Excerpt: Darkness is Illuminating
The sun is setting. He can feel it from where he’s lying in his bedroom. He’s heard the tales that vampires can’t go out into the sunlight, but it’s not true for his kind. Much like bats, vampires have poor to no eyesight at any time of day, so they choose to come out at night when people notice them less. They can stand the sunlight, but why worship the sun when all you can see is darkness?
Wyatt finds himself thinking about the nature of being a vampire as he gets out of bed. They don’t need sunlight. Their eyes are all but useless in a traditional sense. They don’t see as humans see, even though they look perfectly human. Vampires use other senses to get around—what some would call a sixth sense. Instead of seeing images, they send out waves, sound waves a human cannot hear. When they do, an infrared imprint of what’s there is shown to them.
It works well. Some vampires even manage to pass as sighted. Wyatt’s never seen the point. It seems like a lot of effort for nothing. If anyone tries to take advantage by trying to pick his pocket, rob or harm him when they notice that his eyes don’t focus on anything, well, they’re the one in danger, not him.
He wears dark glasses most of the time, to cover his sightless eyes, so maybe some people do mistake him for sighted. Wyatt isn’t sure. He doesn’t pay much attention to people around him. He lives in his own little world.
Unlike bats , vampires are very dangerous. Their creator may not have given them traditional sight, but they were given strength instead. Vampires have a great sense of smell and hearing, which helps with not being able to see. The creator’s nature, Wyatt thinks, is a wonderful thing. It creates its creatures with everything they need to survive.
And survive his kind have, in secret but still thriving. Wyatt himself has been surviving for a very long time, over two hundred years, and he could easily survive two hundred more. But if he’s going to do that, he needs to make some changes.
He lives alone in a home he bought a century ago. He likes his home. It has everything he needs. Living as long as he has, he’s lived in lots of places, but he likes New York. The city feels alive. Wyatt thinks that it’s being alone that he needs to change. He doesn’t need to change where he’s living, he’s just been alone for too long.
As he gets up and goes to shower, humming to guide his way as he is still blind at night, he tries to justify his choices. It’s not like he doesn’t have friends, people in his life. He sees people most days, but he’s lived alone, for what now? Fifty years? When he was first turned into a vampire he lived with his maker. Before that, when he was human, he lived with his family.
At one point in his life he had been used to living with people. But he’d gotten to a point where he thought if he was going to be his own man then he needed to move out and be his own boss. His parents had been strict, so living with his more relaxed maker had been a change.
Wyatt had left his maker to make his own way in the world, with his maker’s blessing. He’d found he liked living alone and the freedom that came with it. He’d lived briefly with lovers over the years, but nothing really long-term.
Suddenly, he has a light bulb moment. It’s not the first time he’s had one of those under the shower’s spray.
Maybe that’s what’s missing in his life—another person. Someone that is more than just a friend. Recently he’s been lonely. He hasn’t liked waking up alone, always being in an empty house. He tried having friends around, but they can’t be there the whole time. They have their own lives. He’s taken more than a few lovers into his bed, but meaningless sex with men whose names he doesn’t even ask doesn’t fill the hole he is feeling.
Turning off the shower and stepping out onto the cool tile of the bathroom floor, he smiles to himself. It’s simple, really. He’s lonely, sick of living alone. He can change that by letting new people into his life. He’s never had trouble making friends. Finding someone to fill the hole in his life should be simple.