My profile on our school’s “friendsite,” www.myplace.emma.k12.ut.us, is one of my attempts to convince everyone I’m normal.
Name: Eric Wright
Grade: 9th, Honors Track
School: Patrick Henry Junior and online with Park City Community College.
Favorite Music: Old stuff like the Cars, Queen, and Idlewild. Current stuff like Narcissistic Sarcophiles and Calliope (Hey, she’s hot!). NO country western.
Favorite Movies: Old movies, especially old horror movies: Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee movies, “Wait Until Dark,” “The Haunting of Hill House,” even cheesy ones like “Casper,” “Witches,” and “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.”
Favorite Foods: Italian (heavy on the garlic), Mexican, steak
Favorite Clothes: polo shirts and jeans (kind of preppy, I know)
Places I’ve Lived: Chicago, Boston, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, and Emma
See, I’m just the all-American, boy-next-door type. A nice, normal guy...... Okay, well, not
What the profile doesn’t say is that I also drink mammal blood, don’t have a shadow, and faint in bright sunlight. That’s what happens when you’re a vampire. A half-vampire, actually.
It also doesn’t say that the reason I’ve lived in so many places is because Mom and I move whenever people start treating me like I’m something out of a
Stephen King novel.
A lot of the kids have downloaded their yearbook photos onto their profiles. I downloaded a picture of Indiana Jones. A couple of girls told me that it was funny, so I’m keeping it. They don’t need to know that I don’t show up in photographs. Some of the kids even have blogs on the friendsite. I think that’d be cool, but it wouldn’t exactly help me blend in better with a blog called “True Confessions of an Average Half-Vampire,” so I skip that part of the profile.
It’s not Mom’s fault that I’m a vampire, really. I mean, she was in college when she met my dad, and she knew he was into the whole “gothic” thing: wearing black, eating raw meat, hanging out in all-night coffee shops. He told her he was a vampire, but she thought it was a joke. You know, she was finishing her degree in international business; she was too
educated to believe in silly ghost stories.
My dad apparently wasn’t too thrilled when Mom found out she was pregnant with me, so he stopped dating her and she hasn’t seen him since. It wasn’t until she gradually discovered my weird allergy to bright sunlight and how very sharp my cuspid teeth were when they grew in and that if I didn’t get about eight ounces of mammal blood every week I’d show signs
of malnutrition that she realized my dad hadn’t been living in some fantasy world.
Mom believes in vampires now. She has to; she’s raising one.
This is the prologue.
It's all set up.
It's funny, it's vivid.
Of COURSE I want to read more.
There's a 750 word limit, but the author sent both the prologue and the first chapter.
Here's the first chapter, sans comments.
Mom and I had been living here in the thriving metropolis of Emma (population 2000, except during the deer hunt, when it’s more like 1300) since I was twelve, and it’d been awhile since I’d had human blood.
But last January, things started getting bad again. Maybe it was a puberty thing. You know,
hormones. But the health textbooks don’t cover hormone differences in vampires, and since my dad was out of my life before I was even born I couldn’t exactly ask him, so I wasn’t really sure.
At the semester change, a bunch of new kids transferred into my 1st period class, and that’s when I started to notice. Actually, the first thing I noticed was Alison.
As Alison stood in the front of the classroom, waiting for Ms. Nielson, our English teacher, to assign her a seat, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Her short, brown hair was scooped up into a ponytail, leaving her whole neck uncovered. Her skin was the color of milky coffee, without a single freckle or flaw anywhere. And she had on this black, stretchy choker with little sparkly beads on it. It was so tight on her skin that I could see her pulse beating through it; with each heartbeat, the beads would catch the light. Saliva swirled in my mouth. How was I ever going to concentrate if Nielson put her near me? But what if she sat behind me? Wouldn’t that be --?
There was a poke in my ribs.
“Whoa!” came Scott’s hoarse whisper from behind me, “Check those out! Awesome!”
Scott had noticed sparkling beads? This was not his style. But I just nodded.
“Yeah, amazing,” I whispered back, not turning my head much in case Nielson decided
to look up at me.
“Yup,” Scott added, “Gotta be size double D, at least. Hope Nielson puts her real close to me.”
Beads have sizes? What was he....? Oh. I glanced down a bit from Alison’s neck and figured out what Scott had been talking about. I hadn’t even noticed, but I felt myself turning darker and darker shades of red -- even though Scott had no way of knowing I’d been checking out her neck, for crying out loud. How embarrassing. But it got worse after Ms. Nielson had moved us all into new seats. Alison sat at the back, out of my line of vision, but I now sat behind Tim and kitty-corner from this guy named Michael, which was not a good thing.
The next day, I caught myself staring at the way the tag of Michael’s tee shirt was sticking up instead of down while Nielson was writing notes about the Victorian Era on the white board.
On Wednesday, when I was supposed to be finishing finding all the predicate nominatives on pages 64--65 of Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition, I realized I was wondering what it would be like to touch the shaved-short hairs on the back of Michael’s neck.
Not good. Not good at all. Why was I staring at a guy? Did that mean I was gay? Crap. A gay
vampire. Like I wasn’t different enough already. I shuddered and made myself look at Britni
instead. She smiled and mouthed the words, “I hate grammar,” at me. I felt a little better.
By Friday I was determined to have one normal day. I didn’t look at Michael at all during vocabulary practice. And I didn’t check out any girls’ necks.
Life was fine. Until Ms. Nielson started handing out books.
“As I’m sure you’ve noticed, class,” she said, plopping a large cardboard box down on Britni’s
front-row desk, “we’ve been talking about the Victorian period and the genre of Gothic horror
Nielson began passing out copies of blue-and-white paperback books. “So, I’m sure you’ve
realized that we’d be reading a Gothic horror novel for the mid-term book essay.”
Ah, so that was it! What was the book? Frankenstein would be cool. Yesterday, Nielson was
going on and on about Mary Shelley and her determination to write a more horrible story than any of her friends could. I’d seen a bunch of old movie versions, but I’d never read the book.
“Make sure you initial on the list next to the number of the book you’re checking out,” Ms. Nielson was saying as I grabbed the book that Tim passed to me.
The day instantly got worse.