My stories run up and bite me in the leg. I respond by writing them down – everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.
– Ray Bradbury
So, I recently has a similar experience. I was sitting doing homework and I found myself thinking: what would a drunk vampire be like? And why would he be drinking? Is there a secret to the vampire society? Just like that, I found myself hearing a monologue given by just such a character in a dingy tavern full of lowlifes. So here is a little scene I developed as a result. Please understand before reading this scene that it works under the premise that by drinking alcohol vampires can reduce the need to drink blood. I know, not common folklore, but one of the pleasures of being a writer is creating a world with its own unique rules and this is exactly what I am doing. Thus, even though I have already posted for the week, I will give you this as well. Consider it a birthday present, or even better, a special Halloween present written specially for your pleasure.
He stumbled forward, half falling onto me, and I grimaced from the strong smell of wine on his breath. He was extremely misshapen, with crooked eyes and a permanent grimace affixed to his face. His unibrow and beard were uneven in many places, indicating his failed attempts to tame them, and his beer belly flopped out underneath his shirt. His clothes were mismatched, with holes and patches, and all were so dirty it was no longer possible to discern their original color. “What’s wrong?” he slurred. “Do I not look enough like a vampire to you?” He spread his arms and leaned back, losing his balance for a moment before straightening up again. “Silly chit. Did you expect all of us to be perfectly gorgeous, with sculpted muscles and hair that never falls out of place? We’re not all flowing aristocrats with flawless manners, you know. The vampires that go into public are specially chosen by our elders to put forth our persona on the people, to make them trust us. Most of us are a lot like me.” He burped. “We drink as much as possible to keep from going on a rampage and try to ignore the weight of the elder’s boot on our neck. If we had more money, we might even be able to dress ourselves properly.” He plucked at his clothes. “Unfortunately, the elders have determined that it is more important that our representatives are properly dressed and take all our money and offer us free booze instead, though nothing of fine quality. Just the basic stuff. Even so, it still gets you drunk quick enough.” He threw his head back and downed his entire flask, banging it on the table. “Oi! How about another round here, Vern?” He yelled over at the barkeep.
“That’s all well and good, sir, but that is not why we are here.” My companion interrupted. “We came to get information on what the elders are planning and our mutual friend told us that you are the vamp to go to, that you know everything there is to know about the vampire council and could even find a way to allow us to eavesdrop on them, if we brought this.” He pulled a flask of fine red wine from under his cloak and placed it on the table.
The vamp’s eyes grew large, but he feigned nonchalance. “Not if that’s all you’ve got. I’m not some common drunkard, you know. I need better payment if you want anything from me. It’ll take at least five casks of that fine liquor if you want my help.”
And that’s where I end it. What happens next, you ask? How about I let you decide? If the urge to finish this scene grips you, you are more than welcome to put your addition in the comments. Or, even better, how about some feedback? Is the idea of a drunk vampire feasible? If you were to change something about this scene, what would it be? I look forward to your response.