I'm sitting in a Dunkin Donuts and am bored while waiting for my ride home; I've just had a somewhat harrowing day at work and so really am not feeling up to writing anything, but as long as I'm in the Dunkin's and, more importantly, don't have a mouse, I can't really play any of my video games. So I'm basically just wasting time 'til my ride shows up.
But, I figure I might as well do something at least mildly entertaining in the meantime. So, I figured I'd post one of my non-pony short stories!
A quick bit of background: I play a lot of tabletop roleplaying games, I've mentioned. Mostly Dungeons & Dragons, but I also have played others. And whenever I create a new character for the game, I like to write a little short story to try and capture the feel of that character; their personality, motives, etc. Usually they're only four or five pages and have no real point other than a writing exercise.
For your reading enjoyment, I've decided to dig out and post the short story I wrote for my character in a Vampire: the Masquerade game. Enjoy! For those of you who've never played Vampire, don't worry. By the end of this story, you will know as much about the setting as Adrienne herself does.
Oh, and for those of you who have played Vampire...
Adrienne has the Unbondable and Lucky merits, but the Sire's Resentment and Enemy (5 points) flaws.
And now, your story...
Adrienne awoke only slowly, a coppery taste on her tongue and her lips closed around something soft and warm, the thick, liquid contents of which she was swallowing in great gulps – which was little surprise, given how thirsty she realized she was. The young woman opened her eyes, and found she had her mouth clamped around a clear plastic packet, drinking down the dark red liquid inside –
Blood, she suddenly realized. In horror, she recoiled from the package, which had been held by a man in a suit, and began gagging and spitting out what remained in her mouth. She tried to lean forward, but whatever chair she was in, she was tied to it quite securely.
“Gah!” the man who had been feeding her blood exclaimed, stepping back from her spit. He tossed aside the package of blood and looked down at his outfit, upon which a few droplets of crimson had appeared. “This was a brand-new suit! Tailored in Italy! It cost more than that entire bookstore you worked at!”
Adrienne was breathing heavily, looking around. She was in, from the looks of things, an airplane cabin, and a small one at that, with only a few large, comfortable beige seats, but the rear of which had a table with drawers. It looked, she guessed, like the interior of a private jet, not that she could really be sure of that, having never been in a private jet before. The sound all around her, of airplane engines, lent credence to that idea.
“What’s going on?” the young woman demanded, trying to keep the fear from her voice and failing miserably. “Where am I? Who are you? What am I doing here?”
The man glanced up at her. He had gone over to the table and was looking through the drawers. “Just a moment,” he said, taking a sheet of paper from the drawer and looking it over. “Hand-wash only…blah blah blah…cold water…blah blah blah…ah, here we go…” he nodded a little as he read, then looked to Adrienne. “You are very lucky. Blood will wash out of this.”
Adrienne sputtered a little. “What is going on?” she screamed. “What do you want?”
The man – he had dark, long hair tied back in a loose ponytail, and brown eyes, coupled with very pale skin – put the paper on the table. “Yes, I suppose we should begin,” he said, walking forward a few steps and rubbing his hands together as he did. “First thing’s first. I am not going to rape you.”
Adrienne didn’t believe him. She kept struggling against the bonds that held her in place, but they were quite secure.
“I’m not going to kill you again, either,” the man said. “In fact, in just a few minutes this plane will have landed, and you will be free to go.”
Adrienne looked up at the man. “Again?” she demanded.
The man nodded morosely. “Yes, kill you again. Tell me, what’s the last thing you remember?”
“Going to sleep! In my home!” Adrienne shouted. “You broke into my apartment?!”
“Dear me, no.” the man said as he sat down in a seat opposite Adrienne, leaning on one hand and gesturing with another. “I had one of my people do it for me. I was busy at the time, you see.” He leaned forward, holding both hands out as though to catch Adrienne. “Now then, my dear. Brace yourself for this one. You were drugged, to keep you asleep. My people brought you to this plane. And about half an hour ago, I bit open your throat, drained every last drop of blood from your body, and then fed you some of my own.” He leaned back. “You’re a vampire now, Adrienne.”
The girl shook her head. “Bullshit! Tell me what’s going on!”
The man sighed. “I’m afraid it’s quite true. Here, watch.” He stood up and came over to her, placing a finger on the young woman’s arm. She recoiled at his touch, or tried to, but her bonds were secure. As she watched, the man’s fingernail seemed to become sharp, and long – and he pushed down into Adrienne’s skin and began drawing a line of cut flesh across her arm.
Adrienne screamed. She screamed even louder when she realized that no blood was flowing out. The man nodded in a conciliatory fashion, putting his finger to his mouth, licking it, and then tracing the cut he had made in Adrienne’s arm. As he did, the wound closed itself behind him, the saliva on his finger disappearing into her flesh. He flashed her a grin – and she saw his fangs, inch-long teeth that grew visibly from his canines as the young woman watched in horror. Adrienne screamed louder still.
The man sat back down, hands pressed together before his face as he waited for Adrienne to stop screaming. Eventually – somehow – she did, her throat having been run ragged from the effort.
“Now pay attention,” he said at last, “because I’m only going to go through all of this once. When Cain slew Abel – ”
“What?” Adrienne demanded.
The man – the vampire – paused. “Cain. And Abel.” At Adrienne’s confused stare, he sighed. “From the Hebrew Bible.” Nothing. “Adam and Eve’s sons. You do know who they were?”
Adrienne nodded, slowly. The vampire let out another long sigh, covering his eyes with one hand. “Education these days…” he mumbled in a low voice. “Alright. Adam and Eve. Booted from the Garden of Eden for disobeying God’s command. Eve then had two sons – Cain, a farmer, and Abel, a shepherd. Both of the brothers offered up the fruits of their labors to God. God rejected Cain’s offerings of produce because, I dunno, he’s a prick, but he accepted Abel’s offering of blood and meat. Out of jealousy of Abel, and love for God, Cain killed Abel, becoming the first murderer. Following so far?”
Adrienne nodded, slowly. “What – ”
“Please try and keep interruptions to a minimum, my dear, I’m storytelling here.” the vampire insisted. “Now, then. God was not very pleased with Cain’s actions, for the obvious reasons. So God cursed Cain with a hatred for light, a fear of fire, and a thirst for blood, as well as immortal life. Sound a little familiar?”
The young nodded again, as the plane began to incline – they were coming in for a landing, apparently. “Y…you’re saying Cain was the first vampire.”
“Very good. Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Oh, by the way, for whatever reason our society – that is, the vampire culture – spells his name with an E on the end. C-A-I-N-E. Anyway, God exiled Caine into the Land of Nod. Eventually, after various contrived circumstances, Caine returned to mortal lands. While in the Land of Nod, he had learned how to use his blood to perform great magical feats, which we call disciplines, and also how to do some other neat things, most particularly, how to create more vampires like himself. We call this the Embrace, and the resultant vampires are the childer – singular childe, with an E again for whatever reason – of their sires.” The vampire held up three fingers. “Caine Embraced three childer: Enoch, Irad, and Zillah. They, in turn, became sires to thirteen more vampires, who Embraced childer of their own, and so on.” He leaned back in his chair. “Still following?”
Adrienne stared at the man. “What do you want?” she demanded.
The man made a clicking sound with his tongue, wagging a finger. “In a moment,” he insisted, standing and walking back to the table. From underneath it, he produced a duffle bag, which he brought back over to Adrienne and tossed into her lap, then unzipped and pulled out two identical, expensive-looking watches, even as the plane finally touched down on the tarmac. The vampire managed to stand steady despite the turbulence, as he – despite Adrienne trying to stop him – put one watch around her left wrist, then stood straight and put the other one on his.
“Alright,” he said. “It is now…nine PM, local time. October twelfth. Now, these two watches? Custom-made. They have a small alarm in them, nothing loud, nothing fancy. Precisely one year from now, that alarm will go off in your watch,” he pointed to his own, “and it will go off in mine. And when that happens, I will wrap up anything I am doing, and I will hunt you. I will find you. And I will kill you.” The vampire sat back down, just as the plane finally began to meaningfully slow down on the tarmac. He leaned over to one of the windows, and pulled open its screen, revealing the night lights of a city outside.
“You said you weren’t going to kill me!” Adrienne shouted.
“Yes, well, I lied, didn’t I?” the vampire asked. “Get used to people doing that. And be happy! I’m giving you a whole year to get ready for me coming! Use the time well! Get stronger. My blood is potent, and my blood now flows through your veins, so your blood is potent as well. With practice, you could develop all sorts of interesting tricks.” He spread his hands. “Find allies. Or hide! Disappear where you think I will never find you! I once spent three years – 1912 to 1915 – combing Boston for my childe’s lair before realizing that he was sleeping offshore, underwater.” He waved off the notion. “Realized he didn’t need to breathe anymore and got creative. Took forever to get all the seawater out of me. Everything tasted like brine for weeks.”
“Why?!” Adrienne shouted.
The vampire paused. “Well…because I was swallowing it, dear, while I was down there.”
“No!” Adrienne cried. “Why are you doing this?!”
“Frankly?” the vampire asked as he looked over the watch he’d put on his wrist. “Boredom. I’ve been alive for, oh, a thousand years now, give or take. And just the sheer ennui of it all. Especially all the political games…so, every twenty years or so, when it just becomes too much, I do this.” He waved a hand at Adrienne. “Much easier, too, since I bought this jet.”
The vampire stood as the plane finally came to a stop. “Now then. That duffle bag is a little…care package, let’s say. A few blood packets for your first few nights as you get used to your new situation. A gun – nothing special, just something I had lying around. Three or four hundred American dollars…” the vampire looked up, and seemed to be weighing something in his hands. “Three…four…three…tell you what.” He reached into his jacket, pulled out a wallet, and stuffed a couple green notes into the duffle bag, then zipped it back up. “Here’s two hundred more. Don’t spend it all in one place.”
Adrienne stared. “This isn’t real.” she mumbled. “This isn’t real. You’re not real.”
“Oh, you’re not so lucky,” the vampire said, moving the duffle bag aside and untying the young woman. Some part of her mind wanted to, as soon as her hands were free, reach out and start strangling the vampire – but would that even work? No, this situation wasn’t…it couldn’t be…
…the next thing she knew, she hit tarmac. She cried out in pain, and looked behind her. Standing above her, at the plane’s door, was the vampire, with the duffle bag in hand.
“Now, a few final things!” he shouted down – the plane’s engines were still going strong. “Stake in the heart will paralyze you, but not kill you! Fire and sunlight are deadly, and so is decapitation! All that other pop-culture drivel, though? Not true! Also, watch out for werewolves, mages, ghosts, faeries, mummies – probably won’t see any of those, though – Kuei-jin, hunters, demons, and most importantly, other vampires!”
“What?!” Adrienne demanded, as the vampire threw the duffle bag. It landed at her feet, as the plane began turning around and the vampire ducked back in. Within moments, it had started up again, going down the runway and quickly picking up speed and leaving the ground behind.
“Bullshit!” Adrienne exclaimed, as the plane flew off into the night.