I ended up not going to the concert after all. Therefore, I’m publishing this week’s flash fiction on time. It is a bit short this evening as I started a bit late and am getting drowsy. But hey, it’s something.
We agreed that our studies would begin the following night. Our conversation in which Ian revealed that he knew that I was a vampire occurred too close to sunrise. I wasn’t feeling the least bit tired as I was unconscious for so long after my fall. However, as I felt the sunlight creep in through the windows I knew that I had to go undercover. Ian said something about not having an appropriate coffin for me, which I found a rather odd thing to say. I had no desire for something so macabre. However, I discovered the reasoning for such an apparatus. No matter how little sunlight entered the apartment, I felt it burn my skin. It was agreed that I would stay in the basement of the apartment building. Nobody ever went down there, they said, especially as the washing machine was broken.
However, a small ray of sunlight burst through a crack in the bulkhead leading to the outside. Even sitting against the far wall where the ray wasn’t directly aiming didn’t protect me entirely. I could stand short bursts in such a dim amount of sunlight, but it became uncomfortable after too long and the thought of spending all of my time until dusk in that light level was unbearable. I found an old blanket in a corner which shielded me well enough. However, once I fell asleep I became restless and occasionally kick an arm out from under the blanket. The sun would catch my hand waking me with a start. My first day’s sleep as a vampire didn’t go very well.
Once evening came I allowed myself to oversleep. Ian never came down to fetch me, thankfully, so I slept until the hunger woke me up.
I should explain that because Ian was my first encounter after feeding since my Reawakening, I never could crave his blood. However, his roommate Robby was a different story. Early on I go the sense from Ian that Robby was a valuable member of Ian’s studies, so I restrained myself until the concoction they called Diet Blood satisfied me. Still, Robby could be a bit of a nuisance, and I could tell that Ian didn’t like him very much. Once the studies were over, or Ian decided to switch partners, I resolved that Robby would be fair game. I wouldn’t hunt him down, exactly, but I wouldn’t feel guilty about drinking his blood, either.
I told Ian about the crack in the bulkhead once I went back up to his apartment. He said he would look into fixing it but he seemed distracted at the time, staring at his computer monitor. He ignored me for a few moments while I stood behind him. Normally I would dwell on his features while he didn’t notice that I was looking at him. His black hair was in a disheveled but jovial state, ending just above a slender, pale neck with youthful skin, which led down to broad shoulders just ripe for the taking. But this time I was antsy, shaking with the sights of first-evening hunger. Eventually I coughed to get his attention.
He looked at me quickly, realized his mistake, and tossed me a vial of Diet Blood. I drank it down quickly. Again, it wasn’t very satisfying in terms of enjoyment but it did the job. After tilting my head back to down the stuff out of its vial, I looked down to find Ian watching me with intense academic interest. I nodded to indicate that I was no longer hungry. He nodded back in acknowledgement, and turned back to his computer. I moved up behind him to see what was so engaging on the screen.
Ian had been researching some vampire folklore. I imagined him up all night, consuming nothing but coffee and cigarettes (indicated by the debris around the desk), reading tale after tale about my mythological kin. He looked up at me and smiled.
“Of course there’s no way in knowing what’s true or not in these old stories,” he said.
“Some of it could be based in fact while some stories are completely made up. But it’s all rather interesting. Incidentally, can you read minds?”
I shook my head. “No, but I haven’t come across many since I woke up in this state,” I said.
“There’s probably all sorts of things that you don’t know you can do. Unfortunately, the powers indicated in everything I’ve read vary widely. Are you familiar with the books of Anne Rice?”
I tried thinking back. While I still couldn’t recall much events about my past life I was certainly aware of certain facts about the world. But I had no recollection of her books. “No, I haven’t.”
“Just wondering. I just finished the new one last week. I take more stock in old folklore, anyway, when it comes to trying to figure out real vampires. There’s more evidence that they were based on true events. Of course, there’s always a level of exaggeration.”
I looked around. “Where’s Robby?” I said.
“He had class this evening. He probably won’t be home for a few more hours. It looks like we’re going to be working together alone.”
I tried to ignore the phrase “working together” and instead focus on “alone.”
He spun around in his office chair to look up at me, his face lit up in excitement.
“Well, let’s start, shall we?”
To be continued….