A Lasting Hint of Citrus

blood orange slice red drink“Do you remember how disgusting it seemed, that first time you drank a glass of blood? And now? It’s just sort of like, ‘Hmm.’”

I looked around at the people gathered in the room. We were all relaxed, and happy. The work day was done, and now we could unwind with a fine beverage.

I was a vampire. And it was such a relief.

Real vampire life is nothing like what’s in the books and movies. Even when we were outed, it wasn’t nearly so dramatic as popular culture would have you expect. In fact, we’re more like you now than we ever were before. Joining society – living by its rules. At 15 years out from the Revolution, we’re working jobs and going to community meetings. We drink  blood, sure, but it’s from donors, and resisting the urge to kill, for me, is as easy as you not killing a pig just because you crave bacon.

The best part, especially for so many of the younger vampires, is the release from the worst parts of being human. I don’t get sick. When I meet someone I want to spend my life with, assuming he or she is also a vampire, we’ll never have to worry about the other dying. I can surround myself with a strong and lasting circle that will always be there, and never feel insecure again.

Sure, there might be some naivete in that. But I’m young. I’m the newest server at an upscale vampire-owned restaurant, and right now my biggest concern is learning if there is a difference between a cremini mushroom and a baby bella. I’m going to enjoy this.

I turned back to my glass of red, velvety liquid. When I truly looked I could see other colors in there – coral, pink, orange… No two drops of blood were the same, really. Such a world I lived in now.

“Ugh, I know,” replied my friend. Also a younger vampire, she’d been working here longer than I had, and was helping me get used to the job. She was smaller than me, and had shining blonde curls framing a round face and creamy pink-white skin. Her sharp eyes sparkled in the gentle light. “But isn’t it good? They get this stuff brought in for us every night.”

Beneath the obvious metallic and earthy flavors, there was the taste of fruit, specifically citrus. It was like juice. But unlike real fruit juice, this was in the blood itself, and would remain with me once I drank it. Everything I had and took in was lasting. The beauty of the tangerine this donor ate could go on. It’s as if I can make the things I love last forever.

At this moment, there is nothing safer than being a young vampire, working an honest job, in a wealthy village at the edge of a forest in the northern Rocky Mountains.

*

During my pre-Thanksgiving slumber, I had this dream. It was full of peace and contentment, and, dare I say, gratitude? What could be more endearing than an appreciative vampire? The above is a snippet from my larger memory. Best dream I’ve had in a long time.

ALSO – Happy Keepsgiving! Save your money, live locally and do something with real meaning. I don’t know about you, but I want to take back the holidays. You won’t find me anywhere near a checkout lane today. Talk about relief…

 

5 Comments

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5 Responses to A Lasting Hint of Citrus

  1. Isn’t it grand when a dream translates so well into a piece of fiction? This one particularly well-formed. Lovely tone here.

    I hope the shine of your commercial free holiday weekend, like that tangerine, stays with you until spring.

  2. Katie

    Thank you! And yes, it is. This doesn’t happen to me often. In this case, I tried really hard to cement the memory when I woke up, and started yammering to John about it.

    All the best to you three as well! Enjoy your southern holidays!

  3. Elise

    Ummm…perhaps this is a sign you should turn this into a novel!? I know I would read this in a heartbeat. You’re so talented!

    • Katie

      Thanks, darlin’! It might be a little boring compared to the more established vampire fiction… Not sure I can measure up. But you are so kind!!

  4. Thank you. Same to yours. Landi and Ambika just clipped some rosemary sprigs from our neighbor’s garden. Going to try it as a tea this evening.

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