Living out in the middle of nowhere was mostly a good thing. No annoying neighbors, no obnoxious car alarms, only the sounds of the outdoors and, of course, the occasional sounds of hunting rifles in the distance. Nobody ever really bothered him, it was nice. Back in the city, there were people bothering him constantly, he couldn’t go anywhere, do anything. Now he was free to do mostly what he pleased.
He was also used to the occasional stranger looking for directions coming to his door, or someone who needed to use a phone to call for a tow truck or something of the sort.
“Hello Sharon, any update on my latest deadline?” He asked into the phone as he sat out on his back deck, overlooking the miles of open land around him.
“Yep, it’s due by December twenty-third.” She answered, “That gives you, nine months, Mason. Don’t fuck it up this time, have it in by then.” She hung up on him without another word.
“Nine months and I haven’t even started... ” He said to himself, “Well I have, but... I just can’t seem to do it.”
The incessant blinking of the cursor on the screen taunted him. He just couldn’t get the words to come, his fingers not moving.
“Ugh!” He groaned, throwing himself back into his chair, spinning away from his computer. As he did so he could hear a loud slamming on his back, glass door. He jumped, of course, and dashed out to see what animal was trying to break in.
Mason spotted a person on the deck, slumped over, his arms against the glass, banging against it. It seemed as though they’d thrown their body against the door, sliding down to the ground, too weak to stand any longer. He threw the door open and pulled a bloody stranger inside.
It was a man who seemed to look about the same age as Mason, he was struggling to breathe and his shirt was cut open. He’d been stabbed in the right side of his chest.
“Sir, are you still conscious?” Asked Mason.
“Unfortunately.” He coughed, splattering blood everywhere, also showing sharpened fangs. Mason stumbled back nervously, gasping, which caught the vampire-man’s attention, “Chill out, I couldn’t do anything to you even if I wanted to.” He choked, coughing up more blood.
Mason was visibly shaking as he slowly got closer to the non-human male, “What do I do?” his voice came out softer than expected, “How do I help you?”
“You need to stop the bleeding. I’m going to need a lot of bandages.” Instructed the nameless man.
“How can you even bleed? You’re not alive, hell, you’re not even human!” Mason stammered out, it all felt so surreal.
“Technically it’s not actual blood obviously, as you can see it’s much thicker and not quite red... It’s almost clear really, but either way, it’s ‘blood’ to keep me... Well, preserved? I guess.” The man told him, “Now please, bandages, quickly.”
Mason stood, nodding at the man on his floor, running off to find his medical supplies. He had a large supply of medical items due to him living so far from a hospital and considering the amount times he’d almost died before the ambulance could get there, he’d invested a lot of money in bandages since he’d moved out to the middle nowhere. He realized once he was out here how dangerous it was living alone in a place such as this.
Mason returned and stitched up the man’s wound and wrapped it tightly in bandages. That just happened to save his life and he owed the man big time for helping him so willingly.
“If it weren’t for you I surely would’ve died, thank you so much... Er...?” He trailed, realizing he never got the other’s name.
“Mason, Mason Bailey.” He introduced.
“I’m Alexander Blue.” The vampire-man replied with an awkward smile, “I’m pretty harmless, Mr. Bailey. I’m very sorry for scaring you and causing so much trouble.” He chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly.
“Call me Mason and it’s no trouble, I don’t get many visitors or anything around here, it’s much quieter than expected,” Mason spoke. He had offered the stranger dinner and a place to stay until he was well, wanting to make sure it healed and maybe get some story inspiration from this man.
“It is very quiet out here, I really do enjoy it, no people to freak out when they spot me. Going out shopping was the worst back home, people would flip-out, accusing me of being a monster.” Alexander chuckled, “I mean yeah, blood tastes pretty damn good but it’s not like I’d want to touch any of those sweaty morons anyway. I bet they tasted awful. That’s why I stopped doing vampire shit with you mortals, all of you taste dirty.”
“Well, I moved out here for a... Similar reason... I’m a pretty famous author and I couldn’t leave my house without being bothered constantly by everyone. Now I’m lucky if I see a person every twenty days or so.” Mason said happily, it was so much nicer around there than it was in the city.
“It’s not like I don’t want to be around people but everyone is too afraid to actually talk to me and see that I’m not into eating you fleshies.” Said Alexander, earning a laugh from Mason.
“Fleshies?” He snorted, “What the hell?”
“That’s what we, non-humans, call you.” Smiled the vampire, baring his sharp teeth.
“Oh? Okay then.” Chuckled the human, “How did you get that giant hole in your shoulder by the way?”
“Ah, well...” He dragged out the word for a moment and sighed, “Some hunter believed that ‘stake to the heart’ thing but, he got the wrong side.” He sighed, “You mortals are really damn stupid aren’t you?”
“Hey! Not all humans are stupid.” Mason scoffed.
“Did I offend you?” Alexander teased, getting a scowl from Mason.
“Yes! I am very intelligent.” Mason replied, getting a laugh from the vampire, who shook his head.
“Poor fleshies, you know so little in your short lives.” Alexander frowned.
“Shut up you damn bloodsucker! I saved you!” Mason’s face was red with anger, but Alexander enjoyed teasing the man too much to stop.
“But that was very stupid of you wasn’t it? I mean, just think about it.” Alexander pressed, “You saved such a dangerous creature. I could’ve just been lying to get into your home, and eat you in your sleep.”
“I knew that wasn’t true, you were coughing up blood and begging for help. I knew it was genuine.” Defended the man.
“I could just be a great liar.”
“Well then, I’ll just remove the stitches and toss your ass out into the snow. Sound good?” Mason threatened.
“Okay, Okay, I’m sorry. Thank you for helping me out, Mason.” Droned the non-human.
“That’s better.” Smirked Mason, “Do you need anything?” He asked as he got up to get himself a drink.
“Do you by any chance have an apple?” Asked the man, “I know, ’don’t vampires only drink blood and eat humans!?’” He said in a mocking tone. “No, as you know I don’t even do fleshies and I mean, really, nobody only eats and drinks one thing for their whole lives.”
“I... Wasn’t gonna ask but... Uh, yeah, I have apples, let me get one for you.” Mason spoke and went off to the kitchen. He got himself a splash, a can of his favorite soda and an apple for Alexander. Once he returned he found Alexander looking at a picture that was on his fireplace mantle. He seemed to be studying the picture pretty hard, really focused on it.
Alexander ran his fingers through his long, curly hair, his face bunched in confusion. Mason approached Alexander from behind, “That was the last picture I ever got with her.”
Alexander jumped, gasping in surprise, “Mason! I’m sorry, I was just curious!” He acted as though he’d been caught doing something he’d been told not to do.
“Don’t apologize, it’s not like it’s something very private.” Mason shrugged, “You can explore all you want, I don’t really don’t care as long as you don’t break things.” He said with a soft smile, Alexander couldn’t help but to smile in return.