Where’s that blonde wig of yours, Mama? The one Aunt Kinra gave you as a joke. So it makes your skin look …No, it’s not for me. Of course that school hasn’t given me any crazy ideas. Or any other kind. I hate the place.
Anyway, you’re the one who sent me, said all kinds of kids go to regular school. After Papa said something about a law.
But those kids don’t care about laws. Miserable short-lifers. Call me bleach face. And when my cape ripped on a nail on my desk, the teacher told me to stop fussing. Said I was just spoiled. The way my ma let me wear a costume to school every day.
Billy the creep said nothing could spoil me, I was already stupid. Didn’t even know some holiday had come and gone. Yes, Mama, I did what Uncle Marron told me to do when I’m teased. Swirled my cape around and frowned.
But Susan giggled, “What a nut. Thinks he’s s-o-o-o scary.”
I have tried to be friendly, Mama. Like today when Billy and his gang wrapped up in old newspapers. They looked ridiculous like that poor lost mummy Papa felt sorry for and brought home out of the cold. It seemed funny, short-lifers thinking they can be like us, just by stumbling around and waving their arms. I thought they wanted me to laugh at them.
Billy just got mad. His face turned red. Weird. When they don’t even drink…Anyway, he knocked me down and swore he was going to cut off my mask.
I couldn’t, Mama. It happened so fast. I forgot the words to repel living objects. You’re right, Mama, losing my dignity and skipping spell chanting is very bad. But I did remember that people around here use steel knives. So I wasn’t too scared.
Then, Betty came over. Yes, the one who wears a scarf over her head. And today, when she reached for my hand to help me up, the scarf slipped. She has no hair.
The kids shut up pretty fast. No, they never tease her. Just share their lunch and toys with her. Even parents treat her really nice, ask if she needs a ride home or anything.
I don’t know why. But I did hear one teacher whisper to another that poor Betty had the answer. So they’re nice to her. Yes, she’s almost as smart as I am. I love to watch her hand shoot up like an arrow when the teacher asks about math problems and who has finished the assigned reading.
But no need to whisper about knowing things. Our family knows history back thousands of years, and Uncle can recite hundreds of romantic lines. You and Papa write beautiful stories too, all about graveyards and skeletons dancing.
Yes, Mama, I know I’m handsome and well-read for my age. But maybe Betty’d like me better if I cut off my hair. I don’t care if Grandmama thinks my hair is black and beautiful like the night sky. And any one should be glad to have it. I think Betty’s head is smooth and lovely, like the skin of my pet mouse.
When she smiled at me, her teeth were white and even. I wish mine grew like hers. Of course, I’m proud my fang bumps are starting to show. But stupid Eddie calls me ‘Sawtooth’. Even pretended to be chewing a piece of wood. As if we’d eat anything so coarse. And unalive.
Anyway, I want to invite Betty over. I don’t think she’d mind about this castle and all the dust. I’ve told her about our moonlight walks and celebrating Sammas. Stuff like that. She said it sounded romantic.
Probably she hates her family. The way they shave her head like she was a convict. And even if the kids are nice to her, sometimes her eyes are full of pain. Like yours when you’re reading the bones. So I thought the blonde wig might make her happy, Kids want to look like everyone else.
You’ll like her too, Mama. Oh, I wish she could stay with us for a long, long time.
(c) Lida Broadhurst, All Rights Reserved.
Tags: Bloodlust-UK, Dracula, Lida Broadhurst, Mainstreaming, Short Story, Vampire, Vampire Fiction, Writers
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