Sisterhood of the Night"Somebody bring me some water. " I heard Kat yell from the living room.
"What the fuck do you want to drink water for?" Diana yelled back. I was thinking the same thing. Kat and Diana are two of my best friends. We live in an old two-story house in Denver with a couple of other friends. Dona and Fiona are out at the moment. We aren't your usual housemates either.
"Nobody said I was gonna drink it."
"Then what the fuck do ya want water for?" Other than the foul language, looking like hookers and the fact that none of us drink water you wouldn't think we'd be immortal. My name is Lara Fox. I'm five foot six and I have flaming red hair. The red hair is kind of an odd occurrence where I'm from. Most of the population is of German descent where red hair just doesn't happen. I played on the Internet once on some genealogy site and found out why I have red hair; my ancestors were English, Irish and Scottish. I'm from rural Nebraska and oh so glad I live somewhere with more than a twelve grand population. In my hometown everybody knows what everybody is doing and given the fact that I rarely go outside during the day and never go to church would have everybody stewing in their own soup. At home you'd better be sick or dying to not be seen at church on Sunday. I could go on but well, let's not get into that subject just now. I never grew up with people who swore, it's just a habit I picked up from the people I've been around since I left home. I feel pretty guilty about swearing, sometimes. You see, I had to quit college because of the change and well I had to pay the rent somehow. Since the change, I got an awesome body and so I started dancing. No, not ballet. You know, exotic. Okay, I'll admit it; I'm a topless dancer. Satisfied? Good, can I get on with the story? Yes, I hate my job and I'd rather be writing fiction like you believe I'm doing now.
Kat yells back. "My donor leaked on my pillow." That's right, we're vampires. We affectionately call ourselves the Sisterhood of the Night. It's a big joke between all of us. Fiona came up with it after we watched Brotherhood of the Wolf at the Dollar Theater one night. Dona suggested Sisterhood of the Vampires but it seemed a little corny and we didn't want to include all female vampires into our club.
In the meantime, I sit on the edge of my saggy single bed picking out shoes. Fashion never used to be a priority of mine but living with four other women has a way of changing things. My cat Gwen is playing with the laces on my black leather spiked boots. I never would have dreamed of wearing these in my other life. Nope, sneakers and sandals were about all I wore.
"Damn it Why are you so sloppy?" Diana fills a glass at the kitchen sink and carries it into the living room. She's from rural Kansas and if her parents ever heard her speak the way we all do she'd be disowned. Diana's an eighth generation witch. Her family doesn't know she's a vampire either. Neither do the rest of our families for that matter. That's why we all live together in Denver.
Katrina's native to Denver, although she spent her first five years in Indiana and the next five after that in Kansas, she shows the rest of us our way around. She's the only one besides me with a tattoo; it's a spider on her shoulder. I have a crescent moon with a star in the center at the small of my back. If any of us tried to get a tattoo now, it only disappears the next sunset.
Denver during the daytime is mundane unless your human but after hours is something all together a different color. In fact, a few years before my change is when the vampires revealed themselves to the human world. Denver has been the only city that hasn't banned vampirism. That is why there is a vampire club, bar, and grocery store on virtually every corner. Yup, you guessed it. Nearly every freak in North America transplanted themselves in and around Denver. Kinda like Haight Ashbury in San Francisco during the 1960's. That great migration out of California in the 1990"s included a lot of fang freaks, new agers and space coo-coo's. All Hail Dracula!
Since then Denver has become the freak capitol in North America and contains nearly the most freaks second only to Vancouver and then there is Berlin and Paris. Denver is also home to the largest population of vampire and werewolf bounty hunters.
So far, the werewolves and the fey have yet to follow suit. After what happened with us, I can understand why they are hesitant. Before the change, I'd have been frightened to live in the same neighborhood with a feral animal. But now I know they leave the city during the full moon and most of them lead normal lives and as long as they don't inflict any damage that breaks the skin while furry, then nobody joins them on the next full moon.
And the fey you ask? Who are they? The fey, faerie or Sidhe (pronounced Shee). Sidhe, I believe, is gaelic. Tinkerbell is a modern misconception. Sure there are faeries that are little, but elves are human sized. Trolls are enormous and the trees have spirits too or so I've been told. I've never actually met one. There are two main courts in the faerie culture. The Seelie spend their days dancing and playing in sunlight and playing tricks on mortals. The Unseelie is the dark side. They hunt and live in the darkness. I wonder if vampires were ever... My grandfather Ashe taught me all sorts of faerie lore before he died. I wish I could remember half of it. Anyway, the fey probably aren't going to break tradition and reveal themselves to humanity.
It's a good thing the werewolves live in packs because, as I hear it, becoming a werewolf is not an easy thing to accomplish. Becoming a vamp is no joke either but adjusting to living with a complete and alien beast inside your body that is willing to escape at any given moment to hunt and kill is hard to do. That is if you survived the first week after being bitten.
"I'm not sloppy, I just like to feel it on my skin."
"You're the reason the bath tub always smells of blood." I hear from downstairs. There are no secrets in this house, we hear every conversation that goes on no matter what room you're in. Insulation and distance keep us from knowing what the neighbors talk about. It's why we live in a house and not an apartment complex. I'm not sure I would want to know what our neighbors talk about.
"Yep, and proud of it."
"Figures. You do know that water isn't going to get out that stain. You need to soak it for a while."
"I'm going out guys." I yell to nobody in particular.
"Wait, can I come?" Kat asks. "I'm still hungry."
"No, you take too long in the tub and I'm not going to be seen with a blood covered wench." She'd be in the tub all day long if the sun didn't shine in there. I don't mind a little sunlight but Kat just despises daylight. Maybe she had too much in Kansas, I don't know. Perhaps it's because she was born in Indiana, where it rains more often, and spent the first five years there, that might have something to do with it. I'm a farmers daughter and rode on the tractor during harvest and helped irrigate corn in the hot summer sun. I couldn't get enough sun as a kid except when I got sun burnt. I even got bored with winter once and decided I wanted to play in the sprinkler in the middle of January (I was only 4 at the time). So I went and put on my swimsuit and out into the snow. Mom says I didn't last long and came running back into the house when I realized I couldn't change the weather with a simple wish.
With sun better than three hundred days a year and you put us in a place with many more cloudy days, we get depressed much like those that live in Alaska do. I suppose we'd rather live in a desert than the rain forest. I went to visit an uncle in Missouri one summer, and there were so many trees that I couldn't see the horizon all the way around, I got a little claustrophobic only I didn't realize it until we were well into Kansas on the way home.
"I'm not a wench." Kat said indignantly. Either she's delusional or stubborn, or both. I glance in the mirror one last time before looking to check on the status of today's sunrise.
"No but you are a tease and your still covered in blood. Get your own ride."
"Just kidding. Why the fuck would I drive when I can fly" But your still not coming along." I love to fly. Perhaps one day I'll buy a convertible with a large engine and then find a long stretch of highway where I can actually enjoy driving.
"I'll be quick, promise."
"No Kat, catch up if you can. I'll be at Hansen's."
"Not Hansen's again." She whines. "You know who'll be there and I just can't stand him." Kat's ex-boyfriend Jason hangs there to. He's also a vamp everybody calls him Rush. I don't know why. He has his blond hair in a flop. I thought that was what women wore during the twenties. He smiles easily, has sweet blue eyes and has a dimple in his chin. Trust me, they were no match for each other. It's an "opposites attract" sort of thing. They'd have wild sex and then fight over who got to be on top. It nearly destroyed the last house we lived in. She's still paying the landlord for the damages. He's more my type of guy but I'm not going to hit on him unless either Kat or I move out. That doesn't mean I don't flirt with him. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping my hands off of him. Not for sex or anything but just to touch. Touch feels like home with apple pie, a kitty purring on your lap and a solid understanding shoulder to cry on.
Hansen's is sort of technically a vampire bar called Brews and Lagers Of Other Dimensions Bar and Grill; B.L.O.O.D. for short. Jack Hansen, the owner, is a good friend. He doesn't want all the Goth wannabe vampires in his bar so he doesn't advertise it that way. We just go, hang out and prey on the drunken mortals. They're usually so drunk that we don't even have to hypnotize them. Jack usually has donor blood in stock as well.
"If Jason's there, then you won't follow me." There are times I don't want to be bothered with the entire crowd of vampire wanna-be's offering me something valuable just for a glimpse of immortality, sometimes I just don't want to have Kat hanging on my hip, sometimes I want to be alone. What they don't understand is that it takes several hundred years to be completely immortal. I'm only semi-immortal. Only Master Vampires are immortal. During the day we non-masters are as mortal as the average human. We need to eat, drink, pee, poo, catch colds, have periods, and have cramps until sundown when any damage we receive during the day is healed as if it never happened. Being a vampire isn't as bad as it sounds in the stories.
"Why not go to Autumn's Twilight and why are you so determined to ignore me tonight?" Kat asks.
"I'm not into Goth. I don't want to be hit on by every 18 to 27-year-old wearing black leather, chains and black lipstick male or female. Even if their hair isn't black I just get tired of saying no. Besides you hit on everything with testicles. I'm not into looking that slutty tonight. I just got off of work and I'm hungry. Now quit making me repeat the word no and let me get out of hear. The sun up is in an hour and it takes ten minutes to get there."
"Fine, go then. I'll find food elsewhere." She sighs. A twinge of guilt finds its way into my chest then vanishes without a trace.
"Just don't bring him back. I don't want to clean any more of your mess than I'm already stuck with." Diana says.
I sneak out my bedroom window just in case she is even more determined than I think she is and take to the skies feeling the cool night air sting my eyes until my aura blocks the wind. Oh, did I tell you I have a balcony outside my window? Why they didn't put a door up here, I'll never know. If I drove around in a car I'd still have at least forty-five minutes travel time but since I fly… Now seems like an ideal time to tell you all about what vampires do and do not do. I don't guarantee I know everything since I didn't have anybody but Alec to learn from. I'll tell you more about Alec later.
I know, it sounds cliché but since every other author has his or her different take on it, I thought I'd tell you the truth. Yes, crosses are a bother, which is why I don't go to church. I haven't figured out why I still have a soul and I can't even stand on the sidewalk in front of a church, I have to cross the street and still be uncomfortable. I can participate in a wiccan ritual but crosses and churches are cardinal sins in the life of a vampire. That also means holy water can be really painful as well. Acid like painful. We can see ourselves in a mirror but mortals can't. Photographs are the same way. Running water like rivers and oceans are not a problem. We can spend months underwater and not feel anything but hunger. I'll get more in depth on hunger later, but suffice it to say, we don't let hunger slide, to do so would be disgusting, no, awful. I'll leave it at that.
Silver tingles a little but doesn't cause any great harm. Yes, I have met werewolves. No, they are not feral half man, half wolves that eat women and children. They are more like real wolves with a semi-human brain. I have a few good friends that are were's.
We do have fangs that come out with the hunger and our eyes change color depending on our mood. When we are hungry, our eyes change to silver ringed with red but the rest of the time our eyes look like mood stones.
And what about wooden stakes? Heck, even toothpicks we take somewhat seriously. If they aren't removed within an hour we are toast, literally. The longer wood is in our body the hotter we get and in less than an hour comes all consuming flames. Sound familiar? Yup, you guessed it. The start of all the spontaneous human combustion stories except that those weren't human they were vampires who got a splinter in their finger. Fiona tells me decapitation is quicker.
Sunlight robs us of our powers but we don't become a pile of ash if we're in it unless you've let your hunger go too long. We also have an acute sense of smell (not as awesome as those werewolves I mentioned before), super fast reflexes, some rudimentary magical skills and mind hypnosis. Hypnosis comes in handy if you don't want your victim screaming.
Garlic is so not an issue it's hilarious. I've seen people take their innocent friends into a vamp bar and they've snuck in a clove of garlic in their pocket or purse. Those innocent girls are the first to be donors. We all laugh at the Hollywood take on the subject.
What about the blood you ask? That depends on the vamp. Some need several a night, like Kat, where others only need the occasional infusion. I've met a vamp who only takes blood every thirty some years. It could have something to do with age. I'm not sure, he wouldn't tell me.
I'm not that old. I was changed only three years ago only a few months after I started college. Kat, last year, Dona two and a half years yet she was changed at seventeen and still has a teenagers innocence with most things, Fiona two months before me (I call her Raven because she always wears black, I think it's because of where she works) and Diana is the oldest of the five of us and is self proclaimed protector although she is more like a mother figure. Diana is the oldest of all of us; she was changed ten years ago. All of us except Diana wandered aimlessly after the change until Alec found us and took us to her one at a time.
A vamp named Rade changed us all (again, except Diana). The lie he told us after we caught him was that he wanted to see how four innocent girls, new to being a vampire would survive in the big city. We couldn't torture the truth out of him fast enough. Fiona took revenge. She locked him up in a cryo-freezer with silver spikes in his skin and only one bag of blood for a pillow. Fiona's a twisted girl but she's grand fun. She works as an after dark bouncer at Autumns Twilight. She'd wear guns to work if they'd let her. She wears her fangs out for all the kiddies to see she means business. If she ever smiled at work it's be a miracle. It's the only place that black leather and chains is the norm and she wears them all the time. Fiona and I get along the best of the five of us. Someday I'll take her up on the shooting lessons. I've already joined her Aikido class.
I'm not into black leather and chains all the time. I wear t-shirts and jeans just like I did when I was mortal. I must admit though that they've gotten tighter since then. I don't have to worry about the monthly bloat or whether ice cream will make me fat or not. I have shoulder length red hair. When mom told me how I got my name I was glad that none of my friends watched old Fred Astaire movies because I'm glad my last name is not Rogers. Yup you guessed it, I was almost named after Ginger Rogers. I don't sing or dance either. After the change, my freckles faded and now the boys stare at me when I walk by and I love it. I wouldn't change my hair color if I could but I cant so I won't. I tried to go blonde a while back but after the sun went down the red came back. It's the reason I only have one tattoo.