For week two of the blogfest we were asked to write a piece of flash fiction based on the below picture. I wrote a little piece I’m calling “The Day of the Vampire”. I’ve always rather liked vampire books, although I’m no “Twi-hard”, I love True Blood and have a secret and embarrassing addiction to the TV show, The Vampire Diaries. One thing that irritates me about neo-vampire books and shows, however is how easily their creators dispense with the tradtional limitations and “regulations” of vampirism. Edward Cullen, for example, hot as he is, never bites anyone! What is the point of a vampire that never bites anyone? And he walks around in broad daylight without a care in the world except for the fear that someone might notice he sparkles. The vampires of The Vampire Diaries have also conquered daylight, and unlike the traditional creatures they are based on, seem to have no trouble enjoying all the earthly pleasures of the living, such as food, alcohol and yes, lots and lots of s.e.x. These vampires, and the vampires of True Blood are fully integrated into human society, albeit, with the exception of True Blood, in secret.
I don’t begrudge these authors and creators their success, but how I miss the isolated angst, the denial of carnal desires, and the overwhelming, crippling blood lust of the vampires of Anne Rice and Bram Stoker. In this spirit “The Day of the Vampire” tells the story of a vampire who gave it all up to be human again.
The Day of the Vampire
The light hurt her eyes. She gave silent thanks that the day was overcast, as curious as she was about the sun. Then again, she was cold, an odd sensation, and one that drew a vague memory forward from the human part of her brain. Cold, yes, hunger, yes, real hunger, for real food not blood. And something else, something half remembered. Ah, yes, fear. The fear only a living thing can have. The magic worked, she thought, I am alive.
She opened her eyes and gazed, squinting in the light, at the man in black. His expression was inscrutable. He tossed away the skull and it clattered on a tombstone.
“It is done,” he said.
“For how long?”
“How long is a human life? Only God knows the answer to that. You will grow old, or you will get sick, or injured…”
”And then I will die?”
“And then you will die.” He said this last almost sadly.
She looked down at her body. The white dress seemed to hang on her. She felt her bony ribs beneath it.
“Am I beautiful?” she asked.
“You always were,“ he said.
They walked together back to the village, closing the cemetery gates behind them. Her eyes steadily adjusted to the light and soon she began to see details in the world of daylight that she had all but forgotten. The rich brown color of the earth, the red of rosebuds in the garden of a small cottage, the yellow eyes of a drowsy cat captivated her. She took it all in, relishing it.
At the baker’s shop, he bought her a raisin cake, which she devoured in three bites. Then further along the road a penny bought a bowl of fresh milk from a milk maid.
“It’s still warm,” she said, after she gulped it down.
“Is that not how you like your drink?” he asked.
She wiped her mouth and threw the bowl away. “Take me somewhere,” she said, suddenly. “Somewhere the sun shines and the wind blows cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon. Somewhere with wine and sweet things to eat and…” She put her hands to her cheeks, feeling the heat rise in them. “Young men, beautiful young men.” Impulsively, she twirled and the white dress twirled around her.
“I would take you anywhere,” he said. “But first we must see someone.”
They walked to the center of the village and stopped outside the church. She hesitated when he began to climb the stone stairs.
“It’s all right,” he said. “You’re alive again, remember?”
She followed him to the heavy wooden door. He pushed on it, and it opened with a creak. He drew her inside.
The priest stood there, along with several guards, all holding swords in front of them.
“What is – ?” she began to ask.
“I have brought you the vampire,” the man in black said. “She cannot harm you now. Do with her what you will. My debt is paid.”
“So it is, wizard,” said the priest. “You may go.”
The man in black turned and left, closing the heavy door behind him.
She turned back to the priest, ready to argue the innocence of her new beginning, but saw only the flashing of steel, and soon, her own human blood on the cold stone floor.