“Quitting Smoking” #11
by Cherie Ann Turpin
(30 Stories in 30 Days)
The first thing I noticed the night after I turned vampire was that I no longer felt a need to light up a cigarette. That was stranger than having to sleep in my walk-in closet to keep out the sunlight. Contrary to the myth, the sun rays don’t kill vampires, but it makes us weak, sleepy, and more than a bit itchy. I work as an online writing instructor for a virtual university, so it’s not like I have to worry about missing work time.
I sat up, walked into the bathroom, and looked into the mirror, expecting to see nothing. Instead, I saw my twisted hair in somewhat of a mess. My eyes were bloodshot, and I looked somewhat gray in skin tone. I opened my mouth and saw….nothing but teeth and a tongue. Okay. A couple of other myths destroyed there. I jumped into the shower and washed quickly. I found some jeans, a tee-shirt, and a pleather jacket, along with my usual lace-up boots.
I thought it odd to not feel a need to smoke. I grabbed the gray pack of American Spirits and stuck a cigarette at the corner of my mouth. I lit it and slowly pulled smoke into my lungs. And held it. After about ten minutes I blew a cloud of smoke into the dark room. Well, it seemed I discovered two things: 1) I no longer felt a buzz or tasted the cigarette and 2) I no longer needed to breathe.
Instead, I felt a craving for something else, something I could not satisfy from my kitchen or even from delivery. Suddenly, I felt a hunger so painful it seemed to turn my insides into liquid metal. Falling to the carpet, my body began to shudder and twist. I felt my teeth sharpen and push out from my gums, as a strange, beastly growl emerged from my throat. Cold hands suddenly grabbed me and calmed me, while a warm, coppery liquid filled my mouth and throat. I swallowed greedily, wondering if the hunger was always this painful.
“For young ones, yes, but not for long,” spoke my rescuer, reading my thoughts. He pulled me up as he stood, a tall, balding man with dark, piercing eyes and full lips. His fangs flashed as he smiled at me, warmly. “I don’t abandon my children, and you have much to learn before I send you on your way. I will teach you how to live among humans without drawing attention to your true nature.” He gestured to my laptop. “You already know how to support yourself without stealing or killing. You won’t have too many issues living among them in this city.” He walked to the door and held out his arm for me to take.
“Let’s take a walk. I feel like eating out for a change.”