Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bite day

Happy Bite-day
copyright 2013 john carlson


For many years birthdays meant gifts, friends and family. There were always wishes for a happy prosperous year. Big celebrations for doing nothing more spectacular than being born. I loved presents and liked hugging people I didn’t see much of during the rest of the year. I didn’t like being sung to at work or being congratulated by coworkers I barely knew – but those were mere trifles in the bigger happier picture.

Still, I’ve always felt that birthdays were entirely backwards and that mothers should be the recipients of gift giving – since they did all the work – work that lasted at least nine months before the painful delivery.

At any rate, when you hit the two hundred mark, birthday celebrations become a bit stale – especially when there is no one left from your first eighty years. So, I began celebrating another date altogether. My bite-day – in November. That was the day a beautiful stranger bit my neck and stole my blood – most of it anyway. Not that I’d fought the stranger! Still . . . it was a steal.

My whole system was tainted by the bite. The venom worked quickly and my defiled blood insured a quick but excruciatingly painful death. Then came the curse of resurrection to the world I’d only just left, for crying out loud! Up and beautiful and endowed with strange new powers and an eerie lightness that belied a new preternatural strength.

So, this November night I awaited my biteday guests -- most dead by dawn but fabulous at dusk! I’d have my living guests too. A few friends who are under my protection – especially at parties. When they all finally arrived, some one of them made a toast to my long existence and while the living clinked glasses, the dead sipped the necks of their willing companions (bitten but not brought over).

Naturally I was surprised and amused by a large gift given me by two of the living. A  dark mahogany casket lined in cream colored satin. Some of the others must have been in on it, for I also received a soft red velvet pillow and matching underwear. This last made me laugh out loudly. Of course I preferred my old-fashioned curtained four poster bed, but I would use the coffin at least once for their benefits.

When they’d all left after a lovely evening of laughter music and conversation, I prepared to retire for the coming daylight hours. Alas no perfect gift did I receive. But, if I was lucky, some pure and self-righteous son of a bitch would sneak back to stake me while I slept – a biteday gift of final rest. But it was doubtful.

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