We live in a world of diversity. Diversity of culture, as well as diversity of biology. Some of the aspects of our differences is freely shared, but as we all know, others are not.
For the most part Vampires are pretty secretive about who and what they are. We try to act like everyone else by sending our children to public schools, writing obscure parenting blogs, having businesses, and keeping warm blooded friends.
Our warm blooded friends, at least those who know who and what we are, have their own set of challenges, or at least their own stories. They are part of an exclusive culture, yes a culture, of people who aren’t Vampires but know and live with Vampires. It is a challenge, let me tell you. If you’re one of the few who know you have Vampires, Werewolves, Selkies, or others in our world in your world, like can take some interesting twists. If you tell anyone they’ll think you’re nuts. If you tell anyone your “unusual friends” won’t take kindly to it. If you tell anyone there might be consequences you don’t want to deal with. On the other hand, the rewards can be great.
In the new, semi regular series I’ll ask some of my friends to share their experiences. I’m not talking about being bitten by a Vampire or horror story stuff – just everyday experiences. Let’s start with John’s story.
It was August 1977. I was twenty-four, in graduate school at University of California, Davis. I’d gone home for the weekend. It was the weekend the body was found. It wasn’t the first body, just the most famous.
Let me go back, my family has a farm, orchards, along the Sacramento River, in the Sacramento Delta region. We’ve had the land since the 1850’s.
Remember Raymond Balenciaga, the self-help guru? He was the one who’d break people down, then bring them back up in his own image, claiming they’d be rich and successful. I guess he was like all of the others, you know like the EST guy, and others. Balenciaga’s hook was that you have to denounce yourself and everything you held dear. There again, he was like the others.
My brother Bob and I were out for a walk Sunday night when we found Balenciaga’s body in an irrigation ditch on the edge of our property. He was naked. Pale. Then Bob recognized him. My brother’s girlfriend had been fascinated by the Balenciaga. Of course she had. The guy was movie star handsome. I suspected he had sex with most of his more attractive female followers. Now he was in a ditch.
The sheriffs officers came. As Bob and I stood nearby we saw our neighbors on the other side of the ditch.
I remember Tellias in a black suit with a vest, a white collar and a wide purple tie, over purple striped shit, and Eleora in a red Halston halter dress with her hair wild in the wind. Damn, she was beautiful. They looked like they’d just walked off the pages of a fashion magazine.
Tellias looked at me with his glacier blue eyes. Even in the dark those eyes glowed. Then he nodded his head at me. It was like he was telling me something. Eleora started to dance around him, then he grabbed her by the waist and held her close, and still. She smiled at me then made a kiss on her lips, to me.
Eleora had always been my first love. Even as a small boy she’d enchanted me. We’d go for walks in the orchards and she’d tell me crazy weird stories about Warlocks and magic, and teach me crazy songs. At night I’d sneak outside to watch her dance under the stars alone, or sometimes with Tellias. To me he was the luckiest man who ever lived.
Every time she saw me she’d kiss my cheek, or forehead, and whisper in my ear, “You are my special boy and I will always love you and protect you.”
It occurred to me, more like a brick hit me, that they’d never aged. They looked younger than I did. In the family albums the people from the farm next door never changed. It wasn’t just a family resemblance. It was them. Going back to the 1850’s it was the same people.
Later I asked my parents if they’d ever noticed that nobody next door ever aged. They sat me down and told me. Bob was surprised I never figured it out.
The official report stated that the body had been moved after death due to the lack of blood in the body, combined with the lack of blood on the ground. The cause of death was never determined.
Tellias eventually told me that they rarely drained a body of blood or even killed anyone, but Balenciaga was an exception. He was a con man who destroyed lives of the lost – those who were only looking for answers.
“Even the weak, and stupidly lost need protection. Sort of like protecting sheep from a rabid wolf,” he told me. Next he told me he was over two thousand years old. The guy looked like he was nineteen, but I believed him. I had to. I’d known him all my life. My grandparents had known him since they were children. He was in photos from the 1850’s.
My parents retired and moved to Carmel near my sister. I bought my siblings out of their share of the farm. Tellias and Eleora are still my neighbors. They’re still my friends.
We’re good. I can’t explain it but it all makes sense. It works.
~ End of interview