“Hey babe.” Max said as his girlfriend came in the door. He stood up as she stood over in the door way. Her arms folded over her chest, she placed her back firmly against the wall. “What’s for dinner?” “You’re one of ‘em aincha?” She whispered in response. Which, is never a great question to be asked.
“You’re a Vampire.” Her voice barely above a whisper.
“Yeah.” He shrugged. “What’s for dinner?” Max paused turning the question over in his mind as the color drained from his love’s face. “Ok now that I think about it, I should have switched over to ‘you look lovely in that dress.’”
“You’re a Vampire!” She hollered in wide eyed terror.
“Geez! Don’t shout it!” He hissed at her. “Not exactly something I advertise.”
“How long?” She stamped her foot and started to tear up.
“Since before we met.” Max said as he stepped forward. “Come on, buying blood and keeping it good isn’t something you learn over night. And if I was going to hurt you don’t you think I’d have done it already?” He let her chew on that one as he fought to keep my voice steady. “Come on Donna.” The two of them stood in silence. Max threw up his hands and flopped down on the couch. “Why don’t we talk?”
“You’re a Vampire.”
“Yes I am.” He said quietly. “I died one day and three days later I rose.”
“And now ya keep blood in tha fridge.”
“Sure like most vampires.” Again delivered with a shrug, because that is how most civilized vampires behave, yet her eyes flashed between her and the door. “Come on Donna I won’t hurt you.”
“Most vampires?” She asked refolding her arms.
“Yeah we aren’t monsters.” Max sighed again as his patience wore thin. “Would you sit down? You’re making me nervous.” She slowly made her way to the kitchen table.
“You didn’ think I needed ta know that?” Her voice quivered as she looked with new eyes on the man she had shared a bed with.
“It was going to come up eventually and I wanted to make sure you weren’t dating me just because I was a Vampire.” Max declared as he sat up to look over the couch back. Donna looked at him but would not hold his gaze. “Ok I get it, this is a big deal.”
“Yeah you’re a blood suckin’ monster.”
“Ouch.” Which dear readers is a far more gracious response than I would have given in his place. “That hurts Donna.” Neither of them spoke as tears start streaming down her face. Max stood up and moved towards her to comfort her. With a flick of her wrist she brandished a knife at him. His hands came up and his feet stepped back. The blade slashing into his heart from almost three yards away, and it didn’t even leave her white knuckle grasp. “You really think I’m a monster?” She said nothing. She kept pointing the blade. “Donna, come on. Ok besides the whole blood drinking, what makes me a monster?” I step back and lean against a wall. My hands stay where she can see them.
“Vampires kill people.”
“White people owned slaves.” Max slipped a stick of gum in his mouth and chomped down on it. He would have preferred to grab a package of blood from the fridge, but that would definitely be too unsettling for her. So he opted for the far safer stick of gum. Which, if a vampire is chewing gum with you, it means they do not immediately plan on killing you.
“That’s totally different.” She snapped.
“Oh the systematic and widespread oppression of another population to preserve a style of comfortable living?” Max smiled. “You’re so right your people did it better.”
“You can mind control people.”
“Sure.” He yielded a nod. “But I don’t because that is very illegal.”
“It is?” Donna gave a raised eyebrow.
“Yes. You can’t just go around mind controlling people without their consent.” I laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of her statement, because of course there are laws for that sort of thing! Did she think that any neonate of a Vampire was allowed to behave however they pleased? “I do turn into a bat and use it to go get soda and alcohol. So yes I do abuse some of my powers.” That elicited a chuckle and both of them laugh together.
“This’s weird.” She whispered, the blade falling to her side.
“Why?” Max asked as he sat down across the table. Donna looked up sheepishly. “I’m still the same man. Nothing I’ve ever told you was a lie. I just didn’t tell you about certain dietary restrictions.” He shrugged as he chewed on the gum.
“Doncha dare make light o’ this.” Donna sighed. “What’s my mama gonna think?”
“Whatever she pleases Donna.” Yet another sigh. “We knew that.” I’m sick of this, it isn’t the first time we’ve had a conversation about something I can’t help being, but family is important.”
“Yeah but you’re a Walker.” She said and stuck the knife in his table with a thud. “I didn’ know that.”
“Donna do you have any other friends who are Shadowborn?” He asked quietly. She bit her lip and shook her head. “No? Well that word is a particularly nasty slur.”
“Do you have other friends like you?”
“Other Shadowborn? Sure.” He smiled. “Carlos, Soren, and Lou. You like Soren.”
“Soren’s a Vampire?” Donna folded her arms. “And I like Soren because he can sing so well. A lot better than you.” She reaches across the table and pushes my shoulder.
“No he’s a wraith. Good man, but lacks substance.” He laughed at his own joke, and Donna rolled her eyes. “Lou and Carlos are what you’d call mummies. Dry humor but sharp as a knife.”
“You introduced me to your folks. Are they…” Her voice trailed off. He let her gather her thoughts. He wanted to hear what she was thinking. “The ones who bit’cha?”
“No you met my biological parents.”
“Not the ones who bit you?”
“Well it’s more complicated than that.” He rolled the gum into a ball in his mouth. “But they’re my parents too in a sense. They taught me to be like this.” He smiled. “I think you’ll like them.”
“But they bit ya.”
“Yeah cause I was already dead.” Max said. “I rose up a Vampire. But I or he, the me before I️ died, was already dead. And now I’m here. They’ve never hurt me and I promise they would never hurt you.”
“So you’re one of the good ones.” Donna said and Max flinched.
“Again not so simple.” He mumbled as she looked back over at him. “I’m thirsty. You want anything?” I ask as I make my way to the fridge. Donna tensed as he passed, but she didn’t do anything else. Max drew a package from the fridge and punched a straw in. Spitting his gum in the trash before sitting back in the seat. He took a sip and felt the cool iron taste hit his tongue. Donna watched him as the vampire drained the packet dry.
“What am I gonna do?” She eventually managed. Max said nothing as she looked deep into his eyes, the tears pooling just beneath the surface. She wiped her face and fanned herself as she blew a long sigh out. “I’m datin’ a Vampire.”
“And?” Max asked, his hand reached out and held hers. “What difference does it make?” Her eyes met his and the tears broke like water from a dam.
“All the difference Max.”
By TKH Hamilton