That Fatal Moment of Fascination: Memoirs of a Psychic Vampire
A Brief Introduction (again)
I recently posted my 20-year-old short story, "The Mummy's Curse- A Different Kind of Monster Story." It was an actual dream that woke me up, and compelled me to write before I could sleep again.
This story has nearly the same inspiration. From the same time frame, nearly 20 years ago, I woke from a nightmare. Dreaming this story. This one didn't spring from my unsconscious mind fully written. Rather, it scared me awake, and I only remembered it in bits and pieces. As I wrote, it told itself, and once completed, I was again able to sleep. I'm much fonder of the Mummy story, but maybe that's just because this one started off scaring me out of my sleep.
These are the only 2 stories I've written that were inspired by dreams. They are also the only two I liked enough to keep over the years. So you can breath a big sigh of relief... I won't be inflicting my fiction on you beyond this one and the Mummy story. I hope you enjoy!
Trailer for 1931 Bela Lugosi Dracula Movie
Fatal Moment of Fascination
I am an observer of life. Or maybe I should say, an absorber. I soak it up, reveling in the myriad madnesses by which we all survive. I travel the world, searching for the emotions that are my life's blood. Tonight, I find myself in a small confectioners shop. The little man working alone there has drawn me, like a moth to his flame. His emotions are strong, and near to the surface.
He looks a question and I point, randomly making a choice. Naming a price, he wraps my purchase. I reach into my coat, savoring what is to come. In any human interaction, there is always an element of uncertainty. There is that moment, hand out of sight, when it occurs to him that I could reveal money, or a weapon. Gazes locked, time freezes; that single, fatal moment of fascination. I reach toward him, and time starts again. He flinches, then sees only money being offered.
Fear is a strong emotion. I walk out, my hunger sated, leaving the untouched food on the counter.
On the train now, a pretty young tourist sits beside me. She turns to me. "English?"
I nod. Thrilled, she releases a torrent of speech, and an outpouring of emotions that leave me giddy. It seems she has just earned her degree, and is enjoying a brief vacation before beginning her practice as a clinical psychologist. This is of interest. What would this guardian of the psyche think of my "fatal moment?"
I ask, and we are immediately off on an animated excursion into the depths of the mind. Her stop comes, and she invites me to join her. At my inquiry, she explains "I'm meeting my friend Rachel. We just met a month ago, and are best friends. I'm sure you'd love to meet her!"
Bemused, I follow. We arrive at the designated rendezvous. Della (my new friend) points and cries "There she is! Rachel!" I follow her point and see a young lady facing away from us, leaning on the railing. As we near, she turns to face us and all my first impressions are sent reeling. This is a creature of power. I quickly look down, as if overwhelmed. While her gaze passes by in contempt, I spot something that freezes me where I stand, barely aware as Della breezes through the introductions. Though I recover as best I may it was too much a shock. Rachel is aware of my knowledge. With a cruel smile, she directs Della to go order drinks for the three of us. Alone now with Rachel, I still avoid direct eye contact. She mistakes this for fear.
"She is mine, you know," gloats Rachel.
"I know." Teeth gritted.
"I see you know something of me." Rachel is enjoying herself.
"Then you know how lucky you are my attention is already engaged. She will sustain me for many years to come!"
I reply "You will kill her, and not even care."
She laughs. "Of course I care! Once she is dead, I'll be free for another lifetime!" I can see Rachel is far gone to the addiction. Each stolen life is less effective than the preceding one. In time, Rachel would be draining lives every day just to stay alive. Then more, and even more. Only certain beings, using forgotten knowledge, can destroy one this far down the bloody paths of power. Imprisonment is impractical; anybody who found her would immediately die to feed her power.
"You should never have made the soul matrix, Rachel. You might have lived forever even without it."
The matrix is shaped like two small dolls, hand in hand. One represents Rachel, and is old, withered. The other is young, vibrant, and definitely resembles Della. They peek above the edge of Rachel's purse, radiating evil to the world. As Della's life is devoured, the figurines will reverse, until Rachel's image is beautiful and Della's turns to dust. Della, of course, will not survive the process.
Della arrives back with the drinks. Without pause, Rachel takes Della in tow and walks to the station. Della begins to invite me along, but is overruled. I say nothing. It wouldn't do any good. Loyalty is a part of the spell. Besides, there are other ways. I don't need sublety. Rachel thinks me helpless.
With one hand I gesture, sealing the soul matrix from contact with Rachel. With the other hand, I create an image emitting the comforting pulse Rachel expects. She is unaware as I make a complex symbol with both hands and the matrix floats to my hand. The girls are now at the edge of the platform. I can hear a train nearing. Rachel turns to give me one last, gloating look. I hold the matrix up to view. She sees what I hold, and looks at me in horror. This time I meet her gaze, letting her finally see me as I had seen her.
With a mental wrench, I cause the foot of her image to fade into dust. Without the support of stolen lives, her own foot crumbles to the dust of her true age. Rachel stumbles backward, into the path of the oncoming leviathan. There is time for that single, fatal, moment of fascination before the impact. The train slows, futilely grinding to a stop.
I drop the icon and grind it to powder under my heel. Hands in pockets, I wander away from the screams and cries at the station. Soon, an ambulance wails by. I keep walking, satisfied. I shall not hunger, I think, for a long time to come.
A Last Note Regarding my Psychic Vampire
My psychic vampire came to me in a dream in the early 90's. It was, at the time, a pretty frightening nightmare. I think my subconscious conjured him to protect me in my dream, and make it less scary. When I woke up, he was the strongest memory from the dream.
I always intended to explore him in more depth. Discover his name, some of his history; I'm not sure when the idea of a psychic vampire was invented. He can't be the first, but at the time, I had never heard of one before, so I was rather proud of the concept. Now vampires are popular, and Halloween is just around the corner. It seemed an appropriate time to share my best two stories.
Maybe someday I'll find out more about him. Until then, this is all I know. I hope he... fascinates... you as much as he did me!