Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Lost and Found
Today my friend Randolpho came over to my house wearing one of his ridiculous hats. Randolpho always wears ridiculous hats.
“Are you going out shopping wearing that?” I asked him. I needed more shoes and Randolpho said he wanted to go along to make sure I would not pick out something strange. I have no idea why he thinks I would do that.
He smiled at me showing some fang and sarcasm. “You would make a good wife Vlad.”
I ignored his comment. My former wife used to always say that to me. Are you wearing that? The cheating bitch has been gone for over three hundred years but I still remember her constant stinging comments. She was the one with bad taste, not I.
“Have you seen my keys?” I asked Randolpho.
“Oh Vlad,” my friend said. “You are turning positively human.”
“I am not taking that as a compliment,” I said.
“It wasn’t meant to be one,” said Randolpho.
The Covid Plague still continues. Before this it was easy for Vampires such as myself to go out at night and find fresh meals in clubs, bars, and cultural gatherings. Now we must be more creative, or rely on warm blooded people we know. It is good that some of us are charming and good looking for we rarely go hungry.
I went out tonight to sit in the cold under the stars at a street side café with a glass of wine and a book. Even the once proud King of Vampires needs quiet time away from home. This Covid Plague has made me become fixated on Netflix, and feeling sorry for myself. I think of how I was never alone, or almost never alone in my castle so many centuries ago and how I would sometimes crave solitude. The constant violence, and decision making could be highly amusing but it grew bothersome.
As I came to my seat with my wine I heard a familiar voice calling to me.
There in front of me stood Erin, a lovely woman I have had the pleasure of partaking in before.
I stood. “Erin. Sit. Join me.”
And so she did. Then she took off her mask.
“I’ve been vaccinated and had my booster,” she said.
“So have I,” I said as I took off my mask.
Months ago I had asked Randolpho why we, Vampires such as us, had to get vaccinated.
“The Vampire Death Sickness of 1835. It wiped out at least half of the worldwide Vampire population.”
I reminded Randolpho that in 1835 I was locked in a crypt and left for dead. I missed the entire 18th through 20th Centuries.
“It was a virus,” said Randolpho, “even though we didn’t know it at the time. We didn’t know about germs and viruses and what caused most illnesses. It started with a cough and then a fever, then the inability to drink blood, then a slow, but not slow enough, painful death.”
After Randolpho told me that we were poked with needles which put something into our arms to prevent sickness. I did not even ask to explain why needles are used to put things into humans and to take blood out. Randolpho also said we do not know if this illness will harm us, or if we could pass it on to someone else who is not a Vampire. He also said we need the card where it is written that we have been vaccinated. It might be confusing but so is everything else during these times.
There is so much I have to learn still about this modern world in which I now exist. I never knew about germs, bacteria, or viruses which is something that baffles my mind still. These are things so small that we cannot see them, yet they are there and do massive damage far beyond what any well trained armies can do.
Of course there are fools who do not believe they need to have a needle poked into their arm to prevent this current plague. Just as there are those who say they believe the earth is flat.
Some Vampires feel as if they are safe, or they just do not care. They are the ones who insist on living in the shadows, in the dark, in musty crypts and behind locked doors. They prey upon the discarded like hyenas.
Before I was rescued from the crypt which held me for three hundred years I did not know that such a creature as a hyena existed. Even more amazing than hyenas were gorillas.
I almost could not believe such a creature was real. I knew about monkeys. I had seen monkeys. But a gorilla is what is called a great ape. It is huge. Larger and stronger than any man. It has a face which is like a monkey but yet like a man. Randolpho took me to the zoo where I was one, and I saw an even more amazing creature called an orangutang. There were also chimpanzees who are almost human and I was uncomfortable when they gazed at me.
One day I hope to see a Bigfoot as well. Randolpho told me not to hold my breath. I have no idea why he told me not to hold my breath, as Vampires hardy breathe anyway.
Erin asked me if I would like to share a plate of nachos with her. I said yes, not knowing what nachos are. I am a Vampire. Why would I know what nachos are?
A plate was brought out with triangles made of corn, covered with meat from a cow, yellow cheese from a cow, hot peppers, something called salsa which I liked very much, and sour cream which I did not try, and something green called avocado.
It was a pleasant experience. I do not eat solid food often. I will have it again, but with caution. Always with caution.
We spoke of many things. Mostly the small things that humans talk about. She does not know I am a Vampire. If she did I doubt very much if she would be sitting with me.
After we drank our wine and ate our nachos, I took Erin by the hand.
“Your hands are cold,” she said.
“So are yours,” I told her. It was the truth. “You must be freezing out here in the night air in January.
Then I locked her gaze in mine. Her hair is dark blonde with streaks of light in it, but her eyes are brown like nacho meat. She is lovely. Erin always smells of flowers and fresh cut oranges, before I can smell her blood. That is something I appreciate about the 21st Century is that people smell good.
When I had her gaze I whispered, “Do not fall in love with me. Be my friend, but you will not fall in love.” She would not remember what I said but it would be in her mind. Then I said, “It is too cold here. Let us continue our conversations elsewhere. I live not far from here. Come to my house.” And so, my seduction had begun.
Rarely do I have a warm blooded human at my house. Since my Vampire lover Gillian left me I have not had anyone in my bed, except my cats who sleep on my feet.
I opened a bottle of red wine.
“Here is to us, and to staying warm on a cold winter night,” I said as I handed her a glass.
We both took a sip of wine, then I put down my glass. Next I took her glass and put it down. Then I gently put my hand on the small of Erin’s back and pulled her close, then kissed her.
She was mine.
The sound of a loud voice and a helicopter overhead made the glass in the windows shake. We went out to the deck to see what was going on.
The helicopter circled my house. Lights covered my deck then moved on to the next house. This is not uncommon.
Back when I was King of Vampires I could not have imagined such a thing. There were stories of dragons and even rumors of hot air balloons but nothing could have prepared me for helicopters.
The flying machine circled my home. Then I heard a voice. Someone was projecting a voice over the whirling noise.
The voice from the helicopter said: Be on the lookout for an elderly Caucasian man, age 94, 5’7”, dressed in jeans and a red plaid jacket. His name is Keith. If you see him please contact….
They were looking for an old man who had lost many of his memories, or maybe was just looking for youthful adventure, or ill.
I remember old people from my youth who forgot the people who loved them. I remember ancient Vampires as old as the stars who looked young but were forgetful old people. They forgot everything then they turned to dust. That is sometimes what Vampires do.
Erin looked at me. “I bet he has Alzheimer’s.”
“What are Alzheimer’s?” I asked.
“It is a condition where people, usually elderly people, have memory loss. Often they get confused and wander off, then forget where they are.”
“Yes, lost memories. I know it well from when my Great Great Baba told me that her brain was full and she could not make sense of all of the clutter. At the end she thought I was her long dead lover. He wasn’t even related to me. I have no idea who the man was, but she thought I was him. Then she told me that she was sorry for carving my heart out of my chest. I said I forgave her, and still loved her the most, and kissed her cheek. The next day she was gone.”
“Oh. Oh my goodness. How old was your Great Great Baba?”
“About 3,500 years.”
She sort of laughed in that way women laugh to be polite. She thinks I exaggerate. Great Great Baba was that old.
“We should look for him,” said Erin. “Do you have a flashlight?”
“That would be a good idea. I have excellent night vision.” I did not tell her that I can SEE in the dark. I retrieved a flashlight from the toolbox my friend Randolpho put together for me.
We walked down the street and down to the river where the missing elderly man named Keith was. I looked behind us and saw that my cats were following us.
Standing on a high mound of river rocks left over from mining that had gone on 130 years before, I smelled the air, and scanned the woods and river shore around me. I could see a small group of deer, a possum, an owl, and the silent ghost of a woman in long blue dress, but no elderly man.
Erin pointed the flashlight towards the water. She looked beautiful in the dark with a worried expression on her face.
“Keith, are you there?” she called out into the night.
We walked along the edge of the river, followed by my cats, for another half of an hour or so. I lost track of time.
A noise made us turn around. There was the old man.
“I’m lost,” he said. “Have you seen my dog?”
I went to him and put my hand on his shoulder. I could feel the confusion along with some fear. “We will help,” I said. Then I went into this thoughts and unscrambled some of the cobwebs in his head. The experience made me feel weak and my head pounded.
“How in the world did I end up out here?” said the man called Keith. “I don’t know how I got into such a fog.”
Erin called the numbers 911. We waited with Keith until someone came to get him.
Once we were back at my house I sat for a bit trying to unfog my own brain. It has been centuries since I have done anything like that. Centuries.
Erin came to me and rubbed my shoulders. Then she gently kissed my neck. I turned and buried my face in her neck sinking in my fangs.
She didn’t remember my fangs, but she did remember later when I made love to her in my large comfortable bed.
The next morning I found her wrapped around me, and the cats sleeping at our feet.
I am glad that Erin and I found the old man Keith before the coyotes and cold night air did. I am glad I found Erin.
She was the cure I needed. She was my shot for the night.
Sometimes I wonder about when people used to place so much weight and value on the physical purity of a woman. The only purity that matters is that of the heart. Even someone with a cold hardly beating Vampire heart like mine knows the value of that.
In these times I see so many so lost in so many ways, yet I see so many find their way, or different ways. I was not a successful Vampire King without knowing to make that kind of observation. As I think of the night with Erin, I know I am still a successful Vampire, among other things. At times over the past few years I have thought of how lost I feel, then I think of Erin in my bed, with the taste of her blood still in my mouth, and think yes, I have in an important way been found.