[WP] Since it was decreed that consent is needed to turn humans into Vampires, the Vampire Population has dwindled over the recent years. Now vampires have missionaries to try convince people to convert to vampirism. Vampire missionaries have come knocking at your door.
I groan as I hear a loud knocking at my door. I am relaxing after getting off work, and the last thing I want is to talk to people. So what if I'm working from home? The customer service call center is still hell.
I push myself off my bed and go to see who's at my door. I opened it and I'm quite surprised.
They look like they never had a day of sun in their li. They are so pale. One of them is immaculately dressed, a dark suit and red tie. Over the breast of their jacket was "Elder Mercy, she/her" written in blood red.
"Hello, I am looking for a Sean? Is he at this residence?" Elder Mercy asked, looking at me. Her eyes were almost unnaturally blue. It was mildly off-putting as she batted them at me.
"I am Sean. Can I help you? If this is about a religion, I'm not interested, unfortunately," I ask, hoping to go back to my reading in bed.
"It isn't about any sort of religious sect. We've an offer for you that is extremely rare and very exclusive," she says.
I blink and try to figure out what kind of scam they are trying to pull. "What is this, and how did you know where to find me?" I grip the doorknob a bit more tightly, my body tensing up to slam the door and call the police.
"We have a few social circles that intersect, and you came by recommendation from one of our members. You might know them from the occult shop you sometimes visit in Old Town? Can we come in to discuss what this offer entails?" She says with a grin.
If she knew me from the shop I went to for tarot cards and books, and someone gave her my info, it was probably the owner playing matchmaker. Again. "Look, if Deborah sent you here to ask me on a date, I just went through a massive breakup, and I'm not interested in a rebound or getting back into dating yet." I prepare to close the door.
"I'm gay as sunshine, sir. I've no interest in you that way, but I am sorry to hear about your breakup. Can I please come in so you can hear me out? I promise you will want to hear what I have to say." She asks, almost pleading.
I sigh and relent, "You can come in." I open the door and stand aside. "Can i get you anything to drink? Water, juice, some soda?" I offer, trying to be a decent host.
"No, thank you," she says, going to my living room and sitting on the couch. I grab a can of coke and pull my work chair around to sit across from her. I motion for her to begin her spiel.
"I have to open with a question. What do you know and think about vampires?" She asks in a quite serious tone.
I take a sip and think on my response. "In fiction or in folklore?"
"Well, in fictional context, they've been overdone the past few years, all trying to hype on Stephanie Meyer's coattails. In folklore, they are a bit more interesting, depending on what region the legends come from."
"What if I told you that vampires were real and are, in fact, an endangered species?" She says unexpectedly serious.
I pause with the soda can at my lips and set it down. "What do you mean? Are you saying you're a vampire or something? Are you LARPing?"
She then does something that I'll always remember. It is burned into my soul. Her eyes glow bright, and her hair floats like an invisible wind from below her. The lights all flicker, the temperature drops, and I feel a primal fear well up within me. "I assure you, I speak only the truth."
I back up my chair on instinct and reach for a letter opener, shakily brandishing it at her. "What do you want with me?!" I scream.
I expect her to lunge at me, rip open my neck, and sip me like a Capri-Sun. Instead, she slowly gets up, walks to me, gets on her knees, and puts her hands over mine. Her skin is so cold, like stone at night, but soft as silk.
Her tone is surprisingly gentle, and more than a little broken up. "About 5 years ago, there was a culling. More than 95% of all vampires worldwide were killed in a bloody civil war. The revolution won, and by the decree of Vampire Queen Genesis the First, new vampires can only be born through consent. I am here to offer you to join us. You will be loved and cared for. A new family."
I am still shaking like a leaf in the wind, tears of fear running down my face. "Why?" Why me? Why now is unspoken.
"There are less than 500 of us left. We need new blood to survive as a species, and what when Genesis took the Sanguine Throne, she made it so no one would have to become a child of night without choice ever again."
"Why me in specific?"
"You're known to be open-minded and have a stronger moral compass than most. We want the best of the human race to join us. Strong and just hearts."
I mull this over, my heart still pounding in my ears. She gets up slowly and pulls a business card from her pocket. "Please think it over, call me if you have more questions, or want have a answer."
It was a fitful night sleep that night, and the night after that. Every time I closed my eyes, I'd see her eyes glowing with dark power and pleading with me to take her offer and give up sunlight for good. I ended up having to take PTO just for mental health days (not that I told management that).
The nights I couldn't sleep awake, frantically researching vampires. The term didn't exist really outside of Europe, but blood drinking monsters existed in nearly every culture in the world. The most ancient of these was connected to ancient Babylon and were connected to Lilith, the first wife of Adam or the first demon, or both.
In most cases, they had a few things in common: they were nocturnal, they could shapeshift into nocturnal fanged creatures, and had an aversion to herbs of the lily family such as garlic ia most European regions, and aloe vera in the Americas. Whether or not holy symbols, silver, or blessed baked goods were effective varied by region and culture.
That in mind, I ordered some aloe vera moisturizer and had italian for dinner before I called Elder Mercy again.
It went straight to voicemail. I left a message saying I had some questions and that I am not accepting the offer, at least not yet. I take a few shuddering breaths.
I got a call back from Mercy a few minutes later from a blocked number. "I could tell you were deeply disturbed when I left, and I didn't want to push or make you go full vampire hunter on me. What questions do you have?"
"Why me? What are the drawbacks? I admit I did research, but I want to hear it from the horse's mouth," I say, doing my best to keep my voice as steady as I can.
"The benefits are near immortality for one thing. We don't age, as long as we drink sustainably and don't have prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. We do develop allergies to certain plants, especially garlic."
"What about stuff like silver or crosses?" I ask, hoping to have a confirmed way to defend myself if things go bad.
"That's actually relates to the consent thing. As it turns out, as long as all you drink blood that is willingly offered and given, those do not affect you as strongly, if at all. If you took some blood from someone unwillingly or under duress, it actually taints you and makes you adverse to those things and twists them in the monsters you typically find in folklore," Mercy explains
That's a relief then, but the question tickles in the back of the mind. "Have you...?"
The shame is palpable. Even through the filter of the phone, "Only once, a year ago. Supposedly, the taint fades over time, and the person forgave me, but she had to be rushed to the hospital and holding silver burns much."
I have to admire the vulnerability. "Why me then? I can't imagine I was picked randomly."
"We go by a recommendation system. You have to be recommended by name by no less than 5 people. You were recommended by 14."
I balk. "Who?" Who thr fuck did I know was a vampire?
"Mostly people from the occult shop. Most because you're soft-spoken and firm in not being prejudiced and willing to learn from and admit mistakes, which is better than about 80% of the general population. You've also been described as helpful to a fault, if a bit socially awkward." I honestly didn't know how to respond. "You have been on the list for a while now. We were just looking for a good time to send me over to well, pitch it."
"Can I ask who recommended me?"
"Not unless you joined."
"And how exactly does that work?"
"Well, vampiric blood has to enter your system in a sufficient amount in a direct way. Typically, ingesting it is the safest option," she says.
Great, blood. My hemophobia strikes again.
"I... uh... I'm not sure if that's an option for me..." I start to explain, but she cuts me off.
"Your phobia is actually well documented, ironically. We typically mix it with some wine or soda to both hide the taste and make it go down a bit easier. We do it slowly over the course of a week to make the transition a bit smoother. We have a file for you. God, I know that sounds creepy as shit... It says you'd be converted over a month instead of the usual two weeks."
I should say that I'm stunned, but I'm more flattered that they go this far for me.
"Is there a catch? What about my job? Even if I work remotely, what if I have to go in? What about going out in public?"
"Well, we actually work nights most of us, a couple of people work days, but it's tough on them. We actually have a few connections, and sure, someone can offer you a better paying job with less stress."
"Forgive me if this sounds too good to be true. What's to stop me from, as you said, 'going full vampire hunter?'" I make air quotes even though she can't see me.
"Well, you don't seem to have a history of holding grudges or persecution, and we would offer a small stipend for continued silence if you declined. We even offer compensation for blood donations if you are super sure."
I have done plasma donations before. It wasn't glamorous, but it helped pay a couple of bills.
"I'll at least want a bit longer to think it over." I say after a couple moments of silence.
"Of course, you can leave a message at the number I gave you and I'll get back in contact with you as soon as I can. I'm kind of like your caseworker now with this."
"Alright, I'll talk to you again soon."