This evening I went to gather my mail at the box at the end of my street. The cats followed me as they always do. In one of the yard I could hear two of my female neighbors. They have no idea that I can hear their conversation.
The one called Karen said, “Vlad is absolutely delicious. I could eat him up.”
The one called Barbara said, “I know. He is so cute.”
The one called Heather who has golden hair and is extremely pregnant just laughed in that mysterious joyful way women laugh. No male has ever understood THAT laugh.
Eat me up. I do not understand anymore than I understand exactly what they mean by cute. But I will try to understand.
Cats are cute. Babies are cute. I am cute. Yet, they also have called me sexy, which I now know means their loins ache to be with me. References to eating me are disturbing, even to a Vampire.
I know that cats and babies are cute but not sexy. But a man with a cat or a baby is sexy. I have two cats. I do not wish to have a baby.
I look in the mirror at a dim reflection. As if in a dream I see my reflection. Blue eyes that turn to gray. Golden hair. I see a face that is considered cute. I know I am handsome, and in the relm of beautiful, but this term cute is something I still cannot wrap my brain around. On my chest is a scar near my heart. It is the only mark on my otherwise perfect body.
Usually in Vampires, such as myself, wounds heal and there are no scars. The cause of my scar was no ordinary event.
The year was 1615.
Then all was dark. When I awoke I found myself sealed in the tight walls of a crypt. I could smell the putrefying bodies around me. Through the dark I could see the marble of the walls of my prison. I could not move. The pain in my chest was unlike anything I had ever experienced.
My foes had stabbed me with a stake of rowen wood. A crufix of silver had been placed around my neck. A brand in the shape of a cross had been burned into my forehead. Many of my bones had been broken. Then I fell into a deep sleep of the undead. The stake was cursed with curses of the damned so the scar will always be with me.
I awoke to the sound of a familiar voice calling my name. Then the sound of chisels and hammers. I could not move. The fog of sleep was still upon me. A cold hand touched my face.
I heard a cool familiar voice. “My love. Vlad, I thought I had lost you forever.”
Opening my eyes was no easy task. Before me was my love Gillian, as beautiful as always, but she had changed. Her auburn curls were straight, and loose around her shoulders. She wore a simple black shirt and pants that clung to her legs, and shoes without tops that were held on with her toes. Her toe nails and fingernails were painted purple. What madness was this? But I could not yet speak.
Then from my chest she pulled the stake. I could breath again. I smiled at her and asked if she still wanted to see the Sun King. She frowned.
“Vlad,” she said, “this is the year 2015.”
The shock to my system almost put me into a coma again.
Fortunately my fortunes were saved. Unfortunately my home, my castle, and my army was gone. I found myself in an English crypt, with my lover telling me we were going to fly to California. I did not know California. Fly? I had no idea. I had NO idea. I assumed by fly that she meant flee. Then we get into a car and drive without horses, THEN we go to an airport and get on an airplane. My exterior is calm, but inside I am both amazed and confused.
In 1615 I was attacked by men in a world where the greatest technology was the theories and discoveries of Galileo Galilei, and somewhere in there someone invented the first microscope. Then I wake in a world where people fly, and communicate through tiny boxes rather than speak to each other.
Imagine my confusion. I am not longer the Vampire King. I am Vlad, the cute guy. I am still attempting to adjust to this aspect of my existence.
I came from a dark place. Now I look out upon orange trees. Oranges. I told the children in the neighborhood to come pick them and bring the fruit home to their families. Oh the life of the Vampire King giving out food to his people. Sigh. I used to rule a kingdom and lead an army. Now I am the cute guy with the great oranges.
Tonight Gillian touched the scar on my chest with her cold fingers, then kissed it with her cold lips.
“When they stabbed you in the heart my love, they also stabbed me in the heart,” she said to me.
“I do not know any longer where I stand in the world,” I told her, “but I know where I stand with you. That is all that matters right now.” Then we made love only as cold undead Vampires can.
I do not tell Gillian my inner thoughts of perhaps once more becoming the Vampire King. I dream of building an empire but how can I do that surrounded by women like Karen, Heather, and Barbara who think I am cute?
They call me. They need me. That is my cats. They are calling. Tomorrow I will plan how to build my Vampire army. Now I must feed the cats and try to figure out what to bring to Heather’s baby shower. Technology I can figure out. Building an empire I can figure out. Modern women and cats – I will never figure them out.