Even Coffee Doesn’t Help

Sean Becker was working on his third cup of coffee sitting at the counter in the town’s only all-night diner. He thought it would help kill the taste, but so far nothing really helped.

“Want a refill?” The waitress looked tired and bored. The only other patrons in this dump were a couple of truckers pulling an all-nighter.

“Yes. Thanks.” He was careful not to smile too widely at her. She poured more of the bitter brown liquid into his cup.

“Sure you don’t want something to eat? It’ll be morning soon. We serve a good breakfast.” He could tell she really didn’t care. She was flying on auto-pilot.

“Actually I just ate not long ago. I came in here for something to wash it down with.” He started smiling again and then remembered what would happen if she saw too much.

“Suit yourself.” She walked away without another word.

He took another sip. He used to love coffee, even the poor quality java served in greasy spoons like this one. It was finally starting to kill the taste of his meal, but only by a little.

He involuntarily remembered her face. She was a nurse getting off the late shift at the local hospital a few hours ago. He came up behind her just as she was unlocking her car door. She heard him and spun around. There was no way she could have stopped him, though.

Sean bent his head down and pressed his hands against his ears as if he could block the memory of the sound of her scream.

He didn’t kill her. Oh dear Lord, he couldn’t kill her. That would just make a bad situation worse. There were enough of his kind out there, one more that he knew of anyway, the one who created him.

She’d have a fantastic tale to tell the police, but she’d also have the evidence of her injury and she’d seen his face. He’d have to move on soon, but like the waitress said, it was almost morning and he’d have to hold up until night came again.

Sean paid his bill and left a generous tip. It was lousy having to work all night. He should know. Since last month, nights were his only life. As he exited the diner he could feel the change in the air that told him sunrise was not far off. He’d have just enough time to get back into hiding.

He was new at being a vampire. He hoped with time and experience he’d get used to the taste of blood.

The saga of Sean Becker continues in the short story The Shadow Meeting.

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8 thoughts on “Even Coffee Doesn’t Help

  1. Nice vampires are always good anti-heroes, and one that dislikes the taste of blood is a nice twist. Have you read the Interview with a Vampire that discusses the original Dracula story from Dracula’s point of view? It also has a nice sequel or two, and some odd whimsical tie-ins to Sherlock Holme’s brother Mycroft being a Vampire. Not the Anne Rice books, which are depressing. A question remains…are Vampire stories only about surviving in a mortal world? Or about dealing with a half life that is also a kind of immortality?

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    • I think I read a couple of the Anne Rice books but that was decades ago. Don’t recall anything about stories from Dracula’s POV. I did read the original Dracula novel by Bram Stoker, but that was when I was a teen.

      I wrote this story in 15 minutes. I’m taking an online class on HTML5 and CSS3 and had that long until the class resumed. I wondered if I could compose an entire piece of flash fiction in a “flash,” so to speak. Didn’t have much time for philosophizing. May take you up on your suggestion by the by.

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  2. Your ‘flash’ inspired me to get back to my own fiction, and I finally came up with a decent opening to the first chapter…again. I hate re-writing first chapters… it always changes the course of the storyline, as I think of something better that I hadn’t thought of. And I am really good at thinking of better things after all the hard work already put in…sigh. Glad I actually said something useful to you! ;-]

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  3. Interesting starting point. I love the remembering her face as she screamed. Great use of diner to give him A place to be. I really want more details and dialogue. I might see that later, just first impressions.

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