Lewis Aleman

The Anti-Vampire Tale

The first book in the Anti-Vampire series

There are such beings as vampires, some of us have evidence that they exist. Even had we not the proof of our own unhappy experience, the teachings and the records of the past give proof enough for sane peoples.

–Bram Stoker, Dracula, 1897

Chapter I

Regarding Vampires

I sit at the bar pondering the lust to rip flesh apart but not the heart to dive into it. I’ve deprived myself of its incomparable sweetness for the better part of five decades, but my body grows weary and my resolve is reduced to mere gossamer. The temptation consumes like nothing else.

The last time I lost control, it resulted in the death of the most beautiful face ever prematurely veiled. Either I’ve denied myself for so long to spare any other tender girl the same fate, or perhaps I haven’t been looking out for anyone but myself and simply haven’t seen another face that can compare to her memory, a face that could make me believe I’m more than I am, a beast full of never-ending bloodlust.

The reason why I’ve kept my yearning fangs out of young, taut female necks matters little. The end result is the same—I am tired of fighting and feel deader than those that are allowed to rest in afterlife. If I can’t have peace, then I’ll embrace the distraction of temptation—to give in and plant the sharp kiss that my body aches for into some pretty thing.

I sit in a mostly empty bar on Decatur, a place for people avoiding the Quarter crowd. The wooden planks on the walls are aged, and much like me, they no longer have the strength they once had. Nearby it’s very different. The clamor just down the street beckons me. The pounding of the hot, crowded dancing pulses through me. All that I’ve avoided and craved drinks, dances, and flirts within my reach. I can almost taste it in the air floating down this infamous street to me.

Adding to my frustrations, the world misunderstands us vampires. Few believe we exist. Those that do believe have such strange notions of what we are.

The most absurd notion is that a bitten human will turn into a vampire. It’s biologically ridiculous. You are a human because you have human DNA. Vamps have their own cursed genes. A vamp can no easier change your DNA into that of a bloodsucker than your dog could bite your ankles and make you chase cars, roll over, and become fixated with sniffing other canine rumps. A bite can only transfer saliva and blood. Drinking a giraffe’s blood or saliva can’t mystically make you 15 feet tall with a long, spotted neck. Neither can vamp blood turn you into one of us. There is no magic substance to make you into another being.

The only thing you’ll turn into from a vampire biting your neck is, if he or she indulges for a moment too long, a dead human.

Secondly, vampires are not regal and elegant. Blood junkies are dirty addicts. When was the last time you saw a junkie who spoke like a prince and was as well-groomed as a movie star? I’m not talking about one who dabbles with a bad habit, but one who is a complete slave to it. A vamp’s whole life is directed toward getting that next fix of blood—manners are not important. Vamps no more wear puffy, ruffled poet’s shirts, speak with British accents, or use fancy erudite words than would a homeless addict living under a bridge.

Thirdly, you can kill a vampire.

A stake through the heart or a silver bullet is going to hurt a vamp, but neither will kill it. However, doing those things to a vampire will likely guarantee that the enraged blood freak will not sleep or rest until he can return the painful favor to you.

Likewise, sunlight is only going to annoy a creature who has been prowling all night and is probably hung-over. No different than a human who has been out all night partying. Despite the myth, there is no logical way for the sun to make a vamp burst into flames.

The reason why vamps are hard to kill is they can heal. Beyond anything humans have ever seen, vamps can heal from nearly any wound.

While making us horribly sick for a short while, disease and infections are eradicated by our super-driven immune system. There is no single disease ever known to kill a vampire. I think the demands of our hyperactive immune systems and healing abilities are what drive us to drink fresh blood to sustain them. These processes are exhausting on the body, and require unnatural fuel to keep them going. No one knows if it’s why we crave blood, but it makes sense to me.

A vampire can be killed if the healing factor is cut off. Burning a vamp won’t kill him, although it would be excruciating. We seem to feel pain as much as humans, but it doesn’t kill us. However, burning a vampire to nothing but ashes will terminate him forever.

There is a legend, centuries old, of a vamp being reborn after his head was cut clean off. The story claims the head was placed back on the body for burial, and while in the ground, it slowly came back to life, clawed its way out of its coffin, and attacked the townspeople with relentless hatred. No one is old enough to have witnessed it to prove it’s true, but most believe if the head had been destroyed, there would have been no chance at recovery.

Basically, if blood is left around the injury, it will heal. Drain or burn up the blood, and you’ve drained the vamp’s life.

In the case of beheading, it seems to me that without a head there is nothing to control the healed body, and it will eventually die.

No one I know has seen a beheading, at least not a vampire beheading. We’ve learned to only expose ourselves to unreliable witnesses. That’s why we cling to places like New Orleans and its lively Quarter. No one believes the testimony of someone who drinks themselves into a stupor and then claims the next day to have encountered a vampire. Most times they don’t even believe their own memory of it, blaming the alcohol or whatever else they consumed the night before.

We stick to the clubs and bars. There are artsy neighborhoods with bohemian residents who would also make easy prey and are not likely to be noticed by many if they go missing. But their dislike of regular baths makes them quite untasty targets. And their particular mix of unwashed stink and patchouli is highly unpleasant to our heightened senses. However, the polished party people are usually clean, delightfully hot from dancing, and easily willing to be lured away by an attractive vamp.

Speaking of the desirables, the sounds of their partying reach my eardrums, and my body rages.

I step outside the bar, walking toward the sounds of the revelry, and the night air rushes into me, awakening feelings that I’ve kept buried for so long. The wind breezes over my body, lifting my black hair off my shoulders. I’d swear the wind hasn’t blown like this in half a century, but I know I just chose not to feel it, thinking it was wrong for me to enjoy it without her. Now the wind feels charged, tickling my bare arms, as if the earth were sending all of its energy right here, right now for something important to begin.

The sky seems as electric as I feel—the moon a lit reminder of the unchained wildness of the evening. Some deem the moonlight to be romantic, but this city of masks, drinks, and desires has no idea what infection is now spreading through its veins.

Chapter II

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