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One Mortal Soul

"In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I command you to leave this place!"

Catholics. I hate Catholics.

Don't get me wrong, I really do try to be an understanding guy, but when it comes to me and religious nuts, well, we just don't mix. I don't have a special grudge against Catholics or anything, I hate all Christians. And Jews. And Muslims too. You name 'em, I hate 'em.

It's just that Catholics are especially annoying. They've always got their little crucifixes hanging around their necks, just waiting to whip them out and shove them in people's faces.

I ducked as a piece of the body of Christ came whizzing my way.

"Fiend of the night, God has revealed thine plans to me, and thy presence the Lord shall not suffer another second. Return to the depths of hell from whence you came!"

Another disk shaped piece of the host spun by my face.

This guy was really beginning to piss me off. Not only was he throwing things at me, he was insulting me. And now to top it off, he had taken up one of those fake-religious-holier-than-thou accents.

What an asshole.

Worst of all, he was right.

I don't come from hell, but I have to admit that my intentions in coming there were not exactly noble. It's just that a guy can't get a decent meal without a fight anymore. It's not my fault that I have to kill to live.

You know, people are way too concerned with their immortal souls. It's the religion factor again. All their holy men tell them that they'll suffer forever if they don't live a good life and die a good death. If anyone would have ever stopped to talk to me, I could have told them that I actually lead a fairly happy life, with the exception of situations like the present. But no, they get one look at my fangs and they go apeshit.

"Die you vile fiend!"

The priest was getting tiring. This time, when he hurled yet another holy wafer at me, I didn't bother to dodge. Instead I caught it, popped it in my mouth, and swallowed.

It hurt like hell, but I had to make a point. It takes a hell of a lot more than a piece of bland bread to kill a vampire. Talk about a bad case of heartburn, though. It was even worse than the time when I found that guy outside of Harvey's Pizza on garlic night.

After downing the Host, I belched a small jet of flame and shook out my fingers, which were burning where they had come in contact with it.

The effect of my actions was even greater on the priest, which was what I had hoped. I've never seen a priest's handbook to vampire hunting, but I'd suspect that somewhere in there it said that I just wasn't supposed to be able to do that. He stood, flabbergasted, as I, still slightly smoking, sprinted past him and out the nearest window.

What a night. And it had started off so well...

Being a vampire ain't all it's cracked up to be. You've got to watch out for so many things. Sunlight, garlic, all kinds of holy crap and most of all, sharp wooden objects. I had a pal once who offed himself with a pencil. Funny stuff, wood, it just wants to slide right in.

Vampirism does have its perks, though. I don't age, I don't have to worry about death, and best of all, the hottest chicks are mine for the taking. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sexist or anything. It's a proven fact - the better they look, the better they taste. Of course we vampires can't go around killing all the world's most beautiful women, because eventually the supply would run out. And then where would we be? No, we just save them for special occasions.

It's funny how upset people get about us drinking blood. They don't realize that we're doing them a favor. Very few people actually become a vampire if they're bitten. And I've seen the afterlife - if only for a short time, and it ain't a bad place. Not much better than some Saturday nights I had back when I was younger, but it was still pretty nice. Me, when I die, that's it. Game over. That's why most of us vampires don't go for a walk in the daytime. This is our last chance for a few kicks.

Tonight I had everything planned out. I had a date, if you could call it that, with Stephanie. She's one of the hottest pieces of ass I've ever met, and believe me, I've met quite a few in my years. I took her out to a nice restaurant first, and then I really turned on the charm. Maybe it wasn't exactly sporting of me, since humans can't resist us (another one of the perks). But hey, she gave in, and that's what counts. Or she would have, if she hadn't insisted on stopping by her father's first.

How was I supposed to know she meant "father" in the Catholic sense?

Off the record, there's only one problem with all the stupid religious stuff that people believe; it happens to be true, to an extent. I walk into this house and next thing I know the guy is pitching the Catholic version of Vanilla Wafers at me. Is it any wonder I hate religious types?

The rest of the story you already know. I decided to beat feet back to my apartment. I'd had enough fun for one night, and the holy cookie had ruined my appetite anyway.

I spent the next few hours watching reruns. That's another problem with being a vampire. Unless you have a vcr, you miss most of the good shows. Finally I got tired enough to go to sleep. I checked all of my curtains to make sure they were closed tightly and then slid into bed. All that stuff about sleeping in coffins is nonsense. I prefer a waterbed to rotting boards any day of the week.

I woke up several hours later, wondering why it was still light outside. Then I noticed the priest from the night before. I couldn't believe the wacko had followed me home. I was about to show the jerk why he shouldn't mess with vampires when he stuck me.

He did a damn good job of it, too. The rod was four feet long and sharpened to a very fine point. I know this because I felt that point go all the way through my body and stick in the bed beneath me.

It must have been a closet rod at one point. I could see the scratches where hangers had been not so long before. The asshole was creative.

And strong. I tried to take out the makeshift stake, but he kept pulling my suddenly limp hands away from it.

It hurt like a bitch. And I thought eating the wafer had been bad. I could feel it in places that had been numb since my death.

But as my blood (we have blood, you know, we just like the taste, too) sprayed all over the room, the nut backed off, thinking I was finished. But it takes more than that to kill a vampire. Off the record, though, it doesn't take that much more.

I sat up and managed (barely) to pull out the stake, if you can call it that. Then I stood and showed the bastard what happens when you fuck with a vampire like me.

Basically, I puked all over him. Then I turned tail and ran. Look, I know when my rights have been infringed, but I could barely see straight. And my chest still burned like hell.

I ran downstairs to the basement and locked myself in the bathroom 'til nightfall. While I waited, I tended to the fucking hole in my chest and nursed a bottle of blood that I had put aside for an occasion like this.

After all these years I still can't believe the reactions some people have to vampires. If I suck a chick's blood or break a guy's neck, I'm doing them a favor. They get to go party for the rest of eternity.

On the other hand, I could have been killed. Lost to the universe. Never to nuzzle another young, sweet jugular again.

And humans worry about their immortal souls.

***

I realize that I probably haven't given you best impression of myself so far, but I was in a pretty tight spot back there, and someone trying to kill me never brings out my best side. I'm sure you understand.

Still, there are some things I need to explain.

I didn't choose to become a vampire, not really. I was seeing this chick, Candace, a few years ago. She was a real cutie, very energetic. It was a pretty informal thing, so when she took a weekend off for a vacation and didn't invite me, I wasn't too hurt by that. But the next time we get together, I find myself pinned to the bed, with fangs at my throat and red-fucking-glowing eyes staring in my face. The bitch tells me that she's gonna kill me, no matter what, but since she liked me before, she'll make me a vampire if I want. Now I'm thinkin', if I have some chance at living, I've gotta take it. I really wasn't ready to start feeding the worms, too. I just wish she'd told me about the afterlife. Damn.

Well, in any case, I say yes, I want to be a vampire rather than dead, and so she makes me a vampire. This is important: vampires have to be made, they don't just happen. So I know that when I send off some poor chick's soul, they're not gonna come back to haunt me, or anyone else. But now I've become a vampire. I sure as hell didn't enjoy it at the time, but I'd like to think that I've adjusted pretty well to my new situation.

One other thing. I have to drink blood. I die without it. And I've already explained to you what dead means for me. Don't think I don't feel a little remorse when I drain someone, because I do. But I'm not ready to die yet, so I gotta keep doing it. It's almost like self-defense. At least they get to experience the afterlife. That's something I don't get the chance to do. You may ask, what if they go to hell? What if I'm draining them before they get a chance to save their souls? Well, honestly, I just don't know. But to keep myself away from that dilemma, I try to find the nicest, purest, most saintly people I can get in this far-from-saintly world, and I take them. I know they'll be okay, after the first minute or two. I usually apologize about that, too.

Besides, it's not like I'm the scourge of the living. I don't need blood that often, maybe once every two or three weeks. But once I start, I gotta drain 'em dry. I've tried to just take a little, but it doesn't work. Why? You ever try to stop an orgasm, half way through? You wouldn't want to, you can't anyway, and for vampires it's ten times worse.

So I deal with it. The situation sucks, no pun intended, but I try to have fun and don't let the serious stuff get to me if I can help it. It makes un-life bearable. Well, more than bearable, actually. I'm a very passionate man, and my situation's made me something of a hedonist. You've gotta do something with your spare time. I just try to do as much as possible. It makes my memoirs interesting. You're reading the first volume right now. Why am I publishing my memoirs? Well, vampire stories seem to be a big thing right now, so I figure I can get away with spilling my guts on paper without anyone really believing it. Besides, hedonism takes money. Sure, I know I could get all the money I want from the people I drain, but I'm not a fucking thief. Their relatives deserve to at least get the full amount left to them in their wills.



(Sorry it trails off here, that's all I've got. Want to read more? Hate it? Laugh your ass off? Let me know. Most likely this will be the starting point for my second novel, after I complete Major Dilemmas.)

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