A vampire gets more than he bargained for when he breaks into a victim’s house to feed…
I broke into the house that night thinking it was just going to be another regular feeding session. Get in, drain the victim, get out. Easy, just like I’d done countless times before, then I’d be good to go for another while or so. It was to be my last feed in the town before I moved on somewhere else, lest the hunters catch up with me. That’s how I operate: don’t stay in one place for too long; one or two feeds at most and then move on.
But that asshole had to fuck things up, didn’t he? He had to go and infect my mind the way he did. Now I’m sick and I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve got hunters on my tail and I don’t even care. Hell, I’m on the verge of handing myself over to them right now.
How did this happen? How did that man, whose name is Brian by the way—an innocuous name for a man who should’ve been called Lucifer or Beelzebub, not fucking Brian—manage to worm his way inside my head and spread his awful disease throughout every bit of my mind?
The truth is, I still don’t know…
* * *
The night I broke into his shitty little house, Brian was lying slumped on the sofa, his bony, pasty body wearing a mud-colored T-shirt and stripy boxer shorts that had yellow stains on the front. His human smell was awful. Most human’s stink pretty bad to me thanks to my heightened sense of smell. But Brian stank really fucking bad, and not just because of sweat, or shit, or piss, or even the food inside him. It was something else, something truly sick and repulsive, as I was about to find out to my cost.
I stood silently in the doorway just behind the sofa, having not made a single sound upon entry into the house. I had done this too many times to make noise anymore. I could be on top of somebody draining them dry before the person even knew what hit them, no matter if they were awake or asleep.
But this guy, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be on top of him at all, and despite being hungry, I was willing to wait, to delay my feed until I found another victim to drink from. Which if you know me—and I know you don’t, because no one knows me—but if you did, you would know I generally don’t delay if I’m hungry. I’m nothing if not a being of collective urges—the urge to kill, to feed, to fuck on occasion—and I always follow my urges, which in this case, was my need to feed.
But this blood-bag before me, there was something so off about him that I all but lost my appetite, which for me is unheard of. Fucking vampires don’t just lose their appetites, no more than a parasite or a shark loses theirs. It’s a biological need that only stops when the creature is dead. Something had to be really off for me to lose my goddamn appetite, and I tell you, it freaked me the fuck out. So much so that I started to feel like I had walked into a house of evil, maybe the home of a demon. Except I knew demon’s don’t live in post-war houses on rundown streets in dirtbag towns like the one I was in. The demons I knew all lived in style, if they lived here at all. Most of them stayed in Hell where they belonged. Up here, demons are few and far between.
So what kind of evil was I looking at here? Who was this stodgy, pot-bellied piece of filth before me?
I decided I didn’t care. The only sane thing to do was to get the fuck out of that house of sickness so I could find somewhere else to feed. So I turned around and I went to leave, until a voice stopped me in my tracks.
I was froze to the spot as if in fear, though I didn’t feel afraid exactly. It was more like I couldn’t resist his plea, which is what it was: not a command to stay, but a plea not to go. Just keep walking, I told myself. Don’t turn around. If you turn around, you’ll regret it.
But I did turn around, out of some abject repulsion, like when you know something is going to be gross, but you look anyway. But it was more than that. There was something in this man’s voice, a promise of sorts. A vow even; a solemn intent to reveal something to me, a great truth perhaps, but a truth that would devastate all in its wake. I knew the consequences of turning around, but I still did it. God help me, I still fucking did it.
“What are you?” he asked.
Not who am I, but what am I? I’ll admit, the question threw me slightly. It wasn’t like it was common knowledge that vampires like me—and much else besides—existed in the world. How did he know I wasn’t human? The motherfucker hadn’t even turned around to look at me yet, hadn’t taken his eyes of the goddamn TV as he sat watching some nature show. I could have been anyone! Yet this guy knew I wasn’t just anyone, and that I wasn’t human. Was he in the know? A hunter perhaps? No, this guy was no hunter. This guy was soft as shit. I knew by looking at him he couldn’t drive a stake through jelly, never mind the hardened breast plate of a vampire. Neither did he possess the stomach for such a thing. So was he something else then? A scholar of the supernatural perhaps? There was plenty of those bookish motherfuckers about. But I didn’t think he was that type either. He looked like he got all of his knowledge from fucking TV, not a goddamn book.
So the question still remained. How did he know I wasn’t human? More to the point, why wasn’t he freaking the fuck out right now? When people realize what I am—if they get the chance, that is—they always freak the fuck out. They get scared shitless. But this guy? I could hear his heartbeat from where I was standing, and it was steady as shit, beating along like he was half asleep. There was no fear in this guy, even though he obviously knew that something non-human had broken into his house.
“Are you a burglar or a serial killer?”
I shook my head. Fuck me. He doesn’t know shit about me after all. The stupid asshole thinks I’m here to rob him or cut him up into pieces.
“Are you the Huntsville Slasher? Are you here to slit my throat like you did those other people recently?”
Christ, this dude is fucking crazy, I thought. His voice sounds as dead as a drugged-up housewife’s, and there’s no sign of fear in it at all, even though he suspects there is a serial killer standing behind him. It made me wonder how fucking indifferent you had to be to react like that.
“If you’re here to kill me, that’s fine. You can kill me, but I’d like it if you sat with me first, just for a little while. Then you can kill me. I won’t put up a fight.”
I stood frowning at the top of his head poking up from the couch he was sitting in. Seriously, what the hell was wrong with this guy? Was he suicidal? Did he want to die? That was the only thing that could explain his weird fucking behavior.
“I know your malaise. I can feel it. It’s strong. It eats away at you, like a slow cancer.”
My mouth gaped open as I continued to stare at the back of his head. What “malaise” was he referring to? Why would he even…
“Come and sit. Be my guest for a while.”
His guest? The last fucking thing I wanted to be was his guest. The guy was giving me the creeps, and I don’t even get the fucking creeps! How was that possible?
On the TV, some sort of grub was grossly burrowing its way into the ear of some unsuspecting animal.
“If you leave, you’ll never find out.”
I half turned away, willing myself to walk out so I never had to hear this motherfucker’s dead-ass voice again. But something kept me there, and I bit.
“Find out what?” I asked.
He stayed silent for a long moment, while on the TV, the grub burrowed in deeper, causing its victim to go a bit crazy in an effort to remove it, which it couldn’t. “If you are right or not.”
He was infuriating me now, and for a few seconds, I had the urge just to rush forward and snap his neck. It would’ve took me barely a second to do, and then I wouldn’t have had to listen to that voice again. But it felt like a part of me was under his control now, or at least that he had aroused my curiosity enough that I simply had to know.
“About what?” I asked, losing my patience now, thinking that if he didn’t give me a satisfactory answer to that question, then I was going to kill him.
“About your place in the world. You think you don’t belong anywhere, that you shouldn’t be in this world at all.” He paused. “Wouldn’t you like to know if you are right or not? I can give you certainty. At least then you can take action, because you will know for sure, instead of existing in a perpetual state of mental torture, never knowing either way. I can give you peace at last.”
I stood in silence for a long time after he’d finished speaking, processing all that he was saying, all that he seemed to know. There was no denying that I carried with me the torturous mental state he just described, and I carried it with me every minute of every day, almost since the day I was turned over three hundred years ago.
But so fucking what? Every motherfucker on this dire planet lives in perpetual mental torture. Humans and non-humans alike are never happy, never satisfied, never contented, and most especially, never come close to finding any meaning to their worthless existences. What was this guy going to do, confirm what I already knew? I didn’t need confirmation that I didn’t belong, I knew it already, deep in my bones.
“I don’t know what game you’re playing here,” I said to the back of his head. “But you’re wasting your time. I’m going now. Count yourself lucky I didn’t kill you.”
Once again, I turned to walk away. But once again, he stopped me.
“The truth is not what you think.”
I shook my head in frustration, my simmering anger approaching dangerously high levels. “What fucking truth? There is no truth, certainly none that you could tell me. I’ve been around too long, asshole.”
“There is one truth you seek. The one truth we all seek.”
“And what’s that, Couch Miyagi?”
“The meaning to everything. To existence.”
I snorted derisively. “You’re starting to sound like a fucking talking fortune cookie. Believe me when I say, there is no meaning to any of this bullshit. If there was…”
“You’d have found it?”
“What if I told you there is a great truth, and that I am in possession of it. Would you want to hear it?”
He was fucking with me, he had to be. In that moment, I decided I had to see him full on, just to see what his particular brand of crazy looked like, and to look into his eyes as he spouted this existential bullshit.
In a split second, I was around the couch and standing between him and the TV, and you know what, he never flinched. I mean if someone appears in front of you at supernatural speed, you flinch, you say to yourself, Jesus Christ, how did he move so fast?
But not this guy, and I soon realized why when I looked into his eyes, which were a cloudy white color and completely lifeless.
He was blind.
Smiling slightly, I shook my head. “You’re fucking blind and you’re sitting here watching TV?”
“I like listening to it.”
“But the sound is off.”
“I hit mute when I heard you enter the house.”
“So you’ve got super-hearing or something?”
“Amongst other things.” He suddenly stuck his hand out. “My name is Brian.”
I stared at his proffered hand like it was infected with disease. “I’m not shaking your fucking hand. I came here to feed on you, not shake your damn hand.”
His pale lips stretched into some sort of smile. “So you’re a vampire.”
“Yeah motherfucker, I’m a vampire.”
“Would you like to feed of off me?”
I looked at his pasty flesh, his sagging jowls and mole-ridden neck. “No thanks.”
He nodded. “Okay. Why don’t you sit then?”
“So you can reveal the secret of the universe to me?” I snorted as I shook my head.
“Only if you are willing to listen.”
“And if I’m not?”
He smiled creepily again. “You are still here, are you not? Why haven’t you left yet?”
I had to admit, he had me there. “I don’t fucking know. Maybe I just wanted to see how fucking crazy you really are.”
He actually patted the cushion next to him. “Then let’s find out, shall we?”
I stared down at him for the longest time as his milky eyes seemed to look right through me. “All right, Brian, I’ve come this far, so I’ll play along. But just to let you know, if you try to touch me in any way, or make any kind of wrong move against me, I’ll snap your goddamn neck in an instant, you got that? Hell, I might even snap it anyway, just to put you out of your fucking misery.”
“Just hear what I have to say, then you can do with me as you please.” For someone who just put his life in my hands, he didn’t seem too frightened by it. In fact, the more I looked at him, the more I realized there was a weird serenity to him, as though he was stoned maybe, but it seemed to go deeper than that. There was definitely something off about the guy and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. He came across as completely unthreatening, but at the same time he seemed somehow dangerous. Nothing about the guy made sense, the more I thought about it. This whole situation didn’t make any sense, and yet, here I was…
Warily, with my eyes on him the whole time, I sat down next to him on the couch, mildly repulsed by his close presence, as if by sitting down I had somehow entered into his territory…or his trap. Ridiculous, I know, but the guy unnerved me in a way that I couldn’t explain.
“Come closer,” he said, still staring straight ahead.
“I’m close enough,” I said, getting more creeped out by the second. “Just say what you have to say so I can get the fuck out of here and forget that I ever came across you.”
“Sit closer please. What I have to say can only be whispered in your ear.”
I shook my head. This shit was getting weirder and creepier by the second. “You want to whisper in my fucking ear? Are you kidding?”
“These are words of power that I will speak. They must be handled with care. Whispering them to you is also the only way that you will truly hear them.”
“You’re totally serious, aren’t you?”
He nodded once. “Yes.”
“Jesus fuck…” Shaking my head, unable to believe I was even doing it, I leaned in toward him until I was almost touching his shoulder, getting a pungent whiff of stale BO as I did so. “Get this over with so I can kill you. I’ve already decided I’m going to kill you.”
Still with that serene look on his pallid face, and still with his overly calm demeanor, he slowly turned his head, his eyes right in front of me now, looking like they were full of swirling fog. As I quickly turned my own eyes away, unable to look at him this close, I felt his breath on my ear as he prepared to speak. In my mind, I was already reaching around and snapping his neck like a twig, hearing the sound it would make—the loud crack—and feeling the satisfaction of doing so, of putting an end to this fucked up situation finally.
But then he began to speak, or more accurately, to whisper. Within seconds, my thoughts of killing him disappeared as he somehow captured my full attention.
And I listened as he whispered into my ear.
* * *
Now it’s the next night, and I’m inside some grubby hotel room, pacing around with my hands clamped to my head like I’m trying to crush my own skull. All I can hear are his words. Fucking Brian’s words. The Fucking Bastard’s words. They keep repeating over and over in my mind like a broken fucking record that won’t turn off no matter what I do. They make it so I can’t concentrate, can’t think of anything else but the words.
Though the words are just a part of it, and not even the worst part. The worst part is the gut-wrenching feelings they produce. Agonizing. Unbearable. They make me clutch my belly and cry out in sheer despair, because I know they will never stop.
Because now I know what I know. I know the agonizing truth, and I feel the unrelenting, absolute certainty that comes with it. There is no unknowing it. There is no unfeeling it. My psyche, my entire fucking mind, has been shattered to pieces. No being in the universe should know what I know, nor be able to hold it very long if they did. Not even by god if there is such a being.
Except by Brian, that is, because he’s…fuck, I don’t what he is, nor how he came into possession of this knowledge, or how his mind is still intact by holding said knowledge in there.
It doesn’t matter now anyway. The hunters are outside. They’ve finally tracked me down, in large part because I made it easy for them to do so. Someone has to put me out of my misery, and they’ll do as good a job as any.
I can hear them coming now.
I’m standing ready when they kick the door in. They seem happy to have finally found me as they advance toward me with stakes in their hands.
Almost free, but first…
“Wait!” I say. “Before you stake me, there’s something I have to tell you…”
They look at me funny, like I’ve gone and lost my marbles, which I absolutely haven’t. If only I did. No, the real problem is how clear as day everything is, and how excruciatingly certain I am of what I know. There is just no way to live with it. No one can. No one is meant to.
And yet it demands to be passed on like a virus. The excruciating truth of all existence, infecting with mere words, negating the need for all life anywhere.
There will be no stopping it.
“Come closer,” I tell them. “I need to whisper it…”