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Last Blood

Today is the last day that I shall drink human blood. The last day I’ll kill to further prolong my life. It’s already been too long. Obviously, I’m a vampire, not just some human who’s gone too far into goth and come out with a biting habit. Killing people is just what we do. It’s part of the deal: possible immortality and all you have to do is murder someone and drink all their blood, at least once per year. The actual killing stopped being particularly bothersome a hundred years or so ago. At first I and those like me suffered the moral quandary of taking a life to maintain our own, but that’s what we did as humans anyway. Is killing a sentient thing that much worse than having hundreds of non-sentient creatures killed to feed you? Not really. It’s easy enough to make a hollow case that sentience is special, but it plainly isn’t, not when there are billions of equally sentient creatures just like you wandering around. Life isn’t special – literally the one thing that life does as a matter of course is to make more life. “Oh, but their families…” they can get another one, of whatever they’ve lost – and they often do. Adding just one more somewhat unlikely way for a member of a species to die barely touches them on a population level. We’ve all been through phases of trying to minimise our impact, by selecting only from the unwanted, or the criminal. Become an avenging angel, and stay alive as a handy bonus. It’s just dishonest, and frequently unpleasant. Draining a body is a messy business, and is the last thing you want to be doing in some filthy alley. Bathtubs and ceramic tiles are a much better bet. Ultimately, if you want to live you need to kill some of them, and it’s the moments after you kill that are the best, when life takes on that Technicolor glow and brightness. Everything’s moving and dancing and I’m present in the world again. It doesn’t last, of course, and soon the empty fact of just existing returns. The prospect of immortality is exciting – you’ll have time to do everything you’ve ever wanted to. Sure, and what then? Get a job? Why even bother with immortality if you’re just going to be drawn back into the trudging mire of the world? It probably sounds like I’m a little down on vampirism. I’m not – or rather – it’s just the same, except more drawn out. As a human I could go a few days without eating, or without sleeping, or whatever and then I’d need to catch up, fill up, and then be ready to keep on keeping on. As a vampire it’s exactly the same, but those few days have become weeks and months instead. It’s just not that glamourous and exciting – I could be the oldest check-out supervisor in the night shift at the local supermarket or the CEO of some global company but I’ll just have to do it for longer. We still need money, still need a place to live, clothes to wear and something to do. Obviously it was a lot easier to keep accumulating money across a score of human lives when there was less tracking and less paperwork. It’s a hassle now, but enough of venal tax dodges and shell company workarounds exist that can do the same for wealth you inherit from yourself. But it’s a hassle, and I’m tired of it all. Was it really worth staying alive for hundreds of years to finally get a PlayStation 2? Probably. It’s hard to see when you’re living it, but the world is so much better now that it was, so much more interesting and full of things. Seeing that all change has been exciting, but I’ve never felt part of it. We stand to one side, watching the river flow, occasionally snatching out one of the fish streaming past. Yes, people are those fish. Our world is numb and cold except where it intersects with the human world. We can’t escape what we once were, and can never be them again. No wonder we can become aloof murderers, like billionaires living above and beyond the rest of society, effectively unlimited except by having to descend into that society to give their existence meaning. At least they’ll only live a few decades before killing themselves with power yoga plus a ridiculous herbal tonic. So, yes – I’m done, I think. I have, of course, said this to myself before. I’ve gone as long as I can without drinking blood, fourteen months, until everyone I pass in the street looks like a bag of blood and they reek of it. I’m weak as a result, possibly too weak to actually go and kill someone, unless I want to return to gutter-robbing unconscious filth. I’ve managed to avoid that, and I’m not certain I even have the strength to walk around outside and find someone. Instead, I’m holed up here in this penthouse suite with its floor-to-ceiling sunrise-facing windows that open out onto the balcony, the remote for the curtains on the bed next to me. It should be fairly quick, despite the numerous horror stories I’ve heard about the power of sunlight. It’s got to be better than stabbing myself in the heart. I’m so tired, as I might fall asleep without even noticing. Sunrise was at 5.38am, and I’ve been listening to the birds waking up and the outside world coming to life. In a few moments I’ll press the switch . And yet – what’s this? A knock on the door. Oh for fuck’s sake, did I really forget to put the “do not disturb” thing on the door handle! I was so close…

Daily Stories

Daily Stories Project

A new series of very short stories, written very first thing in the morning with no planning or preparation, as an exercise in daily creativity. Unedited and unproofed (sorry!) Enjoy at your peril…

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