It was nearly sunrise when he had finally walked through the door of the bar. A very handsome man, hair thick and spotted with grey at the sides, yet full nonetheless. Face to face, whatever presumptions that could be made about vampires could be cast aside, this man was something completely different, almost mesmerizing. And he knew it. I knew he knew it.
It was only a matter of time before he had spotted me hovering in the corner wreathed in my typical thick wasp of tobacco smoke. I sat there trembling in awe as he sat down - my face hidden behind the dancing silhouettes of candle flames, my hands were scrambling to prepare the notepaper I had set aside for the interview. He was a very shady looking character, dressed in his long, black cape and sensible black shoes. But then, of course he spoke, and again I had forced myself to put all my previous judgements aside and let him speak his mind...
The Wandering Vampire said, "It's a pleasure meeting you Gersidi."
"Would you like a drink?" I had asked, gulping nervously.
"No," he replied, puckering his lips to one side, forming a presumably unintended vampire-like snarl, "I don't drink." After a short pause, he looked me over with a careful eye, quickly realizing that perhaps I was a little baffled by his response. "Well, if it makes you feel any better," he reached into his jacket pocket, pulling out a tall glass filled with blood. "Just a little sip."
I must admit, at first I was a little shocked at the site of a man drinking blood through a straw, but that quickly passed. I further offered myself once more and asked if he would like anything from the grill. He cordially declined. Instead he continued to make himself more comfortable, by wriggling back and forth in his seat not even two feet away.
"So what do I call you?" I asked.
"Piotr, but most people know me as the Wandering Vampire, because I travel from town to town selling these magical mirrors." He reached into his sack, grabbing one of the mirrors while quipping, "Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by just how vain people are."
I laughed, perhaps a little presumptiously. "Don't you ever get lonely travelling from town to town? I mean, it can't leave much time to do anything else."
"Quite the contrary. Travelling around means I get to meet more people, and make new friends. Why every time I'm in Medievia I try to stop in to play a game or two of kickball with the locals."
"Kickball? Are you any good?" I flashed him a smile.
"Quite good! Why just last week I scored three goals in a single game," he remarked, "though I admit the game was against the Roddenberry Park Ladies". Another short burst of laughter had ensued, amidst the clamour of the rest of the bar around us. "Yes," he bellowed, "it's hard to be dogged by such tact and wit". Again his lips curled, his prominent eyebrows raised as if to meet some high standard set by his ego.
"I also have a lot of relatives in the area," he conceded, "I have a brother who roams the Medievia graveyard, and another who lives in an estate near Verigaard."
I blushed then spoke, against all better judgement. "Van Kyln?" I asked. Looking back it probably wasn't good idea to prod. Especially considering I helped loot his brother on a regular basis.
"That would be him" he added. "You seem very wordly, perhaps I should be asking the questions?" I had tried to respond but he had interrupted me. Perhaps he had tried being gracious, mocking, who knows, he wasn't particularly articulate. "Now why did YOU want me here, Gersidi?"
I had felt cold, almost unwelcome. I could hardly explain the awkwardness I felt at that moment, as if I had unearthed some dark, terrible secret that he was trying to keep hidden. "I'm writing an article for the local paper," I confessed.
He bowed his head. "I rather gathered that seeing as you have been writing down everything I have been saying thus far". He paused for another moment, taking a sip from his glass. "So... I guess it's time for me to tell you my story. That is, if you care to hear it?"
And so he told how it came to be, how he became a vampire - how he became the wandering vampire. His story began in a small village some 400 hundred years ago. He had been a normal man, a farmhand in fact, who had happened to be in love with two beatiful women.
"Their names were Francine and Cora" he mouthed, as if trying delicately to sort out the scrambled thoughts in his head. "I was in love with both of them. Very much so." He paused for a moment, brushing the small beads of sweat that had built up on his brow. "Of course they didn't know about each other at first, I made sure of that. I would have been very happy living the way I was, but you see, young man, things never turn out the way you want them to."
I nodded in agreement. Suddenly this once noble and powerful man seemed so helpless, vulnerable. His eyes were nothing but mere vestiges of tears, eyes which were once so black and cold were now so full of pain and anguish.
"Francine was my wife, and my first love. A beautiful girl she was, and very dedicated to her faith. A faith which would end up being my undoing."
"How so?" I inquired.
"Cora, I had also fallen in love with Cora, my mistress. Upon Cora's 21st birthday I had decided to buy her a very special gift, a mirror. I had purchased this mirror earlier that day and kept it in my house, hoping to give it to her later that evening, while my wife slept."
Rather arrogantly I asked if his wife had indeed found out about the mirror.
"She had," he remarked, "and later that evening she followed me to where I was meeting my mistress. I remember that night perfectly. Something that I've relived a thousand times over. Still to this day I have no idea how she knew." By this time his face looked so worn and tired I pleaded with him to stop and gather his composure. He wouldn't allow it. He ventured on, despite the fact that I had stopped taking notes for my article.
"The mirror had been enchanted," he explained, "and when I gave it to Cora and she removed the cloth, a terrible light shone up from it, blinding her instantly. She fell to the ground, clutching her face with her delicate hands, moaning and pleading for me to help her. But I couldn't."
I looked at him in a peculiar manner waiting for him to explain further. And he did. He told of a strange rune, and a curse, one placed upon him by the very wrath of his wife's beliefs. So vengeful she was on discovering his infidelity that she had struck a deal with the gods - and in doing so this man would live out the rest of his life as the tormented being I saw before me.
"My wife laughed as she saw the events that transpired that night, such an evil laugh. She had earned her revenge three-fold, as Cora lay there in pain I could feel a strange transformation taking over me. I went over to Cora unable to help her - she was beyond help. Instead, I lay there beside her, coddling her head in my arms as a mother would with her ailing child. Later that night she would die, as I would later follow."
"And so tonight, like every other night, I wander the streets" he lamented, as he began to pack up his things to depart. "I wander the streets, with these mirrors, exact replicas of the one I gave to Cora that night. I wander from town to town with these horrible reminders of what I could have had, if only I hadn't wanted it so badly. You see my friend, the curse that I live with is not that I am the doomed to forever travel as the undead, with an endless supply of these mirrors to which I can never free myself from. My curse is that every time I look in one these mirrors, I see the pain that I have caused to both of the women I had loved so deeply and carelessly."
He stood up from the table, his arms outstretched to give my hand a tug. "It was nice talking with you Gersidi," he said to me, with that half smile that one only uses to bring light so a sombre situation.
"It was nice meeting you too" I replied.
But as quickly as he arrived, he left with but a mere handshake. The people around us had not even noticed he was here or that he had left. "Such a tragedy," I thought to myself. "Such a tragedy." And I suppose it wasn't until I had packed my belongings and journied off that I finally understood exactly what he'd meant. For off in the distance and amongst the shouting and the bustle of the city I could hear my friend shouting.
"I can see that I am not welcome here."
And with that he flew off, venturing into the nightime sky...