|Fairmount Mortuary, Denver, Colorado.|
Base of statue inscribed J.W. Iliff.
Photograph taken by the author.
I woke up and looked at the clock. It was 8 pm like it normally was. I could never tell if the sun was down because I covered all of my windows completely with blackout curtains to prevent myself from getting sunburned while I slept or while I woke up to get a glass of water. My skin always was very easy to burn and I prided myself on being vampire white anyway so getting any sunlight wasn’t something that appealed to me. For most of my friends being very tan was something to pride yourself on but it never was for me. Skin cancer was not something that I wanted to encourage by spending long amounts of time in the sun.
Sure, I got tattoos, lots of them and all of them in black and grey. Those did encourage skin cancer some but since I didn’t tan I was willing to take this risk. It was something I did to make some sort of design to my body that I found attractive instead of one that would fade as soon as it got too cold to spend a large amount of time in the sun. Being someone who prides pale skin anyway it wouldn’t do me much good to spend time in the sun even if I had wanted to. Being the daughter of a man who owned a large amount of used car lots who also made sure that not only would the business run without me but that I would get plenty of the profits (the business itself kept a mere 30%, I get the rest) I had no reason to even seek a normal job.
This being the case I often spent my time out in the middle of the night with my camera, taking pictures of things as they occurred in the dark, things so many people chose to ignore. If there was a graveyard open in the area I would usually choose the graveyard due to how beautiful I found gravestones. So many people saw gravestones and cemeteries creepy that few people would visit there unless one of their favorite celebrities was buried there. I went pretty much anywhere for my photographs, even common cemeteries where pretty much anyone can be buried there. The stones have a lot more variety than the ones in rich cemeteries and would often have big and small mixed together.
I think part of my fascination with the gravestones was the fact that I knew I would never have one. I have always wanted to be cremated and have my ashes spread in a river. Its something that sounds more interesting than having my body buried underground forever. Not to mention there would always be issues with any grave I ever had. The town I lived in was small, it had only five hundred and fifty people in it. We all knew each other in some form and many of them worked in other towns. Some of them even worked for the car dealerships my dad once owned since many of them were close enough for many to drive to. Many of them believed that I was turned into a vampire and am now cursed to walk the earth until I have a natural death I will come back from my grave to haunt the world forever.
I’ve had many of the members of my community have told me that once I die my natural death they will stake me through the heart so I cant come back to torture the community. They may have to dig me up to do so but they will never give up until at least one of them can prove that he or she did it. Since the morticians here wont let them get to the body this would mean there would be repeated attempts to dig me up until someone managed. As someone with a lot of respect for gravesites I don’t want to be repeatedly dug up until someone finds my heart (or, depending on how long it takes, what used to be my heart) and sends a stake through it. Cremation will assure everyone that I’m truly dead and scattering the ashes will keep any of the local teenagers from convincing their parents that them being all in one piece like that means I can still come back to life one day. With how superstitious most adults in this town are it would be no surprise if any of them believed it.
I do identify as a vampire so their suspicions aren’t completely unfounded. I often go to other towns to purchase animal blood from the stores that will sell it. Thanks to the invention of the internet I’ve found a way to store the blood for long periods so I can buy it in large amounts and the townspeople will be less suspicious. In this town any sort of large purchasing out of town with local grocery stores being so close is something that attracts a lot of attention. A lot of the teenagers in the area would go to a mall in another town but many of them get away with it. Me leaving too late to enter any mall makes it look a little more odd and many of them do notice. It took me forever to find a place open late enough for me to get there and get the blood I so desperately need.
With none of my friends being understanding of my lifestyle (and many of them thinking its funny that I do so much to make myself “look” like a vampire”) I’m sure none of them would be willing to complete my trips for blood so I wouldn’t have to do it. It’s also a very odd request. The store I currently buy from has gotten used to me buying large amounts of blood every few months without asking questions but I’m sure it would be even odder if a friend did it that didn’t look the same way I do. With as pale as I am I’m sure many of them assume many of the same things as my city but are glad to get the blood sold since so few people from other countries are sticking with the cooking of their original culture.
Being one of the few vampires that wants to live what we consider a vegetarian lifestyle it makes it just as hard to get blood. I also don’t choose to eat meat very often since what is sold in my town often goes bad. Much of the area are hunters and keep their meat in their freezers for much of the year making grocery store meat less common. The last thing I want is blood that has had a chance to rot in animal meat because the grocery stores in the area don’t want to remove it from the shelves. Unfortunately this will always remain the plight of a vampire in a small town. Maybe the plight of vampires choosing a similar lifestyle to me in larger towns. For now I don’t know. Maybe, one day, I’ll move to a larger city and learn of the plights of all vampires. Maybe I’ll one day join my people in a way we’re meant to live.