A Gift from Grandma
Margery Stellworth sat alone, in a sagging yellow armchair, in her dark living room. It was Sunday and she was expecting her grandson. She had been waiting all morning but he hadn’t come. She sipped absentmindedly at her mug of blood. The Mug was a gift, which read “world greatest grandma,” on the side. The blood was cow blood from the butcher shop, sour and unfulfilling. But the nights had been too cold to go out hunting lately, the chill air made her hip ache. She’d thought of setting a trap for the postman. But she rarely got letters and besides she knew the postman, Mable Jenkins boy. She couldn’t bite him. At this thought she laughed dryly to herself. She really was a pathetic Vampire.
Those hoodlum vampires who’d turned her must have thought it was terribly funny. An old Lady vampire, hilarious. She was just one of their frat-boy jokes, a prank to impress their girlfriends. Well, they got what was coming to them. She’d heard through one of her few demonic acquaintances, that they’d been caught by the vampire hunters. Staked through the heart, all of them, well it served them right. The young vampires these days are all too showy. It was the whole Twilight, teenage vampire craze on T.V. It made the whole thing look romantic. Perhaps it was romantic, for them, but for her it meant an eternity of hip pains, rheumatoid arthritis and cow blood mixed with Metamucil. It meant she had to meet her grandson in the dark living room with the curtains drawn. He’d often ask her to take a walk in the park and she’d have to make some excuse about back pain and convince him that she preferred to stay indoors.
In the months directly after her infection she’d considered turning someone else, a companion. Darla from down the street, her grandkids never came by. She’d thought they could move in together, try out new recipes, make this cow blood tolerable, but no she couldn’t do that to Darla. She’d considered Jenkins, from the bingo hall, he wasn’t so bad looking and he’d flirted with her a couple of times. But in the end she’d given up on him too. She just couldn’t condemn another person to eternal membership in the AARP. In the two years of vampirism she’d only killed seven people and she hadn’t turned anyone.
There was a knock at the door.
“It’s open Billy,” she called and heard her grandson push through the screen door. With her heightened sense of smell she could tell he’d brought flowers, daisies, her favorite.
“I’m in the parlor dear,” she said.
He went to the kitchen for a vase then brought the flowers in and set them on the coffee table.
“They’re lovely,” she smiled.
“We’ll they’d look better in the light,” he said, “are you sure we can’t open the curtains.”
“No, the doctor says it’ll just aggravate my skin condition you understand.”
Billy nodded and sat down. He looked sadder than normal. Though in general he’d always been a melancholy boy, bright but unfocused. He was a senior at the community college and he didn’t have a girlfriend. His mother suspected it was because he was, you know, that way. In life the thought of a gay grandson would have horrified her, but now that she was technically the spawn of Satan, it seemed hypocritical. Pity though, he was such a handsome boy.
Yes, she thought as he sat on the sofa telling her the latest news from the family, he was very handsome. He must be going to the gym or playing tennis or something. His shoulders were broader than before and his arms thicker. Yes, she could see the veins, well defined, on his forearms.
“I just feel like I’m getting old,” he said and she looked up. She’d been distracted by the veins and hadn’t heard what he’d said.
“What was that deary?”
“I just mean, I’m twenty eight and I’m barely graduating college, and who’s going to hire a Political Science Major? I’ll have three more years of graduate school at least. If I can even get in, I’ll be thirty one before I graduate and I can’t keep living at home…”
Billy stopped. His grandma wasn’t listening to him. She was staring blankly at his right arm. For a moment he was alarmed. Maybe she’d had a stroke.
“Grandma?” he asked
“Yes dear,” she shook her head and looked up at him.
“I was saying,” he went on slowly, that I think I’m getting too old to be going to school and living at home,”
“Yes,” she sighed, “I suppose you are.”
They sat quietly for a moment. It was such a pity. He was right, soon he would be old and he’d have wasted his youth, not only that but when he did graduate, if he did go away to school who would visit her on Sunday afternoons, but I guess they can’t stay children forev… she stopped mid-thought, why had she not thought of this before.
“Billy,” she said slowly, “don’t be afraid of growing old.”
“I know, I just…”
“Here hand me my dentures dear,” she said pointing to a pink plastic case on the table. He handed it to her. She turned away as she slid them in, so he wouldn’t notice her new, “enhanced,” set.
Her fangs in place she softly said, “Come here and let me give you a hug, for the flowers.”
He smiled and stood up, stepping toward her and bending down.
With a jerk she pulled him off his feet and into the chair. He jerked back but she held him.
“Don’t struggle dear, it’s just a gift from grandma,” and she sunk her teeth into his young warm throat.