Strong summer winds
carried me across the continent and I felt like the breath of life. Everywhere
the same bright sun ruled the sky. Now the buildings of Toronto towered overhead
and a flash of sun on tinted glass nearly bowled me over. Staggering back, I
vowed to stay off the streets in the daylight before permanent rings of pain
formed around my eyes. As I caught my balance, negative thoughts hit me, and I
felt nauseous as I stepped into the shade of a doorway.
Being able to read
minds is mostly a curse, so the few of us who have the ability to use the blocks
are the truly gifted ones. This time the black thoughts were coming from a
line-up by the next building. I'd seen the place on the news; a courthouse, and
a handsome serial killer name Paul Teal was on trial there. These people were
his fans . . . or I should say a few of his fans mixed in a crowd of young
teenage girls. People who stood around from midnight to noon waiting for court
to reopen. Some of them as sick as him in their own little ways.
killers are lone men gone back to the old ways; the life of man the predator.
It's a way to break the trap of modern society, but it never works for serial
killers because they're trapped by the sexual distortions ruling their minds.
They have nothing, but are unique for what they don't have - human feelings.
Their fans aren't unique at all. They bring to mind the sad truth that it is a
celebrity society of the second order. The second order meaning the celebrities
need only fame and not moral reputation. Get the exposure and you enter the
upper class of celebrities.
Paul Teal's image
appealed to some of these people in the same way that my movie star image
appeals to some people. Everybody loves somebody big, because it's a way of
ducking the fact that they hate themselves. Paul Teal didn't appeal to the teens
of course. His victims were of that tender age, so ostensibly, they wanted to
see him punished, but the truth was that they were curious. Torture and death
draw the curious and the fascinated, and often they're lambs who wander too
close to the wolf.
wouldn't really punish Teal. The court action began as a freak show and would
end that way. I've lived in societies where Teal and his accomplice wife would
have gotten twin guillotines. Imagine that, twin guillotines across the street
there at Toronto City Hall, and the crowd yelling with joy as the heads fall.
I'd watch it myself because the guillotine is so perfect. The once mighty killer
kneeling in subservience and all that blood wasted and splashing on the steel.
Yes, I sound like a
Neanderthal, believing in execution in modern times. But the truth is that some
people aren't theologians, humanists, lawyers or determinists. I'm a person who
believes people are responsible for what they do, and if they are caught,
execution is the punishment they have earned. That's if they are caught, and
since I will never be caught, execution is something I don't have to consider.
I love my being,
not the flesh or the blood that feeds it, but the mind and the soul. A
contradiction since I'm supposed to be without a soul. Perhaps it's a
personality quirk, I don't know, but I do know that I felt my spirit recharge as
I turned away from the crowd. And I felt it because the human ghost is in all of
us. Maybe I should say I have soul, but a dark one.
Two beautiful women
emerged from an office tower's revolving door, bringing me to a halt. The rest
of the crowd immediately turned to shadows, making it easy for me to tag along
behind them. I prefer cities because of the women, and I don't find modern
society to be cold and alienating the way others do. According to the bachelors
in my crew, Toronto is a place that sucks when it comes to women. Hit Montreal
or New York unless you want to meet ladies who won't even go to a dance with you
without checking a stat sheet to see if you're up to their minimum requirements.
Whatever happened to animal magnetism, love at first sight and people who look
for human qualities in lovers? Materialism, maybe. Somewhere a monster is
filming endless love stories while turning the real thing into statistics,
telephone calls and newspaper ads.
People like to
criticize and then be like the people they put down, but I do have animal
magnetism, so I haven't lost everything. Usually I go for blondes, medium height
and full-figured, and it bothers me to be ruled by a couple of small statistics
like that . . . so it was refreshing to find myself ducking the blond this time.
A leggy brunette
stole my attention. She wasn't full-figured, outwardly pleasant or haloed by
innocence, but she did have an air of feminine delicacy and beauty that was hard
to resist. Picking up on her mind, I found a vibrant person, so I knew the
delicate look was illusion. Her thoughts were beautiful thoughts about people
and life, and that made her very rare.
Being young and
beautiful is all that counts in life, and she was that and mature too . . . but
it was the correct form of maturity - she knew that life was mostly a childish
game you wouldn't enjoy if you got too serious. I didn't read her mind to pick
that up. I saw it in the laughter spilling over her violet lids as she glanced
at me and turned away.
Her heels clicked
lightly on the stone as she went up the steps and into a computer store. As the
revolving door swung, a sense of loss hit me. The fragrance of her perfume
lingered, exotic and lonely. Seeing her had made me feel young and now I
remembered my age, 420 years old. I always look about thirty, but I don't always
feel thirty. Sometimes I feel ancient like I'm turning to stone, and that's the
feeling I had as I went up the steps. I needed her like a fix and it wasn't just
air-conditioning hit me and I found myself in a store as big as a warehouse. I
wandered past mountainous bins of cheap office supplies and caught sight of her
in the software section. Waving a clerk away, I walked around and behind her.
She was taking down a box, moving smoothly in a short black dress that fit
perfectly. Her legs looked lovely, skin tone so perfect she didn't need
stockings at all.
her, I studied the shelf of neatly stacked games. The two that she fancied were
vampire games - Bloodnet and Noctropolis. Immediately I read her mind, or else
she read mine, because she turned to me and smiled. The bubbly laugher in her
brown eyes worked its magic. I felt suddenly pleasant, young and happy.
"Bloodnet is the
better of the two," I said, picking up that she was more interested in it.
"Not really," said
a goggle-eyed clerk as he stepped over.
I could see he was
the type of know-it-all computer nerd I would never get rid of so I immediately
put it in his mind that there might be a shoplifter at the front.
He glanced back to
the front but refused to leave the lady.
"Which do you think
is better?" she said.
"Neither," said the
clerk. "You don't want that sort of stuff. It glorifies evil. It could warp your
mind like Dungeons and Dragons does." He pointed to the overdone B-Movie style
artwork on the boxes. "We've got Battle Critters on special. It's a new one." He
took down the box. "Cute Disney animals that fight with hilarious weapons. Your
daughter will love it."
"It's not for my
daughter and I hate Disney," she said.
"I rather like the
idea of Disney characters killing each other, but with shotguns, like in that
game," I said, pointing to DOOM Resurrection.
"What kind of
people are you?" said the surprised clerk. "Why would anybody hate Disney?"
"Disney is just a
greedy corporation," she said. "They ruin fairy tales by making everything cute,
with happy endings. And I already have the new D&D game, which I think builds
imagination more than it warps minds."
Defeated, the clerk
headed for the front. I grinned as she looked me up and down. "I'm more into
real life games," I said.
"I know," she said,
"you're playing one now."
"How about playing
with me and coming for lunch?" I said, putting hunger in her mind.
"I planned on
taking a stroll on the beach," she said.
Her answer knocked
me off balance. It always worked when I put hunger in a woman's mind. Then it
occurred to me that she might be hungry for something else. "There's a beach in
Toronto?" I said.
"You from out of
"Yes. I'm here with
a film crew."
"Say, aren't you -
"No, a lot of
people mistake me for him. I'm his cousin. I work on the scripts, sets and
things. I couldn't even introduce you to him. He gets me work but he personally
"So you want to
take me to the beach?"
"Yes, but I don't
have a car. I can get a taxi, unless you want to fly."
She laughed, then
she put the box down and we headed for the front. The clerk was there next to an
author signing autographs. We paused for a moment, looking at the writer.
"You know who he
is?" she said.
"No. I'm not really
much of a writer. I've done a few scripts. Watching these successful guys sign
autographs just makes me jealous. And I don't think a writer should be a
salesman or media celebrity anyway."
At that point, my
eyes went to a guy at the magazine rack. The clerk was watching him and he
really did look like a shoplifter. It suddenly hit me that I knew him. It was
Alfie, one of the guys on the crew. His clothing looked ridiculous - a trench
coat, dark sunglasses and a fisherman's cap in the summer. I knew he was
disguised in order to tail me and that Jackson, our director, had put him up to
it. The S-O-Bs, this was getting to be too much. They wanted to control the
production so much I couldn't even go for a walk anymore - like maybe they were
worried they might have to delay a scene if I got lost. Served me right for
forgetting to hypnotize them. Feeling anger rise, I put it in the clerk's mind
that he should grab Alfie.
Since we hadn't
bought anything we went down an aisle to the exit, almost reaching the door
before the clerk went into action. He jumped Alfie from behind and a struggle
ensued. I grinned as a bin of dollar items went down under Alfie's weight. The
best part was knowing Alfie thought of himself as a very important person, a key
player in a big movie outfit, and that no one would believe him. He could whine,
threaten and complain and it would get him nowhere. His disguise fit him as far
as I was concerned. He really was a bum, so being treated like one would do him
Her name turned out
to be Donna and the beach was a few miles southeast on the waterfront. We got
out of the taxi and strolled under some old maples. Rocky breakwalls and the
sand were ahead and it amazed me that the beach was so big. I didn't expect such
a place in Toronto. Gulls circled in the cirrus-trailed sky as we crossed the
grass to the beach boardwalk. A few body-builder types and women in bikinis were
on the beach.
Reaching the change
house, we stopped and she went in to change. I stayed on the boardwalk,
shuffling back and forth, watching a volleyball game, thinking how much I liked
her bubbly personality. Donna had laughed and talked much on our stroll and that
was half of the fix I needed. It was always that way, a warm conversant woman
and me the strong silent type, sucking in the emotions I didn't have. I felt
nice but it still saddened me because it was so fleeting and it would pass as
fast as her life. I would drink her blood and she would awaken a different
person - one with no use for me, with her own lust to satisfy. Life is emotion
and I suppose us undead get so old all feelings go numb. To remember what love
is and for life to be even worth living at all, I have to drink emotion from my
victims before I drink their blood.
She emerged wearing
a light-red bikini and she had the figure for it if not the tan. Her skin was
creamy, and I could see that she was the delicate type that stayed in the shade.
Sudden arousal hit me and I turned and looked back across the park, hoping she
wouldn't notice. Her grin was so broad as she stepped beside me I assumed she
did. Vampire or not, lack of control still causes me embarrassment, and I'm sure
I was pinking for a moment before I turned a more greenish color. Green for
loathing because it was then that I saw the production van cruising down the
beach road and knew that my director had somehow followed me.
Donna's eyes were
on the volleyball game, the sand and the waves. I could see that the beach
curved out to a rocky point that could only be reached on foot and told her I
wanted to go out there. She seemed surprised but agreed and I took her hand as
we headed across the sand. Looking nervously back, I saw the van parking under a
willow by the ice-cream stand and figured I'd have just enough time to finish
with Donna before Jackson got to us.
She slowed the walk
down a lot by playing at the edge of the water. I kept glancing back but saw no
one heading in our direction. The wind grew stronger farther out and when we
came to the rocks Donna drew back from the shore. A path took us to a tiny
isolated area of the beach. Fierce waves rolled in, the breakwalls creating a
small rip tide effect, and combined with the wind it sounded almost like the
roar of the ocean.
It was a near
perfect romantic atmosphere and hypnotism wasn't really necessary. Donna turned
to me, hair blowing in the wind, and I let the roar grow in my head as we
kissed. It was a lovers' kiss and I drank all the feelings I would need for a
while, then I drew back, prepared to release my inhibitions and let bloodlust
I looked deep in
her eyes, then something flashed in peripheral vision and I turned and looked.
My disappointment was impossible to hide. It was Jackson, my director, his bald
head shining as he came through the boulders. Several people were behind him,
coming down the path - costumed people who were less than actors. He'd got them
at a local science fiction convention and was using them as extras in our new B
It was all too
much; the crashing waves became waters of nausea. Memory hit me hard and again I
had to face the truth. And the truth is I'm not a vampire, and never will be
one. I'm a B-Movie actor, Jackson's discovery and practically his slave, so I
like to dream some, get a woman and well - you know. It lasts for a while,
before they catch up with me again.
A tear formed in
the corner of my eye, then I noticed Jackson had froze and was just standing
there staring at Donna. I looked back at her, saw wide eyes and brilliant teeth.
Large incisors about to close on my neck. She hadn't noticed the others; her
attention was still on me. Then I caught on; she was crazy like I was crazy and
spent her days trying to be the vampire she wasn't . . . trying to be the
interesting creature she never could be. I should have been sad, but I wasn't.
Instead, I was happy.
I let her teeth
close on my neck and I could see Jackson from the corner of my eye. He was
raising his camcorder and he had that crazy look on his face. I'd seen it once
before. The day he discovered me. It was the weird look he gets when he knows
he's found a star.
------ The End