This story was created randomly, as an assignment, and as a differing perspective. Any tense, spelling, or format errors will be fixed (even if slowly). I love this story, and it was my first attempt at a sci-fi fiction.
It was bar night. Fridays were the busiest considering the long work week was stressful for most people— for most people. Almost everyone was human— almost. Wandering around in the night, like I do, is how I cope. I don’t know too many people who have to deal with being a newly turned vampire, whose maker has left faster than I could crawl out the ground on that faithful night I died. My blood lust is hard to handle, but honestly, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to eat a pepperoni pizza off of someone’s neck if they are starving all the time. If that was the case; however, I wouldn’t do it, even if I can eat human food still. Human food is absolutely disgusting. It’s like asking for soy cheese when you could have Havarti. Good thing vamps revealed themselves those eights long years ago (I have no idea why) because we would still be choking down potato chips and grilled cheese to make sure nobody knew of our arrangement with death. I used to love grilled cheese, and sitting on the deck, my best friend Kate by my side with a cold iced tea. Those were the days. But of course, all good things must come to an end— well, sort of. We became friends with a 200-year-old vampire named Keenan (his real name was Jacque- Keenan. I’m pretty sure his last name was Bonaparte). He was nice for a while. I would give him a place to stay during the day, provide him with blood bags that Kate would bring from the hospital after her nursing shift, and it was a great time! The peace lasted for a month and a half. One day however… I guess he decided it was time to have a dead friend by his side. Kate was working nights so I was at home, watching an episode of True Blood—ironic I know. Next thing I knew I woke up, pulling myself out of the ground with fangs at my canines. Keenan was gone, Kate never showed up again, and here I am now. Usually a maker actually stays with their “child”, but not this time. Why would someone put that much effort in, and then abandon them? I knew what happened— he put his blood into my body, snapped my neck, and then dug a hole big enough for two because I guess that’s how vampires are made. But why would he leave?
Frank’s—the bar—was in a constant flow. Vampires were usually hired as the bodyguards, bouncers, and so on, because… well, super strength. That was another thing I didn’t know about myself. The night after I was turned, I flipped a car—with a lot of effort, though. It took me 20 minutes to be let into the bar, and another 10 to find a spot without any vamp-tourists. I ordered a Canadian Drink—a Caesar— and just sat quietly, minding my own business. It helps to know that I’m an introvert, usually. My favourite thing to do is to watch people. I could sit for hours in the city watching and observing people. I’m a very perceptive vampire, you could say. In the bar right now, for example, there is a middle aged, black-haired woman drinking what smells to be a gin and tonic beside me. She stands up and walks outside, looking behind her as if something is going to get her. And by looking at the way she moved, you could tell that she kept her real self and public self, separate. Every so often; however, she might let people in—I know from experience. Just for a minute, a glance or two, she lets people in. Sheltered lives make the toughest kinds of people.
It had been about 15 minutes and she still hadn’t come back. Where was she? I walk outside to the alley to get some fresh air (even if I don’t breathe, the number of people was bothering me) as smooth as a dead human can be and there in the darkest part of the shadows, sure enough, there she is: with a vampire at her neck. My eyes widen at the sight and my fangs come down. No. Not now. I pop them back in with a lift of the mouth and try to shake off my obsession. My drink, I notice as I walk back into the bar, is still there, so I sit down and finish it at the counter. Thank god I can still drink alcohol. I turn around on my bar stool and… whoa. My head spins (can it, even?). This doesn’t happen. Sometimes I’m buzzed… but it helps with the cravings. I haven’t felt this way since…What? … I’m out.
I slowly open my eyes to one flickering light in a dark small room. Oh, great. I’m in a Jason Statham action movie. My wrists start to hurt as whatever was in the drink wears off. What are those, silver chains? God, that burns. “How about you show yourself and stop this!” I yell out. I feel exhausted…out again.
I wake up in my home in the shadow of a curtain, thankfully. I didn’t want to wake up burning to death. I stand up, pop my already-healing shoulder back into place, and run to my bedroom with vamp-speed. My face burns a little, but it’s healing already. I make a note to myself to make my entire house light tight, not just my bedroom. I look into the mirror. All I see is my cabinet at the opposite end. Keenan told me one time that during his Napoleon days, the vampires then were discovered if they couldn’t be seen in a mirror. He said Napoleon had a fear of vampires. I asked him why they can’t be seen in a mirror, and his reply still haunts me:
“Have you ever noticed how I have a reflection in something other than a mirror?”
“I never really thought about it…”
“Grab that spoon,” he says. I grab one off the counter and hand it to him. He puts it up to his face and it shows just that: a white Frenchman with dark hair that he grew out all the time, and startling green eyes.
“Okay, so you can be seen in stuff like spoons but not in mirrors?” I ask.
“Yes. It’s because our true selves are gone,” he says, matter-of-factly.
“Why?” I ask, puzzled.
“I can see my reflection in a window or in metal because it isn’t a true reflection. The distorted truth is the worst kind. And every time, mirrors show what we don’t want to see— and ugly truth… distorted by fiction.”
Heading off to bed, I drink my last blood bag and then brush my teeth in a shadow of the bathroom. One time, I’d gone a whole day without sleeping… I had a brain aneurysm. So I crawl into bed at nine o’clock every morning and go back to being dead for another 10 hours. Just as the warmth of the bed turns me into a sleeping nightmare, I remember Keenan’s story. I never got over what he said.
I see my high school friends the next day on Candle Avenue. It was about 10 o’clock and I needed to get out of my little bubble at home. I was having a great time until I saw them; four girls and two guys—my high school, apparent “buddies”. High school was rough. I guess you could say I was popular. It was more me being social than anything else. But they crushed that. They absolutely destroyed me. I hate them. I hate them. I hate them. I hate them. I mean, it could just be me. I hurt as human. I felt everything. I was different and I couldn’t help it. Maybe it was me being paranoid or my social anxiety got to me. I didn’t know how to handle much. I would read a stupid comment on Instagram or Facebook about me by accident, and my head would hurt. I would be crushed by a world of pain and I would struggle to stand. I would become snappy, rude, even because my head was spinning so fast that I couldn’t determine what was right or wrong. Not anymore, though. Death helps that, I guess. You don’t feel it anymore. It’s like holding up a 200 pound weight for what feels like forever and then setting it down. Your heart stops and so does your pain.
They walk up to me, and we huddle in an alley.
“Hey!” Shaney says, excitedly.
“Hey,” I say.
“OMG, where have you been?” Shaney is a tall girl, brown hair, with make-up done like a hooker, it seems like. I don’t say anything. The other five don’t look as excited to see me.
“Just being myself! Living life, you know,” I say, smirking.
“Oh? Cool!” She starts to talk about her university life and the others sit there, agreeing and looking distracted with their cell phones, as usual. The people around the bar and the street are enjoying the hot weather, the alcohol, and the perks of being alive.
“Oh, poop,” Amy gasps. I never did like her. “I’m bleeding again!” She grasps her arm and takes the Band-Aid off. Blood. The world dissolves around me, and my fangs slide out—a pair of vicious white snakes, sharp enough to kill. My eyes widen and I attack. She screams. The blood… I can’t stop. The other’s screams fade into the background. Her body collapses and my grip tightens. It takes everything in me to stop as her pulse weakens, toying with the line I crossed only a few weeks ago. I lift my head and the chaos comes back into my ears.
“I’m… I’m sorry,” I say quietly, not being totally used to my fang-filled mouth. The red tears try falling, but I hold them back. They are calling the ambulance, which means the cops will be here. People are starting to stare. I grab Chris’s shoulders, looking up as he is five inches taller than me.
“Don’t call the cops on me!” I yell, staring into his eyes as they also meet mine. His arms relax and he drops his phone. He goes vacant— staring blankly.
“Okay,” Chris says. He turns and goes back to worrying about Amy, not noticing the shattered phone beside me. What just happened? I go to Shaney, repeating the process through her squirms and defiance. She relaxes her face, eyes hazy with nothingness, turns, and she too goes back to worrying about Amy. I realize in that moment that vampire sci-fi wasn’t all wrong. I go to the rest of them, doing the same thing. I wipe my eyes. They are pasty with blood. I leave my friends, if I can even call them that, and reach my house as fast as I can, feeling sick. When I open the door, Kate is standing there.
“I’m so sorry,” she apologizes. My anger rises and falls in that instant as she stumbles towards me, dying in my arms. The bite marks on her body restore my anger.
I lay her down, calling the police, feeling numb. I wash myself off, all in a slow motion it seems like. Nobody told me I would succumb to this disorder when I started letting people into my life. The next few hours are hell, as I hide in my garden shed to sleep while the police take care of the body. I’d be staked with wood then and there, by much older and much stronger vampire police men, if they found a dead body by an immature vampire in his house. Who did this? I’m not angry. Angry doesn’t describe what I’m feeling. Emotions don’t die when you do too. They live. They become everything you don’t want them to be—same with people. People are a joke— made to laugh in each other’s faces when they’re not looking.
Her funeral was on September 4th, 2014. It was said on the radio it would be a cloudy day, 70% chance of rain—fitting. I walk over to her grave in my finest clothes as a convertible filled with college kids passes by. I was like that, once. I used to like being alive. I used to love the wind on my face, in my hair, travelling down a hill with the highway being the only thing in my way. I used to enjoy having that one song— that one movie-like, atmospheric song you couldn’t stop listening to—playing in the background. Road trips were my muse. My life was alive, you could say. Until I died.
My path to the graveyard goes down a hill, over the river, and up around past the park that has a looming Banyan tree— housing birds, life, and tired couples wanting to enjoy their moments together. The street lights gloom, draping the dark outside. People walk past me, somehow noticing my ivory face. Sometimes your brave face seeps through, and then you’re happy again—not today.
She is buried at the end of the graveyard beside her grandfather. Her gravestone is glossy black, with, “Our perfect girl, our perfect daughter” at the bottom and “Katherine Lena Grey” above it. The dirt is freshly placed. Footprints and tire tracks molded into the wet dirt. Her favourite flowers, Cattleya’s, are spread across in bunches. She was 22, I a year younger. My roll over her grave, and my body collapses 10 feet from her. I crawl to her resting place, fresh blood on the grass beneath me as I weep. I begin muttering, impossible to hear at first, as the fresh grief covers my words.
“I can still hear your laugh—your little laugh that you made when you found something amusing. And every time you did that…” I’m not sure who I’m talking to. Myself, God… Kate.
“Every time you did that, I cracked a little more inside each time because I knew that you and your laugh would never belong to me. You knew I loved you, but it was just too hard because you always had another person and you never wanted to commit to me as more than friends. Maybe you loved me too… who knows?”
My hands and I curl in the grass. Slouched over and fully feeling her death. My shirt is covered with bloody tears. They won’t stop. My fangs emerged beforehand and here I sit; a blubbering vampire mess. I thought I shouldn’t care? Didn’t my human feelings die? Where was this coming from? People are staring so I pick myself up, and try to bloody myself off.
My body moves as if my world has been swallowed by the sun and spit on by a black hole. It’s amazing what death can do to you, because now she’s gone. And Keenan is wherever he is. I’m alone. The people in the streets are not my company. They are selfish bags of meat. What am I thinking? I’m thinking that what happens now doesn’t matter because yes, I’m being cynical. Emotions? Melancholy mixed with grief, relief with a dash of pretentiousness. A rotting tree in the middle of a hail storm. For the first time I realize, that when you’re happy, you see everything. You hear everything, and you enjoy everything. Nothing can stop you. But when you’re not, the world just revolves. It doesn’t revolve around anybody, it seems. It feels like everything is slow motion—in a constant blur and all you can do is look straight ahead.
I try to walk past my banyan, but I can’t. I look right at it, letting my eyes watch it sway in the wind. Dancing against it, and fighting with it. The thick trunks being absorbed by the ground, and lights in the sky pressed against darkness. Nobody else can see them. No humans anyway. Maybe that’s why I like this tree so much. Full of life and full of hope, but maybe that’s why I hate it. Just as I turn on my heel, Keenan grabs me by the throat and throws me across the park.
He’s angry because his eyes glow bright green. At that age, my eyes would glow too. He’s on me again, lifting me by my shirt. With strong fangs and two inches in length, he is a person’s worst nightmare.
“You suck at being a vampire,” he says. “You’re weak, you’re too nice, and you let emotions rule you over.”
“Is that where you’ve been?” I struggle to say. “Watching me?”
“Yes.” He drops me to the ground, and bends down as if he is talking to a five year child who was just injured. “That’s where I have been. I drugged you, I check you over to make sure you weren’t infected with some stupid modern day disease, and I let you go back. Every maker has different ways of teaching their progeny, don’t you know?”
He slaps me across the face with the back of his hand. My jaw breaks, and the pain sears across my whole body.
“I killed Kate. She was a nice girl, but you loved her—I could tell. My 200 years on this damn planet has made me see that you are not allowed to love anybody when you’re dead inside.” My anger surfaces and I speed across to a park bench, break a piece of wood off, and throw it like a dart towards his non-beating heart. He dodges it, easily and comes at me. I throw a punch. He deflects it, and we battle it out; man to man, vampire to vampire, young to old. He grabs my arm, twists, and swings me to the ground. He whispers in my ear:
“I was wrong about you.”
“So was I.” I break my own arm, screaming out in pain, and lean forward kicking his shins as hard as I can. Not expecting it, he falls flat to his face beside me.
I run and grab another wooden stake. He moves too, faster than I can see, picking something up along the way. I throw and it pierces him right where I want it to, almost by accident: in the fleshy muscle that was once his heart. His eyes go white, and so does his skin. He stares at me, blankly, as his body dissolves into a muddy pile of dust and blood, stake sitting beneath it all. I smile, but I feel my pride fade away as my body twists inside, shock and denial meeting each other. There in my stomach is an exact replica of what Keenan finally died from. I collapse, embarrassment and shock filling my brain. I stare at the park, the broken bench, Keenan’s remains, and finally the banyan tree. The stars in the black sky fade; the greens go back to what they were before, and everything becomes darker. The banyan tree hovers over me; a giant watching over its sheep. Like a blanket covering my body, warmth comes back to me. And with it the pain fades. So does my life, like a string being pulled from invisible humanity.
The sun is fading. Jene puts her hand on the back of my neck as the stereo plays, “You outta know where I’m coming from,” by an artist named Banks. The ocean’s beach glows yellow, and the smell of salt and moisture cover the convertible. I put one of my hands up, steering our way with the other. She looks at me, wind blowing her black hair all around.
“Penny for your thoughts?” she asks.
“You know when you have a really realistic dream? That it feels like it actually happened?” “Yes… “. Her apprehension scares me.
“Don’t laugh but…”
“I won’t,” she interrupts.
“Okay… I had a dream that I… I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I had a dream that we knew a vampire named Keenan.” I laugh but Jene takes her hand away from the back of my neck.
“I did know a vampire named Keenan.”
“Yes. He died, like completely, a few months ago.”
“Where was I?”
“What are you getting at?”
“I don’t know. Never mind—stupid question.”
Jene laughs and I see a different girl then: brown hair instead of black; grey eyes instead of blue.
I see a grave stone by a broken park with a banyan tree.