Wednesday, October 3, 2012
FLASH FICTION FRIDAY, CYCLE 98: BAD THINGS...
This week’s prompt was to craft a tale about a vamp, but to make this creature of the night turn out to be something quite unexpected. I hope you get as much enjoyment out of reading my little tale as I did writing it.
NEVER TOO OLD
I am quite distressed. It’s early evening, and I’m taking a stroll around the neighborhood because something heavy is weighing on my mind. I need to come up with a solution before I go home because I don’t want to cause my wife any worry. She works at the county hospital, attends her club meeting, and arrives home just after darkness begins to fall. She’s an incredible cook, and whatever she has planned for dinner will be magnificent. Dessert, as always, will be a pint or two of the O+ from the hospital’s blood bank that she brings home for me. They have plenty, and she knows it’s my favorite. I adore it over ice with a twist of lime. Mmmm….
I should probably tell you something that will help you understand this dire situation. I’m certain, by now, you’ve guessed that I’m a vampire. I know I’m not the typical, big screen devilishly handsome bloodsucker you’ve come to expect, but I’m a vampire just the same. I was made quite by accident, a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but it happened so long ago, the details aren’t really important. Suffice to say, I was 67 at the time, and you are right to assume that through all these hundreds of years, I have remained a senior. Once the deed is done, there’s no going back, or forward for that matter, so I have to admit I’d rather die and be reborn at 67 than at 7. That would be quite traumatic.
Getting back to my problem, a bit of backstory so you can see the big picture. I’ve been around for quite some time now, and to be honest, being a vamp isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. People you get attached to grow old and die and you have to keep seeking companionship; at least, I do, since I’ve never been one to enjoy being alone.
Now, you might be thinking, just give your beloved that special bite and make her like you. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out since most vampires do not seek their own kind to hang with. Too much competition and all, so it’s not really an option. Of course, there’s always letting the woman in on your little secret, but that usually results in two distasteful (pardon the expression) outcomes. One, she runs screaming into the night, alerting everyone within earshot that you’re one of Satan’s spawns (I personally am non-denominational) and folks chase after you with stakes in one hand and hammers in the other. Or, two, she nags you to nip her neck so she can fly around as a bat and get the dirt on all her neighbors. See what I was up against? I say, was, because that’s before I met Dorothy.
I had been run out of town a couple of counties over due to the first scenario above, and came upon this town that’s called Smytheville. While seeking shelter for the next day, Dorothy came to my assistance. She stated she was 52, worked as a laboratory technician, and was seeking extra income by renting out one of the rooms in her home. To make a long story short, I became her boarder, then her friend, and eventually, her husband. She hasn’t aged a day since we’ve met and she’s still the beautiful soul I married 15 years ago. She knows all about me and neither ran away nor begged me to bite her. She accepts me for who, and what, I am, and we live in a town full of loving and caring folks. And, then along comes the snag of a lifetime.
As vamps go, I may be considered over-the-hill, but I can still sense when another is close, and boy, was there one close. Earlier, while Dorothy was doing some last minute grocery shopping, I was at Rosie’s Diner downtown (I would walk a mile on my fangs for her coffee) when a young man came in. I knew immediately what he was, and he recognized my affliction as well. He joined me, uninvited, in my booth, and spoke quietly of matters vampire. I have to tell you, I was quite offended, since I hadn’t spoken of such things since my arrival in town years before. I could see he had been made young and that his power more than likely surpassed mine, so I smiled and listened. I can’t think of anything I’ve regretted more.
“Well, fancy that. One of us sitting in a diner in a nowhere town, sipping java. After a few centuries, you can tolerate human food, huh? Name’s Randall. So, what’s the story about this burg, Pops? Is the feeding good?”
His haughty laughter was irritating and insulting.
“Look, Randall, I don’t know how you ended up here, but this is a nice town. The people here are simple and don’t bother anyone. You don’t want to stake your claim here, so to speak. Why don’t you head to the city? It’s about 60 miles due west. And, I‘m not your ‘Pops‘. Name‘s Dave.”
I wasn’t sure I was getting through. I knew for sure though that I was pissing him off.
“So, that’s how it is, Pops. This is your territory and you don’t want to share. Well, let me tell you how it’s going to be. You see a town, I see a buffet. I’m going to summon some of my buddies and, tomorrow night, we’re going to drain this town dry. You can have any stragglers that wander in after we’ve gone. Right now, I‘m going to pick up a snack, and then head home. I‘ve rented the Miller place at the edge of town. My friends and I will have plenty of room to dine there. Just make sure you stay out of our way. Pops.”
As I watched him walk out, for the first time in a lot of years, I felt fear. Not for myself, but for my wife and our friends. I knew something had to be done, but what? I decided to take a walk and try to figure something out before Dorothy got home.
Millicent Danvers, in the next booth, had overheard the entire conversation. She quickly sent a text to all the members of the Ladies Club calling for an emergency meeting at her house. They’d go on from there.
When Randall arrived home, the members of the Ladies Club were waiting for him.
“What the hell are you old bitches doing in my house? Do you have any idea who and what I am? I could kill you all in the blink of an…”
He couldn’t believe his eyes. It had to be some sort of trick with the lighting. Every one of the ladies before him transformed into wolves with black eyes, long fangs and sharp claws. They were all standing on two legs and stood at least 3 feet taller than his 6 feet. A second or two later, the elderly ladies were back, although a couple of them still had a claw or two showing. Dorothy spoke.
“Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, boy. We are what you saw, and you’re not going to kill anyone. If you don’t do what we say, we’ll rip the throats out of you and your vile friends. You’re going to leave town before sun-up and make sure your friends don’t show up either. Life is good here and we intend to keep it that way. If you’re gone by morning, no harm will come to you.”
“What about the old dude at the diner? Do the people in this town know they’ve got an broken down vamp and six werewolves living among them?” Randall knew he didn’t stand a chance, but he had to keep up appearances.
“Dave, the ‘old dude‘, is my husband, and he doesn’t know about me or the rest of us. Yet. No one in town does. We will tell those closest to us in our own time, but you’re not going to tell anyone. Do, and the deal’s off, and you die. Is that what you want?”
Randall shook his head. He’d seen what one of them could do to a vamp. It wasn’t pretty. Maybe the city wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
When I got home, Dorothy was there. At least I still had tonight to try to figure out how to dispose of Randall. She’s the best, and I would want to die if anything happened to her.
“Hi, sweetie, dinner’s almost ready. By the way, did you know some young man recently rented the Miller place, but he’s moving out already? Isn’t that wild?”
Wow. I guess I intimidated that young punk more than I realized. I wasn’t aware that I was thinking out loud when I said “Big Daddy’s still got it.”
Dorothy heard me, gave me a big hug, and agreed. She’s the best.