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GoNomad 0. The October winds canvas Yonge Street like a pack of effervescent politicos on the campaign trail: toothy, insistent, and all together intrusive. The dawn is nigh, and the streets are void of any benign strain of humanity. Just the drug dealers and the homeless, with a few hookers thrown in for good measure. A dull blue hatchback pulls up to me, gives me a start. A woman — perhaps? She throws the car into gear and pulls a surprisingly controlled U-turn into the southbound lane.
I shiver in her wake. The woman — if indeed — seems a fitting end to this Toronto soiree, the bulk of which was spent reeling around the labyrinthine corridors and the vast main hall of the Church at Berkley. The inexcusably twisted editors of Rue Morgue magazine outdid themselves with a Halloween party the likes of which could only be thrown in some dark and extremely decadent circle of Hell. In retrospect, I should have been prepared.
The editors, Rod Gudino and Jen Vuckovic, also organize monthly screenings of some of the most out-there horror films from all corners of the globe. The entire Rue Crew, in fact, is composed of a gaggle of irreverent movie buffs who are happiest when watching acts of extreme violence rendered unflinchingly on film. Until recently, the monthly screenings were held at the Vatikan Nightclub, which is conveniently located across the street from the warren-like Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, home to the Being Scene art exhibit—a collection of paintings by disturbed artists unnervingly spread throughout the hallways of the hospital.
Most of the women were painfully beautiful; their breasts squeezed ebulliently into vinyl corsets; realistic fangs pinching their sultry, blood-encrusted lips; belts and buckles and chains and straps swinging to and fro as they danced beneath the gyrating Go-Go Ghouls, a posse of Amazon zombie babes commissioned by the magazine to sex things up.
A girl dressed as a vampire, functioning as manager for a brutish, mask-wearing fiend she claimed to have dug up in a Burlington cemetery, approached me at the bar. At first, she gave me a hard time for being out of costume, but, after someone placed two live Madagascan cockroaches in my calm, intrepid hands, she took a lascivious shine to me. Our tryst was nipped in the bud, though, when her undead companion suddenly started choking me.