The thunderous beat, stomping feet, wiggle the wood floor rattling lights. The blue-haired vocalist screams about love and pain while the band thrashes about working their instruments into furious fits. Before the stage, the human sea writhes into a torrent, arms waving glowing bracelets, bodies splashing together, bounding and swaying in currents. Piercing through the heavy fog, red spotlights splash the crowd like blood raining inside Club Necropolis.

On the pedestal beside the band stage, Kandy grooves to the music. She snuggles close to the backside of the lovely Zypher. Arms in the air, hips swirling, they move as one. The waving currents flow around their feet, a cloud of orange-red body heat, except for a nearby bouncer dressed black, a dim red simmer, the only other Itoril in the club. Seeing all the pairs of beady orbs, it seems nearly half the guests wear special lenses glowing in the black light. The wannabes gather around the pedestal, and Kandy snarls showing them true fangs.

Someone watches her. Glancing over, she spots a pale form slinking into the dark sea. Turning with her partner, Kandy loses sight of him behind a fan of blonde hair. Cold rushes down her backside. She steps into shadowy folds of time.

Music fades into the background. The fan of hair slows into wispy haze, nearly transparent. The crowd dissolves, apparitions dancing in slow motion within the silence.

Stepping around a nearly frozen Zypher, Kandy gazes over the sea of ghosts. The pull of time draws her back, and the world becomes more tangible. Searching the still faces caught within the constant beat, she finds nothing unusual. Facing her partner, she falls back into the dance of life. Sounds explode, stomping feet, music, working into the pedestal, into her legs.

Eyes popping wide, Zypher stumbles and regains her groove again moving closer, arms wrapping around. “Stop showing off. They’re watching us.”

Kandy dances into a storm, and Zypher presses in tight, their black lace waving about them. They move together, wriggling like dark fire. Slipping from hard cries into angelic hymn, the vocalist tells her tale about dancing with the dead.

Falling into a gentle swirl, she latches onto Zypher, cheeks pressed together. “I’ll go easy on you, sweetie. I promise.” Hands sliding down over her partner’s hips, she grasps the bottom of the skirt and lifts. Hearing the roar of delight from the men gathered around the pedestal, she laughs.

She slithers down into a squat grasping Zypher’s warm thighs. She spots the nude-colored tape hiding the blood pack. Baring her teeth for the audience, she glances around finding ecstatic faces. Cold sparks rush up her spine. Something is out there. Not human. Not Itoril. Something cold watches her. She dives in biting the pack squirting red syrup running in rivers down creamy legs.

Zypher shrieks for the performance.

Unsatisfied, Kandy lifts the blonde up and slams her down onto the pedestal. Crouched over, she bites into thigh, tasting blood slithering about her tongue. The scream is a treat to her ears. Peering up over the trembling leg, she spots a familiar buzz of hair and chiseled chin, a face from the dead.

Dressed in a light-colored shirt, the man glows like a beacon in the dark sea. Reaching out, he claws at the pedestal, pulling himself to shore. Leaking from his cruel eyes, violet smoking wisps curl up over his buzzed hair.

Waves of cold splash inside, and she shudders. A single thought rises from the abyss: run.

Lunging into the folds of time, Kandy leaps over the nearly frozen apparition of Zypher and onto the dance floor. Hands latch onto hers, pulling her into a spin, twirling through insubstantial dancers, warm waves splashing against her. Never having gone this far, she cringes at each ghost passing through her leaving a wake of hot prickles on her flesh.

Spinning and gliding through the hazy cloud of ghosts, they dance to the frozen silence. Gazing at the cold expressionless face, the violet smoke pouring from dark eye sockets, is like looking at Death. As he turns, he leaves a trail of smoking bits. He tugs her deeper into the fold, and time pulls at her sending them into a lumbering dance.

Watching creeping shadows eat at the floor, she claws at the arms holding her trying to break free. As the abyss closes in, she reverses her fight.

Meeting the rhythm, Kandy dances with the dead. Turning with her lead, she adds her own groove complimenting his steps. Time rips at her, but she dances through the shadows between worlds beneath a storm of lavender and azure clouds. As her insides begin to tear apart, she breaks the beat rushing into time.

Music slams into her, perspiration and leather attack her nose, and a person knocks her spinning sideways. Pushing against bodies, she stumbles through the crowd. She punches a man square in the face and escapes the dance floor. Spinning around, back against stone wall, she scans the club.

Glowing bracelets wave above the waving currents of the human sea, but nothing unusual stirs within. She imagines the wraith lurks deep within the folds of time or somewhere between this world and another.

Finding the rhythm, Kandy walks to the beat of life, up the steel stairs and out the door into the crisp night air leaving Club Necropolis behind.