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VSS Part 4

            Van picked Claire up in his car, which was a black Nissan Maxima. Claire slid into the passenger seat.
            “Nice car! Is it new?”
            “Yeah. It was gift from my parents before coming to college.”
            “Are they rich?” Van laughed.
            “Kinda.” They started toward the highway. “We’re going to the city.”
            “Really?” Van saw the excitement in her eyes.
            “I love the city. It’s beautiful at night. By the way, you look fantastic.” Claire blushed.
            “You don’t look half bad yourself.” Van could smell the perfume and soap on her body, but that didn’t cover up the scent of her blood. He took a deep breath, wishing he could taste her, but opened the windows a little instead. “Hot?”
            “It’s just stuffy in here. Do you mind?”
            “Not at all. So…tell me about your brother.”
            “Korbin? What do you want to know?”
            “He’s older, right? What level is he?”
            “He’s a freshman, like us.”
            “How old is he?”
            “Twenty-three.”
            “Oh. Why did he wait to go to college?”
            “He waited for me to graduate high school. We wanted to go at the same time. We’re pretty close.” Claire smiled to herself. “What are you smiling about?”
            “Oh, nothing.”
            “What?”
            “That’s just cute, that’s all.”
            “Cute?” Van raised his eyebrows at the word.
            “Yeah. You guys are really close. I know brothers who don’t even speak to each other. It’s nice.”
            “Oh.” Van shrugged his shoulders. “We’ve always been close. We do most things together, so it just seemed logical to start college together. Do you have any siblings?”
            “Yeah. I have a fourteen-year-old sister.”
            “Is she a lot like you?”
            “No.” Claire laughed. “She is the exact opposite of me. She has a temper and is boy crazy. She’s a hard-worker, but lacks motivation sometimes. She’s a handful, but I love her. We’re pretty close. It’s hard being so far away from her.”
            “Where’s home?”
            “Ohio. Where’s home for you?”
            “Tennessee. What are your parents like?”
            “They’re the best parents. They aren’t very strict. They’re fair, and they support me in all of my decisions.”
            “Even boys you date?”
            “Yeah. They haven’t objected to any yet. Why, worried?”
            “Just curious.”
            “What about your parents?”
            “They died in a fire when I was young.”
            “I’m so sorry.”
            “It’s okay. Their best friends adopted Korbin and I. That’s probably another reason why we’re so close. Anyway, they’re great people. They’ve always been there for us.”
            “Do you miss your parents?”
            “Yeah. I was only four when it happened. Korbin was nine so he remembers more than I do. We don’t talk about it much.”
            “I understand.” Van turned onto the highway toward the city. “So, how did you become so interested in poetry?”
            “It’s the only thing I remember about my mother. She used to read me poetry every night before I went to bed. She had the most beautiful voice.”
            “So, why does Korbin want to study criminal justice?”
            “Well, he was closer to dad, than I was. My father was a…soldier.”
            “Oh, okay. What branch?”
            “Um…he was more of a Special Forces soldier. Classified stuff.”
            “Wow. That’s intense.”
            “Yeah.”
            “And Korbin wants to do that?”
            “He’s not sure exactly. He wants to do something in the career field. What about your parents?”
            “My dad’s a mechanic and my mom’s a waitress. We’ve never had money, but it didn’t bother me. We got by.”
            “I’d like to meet your family sometime. They sound pleasant.”
            “Well, maybe one day you will. What about your adoptive parents? What do they do?”
            “Well, mom doesn’t work. She raised us. She and my real mother were best friends since they were kids. Dad is CEO of a company.”
            “So they are rich.” Van smiled.
            “I don’t like to advertise it, but, yes. They are well off.” They reached the city and found a parking spot. Van helped Claire out of the car and they walked down the sidewalk. They saw paparazzi flashes their cameras at some stars in a car.
            “Is that…?” Van shook his head.
            “Yeah. I just don’t understand the whole hype about those books.”
            “What? The Twilight series?”
            “Yeah. I mean, do girls really want a sparkly vampire?” Claire laughed. “Those vampires just aren’t how they are supposed to be.”
            “I don’t know, but I read the books. They weren’t bad. My sister is a fanatic, though.” Claire laughed. “She loves those books.”
            “Do you like them?”
            “They’re not bad. I don’t particularly like Bella. She’s a little annoying for my taste and she’s not a strong female character. I think women should be strong.”
            “And Edward?” Claire smiled.
            “He’s…not bad. I don’t want to make you jealous.” Van laughed.
            “Me jealous of a fictional vampire? Never. Is that how you’d envision vampires, if they existed?”
            “Probably not. I mean, for something to drink human blood, they’d have to be…mean, right?”
            “So, you think they have no soul?”
            “No. I just think they can’t help themselves. I mean, if there was a buffet of gourmet foods, it’d be hard for me not to dig in. I just think, if vampires existed, it would be very hard for them to control their appetites since humans are basically walking buffets.”
            “What if vampires did exist?”
            “Hypothetically speaking?”
            “Yeah. Would you be afraid?” Claire thought about it.
            “I don’t know. I wouldn’t be filled with fear. I’d find it fascinating, personally. You?”
            “I’d…be cautious.” They arrived at the restaurant and Van said a name to the hostess. They were seated immediately. The restaurant was elegant and lit with candles. Claire looked around in awe. Van smiled as he watched her and pushed her seat in for her. He took a seat across from her. “This lighting makes you look stunning.” Van saw the blood rush to her cheeks.
            “I’ve never been to any place this expensive. I feel underdressed.” Van smiled.
            “Nonsense. You look better than every other woman in here.” They were given menus and Claire couldn’t believe the prices of the meals. The menus were in a different language, too. “Would you like some assistance?” She looked up at Van, who was smiling.
            “What’s good here?”
            “Everything, but I’ll order you something that is spectacular.” The waiter came and Van ordered for the two of them. “Also, could you bring a glass of your special red wine, please?” The waiter nodded. Van looked at Claire. “Would you like anything to drink?”
            “I’m not twenty-one.”
            “It’s okay.” He turned back to the waiter and ordered a light white wine for her. The waiter turned and left, and Van turned his attention back to his date. Claire had her eyebrows raised. “My dad has connections.”
            “Apparently.”
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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Vampire Short Story, Writing

 

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VSS Part 2

            The first week of classes went by smoothly for Van. He had realized that he was more advanced in his subjects than his classmates. Maybe it was his lack of socializing or just the fact that he loved literature. He was a nerd, in that sense.
            Korbin was gone for the weekend so Van had the room to himself. He enjoyed the peacefulness that accompanied the absence of his brother. Usually he spent the whole time reading his favorite classics.
            Saturday afternoon, Van was sitting under the shade of a tree in a park on campus reading one of his novels. He looked over across the park when he heard several girls laughing. He recognized one the girls to be Claire. There were five girls and they were sitting on blankets, talking. Some of them were sunbathing while others were painting their nails. Van was only looking at Claire, her smile brightening her face more than the sun ever could.
            Her cheeks formed half-moons when she smiled. Her eyes glittered like light caught on the sea and her laughter wasn’t as high as her friends.
            Van stared at her for a few moments and then shook his head.
            What are you doing, Van? What are you thinking? This is a human girl. A human! Are you crazy?
            He looked over at her again, her hair blowing away from her face by the wind.
            “I am crazy.”
 
            The next day Van was studying in the library. Korbin had come back early that day with his girlfriend. Van tried to avoid the room as much as possible when they were in it. His phone, which was sitting on the table, kept distracting him from his reading. He finally set his book down and picked up the phone to dial the number that he couldn’t get off his mind.
            “Hello?”
            “Claire?”
            “Yes?”
            “Hey, it’s Van.”
            “Oh, Hey!”
            “I was just wondering what you were up to.”
            “I am studying outside in the park. It’s a beautiful day! Wanna join me?”
            “Um, no thanks. Too much sun gives me a headache. I’m in the library. Want to join me?”
            “Sure! I’ll see ya in a few!” click. Van put his phone back in his pocket and took a deep breath. A few minutes later he saw Claire walk into the library and waved her over. She was smiling as she walked toward him. She set her bag down and sat across from him. “Hey, poet boy, what are you working on today?” Van smiled and turned the book he was reading around for her to see. “You’re a Stephen King fan?”
            “Surprising?”
            “I guess not.”
            “I enjoy reading all sorts of books. You?”
            “Only certain kinds.”
            “And what would those be?” Claire leaned forward slightly.
            “Don’t tell anyone, because I’m not a fanatic, but I enjoy reading fantasy romance, specifically ones about vampires and werewolves.” Van sucked in his breath for a few seconds. “Do you think that’s childish?” Van shook his head.
            “No. Lots of women enjoy those kinds of books. I’ve read a few just to see what is so intriguing about them, but they’re not-” Van cut himself off, because he was going to say that they weren’t very accurate. “what I expected.” Claire snickered.
            “Most men don’t know what romance novels consist of.”
            “Is that how women wish their lives were?”
            “Like a vampire romance novel? Sometimes.”
            “Do you?” His intense eyes studied her as she thought over an answer. Before she could say anything, however, Korbin walked up to their table.
            “May I talk with you?” Van looked up at his brother and then followed him outside. Once outside, Korbin turned on his brother. “What the hell are you doing?”
“What do you mean?”
            “She’s human, Van! Human!”
            “I know that.”
            “Oh, yeah? And you just don’t care?” Korbin shook his head as he turned his back to Van. He walked a few feet away and then stopped and faced him again. “Keep it up and you’ll turn her into one of us. And when that happens, she will hate you.” He turned and walked away, leaving Van alone.
            Van slowly walked back into the library and sat down across from Claire.
            “Are you alright?” Van rubbed his forehead.
            “Yeah.” Claire crinkled her forehead.
            “Are you sure? Anything I can do?” Van smirked and looked at her. So innocent.
            “No. Thanks, though. Where were we?” Claire smiled.
            “Well, you asked me if I wanted my life to be like a romance novel.”
            “A fantasy romance novel. More specifically, vampire.” Claire laughed and a few people looked over at their table. She lowered her voice and leaned toward Van.
            “Well, I probably wouldn’t mind if it’s anything like in the books, but it would conflict with my dream of becoming a pediatrician. You know, the whole drinking blood and having living patients would prove a problem.”
            “Of course.”
            “Of course.” Claire smiled. “What about you? Would you ever consider being a vampire if it were possible?”
            “If I had the choice, I would prefer to stay human.”
            “Really? That’s not fun. You wouldn’t even want to be a werewolf or warlock?” Van shook his head.
            “Werewolves are too hairy and warlocks usually live alone.” Claire laughed.
            “You are a funny guy, Van. So, you’d be human? Nothing special?”
            “Humans are special. I think they are underestimated, really.” Claire raised her eyebrows.
            “You are strange.” Claire looked around the library. There were only a few people in there because of the nice weather.
            “Claire,” she looked at Van, “do you want to do something this weekend?” She looked into his eyes and smiled.
            “I would love that. What do you have in mind?” Van smirked.
            “I want to surprise you.” Claire laughed.
            “I should have known you’d want to surprise me.” She stood up and grabbed her backpack. “So Friday at seven? See ya then.” She turned and walked out of the library. Van gathered his things up in his arms and headed to his room, hoping his brother wasn’t there. Unfortunately, he was.
            Van set his bag down by his bed and sat down at his computer, turning it on. Korbin had been reading a magazine on his bed, but upon seeing Van, sat up and put his magazine aside. Van didn’t even look at his brother but just held up his hand.
            “Don’t.”
            “Van.”
            “No, Korbin, I don’t want to hear it. I’m taking Claire out on a date Friday night, and you’re not talking me out of it.”
            “Van, I’m not trying to sound like dad or anything, but is this really what you want? Have you thought this through completely?” Van turned to face Korbin.
            “Yes, I have.”
            “Okay. Then, I’ll leave you alone. I don’t have anything against Claire. I mean, she is quite stunning, but you’re okay with turning her into a vampire?” Van didn’t reply. “That’s what I thought. Van, you can’t fall in love with her and keep her human. It doesn’t work like that.”
            “I know! I know.” Van put his head in his hands and grabbed his hair. “I don’t know what to do.”
            “Do you like her?”
            “Yeah. She’s funny, unique, beautiful, and I think she likes me. She always has this cute little smile that lights up her face. And she makes me happy.”
            “Then you need to tell her the truth.”
            “And if she rejects what I am?”
            “Then you have to let her go.”
            “What if she still likes me, but doesn’t want to become a vamp herself?”
            “Then you need to let her go. Van, if you love her, then you will do whatever makes her happy.” Van sighed heavily. They were silent for several minutes.
            “Korb, what if a cure could be found?” Korbin shook his head and picked his magazine back up.
            “No, Van. Don’t even go there. We’ve been over this.”
            “But, if I found a cure, Korb, I could be with Claire. Don’t you see?” Korbin set down his magazine.
            “No, Van! I don’t see! Why can’t you just accept what you are? Why can’t you like it? What is so wrong with us, Van? Huh?” Van didn’t say anything. “Forget it. You wanna go look for some cure that may not even exist? Go right ahead.”
 
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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in Vampire Short Story, Writing

 

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