Welcome to The Spot Writers. March’s prompt: How (or why) a young person decides what career (or path) to follow.
This week’s story comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s one-woman publishing company, MacKenzie Publishing, has published two anthologies: OUT OF THE CAVE and TWO EYES OPEN, two collections of short stories by authors around the world, to read during the day…or at night, as long as two eyes are open. Not “horrific horror”…more like intrigue, mystery, thriller. Simply good reads.
TWO EYES OPEN: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1927529301/
OUT OF THE CAVE (milder stories for 13+): https://www.amazon.com/Out-Cave-stories-Cassandra-Williams/dp/1927529298/
The Vampire by Cathy MacKenzie
Nancy jumped. What was that?
The book she’d been reading, A Nightmare of Vampires, lay beside her. Had she fallen asleep? “Darn, now I’ve lost my place,” she mumbled.
She tiptoed to her bedroom door. Carefully she opened it and peeked into the hall.
Dark. Quiet. No—what was that?
A shadow. At the end of the hall.
Was that Nathan, her seventeen-year-old brother?
Once Nancy’s eyes grew accustomed to the dark, the shadow morphed into a vampire—a real life vampire. A female vampire! Heading to Nathan’s room!
She wanted to keep watching, but she was a fearful. Vampires were bad creatures. They sucked the blood out of you and where would you be then? But that’s why she wanted to be a vampire. She wanted control: control of her destiny, control of others.
She liked the look of blood, the thick red, coppery scent. She’d tasted blood previously, when she cut herself, sometimes on purpose, so she could lick her skin until she had lapped up all the red. The taste wasn’t bad, actually, but not as sweet as she had expected. She worried—if her dream to be a vampire came true—whether she’d be able to stomach strange blood. That was perverse and unnatural, wasn’t it?
But it would be fun to haunt the night, to soar through the sky—vampires did fly, didn’t they? She considered herself a people person, at least that’s what her teacher had recently said. At the time, Nancy thought “people person” was a label for yapping fools who didn’t shut up, but she later learned the connotation was desirable. People were supposed to be sociable, talkative, and interested in others. Nancy was all of those: all the requisites for a female vampire.
She hesitated. She’d love to confront the vampire in the hall and converse with it, but she snuck back to her bed.
Katherine Krimmins was an excellent writer, and Nancy immersed herself in the story again, picturing herself as Vanessa the Vampire. She was aware most vampires were male, but this was the twenty-first century. Couldn’t she be whatever she wanted?
The next morning, she met her grandmother, who was visiting for a couple of weeks, on the stairs, and told her that she wanted to be a vampire when she grew up.
Granny’s eyes grew wide. “What! A vampire? How do you know what a vampire is?”
“I know what they are. I’ve seen them.”
“You’ve seen vampires?”
“Well…just one. Last night.”
“Oh, you must have had a bad dream. A nightmare.”
“No, Granny, I saw one for sure.”
“It was going into Nathan’s room.” She pointed behind her. “I saw it.”
“Oh, Nancy, you silly girl.”
“No, Granny, I saw it.”
“It’s not nice to tell fibs.”
Nancy pouted. “I’m not. And that’s what I want to be when I grow up.”
Her grandmother hugged her. “Oh, sweetie, if you want to be a vampire, you can be a vampire. You can be anything you set your mind to, but you’re only twelve, so I’m sure you’ll change your mind dozens of times before then.”
Nancy relaxed. Even if her grandmother didn’t believe her tale, she had, at least, agreed she could be a vampire. Her mother, though, would have a different opinion.
“Let’s go eat breakfast,” Granny said.
They entered the kitchen. Her mother, busy at the counter, greeted them. Nathan appeared seconds later.
Nancy couldn’t help but notice his flipped-up collar. “Nathan, your collar is skewered.”
His face flushed. Up to no good, she thought.
He glared at her. “Shut up, Nancy.”
Their mother wagged her wet fingers. “Kids, behave.”
When Nathan sat at the table, his collar flipped down.
Nancy gasped and whispered to her grandmother. “Granny, see? Vampires do exist. They suck the blood outta you, just like one did to Nathan last night.”
“Sweetie, what are you talking about?” Granny asked.
She motioned toward Nathan. “Look at Nathan’s neck. See the red blotch? That’s dried blood. That’s where the vampire got him. Sometimes they don’t kill you, you know. It all depends how sharp their teeth are.” Nancy figured she’d be a good vampire. Suck up enough blood to satisfy her urge but not enough to kill.
Nathan, his face even redder, yanked up his collar. “What you guys looking at?”
Their mother growled again. “Kids, hush. Sit down, Nancy and Granny. I have eggs and bacon.”
Nancy ignored her mother and whispered to her grandmother again. “See, I told you I saw a vampire.”
Granny leaned in to her. “I believe you, sweetie. I saw the red mark. But let’s keep that our secret.” Her eyes glistened.
Was she crying? She looked sad.
“You missing Grampie?” Nancy asked.
“I am, sweetie.”
“Life goes on. Companionship is a good thing. I think being a vampire would be a good occupation when you grow up,” she said.
The Spot Writers—Our Members:
Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/
Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/
Millicent Hughes: https://www.danburyonfire.com/