The Emporium Gazette
Issue 34 -- February 2002

The Parking Deck
by Bob Nailor

Lurking in the shadows, he waited, softly playing a haunting melody on a reed flute to bide his time. Having poured years of chemical research into this very moment, waiting was of no consequence. The right female would come.

A car turned onto the level and the headlights blazoned the parking area near him. He crouched, pulling the darkness in on himself.

The car door lurched open and she stepped out. After glancing about and satisfied, she locked and closed the doors.

His beady eyes scrutinized her and his nose wrinkled, sniffing. Lemon. This was the one. She’d arrived.

Slinking in the shadows, he followed her to "The Grotto", a popular and dimly lit club.

Inside, he spotted his target. She sauntered onto the dance floor to mix with the writhing masses that gyrated to the thundering music. She laughed aloud, her lemon scent stirring his erotic fantasies.

She returned to the table and ordered a drink: vodka with a twist of lemon.

He studied his prey from one of The Grotto’s many side caverns.

She squeezed the lemon into the drink and barely had a sip before being drawn back onto the dance floor with the table’s group.

He wrapped his long coat about him and stalked silently toward the table. A quick movement and the powder drifted over her drink to blend in the lemon mixture.

No scent. No taste. No color. It was perfect.

He slipped back to his vantage point. When she left, he’d be ready. It would take only one word. Any word.

Curiously, a thought occurred to him. What if she doesn’t leave alone?

He waited.

She looked at her watch. Motioning her departure, she headed for the front door.

He opened his mouth, sprayed an elixir into it then moved quickly, leaving the club before her. Keeping his head down, he trotted toward the parking deck. He had to control his emotions. Too fast and she’d become suspicious. Too slow and she’d pass him. Her heels clicked loudly and covered the sound of his feet.

One word. He had the word. The word that would vibrate his vocal chords to activate the chemical sprayed in his mouth. That scent, given off, would combine with the chemical and lemon she’d unwittingly consumed.

He huddled in the darkness near her car.

The doors unlocked. She was close.

He moved from the shadows to cut her off.

"What do you want?" she demanded. "Get away."

"Love," he whispered then smiled luridly.

She swooned as the chemical reaction between the drug and his scent combined. Her body was paralyzed, yet she was awake. She watched: her eyes placid, the face serene; her muscles refusing to reflect the horror and fear that engulfed her.

He removed his coat then lifted and carried her into the shadows, his faun’s goat feet clicking. The satyr’s nubbin horns were now clearly visible in the curly mop of hair.

Today, chemistry worked better than a reed flute.

Bob Nailor is author of "The Secret Voice," an Amish-Christian story, "Pangaea, Eden Lost," an adventure story, "Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold," a Celtic fantasy, and "2012: Timeline Apocalypse," an end-of-time tale. He is also included in several anthologies and collections. Check his website at

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