Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle Aged Vampire - PART 23

The next day dawned as drizzly and as miserable as you could wish for a funeral. It was 7:00 am and my sister-in-law May was tapping sharply on my door. I heaved myself out of bed, grabbed a robe and stumbled down.

I opened the front door and was immediately drowned in soft scented flesh and stiffly lacquered hair.

"Greta!" May snuffled against my cheek, "Oh darl...How are you copin'?" I hugged May tight for just a moment longer, then I stepped away.

She looked devastated - like I was supposed to feel but didn't. Her heavy cheeks sagged, and the crusted eyeliner seemed to drag down at the corners of her eyes. The red lipstick had bled up into the deep vertical lines on her upper lip, and the skin under her chin looked loose and wrinkly. A bit like a giant scrotum.

The harsh morning light was not being kind to May, and I shuddered to think what it was doing to ME. We were not the girls we used to be, that's for sure, and a crueler trick Nature or the unkind gods had never played on humans. I didn't FEEL any older than the slim girl who'd strode down the steps determined to be seduced by Frank, and I know May didn't either. And the truth be told: neither of us was any wiser.

I stepped back and led May to the kitchen, put the kettle on and took down two mugs. What a comforting ritual tea was! Surely if the end of the world was announced, I would be doing the same. Anything can be faced with tranquillity with a nice cuppa and a sweet biscuit in front of you.

May sighed and fell into the kitchen chair. "Oh Greta, what an awful tragedy! And you already so traumatized, finding poor Frank like that!"

"Yes...It was...Very...Shocking, very," I stumbled for sincerity. "I feel it's all my fault, May. I killed him. I brought this horror down on him."

"NO!" May's cry was from the heart, and made me feel an even deeper shame, "Never think that! You were the victim of a monster, a predator! And poor Frank died defending you." She mopped at the tears slowly percolating down her cheeks through the thick layers of face powder. "He died a hero."

"A hero," I echoed, remembering the vicious smirk rolling back his upper lip in that split second before my mind had gone blank. "Yes, Frank was that..."

I leaned over and placed a comforting hand over hers, and patted her plump shoulder while she sobbed.

Much later, I went upstairs to change into one of the black dresses I had purchased the day before, complete with sheer black tights and decorous black heels. Sheila was meeting us, and together we would drive to Silverman & Stell's together.

On the way, we would stop off and pick up her old ruin of a mother (whom I quite loathed and who perversely quite adored me).

Life is full of such ironies, isn't it? Unrequited loves of every kind, ricocheting affection, wasted understanding, soured passions.

No more, I vowed to myself. From now on I would not endure anything less than what I deserved - good or bad - for a single second. Life was precious, and to be lived intensely or not at all.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle Aged Vampire - PART 22

I spent the rest of the evening nursing a dazed vampire through regeneration. Basically, it just entailed sitting next to him, pouring lots of tea down his gullet and patting his spindly hands when he moaned. Which he did.  A lot!

Apparently, immortality did not change the basic male propensity for high drama when in the least bit discomfited. Ok, so a herniated brain is not a paper-cut - but really! I thought Donnie did overdo the whining and the squirming around.

I cleaned up the blood and brain matter off the kitchen floor and made myself a hot corned-beef on rye sandwich with lots of mustard. I was positively starving. I offered Donnie some too, but he looked nauseous, so I just topped up his teacup.

I sat next to him and took a bite. Damn, but the food tasted better than ever!

"So, Donnie," I said, more to distract him than out of any desire for the sordid details on his personal habits, "What's your favorite feeding spot?" I giggled. This was funny! Goes to show what the word "normal" really means - I'd used the exact same tone dozens of times to ask for references to coffee shops, or hairdressers...

Donnie blushed violently - nearly purple. "Well...Ah-Ah-I...Go to the docks, you know...The Ladies...I pay of course!"

"Of course!"

"I do-don't have SEX with them, I just...You know..."

"Yes, I see...You feed?"

He nodded emphatically. Curiously enough, Donnie felt it was quite alright to suck blood from the nubile thighs of the hookers on Canal Street, but quite immoral to enjoy the services they were actually selling...

"Yes. But I tip, you know...To make up for..." He ducked his head and I saw that the skull was closing nicely over his pinkly pulsing brain. This was really cool! as Sheila would have exclaimed.

"Don't they notice?" I asked curiously. "That you're...doing THAT?"

"Well, no! Our saliva contains a narcotic and a mildly euphoric hallucinogenic? So I kiss them first." he added a helpful tip: "I used to volunteer at an old age home? So I always spat in the tea of the old dears. Made them so happy!" He smiled seraphically. "It is addictive, so be careful who you kiss!"

"GROOVY!" I exclaimed, "That should make me a hit at the next Church Fund Raiser! I'll pucker up at the kissing booth and make myself a packet!"

Manuela Cardiga

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire- Part 21

It was all settled. All the sad details of burial, the discarding of the fleshy casing - the remnants of a forgettable life...

I was suddenly overcome with a wave of affection and gratitude for Donnie and his myopia. His "mistake" had gifted me with a new life - bizarre, complicated, but filled with promise. Frank's death had shown me a glimpse of the ending of a mediocre life, and I was relieved that such a trivial existence had been ripped away from me.

I was now immortal - whatever that meant - and if I wasn't exactly in the first flush of youth, I was still a vibrant sexual being. The last hours had proved that to me. That woman who I had thought neutered by years of sublimation and submission to emotional starvation was now resurrected by my timely undeath.

Sheila dropped me off at home. She had wanted to stay for the night, but I had dissuaded her. I wanted to try on my new threads, and give the Doctor and Donnie a call.

I walked in and kicked off my shoes, and was about to carry them and my shopping bags upstairs when a strange noise stopped me dead.

There was someone in my kitchen! Someone was moving around, and then the merry whistle of the kettle drowned out the human sounds. Anger suffused me. Someone was in MY kitchen touching my kettle, helping him or herself to my property.

I'd had enough of home-invasions, and violations of my privacy and physical and emotional integrity. NO MORE!

I moved silently on my stockinged feet and picked up a large stone obelisk one of Frank's nieces had brought us from Egypt. A tasteless monstrosity I now appreciated for the very first time as capable of causing substantial "blunt force trauma".

I hefted it into a more comfortable grip and stepped into the kitchen, swinging it in a vicious arc, and feeling it connect with bone-crunching force. I had not reckoned with the new strength coursing through my veins! Wham!

I heard a scream before I even saw the intruder, and had lifted the obelisk high over my head for a second blow when I realised that the person sprawled at my feet bleeding messily was Donnie.

The anger and the adrenaline made me scream. "What the fuck are you doing here? Are you mad?"

Then I fell to my knees and dropped the stupid obelisk. Some part of me noticed there was blood and hair and little globules of yellowy-grey fatty stuff stuck to it. I felt my gorge rise.

I'd killed him. I'd killed poor stupid klutzy Donnie.
Shit. One rape and two murders in two days...

My house was now Crime Central. I could just imagine what the Police would say. This was going to ruin my evening.

Then he groaned and stirred. There were bits of his brain on my kitchen floor, and some things that might have been shards of bone too, but Donnie stirred and struggled to sit up.

"Donnie!" I screamed, "You stupid FUCK! I should KILL you!" And then I started crying in relief.
This immortality shit had its uses after all.


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire- Part 20

I just started laughing, I couldn't help it! This man had brass!
"Is this a standard pick-up line at the undead-bar, Mr. Stell?"

He flashed those devastating dimples at me again. "Yep!" his grin broadened. "Are you falling for it?"

"Hook, line, and sinker!"

"Well, I'm falling for you, Ms. Schultz."

My lips were suddenly dry, and I ran my tongue over them. "Jonathan..."

"Saturday night we will talk..."

"Saturday..." I giggled again, "We can boogaloo to "Stayin' Alive!" And there we were, laughing over Frank's grotesque corpse, and eyeing each other lustfully.

Not how I'd imagined my first day as a grieving widow. But then again, I hadn't imagined my first day as a vampire would be like this either.

I had never been one for horror movies or the supernatural at all. I had always been practical, pragmatic, and prosaic. Goodness! I suddenly realised I'd probably been quite a prissy little prig!

Jonathan and I walked back to the showroom, and I was acutely aware of the short distance separating our bodies - the heat of his shoulder inches from mine.

In the showroom, I deliberately moved away from him and walked over to a large silvery monstrosity that gaped open, showing the lavishly ruched white satin lining. Awful.

I was peering intently down into those cushiony depths when Sheila and Maeve returned with the leather-bound catalog.

"I think this, Mom," my daughter pointed out a surprisingly tasteful casket in a dark wood, "I think this would be nice."

I nodded my agreement and turned to Jonathan - Mr. Stell. "When?" I asked, "When can my husband be laid to rest?"

"Tomorrow afternoon, Ms. Schultz? At four?"

I nodded. "Yes, most of his family arrives tonight, and some of his nephews are flying in from Canada, I believe."

"We can have the eulogy first so the mourners can pay their respects, then move along to the funeral ceremony... Was Mr. Valginsky Church of England or Catholic? Or...?" Mr. Stell raised his eyebrows to indicate multi-cultural sensitivity to whatever obscure cult or religion Frank might have belonged to.

Of course, Frank had worshipped nothing and no-one. His only object of unswerving devotion in all the years I'd known him having been his prick.


Monday, 3 April 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire- Part 19

This was too much! How dare he? I was completely enraged!

"Even for a man who lives on hang-nails and toe-cheese that is a low blow, don't you think?" I asked, baring my baby fangs in a snarl.

"At least I don't suckle on crab-infested groins," The hitherto charming Mr. Stell snapped back.

"The groins I suckle consider themselves VERY fortunate!" I screeched, "And rather crabs that pick maggots out of my tonsils!"

Mr. Stell's eyes were on fire, his breath whooshed out and he growled, "By God, Mrs. Schultz, you are offensive!" And suddenly he was pulling me against him, his mouth was covering mine in a furious, devouring kiss...

Mr. Stell pushed me back and his hands were tugging at the hem of my dress, even as mine tore at the buttons of his suit jacket, eager to worm my fingers under that silk shirt and feel the crisp curl of his chest hair prickle my fingers. He smelled like wood and leather and hot metal. I moaned against his teeth, nipped at that generous lower lip, and heard his encouraging groan of lust.

I slid my hands down to cup his muscular buttocks...Since when had I been this ardent, this daring?
Mr. Stell pressed his desire into me and I leaned back, arching my back, offering my throat to his questing mouth...And it was then that I inadvertently leaned on Frank's corpse, and his icy hand popped over the edge of the steel drawer.

I came to my senses, my desire evaporated. I had been about to play hide-the-salami with a stranger with the body of my deceased husband as a makeshift mattress. Not only was this unethical it was decidedly uncomfortable.

"Stop!" I cried, "STOP IT!"

Mr. Stell stopped and stepped back raising those elegant hands and spreading them far apart. He was panting and looked as dazed and out of control as I did.

He drew in two or three panting breaths. "I'm so sorry, Ms. Schultz. Please forgive me. I don't know what came over me."

I tugged the hem of my skirt over my thighs with a shiver of regret. "This...This is...I don't know what to say, Mr. Stell."

"I can tell you I've never behaved in such an inappropriate manner before. Never!"

"Neither have I, Mr. Stell." We stood there looking at each other in an awkward silence for an eternity, then he cleared his throat, squared his shoulders, and said calmly: "We will address this issue at a later date after Mr. Valginsky has been decently put to rest."

"Oh yes," I agreed eagerly, "After an appropriate period of bereavement..."

"Are you free on Saturday, Ms. Schultz? Say around 8?"

"I will be, Mr. Stell."

"Wonderful. Your coffin or mine?"


Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire- Part 18

I gaped at the man in silent astonishment. "A GHOUL?" I finally managed to gasp. "GHOUL?"

He grinned at my astonishment. "Is that anymore outlandish than being a Vampire?"

"No, no...I just thought..."Well Vampires and the virus...I didn't think...Doctor said the condition was as infection by a symbiont, I really didn't think...Things that go bump in the night?"

He let out a spontaneous guffaw. "The only things that go "bump" in the night is the Succubus and Incubus Swingers Club...And it's another kind of bump altogether."

"Succubus, incubus too!"

"Oh yes. And lycanthropes, poor things. They spend a fortune on hair removal, But no zombies, thank God, and the faeries are the ones trolling the park in spiked heels feeding on pheromones from all the hookers and the johns..."

I was dizzied by revelation. "Wait, all these are caused by microbes, viruses?"

"Oh yes. We think of humans as the top of the food chain. We've managed to eradicate every predator we've ever had, but we are subject to predation by extremely able and well-adapted micro-predators. Look at HIV, Ebola, Marburg, Rabies. Deadly and thank God, not very efficient or successful."

I stared at him. "Those are deadly! I'd say they were VERY efficient!"

"Those viruses kill the host, and so have to find another. OUR viruses cleverly evolved into an "I scratch your back you scratch mine" symbiont, They keep the hosts alive indefinitely, so the colony not only survives, it thrives, and in the fullness  of time, creates a daughter colony of micro-predators."

"You keep calling them micro-predators."

"Yes. These viruses require human cells, human hormones, human blood - depending on the virus - to reproduce. But they have turned the host into a "seeker" of what they need. Brilliant evolutionary leap."

"Brilliant..." I murmured faintly.

"So the host craves what the symbiont requires, and reaps equal benefit from that harvest."

"So vampires need blood, you said faeries need hormones? What else?"

He smiled. "Lycanthropes - poor things!- need a cocktail of blood, fear, and adrenaline, which is why they frighten their prey before they feed. They are luckily quite rare. Succubus and Incubus harvest human DNA from sperm..,"

"They all get infected by the bite of a "Host"."

"Yes, as I was. I, unfortunately, surprised a Ghoul at his feeding and the poor bugger bit me." He extended a well shaped-hand and showed me a silvery crescent scar at the base of his thumb. "He infected me and fled. I was left alone with no idea of what was happening to me, or why I started having those cravings. I actually checked myself into a psychiatric center where I was lucky enough to meet a Nurse who was a Succubus. She enlightened me, and put me in touch with the Ghoul Support Group." He smiled nostalgically. "She was very sweet and nurturing..."

"What do Ghouls crave?"

"Human flesh. Fresh. Which is where I am lucky. I get daily deliveries of the finest quality. I don't have to break into morgues or funeral parlours. Besides the modern penchant for wholesale embalming has made untainted human flesh a precious commodity. Digging in cemeteries - the traditional Ghoul feeding-ground - is no longer an option." he smiled modestly. "I must admit I do very well indeed by dabbling in the delicatessen supply biz."

I was horrified. "You not only eat, you SELL human flesh?"

He looked defensively. "Only toes! Nothing the bereaved will notice, or the deceased will miss. I keep to the highest standards!" He drew himself to his considerable height. "And I have NEVER killed to feed. All my donors are decently dead!"


Saturday, 1 April 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire- Part 17

Maeve spirited my daughter away to consult catalogues and choose a casket with the same elan she would have displayed while picking a pair of Manolo Blahnik sandals, and with as little regard for the cost.

That left me all alone with the suave and very sexy Mr. Jonathan Stell. He waited until the door closed behind the two young women, then he turned to me and beckoned me to follow him.

At the end of a hall-way, he ushered me into a large cold room with huge steel drawers covering one wall, and a very complex set up in the middle which I presume was where the dead were embalmed and made presentable. A post-mortem photoshopping that gave the bereaved a much better looking corpse to regret and grieve over.

As he walked to the drawers and started pulling one out, Mr Stell commented casually over his shoulder. "We haven't met before, Ms Schultz! You weren't at the last mixer. I would have remembered those eyes..."

I was confounded. "Mixer? I'm sorry...Well, I've been a bit of a recluse for many years - socializing hasn't been part of my life."

He smiled. "Ah...That explains it! I presume your husband...a little slip in the dining room, an accident?"

I stared at him perplexed. "My husband died in the bedroom. He was murdered. Are you sure you have the right body?"

He slid out the drawer, and there was Frank, decorously covered with a sheet draped over his gaping throat and exposing only his face. I winced. Frank's eyes bulged out of his sockets and maintained a frightening glassy sheen. His jaw hung open in a horrified silent gape, his cheeks contracted in a death rictus.

"Oh yes, in fact I was going to suggest a closed-casket wake and funeral service. Though we can disguise the death-wound, there isn't much we can do for his expression, as you can see. It's quite startling."

"He was surprised by the killer..."

Mr Stell grinned knowingly. "VERY surprised I'm sure, and not a little afraid, judging by his face."

"I have no idea. I was unconscious at the time."

Mr Stell winked at me. "Of course you were! So do you agree to the closed-casket service?"

"Yes please!" I would be saving May and Frank's other siblings the sight of those bulgy eyes and gaping jaws.

"Usually, we can smooth away the expression after rigor mortis fades, but the neurotoxins of a vampire's bite tend to prolong that state for many days, until they break down. At least it saves on the cost of embalming."

Dark spots danced before my eyes. "A vamp-va-vampire's bite?" I drew myself up to my full height. "Are you mocking me in my time of grief, Mr Stell?"

"Not at all. But you seem to think ME a fool, Ms Schultz. I recognized a vampiric kill as soon as Mr Valginsky was brought in, and when I saw the signs in you, I knew."

I felt faint. "Please...I...You see, I didn't know. I blacked out and just...found him like this."

"You didn't know? Your maker, he didn't explain?"

An unaccountable surge of loyalty had me exclaim: "It wasn't Donnie's fault! He made a mistake, I started screaming and called the Police...He had no chance to explain."

Jonathan Stell chuckled. A rumbling sexy sound that sent a frisson of desire down my back. "No wonder! Donnie is a nice boy, but a total klutz!"

"You KNOW Donnie?"

"Of course I know Donnie, I sit on the board of the International Society for the Protection of  Supernatural Species. The ISPSS."

I giggled. "Seriously? So you're a vampire too?"

It was Stell's turn to laugh: "Goodness, no! I'm a Ghoul."