Disclaimer: I own nothing. To avoid spoilers, a further disclaimer is at the end of this story.
Standing at the end of the boat dock stretching out into the small river somewhere in the American South, Spike sent his most fiendish grin at where the college-age couple he’d come across tonight were having their fun in the middle of this waterway dimly lit up by the half-moon overhead. Unaware of the monster hungrily observing them from about twenty yards away in the gloom, a young man and his fiancée gleefully splashed their intended, ducking under the river’s surface and then popping up to send sprays of liquid at the surprised other. Both swimmers moved with an easy grace around in the water, which was only natural since they’d left all their clothes on the dock to go skinny-dipping in complete privacy. Or so they thought.
Casually nudging with his boot toe a woman’s discarded 1970’s-style short dress lying in a crumpled heap upon the dock planks, Spike sniffed with his heightened sense of smell at the delicious aromas drifting upwards from the clothes of a female human in the prime of her life. Which wasn’t going to last all that much longer, not when Spike got through with snacking upon the only people he’d managed to find so far after irritably stalking without success for hours through this backwards rural area.
*Right,* a now-cheerful Spike thought to himself. *Ten, fifteen minutes more at the most, and then they’ll swim back here.*
He looked over his shoulder to cast a considering eye at the bushes which lined the riverbank on either side of the dock. *Wait behind there, do the usual ambush when those two walk by, and then it’s dinner time!*
Without any warning at all, desperate screams of terror and agony suddenly split the night, coming from directly in front of Spike.
Snapping his head around, the vampire stared in his absolute astonishment at the churning water where just moments ago it’d been the spot where two people were joyfully bobbing around in the river. The first thing to come to mind for Spike was that one of the bathers had abruptly gotten a muscle cramp and went helplessly under, followed in turn by a horrified rescuer.
Spike’s reasoning was at once proven wrong by the still-roiling water unexpectedly changing from a mostly clear liquid into a reddish color which the vampire was more than familiar with, thank you very much. Continuing to gape in shock, Spike made a hasty inhalation of the night breeze coming his way, and he smelt an equally-accustomed odor of fresh-spilled blood!
In the very next second, Spike leapt forwards off the dock without actually thinking about it. Of course, he changed his mind right in mid-jump over doing that, but unlike all those stupid horror novels and movies from Stoker on, there was no soddin’ way this English vampire could change into a bat and fly back to the dock. So, Spike hit the water with a tremendous splash and sank like a stone to the bottom of the river.
He managed to spew out in a gust of bubbles several particularly vile curses about the whole idiotic situation on the way down, with Spike shutting up only because he didn’t want to breathe in any water. Not that this would harm even more an already-extinct corpse, but it was a damn pain in the arse to later get rid of what would otherwise do nothing but slosh around in his inactive lungs.
Just when his boots landed upon the muddy floor of the river, a dark cloud sent downstream by the stream’s current enveloped Spike. In his half-open mouth, the blond demon tasted what he’d been ravenously looking forwards to for the last couple of minutes, only without being diluted by an entire watercourse!
Reverting to the sheer rage which had sent him hurtling off the dock moments ago, Spike half-swam, half-trudged in his fury through the water towards the couple he’d earlier marked as his and nobody else’s prey. He certainly wasn’t on his way to help
them, not buggering likely.
Glaring through the murky water which was filled with innumerable flecks of plant matter and grains of floating soil, even Spike’s normally keen vision was defeated by this suspended haze. Only his ears worked fine, guiding him to where the dreadful sounds were coming from of teeth ripping and tearing at a pair of human bodies being feasted upon tonight.
These horrific noises ended just before Spike reached the spot where they’d been originating from for the last few seconds. Coming to an abrupt halt, Spike wildly glanced around in his utter confusion. He couldn’t find any trace whatsoever in the encompassing water of what should be here: the dead people, their attackers, or even the slightest scrap of leftovers from where an unknown assailant had been hard at work chewing away at Spike’s planned repast.
Absently taking a few strides about in a half-circle to unavailingly continue his search, Spike was facing downstream when his right foot all of a sudden landed on what wasn’t even more mud, but something which solidly went crunch!
under his boot. Looking down in surprise, the vampire saw he’d just stepped onto a human thighbone.
Spike’s gaze then slowly scanned the rest of the river bottom by his feet. He saw lying there the scattered remains of two complete skeletons, all stripped completely of flesh, organs, and other edible tissue. They were not only polished clean, but deep toothmarks also scored every inch of those bones.
Observing a flicker of motion at the topmost part of his line of sight, Spike looked up, and he then froze absolutely stock-still.
Floating just a foot from his face, one hell of a very scary fish was meeting the vampire’s gaze with an expression of blank murder displayed on its own piscine features. Moreover, there was something else borne by that strange animal which was making Spike stay as motionless as possible--
A hundred or so of that fish’s friends lazily swam up from behind it, to hover there in place among the sluggish current with identical flicks of their tails and fins keeping them in position. They next all in unison opened their mouths and gills to begin sensing if what was before them was one of two things: Prey or Not-Prey.
It had moved on its own, and it appeared to be the same general shape of what they’d earlier gorged upon in their never-ending hunger. That made it Prey.
However, the longer the fish gestalt investigated this, more evidence began to tilt the scales the other way. Their potential kill hadn’t bestirred itself at all since they’d started watching this. Too, it gave off no scent of fresh meat nor did it have a beating heart. That made it...
As if obeying the same unheard command, every single one of the bio-engineered piranhas created years earlier in a secret government lab as a Vietnam war-era experimental project turned around in the water and propelled themselves down the river, soon vanishing into the distance. Without a doubt, there’d be more food for them further on. A lot
Several minutes later, in which a carefully-swimming Spike dreaded every second during this at having his lily-white arse chomped off in a single savage bite, the sopping-wet vampire stood again on the boat dock. Sullenly admitting there seemed to be at present no other recourse but to find the nearest cow and sup upon that mooing beast, Spike then and there vamped into game face while in this demon’s supreme bad mood.
Pausing to touch with his tongue the razor-sharp teeth which filled his entire mouth, Spike’s self-pitying annoyance over what was really pissing him off now burst out loud into the night air with a snarled whine, “Those damn little fishies had bigger fangs than me!
Further Disclaimer: All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and all other characters (especially those mutant Pygocentrus) of the 1978 horror movie directed by Joe Dante and known as Piranha
are the property of their original owners.
Author Note: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/50/PiranhaPosterA.jpg