Ludovic was many thousand years old, even vampires have their expiration dates. He sat up slowly in the old Victorian bed, bones creaking as he struggled. He was awake in a world of darkness.
His eyes were deeply set and useless, the last of his vision receding over the past decade. A tuft of scraggly white hair ran down from the center of his skull, and liver spots freckled the shiny bald ring around his head. His face was ancient, spider webs of wrinkles cast out from every corner and crevice. He now slept in his grey sweatpants and sweater, his black tuxedo had proven too tight and was not sacrificing for his tender old body.
He reached over, ever so slowly, still creaking and cracking with every movement, and fetched his black ivory cane which had a ruby inset in the handle and gold trim surrounding the gem. Using the restless spirit within, the eternal hunger, he pushed himself out of the bed, and stood, waving back and forth, looking like a tall redwood swaying in the wind.
As he made his way to the front door, he noticed Camellia was starting to cook breakfast in the kitchen.
“Just goin’ to grab the paper!” Ludovic yelled at her.
“Watch the step when you go out, and mind the cold!” she said.
He opened the big hand carved wooden doors with the intricate patterns, feeling the breeze gently rush over his old face. He stepped outside, pushing his cane in front of him to see, watching the step as he walked down over it.
Rita Orwell, a hearing aid saleswoman, made her way up Oak street, eyeing up Ludovic and thinking about her presentation. She saw he was heading towards the newspaper, and quickened her pace. She bent down and picked up the newspaper, feeling strange as she stood up and looked into Ludovic’s dead eyes.
“Here’s your paper sir, do you have five minutes to spare?” she said.
He had smelled her from far away, his nose the only organ on his body that still worked reasonably well. The hunger welled up inside of him and he thought of his days back in the seventeenth century, when he still had companions and a back that didn’t threaten to fail him at every moment.
“Stefan! Grab the rifles, take up fort while I deal with this one!” He yelled, moving with a sudden speed unexpected from such an ancient being.
He grabbed Rita around her waist, with a grip that was still firm and strong enough to hold her tight. His open mouth came down on her neck, wrinkly old lips suckling on the soft white skin. Rotting, slimy gums clamped down, trying to bite in to her but finding no open flesh to suck on.
“Ew! What the fuck are you doing?” She pulled him away far enough with one arm to slap him with the other.
Camellia came running down the narrow stone path to the side of the street where Rita was struggling to keep Ludovic’s face away from her. She grabbed Ludovic by the arm and pried him off, with some difficulty. She began apologizing profusely to the saleswoman.
“I’m so sorry. It’s just that he has dementia, he think’s he’s somewhere else. Please, forgive us!”
The woman dusted herself off and stared at the old couple. She crossed her arms and huffed, then threw her hands down and stomped away.
Camellia brought Ludovic inside and sat him down at the table. She set the plates and the forks, and laid down the fresh bacon and eggs. She grabbed two blood bags out of the freezer, and poured them into two large wine glasses.
She stared on at him, and thought about his silly antics and the daily struggle of his hunger and about how much she loved him. She giggled and thought “I hope you draw some blood next time old one.”