Peter quickly realized, about a half-second after his transformation, that being a vampire wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.
You lied to me, Stephanie Meyers! he thought, as he surveyed his glitter-free skin and his rotund beer belly that, regrettably, survived the painful evolution process. He was on the verge of chucking his entire Twilight collection into the waste basket – collectible plush toys and all – but then thought better of it. Vampires were cool. People flipped for vampires. And who knew? Maybe vampires had a different outer appearance to normal people. Yeah, that had to be it, Peter reasoned; everyone found vampires attractive, but it was literally impossible for every vampire to be as good-looking as a runway model.
Buoyed by this thought, Peter donned his prized fedora and strutted outside. Where shall he go to first, he thought. How shall I announce my new self to the world?
A glittering neon sign caught his eye a little ways down the road. He recognized it as a mildly popular bar, although he had never been inside. He didn’t really enjoy drinking all that much. Something about the taste. But today was not Peter’s average day, and so, he opened the door and walked inside, his eyes taking a moment to adjust to the dim interior. At the far corner of a bar, he spied a girl sitting on a stool, her long blonde hair catching his eye. She was nursing a martini and scrolling through her phone in an uninterested sort of way. Alright, first victim.
“Hey,” he leaned up against the banister, crossing his arms and raking his eyes up and down her body in a dazzling display of his charm.
She barely spared him a glance. “Hi,” she said, and promptly returned to her phone. Peter frowned a little. Maybe it took a little bit more. Maybe she couldn’t tell he was a vampire yet, although they shouldn’t need to know that to be charmed…
He cleared her throat. Her brow furrowed a little but she didn’t acknowledge the sound any further. “Um,” Peter started out, then realized he had nothing to talk about. Didn’t being a vampire automatically give you myriads of conversation topics? Apparently they had skipped over that part during vampire orientation.
She looked up again, looking more annoyed than before. “What do you want?” she asked, a nip in her voice.
“I, uh.” Peter stumbled. Why, oh why, didn’t he have sparkly skin? At least there was an interesting topic. Oh my God, your skin’s glowing! I know, baby, it’s hard to live with. It’s so beautiful. Do you want to touch it?
“I’m a vampire,” were the words that ended up stumbling out of his mouth. He smiled a little. There it was. Now she was totally –
“So you’re a vampire, huh?” she looked at him askance. Peter drew himself taller. “That’s right,” he said, flicking his hair out of his face and stroking his chin in what he assumed was a winning move. “What do you think?”
She guffawed. “Then where are your fangs, genius?”
Before she could say anything, the bartender called over from the other side of the counter, where, apparently, he had been eavesdropping. “Halloween isn’t till October, smart one!”
The whole room filled with laughs and Peter’s face flushed red. He expected the girl to stand up and say something in defense, about how they were all wrong and Peter was a wonderful man who didn’t need fangs, and he turned to her in anticipation – but the words that came out of her mouth next caught him flat-footed.
“Just leave me alone.”
And all of a sudden, Peter was 17 again, with his stubbly beard and transition glasses, getting turned down by Molly Weaver for prom…
And then he was 21, finding himself alone in a bar awkwardly nursing a gin he couldn’t drink while watching his friends dance something he couldn’t dance…
And he realized nothing had changed at all. Except for, perhaps, a strong affinity for blood. Because he was a vampire. Or had that part remained the same, too? He cautiously tasted himself, licking his fingers. Nothing.
Being a vampire was the biggest scam on the planet, Peter grumbled to himself, as he left the bar with what he hoped was a stoic nonchalance. What a ripoff. He should’ve bought that collector’s print of Star Trek spaceships instead.