I’m waking up but I can’t see a thing. I sit up and hit my head hard right away. I’m inside something!
I kick and scream and push up and a lid flies open.
I jump up. I’m in a small room. Another trap? I go to the door but it won’t open. There are no windows. There is a sky dome where stars can be seen in a night sky above. A full Moon is rising. I turn to look back at the box I popped out of. Not a box…
It’s strange waking up at night. Even stranger when you’re inside a goddamned coffin. Did somebody think I was dead?
Why am I so…restless? I’m surging with something. Is my blood pressure going nuts? I have to get out of this room!
I pound on the door. I scream my demands. No one responds. I look up at the sky through the glass. I want to be up there! I want to be up there and smash through to get out of here! I want to… !
…And I do! Seconds later I’ve broken through the window and I’m hovering over a big city, glittering and streaming with lights. I was being kept on the top story of a very tall building in a city of very, very tall buildings. How did I get up here?
I’m handling the surprise well only because I just got through a couple of days when I was Superman and had to fly a lot. Only now I notice I’m flapping.
My senses are reeling with disorientation. I can’t see very well at all. Everything is really fuzzy. But if I’m flying I have to land! Instinctively I call out for help. My voice is not human. It’s a shriek. It comes back at my hearing giving me a clear depth impression of everything in my path, completely overriding my sense of sight. I’m a damned bat!
I don’t want to be a bat. I go down for a landing. This is bad. I hit pavement but notice that I suddenly have feet. Not pretty feet, not with these claw-nails on the tips of the toes, but not bat-feet either. What the hell have I become?
A vampire? Jesus! I mean – really? Then I think of blood. I salivate. Crusty, rotting salivary glands secrete at the thought of sucking a hot neck with a throbbing artery. Such an urgency swells in me that I have no patience for seeking explanations. The why of a world no longer interests me. Every day is about one thing. Survival.
It makes sense, I reason, as I glance about for the most likely sacrifice, that an Earth would exist where vampires are real. Why not? Is it really possible to imagine anything that’s beyond realization?
It appears that on this Earth as on my own, the popularity of monster tales has never reached a higher pitch, and there are plenty of good citizens who dress up and pretend to be monsters for style and fun. Great liberties taken with ancient legends have turned cold, barbaric, grotesque predators into misunderstood fictional antiheroes portrayed in drama by handsome and beautiful young puppets.
An actual blood drinker hunting by night will never be taken for just another party-goer; unless it’s me. I’m very good at pretending by now. And there’s just the party I’m looking for…
All on the elegant rooftop are in costume. The regalia covers all genres, thus my unusual appearance raises no alarm.
Then she draws my attention. Her long, thin, undisguised neck actually pulses, the delicious liquid inside beckoning me unmercifully. I must have that. I will have it.
Ironically, when I lure her into the shadows of the rooftop air conditioning units, I can hear the lyrics of the song from the party:
A stinking rot came forth on the midnight gale
That stench had kept a moldy sleep in hollow log by day
With maggot beard and skin dying to peel away
Foul disease eternal unease, cursed veil…
I finish with the girl, drop her limp body and wipe my mouth with my sleeves. She was beautiful, wasn’t she? I wonder if she’ll be missed? Like the aftermath of an orgasm, I wonder why I was quite so frenzied to get there, or in this case to kill her?
I’m knocked off the roof by a hairy tackler.
We plunge and tumble through air until I suddenly start flapping again and take flight.
The – werewolf? – continues to fall.
The creature lands awkwardly but makes a quick recovery to two feet. It looks up at me and waves me down. Does it want to “talk?”
As the Moon dips behind the horizon the werewolf changes into a man who calls himself Geog Lon. Only because my hunger is satiated can I reasonably listen to his human babbling once we go back to the building where I was kept.
“Every other night of the month I watch over the locked room where rests the body of my former assistant, you,” Lon tells me. “In spare moments I scour the judgment scrolls for profiles of deviants and criminals deserving of a cruel end. By night I lead you to them. That’s how we satisfy your hunger. Randomly innocent victims will lead to our downfall.”
When bio-alchemist Geog Lon took up research on minuscule bodies that would aid in transformation of elements, he accidentally stumbled upon well-preserved fossils of long-extinct prokaryotes.
His mistake was in resurrecting two types of the minuscule bodies discovered. Both reacted to photons from the Sun.
One prokaryote could only activate when solar photons were mostly absent and would die in their presence; the other could live only in the powerful reflection of solar photons, otherwise lying dormant. One alive by the brightest night, the other by every night.
The vicious symbiosis between those species and we two humans became manifest when a storm destroyed the lab contaminating us.
The reality of the situation is grim, for every night I emerge from hiding, starving for human blood.
Lon tells me I’m irresistibly mesmerizing when staring into one’s eyes, that I have the strength of two men, that I have no sensation of pain, and that I draw energy from human blood consumption.
Essentially I’m a vampire created by experimentation gone wrong.
Victimized by yet another mad scientist.