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Baby, Its Covid Outside: a short story by: GF Willmetts.

January 3, 2021 | By | Reply More

I sat patiently waiting for my lord, master and friend nosferatu to finish feeding from the blood from my neck. His lapping giving a tickling but not unpleasant sensation. I knew I would wobble a little when I got up but that would pass with a day or two and he was hungry again.

He stopped short. ‘Your blood is a little off, Elgar.’

‘’I haven’t changed anything, my lord.’

‘Really? So the sash of hormone retardant hasn’t got as far as you yet?’

Elgar held his head in shame, ‘Been and gone, my lord.’ He paused before qualifying the statement. ‘I have passed it on to other less worthy ones.’

‘You’ve been postponing your advance into maturity far too long. Your hormones will beat the drug eventually…as they are doing now.’

‘I’m sorry, my lord.’

‘It happens. The best blood is when your hormones are not raging with the desire for procreation, often preadolescence and settles after childbirth.’

‘I have no desire to procreate, my lord. The thought of this…sunlight scares me.’

‘You may also prefer sunlight. I understand Vitamin K will tan your skin among other side effects. Not burn as happens to my brethren, but feed your body, cultivate growth and other such things.’

‘Do they have night outside as well? I’ve been told is somewhat like in here.’

‘It varies across the seasons. Night is longer over the winter season. You will be able to dream of sanctuary and wish for sunnier days.’

‘I appreciate that, my lord, but I am still scared. I have heard there is no ceiling, so how does the nightlights puncture the sky?’

‘You’ve also been missing lessons again? Do you want to be a delinquent?’

‘Oh no, my lord. I live to serve. I must have been busy that night.’

‘Knowledge is power. You win by knowing more not less.’

‘I will take that to my grave…’

‘Maybe not that far.’

‘Does that mean I would be considered to become nosferatu, too?’

‘You have a long way to go yet to be even considered, Elgar. We don’t change children…or teenagers.’

‘There is hope then?’

‘Serve the cause, Elgan. Do as you’re told. Keep your neck clean. Your blood, too.’

‘Yes, my lord.’

‘You will be leaving tonight.’

‘My lord?’

‘Your age group will soon follow. As potential leader, you need to be ahead to guide. Look for and prepare a village. There are plenty to choose from out there.’

‘You go out, my lord?’

‘Occasionally. One has to have experience of where I send my humans. The plagues that condemned many humans are long gone. The population outside needs to grow if we are to feed adequately but we need to see it safe.’

‘I am scared, my lord. I will be alone…out there.’

‘The rest will follow within days if you are safe. There are other people out there. Find them a village with a suitable water supply and latrines and they will trust your leadership. Set a smoky fire so they will know in which direction to go to find you.’

‘I am still scared, my lord.’

‘Use that to make you strong. Fear is a strength not a weakness when you have to make decisions that look after your welfare and that of your clan.’

My lord, master and friend, the nosferatu was philosophical. I strove to learn but looking outside into the night with the minor sun looking down gave the world a white looking land. I was given a food parcel, a few other sundries like a hat and pushed out the door. I was alone, like never before.

IiiiI

‘So you sent him out into the wild? Far too early.’

The other nosferatu joined him at the window, its shade carefully drawn and peered out into the night. The moon was slowly fading into the dawn and the drapes would have to close until the next late evening.

‘Far too late. We must find who is making and passing that hormone retardant. They might want to stay preadolescent longer but it does make their blood taste foul.’

The other nosferatu grimaced. ‘I must be further down that particular chain but I have tasted it in the past. They don’t appear to realise how it contaminates their blood.’

‘They like their life in sanctuary. We need to spend more time educating them on the benefits of going out in the daylight and fear of the disease that killed their forefathers.’

‘They might learn to fear us again.’

‘There is always that problem. Our immortality still intrigues them and that is their ultimate goal. Elgan’s desire was obvious. He wants to become one of us. A few more to our number would reassure them it is possible but not to over-populate our own numbers. We don’t have enough people numbers to feed us until they repopulate.’

‘The human population has remained small. Their breeding ground is still small after the plague variants.’

‘So you sent this brave little soldier out into the wilds?’

‘He’s more scared of daylight than anything else he might encounter.’

‘So are we all.’

‘Prepare his age clan to follow when if and when we see his smoke signal. No sense them getting lost trying to find him if he survives the first few weeks.’

‘If we send them. Remember that book we can’t read and the alleged great flood?’

‘Oh, how to find out if the flood has gone down. You send a dove…you see if it comes back.’

‘A bit silly really. The ark could be in the middle of an ocean and not know how far from land. They probably lost a lot of gulls that way.’

‘A boy surviving sends a smoke signal and we can see how long he survives in the plague is still a tall order. Our supply of…volunteers isn’t endless.’

‘Better one than many. If Elgan does become infected, he might well survive. We can then dribble more of his clan out there.’

‘Better that than infect those with us. Once we were the feared, but there’s always some other threat bigger.’

‘What was it someone once said? Baby, it’s covid outside.’

‘Better there than in here.’

end

© GF Willmetts 2021

All rights reserved

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NB When I wrote the above, I was exploring the idea of humans getting on well with vampires/nosferatu after a plague than live in fear of them. I’m still pondering on the relationship and then realised this could be a posdt-covid-19 story. It’s a curio in development and shows even nosferatu have their own tastes and fears.

Category: Short fiction

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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