It was a dank, dark, and dreary building that looked little better than a haunted house itself. It wasn’t that the building was derelict. It was actually well-kempt. However, everything was plain. There were no flowers; no bright colors. Every window had a curtain pulled shut. Every door had a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on it. So, this was the lair of a vampire?
I moved up to the door, using the doorknocker to knock three times. There was no doorbell in sight. I knocked again. Then, after a moment, I knocked louder. Maybe I was at the wrong place. I rechecked the address one more time. The address read 666 West Lane. Really? What an ironically stupid street number. I knocked even louder, almost hurting my hand on the big, thick wood doors.
“Go away,” a muffled voice came from the inside. “I don’t take visitors.”
“I’m a poor defenseless virgin girl whose car broke down. It’s so hot and I’m all sweaty,” I said, trying to coerce him any way I knew how.
“Well, take your perspiration and go someplace else.”
“I cut my finger and I’m bleeding.”
“That’s fantastic; bleed on someone else’s carpet.”
“Um… I’m in my menstrual period?”
“What? Why would you even tell me that?”
“I thought vampires might be into that kind of thing,” I answered before I could stop myself.
There was a long pause before the man behind the door spoke up. “So, you know what I am and you’ve come to kill me.”
The door opened a crack. I saw a man standing on the other side, completely shrouded in darkness. He took a few steps back, and I took it as an offer. I squeezed myself through the door and closed it on my way into the house. When I saw the man in front of me, I stopped short. He was tall and lanky with pale skin much like Stephan, but it had a bluer tinge to it. In truth, he was younger than I expected; only a few years older than me in appearance. He had a sunken-in face and greasy, messy hair. He might have been good-looking, except that he was a complete mess. He wore dark clothing; a black button up shirt and black slacks. Wrapped around his body was a red blanket that looked like a poor man’s vampire cape. He came off looking more like a person suffering from a cold.
“If you’ve come to kill me, don’t waste your time. I’ve already tried and I’ve found it impossible.”
“What? You want to die?”
The vampire Daltom had called Victor shrugged. “Being immortal is lonely. I have nothing but darkness and despair in my heart. The world is but a staging ground for my misery.”
“That is… very emo,” I responded, watching him as he turned around and entered his living room.
I followed after him as he walked over to a rope, beginning to tie it up in an elaborate knot.
“I am a monster, my dear girl; a shadow of destruction and chaos. Within my soul burns the blood of a thousand corpses. Within these hands, the murder of a thousand lives. I do not deserve your pity. I do not deserve this immortality.”
The vampire tossed the rope up, looping it over a light fixture on his ceiling. “You know, when I see a pretty girl like you, it reminds me of a time in my life where I had happiness. However, darkness overshadows everything. The world is a place of hatred and insanity. A cesspool of our decrepit world.”
The vampire climbed up onto one of the end tables and wrapped the rope around his neck, “Goodbye, cruel world.”
My brain didn’t process what he was doing until he pushed off the table. The rope snapped tight around his throat. I shouted, moving over to grab him. His feet kicked several times as I tried to bear hug him, holding his body up to take pressure off his neck. There was a resounding crack as the light fixture gave way, tearing off the ceiling. Victor ended up landing on top of me as plaster rained down on top of us.
When the shower of dust and debris ended, I opened my eyes. Victor moved his arm around me protectively. It seemed like such an odd thing to do. However, he still was on top of me. He smelled of roses.
“I am sorry, my dear,” Victor sighed, getting off of me. “I don’t mean to bring another down into my despair.”
“Why don’t you go out into the sunlight?” I asked, trying to help him for reasons I didn’t comprehend.
“Do you see how pale my skin is? I will burn like a hot potato.”
“But doesn’t sunlight kill vampires?”
Victor waved the thought away. “A bunch of superstition. However; we don’t tan, we burn. That’s why we don’t go out into the sun.”
“You don’t sparkle… do you?”
“What? You mean like your pants? No… I can’t say I’ve ever sparkled. Just heat stroke.”
“How about sunscreen?”
“Sunscreen? What is this? I’ve never heard of it.”
I scratched my temple. It was the 1950s. Sunscreen would still be a pretty new concept. Skin cancer was still unheard of.
“How about a stake in the heart?”
“Have you ever tried to stake your own heart?” Victor sighed. “Besides, a vampire’s heart doesn’t beat. All a stake would do is paralyze us. I want to die, not spend the rest of my existence as a vegetable in a living death.”
“How about garlic?”
“Burn myself alive? That sounds really painful.”
“Because I always wanted to be a talking head for the rest of my existence. My dear, I appreciate your concern for my well-being, but there is no real saving me. The world sees me as a monster. A vile, disgusting creature to be shunned into the corners of existence. My existential crisis comes in the form of what I am. The world will never accept me.”
“I have to say, you’re not what I was expecting from a vampire.”
“And what were you expecting?”
“Pale, sure, but also muscular and sexy. An otherworldly beauty with deep sexy eyes, perfect hair, and a rock-hard, sculpted body.”
“What? Why would you think we’d look like that?” Victor’s eyes opened in shock, then narrowed. “Who are you? Why are you here anyway?”
I took a deep breath and began to relay Victor my story. I told him about the time travel. I mentioned the werewolf, the ghosts, and the dead. He seemed to take that in stride. When I mentioned the demons, the angels, and the aliens he was more surprised. I found myself relaying the story completely.
Something about the vampire caused the floodgates to open. Perhaps it was his laid-back attitude, his dreariness, or his personality. Maybe it was the simple fact he wasn’t a super hot pretty boy. Once I started telling him about my life, I couldn’t stop. I even told him about the almost-kiss Stephan and I shared, the touching moment Andrew and I had, and the recent pass with my great-grandmother. I kept talking and talking until I had explained everything. When I finished, I took a deep breath. Victor’s eyes were wide, but they didn’t hold disbelief. He had waited patiently and listened to everything I had to say.
“If you had told this story to anyone but an immortal vampire, I imagine they might think you were crazy. However, I know what you say is the truth. I would be willing to help you out, if possible. However, first I’d like to ask you about this Anne Noodle you speak of.”
“It’s Anne Rice.”
“So, your saying, in your time, women want to have sex with vampires?”
“She turned them into sex icons. Although they do have a homosexual vibe; it’s totally sex central.”
“That is fascinating. In this time, all we have are movies like Nosferatu and Dracula, where vampires are depicted as monstrous deviants.”
“Well, in our time, they’re sexy. More recently, we ended up with Stephanie Meyer. She turned them into boy toys that even the less macabre girls want.”
“And she makes them sparkle?
“They’re basically Superman with virginity-stealing metaphors. Even when they’re creepy, they’re hot.”
“Incredible. So, you’re saying if I just wait another fifty years, I can get any girl I want?”
“Well, mostly just teenagers and lonely housewives.”
“Lonely housewives, you say? I could live with that…” Victor smirked, his dreary demeanor being overshadowed with a little happiness for once.
It seemed like being happy looked good on him. I began to realize if he cleaned up a bit, he’d actually be a pretty good-looking guy. Then I dropped those thoughts; the last thing I needed was another good-looking guy in my life. I was already struggling to deal with all of the guys I had already.
“So, can you help me? Daltom said you can’t help directly, but he mentioned there might be something you could give me.”
Victor nodded and turned towards a cabinet. He started rifling through several drawers until he found what he was looking for. He turned back to me and presented me with a small vial.
“What is this?” I asked as I took the vial.
“It is a vial of my venom, diluted down. It isn’t enough to turn you into a vampire like me, but it does have other side effects.”
“I don’t really know. It will increase your strength, make you faster, and might be enough to allow you to keep up with your supernatural companions. It won’t last long, though. There should be enough for three doses there. Only use them immediately before you need them.”
“Thank you so much.”
Victor straightened up. “It’s the least I could do. You’ve given me something to look forward to; a future where a vampire can live. It is I who should be thanking you.”
I turned to leave out the front door. Victor stood behind, his mood seeming considerably improved.
“Before you go,” he stopped me as I opened the door a crack, “in fifty years’ time, would you mind if I stopped by and said hello?”
I smiled back at him. “Make sure to wait until after I get back from this; I don’t want to accidentally open up a hole in space-time.”
I closed the door behind me. It wasn’t until I was past the front yard that I realized the implications of what I said. Shit, I just added another guy to my list of problems.