Short Story Sunday: Cheat Sheet

It wasn’t so much the blood stains, or the wine stains that ruined the dress. It was the candle wax and the red grease from a plate of Morisqueta Michoacana that did the trick.

“Ellen, if you keep this up you’re going to either run out of clothes, or you’re going to attract Vampire Hunters, or at the least the local police. I was kidding about the running out of clothes, but not about the other two things,” Andy told his fledgling Vampire friend. 

“I just forget what I’m supposed to do,” said Ellen.

Andy took the cool hands of the lovely young woman and gave them a slight squeeze. Then he took out a piece of paper and a pen.

“I’m making you a cheat sheet,” he said. He explained the list as he wrote. “Dark Colors. Don’t wear white or pastels until you get the hang of things. Trance. Always put your donor in a trance. Always, even if is someone you know and someone who gives you permission. Wrist. Until you get the hang of things, or you’re in bed with someone, just go for the wrist. Trust. Trust no one. Surroundings. Know your surroundings. Know where the exits are. Know who else is around. Until you have more experience avoid places you wouldn’t have gone before you were a Vampire. Friend. Bring a friend. Don’t go alone. We’re a tight community. You can call any of the Vampires you know to come along with you. We’re always here for each other. Always. Last of all make your donor FORGET. You know how to do that. So, my dear remember: Dark Colors, Trance, Wrist, Surroundings. Friend. Forget.

“OK. I got it,” Ellen looked away fighting back the tears.

“Are you alright? This is nothing to be embarrassed by.”

“We’d been drinking, and he was cute, and he really liked me. I kissed him and he was all over me. It was, like, great. Then I started kissing his neck, and he was really into it, so I bit. He completely flipped out, and…”

“You don’t have to explain. Just go forward and don’t do it again.”

“What if he tells someone about it?”

“Who is he going to tell? His friends? Some hot girl bit him on the neck. They knocked over the table and made a mess. End of story. No big deal. You’re never going to see him again and if you do you can make him forget all of it. But you won’t see him again. Please, just move on.”

“OK. Thanks Andy.”

“Now, let’s get you upstairs and to bed for some sleep. You can stay here today. I’ve got extra clothes my sister left here you can have. She won’t mind. You’re the same size and she doesn’t wear ugly clothes.”

After Andy got Ellen settled in the big comfortable bed in his guest room, he went downstairs and made coffee. Training a new Vampire was rewarding but it could be exhausting. Ellen was a perfect fit but she wasn’t quite ready to go out on her own. She’d been so independent before the conversion but now she was so unsure of herself. It was kind of a brain fog that comes in when one has undergone extreme physical transformations. 

Shawna, Andy’s girlfriend came in, wearing a big cotton sweater, jeans, and socks on her feet. She wasn’t a Vampire, and Andy was fine with that. Shawna was usually fine with the fact that Andy was a Vampire. Usually. Of course he NEVER drank Shawna’s blood. Never.

“Morning my love,” he said, then kissed her, and poured her a cup of coffee.

“Morning sweetie. I saw that Ellen was still here. Poor thing. No offence, but I don’t know why anyone would want to become a Vampire.”

“It wasn’t her choice.”

“Oh. I didn’t know.”

“Yeah, long story. The usual story of some asshole boyfriend. A quote unquote romantic trip to a beach house, then she wakes up three weeks later sicker than a dog and dumped on my doorstep.”

“Poor thing. That is harsh.”

“No as harsh as the punishment the guy who did it will receive.”

“I don’t even want to know,” said Shawna.

“No, you don’t,” said Andy. “What do you want to do today? A movie. Maybe go skating in the park? A museum? A walk on the beach.”

“The beach sounds good. On the other hand, we haven’t gone roller skating in a while. Let me just wake up a bit more.”

Then she kissed Andy, and said, “You look so worried. Ellen will be fine. Let’s just have a nice day. We can even bring her along after she rests for a while.”

“Good idea. I made her a cheat sheet.”

“Nice,” said Shawna as she looked at the list. “I should make on for you.”

“What would you put down at the three most important things,” said Andy.

Shawna laughed quietly, then said, “maybe you don’t need one.”

“You definitely don’t,” said Andy.

They sat drinking coffee as the morning sun started to light the sky. As always Andy, and Shawna talked of the usual things long established couples talk about. Andy’s cat curled up on Shawna’s lap, glad for a warm lap for a change.

Andy knew that no matter who or what you were, there were always learning curves. Everyone starts out somewhere, and no matter if there are a regular human, a Vampire, or something else, there was always room for improvement. He looked at Shawna with her hair still messy from sleep, and a bit of mascara under her eyes, and realized that there were also times when sometime a bit of a mess was just perfect.

~ end

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