A short music beat played and the host began, “Today, we have a special guest. She is the commander of the space mission to,” she glanced down at a note card in her hand, “Kepler 186, the oldest person to command a space mission, and a vampire. Let’s hear a round of applause for Monica.”
The show’s theme played as I walked out. I waved to the audience and took a seat opposite the host. “Hello, Grenda. I’m happy to be here,” I said.
“Space mission blah blah blah. What can you tell me about being a vampire?”
I laughed. They always wanted to know about being a vampire. “Well, it’s pretty much like being a regular human except I drink blood instead of eating and barring any accidents, I’m probably going to live a very long time.”
“How long are we talking about? Three hundred years, four?” the host asked with a grin.
“I’m five hundred and fifty-six years old.”
“Five hundred and fifty-six. You don’t look a day over twenty-five.” She winked at me.
“I was thirty-one when I was turned into a vampire so I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“You were born in what year?”
“I was born in 1980 and turned into a vampire in 2011.”
“Did you have a master or sire or something?”
“I …” I didn’t normally talk about my early days but this might be the last chance I would have to talk about them.
“It’s alright if you want to skip the question,” the host said softly leaning closer.
“No, it’s alright. I didn’t have a master or anything. I was an accident left to fend for myself. The early days of a new vampire are confusing and quite bloody if they don’t have someone to guide them.”
“Did you ever kill anyone?”
“Yes, a few people before I learned to feed before the hunger became too great to control. If a new vampire feeds regularly there is no reason for them to kill but I didn’t know that. My birth or creation or whatever you want to call it wasn’t planned. It was violent and terrifying.
“I was at a beach party with some friends. There was a guy there. I was drunk and having a good time and I let him lead me to a dark private part of the beach. It was fun at first with the kissing and touching then he pushed me onto my back. He pinned my hands to the ground leaned close and said, “Don’t struggle and it’ll be over soon.” I felt a sharp pain in my side.”
“He didn’t bite your neck?”
“Biting the neck was almost strictly a movie thing at the time. Most vampires preferred to use a knife to make a cut and suck on it. It was cleaner, healed easier, and didn’t leave dental impressions. This vampire used a box cutter. I don’t know how many people he had fed on using this technique but apparently, none had fought back as hard I did. Vampires are stronger than normal humans but we don’t have super strength.
“I was fighting for my life and managed to get a hand free. I reached around me for a weapon but could only find sand so I threw sand in his face. He screamed, let me go, and I managed to get up and start running back to the party. I got several feet before he grabbed me and threw me to the ground. This time when my hand searched the ground for something, anything I could use as a weapon, I found a rock. He sat on me, screaming about what a bitch I was and tried grabbing my hands again.”
“No one heard him screaming?”
“We had walked far down the beach to get away from the party, the very noisy party. So, no they didn’t hear him or me screaming. I swung the rock at his head and hit him. I hit him a couple more times before he stopped trying to grab for my hands, wrapped both hands around my neck, and squeezed. The last thing I saw before everything went black was his bloody face. I woke up the next morning with a monster headache.”
“And you were now a vampire?”
“Didn’t the sun burn you?”
“No, our weakness to sunlight accumulates as we age. For the first decade, a vampire doesn’t have to be any more careful about the sun than most people. It varies from vampire to vampire of course. Around a hundred years direct sunlight will start to burn us after a few minutes and by two hundred you can’t even stand indirect sunlight.
“So, I woke up on the beach thinking I had been attacked and choked until I passed out. That’s not what happened. I had died that night and woken up a vampire. That’s how you make a vampire. You kill a person and give them some of your blood, either orally or by injection. It’s harder than it sounds. Wait too long and nothing happens. Do it before they’re dead and nothing happens. And you don’t know until the next morning when they either wake up or not.
“I was an accident. Killed by a vampire that was bleeding from a head wound. Vampires can bleed and just like humans head wounds bleed a lot. I won’t bore you with the next ten years of my life as a lonely vampire until I managed to meet another vampire and was welcomed into the larger vampire community.
“We’ll come back to that after the commercial break.” The theme music played and the lights dimmed to let us know we were off the air.