The Vampire’s Protege
Damian Serbu © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Everyone thinks they adore the Vampire Council with its rules and regulations that allegedly govern all vampires and thereby ensure the safety of virtuous humans. People want to lose themselves in the tales of the Council members: Xavier and Thomas and their love; Anthony and Jaret and their guarding of humanity; Catherine and Harriet and their whims within a righteous vampiric empire. Most of all, the Vampire Ethic provides comfort with its guarantee that goodness protects an individual from a vampire attack, with its promise that all vampires defend innocence.
Vampires accept this reality because it gives them a collective soul. The ethic protects them from the stereotype of evil incarnate preying upon humanity. Or, in the least, obedience to it keeps them alive, lest the Council hunt them down and murder them for transgressions against it.
Humans desire the Council’s laws to maintain their fantasy of security from the supernatural realms. Who would dismiss a hidden force of vampire police that might swoop in at any sign of danger and annihilate the perpetrator?
Yet deep inside, so many long for something different, something that avoids this utopian trope and perfect world, all tied up in a pretty bow. Part of everyone, that piece so desperately stamped down and derided, seeks an alternative story.
To be sure, many will deny it. Fight against these words and honorably cast them out as the devil’s temptations. Yet no proof of Satan or such demonic forces presents itself. Because even those thoughts really stem from the inner being in everyone, that secretly locked-up atom inside a person that pines for freedom and seeks release, even as the goodness scolds it.
Still people contest these words. Deny them.
Yet a fascination with villains thrives in America. Think of the great antiheroes of history and their legendary fame. The Wicked Witch of the West. Darth Vader. Hannibal Lecter. The Joker. The infamy of historic figures such as Adolf Hitler or Ted Bundy or the Son of Sam. The people who don the costumes at Halloween of Lord Voldemort, Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler because it empowers them for a night with beautiful wickedness. People laugh at Scar, Ursula, and even Mr. Potter. They read the tales of Lex Luther and Cujo, privately wishing they would eventually triumph over the heroes of the story and bring a bit of destruction to the globe.
Jack the Ripper lives through the ages because he successfully hid himself, true. But also because his perfect malevolence went unpunished. People want that for themselves. His legend draws them back again and again to that story with the hope of their own misdeeds going unchallenged.
Thus, whether admitted or not, people long to meet Charon. Yes, so many cry out for Charon and his story. People want him. Readers desire him, need him, really. The world will have no choice but to love him. All will embrace him as they have these other villains of history. They will celebrate his perfect treachery.
Unlike those obedient to the Vampire Council, Charon hardly worries about a bit of notoriety from time to time. Fear of retribution never enters his vocabulary. He need not concern himself with the Vampire Council and its regulations. Nor does Charon often fret over any other person or entity cracking down on his masterful empire.
31 January 2015
New York City, New York
Charon walked briskly through the darkening night as soon as the moon called to him. His mission hurried him past several tasty-looking young men, despite the hunger for their blood that lurked in his belly. He hardly paused to admire the New York City skyline as he passed the Empire State Building.
He reached into his pocket and reviewed the instructions one more time. It still bothered him that the man demanded that so much money be transferred into a Swiss account before he would provide this information. Naturally, Charon killed him as soon as he handed over the plans, but he nonetheless lost those funds, which now went to the gent’s family. Not that he needed the money with his otherwise vast wealth. It was the idea of the man somehow getting one up on him that disturbed him.
Charon crumpled the paper and threw it into a trash can, right before he turned down a darkened alley. Charon swiftly moved upon the security guard, twisted his neck, and shoved him aside. His vampire abilities recalled the instructions perfectly and shut down the museum’s entire security system without alerting outside authorities.
Charon ripped off his black outer garments and brushed off the John Varvatos suit, making sure he looked completely impeccable. The suit fit his muscular body perfectly, framing him into the most desirable twenty-something-year-old man in the city. He glanced in a window at his reflection to fix a strand of his short sandy hair before moving toward the front door of the Museum of Modern Art.
Tricia waited, as expected, at the front door and began to unlock it as he approached. Her conservative blue business suit hardly fit the tight body underneath, though the hose showed off an alluring calf, or at least Charon imagined it would be for those so inclined.
As she opened the door, she peered around nervously and nodded to a nearby guard before looking at Charon. “Mr. Haden,” she whispered, “I’m afraid we have to cancel our plans.”
“Blade, please.” Charon smiled brightly.
Tricia blushed. “Blade. Our security system went down. Or, at least it seems so from the front desk here. The guards are looking into it. But I don’t think I can take you into the museum until we get it back online.”
Charon’s shoulders slumped, and he pouted. “I leave early in the morning. I so wanted this private viewing. I hate to try to blackmail you”—he grinned—“but my donation was contingent upon seeing it alone with you.”
Tricia fidgeted with the keys in her hand. “Please, step inside so I can at least relock the outer door.”
Charon walked inside and nonchalantly brushed against her, making sure their hands touched ever so slightly. He hovered close and spoke in a whisper. “Is there anything we can do to change this? I’m in a hurry. Though I might be able to get a bite to eat afterward, to further discuss the art and my gift to the museum. If any charming and intelligent curator would join me, that is.”
“Let’s see what we can work out,” she whispered. Tricia giggled and looked around. “Come to my office.” She said this loudly, so the two closest guards heard her.
They moved toward a hallway and went around a corner, toward the small office where Charon had first negotiated this deal with the single woman in her thirties. He plied her with stories of his love for art, true enough, and then added the insinuations of a single man’s longing for a spouse and kids, all complete fabrications. She shared the same longing and flirted with him shamelessly. His initial check for a few thousand dollars, drawn from an untraceable account, convinced her of his trustworthiness, and here he sauntered, almost at his real goal.
While plenty of evidence revealed his first meeting, nothing would record his appearance here tonight.
Just before reaching Tricia’s office, she dashed down a side hall and picked up her pace. “If they know I’m doing this, they’ll stop me. Come on.”
“Aren’t you in charge tonight?”
Tricia pressed the elevator button three times. “Technically. But with this glitch in the system, not really. I’m too low on the totem pole, so to speak.”
Inside the elevator, Charon held his tongue because Tricia wiggled around nervously, and sweat broke out on her brow.
He placed his hand gently on her back. “Relax.” He patted her. “We’ll just take a peek and get out of here.”
She nodded, sighed, but then grinned at him. When the door slid open, she again scurried away with Charon in tow.
She smiled at the guard standing nearby. “Thomas, Bill wanted you to help him in the other wing with something because of the outage. I said that I’d watch over The Starry Night until you got back.”
“Why didn’t he call me on this thing?” Thomas tapped his walkie-talkie.
Tricia shrugged. “No idea.”
Thomas shook his head and walked down the hall. When he turned the corner, Tricia raced the last few feet to the painting.
She screeched to a halt in front of The Starry Night and stepped aside, motioning for Charon to stand in front of it. Charon scanned the area, but no guards were in sight.
“Join me.” He reached over, wrapped his arm around her waist, and pulled her close.
Just as Tricia began to resist, Charon latched tightly onto her, yanked her close, and leaned down and bit fiercely into her neck. Her warm blood flowed delightfully down his throat until her heart stopped and he dropped her to the floor. He hardly took notice as images of her innocent life passed through his mind because of the blood. Who cared about another lost and lonely soul?
“Aren’t you beautiful?” Charon asked the painting as he took hold of it.
Time for some vampire speed. Charon clutched the painting close to him and ran with supernatural speed through the building. Even pausing to unlock the front door with Tricia’s keys went so quickly that no one spotted him. He never slowed until safely back in his hidden lair, deep underground.
Charon placed the painting on a wall and sat back to admire it. “Exquisite!” He poured a Jack Daniel’s and Coke, deciding to stay in for the rest of the night and enjoy his latest acquisition. The boys back at his palace would love it. And Tricia, after all, satisfied his hunger for the night. He lost count of how many times he’d visited the museum to visit this particular Van Gogh, perhaps his favorite painting in the entire world. How delightful to add it to his private collection.
Did that tale gain everyone’s attention? Good. Read on. Learn about Charon’s origin, and find out why he went scot-free of any recrimination from that precious Vampire Council despite his caper at the Museum of Modern Art.