Miranda Eithné walked in from the rain, soaking wet. The bar was jam-packed as usual. A hundred customers sitting all over the place. The stench was unbearable.
“Someone turn on a fan already” yelled Miranda to the bartender.
Bob, the quintessential bartender looked up from the counter where he was charming two teeny-boppers, whom he was illegally serving drinks.
Miranda stood in the door, wearing black leather as usual. Her long black hair dripping, she snatched a towel from one of the busboys and wrapped it around her hair.
Bob had often wondered why the women who dress as wet fantasies of lonely men like himself always turn out to be psychopaths. He blinked a few times and then excusing himself from the girls walked over to the fan and turned it on.
Miranda walked up to the counter. Her expression was a mixture of frustration and indulgence. The white blouse under her black leather jacket was also soaked wet, and Bob couldn’t help but stare at her peek-a-boo nipples. This seemed to really please Miranda. She made sure her jacket parted to let him see more.
“Corrupting the youth?” She said with a smile to Bob.
“Not yet, but one does hope.” He responded, “what’s your pleasure, Mira?”
“Whiskey, and a muffin.”
“One whiskey coming right up, and. . . don’t you already have a muff?.” Bob was pleased with himself.
“I said muffin! That’s ‘muff’ plus ‘fin,’ as in the fin of a shark. . .” And Miranda grinned her white little teeth.
“Ha, ha.” Bob walked off, the opening was short, he got one good jab in and as was her way, she warned him off from a second one.
For reasons that would always escape Bob’s understanding Miranda would immediately move in on his “dates.” As if on cue Miranda sat right next to the two teenagers and smiled revealing her gleaming unnaturally white teeth, between her lusciously red lips (this is Bob’s interpretation, in actuality she had normal teeth and pale lips but I’m just a non-participating observer).
By the way, my name’s Osborne and I frequent Bob’s Bar & Grill all the time and have had only a passing acquaintance with Miranda or Mira as some call her (though certainly not me, I’m way too scared of her to be so familiar).
For years I have fantasized about her. Watching her lithe body and her cat-like strut. Many men like me have fantasized about her, but unfortunately, it never turns out well. Fantasies frequently prompt actions and any action directed at Miranda is likely to get you in trouble. Having seen this over the years, I have confined my actions only to the realm of fantasy.
Getting right back into the thick of the action. . . , Miranda sits right next to the two chicks and offers to buy them drinks. Bob arrives and brings her, her whiskey, she accepts and places an order for something savagely strong, two of these, to which Bob winces.
“You sure?” He asks.
“Damn right, and remember, two of them.” She throws the most vicious glance Bob’s way. Mira will pay, Bob knows, she will pay by letting him have a good look at her, or letting him have a single jab like he had the chance earlier.
I once saw Miranda take her blouse off in the parking lot. It was hot that day, the sun was scorching all of us. She timed it perfectly. She was talking to a nice couple from out of state and she decided she hated the woman when the woman started to act uppity. Earlier in the week, she had demanded something from the local Sherriff, a man in his forties, unhappily married. He complied, a fool entertaining a fantasy about Miranda and not wishing to antagonize her. Just as Miranda decided she hated the woman she was speaking to, the Sherriff was driving by.
Miranda took off her blouse, revealing her naked breasts. In a single moment the man’s eyes bulged out, the Sheriff was paid off, and the woman realized her tits were inferior to Miranda’s. She had used her sex to crush the woman completely. “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t notice there were men around,” she said by way of explanation to the woman. “I’m just so hot,” she concluded and put her blouse back on. The confusion on the woman’s face was apparent. Why didn’t the Sheriff do something? But that’s Miranda’s way, she timed it right. You never know what her agenda is, what her plan is, and then you are caught up in it.
The girls are both just shy of eighteen. One is a brunette, the other a redhead. Both seem in awe of Miranda. They look at her as if looking at a Goddess. Miranda has them, she will steal them, and in due time convert them. The minds of the young girls are no match for Mira’s. She is about to devour them, body and soul.
“So, you two come here often?” Miranda asks.
“All the time,” says the redhead.
“Really?” Asks Miranda, “and how ‘bout you?” she asks the other.
“Same here, I’m a regular barmaid.”
“Right,” says Miranda and smiles (I can almost hear the sarcasm), “Yo, Bob where are those drinks, the girls are getting thirsty.” She whispers something to the girls, obviously at Bob’s expense, and the girls giggle. That is the second stage, the first is the danger aesthetic, the second is a common target of ridicule.
Bob brings over two glasses of something resembling Night Train. Miranda lifts her shot of whiskey.
“Drink up Girls!” She says.
The two poor girls not knowing their doomed fate (I have seen this a few times before) quaff down the drinks. They can’t not drink up. That would be refusing to follow the lead. Miranda established both superiority and camaraderie in a few moments. The girls are honor-bound to follow her. She is their pal, the whispered joke accomplished that, and she is exactly how they want to be, cool and dangerous, sexy and seductive, otherwise why would they be at a bar while underage? Miranda saw this the moment she walked in. The men always notice her. That’s a given. But Miranda notices how the women react to her. Do they hate her with a look, or do they admire her with a feeling of wistful envy? If it is the first, she can destroy the woman, take her man, take her pride. If it is the latter, she can gain a new acolyte.
I remember a time when a dancer tried to compete with Miranda. It was pathetic. For an hour the two sat not far from the pool table as the men played, like spiders. Two circles of friends distributed over six tables. Miranda held court over one side of the bar and the dancer over the other. The dancer was so confident because she was certain in her man’s security. He was her man, he was her love.
Miranda made short work of him. It was as if he was in a trance. I watched him make an excuse to go to the back to check on their car. He looked guilty when he came back, immediately wanted to leave. Miranda was nowhere to be found. But I knew what happened. I ran outside to the parking lot, as did a few others, including Bob. The dancer and her man walked to their car quickly. She didn’t know what it was about. There was Miranda on her motorbike waiting for them. “Hey buddy, you left so fast, you forgot your belt,” and she threw it at his feet and drove off. He smelled of her. His shorts had her lipstick on them. There was no denying what had taken place. The dancer lost more than a duel that day.
With tears in her eyes, the redhead coughs out a statement “I’m Suzy. . . and you?”
“Miranda, and your friend?”
Her friend, the brunette is momentarily incapable of uttering much more than a gag, to which Suzy identifies her as DeeDee.
“Well, Suzy, Dee, what is it you two do?” Asks Miranda. She doesn’t really care. Each piece of information is a tool to build her trap. The trap has already sprung, the two girls are in Miranda’s power. Now Miranda is constructing their shackles. The girls are helping her out. They want to be Miranda’s slaves, they just don’t know it yet. They want to be her students, they are eager to worship her. In time they will give her everything, their faith, pride, loyalty, love and finally their minds. Miranda will imprint herself on them to such an extent that there will be no more Suzy or DeeDee, only carbon copies of Miranda.
“I’m a student at the U. so is Dee,” says Suzy, “and you?”
“Me?” Miranda thinks a moment about her response staring at her drink, she then looks up from beneath the dark curly hair falling to her shoulders, the two teens are beginning to feel the major after-effects of the drinks. The alcohol has had no discernible effect on Miranda. She can drink most men under the table. Many have tried to get her drunk. What fun is a woman who always wishes to be in control? Men wish to overcome, to take possession, even if by rape. Miranda can’t be raped. She’d enjoy it too much and then she’d ridicule the man’s skill or size or both. I’ve heard rumors that she was once attacked by a gang of four men ready to teach her a lesson, by the end of the evening, two were dead, they killed each other over her, one was mutilated and when the name ‘Miranda’ was spoken to him later would scream and bang his head on the wall, and the last one went home with Miranda and was her lover for a whole year, after which he took up drugs and eventually shot himself.
“I’m what you could call a. . . hunter,” says Miranda quietly.
“Really?” Exclaims Suzy.
“Are you like a bounty hunter?” Asks DeeDee.
The girls are now in the middle of Miranda’s intellectual lair. Their brains are on a plate, and Miranda can press whatever buttons she wishes. She will proceed like the most skilled neurosurgeon or computer programmer to completely rewire their personalities. It will not be instantaneous. But they are paralyzed with admiration and awe for Miranda, so they cannot defend themselves, they don’t even know that they should. Miranda does this like a virtuoso pianist. She composes a song of seduction and breathes it in their minds. Suzy and DeeDee are her work of art, she is feasting on their innocence. She is having a blast. The victims aren’t aware of being victimized, they are in a euphoria that… so beautiful, so cool, so dangerous, so wonderful a woman, the very image of what they would like to be is giving them all this attention. The things they can learn from her. Yes, she will teach them, and in the process, they will cease to exist.
“Sort off. Except that I don’t hunt your normal criminal.” Miranda responds.
“Oh yeah?” Asks Suzy slurring her words a bit, “like who do you hunt?”
Miranda looks up at the two young girls. This is when I usually squirm in my seat. First, I know what comes next, and second I know that this is the point at which my narration becomes second hand (or shortly after this).
I am never invited into the private world of Miranda Eithné, not that I want to, but there are times when my curiosity just eats me up alive. I am however fully aware that the last two men who wanted to know too much about the private life of Miranda, left town in a real hurry. No charges were filed against Miranda when a private investigator’s car drove off the bridge. Who hired the investigator is anyone’s guess. Miranda never answered any questions.
I caught up with one of the two men who left town when he came to my record store a few times, he liked vintage Zeppelin LP’s. He was on his way out, and I cornered him. It was the last time I saw him. I figured it would be like that, I had to know. I needed to get at the truth, at the essence of Miranda.
“So, did you score with Miranda?” I asked him.
“Yeah, yeah I scored all right.” He said somewhat nervously.
“And, how is she in the sack?” I asked.
“Brutal.” He answered lowering his eyes.
“So, that’s a good thing, right?” I answered laughing, but I stopped when he looked up at me and he was visibly scared. Here was a man who was twice my size, so he dwarfed Miranda. I recalled the would-be rapist who was her lover for a year and how he just got into his car one day and put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
“It. . . uh. . . used to be, I mean. . . I used to think raw sex was really cool. . . that is. . . before I met Mira, but now I’m not so sure.” He was clearly upset. He was not himself. Something of his manhood was affected. It was as if he was ashamed of himself.
“So that’s why you’re leaving town?” I asked.
“That. . . and other things, things I found out, that I’d rather not tell you about, ok?” He said. He was clearly, physically upset at the whole conversation.
“Sure, I understand. Have a good life.” I said as he walked out.
The last words he spoke to me was when he got into his car, “I won’t, but perhaps you will, that is if you stay far away from Mira!” And he drove off down the highway.
The current scene was like one I had seen many times before. Miranda and her paralyzed prey. Miranda swung both ways. Men she liked to use for a one night stand. Any man who wanted more, ended up psychologically destroyed by her strangeness. What is it that she did to them always remained a mystery. I suppose I could have easily found out, but I was too cautious for that. She also liked women, the younger the better, but what she did to them was far more disturbing and in my opinion, far more dangerous. The women never approached her, only the men, but Miranda approached many women, some for a chat and some for more. If it was for more, they all were transformed by the experience.
“Oh yeah,” says Suzy slurring her words a bit, “like who do you hunt?”
Miranda looks at her and smiles.
“I hunt Angels.”
The two girls respond with silence. Miranda smiles again. That disturbing unnaturally white smile of hers.
“Drink up.” She says.
“That’s weird,” answers Suzy, “like what do you mean by Angels?”
Miranda smiles again, it is a deceptive smile, it is deceptive in its innocence, for I know what is going on behind those gray eyes of hers. Miranda has got them on her hook. They will follow her. She is reeling them in.
“That’s a long story, but not for the bar scene, care to come by to my place?” She asks, and the two girls jump at the chance.
I sink into my seat. Their destruction and rebirth have begun. The next time I shall see those two sweet flirtatious children will be in a bar much like this one, in black leather clothes with hate on their minds. Miranda will have converted them to her strange perverted cause. It is done. The rest of the evening is a pure formality. No woman who has gone home with Miranda has ever returned the same.
I know not what that cause is, and until today I didn’t really care. Until today Miranda was just another psychopathic weirdo I observed during my after-work drinking.
Why is today different? It is different because I saw my sister yesterday, and she was wearing a black leather armband, the same as all of Miranda’s girls wear. They have a club where they meet. Miranda shows up there once a month and they have a girl’s night. No one knows where it is, and most people think it’s an urban legend. I asked my sister how she got the black armband… and she smiled that shockingly innocent and malign smile that Miranda has perfected. Then I knew, I knew, Miranda Eithné had gotten to her. I am beside myself with grief.
Just as I am wallowing in my feeling of powerlessness Miranda looks at me from the front door. She looks at me with recognition. She knows who I am. I shudder over my whiskey. “Just a minute,” she says to the girls, “wait outside.” They do as they are commanded since they are now obedient soldiers in Miranda’s army of hate.
She walks up to my corner table. Many eyes in the room fall on us. She leans over the table. I can see her cleavage. Her eyes penetrate my soul. She sees completely into me. She knows me. She knows what I have been thinking. She knows what my fantasies have been. She knows I am much too much the coward to act on them. She knows everything. I am like an open book to her, she can read in between my thoughts, at the very things I dare not admit even to myself.
I nod in agreement and swallow my drink. My fear is written all over my face. My excitement is written all over my face. I’m at the edge of reason. She is charming and deadly, her words are sweet and kind and a threat wrapped up in sugar. I have no choice but to believe every word she says. She isn’t really asking, she is informing me of how it will be.
“I always pay Osborne. Think of what you want, your sister is a nice girl, I’d hate to steal her from you for nothing. She’s really wonderful. I’ll pay handsomely, I’m sure you have some fantasies, all men do. Let me know.” As she says this my mind is racing out of control. My fantasies, my hidden fantasies have suddenly become my enemy and I am powerless to stop them.
I notice my glass is empty. Miranda Eithné throws down her card on the table and walks out. She has claimed yet another prize. The jam-packed bar feels empty all of a sudden.
1997-2011 – Konrad Tademar