“Oh, God, please, please don’t die!”
I held her broken body in my arms and tried desperately to remember first aid, but I couldn’t seem to get past “check for breathing.” She was breathing, sort of: ragged breaths interrupted with a bloody cough. The middle of the night, on this damn dark highway, there was no help for miles around. A part of my mind kept saying I should go back to my rig, get on the CB, call for help, but the rest of me was frozen, caught up in a myriad of emotions: panic, guilt, fear, that bizarre hunger-lust as I smelled her blood.
Even as I cried and begged her to live, I could feel my canines growing. I hated being a vampire!
It was a moonless summer night like this one, almost five years ago. A vampire with a sick sense of humor heard a Michael Longcor song about a “Truck Driving Vampire” and thought it’d be cute to fly into my cab and latch onto my jugular. I keep a stake under the seat in case I run into her again.
Still, after five years, you start to adjust, you know? Even try to find some fun in your nosferatu abilities. That’s what I’d been doing, drivin’ my overnight run on a lampless highway, headlights off, trusting to my heightened night vision and singing “Midnight Cowboy.” The song had ended, I’d looked down to grab a new CD, when all-of-a-sudden I heard a scream and squeal of brakes and my rig did a horrible sideways lurch. I hit the brakes—too late. I heard glass breaking and metal screaming. Metal, but not human anymore.
I shoved open my door—I was fine, thanks to my vampire state—and ran around to the other side. I saw a Mustang Convertible half-shoved under my rig. I’d already drug it half a block before my truck skid to a halt. I found the driver, a pretty little thing, draped over her dashboard, no seatbelt. God only knows why she hadn’t flown through the windshield and smashed into the trailer.
Had she even see me? I looked at my black cab and trailer. She hadn’t seen me. I cursed the darkness, my own stupidity.
Like some kind of idiot, I brushed back her blond hair, dabbed at the bleeding cuts on her face.
I had cleared away the glass–my cuts were already healing–and had pulled her out, only remembering afterwards that you’re not supposed to do that. Now she lay, rag-doll limp, in my arms, blood dribbling from her lips. That happened on those was late-night war movies when someone punctures a lung. Did she puncture a lung? Did I do that pulling her out? Or did it happen when she smashed into me?
Why did it have to smell so good?
She looked so young, maybe 17. What was she doing out here at this time of night?
All alone, so young, her blood so fresh—
I was getting dizzy, kind of drunk with shock and desire. It wasn’t like the kind of desire you surmise from those Dracula movies. It was more like waving a steak at a wild animal. You know, more feral.
Feral. That was the word she used when she’d tried to explain turning to me.