Vampires, in fact, rule the world. We are their slaves. The congress, vampires. The president, vampire. There is even a good chance that your boss, the one that hates you, could be a vamp.
Most of the world doesn't even know that these people are vampires, because vamps have the ability to control minds. There are very few like me.
I'm a Brill, or vampire killer. Brill is derived from the vamp slang for "the one that got away." The vampires think of us as cattle, and if one of us managed to get away from them they called that person a brill, as in specifically, "the fish that got away." My uncle adapted the word as a title for a vamp hunter.
With all the luck in the world, vamps have too many minds to control to notice the ones they can't, until its too late.
Let me introduce myself...
"Hello. My name is Marvin and I'm an alcoholic"
That's me, the tall skinny 30-something guy standing.
"I've been sober for about ten minutes." The irony was that the meeting began three hours ago. "I've finally come to realize that I have a severe problem, and I need help." There was a quick round of claps in the circle.
I really couldn't tell you why I drink. You'd probably guess that it had something to do with the vampires, but the answer is slightly more elusive than that. I won't say that the life of a Brill isn't a lonely one, but this is a calling I can't deny. I could be the one to free mankind.
"I started to drink when I was seventeen. That was when my father died and left my younger sister and I to live with our mother. My mom, may god rest her soul, was a constant raging drunk, any money that she got from her shit job went into to booze. Thank god that my uncle was our landlord, and he adored me and my sis Lana. He didn't charge us rent so that Lana and I could stay in school instead of getting a full time job." I gave a theatrical pause. "Money was so tight though, so I had to find a job, so that we could have food. I worked at a crap fast-food place, I was drunk most the time. That was the only upside to having a drunk mother, it made the liquor easy to acquire." I let a nervous chuckle. "I'm sorry I'm just not used to talking about my problems"
"It's okay Marvin, you're amongst friends." That was the group leader, Dan. I'd seen him before when I was out hunting, that was how I got the idea to come here.
"Thank you. In my sister's senior year of high school, my mom passed. I was only two years out of high school, and I was still working at that shit job, somehow I became the manager, which I thought was strange because I never came to work sober. My uncle was kind enough to take my sis and I in." This kind of honesty was vindicating.
Only... Well I wasn't telling them the whole truth. I skipped over the part that my uncle was training my sister and I as Brill. I ignored the fact that I didn't get the job at the fast food place until after I finished school, so that I could spend all my excess time training. My uncle used to give us the food I claimed to work for. I was however nearly constantly drunk whenever I was around my mother.
My uncle told me that being of a free mind, meaning not controlled by the vamps, tended to run in families. My father was a Brill, so was my uncle, but my mother was under their control. My uncle trained me physically, and he trained my sister, who I happily admit is a genius, mentally. He had a greater plan of setting her and I up as an unstoppable Brill duo. It never occurred to me until years later that he didn't have a spot for himself in this plan. This was his way of retiring, I suppose.
"The rest of my life is kind of a blur. My uncle just recently passed as well." I teared up a little. Out of all the things that happened to me; discovering at the ripe age of seven that vampires ruled the world, my father dying, my mother's drinking and demise, and my uncle's death... The only one that really bothered me was the death of my uncle. He was retired, but the vampires found him and killed him. The same thing happened to my father, but I wasn't there to see it.
I wanted to help my uncle, so did Lana... But we knew, as well did my uncle, that if we tried to save him, our covers as "cattle," would have been blown.
"Everyone thank Marvin for sharing with us." Dan said with a smile. I sat down.
"Thank you Marvin." The circle said in unison.
"Now its your turn Anna"
A blonde woman across from me rose out of her chair. "Hi, my name is Anna... And I'm..." For a moment she burst into tears.
"It's alright Anna, we're friends here." It was my voice, but I don't remember saying it. After telling my story I suddenly got a here-but-not-here feeling.
"I'm an alcoholic." She finished.
Anna wiped her face clean. "I've been sober for two months now"
I gave a wolf whistle to cheer the room up; it worked. The room burst into laughter and Anna smiled at me. I think I made a new friend.
The house was cold and all the lights were on, which meant that Lana was home. She had some odd quirks that made working and living with her difficult at times... But than again it could just be sibling rivalry.
I start off down the hall and pass a mirror. For split second, I question whether or not I saw my reflection out of the corner of my eye. I turn and stare, and I stare back at me.
My hair is short and matted to my head. It used to be a soft red color, now its more dirt brown. I notice that the scar across my nose is finally healing.
"AHH!" I screamed, I was poked in the ribs jarring me out of deep thought. I swung my arm out, just to stop inches from Lana's unflinching face.
"You always do that." Lana laughed. "You never actually hit me. What would have happened if it was someone else"
"Then they would be five and a half feet shorter right now looking up at me asking how they got there." I chuckled but she let out a great big laugh.
My redhead thirty year old sister. She wasn't fat but she wasn't skinny. Lana was built the way I'd want my girlfriend or wife to be. Come to think of it, Anna was built like her.
I leaned in and gave Lana a hug. She exploded into a mountain of tears. More water was coming out of her eyes then could have possibly fit inside of her.
"Little John is fine..." She assured me. "It just... It just hurts so much"
"I know pi, I know." Lana's husband was recently killed in a vampire hunt she and I went on. Her husband knew what we did, he wasn't controlled by them, but also wasn't strong enough to fight them himself. John, her husband, followed us one night to see a hunt first-hand. The vamps spotted him and killed him.
"It'll be okay pi." I call her 'pi' because when she was young she learned how to say forty-plus numbers that were in pi. Also, it was her husbands nickname for her, except his was 'pie'... He said she was 'the sweetest anything or anyone ever'
I hugged her tighter as she shuddered in my grasp. When I breathed in I caught a whiff of something sending me back. "You smell like Donna used to." Donna was a girlfriend I had a while ago, I lost her the same way Lana lost her husband.
Lana and I stood there holding each other, crying.
I used to think about how the world worked when I was young. And when I found out the answer to that question I began to wish that I had never asked.
Lana said she always knew there were vampires. She said she didn't know how she knew, but that she just always did.
Oh, something I should tell you about the fate of my mother... About a year before she died, she turned into one of them, the vamps. We still don't know how the vampires turn people into them but this one did.
The first vampire I killed had once been the person to tuck me in at night and warn me of bed-bugs and bad dreams. That tends to mess up a kid's head.
I used to lay awake at night and think about the cute girls in my class, but my mind would quickly turn them into vampires. My dreams would warp from wet to nightmarish.
Imagine, if you will, that you are having sex and that suddenly that person becomes a vampire in the middle of the act.
I swear, when all of this is over, I'm going to need a good therapist.
When I think about it, maybe the reason I drink isn't as elusive as I thought.
In our duo, Lana was the brain's. Which, in part, meant that she had to find where the vamp we were going to hunt lived. It also meant that she had to find a nice remote spot for my to kill the vampire. If another vampire, or even person, saw me committing this act, I'd have the police after me. I'm not entirely sure that my defense of "he's a vampire" would go over all that well.
I was the brawn. I'm not that strong, but honestly, to kill vamps, you don't need to be. They're weak as newborn kittens. The only power they tend to have over anyone is mental. So if a vampire is about to get into your average everyday fist-fight, he reaches into that man's mind and tells him to go elsewhere. Vampires can be very fast runners though. However, they aren't all that agile, so when I was training that was what my uncle had me focus on. I'm now faster than any vamp I have come across, and I'm about thirty times more agile.
I awoke at my desk, quickly, so I shot upright. I peeled the pieces of paper stuck to my face off and placed them back on the desk.
Lana walked in and she was beaming. She swayed right past me and began the cheer.
My neck was still in "I-don't-fucking-feel-like-moving" mode. I swivelled my chair around. At the other end of our warehouse-style house was.
"Frank!" I yelled. "Holy shit dude! What are you doing here"
"I couldn't let my cousins be alone this long." Frank was like us. Sadly though, he was the only relative we knew of like us... But someone was definitely better than no one. Frank was the son of the uncle that trained us.
Frank was never trained by his father because he had lived with his mother until he was eighteen. When he moved in with his father, he told him the truth and wanted to train him. Frank didn't want to be trained, but he was willing to be a help to any and all that needed a place to stay while performing this "duty" as he called it.
"Damn Frank, you're looking well. Shit, it's your birthday soon right"
"Actually it was last week." Frank smiled at me, the way a kid does when he knows he's got something on his parents, and he'll be getting a toy to shut him up.
"Really? Happy belated. How old are you?" I asked, Lana executed an odd head movement to show that she was listening.
"I turned twenty-seven. Bell brought me out to this really nice German restaurant upstate"
"Marvin, we should do something for him." Lana was pure bubbles and sugar at this moment in time.
I paused for a moment. I wanted to respond with "But we have got work to do." But the following came out instead... "Yeah let's go. Where to old man"
"To German women serving you beer and dead animals!"
I liked this place. I don't remember the name and when I walked up to it I couldn't tell because of the font used on the sign. This place had a comfortable warm feeling to it.
"Hey guys, my buddy's flick is coming this week, want to go see it?" Frank was quite enthusiastic suddenly.
"When do movies get released where you come from? Friday, of course"
"I'll see if I can"
The waiter walked up and asked us what we wanted for drinks. Frank asked for a tequila, Lana, for the same. I asked for a coke.
"Hey man, its my birthday, drink up." Frank smiled and nudged me.
"I'm an alcoholic Frank, I shouldn't be drinking." The will power it took to not take the drink and say that sentence could have choked an elephant.
"Ah shit man, sorry, I forgot." Frank looked sullen. I don't think he forgot, I think he just wanted an excuse to ask me questions. "How's that going anyway"
I knew this question was coming, and I had about a dozen smart-ass responses prepared. But Dan told me that I should be open with friends and family, so I disregarded them. "Not too bad actually. I've been sober for only a few days now though." I gave the theatrical pause that is mandatory when discussing alcoholism. Mentally I chuckled at the thought.
"That's good to hear man." Frank smiled and patted me on the shoulder. I know that he cares, but I didn't really want to talk about it, so a slight disdain for him was announced in the back of my head.
Lana gave a laugh that made me nervous. "Tell him about Anna." This sentence shot me back to when we were kids. The statement had the same tone as a four-year-old telling her parents 'Johnny stole a cookie mommy'
Shit, I had been talking in my sleep again.
"Who's Anna?" I think I felt my face go red, but I'm entirely sure because I was spending most of my time burrowing into the far reaches of my skull.
"That's my question, Marvin." She was enjoying this. I know she was. I gave her the same treatment when she started dating her husband. Whoever said 'turnabout's fair play' never had Lana as a sister.
"She's a girl from group." Either I gave up digging, or I found stone. "I don't really know anything more about her. Last meeting was the first time I ever met her"
Frank sat there, this was dinner and a movie to him.
"Well, knowing you, you'll allow it to be your last. Don't let anyone you even kind of like slip away. It gets to lonely otherwise." Lana was giving me this advice... She was giving me my advice back to me.
I should learn to shut up.