I knew what I was getting into when I joined the Marines right? I had no idea about the Siren and the feast of Octopi that she regularly holds. So, when my guys were called on to “rescue” a boat that had been dragged under water in the middle of a training exercise it never dawned on me that something larger and less natural than a reef or something took it down.
So there I was being given the option of dying or becoming undead. I figured if I was undead I could at least see my wife again. So I chose.
Ten months later she came to me crying that she felt I didn’t love her the same way anymore and that I had settled for her. She was wrong of course, but I knew I had been distant… trying not to drink her accidentally when nibbling her neck. My heart stopped beating before I ever made it off base and back home. She had no idea I was a vampire.
I kept my meals low key and mainly stuck to the list of pedophiles I found online. They’d randomly wind up dead, the neighborhood was happy. Everyone won. But, I felt evil inside of me for killing people and then drinking their blood, and then concealing it all so I could go home and pretend to be “normal” for the sake of appearances.
I grew tired of “normal” and just wanted to be honest about what I am now. But, that of course would mean death according to Primus and what was the point of choosing to be undead instead of dead dead if I messed it all up now? So, I pressed on.
“I knew it. I knew that I loved you more and you were just with me because I made a comfortable life for you. But, you found someone else who really makes you feel passionate. I’m just a placeholder aren’t I?” she droned on in tears.
“What is wrong with you? I am still in shock. I lost half my guys to the ocean and for what. I barely made it out myself. I’m withdrawn.” I told her angry that my story wasn’t holding. She knew me too well.
“What’s her name?” she demanded.
“She’s the crazy girl screaming at me.” I retorted.
“I’m pregnant. I’m having your child and you don’t even want me anymore.” she screamed at me.
I was torn in that moment because the whole point of becoming this monster was to stay with her, but seeing as I’m undead and infertile I was pissed that she would cheat on me, pass the child off as mine, and then complain that I was the one hooking up with another person.
On the other hand…. It was actually incredibly sweet that she thought about how I would react to not having little soldiers that marched since we stopped using protection and her thoughts were of how she wanted to ensure I still felt like a man.
But, the “you cheated on me” side of me won.
“Who’s the father because it certainly isn’t me?” I snarled at her.
Amy looked genuinely frightened. Well, I am a vampire and pretty terrifying anyway. But, this is any man’s reaction here.
“W-What are you…” Amy stuttered.
“I got tested. They put poison in our food like in the Dr. Seuss books and I can’t get you or anyone else pregnant. So who is the guy?” I yelled.
“I went to a clinic and got inseminated.” she admitted shamefully.
“What would have happened if this kid came out looking nothing like me?” I asked surprised.
“I told them what to pick. Blonde hair, light eyes, tall, smart. I picked someone’s donated goodies that matched yours as closely as possible.” she said still looking at the ground.
“And that’s what happened to all of the money I sent home to you. That’s why after a few months of being back our nest egg was gone. Damn.” I said, mostly to myself.
She’s really a good wife. But, what happens when the kid is 16 and I haven’t aged a day? So, naturally I apologized, we made up, and she had the baby. He’ll be 9 years old tomorrow. And she will take him to my gravesite with a cupcake so he can still include me in his life.
I had a “car accident” 2 years ago and left. She finally has a boyfriend and moved on. He’s taking them to some fun park in California. I felt like I should refrain from dating and finding a nice vampire girl to settle down with until I knew they would be okay. And that’s round about the time Lilly pitched Holy Hell about how I liked her and then backed so far off she wrote me letters to set me straight.
“God’s timing you say?” I asked Raphael as he walked with me to the entrance of the first arena.
“Yes.” He replied solemnly.
“And what about the opponent in there with me?” I said thinking about how I wished I could see Amy just one more time before I die for really real here.
“The only opposition that counts is the one you create in your own mind.” he replied.
I entered the arena. You would think that after centuries of wealth they would have something a little more dazzling than a fifty foot by eighty foot long dirt square in the middle of a room without stadium seating. It was a cramped situation with all of the vampires and demons in there. Like people gathering in someone’s garage for a cock fight or something.
My opponent was eight feet tall, had pale blue skin, absolutely no teeth, and a tongue that he used much like a frog’s.
I looked at him ready to dare him to “Ribbit” and waited for the gong to sound.
The loud clang resounded and shook the room. We both stood there silently and still as a stone. I could see what Raphael meant. This was a Night Terrier. The kind of blood demon that is part Tersula and gives you waking nightmares that incapacitate your senses while he physically moves in on you. I felt it picking through my mind trying to find a memory to use against me.
It was forcing me to think about the night my ship sank, my first encounter with the Siren, my wife’s supposed cheating, being replaced by her boyfriend, Lilly being dismembered by the dragon. Nothing worked. I smirked in his direction knowing that nothing he did could dredge out the hurt that I had already made my peace with.
But, I made the mistake of letting my mind wander to today. I knew my little boy would be at my gravesite and the thought of his tears while I stood here perfectly undead froze me in that moment, captivated by my boy’s big blue eyes and tears over his daddy who he missed with his whole little heart. I saw him clearly as I had as I spied on them at my funeral. Pain forced his small frame to shudder as he cried for me and hold his mother’s hand tightly.
And that’s when I felt the first punch land across the right side of my face.