Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire.PART 1


It was Frank's fault, all of it. The misery that was my life from age 17 to 55, and why I became a vampire.

You might suppose I am going to tell you a sob-story about a teen pregnancy and a man with heavy fists, but that is not how it played out. I am resolved to be honest here, so don't expect to hear pretty excuses for my bad calls. My life was a chain of lousy choices, until that last fatal night when I had no choice at all.

My name is Greta Schultz. I was born in London to a pair of reasonably well-off  Austrians  who'd escaped from the war as child immigrants. They met, married and proceeded to reproduce in time-honoured tradition. I have three brothers, one sister. I was raised to be clean, disciplined and well-behaved; went to a good school, had high marks and a regrettable taste for low company.

That was my "fatal flaw". I liked the cant of the dialect in my Cockney class-mates voices, I envied their short flouncy uniform skirts and slutty heels when I was forced into knee-length pleated respectability and patent buckle-shoes over white frilly socks, even at sixteen. I wanted to chew gum, and drink beer and lose my virginity at the back of the bus. I wanted to be bad, and so when Frank Valginsky sauntered into my life I was more than ready to be charmed, seduced, and deceived. In fact, you could say I did it all myself.

Frank was twenty-three and he was "rough-trade". It was there in his square blue-shadowed jaw, his thick lips that pouted in brutal lust, the tight leather pants over his broad thighs. He was "rough-trade" and I wanted him at first sight.

I made the first move. He had come to pick up his sister May in his souped-up old bike, and I was waiting by the steps for my mother to arrive. I saw him. I just saw him and I wanted him. That was it. No smarmy excuses. I walked down those steps like I was walking on air, stopped in front of him and stared into his eyes.

He stared back, and then he smiled. He had a charming smile, did Frank. Wide and sweet, and he had these dimples you'd want to poke with your finger to see if they were really that deep... He smiled and said: "Hey there...Want to go for a ride?" So I did. We ended up in the back room of his auto-shop, having sex on a narrow cot with a poster of a blond woman with gigantic breasts hanging up over it.

To this day I still remember, gripping Frank's shoulders and grimacing in pain, meeting the busty blond's eyes as she smiled vapidly, pretending her fat nipples weren't poking out between her primly posed fingers.

I remember the poster and the smell of burn engine oil, and the scent of Frank's salty skin. I remember thinking that I was now a woman, and about to start a free and exciting life with a strong, passionate man by my side.

What an idiot! Frank was indeed passionate, and single-minded in his pursuit of me. He wanted to marry me and I was dizzy with desire to do exactly that. My parents disagreed, so we eloped.

I married Frank and we moved into a tiny box of a flat with an oven, an old rusty fridge and a big double bed. That was it. A week later I got a job working as a typist in a solicitor's office and started putting every penny I earned into making that box a home a man would be proud of - while Frank started his life-long investment in a beer-gut.

A few years later I thought that if we had a baby, Frank would be more likely to spend his time at home rather than at the pub swilling beer and playing darts.

It worked. More or less. Frank would be home right up to Sheila's bed-time. Sheila would fall asleep and Frank would walk out. I should have know then what that meant - but I have to confess that I was astounded when he called me into the kitchen two weeks ago and asked me to sit down.

He was leaving me, he said. Sheila had finally moved out ("about bloody time she's 27!") and so he, Frank, was "finally free".

"Free?" I asked, "Free of what?"

"Free of you. I want a divorce, Greta."

"A divorce?" I couldn't believe it. It wasn't the happiest of marriages, but there was no violence, no hate - only a low grade sadness, loneliness - the sour tang of disappointment I had never thought he felt.

"There is someone else. Has been for years."

"Years?" I repeated stupidly.

"You knew! You had to know! Not even YOU could be that dumb!"

"No, I didn't...I didn't."

"Well Sheila's gone, and there is no need to keep this up, so I want to sell the house."

"My house? Where will I go? What will I do?"

He looked at me, really looked for the first time in more than twenty years. I could see him taking in my saggy tits, my scruffy baggy-kneed leggings.

"Get a fucking life." He turned and left, just like that. Closed the door behind him and left me behind as he had for a life-time of nights.

I went into "our" bedroom and got my flannel nighty, my pillow, my cell-phone and my alarm clock. I took "my life" to the room next door, Sheila's empty room. I lay on that bed, surrounded by her perfume - the scent of a vibrant girl with everything to play for and no regrets - and I fell asleep.

I dreamed a man was kissing me, loving me. Not Frank. Frank's touch was rough, and what had once excited had long since lost it's charm. This man touched me as if I was precious, desirable, fragile. I heard myself moan and his answering sigh.

"Oh my love, my love...I have waited eons for you, I will love you for eternity..." And then I felt a thin exquisite sting as he nipped my neck. I cried out at the pain, shuddered at the pleasure, and fell into a strange daze.

I woke from that strange erotic dream in the half light of pre-dawn to find a thin young man sitting on the edge of the bed wringing his hands and sobbing.

"I'm so sorry, so very sorry! It was all a terrible mistake. I can't tell you how I regret..."

"Who are you? What are you doing here?" The memory of the dream had me pull the comforter up over my breasts. "Oh my God! It wasn't a dream! You raped me!"

"No, no...You must understand..."

I screamed and the man lifted up his very long thin spidery hands in a frantic gesture of regret. "I had no intention...It was a mistake! Please, you must believe me! I thought you were Sheila!"

"Sheila? You were planning to rape my daughter?" I screamed, "My daughter?"

"No, no! I was supposed to be turning her, not you!"

"Turning her?"I was feeling for my cell-phone on the bed-side table, I was going to call 112, keep him talking until the Police got here.

"Well, into a Vampire, of course - like me. I love her so much, but I'm afraid I made a mistake...I'm short sighted, I thought it was Sheila's room, It smelled like Sheila, I thought it was you. I turned you. You are now Immortal. I am so very sorry. I can't apologise enough..."

A nut-case rapist who'd watched too many movies, no less. A wild giggle escaped my lips. What I had taken for an erotic dream had been some kind of weird assault. I had been attacked by mistake.

Manuela Cardiga

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