Okay, onto my story. I must warn you, this is really crass, maybe the crassest (is that even truly a word?) I've ever written. I.f you don't like cursing or, err, somewhat-funnies about peeing and whatnot, don't read it. Defer, instead, to one of my more grown-up-friendly short stories.
That being said, here was the TCE prompt: "I know all the best places to hide. But there are certain precautions you need to take if you don't want them to smell you."
High above the two of them, the slowly baring trees stretched the black sky. The trees, thick with Spanish moss, crept close to the cliff’s edge, but not close enough for the light of the bonfire to brighten their branches. Still though, it was a vivid night, the kind with plenty of stars and a halo around the moon, so that even though the stars were small and the moon, thin, the usual gray tones of night took on tints of green and brown.
“Will they see us?”
“Of course not. They’re only human, and these ones are tourists from the city anyway. Can’t see much of anything in the dark.”
Malice pulled the younger vampire deeper into the trees, just the same. Right on schedule, the group of drinkers laughed as a frizzing blonde climbed atop the cooler and began yodeling “Black Velvet,” using a whiskey bottle as a microphone. She was clumsy and inarticulate atop the orange plastic, but no amount of slurring could hide her voice as she sang. Try as he could , Malice couldn’t remember ever hearing anyone yodel in real life, let alone a song that wasn’t meant to be yodeled. Humans. You loved them or you ate them.
“What? Why you pulling me back? I’m hungry!”
“I know you’re hungry, you ass. But you can’t just advertise to your dinner that you’re about to eat ‘em, especially drunk dinners. Have a little common sense, or they’ll make a mess of things for you. I’ve seen ‘em throw themselves off the cliff into the water just to avoid us. Just a waste of food—can’t swim when you’re drunk, you know.”
Sam, the newly vampired, licked his lips. Disgusting habit of the newly dead, not realizing that just like in life, when you lick your lips you make them drier, so that when the dead flesh was already shrinking and shriveling, lip licking resulted in a decidedly unkempt looking mouth that tended to catch on fangs.
“Alright, alright. Fine,” he hissed. “But why we hiding? They can’t even see us, you said so yourself!”
“Because,” Malice said, using the slow voice he’d had to use with every one-moon-old vampire in the local chaperone program, “they can smell us. What’s the last thing you did before you died, hmm?”
Sam turned an even more deathly shade of gray green. Ahh, the color of embarrassment, Malice thought contentedly.
“That’s right, bigshot, you shit yourself. Mix that with the smell of decaying flesh, and even a drunk can figure out something’s not right. So we hide. I know all the good hiding places around here; this cliff is like a buffet, even for baby vamps. Good spot for your first hunt.”
Clenching his jaw at the “baby vamp” comment, Sam swallowed, closed his eyes for a moment. When they opened the sparked with the blood lust.
“So what do I do then? How do I get one?”
“Follow my lead.”
The two vampires sat stiller than rocks, breathless (quite literally, as vampires are dead flesh and therefore don’t need to breathe) with anticipation. The moon slowly arced through the sky, and clouds began to gather. Still, they waited. Malice’s eyes did not flicker even once from the group, who were on what seemed like their umpteenth bottle of whiskey. Then, the inevitable happened.
“I gots t’ pee,” slurred the formerly yodeling blonde from her spot at the fire. She stood—which in itself was rather impressive—and propelled herself towards the trees. Malice signaled Sam, hoping he’d paid attention to all those classes the chaperone program required its members.
Spacing themselves through the dim greens and browns of the trees, they stalked the drunken yodeler. She stumbled deeper into the woods, first ten yards, now twenty, and then appeared to find the ideal peeing tree. Malice signaled Sam again, who nodded. Malice waited for the crucial moment—and when the drunken yodeler closed her eyes and peed, that’s when Malice made his move.
She didn’t even make a sound as they killed her.
A couple hours later, after the body was drained and disposed of, Sam looked at Malice, Thanksigiving-full...but apparently disgusted.
“I can’t believe you waited until she was peeing to kill her.”
Malice wiped at his chin; it felt like there was some dried blood there. Better dried blood than dried something else, you know.
“What’d you expect?”
“I dunno,” Sam shrugged, “ something more…more…cool, I guess.”
“Cool? Cool?” What was it with vampires these days? Too many Anne Rice books. Too many movies. Maybe the chaperone program needed to up its credit hours for the blood-letting graduation ceremony. “What, like you see on tv? With French accents, travelling the world, and sparkly skin with hot, human girlfriends?”
Sam didn’t even have the grace to look ashamed.
“Don’t be a fucking moron, Sam. I told you they can smell us. You’ve got to take precautions. I’ve been dead for three centuries—and even though I may not have shat myself when I died, I do have a certain stench. You’ll get used to it; humans won’t. That means there are only certain times when you can get close enough to a human to take them; when they’re making strong smells themselves, like bodily fluids, or when they’re cooking. That means pissing, shitting, or fucking. Well, or making dinner. Dinner kills are fun, if you do it right, because they taste like what they’ve been eating, and there’s usually more than one you can get. Mmm, beignets…But you’re not ready for that yet. Case closed.”
The uber –deathly gray green color had returned to Sam’s flesh.
“So you’re tellin’ me that anytime I get hungry, I have to hunt someone who’s on the john or on the job? For forever?”
“Not on the job, no—you’re not ready for that yet, either. But on the john, yes. Don’t worry, you’ll only have to eat pee-ers for a few decades or so, until you get the hang of it. Every stage takes some adjusting. Don’t worry; Mardi Gras is around the corner and we’ve got a couple walk-in deep freezers at the Center. You;ll be able to stock up.” The thought of them, bodies piled up and crusted over with freezer burn, made his mouth produce just the tiniest, tiniest bit of saliva (since he was dead, that was quite a feat). Fast food always tasted better.
“That’s disgusting.” Sam’s nose was wrinkling. Vampires these days; they just didn’t know how good they had it…
“Sure,” Malice said, turning his now dry-blood crusted fingernail to his mouth so he could lick it “but it’s all part of the program. You’re only on the first step.”
“How many are there, again?”
“Don’t you remember?” Typical. He’d probably heard “Eternal Life” and signed right up. “One thousand, three hundred and seventy two. Then you’ll be able to kill—and eat—as you see fit.”
“Oh…my…God,” muttered Sam.
“Not quite,” responded Malice cheerfully.