View Full Version : Confessions of a Modern Vampire - Warning: Language

January 4th, 2011, 05:54 AM
The original version of this is currently under construction over on Hortorian. I thought I'd just go ahead and post the first chapter, as it is a decent sample of my writing, though certainly goofier than I usually go. This piece does contain language, so be warned.

Chapter One

Let me make something clear- I hate Stephanie Meyer.

A long time ago (back in the 90s), vampires were kind of cool. We were mystical folk, known mostly through myth and Anne Rice novels and movies starring Brad Pitt in a wig. Certainly, there were those who tried to paint my kind in a different, more modern light *cough* Amelia Atwater-Rhodes *cough*, but they didnt make much of a mainstream impression and so my people were able to retain that shadowy feel that we so love. Then, out came Twilight and vampires in the space of a few years turned from Creatures of the Night into Robert fucking Pattinson with golden eyes and a smile that made twelve year-old girls panties universally evaporate.

So, Mrs. Meyer, a word of advice- stay away from dark alleys, homey diners and public parks at night because any of my kind would upon spotting you do their best to eviscerate first and ask questions later. A quick note here is that this policy of kill Meyer has resulted in a slight uplift in the traffic in the homicide departments of several major cities which feature a higher than average percentage of middle-aged, red-haired females.

Anyone that ever said vampires werent impulsive was a liar. You can tell them I said so.

So anyway, in a jump-cut worthy of Stanley Kubrick, I was sitting in diner eating a plate of spaghetti when Julia, one of the few humans that knows that Im not one, posed me a rather difficult question. Are you eating garlic in that? she said, and crinkled her nose at the scent. Julia was nineteen. It was a very young nineteen though, so when she did little girlish things like crinkle her nose, she appeared about a smattering of freckles away from nine. I guess her curves did help to spoil the effect a little, though honestly at first glance I doubt you would put her above fifteen. She really hated getting asked for ID at R-rated movies.

Yes, I replied, not bothering to raise my gaze from the plate of Italian deliciousness. Who would have thought they made good spaghetti in Texas? I like garlic. Which is an understatement worthy of an award of whatever type they give to massive understatements- if there is such a thing as garlic addiction, then I would proudly count myself as one joyfully suffering from it.

But youre a vampire, Julia stated hesitantly.

Yes. And not so loud, if you dont mind. The public really doesnt need to know that particular sliver of information.

But vampires dont like garlic, Julia continued stubbornly in her line of thought. I picked a paper napkin from the dispenser and wiped my lips before settling back in the booth and letting out a sigh that was half contentment from the meal and half frustration with Julias ignorance.

How do I explain this I mused, Ah, I know. Once upon a time, there was a vampire named Bob, see?

What the hell kind of vampire would be named Bob? Julia said.

Its a metaphor or whatever- just let it go. I mean Stephanie Meyer has Fred; I have Bob, we good? Good. Now, Bob lets say lived in Transylvania where all good vampire legends are born, right? I said. Julia nodded. So lets say Bob was a well-known vampire. And that Bob didnt like garlic. So, one day, Bob gets killed in one witch hunt or another and the tale goes down of the vampire that hated garlic. Of course, the story spreads and soon enough vampire hunters all over Europe are wearing chains of garlic cloves around their necks in the interest of keeping us all away from them because, of course, if one vampire detested garlic and demanded that the foul herb be kept far away from his presence, then of course all vampires are repelled by garlic. What they fail to take into account is the fact that all theyre accomplishing is adding seasoning to the meat. But legends are hard to kill, wouldnt you agree, Julia darling?

Julia was staring at me, looking rather aghast. Eww you ate people?!

No! Of course not! I blurted, I mean, yeah, there probably are vampires that did, sure, but I didnt. I was just trying to make a point, okay? Garlic is just garlic. No magic and no vampire allergies. I ticked the two points off with my finger. Julia nodded. I glanced down at her plate, which shed nearly cleared of the house salad shed ordered before Id even managed to tuck a paper napkin into my collar. You done or are you going to want dessert? I inquired.

After hearing about you eating people? Hell no! Julia rose and stomped off to use the ladies room while I waved a waitress over to settle the dinner bill. I paid cash to her, taking note of her fake fingernails and faker eyelashes as she told me to have a nice day in a bubblegum voice. Im pretty sure she would have told to just fuck off if I hadnt included a nice tip for her. When Julia came back I opened the diners door for her (chivalry isnt dead on my watch) and we stomped out into the brisk night, crossing the potholed parking lot under the milky moonlight. So where are we going? she asked, slamming shut the passenger door to my sucky Accord.

The park. I told her. Time for your third lesson tonight. I started the engine.

Which would be on what?

Youll see, I said softly, trying to keep any ominous tones from creeping in to my voice. Julia didnt hear me. She was gazing at my radio in utter revulsion.

What the hell is that? she demanded.

I cocked an eyebrow, eyes running from the road to Julia and then back to the road, not that they really needed to be there. Fall Fridays in Texas mean one thing- football. The town was practically deserted save for glorious Panther Stadium. Its a saxophone. Havent you ever heard a saxophone before, Julia? I said, smoothing my voice to a level generally reserved for very young children who dont know anything about anything.

Dont patronize me, Julia said, plugging her ears, I know what a saxophone is, and I also know that it has no place in music outside of perhaps a New Orleans jazz club populated by seventy-year-old tourists who have to turn their hearing aids up to make out the music.

Tell that to Supertramp, I muttered. But I switched over to a pop radio channel for the duration of the two-minute drive to the park anyway. An annoyed Julia was not a Julia that was easy to teach.

I parked the Accord in front of the local library across the street from the city park and clambered out of the decaying slice of metal. Julia got out as well, humming some honey-smooth R&B tune under her breath as she watched me. Want to check out a book? I asked her. It looks like theyre still open. Julia shook her head, looking a bit astonished at the offer. I shrugged, Your loss, and started across the street. At about the center of the park I sat down, propping my back against a tree and gestured for Julia to follow suit with a tree a couple of yards away from mine. I closed my eyes and tried to take a nap. It didnt take Julia long to get bored with the arrangement.

So, why are we here? she asked.

I opened my eyes. What were you feeling ten seconds ago? Answering a question with a question may not be terribly polite, but sometimes its the best way to go about something. This was one of those times.

Mild annoyance at being led off to sit in a park while Anna and Kelly are probably eating popcorn, watching some anime, and generally having a good time, all of which I could have been part of had I not gone with the vampire that my mother hired to teach me sorcery.

I sighed audibly. Not sorcery, magic. Sorcery is an area of expertise within magery. Havent you been reading those pamphlets I left for you?

Not really. Theyre kind of dry, you know that?

Never mind, I said, frustration rising. What were you thinking ten seconds before mild annoyance?

What? I dont know.

Screw it, I thought, and scrambled to my feet. You know something, Julia, I said, I think that maybe a different teaching method would work better for this particular lesson. You want to try it out?

Okay whats this alternative method involve?

Get up, I instructed her, and then come over here so I can kill you. I imparted my best Heath Ledger whisper-growl to the last few words.

Julia rose to her feet but didnt move towards me, instead keeping her back pressed firmly against her tree. Umm this is a joke, right?

No joke, I said, sticking with the Heath. Come over here. I curled a finger, beckoning to her.

Julia shook her head in the exact same perturbed motion that shed displayed after Id asked her about the library. I inhaled, began burning blood, and then sprung forward. I hit the tree trunk above Julias head and dropped down beside her. And then began to curse myself. In the two seconds it had taken me to drop into her lap, the girl had managed to snatch an item out of her pocket and so I found myself face-to-pepper-spray-can with Julia. Then the burning began.

There are some advantages to being a vampire, one of these being the improved sensory capacity, which is quite nice if youre trying to stalk someone in the middle of a dark park. When said person has a can of pepper spray, however; catching them when youre still fully vamped out tends to be a bad idea as every bloody sensation is magnified. I stumbled away clawing at my face and screeching profanities that went out of style a very long time ago while Julia took off in the opposite direction.

It hurt. Ill leave it at that.

I took minute to recompose myself. There wasnt much hurry, really. The townspeople were all off watching football so there was no one Julia could run to for- the library. Crap, I hissed. My eyes were still a bit bleary and with the wind rustling every dry leaf in every tree there wasnt a good chance my ears were going to pick up her movements. So I did the logical thing. I trotted back to the Accord and waited. Julia, in her scramble to get away from me, had run away from the library and would have to circle back to it if she was looking for help, which, smart girl that she was, she would be.

I dug through the back seat of my car, came up with a bottle of water, and started rinsing out my eyes. The burning finally started to slow. After I was finished, I lay down on the sidewalk and started the typically tedious process of waiting. For once, it didnt take long. I listened to Julia cross the street, sneakers tapping against the tarmac. Her breathing was quick; she cursed as she saw my car was still parked. She was scared. Good.

Shed hopped over the curb and taken one step towards the lit door of the library when I leaped for her and grabbed a fistful of mousy brown ponytail. Julia screamed bloody murder, throwing punches into my kidneys. She knew how to make them hurt. I wrapped her up, pinning her arms to her torso, and whispered in her ear, You and I are going to have some fun tonight, dont you think? She screamed again.

And something a lot like an invisible bullet train nailed me in the chest.

I flew about thirty feet, twisting in the air until the sidewalk knocked the air and most of the fight out of me. It felt like Id broken everything on the right side of my body. Pain pouring over me like some ice-choked river, I gritted my teeth and rolled over in order to catch a glimpse of Julia. She still stood, panting, fists clenched at her sides. She looked in that moment about as shocked as I felt. Id expected something, sure, but not a hammer stroke like Id gotten.

And then she ran away, sprinting off under the cold glow of the streetlights, likely heading home. I rolled onto my back, every breath a refresher course in kinds of pain Id forgotten existed, and started burning blood to repair the damage.

Lesson three completed.

It hurt.

Some Call Me tim
January 5th, 2011, 04:04 PM
I am not sure what the title has to do with the story, other than the vampire bit. But, other than that this story read pretty well. I am interested to see how you incorporate a non-blood-drinking vampire who is hired to teach magic to a frivolous teenage girl into the "modern" world.

I'd read on.

January 7th, 2011, 03:58 PM
I don't feel that a line by line critique is necessary here, because I thought the piece was very well written and endearing.

I cannot find anything in particular to criticise, as I felt the flow of the story was very smooth and the dialogue was both amusing and fitting.

I'll definitely be waiting for the next part. One thing to mention though, I'm not sure if there would be any legal implications about the mentioning of Meyer and Twilight in that context, if this were ever to be published.

January 8th, 2011, 12:36 AM
Meyer has no monopoly on the concept of vegetarian vampires. Most everything about Twilight is pilfered (intentionally or not) from other, better source materials.

I enjoyed this little piece. You've a real eye for dialogue and humour, something I aspire to with my own writing.

Only nit I noticed, and I'm really clutching at straws here, was this:

I leaped for her and grabbed a fistful of mousy brown ponytail. - Leapt for her would sound better to me.

Throw in another ten points for the Heath Ledger reference and I'd call this a pretty entertaining piece.

January 8th, 2011, 06:31 AM
I'll definitely be waiting for the next part. One thing to mention though, I'm not sure if there would be any legal implications about the mentioning of Meyer and Twilight in that context, if this were ever to be published.

If I ever do get a shot at pulishing this, the Meyer stuff at the start will be edited out. It's funny, and entirely pointless to the story other than to establish that I'm not Stephanie Meyer, which was where I started this whole thing out from; I didn't want to write 'another' vampire story.

And for the record, my protag ain't vegetarian. I just didn't show him drinking blood in this chapter.