Copyright © 2013 by Michael Litzky
A stunned Sally pushed herself to her knees and looked down at her wounded beloved.
“I got it at last,” Lavinia said weakly, smiling. “I knew they couldn’t resist being inside a home again, even one like ours.”
From inside the van came the sounds of the vampires bickering like children over who got the bed. Sally started giggling and Lavinia joined her. The next minute they were laughing hysterically.
“Your poor neck,” Sally shrieked around gales of laughter.
“Don’t give a fuck,” Lavinia gasped, even though it clearly hurt her to laugh. “What’s losing blood? Lost a, hah hah, whole body’s worth last night, this’s nothing, ah hah hah hah!” In the dim light, as her laughing fit died down, her eyes were soft as melted candy. “And I got you, tiger. Better’n a fuckload of blood. You’re a good influence on me after all.”
From inside the van came a slightly whiney, “No pushing,” and the women collapsed into laughter again. Sally crawled giddily on top of Lavinia, wiped the vampire gunk off of her own mouth and kissed her. “Zis okay?” she asked, her lips dancing over her lover’s as she spoke. “Should I be doing anything to stop the bleeding? Clue me in, my queen.”
“Naw, I think we got it established I’m still a vampire, I’ll live no matter how much I lose. Well, live schmiv, you know what I mean.” The giddy mood hadn’t left Lavinia either. “Somehow the sun blooded me up? Jesus fuck, it’s so confusing. Um, would it gross you out to scoop up some of the blood I lost and feed it back to me?”
“No.” It was true. Sally found she trusted Lavinia enough to do anything she needed. The neck wound wasn’t bleeding anymore so with the heel of her hand she scooped up some of the puddled blood and offered it to Lavinia’s mouth. Like a puppy, she lapped it up and Sally found herself nauseated after all.
“Can you sit up, honey?” Sally said gently, wishing she could wipe the garish blood stains from around Lavinia’s mouth. “Can you walk? We should probably get away from here before the slumber party in there decides eating would be nicer after all.”
Lavinia sat up spryly. She looked pale and drawn, like when she first woke as a vampire, moving by dark magic, not life. But she was herself and her face showed hope. Even more: pale as she was, she glowed with love as, to Sally’s relief, she wiped her mouth on her sleeve, then looked down at it and made a face. “I am going to marry you,” Sally declared.
“Oh baby. I got that good and strong. It’s why I’m still here, no shadow of a doubt.”
Sally thought about that. Maybe Lavinia was still Lavinia because of her love. No, she thought with a smile. Even my ego can’t accept that.
But in the meantime, they were outside with no protection and neither their clasped hands nor the sweet white rush of the ocean waters nor the sky with bright stars and mist changed that. “We better get moving,” she said reluctantly.
“We’re not running,” Lavinia declared, standing up cold and bright in the moonlight. Her skin was like the body of the moon itself, not of this world. “C’mon,” she declared. “I know how to deal.” She glided back toward the camper.
“No, babe!” Sally called after her as she stood. “We’re not in the bedroom. Don’t pull this stuff, tell me.”
Besides her annoyance at being bossed around outside of the bedroom, she was spooked by Lavinia’s very undead glide. I trust, then I doubt, then I trust, then I doubt, she sighed. We humans never achieve anything permanent.
Sally was gratified as Lavinia spun, came back and apologized immediately. “Sorry, tiger. What I got now is, given a choice between home and food, they’ll choose home again. So c’mon, let’s go take back our home. I’ll give ‘em a choice. They can stay if they behave. Any one of ‘em makes a move to hurt you, he’s out.”
Sally looked confused. “Can you do that? Once they’re in, can’t they stay in? And can you selectively invite them? ‘You, and not you?’ How sure are you?”
“Pretty sure, actually. I look at my inner works, what I gotta respond to. And you saw, you did rescind the invitation and they went.”
“Well then let’s rescind the damn invitation and drive ‘em all out and drive off!”
“Can’t, I don’t think. You saw, again. When I was in there? You saw them start to ooze in. You got one vampire in there, you open the door to all of ‘em. The only way to drive ‘em all out is if I go with them.”
Sally stopped in the moonlight, the sound of the waves suddenly hollow in her ears. “But love! That means we can never live together! Any home we create together is automatically open to vampires too!”
“Right, so we gotta deal with this now. You willing to be with me on this?”
Reluctantly, Sally nodded. She shivered as they walked toward the green camper, stepping over the dead vampire whose throat she could barely believe she’d torn out.
How could she and Lavinia really live together? For that matter, could they even really get married? Same sex marriage was legal but where would they find someone willing to marry a vampire to a human? Even if they could, they couldn’t do it in the daytime because Lavinia would be paralyzed and they couldn’t do it at nighttime because nothing was open at night anymore. Her heart sank. Five minutes ago, she’d had this all worked out. Now it was more confused than ever.
This is what life is like, she thought again. Endings like in Anna Karenina where Levin ties up every little bit of his philosophy in one neat package which will serve him for the rest of his life, those aren’t real. Probably five minutes after the book ended he burnt his toast or cut a really ripe fart and was all confused again.
She did have the pleasing stray thought as they reached the camper, Damn I’m wise for 27. Wonder what I’ll be like when I’m 52.
Lavinia yanked open the door, which the last vampire in had apparently closed. No snarls greeted them. Two vampires were on their knees looking over the seat into the crowded living space. The women could see hints of packed and milling bodies back there. Sally felt her gorge rise at the sight of all those evil forms filling their home.
One of the kneeling vampires said, without looking around, “Y’wanna shut that door, man? Yeh lettin’ in the cold.” Sally’s jaw dropped open. He sounded like any annoyed human. She pushed her head in to see what the other vampires were doing.
What she saw in that instant forever changed her feelings about vampires.