Well I couldn’t do a post about zombies (see Zombies Not Waiting) and ignore the vampires now, could I? Those self-appointed gods of the food chain will be banging on my door requesting an invitation if I don’t shine a little dark light on them. So come my dear and become a Woman Not Waiting to be nibbled upon. Don’t worry. This will only hurt a little. You might even enjoy it. Muahahaha.
Jessie paces up and down her living room fanning herself and chatting on the cell phone with her sister from California. It’s torrential outside and the power is out for the 6th time this month. She walks to the front window, looks out, heads back to the kitchen, and rummages through the cupboards as her sister rants on about the overabundance of sun in the southwest.
“For 8 months? Wow! We’ve had the opposite problem over here. The last big one was worse than Sandy.” Jessie finally finds the matches and nabs the flashlight. She heads back to the living room and continues:
“Honestly. Everybody should just start rain catching and shipping it off to you guys. It’s rushing straight into the harbour anyway. But then that would just add to the problem. More dirty gas guzzling trucks on the road. Geez. We’re totally— ” She gasps.
“Lil’ sis! I’ll tell mom and you know what THAT means,” Jessie laughs. She even remembers the disgusting taste of phthalate infested animal fat.
Jessie grabs a match and is about to light some candles when she realizes she’s about to burn some fossil fuel of her own. She reaches for the flashlight instead and heads to the couch.
Her sister natters on with a diatribe about everything from mega-farms, to fracking, to water pollution, to overfishing, to GMO …You name it, she’s on it.
It’s the same-old same-old with her and Jessie is losing patience. “Well, just stop buying the stuff.” She rolls her eyes. “Yes you CAN make a difference.”
There’s a knock at the door. Jessie cuts into her sister’s litany of excuses. “I have to go. Daniel’s here. Love you.” She hangs up, grabs some organic red cherries from the coffee table and leaves the room.
Daniel stands at the doorstep, drenched and looking a little paler than usual. He walks right past Jessie and grabs a towel from the bathroom to dry off before he glides over to the armchair by the flat screen. Jessie stumbles in the dark behind him and sit back on the couch.
“You look like you haven’t eaten in days. Are you sure? They’re organic and non-GMO.”
Jessie turns on the flashlight, places it standing upright on the coffee table, and bites into another cherry. The juices dribbles down her chin. Daniel half smiles and stares into the dark screen. He sees the faint reflection of the fern behind him.
Everyone in the new Night Owls Meetup group he joined are all getting sick and he thinks it’s something they’ve been eating. He suspects a mutation in the DNA from ingesting too many GMO products which is causing humanity to not only become toxic to themselves but to spread toxicity to other species.
Daniel has been struggling with finding uncontaminated food himself, yet the cherries are not what he fancies. He stares up at Jessie with his pale gaunt face shivering through the yellow tinted aura from the flickering flashlight.
“You are the most eco-conscious healthy person I know, Jessie. How do you stay so purely human.”
Jessie looks at him strangely and hesitates. “Well, you know my mother was just as militant about what went into our mouths as what came out of it.” She checks for a hint of a smile, but nothing. Daniel just sits there quasi-comatose, licking his lips.
“And I’ve kept up the habit and grow my own food when I can and stay away from processed foods with no non-GMO labels,” she continues.
“I’ve always admired that about you, Jessie. You’re not waiting for someone to poison you before you take action. You are a truly remarkable woman.”
Jessie gives Daniel the up-down look and pastes on an uncomfortable smile.
A flash of light illuminates his wanting eyes before the darkness washes over them. They sit there in silence for a few moment and then Daniel takes his position at Jessie’s side.
“Jessie, you’d say we get along pretty good, right?”
Jessie slides in a tentative: “Yes, of course.”
“I mean. We’ve known each other since grade school and it’s as if—“
“We’ve been friends forever.” Jessie completes his sentence without a thought.
“Exactly!” Daniel exclaims as he leans in closer.
Jessie squirms and tries to reclaim some personal space. Out comes the internal sledgehammer telling her that she should have deduced something was up.
Daniel has been acting so strange since he got stuck without power in the subway during the last mega storm. He is dropping by on weeknights later and later, working remotely from home, keeping to himself during the day on weekends busy with a “special” project, he claims. But the direction this conversation is going suggests to her that there is more than a simple case of post traumatic stress at play here.
Jessie attempts to lighten the mood.
“You’re not going to get all mushy on me now are you, Daniel? We’ve had this discussion before.“
Daniel finally laughs a bit. “I was thinking more of a blood bond.”
“That last subway ride changed me, Jessie. The flooding isn’t what killed most of us on the train.”
He closes in on Jessie and grabs her behind the neck, and for the first time in her life, Jessie feels drawn to her childhood friend. Something more is indeed at play here, but not what she expected.
“You humans are killing the planet and our food source,” he salivates, fixated on the pulse fibrillating in her jugular. “I can’t wait any longer.”
He closes the gap between them and licks the cherry juice off her chin.
“Together, we can fight the GMO mutations and heal life on this planet. The balance is already broken. If we don’t set things right, then we all die…but humans first.”
“If we wait. You will all be vampire bait,” are the last words Jessie hears as she drifts into the unconscious world with Daniel consummating their eternal friendship.