He said his name was Kit. We talked about things I do not understand such as cars, and shopping at REI, and Game of Thrones.
I locked my eyes on his then I put him into a trance. I did not feel like being scratched by the stubble of his beard so I went for the crook of his arm. I closed his hand into a fist.
“Hold this tight,” I whispered in his ear. Then I sank my teeth into his veins.
His blood was warm with that tasted that always brought back memories of warm summer nights and…
Women. Yet, there was something male. Quite male…looking. Kit had short hair, no face paint, a loose shirt in a mulch color, and cargo shorts. Kit was also tall. Kit was as tall as I am. Kit had a voice as deep as mine.
I finished and said, “wake my friend.”
Kit opened bright blue eyes and smiled. “I feel tired all of the sudden. Sorry, a little light headed. I haven’t even been drinking.”
“Is Kit for Katherine?” I asked softly.
“Not this again. Oh my God to I always have to explain myself. Kit is for Kit. I don’t have anything to hide.”
“As well you shouldn’t. You wear a wedding ring.”
“I do. My husband will be here any minute.”
“Whoa, wait, what did you say? How did you know that? I just found out today. I haven’t even told my hubby.”
“I am also different. I also do not, what do you say, fit the Normans.”
“Fit the norms. It’s norms,” said Kit. “How are you different, aside from being incredibly cute.”
“You would not understand,” I said. I do not understand why Kit had to call me cute.
I said nothing. I do not understand but I suppose it is not something for me to try to understand. I also do not have to explain myself.
Then Kit smiled. “You’re prettier than most women, but you’re definitely a guy. What’s your story?”
“Where I come from my community, where I was the leader, we accepted everyone as they were. Unfortunately when many left outside of our protection they were persecuted and often put to death in horrible ways. I do not care about what is underneath your clothing. Congratulations by the way. You’re having a girl, and a boy. There are two babies in there.”
Kit’s mouth fell open. “How. Did. You. Know.”
“I’m a Vampire,” I whispered into Kit’s ear. “I will make sure you and your children, and your husband are kept safe, forever.”
I winked at Kit then gave them a kiss on their cheek. I know it was a strange encounter for Kit. It was certainly a strange encounter for me. Yet, it is my duty as a Vampire to keep those who befriend me safe. I also like Kit.
Kit looked confused and said, “I sort of believe you Vlad.”
“You have nothing to fear,” I said, and blew Kit a kiss and went home.
I will ask Kit to send me baby pictures when the time comes. With any luck the babies will be as cute as I am. I say that with a large dose of sarcasm.
It is a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world indeed.
What a strange world I have awakened in after being locked in a crypt for three hundred years. For a Vampire King I have become quite, how do you say, soft. That is not a bad thing. Usually.
This morning I arrived home to see my neighbor, a woman named Zoe, digging in her yard with a pick ax. She is not a large woman. She is fairly short and fairly round. Zoe looked at me with her bright eyes and a smile came upon her pretty face as she waved at me, then bent over and tossed a skull sized rock to the side.
I admired the explosion of flowers in her yard.
“What is the hole for?” I asked her.
Zoe brushed her hair out of her face and scowled. “I have been digging this thing for almost a half hour, just for one rose. River rocks. Our entire neighborhood is built on ROCKS. And damned if I’m going to have dirt hauled in.”
“I will help you if you wish,” I told her.
“No, I’m about done. I swear to God if I dig anymore I’ll find the Oak Island Treasure,” she said.
Oak Island. That is a place in Canada where there is said to be a treasure buried underneath the ground among tunnels. Two brothers and their friends did without luck finding small bits of information, mostly unrelated, in hopes of solving the mystery. Their progress is shown on the TV each week.
“Zoe do you know of Rick and Marty and their Oak Island Treasure hunting?”
“You watch that too? My dad told me about Oak Island when I was a kid. I expected someone would find the damn treasure by now if there is a treasure. I think it was some sort of waystation, or maybe a cache of banned books.”
“That sounds reasonable to me,” I said.
“I don’t think they’ll every find anything. What I’d love to do is go there and just plant a bunch of random shit. Like a couple of old Roman coins, some pre-Columbian pottery, something from the Middle Ages, maybe a few match box cars, plant a copy of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy at 150 feet. That would mix things up.”
We talked some more and Zoe told me of the flowers and her passion for growing them. As we spoke a car pulled in front my house. It was a large black car.”
“Do you know who that is in the SVU?” I asked.
“You mean SUV? I don’t know, but if they keep hanging around I’m going to go tell them to leave.”
She wiped her hand across her brow and left a streak of dirt. I rubbed the dirt off with my hand. As I was doing that four men came out of the car. They were all dressed in black with black masks over their faces. Cowards I thought.
As they approached us I could see knives, a gun, and a sharpened stake in their hands. Vampire Hunters. What were they doing here. If I had been back in my old country when I was King of Vampires I would have killed them all and put their heads upon tall poles as warnings to all who entered my lands. Unfortunately I have been told that I can not do that now. Yet, I have to protect my lands and my people. That includes Zoe and everyone who lives on my street.
One of the men yelled, “Vlad, Vampire Lord, we have come for you. Prepare to die.”
“What is this? Princess Bride?” said Zoe. She hefted her pick ax up and held it like a baseball bat.
The men charged us. Two grabbed my arms. I pushed forward and flung them off as if they were rats. One approached Zoe. She swung the as and hit the man with the side of the tool, rendering him unconscious. The others came at us using their full force as obviously trained assassins.
From out of the house across the street ran nineteen year old Kylee, yelling like a Banshee. She picked up a garden shovel and started to pound on one of the men.
I was knocked to the ground. I felt a sharp pain then noticed the pointed wooden stake in my chest, more by my shoulder, but missing my heart. Not again I thought. This exact same thing is how I ended up locked in a crypt for three hundred years.
Barring my fangs I pushed the men off of me. They fell to the ground. Zoe came at them with the high pressure nozzle of the garden hose, while Kylee hit them again and again with the shovel.
I saw the flash of a blade and felt it go through my face. If this kept up I would lose all of my blood. We heard sirens and all three of us know the sheriff would be here soon.
Then men picked up their fallen comrade and drove away in the black SUV.
“What the Hell was that?” Zoe looked at me, then sat on the ground next to me and held my wounds.
“Your face,” gasped Kylee. “Oh Vlad, they cut your face.”
“Chicks dig scars,” said Zoe.
“I will heal,” I said and then passed out.
When I awoke I was at home in my own bed.
“Impressive room,” said Kylee, who was looking around at the large bed and black coverings. Of course a bed is important to a Vampire.
“The paramedics wanted to take you to the hospital but your friend Randolpho showed up and talked them out of it,” said Zoe.
I noticed Randolpho, my oldest and dearest Vampire friend sitting on the foot of my bed. He was not wearing one of his ridiculous hats. “Vlad, this is not good. They know where you live.”
“They must have followed me home,” I whispered, weak with blood loss.
“What if they come back? Think about that Vlad,” said Randolpho.
Zoe scowled, then took my hand. “Our boy won’t be moving anytime soon. If anyone comes by again we’ll chase them off.”
“We have tools and we know how to use them,” said Kylee.
“Next time I’ll bring out the chainsaw,” said Zoe. And I believe she would.
“You don’t know what we’re dealing with,” said Randolpho.
“Sure we do,” said Zoe. “You guys are Vampires. Oh don’t look so surprised. We’ve known that for a couple of years. You can’t live on a small narrow dead end street like this and not know what your neighbors are up to.”
“If you weren’t Vampires,” said Kylee, “we’d think you were really weird. You’re pretty cool for Vampires. Cute too.”
I noticed my cats were curled up by my side. My cats are cute. I was not feeling cute at all.
Then my Vampire love Gillian came in. She was as always a beautiful sight.
“Vlad my love,” she said. Then she kissed my stitched face cut. I could feel it starting to heal.
“No more crypts for you Vlad,” said Kaylee.
“You’re home Vlad, and like it or not you’re one of us,” said Zoe.
My cold still Vampire heart started to flutter a bit. I almost felt warm, for just a bit.
I looked at Gillian. “I should have killed them. I am losing my touch.”
“We don’t do that anymore love.” Then she kissed me again.
Then I fell asleep trying to recover from the poison tipped stake and the evil knife cut, and had dreams of hunting down Vampire Hunters. I also dream of standing on the top of the tower in my castle, the wind in my hair, and knowing I rule all that I see.
I do not understand, still after five years in this time, this century, how to adapt. I have adapted well. I can drive. I can use a computer. I have mastered a keyboard. I have cats who do not depend on catching vermin to survive.
Yet, sometimes I wonder that there is no place on this planet for me.
Then I think of Zoe and Kaylee who have taken me, like a war orphan into their embrace. They are Amazons who showed me the power and might of garden tools. Do not underestimate a woman with a pick ax or a shovel.
I reached out and felt the cold shoulder of my love Gillian. She is a Vampire so she is cold. I find that intensely attractive.
“Would you like it if I gave you garden tools my love?”
She looked at me as if I was insane, curled into my side and fell asleep again.
I grabbed my phone, for I am a modern man. The local news establishment reported that a girl of nineteen, a man of thirty four years, and a woman of sixty years, were attacked by three unknown masked men.
Zoe is sixty? She looks and acts like someone much younger. I am 675 years old but I can pass for thirty four because I am a Vampire. Zoe is not a Vampire. Back when I was a Vampire King a woman as old as Zoe would have been considered a crone. She would have been ancient. I have seen Zoe in a dress. She is vibrant. Oh how things have changed. An old woman with a pick ax can fight off Vampire Hunters then go dance the night away with her friends. I am in awe.
I touch my face. The wound is healing. Gillian took away the pain and there will be no great scar.
I do not understand so much, yet I am finding there is a place in the universe for me. I just do not know where it is yet. I am a Vampire, so I have time.
And for the first time a community which does not accept me out of fear and awe, but out of love. I do not understand but I will accept that which I do not yet…understand.