A Play about a troubled vampire.
Patient (Cecilia or Cecil/ Vea or Veo Warren)
Psychiatrist (Dr. Lucinda or Lucas Tybalt)
Assorted other Patients
Assorted Doctors and Nurses
(Scene: A visiting room within a psychiatry ward. Within the room is a steel table with two rather uncomfortable-looking metal chairs. Upon these chairs sits a psychiatrist with his/her patient. There is one small, lonely window in the room, and a full moon with stars can be seen through it. Periodically, screaming patients can be heard and one or two are seen sneaking stealthily by the window, as though trying to escape. Exasperated ward nurses and doctors typically follow after them.)
Patient: Thank you for seeing me this evening, Doctor. This whole building is full of windows, and I do so hate the light.
Psychiatrist: Not a problem…I’m a bit of a night owl myself, though for far different reasons than you, I gather.
Patient: (Haughtily) Yesss…I do so hate the light.
Psychiatrist: So why have you requested my services today?
Patient: Let me get to the point: I want out of here. I thought it was amusing when these…ah…humans put me here, but now I want out. The food here is sub par (Points to a screaming patient who runs across the window of the room) and the company is, well, distracted at best. How do I prove to these…humans…that I am sane?
Psychiatrist: Well, I’d say joining the living might help. You sleep all day, you never eat, you refer to your fellow man as though they were another species, and you attack the patients.
Patient: Well, when you put it that way you make me sound mad…but I’m not mad. I’m just as sane as you—
Psychiatrist: —A psychiatrist is never the best example of sanity, my friend.
Patient: (Confused pause) Alright, as sane as an accountant, then.
Psychiatrist: Oh, come now—you aren’t that boring.
(Pause. Uneasy shifting. The PSYCHIATRIST stares at the PATIENT as a predator might look at prey. The PATIENT, meanwhile, looks away uneasily and stares at his/her hands for a few moments. Screaming patients can be heard in the background.)
Patient: (Softly) I’m not crazy…and I’m not a human.
Psychiatrist: Oh? Well that’s interesting. What are you, then, if not a crazy homo sapien?
Patient: (Pause) I…I’m a vampire.
Psychiatrist: Is that so? Well, I think I know the solution: prove it.
Patient: (Taken back) I…I can’t prove it! They’ll lock me up, throw away the key, and then stick needles in me for all eternity!
Psychiatrist: Aren’t they doing that now?
Patient: I mean they’ll do experiments, that sort of thing.
Psychiatrist: I thought vampires were powerful…why don’t you simply turn yourself into mist and float away…or hypnotize the guards… (Leans in) Why don’t you hypnotize me?
Patient: (Sigh) Hollywood has hyped vampires up quite a bit. Yes, we can change into a cat, bat, or rat, but that is only once we have aged far more than I have and when we are brimming with good blood. The blood here is bitter with the various poisons that humans call ‘medicine.’ I’ve never understood how anyone can think that a substance that will kill you in a large quantity is fine in a small dose. It is like Qin Shihuangdi. (Expectant pause. PSYCHIATRIST doesn’t ask.) He was the first true emperor of China. He was obsessed with immortality and would drink mercury and other crap in hopes of becoming immortal.
Psychiatrist: (Uninterested) Very fascinating. How were you created?
Patient: What do you mean?
Psychiatrist: How did you become a vampire?
Patient: It was 1923. I was attacked in an alley. (Shrug)
Psychiatrist: Now I know you are lying.
Patient: What do you mean?
Psychiatrist: Surely if you were truly a vampire, you would remember how you were created. For better or worse, that must surely be a memorable experience.
Patient: It was 1922. I was coming back from a Christmas party. I was attacked by a vampire—I couldn’t see it’s—
Psychiatrist:—his or her—
Patient: (Pause) Whatever. It’s—
Psychiatrist:—his or her—
Patient: His or her face. I remember something pricking my neck as…the vampire…bit my neck, but that is all I remember. Oh, I do remember the pain…excruciating pain.
Psychiatrist: I am still unconvinced.
Patient: (PATIENT screams with frustration) I’ll try to prove it, then.
(The PATIENT closes his/her eyes. Suddenly, the lights flicker. The PATIENT appears surprised. They do this for a few moments, and then go out.)
Psychiatrist: I’m impressed.
(The lights return to normal.)
Patient: I told you I was a vampire. So can you help me?
Psychiatrist: (With a predatory smile) I can and will help you…but first you must help yourself. I want you to really tell me what happened.
Patient: I don’t want to. (Crosses arms)
Psychiatrist: Alright. (Gets up to leave) I guess I’ll leave, then.
Patient: No—don’t! Please…I…I don’t like my creator. He…wasn’t kind. I just didn’t want him to exist anymore.
Psychiatrist: Why not?
Patient: He was cruel to me.
Psychiatrist: What did he do to you?
Patient: I don’t want to talk about it.
Psychiatrist: I need you—
Patient: I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!!
Psychiatrist: (Softly) You need to talk about it.
(The PATIENT turns his/her back on the psychiatrist, crossing his/her arms. Psychiatrist comes around and kneels down in front of patient.)
Psychiatrist: It’s alright. (Places hand on PATIENT’S knee) This man, even if he didn’t exist, must have caused you great pain. You’d be surprised how much it would help you to simply talk about it. I can help you put it in perspective. That’s what they pay me for, after all.
Patient: (Gets up and moves to PSYCHIATRIST’S chair. PSYCHIATRIST moves to PATIENT’S chair.) He…beat me…and he starved me. I would scream in the night for blood—locked away in some God forsaken basement—as he feasted. I could smell the blood in him when he returned. If he hadn’t…muzzled me…I would have ripped out his throat to get it. He would only bring me food when I was near…it wasn’t death, per se—I was already dead—but when I was near never waking up again, he would bring me food…small children. They were so helpless…(Looks into PSYCHIATRIST’S eyes) They were so good.
Psychiatrist: I see (PSYCHITRIST seems neither disturbed nor surprised.).
Patient: That’s it?! I SEE?!? (Turns over the table. PSYCHIATRIST rights it. PATIENT turns it over again) (Low, calm voice) Leave it.
Psychiatrist: I see that you are hurt, and I see why you wouldn’t want to talk about your creator. Tell me, though…how did you escape?
Patient: I…killed him. (Crazy, dazed smile) I killed that sonofabitch…and I enjoyed it, too.
Psychiatrist: Tell me about that day…the day you fought for your freedom.
Patient: He had removed the muzzle so that I might feed on a little girl…She was so cute…blonde girl with bright green eyes…her curls…I wish I could curl my hair like that…I was made with straight hair, though. She had on a blue dress…like Alice in Wonderland. She tasted like warm milk and honey.
Psychiatrist: You ate her?
Patient: Of course…I needed the strength. I needed her strength.
Psychiatrist: Fair enough. Then what?
Patient: After I ate her, my creator tried to muzzle me. I bit his hand. He screamed like a little bitch pup. He really was a pathetic creature. I wrapped my legs around him, and then ripped into his neck. I bit it and worried his neck like a dog would worry a bone. He screamed and tried to push me away, but I was too close to effectively hit. I was too close for him to hurt me. I wrapped my legs around him so tightly that my groin ground into his. Did you know vampires could still get hard-ons? He had one—he liked what I was doing. He laughed—gurgled, really because I had eaten through part of his wind pipe. It made me so angry…I ripped his larynx right from his throat with my bare hands…I bit into his spine. I think that is when he realized that I meant business. He tried to shove me away—I simply spit out his spine and went after his neck again. His head flopped like a rag doll, now that a majority of the muscles and the spine were gone. He beat weakly at me. I simply continued my gruesome work, and ate right through the neck. The body finally fell, and I freed myself. I took the head to an open field—I think people saw me, but this was New York, you see, and people knew better—anyway, I took his head to an open field and stomped on it. He insisted that I wear these ridiculous red spike heels—I bet he regretted it. I stomped for hours, until there was nothing left but a bloody mess. I scooped up this mess and scattered in across the field for the pigeons. Then I went home, ate my first voluntary meal—a vagabond—and went back to his place and slept in his bed. He also had a bed in the basement—he was that arrogant. I burned his body the next night.
Psychiatrist: Why? Wasn’t the head already gone?
Patient: That’s the thing about vampires. We are strapped to our bodies forever. As long as there are cells, they will crawl and ooze toward each other, multiplying all the while, trying to reform. That’s why I burned his body. That’s why you have to burn a vampire. His cells went through a chemical change, and therefore could no longer seek each other out. (Low, scared voice) I am afraid his head will come back. His…soul…essence…whatever…is still fused with those cells—I should have burned the field.
Psychiatrist: I think the pigeons probably made short work of him.
Patient: Maybe, maybe not.
(Silence as they both reflect.)
Patient: I think you were right. This has helped.
Psychiatrist: Good. What did you do from there?
Patient: I just went about my life. I only fed on vagabonds and criminals, and I learned to fence and dance and draw and swim and…oh, I learned so many things! But then I grew tired, and thought that perhaps I could lose myself in the blood of the insane.
Psychiatrist: But you’ve barely been alive for a lifetime.
Patient: I know, strange, isn’t it? There has been no greater time to be alive than in the last century, and here I am bored to tears with all of it. Perhaps that’s why I’m bored—I’m not alive. Well, no, that’s not it. The people are bored. There are no real wars anymore to shake people up. No real problems to get the adrenaline pumping. That is one reason I like to feed on criminals and vagabonds—they look for ways to raise their excitement.
Psychiatrist: Cecilia…you know that vampires don’t exist, don’t you?
Patient: Don’t call me that name—I hate it. He gave it to me.
Psychiatrist: But the name suits you well. (PSYCHIATRIST knocks over the table and grabs PATIENT’S arms) It means ‘blind.’ I looked it up. You have a wonderful imagination, Cecilia, but I think it is time to wake up.
Patient: But I thought you believed me!
Psychiatrist: I believe that you were hurt. I believe that you still hurt…but you have too many of your facts confused, my dear. First, you said you were turned in 1922…and then you said 1923. You said you ripped out his larynx with your bare hands? You also said you were bound in chains.
Psychiatrist: How did you rip his throat out if you were bound? Come to think of it, how did you wrap your legs around him? How did no one notice your screams for help? It may have been New York, but eventually someone would have gotten irritated with the noise and called the cops. And what of the children? Did no one notice their disappearance?
Patient: I…so…it did happen the way I said it—it did!
(As the PSYCHIATRIST speaks, the PATIENT begins to look progressively more and more distressed.)
Psychiatrist: Let me tell you a story, Cecilia, and then you can tell me what you think. There was once a little girl with a whore for a mother. Her father was never around to take her to get ice cream like the other kids and her mother was too strung out on coke to care. Her only companion was her little sister—but she wasn’t quite right in the head, either. Then one day, this little girl had a father. He seemed nice at first—he always wanted to play games like “Hide and Tackle.” Then one day, her mother ODed on her crack, and her father was now her only parent. The little girl thought this would be a good thing—her mother always yelled at her, and her daddy always told the bitch to just shut up—but things got worse—much worse. His games became rougher…and he was always very close to her little sister…too close, really. Then one day he lost his job, and things went from ‘much worse’ to ‘living hell.’ He locked them up with hand cuffs that he stole from work and chains. They would go without food for days, but their daddy always made sure the little sisters had water. “You can live without food—you must always have water.” Then he would release them for a couple days—apologize—buy them a cute little puppy. Then her sister would do something stupid and they would get locked up again. They had to watch as their new companion the puppy was roasted alive—and then they had to eat it. This went on for several months until one day, the little sister died.
Psychiatrist: The older sister was not as stupid as the younger. She had hidden a knife in her pants. The next time her daddy went to unlock her chains, she stabbed him in the neck and kept going until it was clean off of the body. She then put on her mother’s heels—red, spiked things with heels four inches high—and stomped in his head. The next day, she—you—burned the house down, starting with the basement.
(The PATIENT simply collapses into the PSYCHIATRIST’S arms and sobs. The PSYCHIATRIST goes through the motions of comforting him/her, but it is obvious that his/her intentions are false and that he/she is bored.)
Psychiatrist: You don’t like feeling weak, do you Cecilia? You regret how blind you were to that man’s evilness, don’t you? Do you wish you could have saved your sister…?
Patient: (with vehemence) No—I’m glad she is dead. She was a stupid girl. I thought about killing her myself. Daddy always got so angry with her. But my bitch of a mother made me promise to watch after her.
Psychiatrist: (Lightly) I think we have made progress today, don’t you?
Patient: You’re a bastard. You enjoy this, don’t you? Torture me for an hour and then go your merry way? You people really are quacks—sick quacks. You deserve to be in here more than me.
Psychiatrist: You are probably right—but not because I am insane. Simply because you are not.
Patient: So that’s it, then?
Psychiatrist: Perhaps, but perhaps there is more. That is all up to you.
(PATIENT moves away as though she were bitten by a snake)
Patient: (Disgusted) You are just as sick as he was.
Psychiatrist: You never asked me what my name is—it’s quite rude of you.
Patient: (scared and angry) W-what is your name?
Psychiatrist: Dr. Tybalt. I love names…mine means “Those who see.” I also love fate. Isn’t strange that I happen upon one who is blind?
Patient: Stay away from me.
Psychiatrist: You know, I mislead you.
Patient: I’ll say!
Psychiatrist: (Shakes head) I told you a lie.
Patient: No, your story was accurate. Quit trying to mess with me—didn’t you already get what you wanted?
Psychiatrist: I know the story was accurate. I meant about the vampires.
Psychiatrist: Do not say ‘huh.’ It makes you sound stupid.
Patient: Yes mother.
Psychiatrist: (Casts PATIENT a look that makes him/her shrink back) Vampires are real.
Patient: Stop it.
Psychiatrist: It’s true. I’m a vampire. I, too, have tired of this place.
Patient: You are crazy—
Psychiatrist: And I seek a companion.
Patient: Prove it.
(The lights flicker and pop, one by one. Then, a red light fills the room that seems to emanate from the PSYCHIATRIST. The light bulbs then flicker back to life, but these, too, shine with a red light)
Psychiatrist: I have never liked white light—it is too harsh for my eyes. Shall we continue?
(PATIENT backs up against the wall)
Patient: I don’t want to die!
Psychiatrist: Who says I want to kill you?
Patient: What do you want, then?
Psychiatrist: I want to offer you a way out—with me. It was nice being able to feed on all of these people without sounding an alarm. After all, who is going to believe that a Psychiatrist attacked a patient and sucked his or her blood? However, as I said before you have a wonderful imagination and captured the essence of what it is like to feed on these humans. Their blood is bitter. I long for better things…and I long for a companion. When I heard of your story—both of your stories—I knew you were perfect.
Psychiatrist: Because you had already weathered some of the worst conditions one could weather in this day and age. You have earned immortality, really—I am simply the vessel by which you will receive it.
Patient: (Holds a pen behind back) You are crazy. (Lifts pen and aims to stab the PSYCHIATRIST right in the throat. Psychiatrist grabs the pen with ease)
Psychiatrist: Let me show you, then. (Brings PATIENT’S neck to her/his mouth. Black out)