There Aren't Vampires in Real Life
“Crap,” Lauryl mumbled as she felt her way into her dark apartment. Once again, she had forgotten to leave a light on before she had left for rehearsal and class this morning. Now, at quarter after nine, her apartment was dark. She tripped into the kitchen and stubbed her already- battered toes on the miscellaneous clutter on the floor. The clock on the microwave gave off enough turquoise light for her to find the light switch and turn it on. She piled her coat and bag on the counter, and checked her cell phone again.
Only a message from Anthony. Eamon had not called.
It had been a week since she’d heard from Eamon or seen him around the studio. Maybe he was out of town. She kicked off her shoes and tossed the cellphone and the mail onto the sofa. I shouldn’t have slept with him, she thought as she flopped down. She tried to read the mail but her concentration was short lived. A horrible but short-lived wave of guilt washed over her about Anthony. It was replaced by anger at Eamon. No matter where he was, he could have called. She was sure he found the time to call Jennifer. She brushed the mail off her lap onto floor and stood up.
The day’s rehearsal and classes drained her. Her shoulders drooped. All week long, she was drowsy and sluggish, and the smallest activity left her sweaty and winded. Although, she would get a peculiar second wind in the evenings, sometimes rehearsing alone until ten or eleven. Lauryl rolled her neck and massaged the knotted and tense muscles. It was the kind of tension that a hot shower and Icy Hot couldn’t relieve.
“You’re getting old, Mellis.” She sighed and walked into her bedroom. Maybe her
career wasn’t going to be as long as she thought. Even Antonina noticed her sluggishness.
Every dancer’s body lasted different lengths of time, the old woman had told her in class.
With her coke habit, she had knocked a few years off. At the rate she had been snorting, there was no way that it couldn't have affected her. She frowned, rolled down her leotard and examined her upper body in the mirror. A reflection never lied. Everything appeared fine. Her slim shoulders possessed the perfect amount of muscle and her back was still strong. The muscles between her shoulder blades rippled when she turned in the mirror.
The mysterious fatigue also left her moody. She had snapped at Todd, who proceeded to tell her that she was leaving the interesting category and heading over to the bitch category.
She stuck her tongue out at her reflection and sighed.
“You’re earlier than usual tonight,” a voice said from behind her.
The voice sent an icy blast down her spine. She remained motionless. At first, she
didn’t turn around because no one was reflected in the mirror. The room was empty.
However, after a few seconds, her awareness increased. She could feel whoever it was as if
they were leaning against her. Her eyes darted around the room’s reflection before she turned.
Eamon was standing an arm’s length from her.
“I’m surprised that you’re home so early.”
She gulped down her scream before she turned to the mirror and then back to him. Lauryl touched his arm to confirm that he was not a hallucination. She pinched the sleeve of his suit jacket and rolled the wool fabric between her fingers. Without a doubt, he was standing there. There was no way she could imagine that smug look on his face. How could he not have a reflection? She stepped to the side, hoping she was blocking it.
“I don’t have a reflection, Lauryl. I haven’t had one for quite some time now.”
The overwhelming dryness in her throat kept her silent for a moment. “What are you doing here?” she finally managed to say.
“Why don’t you sit down?” he suggested and pointed to her bed. She remained frozen, though, staring at the mirror. “Forget the mirror.”
“Wh... what are you?” she stammered.
Eamon put his hands in his pockets and smiled. “I’m a vampire.”
A what? Was that supposed to be some sort of joke? Nervous laughter bubbled out of her. He walked up next to her and placed his hand on the glass. The only reflection was hers.
“O-o-kay,” she said. “Any time now I'm either going to wake up or whatever and things are going to be normal. I mean...there’s no way this--”
Eamon cut her off by lifting her hand and placing it on his chest. “I’m real, Lauryl. This is real. It’s not a dream or a hallucination.”
Lauryl’s knees buckled under her and Eamon caught her by the arm. “There aren’t
vampires in real life.”
Eamon raised his eyebrows. “Tell me how I can prove it to you.” His grip tightened painfully on her arm before he let her go.
“I don’t know! I’m so scared that I can’t think!” Tears dropped down her cheeks as she rubbed the red finger marks on her arm.
He offered his handkerchief but she refused it. Instead she wiped her tears with the back of her hand like a child. “My theatrical entrance was the wrong approach. I haven’t done that in a long time and I had no idea it would frighten you so.” Eamon stepped closer to her and she took a step away. He chuckled. “Lauryl, I’ve wanted you for quite some time now.”
Lauryl’s eyes widened. “For what?”
“For me.” He smiled and the tips of his sharp incisors were revealed.
“Oh my God,” she breathed. Her hands clamped over her neck.
“That won’t help. I’ve taken your blood before. Tonight, I’ll complete the transformation.”
“Are you freaking kidding?”
“Do you want to grow old? You dread the possibility of it.” He turned her back toward the mirror. “See how beautiful you are? You’ll stay like this forever.”
Lauryl stared at her reflection. Her face was splotchy from crying and her hair hung
over one of her eyes. Why did he think this was beautiful? Her chest rose and fell like a piston with each shallow breath she took and her heart pounded. When Eamon laced his arms around her waist, her breathing regulated and her heart slowed to a thump of curiosity, instead of fear. Now accustomed to his absent reflection, the sensation of his presence, both physical and emotional soothed her. She rested her hands on his and leaned into him. As her back melted into his chest, she closed her eyes and concentrated on the queer sense of safety she now enjoyed.
He lowered his mouth to her ear. “Beautiful,” he whispered.
She tilted her head back and his lips brushed against her neck. Her eyes popped open. “No!”
“Why are you fighting me?” His mouth hovered just above her neck. Tiny beads of perspiration appeared on her skin.
“Why do you want me? You hardly even know me.” She pulled away from him.
Eamon stared down at her. His eyes followed the graceful line from the small of her back, to her shoulders and finally to her neck. “Lauryl.” He waited a few seconds before he reached for her again. He placed his hands on her shoulders and with the slightest pressure, they relaxed. “Let me make your life better.”
The warm, almost palpable sound of his voice caused her to crane her neck to him. It erased any fears or doubts or resistance. “Better?”
“Life doesn’t have to be hard. No more living day-to-day, worrying about who’s going to bring up your past. No more dealing with people you can’t stand for their phoniness or superior attitude. You’ll be above all that.”
She turned around to him. What he said sounded perfect but she knew that it came at a cost. She also knew that she could. She didn’t know exactly what that cost was, but she suspected that it would be high. But even that didn’t make her say no. She didn’t want to say no. Everything he said was what she wanted and that attraction to him was back. Defeat poured over her as she looked up at him. Her hand balled up into a fist and she gave his chest a feeble smack. That was the only resistance she could show to what he offered. Eamon didn’t move. He just waited.
“I don’t want to say yes but I can’t say no,” she managed to say.
“Shh.” He brushed the hair from her neck and kissed her cheek.
More tears slid down her face but the sadness vanished when he kissed her neck. The touch of his lips quelled any rising anxiety. His hands on her low back were strong as
they held her. A sigh arrested in her chest as the sudden and brief pain of his teeth piercing her skin rocketed through her body. She cried out and grabbed his shoulder to steady herself.
“No!” she whispered.
Eamon covered her mouth with his finger.
As much as she meant no, her body said yes. Instead of trying to get away from him, she molded her body to his. She continued to push her thin body against his, grabbing at the nape of his neck. Her hands dropped down to her sides as a tingling and buzzing crept up her arms. The sharp pain she experienced at first was long gone and she only felt the slight pressure of his mouth on her neck. Between her rapid breaths, she could hear the muffled swallowing sounds from Eamon as he drained her blood. For an eternity, she felt like she belonged to him.
Soon though, those feelings vanished and her consciousness drifted further and further away. A roar like ocean waves grew louder in her ears. The room spun and blurred around her but the wonderful sense of vertigo disappeared. She tried to focus on Eamon so she could beg him to make the morphine-like sensations of her dying body continue. Lauryl tried to reach up to his face, but her hand fell away.
Eamon yanked his sleeve up and bit into his inner wrist where his radial artery now
hummed with her blood. Blood oozed rhythmically out of the bite. He shoved his wrist
against her mouth. “Drink right now, darling.”
Her eyes rolled back in her head but she managed to close her lips around the perfusing wound. After the first swallow, she placed her hand on his arm as the blood continued to pour into her mouth. It was unlike anything she had ever known. It was serenity, power, sex, and life all swirled together in one fluid. Her mind swirled as the blood flowed through her body. The solid, grounded feeling she had always known disappeared and lighter-than-air feeling replaced it. Her mind told her she was floating as she drank. Then he removed his wrist from her lips.
Eamon touched the back of her head and smoothed her auburn hair. Enough, he
whispered in her mind. Lauryl stared at him, puzzled over why he was taking the magical feeling away. Her brain filled with static and she stumbled over her thoughts.
His brown eyes locked with hers. “You’re now part of me. My blood flows in your veins and you’ll feel me just as I’ll feel you. You’ll hear me just as I’ll hear you. We’re connected forever." Eamon kissed her lips gently.
The serious expression on his face puzzled Lauryl even further. She thought he said something but couldn't be certain. Her eyes followed his sensuous lips as they moved but she didn’t hear anything. All she could think about was the magical liquid she had been gulping. It was so...she couldn't even begin to describe it with words. Now even that couldn't help her fight the overwhelming sleepiness that washed over her. Exhaustion and achiness crept around her body and a chill passed over her. Lauryl blinked a few more times and closed her eyes.
Eamon embraced her and licked the last drops of her blood from the rapidly healing bite on her neck. Her frame slumped in his arms as she became unconscious. Her body would now begin to multiply his blood cells in her veins and she would stay in the near death state while her body made the excruciating transformation from mortal human to vampire. He stared down at her limp body and laughed. She’d been so frightened that she never rolled up her leotard.