Everything you think you know about vampires, forget it

Lady VampireEverything you think you know about vampires, forget it. All of it. Well except for a few things, perhaps. Holy crosses, running water, garlic, or whatever, you can throw that business out the window. The truth is, vampires are real and they definitely are not what you think they are. There is one thing you have going for you. You can go out into the sun. Vampires fear the sunlight. I mean, they totally fear it. If they go out in the sunlight, they’ll burn up into fireballs. I’m not sure of the mechanism or how it happens, but suffices it to say if you lure a vampire into the sun he’s going to burn. Rumor has it some of the older vampires can stand it, but I think that’s just a rumor vampires spread to strike fear into us.

I also want to say this. Vampires are dead. That means they are dead. D-E-A-D dead. They don’t have a heartbeat, they feel cold as hell, and they aren’t exactly the party types. They don’t drink, they don’t eat (can you imagine? ugh), and they certainly do NOT, I repeat, do NOT procreate. That means no vampire babies and definitely no half vampires. You’re either a vampire or you’re not. You’re dead or you’re not dead. Pretty simple right? So put your misconceptions away about vampire romance, because it isn’t going to happen.

VampireNow I’m not privileged to know exactly how they create more vampires, but I do know that it involves magic of some kind. No one really knows how vampirism started. It’s a question even the oldest of vampires have. (Or so I hear) Everyone has a need to know their origins, even vampires, even if they’re not human. I think it’s probably more of a curse than a magical thing, but I have no idea, only theories. It’s just a guess I have from my experience hunting them down. You can’t become a vampire just by being bitten by one. That’s something I know from experience. As far as I know, they don’t drain your blood and leave you on the cusp of death and feed you back their own blood either. So your guess is as good as mine on how they’re created. I only know how they’re not made.

640469_37807209Just because vampires are dead, don’t think they don’t have intelligence. They’re definitely not zombies. Zombies are another story. Anyways, vampires retain their smarts. They’re just the same as when they were alive, except they’re dead. Some things are enhanced, however. They do possess a sort of superhuman strength. I’ve seen a colleague get tossed across a big room with relative ease by a vampire once. Pretty scary stuff. I just want to point out that all physical attributes are increased. They’re faster, stronger, and they can endure quite a bit. I’ve also heard of vampires who could actually mesmerize people. But I think this is from experience and something they had before they turned. If you were a psychic as a human, when you turn, your psychic ability would be on steroids and become powerful. Imagine the possibilities! It’s kinda scary actually.

Now I know what you’re thinking. If a vampire doesn’t have all these weaknesses like garlic, silver and such, how do you kill them? Believe me, it’s not easy. It’s not exactly a booming career choice, being a vampire hunter. Most of us don’t live past a few months to be honest. I’m actually surprised that I’ve survived as long as I have. It’s been 20 years since I started hunting. I have to admit there are only a handful of us left. It’s kinda sad actually. Sometimes I really miss some of those guys from the old days. We had some fun.

But I digress.

Vampire hunting just requires a lot of planning. You have to know what you’re going up against. Staking a vampire isn’t going to kill him. It’s actually not rocket science. There are no special rituals or hokey pokey thing you have to do in order for a vampire to die. They’re somewhat like us human folk. Personally, I prefer decapitation. It’s kinda tough to recover from that. When your head is separated from the body, unless you’re a golem or something you’re pretty much finished. But if cutting off heads isn’t for you, normally just doing enough damage to the body is going to finish them off. A few bullets might not be enough to stop a vampire, but I’m pretty sure if you shot one up full of them with a machine gun they’ll go away. It’s a waste of ammo though. A good machete is great for vampire hunting. Just saying.

Vampires do crave blood. It’s not exactly for what you think. There’s no hunger or anything like that. They don’t exactly need it to “live”. They certainly don’t get warmer when they drink blood, that’s for sure. They need it to heal themselves, essentially. It again has something to do with the magic. Remember, a vampire is dead. That means the normal means of healing don’t happen. I mean, they don’t have a heart that beats, right? How can they possibly heal themselves? When they drink blood, the magic/curse is empowered and uses up the blood and heals their wounds. Make sense?

Vampire society is pretty straightforward. They set themselves up in covens similar to witches, and there’s usually a coven for every large city. For smaller towns and communities, a coven could be one master vampire (usually the oldest) to maybe one to three younger/weaker vampires. In the big cities, I’ve seen covens as large as hundreds. It really depends on the community and the population. Normally, I don’t mess with covens. They usually have their own laws that prevent unnecessary killing of humans. Though personally I can’t think of a time when it would be necessary. I mean, really, right?

Anyways, vampires don’t normally go out and kill people and drain their blood, leaving them for dead. I don’t even know what they do. Why do they even exist? I have no idea. My job is to take care of them if they cross that line. I scan the papers for mysterious deaths, and investigate. If there’s a coven going out of control, I’m there. That’s my job. Of course, vampires don’t see it that way. Funny how things work.

What other myths can I squash? Oh, vampires don’t turn into bats or wolves or any other thing. They’re not shape changers, like therians (short for therianthropes). I’m pretty sure we have enough things out there that can change their shape. We don’t need vampires doing it too. Oh and vampires don’t sleep. Not really. I mean they’re dead. Last I checked sleeping wasn’t necessary for dead people. So they don’t have coffins, and they don’t sleep during the day, and no, the daytime isn’t necessarily the best time to hunt them.

The biggest thing about vampires is this: they look just like us. They can be your neighbor, your mailman, your coworker, anyone. They look and act like us, except for a few subtle things. If you looked at a vampire enough, you’ll notice they don’t breathe. I mean they are so still sometimes you’d think they were dead. See what I mean? Also, they might avoid touching you or anyone. Normally their skin is going to be cold, or perhaps not so cold. They’re gonna be the temperature of the environment. This could be why there are so many vampires in warmer climates. So they blend in better. But think about it. Anyone can be a vampire.

The Message

245710_7905“This is corporal Danny McCarthy. I am broadcasting on all timelines and frequencies. I’m a survivor of the disaster in the year 2155. There are 6 survivors with me, in a remote timeline. If you are a survivor, please respond to this message. This is corporal Danny McCarthy. I am broadcasting…”

The message kept repeating over and over again on my small compact radio. The only problem was, I didn’t even turn it on. It just started playing out of the blue and kept repeating. I tried to turn it off, but nothing I did worked. I finally gave up and just turned down the volume to the lowest it would go. That worked at least.

The message was disturbing. First of all, the year is 2014. Why would the man say the year was 2155? He also said he was broadcasting on all timelines. What’s up with that? This may have been the weirdest message I have ever gotten over the radio.

to be continued…

The infection

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI awoke disoriented, and cold. My eyes quickly adjusted to the near darkness. Looking around, I saw only the faint outlines of a door. No windows. I immediately thought of a cell. Sitting there wondering why I was in some sort of prison, I realized I didn’t even know who I was. It is the weirdest feeling, let me tell you. Losing your memory is not a good thing at all. I thought it was just a dream and I waited to wake up, but that never happened. For some reason, a part of me thought it was all a funny joke and I laughed in spite of my situation.

I was wearing a pair of jeans, but that’s all. I was shirtless. I saw some small holes in my arms, and various other cuts and bruises. I assumed the holes were where someone shot me with a needle. I guessed to either draw blood or put something inside of me. I glanced at the door and realized that there was a small hatch about eye-level that was now open, with a face in the hatch looking at me.

“Enjoying the view?” The face was female, mid 30′s redhead, cute.

“I heard you laugh and I was surprised. That was the last thing I thought I would hear from you.”

Hmm, wasn’t sure what to think of that one. “Oh really? Why’s that?”

She stared at me not answering for a few moments. “What’s your name?” She asked.

I frowned. “I had hoped you could tell me”. Actually I hadn’t even considered it, but now that she was asking I was bummed she didn’t know.

“You don’t know.” She nodded. “What do you know about yourself?”

I was about to answer her, when her head turned to the side. There was someone in the room with her whispering something. I concentrated a moment and caught the tail end of it. “…fucking nuts! We have no idea what this guy is. He could be infected. We should just put a bullet in his head and be done with it!”

Ouch. I took an instant dislike to that guy.

She tried to keep her voice to a whisper, but I could hear the desperation in her voice. “I understand your concern. But he may prove to be invaluable. We have to hang onto him at least until the doctor can have a look at him. He is obviously important or they wouldn’t have taken such an effort to cover his existence!”

The next thing popped into my head at that point was simple. I have to get out of here. Fast.

She turned her attention back to me and asked me again, “What’s your name?”

“I told you, I don’t…” My mind started to wander. Memories started rushing through my head. Whatever had caused the amnesia must have been wearing off because I started to remember. At first they were just flashes, and I couldn’t entirely understand them. Then they became lengthier, and I saw bits and pieces of the past. Then I realized why they thought I would be infected. Oh, they were afraid of me all right, and with good reason.

I walked closer to the door, and the girl backed away a bit. “Don’t come any closer!” she yelled, and I stopped.

“What’s wrong sister, are you afraid of me? Don’t worry I’m not infected. Not at all.” She closed the hatch and I heard her run away.

Now I had bigger problems. Now I remembered. Who was I? My name is Brandon Fuller and I’m a scientist. I invented a new form of bacteria that would essentially rid the body of impurities. It was pretty much a cure for the common cold. There was only one problem. It didn’t work on everyone. This didn’t surprise me, because everyone is different. But what I didn’t expect was for it to remap the entire human genome and create…monsters. I could only describe it as such. Luckily it was contained before it became an epidemic. We called it Serum 0. There just wasn’t a name we could put on it. But it didn’t stop there. Oh no.

Eventually the news of this new type of bio-weapon was leaked out into the open. No one was supposed to know about it. Unfortunately, as everything “secret” goes, it leaked out. A group of Bio-terrorists managed to steal some of the sample and convert it into a weapon. Needless to say, it’s been pretty hectic since then.

My life got real complicated.

The Funeral

He stood watching the procession. He just couldn’t stand to be around others right now. He didn’t want to hear the sorries and condolences. He didn’t want to hear any of it. He was afraid he might cry and no one could see him crying. He didn’t want to show that kind of emotion to anyone.

He watched through the dark shades of his sunglasses. He wore the customary black suit with a grey trench coat. He wore a hat as well since it was raining, opting to go without the umbrella. They say you knew the locals because they never used umbrellas.

He watched them carry the casket and put it in place over the grave. The priest began talking as people gathered around but he couldn’t hear a word the priest was saying. No matter, he already had an idea of what was being said. He had some words to say himself, but nobody would ever hear them since it was between them and nobody else.

He saw one of his friends look over at him and start to walk over, but another friend grabbed their arm and shook her head. They argued for a bit and his friend decided she was right and just sat back down. Just as well, he thought. He didn’t need anyone right now. Not a soul.

He watched as the coffin began its slow descent into the earth. Everyone was crying, blowing their noses. Its days like these, he thought, that keeps Kleenex in business. He thought he would at least have cried by now but he found himself surprisingly cold. It was as if something had died in his soul and taken the emotions away from him. He thought it was just as well. He didn’t think he could deal with everything if he had to feel too.

He watched in complete cool as they started to fill the grave with the dirt. It was as if he was being buried in there. He almost felt responsible for her death. It was like he had killed her with his own hands. In a way, he did. He replayed it in his mind over and over. What could he have done differently? If he could feel, would he feel guilty? Would he feel remorse?  He didn’t think he would ever know.

Just then, he noticed his friend break away from his wife and started walking toward him. His look was not sad, but instead very angry. He was clearly not coming over to offer his condolences.

“You killed her!” he said. He started screaming expletives and using some creative words before his wife came up and restrained him.

By then, the man in the sunglasses and fedora hat had tuned him out. It was as if he were watching a movie with the volume turned really low and in slow motion. He thought he felt nothing. And everyone was now watching the ruckus.

“You’re heartless!” yelled his friend. “Why don’t you at least come pay your respects? You’re not even showing a hint of emotion! You’re responsible for this! You give me back my sister! How can you call yourself her husband? You’re just heartless,” his brother-in-law said as he dropped to the ground weeping. “You give me back my sister you son-of-a-bitch.”

He watched his brother-in-law crying like a little child on the ground. He felt remorse. He knew he was responsible. He knew, because of his actions, Maggie had died. He knew very well who should be the one to pay. But there was nothing he could do. There was nothing that could bring her back. Give me back my sister he asks. He didn’t have the power (or the right!) to do such a thing. Did he even know what he was asking for?

Instead of responding, he turned away from him and started walking toward his car. He turned his back on his brother-in-law and the rest of the family, letting them think he didn’t care at all about Maggie. Let them believe what they want, he thought. I know the truth.

The rest of the family watched as he walked away. They watched with a little anger, but mostly sadness. Their thoughts were easily ascertained. What drove him to be like this, they thought. Why didn’t he at least shed a tear for poor little Maggie? Didn’t he at least love her?

Samuel kept walking, wondering what they thought of him. For a moment, he stopped. The family thought he was about to turn around and come back to them, but instead he only turned halfway and paused. Then he resumed walking to his car and quietly got in.

If only everyone was close enough to see the tears running down his face then.