I was woken the next morning by shards of sunlight edging their way through the windows and worming their way under my eyelids. Another vampire myth—dare one say—up in flames: I don’t spontaneously combust in the sun. I don’t actually like it but I don’t become a smoking ruin quivering under a blanket either. This is why I generally sleep during the day and stay awake at night. I find moonshine a far more soothing and nurturing light to live by.
So much more atmospheric too! Everything looks romantic and beautiful by the light of the moon. Things are muted, softened and the harsh edges are knocked off. Sunlight brings everything into sharp, glaring relief. Too much reality for me. I have never been a fan of the ‘real’ world—not even when I was alive—and I am becoming less and less so as time goes on and reality proves itself less and less attractive. Give me the glow of a candle over the demanding buzz of the morning sun any day. And let’s face it, being the good Gothy vampire that I am, black velvet jackets, black drainpipe trousers, the occassional black frilly shirt or the odd black top hat look a tad over the top during the day.
I stretched out my long, skinny body the length of the pew I had slept on and tried to shield my eyes from the sun with both bony hands. Thinking perhaps that I was daring to doze off again and breakfast would be even more delayed, Layla padded to my side and licked my face luxuriously from jawline to temple. “Ugh!” I exclaimed, wiping at my face with a silk handkerchief and sitting up. Looking down at Layla, I noticed a distinct grin playing at the edges of her mouth. “Bit peckish are we?” I asked with a raised eyebrow. But I couldn’t be cross with her even in the slightest way for long. She had been my faithful companion and guard dog for more years than I cared to recall.
Well, what to eat? I hadn’t thought of that, actually. My objective had just been to get here and I hadn’t thought much beyond that. I was hungry too, now that I stopped to think about it. I had had some sashimi in Tokyo and that was the last thing I’d eaten. It was beginning to look like a trip into town might be our only option to stock up on some goodies. I’d have to walk—a bicycle or a car was one of the many things on my long list of things to sort out—and maybe we would find something to nibble on along the way. We were in Australia, after all. A cornucopia, I’d been told. A land of milk and honey. And sorry to be Mythbuster Number One yet again but I didn’t especially have a taste for blood. A nice, medium-rare burger would do or, if I really got desperate, a bowl of Cornflakes.
Just as I was gathering my energies together to begin what could well be a long walk, there was a knock at the door. How very odd, I thought. No-one knows I’m even in the country. No-one knows me in this country. Layla had begun to growl.