“Nobody ever thinks about what it’s really like to be dead. No, I don’t mean that version of death where your brain stops, they burn or bury you and nothing remains except for the memories other people have of you. I mean the other dead the one where you still have to deal with finding food, shelter from storms and paying your taxes. Just kidding, I don’t pay taxes. I was born in Prussia. No … Not the town of King of Prussia in Pennsylvania the real Prussia. Actually, the area I was born in is now part of Poland.”
“When was that?” The interviewer asked.
“A long time ago. I was born in the Spring of 1632. Then I died in the Autumn of 1659. I’ve been dead ever since.”
“What was I talking about? Right … what it’s like being dead and still walking around. I’ve got to be honest with you, the first hundred years or so was a lot of fun. Back then you could wander the countryside, have some fun at a pub for a night, find a willing wench and have your fill. The next night you could be off to another village never having to deal with the… Well, it’s best we don’t talk about that.”
“I can remember a night where I had snuck into the window of a young lady who had caught my eye earlier in the evening. This was in Italy, I think around the early 1700’s. Yes, must have been about that time, I can still see the dress she was taking off when I jumped into the window. Definitely a 1700’s dress, it had frills. Anyway, when she saw me enter her room she almost shouted but then she saw my eyes. She must have remembered me from the tavern. Our eyes fixed and she became frozen in the gaze. Modern vernacular would describe it as a – deer caught in the headlights – look. We had a few hours of passion and then I left her in bed, glistening and pale. How can anyone think of that and not look back with pleasure on time well spent?”
“When did you come to the USA?” The interviewer asked.
“I didn’t. When I came here it wasn’t anything so grand. I came here… well… not here. I came to New York in 1721 on a cargo ship from France. Funny thing was, it was all a mistake. The ship was supposed to be going to Louisiana. The navigator… he disappeared one night. Then we hit some storms… And there was some bad food that killed a few other crew members… It was a mess. The Captain took us here only because we had gotten so far off course that it was just easier for him to keep heading due west until we hit land.”
“I often wonder how my… uhh … existence would have been different if we hadn’t landed in NY. Maybe I should have gone straight to Louisiana after we landed. Well … I have plenty of regrets. New York was a very different place than I was used to. I always spent my time in the country. When I got to this new fabulous city I was overwhelmed with all the grandeur, all the people, all the fooooood. I started eating vast amounts. Far more than I should have.”
“I was in the city for about two months when I was caught. A few men found me in an alley taking a woman and they beat me. It was a bad beating. I was actually fortunate that they didn’t realize what I was. They only thought I was a sick pervert hurting a whore. The first man to hit me got me in the mouth. They thought the blood on my face was mine when she ran off. They hit me, kicked me, one of them had a piece of wood they found in the alley. That really scared me but he only beat me with it.”
“That woman was my last real feeding. Ever since then things have been different for me. You asked what it’s like to be dead. I’ll tell you. It has its advantages but there are some pretty big drawbacks also. You see, we don’t heal like the living. We don’t even heal like the stories tell. Sure I can survive just about any cut or puncture and that whole wood thing only works if the person knows to stick it through the heart and leave the wood in place. Broken bones are pretty easy, I can mend from a broken arm while sleeping a single day. But we can’t regenerate missing limbs. You cut an arm completely off and I’ll survive, but I’m not growing another arm.”
“The same goes for teeth. In my case, fangs. You see when they beat me in that alley almost three hundred years ago they knocked out my fangs. That’s when being dead stopped being fun for me. Most people think of our fangs the way animals have fangs. Not so. Animals use their fangs to grab and tear at their prey. We don’t. You see a vampire’s fangs are actually hollow. It’s a type of straw. We don’t swallow blood, we suck it into the fangs which puts the blood directly into our bloodstream.”
“Feeding has been a chore ever since. I had to actually invent the idea of a straw and back then there was no plastic. The first ones I made were hollowed out ivory. The idea didn’t catch on until 1888, but I’m the one that invented the straw.”
The vampire pulled out a bag of blood labeled B positive from the inner pocket of his coat. Reaching into one of his other pockets he pulled out two little plastic wrapped straws. The kind that come with a package of Capri Sun. He opened them and shoved the blunt ends into the empty sockets where his fangs belonged. Then I watched in fascination as he used the sharp ends of the straw to pierce through the bags of blood and started drinking.
You probably won’t believe any of this interview. There is no such thing as vampires. And we all know those straws can’t even puncture the spot designed for them on a pouch of Capri Sun. Keep thinking that, it’s better that way.Follow @Andrew_Heister