Genre: Horror (Vampires)
Sunday, August 11, 2013
It was the first traffic jam in the history of Greenville. A minivan had swerved into oncoming traffic and its side was clipped by a milk truck. The cops had the only main road in town blocked until the wreckage was clear.
Stuck under the blistering August sun in her convertible, Bonnie Wheeler decided to take a detour. Driving through the back-roads of town, she saw a yellow sign poking up from someone’s lawn that implored her to drive as if her own children lived in that neighborhood. Bonnie shrugged and thought to herself, What if I don’t have any children?
Her friends–all of them in their late thirties and married with children–could identify more. “You don’t understand,” her friends would lecture. “You’re not a mother yet. You don’t know what it’s like to have kids.” And some days Bonnie couldn’t help but thank the good Lord for that fact. But her perspective was about to change.
One night, towards the end of summer, Bonnie met a handsome stranger in the darkest corner of the grimiest watering hole in Greenville. She subtly inspected his fingers for a wedding band, or some kind of mark or tan line that would indicate one. Through this sneaky tactic, Bonnie was able to confirm this man was definitely on the market.
Bonnie had tried her luck with all the single men of Greenville, but still couldn’t find Mr. Right. But that tingle running through her body said luck was on her side that evening.
He wasn’t a regular. Bonnie knew all the bar flies that frequented Joker’s Pub. And this guy stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb amongst the other drunken slobs that serve as the bars clientele.
He introduced himself as Max. No last name, which didn’t strike Bonnie as odd because she was lost in his dark eyes. Bonnie had spent a few short hours with this man, but she already had wedding bells chiming in her head. Max was an out-of-towner, claimed to be from Tampa. He was only in town on business.
“What kind of business do you have out here in Greenville?” she asked.
“I’m just following orders from my company. Got to spread our product around.” Handsome as Max was, he seemed a tad bit shy about his teeth. He had this annoying habit of cupping his hand over his mouth when he spoke. “Who knows? Maybe fate brought me here. To Greenville, to this bar. Do you believe in fate?”
“I do,” she smiled, her green eyes shining with affection.
“Well maybe fate brought me here to meet you, Bonnie.” That was the line that cemented her plans for the evening.
By last call, they were back at Bonnie’s place. What ensued was a steamy night of lust and burning passion that Bonnie fooled herself into thinking was genuine love.
The next morning, Bonnie awoke and rolled over to an empty bed. Max was gone. No number, no note, no nothing. She had never felt so used in all her life.
What shocked her friends the most was she continued to pursue him. She called every hotel, motel, and apartment building in town. She checked the shelters and soups kitchens, called every hospital and police station in a thirty mile radius. Bonnie even went as far as to hire a private detective in Florida to track Max down. But he wasn’t in Tampa. Wherever Max was, he didn’t want to be found.
Her friends encouraged her to let it go, to move on. They couldn’t see what she felt. Bonnie was in love. She wanted him, needed him in her life. What Bonnie couldn’t accept was that true love is not always mutual. It’s usually unrequited.
Eight and a half months later, Bonnie was carrying Max’s child. Her belly swelled and bloated like wood exposed to constant moisture and even her maternity clothes seemed tight. Her back ached and the cramps made her not want to leave the bed every morning. But her desire for Max had not faded. She still thought about that night, about waking up the next morning alone, about that embarrassing hickey that she had to cover with makeup.
It was a Friday in early May when her water broke suddenly. She was at the mall with her friend Julie to shop for baby clothes and satisfy her latest craving for hot chocolate. She really wanted yogurt, but the yogurt had become too much for her unusually sensitive teeth. Since the pregnancy, a lot of things about her body had changed. She wore dark-lensed glasses outside to protect her eyes from the sun, as the light was now blinding to her.
Julie escorted her to the nearest exit and pulled her car up. Bonnie spent the first six hours in intense labor, breathing heavily and sucking on ice chips. Her screams were so agonizing that Julie couldn’t stick around to watch. By the last two hours, Bonnie was ready to perform the delivery herself. She just wanted that little bugger out of her already. Doctor Meyers was summoned when it was time.
“You’re doing great,” Meyers encouraged her. “Keep pushing Bonnie.”
Bonnie wailed as she pushed with all her might. The pain was more extreme than her friends led her to believe. It felt like squeezing a huge fridge through a narrow doorway.
“That’s it, Bonnie,” Meyers continued. “Keep pushing. Just a little more. You’re doing fine.”
Bonnie dug her nails into the mattress and pushed harder, the pain growing more unbearable with each passing second.
“Almost there, Bonnie,” Meyers shouted. “I can see the head now. It’s a boy! I can see… fangs?”
Doctor Meyers swallowed the air and all Bonnie could see was the white of his eyes as they rolled in the back of his head. A nurse tried to catch him as he tumbled to the floor and a soft pink lump slid from his mouth. Meyers had bit down on his tongue when he fainted, and severed the tip.
One of the nurses covered her eyes as she snipped the umbilical cord and wrapped the baby in a crisp blue blanket. The nurse passed the baby along to Bonnie and tended to a fallen Meyers. A second panicked nurse was already phoning for help.
Bonnie marveled at her beautiful new baby. All her friends were going to be so jealous. She was pleased to see the boy had Max’s dark eyes, and his sharp teeth. The only problem now was figuring out how she was going to breastfeed.
Cradling that baby in her arms, she realized it was a mutual attraction between her and Max. He had chosen her to bear his seed, to help carry out his legacy.
It was love at first bite.