The Reluctant Vampire
By R.R. Stark


He only wanted to kill himself, since life sucked, but in the very process, he was rescued then fated and slated to be transformed into a vampire, against his will.
How pathetic was that?

         It was no fun becoming a vampire. Being undead and immortal! That really sucked!
         You see, I was simply minding my own freaking business, trying to commit suicide, jumping off the top of a twenty-story building, you know, when this black-garbed she-vampire swooped up out of nowhere to rescue me -- and bit me on the neck to boot! Sheesh! She didn't even ask me what the hell I was doing in the first place. Although she took me into her humble abode of an efficiency apartment and took care of me while I metamorphosized, it was not much of a consolation prize. But as a meager side benefit, I developed a weird crush on her, Sheila, that is. But I still didn't appreciate being transformed into a pathetic, bloodsucking, undead creature of the freaking night.
         I had always been squeamish at the sight of blood. Now I reluctantly craved it with an ironic passion. Sickening, eh? Plus I was always a day person, loved fun in the sun, like lying on the beach and getting a nice tan, or playing basketball with friends at the park, or riding my motorcycle cross-country in broad daylight. Now all that was gone forever! I gotta put up with the wretched nightlife now. How depressing!
         Now I have to skulk around dark alleys like a sick pervert, pounce on dimwitted numbskulls or damsels in distress, taking their life and sucking them dry of blood. How disgusting! And I had to put up with it! What a curse! I'd kill myself for sure now -- except I was practically invincible and damned to wretched immortality. Well, most things can't kill me, but perhaps I could talk some poor schmuck into plunging a sharp stake in my lifeless heart, hurling me headfirst into nonexistence. Since the undead can't die, total nothingness was the next best thing. But the thought of existing forever in this new form was overwhelming for a fledgling vampire like me, especially since all I wanted to do was simply be dead instead.
          Sheila, who was technically my vamp-mentor, tried to convince me that life -HA! - was good now, that living forever was a blast, that blood was the life-giving elixir of the undead. Yeah, one of those weirdly grim ironies, if not a blatant paradox. To live undead forever - how insane is that? The problem was that I wanted to be irreparably dead. I wanted to be a stinking rotting maggot-infested corpse six feet under. Not a walking dead creature sucking blood like an addict hopelessly hooked to heroine. Always needing a blood fix and never being satisfied really sucked! Blood was my drug, but I hated it! And loved it, like the wretched pathetic perverted sick creature I had become.
         Every time I told Sheila that all I wanted to be was dead as a door nail, she reminded me that being undead was the next best thing. My heart no longer pumped blood, so what more did I want? She thought I was being conceited or something. I told her that I didn't want to be sorta kinda dead and conscious about it, but I wanted to be totally, absolutely, and unequivocally dead and absolutely NOT conscious about it. At that, she acted really hurt, that I had offended her or something. She told me she was doing me a favor by transforming me into such a wonderful immortal creature, that I should truly appreciate such a glorious gift. I told her that I used to think those door-to-door Jehovah's Witnesses who wanted to convert you to their crazy cult were twisted and perverted, but now I realized proselytizing vampires were far worse! To them everybody wanted to become a vampire, no questions asked! I told her that some people actually wanted to die someday, to get out of this miserable freaking world they had been stuck in, especially when nobody asked them if they wanted to be put there in the first freaking place! She said she believed everybody deep down inside wanted to be immortal and thrive on delicious blood. I tried convincing her that she was dead wrong. But she wouldn't listen. She took my reluctance to conform as arrogant defiance, assuming that settling for a short life should be beneath all creatures. And that being squeamish about blood - especially sucking it -- was disgusting and perverted. Everyone should want to drink blood! Well, baby, not me! I wanted to stick a stake in her heart, but I relented, since she was under the silly delusion she was helping me. That was kinda charming, so I pitied her - and myself while I was at it.
         I was fated to live in misery and boredom the rest of my everlasting days. So the only thing I could do was leave her in a lurch and not be her silly mindless pet, which is what she wanted. My petty crush on her was over, died like I should have. I told her that, and she fell apart. While she sat crying on her bed in her apartment -- in the very same building I tried to kill myself on top of -- I walked out the front door and told her not to come looking for me, that I didn't want to ever see her again. I hoped that by rubbing it in that way I would convince her that not everybody wanted to become a vampire.
          So, like the sick bastard I had become, I stealthily stalked my prey in the dark alleys and narrow streets of the city, grabbing passersby late at night, biting their soft necks, draining them dry, and satiating myself on the blood of life. Yuck! I was living in hell! I wanted to wake up from this hideous nightmare and be relieved that none of it was real. But I knew that was a vain hope with no promise. I'd be this way forever. I wished I was at least in one of those falling dreams, then I could die that way. Unfortunately, everyone wakes up from those. I was doomed.
         I tried to give in to my new vampire ways, kicking and screaming of course. I tried to give myself purpose for living the undead way. I tried to convince myself it was a way to depopulate the Earth, since 6.5 billion humans was a tad too much these days, and rapidly approaching 6.6 billion. If we vampires could hope to get the statistics down to at least 6.4 billion, that'd be some progress. I tried to assure myself I was doing some good in the world, with stupid notions like this, as if I hadn't really become an evil son of a bitch. But who was I kidding? I was a really sick bastard that sucked the blood out of innocent -and some not so innocent - schmucks and left them for dead - exactly what I wanted to be.
         But for me, being a vampire was pretty depressing. Living forever seemed like such a bummer, especially when all you did was drink blood and not much else. The way I saw it, death was far more gratifying. I've always believed that death is the final finality, whether that meant you sleep for eternity, or your consciousness is snuffed out like a stupid bug flying into a bug zapper, or whatever. Perhaps that's why vampires preferred living forever, to avoid this dark blackness of death. The crazy idea of an afterlife seemed kind of pretentious. It only works if you have a soul, and I've always believed your body is it. You are your body and that's all there is to it. Call me a stubborn materialist that defies the supernatural, but that's how I see it.
         Dreary days led to drearier weeks and even more depressing months. Being addicted to drinking blood turned me into a psychopathic serial killer. Not something I ever imagined I'd turn into - not to mention a freaking vampire. If that vamp-bitch had never turned me, I would never become this hideous monster I've become. I'd be happily dead right now; yeah, a merrily decomposing carcass in some obscure unmarked grave. But now, I had to put up with this despicable craving for blood that forced me to slaughter people right and left. I didn't know if they were deserving of death or what. I knew I was, so perhaps they would welcome it too. Or was that as twisted a thought as I had become? Maybe they wanted to live, and I took that privilege away from them. I was over-thinking all this crap, and it drove me batty.
         Finally, I couldn't take it anymore.
         So one miserable night I grabbed one of those picket fence posts out of somebody's yard, the kind with a sharp point, you know, clenched it in both hands, and tried to plunge it into my heart. I missed by a couple inches and a sharp pain shot from the middle of my chest. I yanked it out, and tried again! More sharp pain - I missed again! Either some cowardly part of me didn't want to go so soon, or I was a pathetic masochist. I pulled it out, disgusted that I wasn't dead. Being undead sucked. Evidently along with it came some eerie insurance policy that assured you that you couldn't off yourself so easily.
         So exactly what did it really mean to be undead? It wasn't exactly alive, so I guess it means you're a walking corpse with no pulse. As long as you are thinking, and drinking blood, you have some semblance of life in you, or a sardonic mockery of life. Because if you were dead, you'd be an inanimate, rotting, stinking, mindless corpse. Which I wanted to be right now.
         Alright, I didn't have the ability -- or the chestnuts - to whack my own self out of existence. My only alternative was to find some poor schmuck, possibly a mass murderer, and invite him to kill me. That probably took the fun out of it for most serial killers, because they most likely got some sick pleasure out of people that desperately wanted to live. They got their rocks off of that, I imagine. But I had to try something.
         That night I ran up and down the alleys, hollering, "Are you a murderer?" or "I'm looking for a serial killer," and sometimes I desperately cried, "Someone kill me - please!" But people ran away from me like I was stark raving nuts.
         Finally I sat on an upturned milk crate in some alley, feeling totally dejected, and rejected that no one would take my offer. I had to find just the right screwed up person to do it. But where would I find one?
         Finally, some darkly-clad and hooded ruffian stuck a gun in my face and snarled, "Give me your money, scum-sucker!"
         Nonchalantly standing up, with a yawn, I shrugged and said, "I got no money, so take my life."
         "Shut up, funnyman, give me your wallet!"
         "Sorry, bub, I lost my identity when I turned into a vampire. So, no money, no wallet. So you're gonna have to kill me."
         "What's wrong with you, you twisted bastard?"
         "Exactly. That's what I am. So you'd better kill me, or I'll kill you, and drain you of all your blood. I'm getting kinda thirsty."
         "You're one crazy bastard." And then the thug shot several bullets into my chest. It smarted like hell -- but it didn't kill me.
         I was angry and growled, "That really hurt. But I'll give you one more chance. Here, take this stake and jab it in my heart."
         "You're insane!" the hoodlum exclaimed, wide-eyed.
         "That crossed my mind, too, so it's just another reason to put me out of my misery."
         The guy took the fence post, studied it, and asked, "You sure this is gonna kill you?"
         "It better. Or all the myths were dead wrong."
         The thug shrugged, grabbed the stake, and plunged it deep into my heart - verifying that I was definitely a sick masochist! Because that really hurt big time! So I turned into a puddle of crimson gory slime. The guy gawked at it for a minute, dropped the stake, shrugged, then walked off down the alley.
          Yeah, something was weird. I was looking at the disgusting puddle that was me - or I thought it was me, and wondering why I was still conscious. Everything should have been total darkness, absolute blankness, sheer nothingness, and me not being consciousness about anything. What went wrong here?
         I tried to cheat death, and death was obviously laughing at me.
         As the thug ambled down the alley, I hollered, "Hey! I think you missed! Try again."
         The guy didn't even flinch, as if he didn't hear me.
         "Hey, get back here! Try it again!"
         The guy turned a corner in the alley, went up the next street, and was gone.
         What the hell went wrong!? I shouldn't merely be dead, but totally nonexistent! I should be no more! But what also bugged me was the guy that staked me didn't hear me - or just ignored me. I reached down and grabbed the fence post and ran up the alley and into the next street, almost bumping into some dirty, smelly bag lady, who didn't even see me. I had to maneuver round her to avoid smacking into her.
         I walked down the sidewalk of a seedy district where hookers loitered around, and a bar was at every corner. But nobody gave me a glance.
         I went up to a hooker and begged, "Please kill me! Just plunge this into my heart--"
         But when I tried to hand her the stake, it wasn't in my hand. What the hell? I thought I grabbed it off the ground. Stranger still, she didn't even see me. It was as if she was seeing right through me.
         Scared, I ran back to the alley, saw that the fence post was still on the ground, bloody tip and all. What the hell was going on around here?
         Some drunken bum stumbled down the alley as I was trying to grab the stake, but each time I thought picked it up, it disappeared out of my hand, as if it never left the ground. At that moment, the stumbling bum walked right into me, or through me, as if I wasn't there!
         Then I realized what was going on. In my mind I thought it was impossible, since I always figured I was my body and that was that, nothing going on beyond that. Once it's gone, I'm no more. So, what? I was wrong all these years? Because now I was a freaking ghost!
         Perhaps life would have been better if I settled for being an immortal bloodsucking vampire. I could've gotten used to snatching people and drinking their blood everyday, and living the night life and sleeping by day. I could've settled for less; I would've acclimated eventually.
         But being a ghost, not being able to touch anything or anybody, no one able to hear me cry for help, not able to do a damn thing, was the ultimate of boredom -- and I'd have to do it forever!
         This was definitely the worst two evils!

Just the heinous beginning!

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