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MUSTARD VAMPIRE

Dreamed 1984/3/1 by Chris Wayan

Blonde with slit violet eyes sipping something fizzy and red. Click to enlarge.

A vampire comes out of my closet. Mustard keeps vampires off, but we don't have any Grey Poupon, just a small jar of that cheap Safeway stuff. It's too weak to repel her much. So I decide to risk talking to her.

She says she doesn't want to kill anyone--she hopes to talk one of us into being a steady blood donor. "I had a boyfriend like that once, but eventually he died. He woke me up before he was fully recovered, I think," she says. "But I could make a schedule work, now that I know how important it is. I'm lonely."

She seems rather innocent for a vampire; a pale, dark-haired, wispy big-eyed girl; eighteen, twenty? I ask. She says "I was born in the late 1800s; I slept much of the last century, and only lived about thirty years of it, off and on." She's astonished at the recent pace of change--humanity is suddenly not what it was!

She's surprisingly shy and uncomfortable talking with me at first, then holds my hand and nips one finger and drinks a single drop and immediately relaxes. "Now we're respectable! If any of my kin appear, I can claim you as my Helpless Victim, you see. I'm not supposed to tell our secrets to non-victims."

I'm charmed. She's not what I expected. A nice girl with a weird life. But little weirder than mine, really... a shaman, waking up each night in a different body, a different time, often a different planet.

I regret I can't give her more than a drop.

I nearly suggest we set a regular schedule where she'd sleep 90% of the time, while I build up my body, then wake her and give blood. She could live a secure if intermittent life, and I'd have a cute, gentle, always-young girlfriend... and a motivation to stay in shape!

But no. I mustn't set myself up to donate blood. My health is borderline, and I'm just too fragile to spare it. I want to fix everyone's problems. She needs someone like me psychologically, who can love the person she is, behind the mask of her vampirism... but she also needs someone physically strong.

And I'm not.

I love her, but I can't BE her lover.

WAKING NOTES, 2000

She was such a nice vampire and I was so tempted.

At the time, I was constantly ill, with severe allergies. The one time I did donate a single pint of blood, I got sick for a week. I was lonely, too--single, yet not dating. I blamed myself, called myself shy, a coward. And until this dream, I was blind to the truth: my fears were realistic. I didn't have the energy to spare for the normal give-and-take of a relationship! Health first, love later.

The vampire hoping to squeeze blood out that just isn't there... was me.

A woman's eyes: deep blue with slit pupils.


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