'You've been hearing stories about me.' He pulled a tattered copy of "The Dark Side of Life" out of his coat pocket. 'My ignorant prodigy has spoken of me. My illicit children and grandchildren. My children of the night.' The aged vampire's eyes sparkled with amusement.
'You did not think I would miss the opportunity to read such books, did you? I love to read, and vampire books have always been a particular delight,' he continued. 'Although these so-called "Confessions of a Dark Mind" are not nearly as entertaining as those that portray the vampire as a purely evil being. I much prefer being seen as an evil being. Ungraspable. Unmistakable. Unknown, really.'
He made a theatrical move with his hand, as though addressing an invisible audience.
'So you would consider yourself to be evil?' she asked in a tone of eagerness, much unlike her usual interview style.
'I would consider myself to do evil, my dear. There is a subtle difference.'
'I see.' She nodded her head slowly and made a note in her notebook. 'And what, exactly, is that difference?'
'I am a predator, you must understand. I thirst, I hunt, I kill. Why? Because it is in my nature. Because I must. And therefore I cannot feel sorry for the woman in my arms, I cannot learn the history of the man on tonight's menu. I cannot. It would ruin the simple taste of my meal. It would be like forcing a vegetarian to eat rib eye steak. He cannot do it. I do not want to be in that position where I starve because of my compassion. That would be suicidal.'
And now the vampire remained silent, watching her. The amused expression on his face spoke volumes, but she did not look up quickly enough to see it.
'Were you hoping to speak to me about my book, about your fledgling's confessions?' She glanced up briefly. 'Or would you perhaps care to tell me your side of the story?'
He smiled and let his fingers slide over the lapels of his coat. 'Fledgling,' he mused. 'I like that. Yes, I think I shall use that term myself.'
After a pause he added: 'Quite frankly, as interesting as my side undoubtedly is, I am not here to provide you with another bestseller. Even if my... fledgling... has left out a few details. Not that I blame him. There is so much the poor soul does not know about me.'
'Yes,' he repeated, 'I said poor soul. That is the expression, is it not?'
'I was merely wondering if it was just an expression, or perhaps... more?' she asked hungrily.
'Language is the only instrument I have to convey my story. That is the fate of all history. Language may not be as infinite as I am, and lacking in subtleties, but this expression will do nicely. Still, that is not why I am here,' he said, suggestively baring his fangs in a polite smile.
* * *
On 22 June 2013 my flash fiction piece "The Literary Vampire" was published on the Flash Flood Journal blog, followed by a second public appearance on Trip the Eclipse, Noree Cosper's website, as part of her Monster Menagerie mini contest.