by Jim Cryns
What do a sex-crazed kleptomaniac, a bipolar suicide risk and an obese drug enforcer have in common? They're all vampires.
Five members of a dysfunctional vampire clan are struck by a terrorist attack which alters their DNA and forces them to confront the unthinkable--their mortality.
“I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become.”
Griffin dreaded the taste of human blood. He said the viscosity reminded him of coppery warm milk; at least that was what he had always told me. Personally, I never did mind the taste; it was part of what we were. His face came alive with tics, twitches, blinks, and an eerie jitterbug of facial moves. Griffin prepared to lead our clan feed, with my permission as alpha. There was a good chance he’d bail on the lead, he often did.
His ritual was a motorized, unconscious series of events, which gave him a feeling of acceptance for what was about to take place, what always took place. It was Griffin’s way of psyching himself up and he was doing it now. I found the practice both amusing and fascinating.
A handsome man, he wore his blonde hair long. His face was angular and he led with his chin, already shadowed by tomorrow’s beard, something he believed gave him an edgy look. I’ve always thought it’s just plain slovenly and made him look insolent.
We’d waited for half an hour, and finally, someone was approaching. The tall guy with white hair looked like a prick--I immediately didn’t like him, which made the feed that much easier, no remorse. He wore a pink Polo shirt and hideous green golf pants, and walked as though the sidewalk belonged to him. We fed on members of the Milwaukee Athletic Club every chance we got. We also fed in any neighborhood regardless of creed, class or color. But this was the type of feed where I was appreciative of the fact he was going to die.
The downside of feeding on wealthy people was the fact they were missed when they disappeared. They held jobs where other people depended on them to oversee the signing of their paychecks. It may be cruel to say it but homeless people were a staple. They brought the least amount of attention. The irony was most homeless people had more integrity than the guys upon which we were about to feed. If I had my way it would be the fat cats that were the chief source of our feeds.
I think it’s important to delineate between a feed and a kill. While we do both it’s important to know there’s a difference. We feed because we have to and that results in our prey dying. We kill on occasion when it protects our identity, or in self-defense. Killing for the sake of killing was frowned upon. That was not to say I hadn’t done it on occasion, but it wasn’t the smartest thing to do.
Most members of the Athletic Club were lawyers, judges, doctors, bankers or CEOs of a company. To us, it didn’t matter. If we could impose a little justice, take out an asshole once in a while that was a bonus. We didn’t discriminate between men or women, we were equal opportunity vampires, but we try to avoid children, then again, that’s not to say on occasion they don’t end up as prey.
Polo-guy stopped to light his cigar and he looked drunk, his knees wobbled. Three friends followed through the revolving door. At least I assumed they were his friends as they were dressed in equally tasteless and dreadful clothing.
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