by Paul D
A vampire's reflection.
|Death. I welcome it; it can't come soon enough. This may seem an unreasonable statement, but when I look back . . .
My parents taught me misdirection and concealment even before I learned to speak. People rarely speak of the children of vampires. I struggled with my parents decision to bring a child into their world, even harder was accepting what I must do to live.
Survival. It is a strong instinct and demanding too, and it can leave scars never forgotten. Is remaining alive all that important?
I believed everyone drank blood. A few days before I entered first grade my parents sat me down and explained, “Amanda,” my mother said.
She normally called me Missy or Hon, so I knew something was amiss. My mind flew quickly through the events of the day. What did I do wrong?
Her arms went around me when I started crying because the use of “Amanda” meant trouble. “This is not something you have done,” my mother continued.
I listened to her soothing voice as she explained that we were vampires. I wanted to stuff my ears with cotton and block out the vile words pouring from her mouth. I wanted to scream and run for my life, but where could I go to escape the truth?
Isolation. Vampires have so few friends because it is just too costly. One moment of too much openness could lead to disaster. My parents warned me about getting close to others, so it is not as if I could blame ignorance. I met Jenny in first grade, and we became best friends. I kept the truth of my vampiric nature hidden from her and believed I was safe.
Every summer we spent the majority of our time outdoors, exploring and playing. We were very much “tomboys.” It was toward the end of summer before we entered sixth grade. Somehow Jenny cut her hand, and the blood flowed freely while she cried.
My parents had warned me that when I reached puberty, it would be a dangerous time for me. It's hard to explain what happened when I saw Jenny's blood. It was if something inside me switched on. When I think back now on what happened, it fills me with horror, but at the time it was if I stood outside my body, watching the mayhem.
By the time I returned to my senses, Jenny was completely drained of blood. She would become a vampire unless I took action. My decision was not one I wanted to take, but I had no choice. I couldn't allow my friend to become a vampire, so I cut off her head and buried it separate from her body.
I was shocked at how easily I'd become a monster – even worse was the thirst yammering at my inner being. I had drained Jenny, so a demanding thirst made no sense.
Horror. Most people do not truly believe in vampires. I wish I was one of those who were ignorant of the truth. After that night, my parents sent me to live with my aunt and uncle. The disappearance of four people was very bad, and my parents knew I was to blame even though I protested my innocence.
* * *
“Missy,” my husband Jake's deep voice awakened me, and I smiled, “it's time to get going.”
I live a “normal” life with a husband and adopted children. Of course, I have a police scanner, which Jake finds a bit odd, but I must get blood from somewhere, and accidents are the source of most of my blood. It was sad that my life depended on the misfortune of others, but that was the vampiric life.
I sat up. Fortunately, my control of my ravenous nature was much stronger than when I was a teenager. When I first met Jake, I knew I would marry him. I only bit him twice, taking a small amount of his blood. He's enthralled with me now, but he considers his devotion a natural thing. Our symbiotic relationship was good for both of us.
Sally and Bert have been bitten twice as well; there are no temper-tantrums in our home. I enjoyed the peace and quiet of our suburban life. Our daily lives were much the same over the next few years, but then Sally entered puberty.
I had gone to the store to buy groceries; when I returned, it was to a house splattered with blood. Jake and Bert were dead, and Sally was gone. I was beyond surprised. Sally should not have turned; she'd only been bitten twice.
I did what was required to keep Jake and Bert from becoming vampires. I mentally called Sally home, but she didn't respond. Because of my link to her, I knew what direction to go to find her. I was surprised and unhappy that I couldn't bend her to my will. I hoped that I didn't need to kill her.
As a vampire, I have some advantages over normal people. I have extraordinary stamina. I can move impossibly quick for a short distance; my strength is Herculean. I ran at a normal pace; my car would have been too restrictive. As I drew closer to Sally, my sense of location became stronger.
Monstrous. I found Sally covered in blood. She was in Palace Park, and all five of her victims were within a few paces of where she slept. One of the many dangers to a vampire was that if they drank too much blood, they became lethargic.
I removed the heads of each of those bitten and wrapped them in a jacket one of the men had worn. I pulled Sally to her feet and supported her as we walked away with the heads.
The Colorado Canal was a short distance away, and I stopped to add some large rocks to the jacket with the heads. When we came up alongside the canal, I swung the jacket hard, and it dropped into the canal. I stayed until it sunk from sight.
Sally's actions had placed us in danger, and I saw no choice but to relocate. She was unhappy to leave her friends, but she understood she would endanger them if she stayed.
The headless bodies in the park was at the top of the news reports for a couple days, but then nothing more was reported. After almost a week, we were almost all packed and ready to leave. A news report left me alarmed.
“Two children fishing in the Colorado Canal made a grisly discovery of five heads wrapped inside a jacket. The authorities verified that the heads belonged with the headless bodies found in the park earlier in the week. The heads have already been reunited with their respective bodies.”
I looked at Sally. “Five new vampires will be unleashed on the city at nightfall. Humans have been blissfully unaware of our existence for centuries. Our survival depends on keeping them in ignorance. We need to find where each of these five lay and destroy them before it is too late. I need your help, Sally.”
“I don't want to be a vampire,” Sally protested.
I understood all too well what she meant. “Then you know why we must prevent these five from turning. There is less than two hours of daylight left. Do a search on the net and find where the bodies are located.”
Responsibility. It's hard to live a vampiric life. I cannot do whatever I want because of the horrific consequences. Sally was learning first hand our harsh reality. Unfortunately, the bodies were in different locations, which meant we will be able to reach three of them at most. The unleashing of two vampires may sound not so bad, but it was like a plague; it may start small, but it can grow quickly.
Traffic in Dallas is never predictable, except it will be busy. Our drive to the first location came to a sudden halt. The traffic was at a stand-still for as far as I could see. Of course on the other side of the freeway, the cars were zipping right along.
Frustration. Yes, vampires get frustrated too. I could live for a very long time, but I still hate wasting time, and sitting in a car and not moving was very irritating, especially since there was nothing I could do about it.
After half an hour, people turned off their cars and emerged to stand beside them. The sun will set in an hour. Sally and I will need to feed. I don't want to leave the car, but we must not remain here. Neither one of us are wearing shoes made for walking. We travel along the shoulder of the road, heading back from where we came. The nearest exit is at least two miles.
People stare at us as we walk along, but I ignore them. Finally, we reach the exit, but we are still a very long way from home. I notice a blue sign with a large “H”. “We can get blood at the hospital.”
Sally looks at me and sighs. “Fresh blood is better.”
Control. Her words were true, but when a vampire fed, they often go into a frenzy – like sharks in the ocean, which was why I prefered victims of an accident. “The hospital will be better for us.”
Sally was a much stronger vampire than me, and we both knew it. I recognized her defiant posture and prepared myself for an attack. If she defeated me, then she would become the leader.
Strike. The normal human eye would never have been able to follow my movements as I struck at Sally, but Sally was not human. I don't know how she stopped my attack, but her fangs in my neck spoke louder than any words.
Defeat. I am compelled to follow my daughter's lead, but I protest mentally the entire time. Disaster will fall upon us because of her foolishness. We turn back toward the freeway.
The cars were still not moving. Darkness has fallen, and I can feel the hunger grow. I know disaster was coming but can do nothing to stop it.
Blood. The streets of Dallas run with blood. In less than two weeks, most of the humans have been turned to vampires. One sad fact I forgot to mention was that a vampire cannot travel more than a mile from the superior vampire who controls them. Sally refused to leave Dallas.
When there is no food left, vampires feed on other vampires. They don't have blood, but their essence provides some nourishment. I watch another body turn to dust. I wish Sally would listen to me and leave Dallas, but she protests that this is home, and we will never leave it.
The end. I knew it was coming soon. Vampires were in a feeding frenzy, consuming one another. Even Sally recognized that our situation was precarious, but outside the house was unsafe. There was no escape. It was only a matter of time, and I will rejoice when death finally came to set me free.