Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Little Red Revolution by Ernesto San Giacomo

Ernesto San Giacomo's very silly story about a union man being kidnapped by vampires.

At the back of the dais, John tapped his foot while he waited to be announced. Finally, the host concluded his introduction, and John bounced to his feet.

John, come here. I need you.

What was that? What a horrible time to hear voices in his head. Not that any time was good, John supposed. Must be adrenaline. He shook it off, put on a big smile, and stepped up to the podium, soaking in the hearty round of cheers and whistles he'd come to expect when he took the stage. John was proud of his unearthly ability to whip a crowd into a feel-good frenzy. He knew his clever speeches, biting humor, and booming voice were the highlights of any union meeting.

"So the company has the nerve to call the latest contract an offer." John shook his head. "Well, where I come from it's called an insult!"

The crowd roared its approval.

With everyone's attention fixed on the podium, only John noticed a pasty-gray-looking man near a shadowy staircase along the back wall. The figure gave John an impish grin before disappearing through a door under the staircase.

John wondered if the man had been sent by the company bosses. But there was nothing he could do about it right now, so he decided to confront him later. "People say you can't draw blood from a stone. Well, they're wrong! Energy is the lifeblood of the economy. And we provide that lifeblood every time we mine coal."

John, come here. I need you.

Again? John blinked and continued. "That's um... that's right! We are the most amazing people in this whole damned country! Those bloodsucking bosses are going to tremble in fear."

John went on to put forth a clear message: a seven-percent pay increase or they would strike. It would be a tough fight, but the miners seemed to be on board. "Can't they bargain honestly? A fair deal for everyone. That's the sort of world I want. Isn't that the world you want?"

The hall erupted in cheers. But that voice kept niggling at the back of John's mind.

John, come back here. I need you. Now.

The voice had become too intense for John to concentrate. To wrap up quickly, he led the group in a cheer. Ever the consummate showman, he chanted with the sure knowledge that his union brothers would join him. "Hey hey!" Clap clap. "Ho ho!" Clap clap. "This contract has got to go!" The strategy worked and the resulting racket shook the walls.

When the noise finally tapered off, John stepped down into the audience. People crowded around for the opportunity to shake his hand. He edged through the throng, smiling and nodding the whole way. Once he reached the back of the hall, he headed for the room under the staircase where the gray man had gone. John didn't like being spied upon. Part of him wondered if this figure could also be the source of the voice.

The room was dark and John had trouble finding the light. Finally his fumbling hand felt the switch and flipped it on, but nothing happened. The door swung closed, trapping John in pitch blackness. He stretched out his arms to the walls. He'd spent too many years in the mines to panic over a little darkness, but still he froze when he heard a footstep and a sinister laugh. Then he felt a sting in his neck and tumbled to the floor, unconscious.

When John came to, the sensation of cool fresh grass surrounded him and the nearly full moon loomed above. The crickets seemed incredibly loud, to an extent that he could pinpoint their individual locations, even through the haze of awakening. He turned his head to the side and realized he was laying in the field separating the union hall from the nearby woods. Footsteps drew near.

"Are you feeling better, John?"

The voice was silky and the diction sophisticated. John recognized it as the same voice he'd heard during his speech. Except now it wasn't in his mind, but in his ears.

"Yes... yes I am." John took a deep breath and stretched, then sprang to his feet with the vigor of a young man. He took another breath and flexed his muscles with wonder. "Wow, it's more than just feeling better. I haven't felt this good in years! It's like I'm twenty-one again."

"And now you shall always feel young."

John turned to look at the face that belonged to the voice. Sure enough, it was the gray man. His hair was jet black and slicked back, and he wore a cape over crisply pressed clothes. John asked, "Who are you, and how do you know my name?"

"I am Victor. And I have been watching you for some time now."

John weighed the potential danger of the situation. "Spying on me? You work for those mining bosses?"

"No. Watching to be certain that I had the right man for the job."

"I already have a job. Looking after the rights of my union brothers and negotiating on their behalf."

"Yes, and you were quite good at it. But now you will work for your blood brothers."

"Blood brothers? What the hell are you talking about?"

A thin grin lit Victor's face. "I have given you the gift of immortality. You are a vampire. A creature of the night."

"Oh, now I've heard everything." John stared at Victor. "You don't look well. I think there's a free mental health clinic a few miles down the road."

Victor laughed.

In the distance John could see the parking lot of the union hall. A porch light shone in the night, illuminating his car - the only one left in the lot. John turned to Victor and said, "I'll give you a ride to the asylum."

Victor laughed again.

"No really, there are some very nice people in white coats to take care of you."

"I assure you, I'm fine."

"No, you're not. Look, I don't mean to be rude or anything, but I can tell you're sick just by looking at you."

"You don't look any different than I do."

John examined his hands. Sure enough, his skin had turned pale gray. "Well, I'll be damned."

"That's the first correct statement you've made."

"This can't be true. You knocked me out and put make-up on me or something." A mirror. Where could he find a mirror? Of course, the car! Though it was a hundred yards away, John reached it in just three bounding strides. He stopped by the passenger door, so shaken that he had to sit on the ground, feeling faint. He looked back across the field at Victor and shouted, "What the hell?"

Victor yelled, "Another benefit of our condition, my friend!" In mere seconds, he strode to where John sat, and lifted him to his feet.

John steadied himself and tried to look at his face in the side mirror. He only saw the trees and the night sky. "Must be something wrong with this mirror."

"Nothing is wrong with it. You're different now."

"No reflection. Like in the movies." John rubbed his face, trying to take in the reality of the situation. And that led to another surprise. Hours had passed and he should've felt the stubble of a five-o'clock shadow by now, but his face was soft and smooth. Feeling even more disoriented, John ran his tongue over his dry lips. What! Did I just feel fangs? "How can this be?" John bared his fangs at Victor and resorted to his main defense whenever he felt threatened - sarcasm. "Having no reflection isn't very practical is it? How will I know if I get a piece of asparagus stuck in my teeth or something?"

Victor laughed heartily. "You won't be eating vegetables ever again. You'll feed on living blood now."

"Oh yeah? Well... we'll just see about that. I'll be the only vampire who eats a T-bone or chocolate pudding with whipped cream!" John paced back and forth, frustrated and confused.

Victor gave him a stony glare. "The gift of immortality should not be mocked."

"Gift? You call this a gift?" John stopped pacing and returned Victor's gaze. "You made a big mistake making me immortal."

"I don't believe so."

"Oh, yes you did. Because now I get to slap the shit out of you for the next thousand years, you lousy bastard."

Victor folded his arms. "Lesson number one. Vampires do not shit. Honestly, John, you're not making this any easier."

"I'm sorry, Victor. So sorry for not putting on a happy face and a party hat, and jumping for joy about your so-called gift." He kicked a nearby rock. "Usually I return crappy gifts!"

"Perhaps when I introduce you to the others, you will better understand the reason for your fate."

"Reason? What reason?"

"I chose you over all others for a particular task."

"You're gonna have to convince me. And I'm warning you, I'm a tough sell." John released an exasperated breath. "This is the worst day of my life... my unlife." He paused, considering his options, and realized he didn't have many. Part of him was even curious about these "others," but he didn't intend to make things easier for his new companion. "Fine. Maybe I'll feel better if I meet a bunch of people just as miserable as I am."

"Oh, I nearly forgot," Victor said. "Lesson number two. The sun is very bad for you."

"Well shit, I know that. Doesn't everybody?"

"Not the younger generation. I transformed some co-eds a few weeks ago. They ran out into the sun to see themselves sparkle. What a mess."

"Where did they ever get an idea like that?" John asked.

"Perhaps they read it somewhere," Victor said. "Come, let me introduce you to the others." He led the way into the forest.

John shrugged and followed, watching the landscape blur past as the pair travelled at vampiric speed. He had to admit, being undead did have a few perks. They traversed what felt like several miles in under a minute, until Victor stopped at a cave entrance.

"My fellow conspirators are eager to meet you," Victor said. "After you."

John took a breath and stepped through the cave's mouth, following a dim winding passage until it opened into a larger cavern. Torchlight illuminated the space, casting ephemeral light onto the rough walls. Music filled the room, bleeding from every craggy surface. After a moment, John identified the song - Venus in Furs by The Velvet Underground.

Across the room danced a scantily clad female vampire, undulating sensuously to the slow, dirge-like rhythm. Long raven hair fell to her waist. She wore thigh-high black patent leather boots with stiletto heels, and a thong bikini to match. When she saw John and Victor approaching, she stopped her dance and turned to them. She slapped a riding crop into her palm, and in a sultry voice said, "Ah, fresh untrained meat."

Victor made the introduction. "John, this is Mistress Vanessa."

John dragged his gaze away from Vanessa's bare breasts. "I bet you give new meaning to the word necking."

She stroked John's face with the crop. "I never bite victims on the neck. It's not painful enough."

There was a pregnant pause as John looked at Victor and then back to Mistress Vanessa. "I've got the feeling you're gonna tell me how you do it."

"A victim-lover never sees it coming. When I see the bulge in his pants, I get down on my knees and loosen his belt. Then I unzip the pants and slowly pull them down." Her eyes glistened. "He's usually very hard, throbbing, filled with blood. Then I slowly bring my mouth closer to it and then I..." She bared her fangs and bit down, her teeth snapping, then made a slurping sound, like a straw at the bottom of a shake.

"Sounds charming." John moved a hand to cover his crotch.

"We don't kill simply for the sake of feeding," Victor said. "Some of us enjoy turning it into an erotic tryst. The others call us lymphomaniacs, but we scorn the term. We prefer vamperotics."

"Others?"

"The vampires you see in this cave are a minority, a small part of our population. The main populace ridicules us for our erotic feeding habits. We've been shunned from their society, treated as second class. But it's not the others' fault. They're being influenced."

"By who?"

Victor put up his hand to halt the conversation. "Mistress Vanessa, I need a moment alone with John. Please excuse us."

As John and Victor turned to walk away, John heard a resounding crack somewhere near the region of Victor's ass. He spun around and saw Vanessa pointing her crop at Victor. "Make sure you see me later. Do not disappoint me."

"Later, later," Victor said with a dismissive gesture. "My business with John is more important right now."

"I bet she spends a lot of weekends home alone, wondering why her dates don't call back," John whispered to Victor as they walked away.

"She's a vampinatrix," Victor said.

"This isn't making me feel better about what you did to me. Are you going to get to the point soon?"

"Patience, my friend."

John looked around the cavern. It was dotted with vampire couples in passionate embraces. Some danced erotically while others caressed in coffins. John stared at two males in one of the caskets.

"Hemosexuals," Victor whispered in John's ear.

"What do you call the girls, lesbloodians?"

"No, shemosexuals."

Among the caskets were tables and leather chairs. Skeletons and mummified bats dangled from the ceiling. There was even a black Christmas tree, decorated in red ornaments and clear plastic fangs as icicles.

"Love what you did with the place, Vic," John said. "I once read an article about this in Better Graves and Coffins." He stopped and stared at Victor. "I think we're done here. My higher calling is some type of orgy?"

"They're mistreated, John. We all are, actually. The Master is unfair to us. He is the one who began publicly denouncing us, turning the others against our way of life."

"Who?"

"The Master is the darkest of us all. The oldest and most powerful - and we all must bow down to him and pay tribute."

"I bow down to no man," John said.

"He could destroy any one of us in single combat, and so we do as he wishes. But what my people don't realize is that if we all linked our minds together, we could defeat him, and clear the way for a more just and tolerant leader."

John looked around at the number of vamperotics. "Looks to me like you'd have enough troops."

"No, we are too few here. We'd need the majority of the whole vampire community."

Just then, a small winged goblin carrying a plastic shopping bag entered the chamber and waddled toward them. "What the hell is that?" John asked.

"A plastic bag."

"Not the bag, the... thing carrying it."

"That is what happens when a human isn't strong enough for the transition."

"You mean I could've ended up as a three-foot tall goblin? With wings?" John asked.

Victor nodded. "A chance I had to take."

"Now I really want to slap the... former shit out of you."

"Come here, Grunt," Victor called. The goblin hurried over.

John put his hand out to the creature. "Hey little fellow. How are you?"

Grunt bowed to John.

"No, don't bow to me," John said.

"Sorry, bro," Grunt said. His voice had a peculiar quality, like a sped-up recording. "A habit burned into our minds by the Master." He extended his hand to John. "Put 'er there, pal."

Victor chimed in. "If you saw the Master's treatment of these little ones, you'd really get angry."

"Yeah, the Master's really pissed off at us 'cuz of yesterday," Grunt added. "We ain't supposed to be seen by humans." Grunt took a small scroll from his bag and handed it to John.

John opened the scroll and read, "By order of Master Key... Keym..."

"Kee-mee-ya," Victor said.

John continued to read, mumbling to himself. He finished and looked up.

"They need blood like the rest of us," Victor told John. "So they hunt in the forests."

Grunt interrupted, "But sometimes there ain't much game and we gotta go to a farm to feed." He snapped his fingers and used his thumbs to point at himself. "Ever heard of chupacabras?"

"This Keymia moron shouldn't get angry at you guys just because you ate," John said. "Yeah, well, fat chance of that. The thought of what the Master is going to do tomorrow makes me wanna party tonight." Grunt dug through his shopping bag and took out a tee shirt with black and white horizontal stripes. The back had been cut off and he put it on like a smock, leaving room for his wings. "Tie this for me?" While Victor tied the back of the shirt, Grunt donned a beret, sunglasses, and a red bandana. "Well, whaddya think? I'm going for the Parisian artist look tonight."

"You're certainly one of a kind," Victor said.

"Hope I get lucky." Grunt scanned the room. "Wow, babe fest. Check out the gazongas on those two." The goblin lit a cigarette and let it dangle from his lips as he swaggered over toward two well-endowed female vampires.

"He's actually serious, isn't he?" John said.

"He'll get slapped twenty times tonight. But he is a persistent and horny little creature."

They watched Grunt make his approach. "Ladies," Grunt said, "wanna check out my... oui oui?"

John shook his head. Still watching Grunt, he asked, "So what was he talking about? Why is he dreading tomorrow?"

Victor looked at John somberly. "Tomorrow is the full moon. We must go to pay homage and tribute to the Master, and to witness public punishments. It's a sort of... pep rally, I suppose. A chance for the Master and his underlings to brandish their authority, and to soak up the praise of the masses. Of course, public humiliation of us vamperotics is always part of the... festivities. The goblins will be put on display tomorrow as well, to pay for their transgressions." "I've dealt with Keymia's kind before." John was beginning to see his purpose. This community needed a leader, someone to galvanize them into action against this Master. That's what Victor meant when he said John was the right man for the job. He'd been transformed to bring unity to his new blood brothers and sisters. John felt energy surge through him; this was what he was born to do. "Let's talk some treason."



On the night of the full moon, the entire vampire community gathered in the largest cave of their complex.

John estimated that two hundred miners could work in here comfortably and not get in each other's way. Stalagmites and stalactites had been left in their natural pattern, with the crowd filling the spaces between. A stage was carved on one end, where Master Keymia sat upon a black throne. John examined the Master's tall, lean presence. His complexion matched that of the other vampires, but his hair was long and straight, accenting his thin face. His eyes were narrow, black, and merciless.

Goblins performed for the Master, falling and tumbling like circus clowns while vampires laughed and threw tomatoes and cow pies at them. The Master cackled and howled with glee.

Hatred at the sight of such injustice welled up inside John, making his stomach clench. Suppressing his aggravation for now, John moved about the cavern, introducing himself to his blood brothers. While a few seemed genuinely glad to be there, the majority had a sullen look to them, the look of people forced to be somewhere they didn't really want to be. When he spotted a few shriveled old vampires in a corner, he approached one of them and extended his hand.

The old vampire stared at John's hand in disbelief, then extended his own and shook. "I don't know you," he said.

"Well, I know all about you old ones," John said. "Had a little chat with Victor last night about you. I hear you're not allowed to feed properly."

The old vampire smiled through his wrinkles. "Victor made you?" He slowly turned toward the other elders. "Victor made this one last night."

They all lifted their gazes and struggled to smile at John. "He's the one come to save us," one of the elders said to another. Heads nodded and their eyes turned to John with desperate gleams of hope.

It was the saddest thing John had ever seen. He turned back toward the stage and glared at the Master. Keymia wasn't looking his way, still entertained by the cavorting goblins. Now was the time to act.

John spotted a large stalagmite with a flattened top, a miniature Devil's Tower, in the middle of the cave. Confident and filled with the anger of injustice, John jumped to the top of it and stood tall. He spotted Victor in the crowd and nodded a signal to him. Assuming a challenging posture, John stretched out his arm and pointed directly at the throne. "Master Keymia!" he bellowed. "Who undied and made you boss?"

John's voice had lost none of its bass authority, and echoed off the curved ceiling. The crowd hushed as all eyes went to him. The goblin "entertainers" stopped their antics. In the silence, there was a distinct "Oh, shit" from one of them before they scurried off the stage. According to their plan, Grunt spread his wings and flew to land next to him.

Keymia stood up from his throne. His dead eyes narrowed and fixed on John. "How dare you, you insignificant little worm! I'll squash you out of existence!"

John didn't back down. "You're a clot in the flow of progress. Time to step down."

The Master stretched an arm toward John, but John stood firm and unwavering. A look of surprise appeared on Keymia's face.

Thank God, John thought. The conspirators had joined their minds, blocking the Master's power, preventing John from being burnt to a crisp right then and there. Their small numbers couldn't defeat the Master, but they could block his efforts and protect John for a few minutes.

"We call each other blood brothers, but we don't act that way toward our brethren." John put his hand on Grunt's shoulder. "My blood burns when you make sport of these little goblins, and call them shrimp-imps, gob-lames, or wing-things. Those names are hateful, offensive, and plasmically incorrect. His name is Grunt, he's a Hemogoblin, and he's my friend."

While a few in the crowd nodded their heads, others averted their eyes from John's gaze. Ashamed of themselves. Good. He spared a glance towards Keymia to see him still struggling against an invisible force. The Master looked as if he was screaming, but no sound emerged. Wow, Victor's better than I thought.

"Up at the crack of dusk to serve a thankless 'Master.' It's nothing but an endless daymare of drudgery and servitude if you're not one of his favorites!"

One of the vampires raised his fist and said, "Right on, blood brother!"

Another pointed at the Master. "We've taken enough of your nonsense, Lew!"

Lew? John thought. The vampires were addressing the Master by his first name. It was a good sign that they were fed up, losing their fear and ready to revolt. He spared another glance at the throne to see that the mind link was still working. The Master's arms had dropped and he stood frozen. Victor had told John that the conspirators could hold him for only a few minutes, and Keymia's mind must be working overtime to break their hold. John continued, "And just look at the condition of our elders. Why aren't they being fed properly by Lew's regime?"

More heads nodded and some vampires edged closer.

"The elders could challenge Keymia if they had the strength, so he weakens them."

Someone in the crowd yelled, "That's why he won't let me feed my auntie!"

John nodded. "The humans take care of their own. Why can't we? We'll start a Social Suckurity program to collect proper meals for them. Who among us would hand a starving blood-brother an empty platelet?"

Many in the crowd cheered and some pumped their fists.

"And as for the lymphomaniacs, stop using those hateful names. The proper term is vamperotics!" John could tell by his brothers' smiles that he was getting through to more of them. "Keymia has corrupted all of you by turning you against each other."

Some of the vampires turned to look at the Master with hate-filled eyes. A few others at the edge of the cavern skulked out. John supposed they were Keymia's lackeys.

"Who made up those silly names?" John pointed at the Master. "He did! From now on, don't say ass-biter or sausage-bleeder, say hemosexual. And don't let me hear clit-splitter or tampon-tick ever again! They're shemosexuals." John spotted Mistress Vanessa and pointed at her. "She's not a crampire or fangpanger, she's a vampinatrix!"

The crowd erupted. Some applauded while others stamped their feet and howled.

"Why should any of us care about how they feed?" John said. His speech was growing more rapid. "As long as they're contributing to the greater good, I'm all for it. That's the sort of dark world I want! Isn't it the sort of dark world you want?"

John turned his attention back to the still-frozen Master. "Your nights are numbered, Lew!" He stretched out his hands. "Everyone join with me." He led them in a cheer. "Hey hey!" Clap clap. "Ho ho!" Clap clap. "Lew Keymia has got to go!"

The entire crowd joined in the cheer, and the noise in the cavern turned deafening.

"Join the vamperotic mind link and bring him down," John yelled.

The cheering subsided as one vampire after another linked their minds together.

Master Lew Keymia collapsed, writhing in pain. He slowly shriveled and wrinkled, releasing horrid moaning sounds. He tried to stand in a last effort to show his defiance, but then fell hard. The thud echoed throughout the cavern.

Two vampires rushed to Keymia to see if he was truly crushed from existence. John recognized them as the hemosexuals he'd seen sharing the casket the night before. The pair examined Keymia, then faced the crowd and said, "Ding dong, the bitch is dead!"

The crowd danced and cheered. John jumped down from his perch.

Victor's exhausted face showed a wide smile as he approached John with a covered bowl. He removed the cover to let John see what was inside.

"Chocolate pudding sausages?" John asked. "Looks a little too dark to be chocolate."

Victor smiled. "No, it's not chocolate. Authentic English blood pudding. Best I could do on short notice."

And so they danced and sang the night away, reveling in a vampiric way. And they all unlived happily ever after.

10 comments:

  1. Superb weaving of the dynamics of one world into that of another. A tale at once funny, moving and powerful with resonance. Struggles are vindicated and a greater freedom can ensue: do not despair! Thank you,
    Ceinwen

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    1. Thanks Ceinwen. There were a few vampire authors in my former critique group and I wrote this parody just for their entertainment. Their positive reaction prompted me to do more polishing.
      Glad you enjoyed it.

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  2. So many good lines like: 'Lesson number one. Vampires do not shit.' An enjoyable romp with the creatures of the night that did not leave me cold. Hoorah!

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    1. There's always a moment of humor in all of my stories, but this is the first one where I went for full comedy. The comedy effect is what made me somewhat apprehensive about this piece. You know the old saying, "Dying is easy, comedy is tough" :-)
      Thanks Lucas!

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  3. BWAHAHAHAHA "Perhaps they read it somewhere." Love it!

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    1. I flashed an impish grin when I wrote that line:-)

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  4. Hi Ernesto, the Vampires, Werewolves Genre is in world of its own and not my usual reading or writing. I enjoyed this slap dash comical approach to what I would say is normally a cliche driven genre, so let me praise this alternative approach adding some fun to the world. If you like the weird, try reading my "Table by the Window" short story in my collection ""The Listener"" All the best and good luck with your writing.

    James McEwan

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    1. Thanks James. I'll check out your collection when I've finished my reading list. I need to make more reviews on my blog.

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  5. A hilarious piece of vampiric (un)goodness! Brilliant :D

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    1. Hi Nick! "Brilliant" makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I read your blog a lot and getting a positive reaction from you makes my day. :-)

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