That Time With The Vampires
Chapter 2

When I was back at my apartment, I called the number on the card Omar had given me. A young woman's voice answered the phone, and after I explained myself to her she gave me directions to a large country home that served as the Undying Society's headquarters. I told her that I'd be over on Saturday (tomorrow) around three.

I was pretty happy to find out it was out in the country - out there, without so many people, I'd be able to fly a bit and keep my ability honed. It had been getting a little rusty lately, so this would be the perfect chance to fix that.

When Saturday came, I decided to wear a pair of slacks, a button down, and a jacket. I figured that since Omar had said they were snobby, I probably shouldn't turn up in worn jeans and a band shirt.

It was about a fifty mile drive out from where I lived. It turned out to be a large mansion up on top of a hill, built in old-fashioned style. I rang the doorbell and waited, and soon a butler answered the door. I introduced myself, and he took me inside.

The inside, as I remember it, was very richly decorated. There were numerous paintings which were probably very expensive, and there were even a couple of suits of armor. There were expensive rugs, antique furniture, and even an old harpsichord in one room. But at this point, I was more curious about who I would meet, and what they would be like. It didn't take long to find out; I was led into a living room where several people waited. Most were sitting in chairs. A blond woman was pacing around, and a very tall man was standing off to the side in a corner. They all looked at me.

I looked back and smiled. "Hi, Adry Hardouin. Pleased to make all your acquaintances," I said.

An attractive woman with brunette hair piled high leaned forward from her chair, peering at me with a look that I'm not sure whether it was curious, suspicious, or both. "What's that accent?" she asked. "Where's it from?"

"Everywhere, nowhere," I said. "I've been around a lot. Learned a lot of languages."

"Where were you born?" a seated man with graying black hair asked. (Despite his graying hair, he only seemed to be in his mid-thirties.)

"France," I said. "Normandy, specifically. My village hasn't existed in a long time, though."

That seemed to please all of them.

"How did you become immortal?" the woman asked.

"I was hit by lightning once," I said. "That was... it."

The graying man nodded. "So, mysteranium," he said.

"Mysteranium?" I asked. I couldn't remember whether I'd heard of any such thing before or not.

He nodded. "It's a rare metal. Sometimes people get it in their bodies, and when lightning hits them, they sometimes get powers. You got anything else, or are you just immortal?"

"I fly," I said. "That's basically it. I live forever, and I fly."

"Well, that's not bad," he said. "So what else do you do?"

I remembered what Omar had said about them being snobs, and feeling a little bit Puckish, I announced, "Well, I work at a corner grocery store."

None of the reactions were positive. The brunette lady gave me a pitying look. The graying haired man looked disappointed. The pacing woman looked uneasy. The tall man standing in the corner shifted his weight.

"They really love the way I put things on the shelves," I continued. "I've been given 'best employee' awards for it. Really something, you know? To just find a little place like that and realize that you're just needed there."

That didn't win any approval, either - not that I really expected it to. I figured I'd messed around long enough and now it was time to switch gears.

"But in addition to that, there's my real passion," I said. "I'm an actor. I've been performing as Ariel in The Tempest." No, acting was not my real passion. I wasn't even in any productions right now.

The change was immediate. Most of them took interest. "Well, now that's something!" the graying man said. He stood up. "I'm Michael Fitch." He held his hand out, and I shook it. "Nice to meet you, Adry," he said. "Welcome to the Undying Society."

I put on my best grin. "Thanks," I said.

Michael asked me all about myself, and I told him essentially what I told you earlier - my age, my history, and all of that. Then he introduced me to everyone. The blond woman was named Theodora Cole. The brunette was named Amanda Scott. The tall man was named John Phillips. The three of them were vampires. Michael Fitch was like me. He'd been struck by lightning at the age of thirty five around the turn of the century, and hadn't aged a day since. Other than that, he told me, he had no powers.

They offered me tea. While I don't usually go out of my way to drink fancy tea, I won't usually turn it down if someone offers. Soon, we were all sitting around sipping tea. "So is this basically what you do?" I asked. "Just get together and socialize?"

"It's part of what we do," Theodora said.

Michael nodded. "We also like to think that we could have a positive influence on society," he said. "Imagine if we could reach out to other immortals who care about art, science, and literature. Imagine what we could accomplish together!"

I nodded, trying to imagine just that. "Sounds like a plan," I said diplomatically.

Michael beamed and laughed. "Well, we have all the time in the world!"

I smiled. "That's certainly true," I said. I didn't know whether their plan would succeed, but I couldn't really fault them for trying. Maybe, I thought hopefully, they could eventually learn to appreciate things newer than the last century. Maybe I could even help them do that.

"We have members across three states," Amanda spoke up.

I considered that. "How many more of you are there?" I asked. "Do the rest of you come here sometimes?"

"Oh, yes," Amanda said. "We have around-"

But before she could continue, someone new stepped into the room. I could just see a male figure out of the corner of my eye. "Oh, great, a hippie," he said.

I turned my head to get a better look at him. He appeared to be in his mid-twenties, with dark eyes and hair that wasn't extremely short, but it wasn't what you'd call long, either. It stopped just above his shoulders, if I remember right. His face was... well, I wouldn't ordinarily use the word "aristocratic" on anyone anymore, but that's the best way I can describe this man. His expression was cold and disdainful. Arrogant.

It was Michael who came to my defense. "No, Thomas, this is Adry Hardouin! The man who made an appointment over the phone. He's from 13th century France, can you believe it?"

Thomas shrugged, his eyes still on me - or my hair, rather. "Yes, well. Very well," he said. I could see that he had long, pointed canines. Now that I thought about it, Omar, Theodora, and Amanda had pointed canines, too. But theirs were smaller - small enough that you'd probably just think you'd found someone with teeth that were naturally a little pointier than most.

"He's also an actor," Michael said. "He's played Ariel in The Tempest."

"Mm. That's nice," was the extent of Thomas's reply. He looked at my face, his own expression unchanged. "Just behave yourself," he said. He turned on his heel and walked away.

When he was gone, I frowned and looked at the others. "What the hell's his problem?" I asked. "Is he always that charming?"

"He owns this place," Theodora spoke up quickly. "And he founded the Undying Society. You shouldn't be so disrespectful."

"Yeah, but what's his problem with hippies?" I asked. "Why does he seem to hate them so much? What did they ever do to him?"

Michael shrugged. "Well, you know, you can't really blame him for that. He comes from another time, when hard work and diligence actually meant something to people. Besides, we're just trying to make society better, and what kinda society do ya got if everyone's sitting around getting stoned all the time?"

Being someone who sat around and got stoned sometimes, I snorted. I was really starting to appreciate Omar's distaste for these people. My temper was starting to flare, and it took some doing to keep myself from sniping back at them.

"What, do you think he's wrong?" Amanda asked. "You know what - there's a little hippie farm down the road. Go on, go take a look at their shack and come back and tell us that's what you want the future to look like."

My irritation with these people and their attitudes was only getting worse, and if I stayed around much longer I was only going to end up saying something I'd regret later. I had to get out before that happened. "Okay," I said, standing up. "I will!"

Next Chapter
Previous Chapter

Back to Articles & Stories