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.
“Don’t believe all the folklore about us vampires,” she’d said as we sat drinking in some sleazy bar on the bad side of New Orleans. It was an hour or so after she’d bitten me, in bat form, for the first time. I’d come to with my head on the steering wheel, and my cab wrapped around some huge old tree. Naturally, the trooper didn’t believe my story, thought I was DUI. As I pulled out my wallet to give him my license, this note dropped out, just a picture of a bat, the words “Questions? Meet me at,” and an address. So there I was drinking white wine—she refused to let me have a beer—with this striking lady dressed in black, with white lace, and wearing heavy dark make-up. Yeah, it’s a cliché, but she seemed to go for that stuff.
“Some of it is true,” she’d remarked as she took a sip of wine. She was being all conversational. Me, I was humoring her, hoping she’d let something slip that I could use to sue her for repairs to my rig. I thought she was a crazy Goth. I had no idea what I was up against.
She continued, “The aversion to sunlight, the budding canines… You’ll find out as time goes on. The blood, well, it’s like alcohol. There is fine champagne, and there is”–she curled her lip–“beer. You would probably be satisfied with eating your hamburgers blood rare.”
She’d been right, too. Until now. Hunger was starting to win over panic as I fought to remember what my too-long-ago Red Cross class had said about internal bleeding. Get help. I had to get help. But who?
I couldn’t call the state troopers; ol’ Smokey would want to hold me for questioning, probably in the morning. I still have a scar on my hand from when a beam of sunlight came through a crack in the curtain in that hotel where she’d turned me. I would not survive a sunrise in a jail cell. No, local authorities were out.
Unless… Were there any hereabouts who were turned, too? I’d met one or two troopers who’d been bit. It wasn’t easy for them, keeping a job like that, but a few managed. I’d always just bump into them by accident, usually on the wrong side of a speeding ticket, when they’d laugh in my face after I’d try a little nosferatu mind-control. How would I find one now?
Damn, if I only had access to the Internet. The only thing she’d left me after turning me was a message scrawled on the mirror in lipstick: a website and a password. There’s just about everything a vampire could need on the site, from survival tips to chat rooms to e-mail addresses of doctors searching for a cure and who’ll give you doctor’s orders to get out of daytime activities—something that’s come in handy when I’ve had to go to court over alimony and such. Anybody can add information; I’ve got a blog on the best all-night diners and gotten a few folks connected with trucking firms that hire for night-shifts only, no questions asked. Maybe someone there would know a local who would help. But I didn’t have a connection, didn’t even have a stupid cell phone to call one of my nosfer’ buddies. I–we–were alone.
I could go for help. I couldn’t transform like others could–never tried, it just weirds me out too much–but with my vampire strength, I could pull her car out, drive to the nearest town–it’s what? 20 miles or so away? I could find a phone, call it in. I could–
I couldn’t. She’d die before help got back. Besides, I couldn’t leave her alone.