Prompt: Craft us a tale about a vampire, but forget all the stereotypes. Be scary, be wild, be hilarious, be touching. Paint us a picture of one of them that we’d never expect.
Word Limit: 1,500 words.
Deadline: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 10:00pm CDT.
Bloodsucker (1425 Words)
“I just hate living here so much,” she pouted.
“Well, what do you want me to do about it?”
“Get off your fat ass and get a job!”
This was at least a monthly occurrence. The fights came more rarely now – but still too often. She was never happy. There was no pleasing her.
“I just wish we could get our own place,” she said. “We’ve been living here for two years. I’m sick of it.”
“Well, Mom needs me right now,” he said. Somehow he always managed to stay calm through their arguments. No matter how much she screamed and cried he rarely showed any emotion.
“Well, what about what I need Jonny? Huh.”
“What is it you need Brenda?”
“I need to get the hell out of here and away from your crazy family!”
She didn’t realize how good she had it, really. She was lucky that Jonny’s mother was such a kind soul and would take them in. All mothers loved their children, but Jonny was pushing the limit by moving his family in. Not only did his wife Brenda require more attention, love, money and pity than it was possible for him, his brother, sister, mother and stepdad to give, but her four children also needed taken care of.
The normal situation would have consisted of Jonny moving back home with his three-year-old daughter. That kinda thing happened a lot nowadays. They called them the boomerang generation. Kids went off to college, moved out and started families. Then they got laid off and the savings ran out and they had to move back.
That wasn’t Jonny and Brenda’s situation. He had been making good money as an accountant for L’Oreal in Cleveland when his mom took ill. He’d moved back to the small town where he’d been born and raised to help care for her.
Nobody could figure out why Brenda was still around. Jonny just couldn’t seem to shake her. And on the rare occasions he did she always came crawling back within a month. It sometimes seemed like a stake through the heart was all that would get her to stay away.
“I’m just so sick of your attitude. You don’t even treat Kayden like he’s your son.”
“That’s because he’s not my son.”
“How can you say that?” she screamed.
“Because we were broken up when you got pregnant with him. You slept with a bunch of different people and you don’t even know who his dad really is.”
It takes a lot of humility and acerbity to come crawling back to an ex when you’re pregnant with someone else’s baby. But she had managed to do it. That was just the way their relationship worked. She was a tick that had burrowed her head deep into his flesh and now she was hanging on and feeding off of him.
“I don’t know what you want me to do…”
“You could start by getting a job.”
“I’m working when I can. Why don’t you get a job?” He did keep busy putting down carpet but the work was slow and unsteady. He was looking for something to keep him busy for more than one or two days a week but times were tough.
“Well you’re a man and it’s you job to take care of your family.”
He sighed. He wasn’t sure where she got her 1950’s attitude from. It didn’t help their situation. They could use all the help they could get right now.
“Besides,” she added. “If I went to work who would watch the kids?”
This was a joke but he didn’t dare laugh. He would have his head bitten off if he did. What she said and what he saw were two completely different things. He and his family took care of the children. They all pitched in and juggled each other’s schedules to make sure that Brenda’s children were fed, bathed, sent off to school and picked up each day while she set on the couch watching 90’s sitcoms and smoking synthetic marijuana.
“Maybe if you got off the spice it would be easier for you to handle things.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“It’s like when I quit shooting dope. At first it was really hard. I was really sick and had insomnia for a few weeks but once all the junk was out of my system I started to feel a lot better.”
“Spice and heroin are nothing alike,” she said.
“But they’re both drugs. I’m just saying that if you were to take a few days off from the stuff, maybe your head would clear up and you’d be able to see things a little clearer.”
“Whatever, dude.” She took another hit from her pipe and coughed like a TB patient. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Most people try not to argue. But most people have jobs and happy families and aren’t chemically dependent. Some people thrive on chaos and disorder. Entropy is the only thing that keeps them going. When things are calm and orderly they are miserable and striving to wreak havoc so they can be distracted form their own mundane existences.
This was Brenda. She was never happy unless there was a car accident. Or a tornado warning. Or a funeral. And if there wasn’t one she had seizures. She had sleep apnea. She had a problem with Jonny’s sister.
“You’re sister’s a slut. I don’t want her to be around Adreanna.”
“What? Why? That makes no sense.”
“Every time she’s around her she comes back with an attitude.”
Jonny had never noticed this. He saw that his sister was helping to instill confidence, wisdom and independence into his daughter. Adreanna loved spending time with her aunt. She played with her and interacted with her in ways her own drug addled mother never would.
“And I’m sick of cleaning up after her. She’s always dirtying a ton of dishes and then expecting me to clean them.”
“Well for the week you were away the house stayed clean.”
“Yeah, and now that I’m back everyone expects me to clean up after them.”
This wasn’t true either. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Everyone in the house washed their own dishes and clothes and picked up after themselves aside from Brenda. She would make elaborate meals and leave the pots and pans on the counter to sit for days before she would come out of her stupor enough to do anything about it. But Brenda was a child of the devil, the prince of evil. She was a daughter of the father of lies and had inherited that trait.
“If you would just get off your fat ass and get a job we could move out of here. When I get my own place I’m going to keep it spotless.”
She didn’t know that he didn’t want to move out. At least not into a home with her. He needed the support of his family to deal with her. She was sucking the life out of him every day and without help he wouldn’t last long. Sometimes she was sweet to him and the kids – but not often. She didn’t know how to love. She only knew how to be loved. She didn’t know how to give. She only knew how to take.
She didn’t know how to sip. She could only chug.
Nobody knew why Jonny offered her his throat so often. Anyone else would have told her to get lost. In fact, everyone else had told her to get lost. Her parents, her sisters, her friends. She had nowhere else to go. This home was the last place she could go save the homeless shelter or inpatient rehab.
But she wasn’t happy with it.
If she was given a pound of flesh, she wanted two. If given her ten pints of blood, she was still thirsty.
“I just feel like no one appreciates me. I just want to get out,” she cried.
She was delusional. She truly believed everything she said. She was certain she was a princess and the world owed her everything. She was certain that she had worked her fingers to the bone and hadn’t been properly compensated. So she complained and started fights. It was what she loved. It was what she needed. It was what she fed on.
“What do you want from me,” he asked. But he knew what the answer was even if she never really told him.
More. She always wanted more.