by M.T. Anderson
My parents are worried about me. I can tell from the way they look at me when they think I’m not looking at them. They’re right to be worried. Right now, I can hear them whispering to each other about me. When my father comes up to my room, I’m a little afraid of what he’s going to say. But for the moment, it’s okay. All he wants is a little father-son bonding ritual. It’s time to teach me to shave. I can handle that. I just couldn’t handle it if they knew what was going on with me, if they knew what I’m turning into.
My father takes me into the bathroom and shows me how to put on the shaving cream and wets the razor with hot water for me. “Now take the razor,” my dad says, “and put in right under your nose.” His fingers grab just below my wrist and guide my hand down. “Okay, you can let go now,” I tell him. He pulls away and the razor slips just a fraction. I say, “Ow.” He’s saying, “There, now you’ve cut yourself.” But I’m noticing the obvious thing. The sweet, tangy smell of my blood. I hit the floor. I know what’s going to happen next. I have to get him out of the room before he notices, too. “Get out, Dad. Could you get out? I want to do this alone.” Dad goes. I can hear my parents talking outside the door. They think I’m overreacting. “It was just a little cut,” my dad says. He doesn’t know. He can’t know. I look into the mirror, and I don’t see myself. I’m not surprised. I guess I’ll have to do the rest of the shave blind. Carefully, I drag the razor down my lip again. More red. I start licking. The shaving cream is not as sweet as it smells. The blood is good and salty. There isn’t much from two wounds. So I take another exploratory scrape with my razor. Without the mirror, this is just a joke. I’m cutting the hell out of my face. And I’m loving it. I’m licking and licking, laughing, and licking some more. I have been so thirsty.
It’s spring now, almost time for the annual Sad Festival of Vampires, almost time for the special rites which will keep the Vampire Lord Tch’muchgar locked safely away for another year. Except I think I really blew it. I think maybe I did something I shouldn’t have done. And I think I’m turning into a vampire.