The weather is warming up and more than a hint of summer is in the air. I sat with my son on the back deck last Saturday night, basking in the knowledge that I had raised the most mature and smartest and level headed vampire teen in the entire universe.
Then he asks “Mom, if I fell in love with a human girl why couldn’t I just convert her. I mean, it isn’t like I’d really be hurting her, I mean if that is what she wanted.”
“Excuse me?” I said, mellow mom suddenly gone and vampire mom at full force. “Don’t even think about it. I thought I’d raised you better than that.”
“What is wrong…” he started at me being a typical 16 year old that knows everything.
I had to get through to him. “Here are the facts. 80 percent of vampire conversions end in death. Of those 80 percent who die, about 20 percent are immediate deaths. Those are the lucky ones. The remaining die insanely painful deaths within two weeks.
Of the remaining 20 percent who live, let’s say we started with a sample of 100. So 20 who are converted survive the first two weeks. They have survived Hell. It isn’t about sucking blood, it is about having your entire body chemistry and DNA structure change. It is a genetic engineering miracle and a nightmare.
Out of the 20 who survive, at least 10 will go mad. Some will commit suicide. Some will refuse to feed, go into a coma and die. Some will linger for years hurting themselves and everyone around them. I’ve told you about the damaged crazy ones. Do you want me to take you to see one? It’s worse than any strung out or insane human you’ll ever meet. Would you do that to a friend?”
“Jeez Mom. No. But…” he stammered.
I cut him off. “Let me finish. So now you have 10 remaining. At least half will try to go rogue and do it on their own. Some will turn to religion with little or no comfort. Some will become hermits. Eventually at least half of those vampires will have to be eliminated.
Of the 5 left they will go on to be successful members of the Vampire community. Five out of a hundred. Are you willing to take that chance with someone you love? Are you?”
“What about Dad. He was successful.”
Holy crap. I didn’t expect him to bring up his dad. Successful? The vampire I loved? I wish I could say he was a success. I wanted to tell my son about the guilt and doubt that plagued his father. There were some nights when I’d wonder if I’d done right by marrying him. He never wanted to be a vampire. He didn’t even know what one was.
I calmly answered my son. “Your father did not become a vampire of his own will.”
“But what if the woman I love does. “ Answered my son as only a 16-year-old boy who still sees love as only romance can.
“You might as well cut off her head and make it quick.” I told him.
“ But mom, what if she was ill and I could save her?”
I wanted to scream but stayed calm. “What have you been reading? Sick people don’t survive conversions. It’s a myth that you can save someone you love. It is a cruel heart breaking LIE. You would only give her a cruel painful death. Baby, are you in love with a sick human girl?”
He scowled at me. “No. I was just asking. Don’t be so uptight.”
“I’m not uptight. I just want you to understand the seriousness of this.” I took his hand.
He gave me his best I’m the cool guy look. “I know. I had the same talk with dad, but he more or less said the same thing.”
“Do you understand me?” I asked.
“Yes. Ok. I understand you. Stop looking at me like that.”
We sat out looking at the stars. A few small bats flew overhead. The cat jumped in my lap and my son, still held my hand in his.