I wore black jeans, a blue cotton sweater over a black tee shirt which accented my golden hair and blue eyes. I might be slow about modern culture but I have never let go of my sense of fashion.
In the days, before I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years, I would have worn high leather boots, leather, lace, and velvets. My hair would have been long past my shoulders. I would have even had a cape. Over the past five years, in this new century, I have learned to be less complicated. My hair now is almost long enough to pull back, but that will soon change. I am feeling like having it shorter, maybe for the Thanksgiving feasting time at the end of the week. I must call Katie who will do wonders with my hair.
An odd thing happened tonight. I was out shopping, as even Vampires do from time to time, I have learned. In the parking lot, for I can drive, as I got my bags out of the trunk of my car, a figure approached me. Holy Mother of all Vampires, and the Demons who reside in Hell, it was my old rival Magnus.
Magnus ruled a swatch of sorry burned out lands south of where my Vampire Kingdom was, for once a long time ago I was the King of Vampires. He stood before me, all in black, black hair blowing in the wind, black leather jacket, tight black pants, black boots, and all accented his pale, almost snow white skin. Despite his ugly attitude, Magnus was always handsome, but never as handsome as I am and would never be considered cute. I have not seen him in at least four hundred years. Another four hundred without him would not hurt my feelings.
“I have come for you Vlad. I have come to finally take my revenge upon you,” he said in a deep voice. His brown eyes darted to the bags I was holding in my hands. I closed the trunk of my car.
“What are you doing?” Magnus demanded.
“Thanksgiving is at the end of next week. I am going to Trader Joe’s then Whole Foods to get items I need to put together an appetizer plate. I was invited to the feast by a friend. Now if you will let me pass.”
“What is in the bag?”
“Nothing yet. Do you not know that we must have reusable bags now? This is California. We care about reusing our resources and our environment.”
Magnus let out a low grown and squinted is eyes. “You have become soft,” he said.
“I see you have not evolved,” I told him. Evolved is a new word I like to use a lot. It came about right after I was entombed for three hundred years against my will. Missing the three most evolved centuries that I can think of has left me at somewhat a disadvantage, but not always.
“I have come for you Vlad,” he said. “I burn with a drive to destroy you and all you ever stood for.”
“The difference between us Magnus,” I said to him, “was that I was driven by passion, while you were driven by hate that ate away at you until what little bit of a soul you still had escaped your heart and was emptied out of your foul smelling boots like sand.
“Where did your passion get you?”
I shrugged my shoulders in a gesture of thinking I don’t care what he thinks. “I am happy, something a Vampire like you will never feel.”
He grabbed the bags out of my hand.
“Do not take the bags. Damn you Magnus. I need those. My cats enjoy hours of fun playing in them.”
“Who are you meeting with?”
“Maybe some vegetables and cheese, or some a nice local Zinfandel,” I said in an attempt to confuse him with my humor. My humor frequently confuses people.
“Who invited you? You are nobody,” Magnus yelled at me. He has always been extremely rude.
“Friends. You do know what friends are I assume. But then maybe not. You always were quite unpleasant.”
“You have changed Vlad.”
“No shit Sherlock,” I said. I do not know what that means but my Vampire lover Gillian says those words when something is extremely obvious.
His face turned into a mask of rage, lips curing back showing freakishly long fangs.
And as my twenty year old friend Kylee would say, I said, “Really Magnus? Really?”
Magnus stepped closer, and pulled a long knife out of thin air.
“It is actions such as this Magnus,” I said quietly, “that kept you in a disheveled run down ruin of a castle with a motley crew of mercenary Vampire ghouls rather than having your own legitimate Vampire Kingdom as I did.”
Magnus stepped closer, not snarling like a wolverine. I stood my ground, and spoke quietly as I would to a child.
“Put down the knife. Put down your anger. This is not the time or place for violence.”
Then the bastard lunged at me slicing my arm, and my favorite sweater. I looked down at my now unraveling sweater and the blood dripping down my arm then I grabbed his wrist with one hand, and his neck with my other hand. Even with a deep cut on my arm, Magnus was no match for me as he dropped the knife, and gasped for air. His eyes turned blood red, then black, then solid white. I did not let go. He tried to lung up and bite me but my grip was too strong as I slammed him to the ground.
“You need to go away Magnus. You need to go far far away. I may not have my castle anymore, but I am still the Vampire King.”
I could feel his skin turning as cold as ice in fear as I tightened my grip around his throat. He attempted to rip my hair with his free hand, but that quickly stopped when I told him, “I will drain your body of every drop of blood, then spit it out in the street to be washed down to the sewers, leaving you an empty husk to be eaten by rats. Then again, Magnus, even rats would find you bitter and tasteless, just like your over blown personality.”
Just then a woman with a teenaged boy walked by. “Oh my God,” she called out. “Do you need help?”
I lied, “I have called 911. Go inside where it is safe. I know this man. He is insane and will be soon locked up and in a safe place with caring people. Do not worry about the way he looks. He always likes to wear Vampire fangs to scare people. He is always in a Halloween mood.”
The boy looked with wide eyes. He would have a story to tell for the rest of his life. The mother and son moved on. “Have a nice Thanksgiving,” I called to them.
“Now for you Magnus,” I almost growled at him. “You are to leave here and never bother me again. If I hear you are bothering anyone else, be it Vampire or warm blooded people I will hunt you down and you will never taste blood again. Do you understand.”
I let him go. He got up to his feet. “Go,” I said. Then he ran to a black car, the kind they call, what is it, a muscle car, and drove away too fast. I secretly hoped he would get a ticket. We were in the town of Folsom so the chances were high that he would.
Inside of Trader Joe’s the woman and her teenage son approached me. She looked at my blood soaked sleeve.
“Are you ok? I’m a nurse. You need to get that cleaned up.”
Then next thing I know she is in the bathroom cleaning up my wound. She mentioned how cold I was and told me to get to the hospital. I held her hand in mine and thanked her.
“You are a good person. Thank you,” I said, and gave her a quick hug, which thrilled her because, well, just because.
I could hear others around saying how sweet she was and how cute and hot I am. I do not understand cute or hot. I am cold since I am a Vampire. Kittens are cute and I am a grown man. I do know that I am more attractive to most so I will take it all as a compliment.
If one helps a Vampire and shows kindness towards a Vampire, then the Vampire will always make sure you are safe. The Vampire community will make sure her boy is safe when he goes off to the university and that she will always be without harm. Most people do not know that, even when they do have a Vampire watching over them.
Now I am home, and after putting away the groceries into an empty refrigerator I will pour myself a glass of wine, call my cats to play with the reusable bags, and think about how truly thankful I am.
I am a Vampire. I might be cute. I am also thankful.
This has been the 54th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To catch up on all of Vlad’s Vampire Diary entries click here.