In ancient times, man learned through active studies. They conducted much research, and often they were their own test subjects. The experiments were generally on Tuesdays. They were often done to determine man’s relationship to some wild creature or the other, and because Tuesday seemed a very scientific day to the barbarians. It was not like Wednesday, which was the day the tigers would descend and devour unfortunates who stayed up too late and drank too much pond water. The rest of the days of the week were spent wondering which animal would be the one to eat them next. When one lives comfortably at the top of the food chain, it can be very difficult to determine if those lower view humans as prey, predator, or an evolutional mishap. Thus, as the early human determined, it was necessary to run a few tests.
These usually involved poking an animal with a stick while standing at a branch length away. The larger the animal’s teeth, the larger the stick. It seemed a good method. If the animal made a quick meal of the poker, than it was not an animal to be trifled with and should be kept far away from impressionable children.
For many years, the system ran without a hitch. Many men were sacrificed for the good of “science,” which everyone else thought was fine and dandy, because it meant much less competition in the turbulent housing market. This all was changed on a rainy day when a pregnant man came waddling over the hill.
When questioned, he only groaned. When poked with a stick, he only protested-albeit strongly. This got him another poke, which thankfully shut him up. His voice was rather obnoxious, high and nasally; very few people found this a pleasurable quality, and none of them resided in this particular village. He claimed to have been sucked into the sky by a flying shellfish. Everyone thought he was very silly, but they were intrigued by the green offspring he produced. It was very strange and ugly. The child was observed closely as he grew up by his older, undead friend, who everyone thought was fairly odd as well. A few important changes were noted as the months dove on.
As he reached his teenage years, his pitch black eyes began to fade into an average blue. On the cusp of young adulthood, he became struck by a terrible affliction that involved an addiction to green foods and reckless daredevil behaviors. This did not bode well for his reputation with the elders, but the youth found him a great deal of fun.
The eve of his twenty-fifth birthday arrived in a timely fashion, as birthdays usually do. Party favors were collected, flowers were arranged, and a wooly mammoth was slaughtered for the feast. The green man walked through the door, took one look at the surrounding feast, and died. All was to be swell, however. The party went grandly without him, and there was much rejoicing.
Vodka awoke to the sound of a few people talking loud enough for twenty. They seemed to be speaking about important things, and while she had a deep headache and a deeper hankering for caffeine, she felt it would be much more prudent to listen in on the discussion. It would be better than piping up, certainly. Her throat ached for some odd reason-Vodka couldn’t quite recollect why. She decided to mull this over while the others discussed.
Pandora stood near the corner. Through her alligator tears she stole many a glance at the mysterious man-creature, she corrected herself-who was attempting to converse with her father. She thought him very handsome (and possessed a foreign accent, which made him even more so), and though he had quite creepily sunk his teeth into her sister’s throat, it was a character flaw one could easily dismiss. Cannibalism, like beauty, was in the eye of the beholder, wasn’t it?
He was able to admit his mistakes, which Pandora admired almost as much as his ability to roll his r’s. “Listen,” said the strange man, “I’m really sorry I bit your daughter, but hey, she’s still alive, right?”
“I should’ve gone to the police academy,” muttered Bender darkly. Nina cocked an eyebrow at this. “I mean, I should contact the police.” His wife scowled. “I mean, let’s just settle this business on our own.”
“Should we call the hospital?” asked Nina thoughtfully.
“We can’t pay the hospital bills,” said Bender in a matter of fact fashion. “Let alone rent.”
“Oh, right,” said Nina. She had been drinking on and off for the past twelve hours and had forgotten about their unfortunate money situation. “Bills.”
“Er,” said the stranger, clearing his throat. “Perhaps I could help you out.”
Bender whipped around. “You fucking bit my daughter! You seriously can’t expect me to sit down with you, have a drink-well, I’d have a drink, but not in your company-and let you get my daughter out of this heap of shit that you put her in! I mean, you drank her blood, for god’s sake! That, sir, is fucked up.”
He felt a dizzy after stating the previous evening’s events out loud. It was not every day one ran into a cannibal, even if you happened to live in Bridgeport.
“Yes, I drank her blood, and yes, drinking blood is in my nature,” sighed the man. Pandora attempted to bat her eyelashes at him, but it came off more as a small epileptic fit, and the object of her eye’s jaw dropped in alarm. Her face grew red, and she sheepishly fled the room. Slightly confused, the man continued. “My name is Malix Montigo.”
“You killed my father, prepare to die,” giggled Nina.
“Why don’t you go watch the weather with Pandora or something?” grumbled Bender. He was not in a mood for silliness. Cannibalism was serious business, especially when it involved Spaniards.
“Weather!” hooted Nina. “We gotta wait until November for that!”
“No, Mom!” shouted Pandora through the wall. “It’s snowing on the TV!”
“Whaddaya you know?” giggled Nina. She stroked Bender’s cheek, smiled vacantly, and stumbled to the living room. Vodka, of course, was unaware of these happenings. All she knew were the words being said, and that her mother and father were being sillier than a fez wearing magician. If he were a cannibal, he would have eaten her, obviously. Vodka was glad that Bridgeport didn’t offer universities. Her father had spent so much money on his second rate education, and he couldn’t even properly identify a cannibal when he saw him, so what was the point of going to college anyway? Vodka was very ashamed by this and decided she would never allow herself to be seen with her father in public again.
Malix continued. “I drank her blood, because I was thirsty. You drink vodka when you’re thirsty, correct? There’s plenty of living bacteria in there, just like in blood, so really when you think about it, it’s all the sa-wait a minute…”
Bender’s eyebrow twitched. “You mean to tell me,” he said slowly, “that blood and wine are the same?”
“Er, no. Similar in purpose, but not totally same. You’re an alcoholic, so you drink alcoholic things when you’re thirsty. I am a vampire, so I drink vampire-y things, like, er, your daughter’s blood.”
Vodka was very delighted to hear this. Despite the fact that she felt terribly weak and was a bit cross about losing her night to a blood sucking session, a newfound light seemed to shine within her bedroom. She was no longer alone. Being inhuman was no longer a novelty but rather an underground subculture. One, if she played her cards right, could yield her eyes. Vodka had to bite her lip to avoid crying out in joy.
“I need a drink,” said Bender. “You are fucking crazy.”
“Why don’t you grab one?” asked Malix. “I’ll just converse with your daughter while you drown your sorrows, alright?”
“Why can’t you just keep spewing your bullshit to me instead of her?” snapped Bender. “I’m not opposed to resorting to violence, I’ll have you know.”
“It’s all very important and life changing and very profound bullshit,” snapped Malix. “If I were you, I’d pack my bags and not attack, you know, a vampire. You need to get out of town, and fast. Does your daughter drink a lot of that coffee thing?”
“What are you-a doctor?”
Bender sighed. “She drinks six cups a day. Can I please punch you out now?”
Malix’s eyes widened. “Pack your bags, sell everything you don’t need. We’re getting out of here tonight.”
Inwardly, Vodka cheered. She was beginning to like this vampire fellow very much.
“Yes, we. I had a friend back in the day, and he, well, let’s not talk about him. But I know what we’re dealing with, I know that we’ve got to get the hell out of Bridgeport.”
“It’s not a Hellmouth, is it?” mocked Bender.
“Don’t be an ass about this,” snapped Malix. “That’s about thirty miles away. We’re going down South. There’s much less traffic.”
“What in the hell does traffic have to do with this?”
“Just get your drink, alright?”
Bender obliged, though not quietly. He was not one to turn down the command to drink. With one last glance, he closed the bedroom door behind him and stalked to the kitchen, presumably to deliver the news of their departure to his wife and youngest daughter. With a bang, the fridge door closed. Vodka sat up, grinning. “So you’re going to get me out of here?”
“That was no big deal, really!” protested Vodka. “At first I was a bit miffed, you know, because I hadn’t come to Plasma 501 for some guy to drink my blood…”
“Sorry, I’ve just never tried half alien blood before,” said Malix pleasantly. “I had a friend who was half alien, but I never drank from him. Just don’t swing that way, you know?”
“I know,” said Vodka. She blinked. It was astonishing how intelligent conversation could be when it wasn’t with drooling Earthlings. “I was actually wondering if you had my eyes. My sister, Pandora, said there were people with glowing eyes running around town, and a couch told me to head to Plasma 501, so I figured someone with glowing eyes at Plasma 501 must have stolen my eyes.”
“That is,” he paused, searching for the right word, “ridiculous.”
“You don’t have them?” She sighed.
“No,” he said, “but I know where they went.”
“Really?” she grinned. Malix winced. It was not the most attractive of smiles. “What?”
“It happened to my half alien friend, too. When he hit fourteen, his eyes turned blue. Nobody stole them, and they didn’t fall out. They just became human.”
“Why?” whispered Vodka.
“I’ve spent many years thinking about this. He’d grown up with me. I wasn’t very old at that time-I was just a thirty year old stuck in the body of an attractive twenty something. We met when he was thirteen, and we became fast friends. Both of us were always being poked with sticks. Sometime soon after a break in and a super powerful one eyed sabertooth emu ate the community crier-and thank my dear dead mother for that-was when his eyes changed. His senses intensified. He could hardly handle going into our barbarian world, though his body told him he could do the same as the rest of us, I could smell it on his blood. His senses could hardly handle what life was throwing at him for some reason. I don’t know what it’s like for aliens up there in their space…flying…things, but they obviously couldn’t handle Earth and all of its crazy odors and the whatnot. My friend succumbed on his twenty fifth birthday. He missed a great party.”
“Does that mean…?” whispered Vodka. The floor began to spin.
“If we don’t get you out of Bridgeport, you won’t make it through the year.”
“Oh god,” she mumbled. “I hate Earth, but I didn’t think that it hated me back.”
Her face began to crumple, and a tear slid down her green cheek. She slipped forwards, but was caught by Malix. He held her there. It was a very perilous situation. If he let her fall, he figured, she’d fall to the floor and make a very loud noise, and then he’d be out of a home and a way out of Bridgeport, and that would all be very terrible. “How long have I got?” asked Vodka, sniffling.
“If we can get you out of the city,” he said confidently, “at least until you’re twenty.”
“I’ve got to do everything then. Just to get it out of the way before I die,” she sighed. “Or call the aliens, wherever they are. Why didn’t they tell me? Don’t they care? If they had the indecency to knock up my dad, shouldn’t they at least give me a little bit of child support?”
“Some people are just bastards,” said Malix gravely. Vodka began to cry harder. “Some people are just bastards.”
Alex Turner – “Piledriver Waltz”
A/N: ^^ This is my favorite song right now, and it seemed fitting. It’s just such a beautiful, mournful song. (Also it’s in one of the coolest movies ever!)
Sorry it’s taken me ages to put out this update. I’ve been very busy socially as of late, and I wrote an early draft of this, but was very dissatisfied and scrapped the whole thing. I like this one much better. A warning, though-updates are going to get more scarce than this, I fear, when the school year starts next week. It’s going to be hard to keep a regular schedule with three AP classes and an IB course. I’ll do my best, though!
“Mom, are you still drunk?”
Morrigan disapproves. (-12)