I posted this a year ago. Today is the one year anniversary of a gang shooting in Sacramento that took the lives of innocent people. People were out for a fun night at a local club and were caught in the crossfire. It is something their friends and family, and the community will never get over. Click here for a clip about the story. I still haven’t heard anything about a trial or what happened to those responsible. Maybe I missed it, but I just don’t know.
As a writer/blogger I’ve written a lot about school shootings, and other shootings. I respond with stories about Vlad and others because it is the only way I know how. I can scream, I can vote, I can do other things, but like most people, I feel like there is nothing I can do to keep bad people from hurting others, or even good people from hurting themselves (as in the case with suicides).
The post below was my response to what was happening. It isn’t much. It is just a story.
Vlad’s Vampire Diary: Heroic Gesture
The longer I exist in this century the more baffled I am by it.
After being locked in a crypt for three hundred years I find that I do not understand so much in this modern world. Music is one of those things I do not understand.
It is odd that awards are given to older women who create music. I could never have imagined such a thing. I had always thought modern society did not value the elderly, but I find myself wrong in my assumptions. The respect for these old women makes my cold Vampire heart warm. I like the name of one of them. Joni Mitchell. She is lovely.
The world I left in 1700 was a violent place. The world in 2022 is still a violent place.
Twenty blocks away from Cassie’s Bar was an attack using guns. The attack was in front of another bar. I knew little of guns when I left the 18th Century and know little of them now. Many Vampires, as well as everyone and everything else keep them.
Many people were killed in the shooting. The shooting was in sight of the State Capitol building, which I find odd. When I was King of the Vampires, my castle was always guarded. Why was this area not guarded?
My friend Cassie, who is not a vampire, was worried.
She spoke to me as I visited her. The bar was not open yet. There were no others to disturb us.
I gave her a cool embrace. She held me close. I could feel her distress and fear.
Her lips met mine. She was warm.
It was difficult not to drag her behind the bar, but I refrained.
We heard a knock on the back door. I went to see who it was.
Standing there was a demon who frequents Cassie’s bar. For some unknow reason she allows him to sit and brood over a beer in his flannel shirts, with his leather wings folded tightly on his back so that no one can see.
Today he was dressed in a fine black suit with a purple shirt and patterned silk tie. His blue eyes turned yellow when he saw me.
“I need to see Cassie,” he said.
“Did you have anything to do with the shooting?” I asked him.
“No. Hell no. Demons had nothing to do with that mess. That was all people. I only deal with politicians and clergy. Are you going to move and let me in or what?”
The Demon could have pushed through, or knocked me down, but he refrained, as is the way with Demons. They can be quite violent when provoked but they would rather not exert themselves.
I let him through. He went to Cassie.
“Skyler,” Cassie said, “What brings you here?”
Skyler. The Demon is named Skyler. Not in a million years, would I have guessed that was his name.
“Listen, Cassie, I know you’re worried about what happened down the street. It won’t happen here. I promise.”
Cassie listened to the Demon she allowed to sit in her bar. She did not show any emotion, which is what one should do when listening to a Demon.
“You have provided me a refuge from all the crap I have to deal with. You’ve provided a refuge for all of paranormal trash as well, you know, the Vampires, Werewolves, and others who aren’t quite human…anymore. Anyway, I’m a Demon but that doesn’t define who I am. It is what I am but I have come to realize it is not WHO I am. You have allowed me a haven where I can be WHO I am. I will do my damnest to protect you and call upon all of your not so human partrons and friends to protect you and your customers and your neighborhood.”
“Won’t you get into trouble for that?” Cassie asked.
“I don’t care,” said Skyler. “I’m done with all of that crap.”
“That is rather angelic of you,” I said.
“Oh screw the Angels. They’re no better than Demons. Nothing but a bunch of smug, self-serving, little two faced shits.”
“Skyler, you’re going to get into trouble for speaking out like this,” said Cassie.
“Cassie, I’m so alone in this universe that right now I don’t care. I see the good and the bad. Most of it is all the same to me. Everything is stupid and nothing makes sense. It never did. But I will protect you. I will risk it. I swear by my forked tail that I will protect you. No strings attached. Just me. I’m done with Hell. As of last week I’m an independent contractor.”
For some reason I was touched by what the Demon said.
“That is quite the heroic gesture,” I told him.
“Not really. I know you’d do the same Vlad, despite that cute face of yours,” he said.
Cute. I do not know what he means. Kittens are cute. Babies are cute. I do not look like a baby or a kitten.
Cassie made a fresh pot of coffee and we all sat around a table and talked of Cassie’s fears, and a plan.
I knew the Demon Skyler had put himself in mortal danger, but he did not care. He had left behind what he was born into and become his true self.
Later I asked him if he was still going to work with politicians and clergy.
“Hell yeah,” he said. “A guy has to make a living.”
And that was my morning. Now I must feed my cats. They are cute. I look in the mirror. I still do not look like a cat.
This has been the 72nd installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary.
After being trapped in a crypt for three hundred years, Vlad the fierce and powerful Vampire King is now learning how to live in the modern world, and learn the true meaning of the word “cute.”
Keep checking back for more installments. Click here to read from the beginning.