Flash Friday 07/08/2015: Midnight Snack
Anton didn’t know what his teacher meant, sometimes. “There are worse things than people with stakes and pitchforks out there, young sir,” Capello would say, his aged face twisted with hate. “In the modern day, there are far worse things a vampire could meet than a hunter.”
Anton didn’t know what could be worse than a vampire hunter, until tonight. He stood in a woman’s bedroom, her figure lying across the bed, her eyes closed. The wind was blowing through the open window that Anton had found suspiciously easy to open.
“I know you’re not actually asleep,” Anton said.
The woman did some dramatic snoring and turned on her side.
“Do you know how I know that? Because sleeping people don’t usually hiss ‘Oh, bollocks’ and slam their head back onto the pillow when I come through their window.”
The woman murmured something in her ‘sleep’.
Anton sighed. “I’ll just go visit another household.”
At that comment, the woman ‘stirred’ from her slumber, making a big deal of rubbing her eyes. “Oh dear,” she said in a tone that wasn’t winning any acting awards. “It appears a cruel and barbaric vampire has found his way here.”
Anton winced. “We’re not cruel and barbaric. We’re actually quite nice when you get to know us. I mean, just because we go around and bite the necks of the innocent while they sleep, doesn’t mean we’re–”
“He is here to feast on my life essence, but alas! There is no time to flee. Nowhere to go, nowhere to hide.”
Anton pointed a thumb to the open window. “If you’re really worried, I could just leave and–”
“Woe has befallen me, and now there is naught I can do but…allow him to bite me.”
Then, the lady fell back onto the pillow, closed her eyes, tilted her head to one side, and waited.
Anton shuffled his feet uncomfortably. “I’m serious, there’s probably a hundred other people I can visit.”
“Can’t run. Can’t hide. All I can do is wait.”
“The guy next door is snoring like a woodchipper.”
“Woe befalling me. Naught I can do. Any minute now.”
Anton frowned. “By the way you’re speaking, it almost sounds like you want me to bite you.”
A deathly glare shot up from the pillow. “Of course I want you to bite me. That’s what vampires do, idiot.”
“Why on earth would you let someone else sink teeth into you neck? And suck your blood out, for that matter?”
The airy, fragile voice returned. “Because you’ll drain me of all the blood in my body, and once that has done, I will rise again as the sinister vampire duchess I have always dreamed of. Lady Anna of the Bloodletters,” she said, as if she had rehearsed it before.
“What? No! Draining people of their blood to convert them is very old-fashioned and risky. That’s how you go about murdering people. In the twenty-first century, you can book an appointment with the bureau.” Anton drew a pen and paper and scribbled a phone number. “It’s a long process. Not something we can do overnight.”
“When I finally become the vampiric lady I’ve always dreamt of,” Anna continued, still staring off into an unseen distance, “then I will roam the night skies, descending on the hapless citizens below, and taking all I desire to my dungeon.”
“We’d need a passport, there’s the citizenship test you’d have to do, and that’s only if immigration control decides that you’re–excuse me?”
“You know.” Anna reached over, handing Anton a book titled ‘Love Bites’. “Like the ones they describe on page one-hundred and thirty two.”
Anton flipped through the book. On reaching the page, he skimmed the words with increasing alarm. “If we had anything like that, we would get shut down so quickly,” he said, snapping the book closed.
“But you still bite people, yes? That’s still fine?”
“Yes, but I really, really don’t see why you’d want me to, and it’s honestly creeping me out. I mean, I bite people, for goodness sakes. It’s unpleasant, and it hurts, and then you feel kind of woozy for a few hours due to blood loss, and will you stop trying to tempt me?”
Anna clicked the lid on the barbecue sauce, rubbing it on the side of her neck. “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.”
Anton sighed. Never again would he pick out a house with ‘this is a garlic free household’ and ‘no stake salesmen, please’ signs dotted around the front lawn. “The point is, it’s incredibly strange and uncomfortable to bite someone who’s aware. It’s half the reason we only visit sleeping people; the other half being to keep a low profile. And even then, we’ve had to work on sleep spells to ensure people don’t wake up with canines sticking into their throats.”
Anna’s eyes glinted. “So you’re saying that if I fell asleep, you’ll bite me?”
“No! Wait.” Anton paused. “Yes! Yes, do that. But you have to promise me that you’ll actually fall asleep. No pretending. Us vampires, we, uh, know these things.”
“Alright!” Anna chirped, slamming her head back onto the pillow.
“And make sure you don’t tell anyone of this.”
“And if you somehow hear a sound like someone jumping out an open window, it’s…the sleeping spell kicking in.”
It was quite hard for Anna to finally fall asleep, but within the next moment, she was rubbing her eyes for real as the morning light came through her window. She placed her hands to the side of her neck, but she couldn’t feel any puncture marks. Not even an ache. Not even fatigue. She read the note that was left on the bed. It read, ‘I.O.U one bite’.
She gave a heavy sigh. “I guess they just ham it up for the movies.”