Friday, October 4, 2013

“Apparently there's a Narcoleptic Vampires series...” – Colin F. Barnes



DeMarcus has always possessed an alarming tolerance to alcohol and pain killers, which is why he dropped out of college. It's also why he's custodian here, of all places, though being custodian of any busy cemetery requires tolerance for people's discomfort and oddities. Because his mother is a head trauma specialist who married the president of a Fantasy Football League, he has a high tolerance for the absurd. That last serves him well this Wednesday morning as he discovers another mound of ash in front of one of the doors to one of the crypts.

DeMarcus squints from the ash, to the authentic faux-gothic crypt, to the sun. That last makes him wince; he’s never been good at not looking the sky in the eye, and it's always too bright in the mornings. Must have to do with Global Warming. Jerking away causes his neck to ache, and he rubs at the bandage. The twin punctures beneath sting familiarly. He wishes he could take something for it. Maybe holy water?

Any non-holiday Wednesday morning is a slow one; the dew before every grave is undisturbed. He collects his broom and dust pan, then notices the keys jutting from the crypt door's lock. He steps over the ashes, pushing the door with the broom handle. It jostles against its bolts; it's still locked.

"Passed out that close to home, eh?"

DeMarcus rubs his bandage again. He's also grown a high tolerance to irony, he thinks, as he pulls out his cell and dials Kristopher. He always gets voice mail. For all his tolerances, DeMarcus hates that Kristopher always lets him go to voicemail, and so DeMarcus just says it.

"Another one bites the dust. Also bit me - third one this season, so I'll be keeping eighty percent of his deposit this time. You can put out another open space ad. Got to tell me how you keep finding the narcoleptic ones." He chuckles, which causes the muscles in his neck to lock up in protest until he squats against the crypt for support. This hurts like hell, even for eighty percent. It's in the throes of the ache that he adds, "You're lucky I've got a high tolerance to vampirism, asshole. See you before dusk, unless you want to handle a night shift for once."

21 comments:

  1. Greedily my immediate response is 'More please.' Said, unlike Oliver, with a smile.

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    1. Hehe, you want more mundane janitors-around-vamps?

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  2. Ah so the vamps find the graveyard relaxing eh! That old sun will get 'em every time. Entertaining read John ^_^

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  3. High tolerance for vampirism? That's a pretty neat notion in itself, tying into the disease variation. I wonder if there is space for a modern plague/ outbreak/ vaccination/ CDC story, although I suppose it would just be an update of I am Legend, in a way...

    I once saw a production of Dracula with a narcoleptic Van Helsing; that was a lot of fun. ;)

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    1. Justin Cronin's The Passage opens on something like that, though it naturally goes wrong and the world is overrun with nasty biters. A story in the style of The Contagion could be neat, especially if the CDC had to confront it being a crazy infection that sure looked magic.

      And narcoleptic Van Helsing would be trouble! For humans.

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  4. Nice and you want to know more! Unusual vampires is what I'm aiming to myself!

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  5. Not sure that would be worth eighty percent.

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  6. So fun! It reminded me of that odd Rupert Everett movie Cemetary Man.

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    1. I will happily take any comparisons to Cemetery Man!

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  7. Maybe I'm biased because I love vampire stories, but I loved this. The beginning had me curious and the ending made me laugh.

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  8. Hah, he has a high tolerance for booze and downers, but the vamps who bite him don't? Serves 'em right. Sounds like DeMarcus also has a high tolerance for crap on the job. Good laugh, John.

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  9. John, this sounds like a great start to a terrific fun series...yes, that's a hint. :)

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    1. Haha, I'll take it under consideration...

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  10. Nice Queen quote. Tough constitution, that one, but rough job. I enjoyed this one very much.

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  11. Love it! It makes a kind of sick sense -- narcoleptics shutting down when under stress, so they make great victims, but it also means that once turned...

    I would love to read an episode where DeMarcus goes home and has a family dinner with head trauma specialist Mom and fantasy football league Dad.

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    1. The completely naturalist episode? That seems plausible. I have a few ideas percolating now, dangerous as that is...

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  12. Excellent storytelling, as usual. I particularly liked the line, "he’s never been good at not looking the sky in the eye". It tells a lot about a person/character.You really get a feel for DeMarcus even in this short piece. Great work.

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    1. Thank you so much, Margit. What a wonderful comment to come back to the computer and find tonight. I admit taking perhaps too much pride in the eye-of-the-sky line.

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  13. This made me smile throughout, John. It was like a deleted scene from Beagle's "A Fine and Private Place" written as a Monty Python sketch.

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  14. I kinda want high tolerance to vampirism :( Would make a Saturday night so much more fun!
    Excellent, John.

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