The New Interview with a Vampire Part Two

<<Previous Next>>


The lights came up and the theme music played. “We are back and we are speaking with Monica who was about to tell us what the vampire community was like in the twentieth century.”

“Right. Well, the vampire community I entered into was almost completely online in secret groups on Facebook, password protected forums, and private websites. The internet, as limited as it was in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, allowed us to make connections, share info, negotiate territory. There were a few who had open journals or blogs but most normal humans dismissed them as works of fiction. A hundred years earlier, hell fifty years earlier, I would have been lucky to know more than three other vampires.”

“Why was that?”

“Mostly it was geography and lack of wide spread communications. Vampires rarely collected in groups larger than two in a city. A moderately sized city with an average crime rate in the twentieth century could support one or two vampires without their feeding creating a strong pattern. More than that and people start to notice and then concerned citizens start burning down houses.

“The exact number of vampires a city can support scales as the size of the city increases. New York City had a couple dozen dispersed throughout its boroughs. By the time I entered the community there were twice that many who regularly flamed each other online about intruding on their territory. I say community but they were about as cohesive as the trans community at the same time.”

“Trans community? What was that? A community of transportation fans?” She smiled and the audience chuckled.

“Ha, no. It’s an arcane term from the twenty-first century. So … it’s not important.”

“No, go on. I’m interested in hearing about this trans community.”

“Ok. I’m what was called a trans woman.”

“What’s that?”

“It meant I am a woman who was born with a penis.”

“So … ?”

“At that time any person with a penis was considered male and a man and any person born with a vagina was female and a woman. Anyone who didn’t fit into those narrow definitions was made to fit.”

The host recoiled slightly. “That’s hideous! Sex and gender don’t work like that.”

“No, they don’t but it was the general belief of society at the time. There were those like myself that defied the norms and demanded to be respected as our true genders.” I paused as memories bubbled to the surface of my mind.

“But to get back to the vampire community. For two hundred years not a lot changed for us. We stayed hidden, some of us made new vampires, some of us disappeared. Most times a vampire would announce their intention to walk into the sun but sometimes a vampire just disappeared. We could never be sure if they had killed themselves or just dug into the earth and fallen asleep.”

“What do you mean fallen asleep?”

“That is a quirk of vampire physiology. We can enter a dead-like-sleep that can last for centuries. It’s a way for us escape the world for a while. A vampire doesn’t have to kill every time they feed. It was actively discouraged as early as the second century in parts of Asia but that attitude wouldn’t come to Europe until around the seventeenth century. Vampires before that would feed on small communities until they were all dead. Then they would find a safe place and sleep until more people moved into the area. In the last seven hundred years, it has been rare for a vampire to overfeed on a population in that way, so sleeping away the years has become a voluntary affair. Vampires from older time periods sometimes do it because they can’t cope with the way the world has changed.”

“Have you slept any years away?”

“Only a year in the twenty-fourth century. I was reading “The Blue Death” by Gabbalta Joennes and didn’t want to wait for the next book in the series. So, I took a nap until the sequel came out.” The audience laughs.

“Really? You slept for years just to read the next book?”

“I was three hundred, almost four hundred years, old at the time. Honestly, I had lost the thread of what life was supposed to be. I had realized I had time to read all the books I wanted. I wasn’t wasting my time reading day after day because I had all of eternity before me. So, I spent ten years reading book after book trying to catch up with all the books I had neglected to read in the previous three hundred years.

“And then I read “The Blue Death”. It was the first of a promised series and I loved it. I spent five months re-reading just it. The sequel was to be published in a year so I took a nap to pass the time. When I woke up, the second book had been published. I was ecstatic to read more until I saw a note in the front of the book. The author had died in an accident. Another writer had taken her mostly finished manuscript and notes to completed it. There were no plans to continue the series. I read the new book and it was good but I could sense the hand of the new writer subtly guiding Gabbalta’s brilliant prose in slightly more conventional ways. I …,” I blinked and glanced around the studio suddenly back from the memory I had been reliving. “Oh, I got a little ah caught up in that memory. I didn’t mean to go on so long about that.”

“You looked like you were someplace else while you were telling that story.”

“A hazard of having a perfect memory. Our memories can seem so real we get lost in them.”

“You remember everything from the last five hundred years?”

“Everything I’ve experienced. Don’t ask me about historical events cause I rarely paid attention to the news. I’m barely better than grade school history book.”

“We have another break for our sponsors and when we come back Monica will tell us about her mission to Kepler 186.”

The lights dimmed and the music played.


<<Previous Next>>

The New Interview with a Vampire Part One

Next>>


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?”

“Yes.”

“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.


Next>>

Found in a Time Capsule

If you are reading this, you have possession of the Book as well.

DO NOT OPEN IT.

Yet.

You may have heard of the Necronomicon, Satan’s Bible, or the Black Codex. They are all pretenders to what the Book really is. If I had a choice in the matter, I would have burned the book and myself to rid the world of the knowledge recorded within it. However, there is a purpose to the book.

Let me tell you how the Book came to me. I worked for a company specializing in selling old and rare books. Part of our clientele were people who had inherited a book collection from an older relative and wanted to sell it off. We would appraise the books and either offer a conservative lump sum for everything or act as a broker to sell the books individually. I was nearly through cataloging this particular collection, when I found the Book. It was wrapped in paper tied with string. On the paper was a warning not to open or read until a certain date. A date well into the future. I had a job to do and a bit of paper and string wasn’t going to stop me.

The Book was … is, as you can see, rather unassuming. The cover is cloth bound, blue, worn in places but still sturdy. The pages are thick, coarse cut paper. I opened it and saw the black, delicate, sharp calligraphy unfaded by time, just as you will (heaven protect you because you must read it, I’m sorry). I started reading and reading and reading well past where I wished to stop but I was compelled to finish. When I was done, I knew things no one should know. I am so sorry that I must inflict this on another person. Just reading the Book I knew had cost me my soul. I am tainted by the book. Its forbidden knowledge craves a vessel. It promises power, control, eternal life at the low, low cost of ten easy payments of a human soul. Yours will be the first but not the last. You have to find other investors who will find more. It’s hell’s own ponzi scheme. I resisted but that is not enough to save my soul. I will be damned when judgment day comes.

There are other concerns to worry about before that happens. A conjunction of two planes of existence is coming. Something will be unleashed on our world that will end life as we know. Neither heaven nor hell alone have the power. The Book is an unspeakable fusion of knowledge from both; bound by heavenly cloth, inked with hell’s own ash. With the knowledge it contains all of creation can be protected but at the cost of –

I can not know if you are a good person, I can only hope that you will put the fate of our world above your own. The longer you have the Book the more you will be tempted to use its knowledge. I could not trust myself. So, I placed it beyond my grasp, in a time capsule sealed in concrete for a hundred years.

If you found this letter alone, not wrapped around the Book, then I have a different mission for you. Find the Book. The fate of the world depends on it.

The Spider Non-Aggression Pact

SMACK!!!

I rushed into the kitchen hoping I wasn’t too late. When I got there Ben my new roommate was wiping a dark smudge off the wall.

“What have you done?!” I wailed.

“Killed a spider. Do you have anything to clean the wall with?”

I looked up, maybe we could clean this mess up and no one would be the wiser. A small shape scurried along the ceiling and disappeared into a crack. It was too late or him now.

“Ben, I’m so sorry,” I said while backing away to the door, “I was going to tell you as soon as you got settled in. I didn’t think any would come out so soon after you moved in.”

“What are you talking about?” he asked.

“The spiders. We, that is whoever lives here, have a non-aggression pact with the spiders. You just broke the pact. They’re going to come for you.”

“Are you joking? Come on it’s just a spider. There’s probably a dozen or more in the apartment.”

“Many more.” I glanced up at the ceiling. Ben looked up as well and saw the tribunal enter. Thousands of spiders crawled out of holes and cracks to cover the ceiling.

“Oh my god,” he whispered.

“Please, spare him,” I pleaded with them, “He didn’t know we have an arrangement. I needed more time before I could tell him.”

A faint clicking tapping sound began. Thousands of spiders making the same noise at the same time in a rhythm that could be understood to those who had joined the pact.

a life for a life   a life for a life   a life for a life   a life for a life   a life for a life

“No! He didn’t understand!” I cried.

“What the hell is going on?” Ben asked.

I turned my head back down to look him in the eye. “The spiders have decided that your life is forfeit for the one you took.”

“My life for one spider? That’s not … I’m getting out of here.” He started to walk toward me. Spiders began to fall from the ceiling suspended by nearly invisible threads by the hundreds. He batted them away from his face only for them to grab onto his arm and begin crawling around it trailing a strand of spider’s silk behind. More found purchase on his legs and body. He brushed them off while others swung onto his back. Spiders continued to fall on him wrapping him in their threads.

A hazy outline began to form around Ben but even thousands of spiders could not spin enough to immobilize a full grown man. He began tearing tearing and sloughing off the webbing. Then through an unheard signal every spider bit into the colossal they were attacking. Ben grunted, his arms jerking up and down, his legs buckling under him. He took a final step toward me, face frozen in pain. His eyes pleaded with me for help but I could not break the pact.

He fell to the floor gasped one more time and was still. I waited as the spiders swarmed over him and then dispersed. From the ceiling I heard the clicking tapping of the spiders.

the pact is sealed   the pact is sealed   the pact is sealed   the pact is sealed

Then it was quiet and I was alone in the kitchen. I sighed. Ben had seemed like an actual nice guy. We would have made good roommates I thought. Well no sense leaving his body laying about. I pulled a tarp out of the closet and rolled him up in it. Later after it was dark I would take him down to his car and ditch both in the lake. No wait, I used the lake last time. Maybe the landfill or … I’d find a place. But first I had to clean up all the spider webs and repost my roommate wanted ad.

Next time I wouldn’t wait to tell them about the pact.

A Distant Relative

To whomever may read this,

I come from a family of storytellers. My mother before me, her father before her, his aunt before him. There has always been a storyteller going back for over fifty generations. That is when our family was cursed. A demon was set upon our ancestor for a reason that he did not record except to say he deserved his punishment. When he died the demon passed to his son.

It appeared before him on the night of his father’s death carrying a sack of his father’s stories. It stood ready with parchment and reed pen and demanded a story. The son began to recite a child’s bedtime story but that was not what it wanted. It demanded an original story. The son desperate to appease the demon told it a story about the rain and the corn. The demon accepted the story and said it would be back in one week for another story. For thirty-four years, the son told the demon a new story every week until he too died and the curse passed to his daughter.

The curse has been passed down from father to son, from aunt to niece, from cousin to cousin. After it passed to me, I spent ten years studying the pattern of transference. Once I understood why the curse choses a nephew over a daughter, I formulated a plan to end the curse. I would ensure that there was no one the curse could pass to. I had no children myself so that was not a problem and I was an only child so there were no nieces or nephews or me to worry about. I did have cousins. The ones who had not had children I persuaded to remain childless or to adopt. Those with children were a problem. As dedicated as I was to ending the curse I could not simply kill them. So I out lived them and their children. I held on to life for as long as I could to ensure there was no eligible host or the curse.

If someone is reading this, I’m sorry. I failed. I missed something. A family branch I didn’t know about or a rule about how the curse transfers. I am sorry.

A distant relative, (no signature)

You look up from the letter the demon handed to you when it appeared. It has set a traveling trunk down at the end of your bed, inside is pile of papers, some tied in bundles but most loose. Red glowing eyes look at you expectantly. Ash covered hands hold paper and a fountain pen. Lips pull back into a smile that shows far too many teeth that are far too sharp. An elegant smooth deep voice rumbles, “Tell me a story.”


 

Something Not There

The wall behind the bathroom door is empty
It’s always been empty
You wouldn’t hang a painting there
You wouldn’t put up pictures there
So, why do I feel like the bare wall is wrong?
I don’t remember anything being there
I don’t know what should be there
Something is different about the wall
But nothing has changed.

In the kitchen, up near the ceiling,
where the cabinets meet in the corner
The cabinet doors face each other
No place to hang anything
No place to mount anything
So, why do I feel something is missing?
It doesn’t make sense to put anything there
It would block the cabinet doors
Something was in that corner
But nothing has ever been there.

Or maybe I have it backwards
Maybe nothing was there before
Maybe there is something there now…

Something I can’t see
Something I can’t touch
Something I can’t hear
But I know it’s there.

I feel it watching
I feel it waiting
I feel it wanting

No, no, surely not.
Just a trick of the mind
A random misfiring of a neuron,
I insist to myself.

Still, I can’t stop checking
Behind the door,
In the corner.

Checking for something not there.

Lisa’s Story: Zombie Apocalypse – Chapter Eighteen

Over the next couple of days I helped Andy move into his new apartment. After cleaning out the refrigerator and letting the apartment air out, I convinced him to move the former occupants’ personal items to a bedroom.

“You really care about your neighbor’s stuff?” he asked while taking a picture off the walls.

I shrugged. “Kind of. Maybe. They might come back.” I hadn’t really known them or most of my neighbors to be honest. A week ago I had broken into every apartment and taken all the food and drinks I could find but I hadn’t touched their personal belongings.

“It doesn’t seem likely.”

“Yeah but you got to have hope or why the hell are we surviving?”

Continue Reading

Trouble on Deck Three

“Happy Halloween!” Maggie called out as she entered on to the ship’s flight deck.

“You’re late,” Felix said. He turned from his station, jumpsuit half zipped, still sipping his coffee and saw Maggie wearing an over sized black sweater, over her jumpsuit, adorned with bright, almost glowing, orange lettering that read “Happy Halloween” arching over an equally bright orange jack-in-lantern.

“That’s hideous.” he said.

“Don’t be a sourpuss. It’s festive.” Maggie took her seat at the station opposite his and began running through the morning checklist. “Did last shift leave you alone?”

“I told them to go grab some sleep.”

“There’s supposed to be two people in here at all times.”

“I don’t know why. The autopilot could take us all the way to Mars orbit. I heard about a ship- ” he cut himself off and returned to his checklist.

Continue Reading

Lisa’s Story: Zombie Apocalypse – Chapter Seventeen

I walked inside my apartment and Andy followed me. I gestured to the sofa as I walked past it to the kitchen area, “Take a seat. You want a drink?”

“Uh, sure what do have?” Andy asked from the sofa.

“Bottled water, sodas.” The water had mostly come from the superstore while the sodas I had scavenged from my neighbors. I had seen beer and other alcoholic beverages in a few apartments but had left them.

“Root beer?” he asked.

“Sure.” I pulled two cans out of a box and walked around to the living room. I handed one to Andy and sat in my watch chair with the other. We sat in silence for a minute drinking our warm sodas.

“What’s with the couch?” Andy asked pointing to the short sofa standing on end by the door.

“I use it to block the door.”

“Ah, ok. So, today was a lot of fun. What are we going to do tomorrow?”

I couldn’t help myself and launched into my best mad scientist mouse voice, “The same thing we do everyday. Try to take over the world!” Andy stared at me blankly for a second while I broke down laughing for the first time in weeks.

Continue Reading

Our Ghosts

When we expand out from earth,
When space, local space at least, is not the great unknown,
When the Moon is just next door and Mars is a long trip but not unreachable,
Will our ghosts go with us?

A cosmonaut died from a cracked faceplate.
Go on an EVA alone, turn off your radio
Say her name five times and listen
You will hear the air hissing out of the crack

Will there be phantom astronauts drifting in orbit?
Will we hear distress calls from ships long dead?
Will there be knocks in the night on the airlock door?
Will the ghosts haunt the ships they once flew on?

A man died in airlock two
Go into airlock two without a helmet
Close the door and wait
His ghost will open the door

They say you can hear voices of dead astronauts in the static.
They say cargo hold three is haunted by men killed when it decompressed.
They say sometimes you see rocket burns in the distance from ships not there.
They say space is a graveyard with no markers.