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Everybody Knows Vampires Are Dead

by Amanda C. Davis

 

You are so totally over vampires, you tell everyone, just totally over them, and then one afternoon, on a stone bench outside of the junior/senior parking lot, one of them promises to come to your room one night while you are asleep, if you want him.

“Say the word,” he whispers, one fang brushing the rim of your ear. “Any time.”

“Then what?” you whisper back–trying not to sound as awkward as you feel, but having trouble hearing yourself over his scent and your heartbeat. “You watch me sleep?” A joke, but it doesn’t sound silly, not when the players are you and him. You: willing, trusting. Him: quiet, watchful.

He grins–he knows it’s a joke–and leans in again. “No.”

Other people’s vampires are so easy to laugh at. Their prancing and their hair; their shimmer, their accents, their opera capes, their crazy little deviations from the rules. Not your vampire. On some level you understand his ridiculousness is not only equal to all the others’, but part of a lineage. One tiny capillary fed by a rich vein. You know you two look stupid together. Your friends have informed you. Still–you’ve completely bought into this one specific vampire, not just because his hand has been a hair’s breadth from yours for the past ten minutes and if your skin touches, you will probably instantly die.

“Well?” you say.

He catches your eye, which you have been trying to prevent. The rhythms of your body change in significant ways. “What do you want?”

Oh, if you say it aloud, you or he or something (maybe your parents?) will burst into flame. He sees this. He is all the best of youth and age. Beauty and wisdom, energy and stillness. He says, “Here’s what I’d like.”

You are probably on fire right now.

He says, “I’d like see what shape you make under your sheets. I’d like to see the way your pillow cradles your head. I’d like to push away your hair from that…irresistible neck.”

He raises a hand and lets it fall before it reaches your apparently resistible neck, but your throat leaps as if he has touched it. Such a cheesy line. So typical. Isn’t there an equally huge vein on the back of your knee? You never hear about vampires fetishizing that. You realize you would be completely okay with his hand on the back of your knee. Or elsewhere.

“I’d like to nuzzle you to the cusp of waking,” he says. You would also very much like that. “I’d like to kiss your throat until I find where your blood rushes closest to your skin.” You think all your blood is surging toward him at that exact moment. “I’d like to cup your face while I open your throat, fold the wound in my lips to not waste a drop, and drink you in until you wake.”

“Does it hurt?” you say. Then you wonder how he would know. Then you remember it must have happened to him once. You are embarrassed for you both.

“Only once,” he tells you.

Horrifying, but not when your vampire says it. The sinister mixes with the sweet.

“Then what?” you say. You are stupidly aware that except for the brush of his fang on your ear, he hasn’t yet touched you.

He grins again. “Your turn.”

You wish your vampire was telepathic. You are drowning in scenes of “then what”. Some of them are contradictory, you aren’t yourself in some of them, and some are stolen from other people’s fantasies (a few of which seemed dumb when you first heard them–not when it’s you, and your vampire). Many of them take place immediately after where he left off. A few of them leap forward, years and centuries beyond.

He says, without hearing your brain-locked answer, “Any time.”

It could be tonight. It could be any night.

You look at your hands so you can think more clearly, breaking his gaze just long enough to notice a couple of your classmates stroll past. One of them snorts high in her throat. “God, vampires are so lame,” she says to the others. “I am so done with them.”

You wonder if this is cyclical, if you will have your vampire and then tire of him. If another vampire will come after that, or if one is all you get. You glance at his face to see if he might tire of you first, but you are somehow certain vampires don’t work like that.

You think you will whisper something in his ear. Not everything, just something. You’re the one with the pulsing blood, after all, and he’s the one who must be invited.

The moment before you speak is the most delicious agony in the world.

No wonder vampires live forever.

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More stories, and poems too: Wolves and Witches: A Fairy Tale Anthology

Check out all my free-to-read work–including podcasts!–here.

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