Saturday, 25 March 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire- Part 12

The doctor immediately leaped down from his chair and rushed to my side, placing a comforting arm around my shoulders. Donnie - predictably - started crying too.

"This is all my fault! MINE! I am a monster! A failure as a human, a failure as a vampire..." His weeping was not pretty. A bubble of snot expanded from his left nostril, even as a dribble of saliva meandered down towards his receeding chin.

The doctor threw him a sharp look. "This is not about you! This is about Greta. Control yourself."

Donnie continued his snivelly blubbering, but in silence.

The doctor pulled out a large handkerchief and wiped gently at my cheeks. "My dear Greta, you are still in shock. It has been too much for you." He continued to soothe me "As difficult and dark as things may seem right now, soon you will adapt, and before long you will see there is much good in this new life of yours."

"I...I can't do it! I can't BLEED people..."

"Well...You know...You can do anything you really NEED to do. You are a strong and intelligent woman. And you're not a Vegan, are you?"

A burst of laughter exploded through my tears. "NO! But Sheila is... So it's just as well Donnie made his mistake!"

Alphonse laughed too. "Yes indeed! Another Vegan Vampire is more than I could bear in a hundred lifetimes!"

I raised my head. "There is a Vegan Vampire?"

He sighed. "Oh yes...And a Satanist...I don't know which of them give me the most trouble."

I twisted his hanky between my hands. "I'm so sorry, but I just feel so lost. And incompetent. I can't imagine how I will survive, or face this alone."

"You won't. I will help you in any way I can - and Greta, you will be joining a support group and a sponsor will be assigned to you. Long lost are the days when a vampire was expected to dig his or her own way out of the grave and find their way in this world alone."

"I'll be here for you, Greta, I'll help and support you as I would my own mother - may she rest in peace." Donnie's contribution was well meant but hardly reassuring.

After all, he hardly seemed the soul of self-reliance and competence himself. He probably had trouble tying his own shoe-laces. I could imagine a near future in which I would be looking after blundering Donnie, rather then enjoying his support and protection.

"Doctor, could we continue this another day? I am exhausted, and my daughter needs me. Also, I have a body to explain, and a funeral to arrange."

"Of course, Greta." He extended a card with a hand-written cell-number. "My personal number. Call when-ever you need help or advice." He smiled, "And I'd love you to call when you don't need anything at all..."


Friday, 24 March 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire- Part 11

I smiled back at this odd man. "Please, what am I now? What can I expect? Donnie said you believed this is a virus?" I shuddered, "Like Ebola? Will I be putting my daughter at risk?"

The doctor grinned: "Only if you fail to acquire the necessary discipline and snack on her. Which - by the way - is considered bad form!"

I remembered Frank and smiled wanly - "Indeed...Very rude..."

"The first thing to remember is that you are NOT evil. Who you are has not changed, you are not a minion of the Devil. You have a symbiotic relationship with a very unusual and complex virus. A virus that brings substantial benefits in exchange for a little blood."

"Donnie said once a week?"

"For optimum maintenance, yes. But if you need to fast you can do so safely for up to a month." he paused, and continued carefully, "But it is not advisable. The hunger becomes uncontrollable and that is when accidents happen."


"Gorging on a donor, and killing the poor thing."

"A donor..." Charming. "There are volunteers? We have access to a blood bank?"

The doctor looked uncomfortable. "Alas no. Blood banks don't work. The symbiont requires the blood straight from the source. As for donors..." He sighed, "I suppose it is an euphemism, though in some outré Clubs there are people cutting each other and drinking the blood. But those are not vampires, and the practise is most unhygienic."

"So how will I feed? Even once a week?"

"We all have a system. Some use strangers they engage in sexual congress; others have regulars they visit - friends or relatives who unknowingly provide sustenance... Every vampire finds a way - as all creatures, we do what we must to survive."

Lovely! I suddenly saw myself trolling for flabby middle-aged men at the corner pub on Saturday nights.

"And the fangs?"

He drew back his upper lip to show some decidedly imposing incisors. "As you see! They take time to grow, though. A few months, so until then it is wise to invest in a high-quality surgical steel broad-bore veterinarian needle to extract your sustenance."

"What? Do you just stick it in their necks?"

"Well, for discretion, I suggest the groin area. There are some major vessels easily accessible in the upper inner thigh, and people don't usually scrutinise their own genitals. A puncture wound in the neck, though traditional, is not recommended."

Better and better! From now on I would be snuffling at groins for arteries and sucking up blood...
Oh joy! Crotch-rot and arse-breath! I suddenly burst into tears.

"I'd rather be dead," I wailed, "Dead, do you hear! Decently, respectfully dead! Dead with dignity, not slavering at crotches for eternity!"


Monday, 20 March 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire Part 10

The camel-faced butler held open a door and gestured us into yet another luxuriously appointed parlour.

Sitting enthroned on a giant green velvet Chesterfield was a man. A very short man whose feet didn't reach the ground but swung merrily ten centimetres over the intricately patterned silk Persian carpet.

"Come in, come in!" He had a round face and a large hawkish nose, a close trimmed beard and sharp, observant -yet kindly eyes.

"Doc!" Cried Donnie, practically running to the man and nearly tripping over his own feet. he bent down to wring his small but masculine hand between his own. The man kissed Donnie on both cheeks and jumped down from his seat.

"My dear Lady, welcome! I am Alphonse Bernette."

"Doctor, Greta Schultz."

"Charming!" He gripped my hand in both of his and beamed up at me. "Lovely!"

I found myself blushing under his approving smile. I cannot remember when a man had looked at me and see Greta. A woman called Greta who was still charming, lovely, desirable.

"Doctor, Donnie has told me all about you. He tell me you will explain all this baffling mystery..."

"Alphonse, please!" He twinkled up at me, "Perhaps even Al. Do sit!" He indicated a chair next to his and clambered up not ungracefully into his own.

"You've just been turned, yes?" I nodded, "And you are confused, frightened, bewildered; but believe me all will be clear and you will soon be enjoying your new life very much indeed!

He leaned forward and tipped me a naughty wink, "And there is so much to enjoy!"


Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire PART 9

Miss Elegance took out a slim dark red leather folder embossed with a gilded crest from a desk-drawer and opened it. She picked up a fountain pen and looked up at me expectantly. "Name?"

"Greta Rosalind Schultz." I replied crisply.

She wrote it down and looked up: "Date of birth and current address?"

"12th December, 1962; Number 4, Darlington Crescent."

"Mmmm..." She looked up at me - "I though you were older..."

"Yes, I have that effect on people..." I replied with my best charming smile.

She looked confused, and ticked a few boxes on the forms. "Education?"

"A levels. Secretarial course..." She hummed again and frowned.

"Right. Ms Schultz, here is what the Vermilion Club does for its members: we will provide you with quarters in the club house of which you may avail yourself whenever you wish - but you cannot bring or receive non-member visitors. You will receive a generous allowance from the club which will be deposited in your bank account monthly (if you have your IBAN with you I will do the transfer now). In short - the Vermilion Club provides material comfort and financial security for all its members."

"That...That's wonderful...But the rates? You know, joining fees, contributions?"

She smirked. "Ms Schultz, the Vermilion Club is richer than many small oil-producing Nations, and we take care of our own. When the time comes for you to change identities in order to hide your longevity, we will provide documents and facilitate the transition. When you wish to retreat temporarily or retire from the world, you may do so. The Crimson Convent provides shelter for the members who become weary of the strife and stress of immortality."

Wonderful. "What are the rules," I asked. "What's the catch?"

"None, really. You may not expose our existence to mortals, let alone to the media. Killing is frowned upon, but since feeding accidents DO happen, you call us and we send in a Cleaning Crew to dispose of the left-overs. You must also attend regular meetings with your peers for group therapy. If you have trouble adjusting, your sponsor will recommend individual treatment. Now - if you will sign the non-disclosure agreement and provide the name of a mortal beneficiary for your Death Benefits Insurance, you can see Dr Bernette straight away for you physical and briefing on health and reproductive issues."

I leaned over the desk and filled in Sheila's name and contacts, then signed at the bottom of the page. I fumbled in my purse and found my banking details and added them on. Throughout all this Donnie had stood still as a statue, stripped of his fidgets by the cool woman behind the desk.

"I'm afraid I didn't catch your name..." I said to her. "The distraction and excitement of the moment..." She hadn't bothered to introduce herself, and she had the grace to look discomfited.

"Deidre Glastonbury." She smiled with practised charm, "My 12th identity, I am one of the founding members of the Club."

12 lifetimes. She was old, very old. I nodded as if it was all quite normal. "Why you don't look a day over 40!" I exclaimed.

She drew herself up: "I was 32 when I was turned." She raised an elegant bejewelled hand to her silver hair and patted it. "I am now preparing to move on to my 13th."

"Oh! Of course!" I nodded knowingly and kicked out at Donnie's skinny shanks. "So, Donnie, shall we leave Ms Glastonbury to her duties and go see the doctor?"

"Excellent"" Ms Glastonbury nodded relieved approval. "Here are your forms and your contacts. This is the Emergency Number for 24/7 service and rescue. I hope you will enjoy immortality as much as I have, Ms Schultz."

We walked out of her office and back into the hushed cathedral-like hall. "The doc is this way," Donnie said, "He's a nice man - a scientist and he's been studying our condition for centuries. He will explain everything so much better than I ever could!"

"Our condition...Being a Vampire is a condition?"

"Oh yes. Quite a complex symbiosis with a virus that Doctor B says originally evolved from an Ebola-type Hemorrhagic Fever many hundreds of thousands of years ago."

"Ebola?" I practically shrieked, "You gave me a deadly contagious disease?"

Donnie looked scandalised. "It's not contagious, or there would be millions of Vampires, you know. It's infectious. I injected the virus when I bit you. We have to infect someone deliberately. That is why we have fangs..."


Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire PART 8

So here I was driving down-town at dawn in a canary-yellow Porsche driven by a gawky Vampire... I cringed down in my seat.

Donnie was a careful driver, I'll say that for him, and never accelerated over 40 m/ph...

After a long and silent drive (I couldn't think of anything to ask, and he had nothing to say) we pulled over in front of a tall 18th century brick building with a discreet bronze plaque: The Vermilion Club - Members Only.. Right. Okay...

Donnie knocked and the high door was promptly opened by a tall man in a penguin suit.VERY CLASSY!

Inside it was all hushed high ceilings, Persian rugs, polished wood and the deliciously faint aroma of bee's wax, fine Brandy and good cigars. These Vamps sure lived the life! It was the perfect picture of an exclusive Gentleman's Club.

The tall man eyed me with a certain elitist disdain and sniffed.
"A new member, Mr Donald?"

"Ehr...Yes..." Dorky Donald actually looked apologetic! I obviously did not fit in with the Club's image. "This is Mrs Valginsky..."

"Greta, Greta Schultz", I cut in sharply. I was taking back my name, and this new life would be on MY terms."

Donnie led me down the hall into a plush reception where a genteel-looking white-haired lady presided over a gigantic antique walnut desk.

White-haired, but with a very young face - surely no more than 40.
The woman looked me up and down too, then applied a smile to her patrician features.

"Welcome to the Vermilion Club, your new home from home for Eternity!"


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire PART 7

I put on the clothes and a sweater Sheila had left for me. My ID and my purse where in the bedside table drawer along with my phone. I was good to go.

Eager to get me out before the doctor examined my injuries (now healed) Donald sneaked me past the Nurse's station and out through a service corridor that led to the entrance to the Hospital morgue. Day was breaking and except for the squeak of the occasional Hospital staff's orthopaedic footwear and the clatter of surgical steel the area was dead quiet...Which was ironic, since we crossed paths with some funeral-home employees picking up "work" in a long black hearse.

Yep. Life as one of the living dead was sure proving cheery. As the gurney trundled past us, a hand flopped out. A big hand with nicotine stained fingers and burnt oil permanently ingrained under the thick fingernails. I knew that hand. Frank's hand. My stomach turned over. Frank dead and wearing a neat Y incision on his hairy chest.

It must have been a slow night for the M.E, to have sorted him out so quickly. But then again, this town wasn't exactly crime capital of the Western World, so Frank's murder must have been exotic enough to bring some excitement to the pathologist's usual roll of hum-drum deaths by natural causes.

The hearse attendants loaded him on, and I noted the discreet lettering on the back door: Silverman & Stell Lda.

I would have to speak to Sheila about the arrangements I presumed she'd make... SHIT! I suddenly realised my daughter would be in a panic at my sudden departure from the Hospital. I scrounged in my pockets and pulled out my cell. I typed out a quick message: Checked myself out. All good. Meet you at the house later. Love MOM.

There. I followed Donnie out to the parking lot and a shiny low-slung canary-yellow two-seater sports car. OMG! A Vampire in a Tweetie-bird coloured car... This was bad.

Donnie opened the passenger door with a flourish and graciously gestured me in. The interior was pimp-purple and the seats were plush velour. This was even worse. Maybe I could get a ride in the hearse with Frank...


The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire PART 6

I must admit I looked on my "tranformer" with a certain animosity.
I had yet to hear anything about my new state that was to my benefit. Extended life? It sounded like extended misery.

"Any other tit.bit of inaccurate lore you'd like to add to the roll?" I asked.

He looked discomfited. "That sunlight bit is bosh too. In the middle ages pale skin was a sign of aristocracy, high rank....Vampires have always been elitist, I'm afraid. Snobs, to be honest."

"Wonderful!" I exclaimed, as I thrust my bed covers aside and swung my feet onto the ground. I tested my equilibrium. All good. Not dizzy or weak-kneed. In fact, I hadn't felt this good since I was 18 and filled with vim and vinegar.

OK! You didn't LOOK young, but you felt pretty good...

"Now what?" I asked him, "And by the way, what is you name?"

"Donald." He stepped forward and extended one of those pale spidery hands. He had quite a nice smile. Shy and sweet. "Donald Hardfinch."

I suppressed a giggle. Donnie the Vampire... I smiled back and said "Greta, but you know that..."

He looked discomfited and nodded. "Shall we go? I'd like to take you to the Council Office and they open at daybreak. On the way I can show you where the meetings are."


"The V.A. meetings. You have to attend daily in your first month."


"Vampires Anonymous. Our support group."