by P.D. Cacek
She was dead.
Truly and honestly dead.
And God had forgiven her, because a golden-haired Angel was hovering above her. And lo, the Angel spoke:
"What the fuck do you think you were doing out there?"
Allison is 37 and single -- and not terribly happy about either. After numerous glasses of sparkling wine at the Country Western bar, which she describes as her home away from home, she takes up a good-looking guy on his offer and goes back to his rather seedy motel room with him.
And wakes up a vampire.
And you thought some of your dates ended badly.
Nor does the hunky guy, Seth, offer her much in the way of "How to" information on her new … uh … nonlife.
Allison: "But … the Head … you know … Vampire always has this army of the undead around him …."
Seth: "Damn, girl, you really didn't have no life, did you? Here's a hint … Movie's ain't real."
With not so much as a copy of Vampirism for Dummies, Allison's launch into her new existence is not exactly a smashing success. Her first feedings are, shall we say, messy. Later, after collapsing in the street, Allison wakes up in Luci's Fur Pit, self-proclaimed home of "the finest Fur-vert entertainment in L.A." The staff consists of exotic dancers Luci and Gina, and a sort of den mother, Miriam, described as "everyone's favourite maiden-aunt … from the Lower East-Side."
They're also all vampires. Luci explains that the job is an easy way to, as it were, have dinner deliver itself.
Allison agrees to be an exotic dancer, but her new employment puts her in the path of Mica (real name Milo), who is the barker for the club (he stands outside the door and tries to lure members of the public inside). He's also a fervent street preacher, determined to save souls from damnation. In fact, he has a scar on his forehead in the shape of a cross … provided you look at it from the right angle.
Night Prayers is funny, with a wonky and occasionally gross sense of humour, and it's also mildly risqué -- I wouldn't let a 12-year-old read it, but neither the grossness nor the sex scenes are overdone. The ending has an interesting twist, enough that I look forward to the sequel, Night Players -- and I hope Cacek plans to keep us updated on Allison's future in the land of the undead.
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