “And I look forward to cutting the herd and moving it soon.” He looked up at the stars, the comet gigantic in the western sky. “The sooner we get off this plain the better. This place gives me the willies.”
A rustle of cloth as soft as a woman’s sigh came from the darkness just beyond the campfire. Both men alerted, Ben grabbed his pistol as he sat up, straining to see what was just beyond their sight.
“Jed, is that you, boy?” Craig called.
Cloth rustled again and a shape detached itself from the surrounding night, gliding gently into the light. The men relaxed. Craig laughed. “My god, Ben would you look at that.”
“Yeah, “Ben agreed, the fear of the night ebbing away from him as the woman who‘s skin was as dark as the surrounding night floated fearlessly toward them.
“Why look at what we have here,” Craig said, rising. He stepped in front of the woman and leered down at her. “Now what’s a pretty wench doing out here all by your lonesome?” He hitched up his suspenders. “Your massa get tired of you and dump you out in the middle of nowhere?”
“Go easy on her,” Craig,” Ben cautioned. “For all we know she might have escaped from the injuns.” He rose too and walked towards her. “Is that what happened, girl? Your party get attacked? You the only one to survive?”
The young woman pushed Craig aside and stepped toward the flames. “Coffee,” she commanded.
“Why that’s a fine idea, why don’t you get us all some?” Craig said.
Ignoring Craig, she opened her shawl, which made Craig utter a soft hoot and she withdrew a folded piece of paper. “Any of you two mens see this harlot?” she asked.
“All I see,” Craig said, tossing the paper aside without looking at it and sidling up to her, “is you. And you’re alone and...,” he stared down at her ample chest, “available.”
“You’re a fool,” the woman hissed, disdain etched on her face.
Craig grabbed her by the arms and dragged her close. He kissed her hard and she stood still as he pushed himself away from her.
“What do you think of that?” he asked.
“I think you need to quit eating shit off the side of the road,” she hissed.
Craig raised his hand to strike, yet the woman did not move. Black smoke detached itself from the night and Ben hissed in fear as it enveloped Craig as quickly as if he were swarmed by buffalo gnats. Within an instant Craig was reduced to a desiccated husk, his dried bones and skin collapsing into a heap at the woman’s feet. Unmoved by the horror, the woman picked up the paper and walked over to Ben who cringed as she approached. With an outstretched hand she flicked open the small packet and a picture unfolded.
“Now I’m asking you,” the woman said,” her dark eyes blazing in the firelight. “You seen this woman befo’?”
Ben tore his eyes away from the heap of dried out bones, cloth and flesh and forced himself to look at the picture. His features relaxed somewhat as he looked at the woman. “Yes, I’ve seen her, ma’am,” Ben said as he slowly lowered his hat to his chest as a sign of respect. “I saw her a few days ago. She was part of some kind of side show. It was a strange sounding name. French, maybe. I can’t say it.”
“And where you say this sideshow was?”
“In Iron Wood, up on the New Mexico Border. It’s a little mining town that—” he stopped in mid sentence, gulped and added, “With respect, Ma’am, you oughtn’t to be going there. I saw that show, and it’s as sinful as you can get. I’m sorry I even went there; in fact when I get to El Paso I’m gonna see the first padre I come to and—”
“The woman,” she interrupted. “The harlot.” Ben’s eyes flicked around, looking for the black smoke.
“She was there,” he stammered. “Please, ma’am, I told you all that I know. Please, just don’t—”
“Iron Wood, how do we get there?”
Ben shrugged and pointed toward the comet that filled the western sky. “About fifty miles from here as the crow flies. You won’t get there any time soon, especially not on foot. And there be Kiowa, and they don’t like trespassers—”
The woman ignored him as she folded the paper back up and tucked it under her shawl.
“If you don’t mind me asking,” Ben said, “what do you want with that fancy woman? Are you her girl or something?”
“I ain’t nobody’s girl,” the woman said as she folded her arms across her chest. The smoke returned, engulfed her and she vanished into the night.