An anorexic vampire looks for a way out.
|Reginald was a vampire. He didn't want to be a vampire; in fact, he was downright miserable. He couldn't stand the sight, smell or taste of blood, so he barely consumed enough of it to survive. He was, quite possibly, the only anorexic vampire on the planet.
Tonight was another night like all others for Reginald. He woke around eight o'clock, after the sun had gone down, and sat at his kitchen table feeling forlorn.
What am I going to do? he thought. There has to be a way out of this mess.
As he pondered his miserable existence, there was a loud knock on his front door. With a sigh, Reginald rose and walked through the living room towards the door. Peeking through the peephole, he saw an elderly gentleman wearing a long, black trenchcoat and holding a tattered, brown briefcase. Curious, he opened the door.
"Yes, sir, can I help you?"
"My name is Gandolph," the old man replied in a low, gravelly voice. "May I have a moment of your time to show you my wares?"
"I do believe I have just what you've been looking for."
"I seriously doubt that," Reginald snapped. "Go ahead, show me what you have. Just be quick, I'm very busy."
"No, you're not, but that's okay. I understand, people don't like travelling salesmen these days."
Gandolph pulled a small vial from his briefcase. It was filled with a pale blue liquid.
"This will change your life," he intoned, handing it to Reginald to inspect.
The vampire squinted at the tiny print on the label of the vial and read:
To change into a werewolf, drink 1 tsp at precisely midnight.
To change into a vampire, drink 2 tsps at precisely noon.
To change into a human, drink 3 tsps at precisely ten o'clock p.m. on a Tuesday.
WARNING!!!! Follow the instructions precisely. Failure to follow instructions will cause you to change into a zombie. This is irreversible.
"Is this some kind of joke?" Reginald asked, trying to conceal the sudden surge of hope he was feeling.
"No joke," Gandolph replied. "It's yours for a very fair price. If you are brave enough to take the chance, that is."
"Only five hundred dollars."
Reginald's face fell. "That's my entire savings!"
"Well, if it isn't worth it to you, good day," the man began.
"Wait, no, it's worth it. You guarantee it will work?"
"If you follow the instructions, yes."
Reginald pulled out his checkbook and quickly wrote out a check for five hundred dollars.
"Who do I make it out to?" he asked.
"Just put Gandolph."
After the strange man left, Reginald sat at his kitchen table once more, nervously twirling the small vial in his hands. Every couple of minutes he glanced up at the clock on the wall above the sink. It was only 9:00, though at least it was Tuesday.
Surely, one hour isn't really going to matter. It's ten o'clock in New York City.
Impatience getting the better of him, he opened the vial. Taking a teaspoon from the kitchen drawer, he carefully poured the first dose into it. Closing his eyes, he swallowed it down.
"Mmmmm, it tastes like strawberries!" he exclaimed. He quickly took the second and third doses and then waited impatiently for it to show effect. Nothing seemed to be happening.
"Should have known," he muttered. "Son of a bitch conned me." Fighting back tears, Reginald retreated to the basement and crawled into his coffin. "I'll just lie here and starve to death," he told the bats flying in the rafters.
Reginald dozed off.
About three hours later, he awoke, feeling quite strange. He felt very cold and achy, and was having some trouble breathing as well. He rose quickly and hurried upstairs to the bathroom. Turning on the light, he was shocked to see his own reflection in the medicine cabinet mirror.
"It worked!" he shouted. "I have a reflection!"
He danced around in circles, laughing and crying at the same time. Then he noticed something strange. His skin had taken on a gray pallor and his hair seemed to be falling out.
Frowning, he felt his wrist for a pulse, knowing that if he had truly turned human, he would have one.
What's going on, I feel so strange.
Just then, his hair fell out in huge clumps, leaving him totally bald. His skin turned even greyer and seemed to be decaying as he watched, horrified. He hurried down to the kitchen and picked up the vial, rereading the warning.
"Oh no," he wailed. "I've turned into a zombie."
Reginald ran out into the street, hoping to find the old man. Sure enough, Gandolph was there waiting, shaking his head, sadly.
"I'm sorry, Reginald. I warned you."
"Please, help me, reverse this!"
"I can't, you read the warning. It's irreversible."
"Then kill me, please! I can't live like this, this is worse than being a vampire!" Reginald cried.
"There's nothing I can do, Reginald, I'm sorry."
"There must be a way to kill a zombie," Reginald argued.
"There is one thing I can do," the man replied. "But you're not going to like it."
"I'll do anything, please, you have to help me!"
Gandolph pulled another vial from his briefcase. This one was filled with a bubbly, amber liquid.
"Drink this at precisely midnight," the old man ordered. "All of it. Don't screw it up, I won't be responsible for the consequences."
"I have no more money."
"Give me the deed to your house and it's yours," the man replied.
Reginald signed the deed over to the man, and took the small vial. Sitting down on the nearby bus bench, he waited impatiently for midnight to arrive. When the church bells chimed twelve times, he opened the vial and swallowed the bitter liquid down. Wincing, he waited, hoping and praying that this time it would have the desired effect.
After a few minutes, his skin began to tingle. He felt the top of his head and felt hair beginning to grow back. Standing under the streetlight, he saw his skin was once again a pale white. He hurried into the house and up to the bathroom. Taking a deep breath, he peered into the mirror...
"Oh no," he moaned. "I'm a vampire again."
The old man appeared behind him. "I'll give you twenty-four hours to get your things together and move out," he told him. "This is my house now, remember."
"I'm a vampire again," Reginald cried. "Let me have another Transmogrification Potion, please. I'll pay you back, I promise!"
"Sorry, that was the last one," Gandolph replied. "You should have followed the instructions."
Reginald sadly gathered his few possessions together and moved into an abandoned warehouse down by the river. He lives there to this day, still sad, still lonely, and still disgusted by his hunger.
This story is now part of a published collection of my short stories. I hope you will consider checking it out at