Little known and even scorned, Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent was nevertheless a successful writer, chiefly of fiction, but also of plays, essays, and journalism in pre-Civil-War Spain. Estrella is working as a prostitute in a Madrid brothel for a Madam who is losing patience with her failure to attract clients. People learn of her extremely disadvantaged background: she grew up in grinding poverty and was the victim of sexual abuse by her brothers and father before they sold her into prostitution. The perception of breastfeeding as erotic is, however, implicit at least and arguably even absent in these authors’ usage of the image, whereas its deployment by de Hoyos via the vampiric trope is troubling for its elision of sex of a particularly sordid kind with the culturally sacrosanct iconography of the breastfeeding mother. De Hoyos’s fictional world is ruled by a more Darwinian survival of the fittest, a state of affairs coloured as regrettable in both stories.