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NaNo cut-out reel

deleted scenes/portions of first drafts of my first NaNo novel

***

My eyes snap open right as the sun sets. Reaching over, I slap the alarm clock that I didn’t really need, silencing the annoying radio personality. I have an innate sense when it comes to sunrises and sunsets, like I can feel in my bones just when the sun hits the horizon for the first or last time of the day. Pretty useful thing, that is, especially for me. You see, I’m one of those things people have hidden from for centuries, things that are only supposed to come out at night and frighten men and women alike.

Hi, my name is Alyssa and I’m a vampire. Pretty lame introduction, if you ask me.

I swing my feet out of bed -yes, I do sleep on a mattress- and pad barefoot down to the bathroom. Yawning, I stretch and feel my spine crackle and snap. God, I feel old tonight. Not just old as in how some regular humans feel, the aches and pains associated with age, but absolutely ancient. I’m bored with my life out here in the middle of nowhere. I keep a pretty low profile: middle aged woman, single, lives alone with a cat and some goldfish in an old Victorian house. I don’t have many visitors, especially after the fallout I had with one of the most powerful vamp leaders in America. Let’s just say that we had irreconcilable differences. It’s far better than saying he dumped me for a prettier, much younger human. At least it makes me feel better about the whole thing. After the messy ordeal, I moved as far away as I could from him and his clan. It was a shame too, I liked a lot of them. They were some of the few that accepted me for me instead of the Master‘s Girlfriend.

Leaning against the bathroom counter, I run a hand over my face. Yes, I do have a reflection. It’s a common misconception that Hollywood and Stoker created. I’m pretty average in appearance unless I drop all the glamour and go with what my master gave me. My eyes are blue, my nose a little crooked from when I had broken it as a child before turning vampire. My mouth is a bit too wide for my face, yet not unattractive. My hair is sticking out on the side I slept on and I push it down with my brush. My hair is black, not like the fake store dyed black color, but deep black, complete with violet and blue highlights that shimmer when the lights hit them just right. Back when I was a normal human, my hair was thin and blah. One of the upsides to turning vampire is that the blood of your maker enhances whatever they wish to be enhanced. I was one of the majority that were turned by masters that wished for their subjects to be of inhuman beauty. Go me. My hair stylist practically swoons when I book an appointment. Speaking of which, I’m going to need one soon. The cut I’ve been favoring is starting to grow out.

Toothpaste foaming my mouth, I spit and rinse. Can’t have nasty morning breath ruin my evening. Besides, many dentists wouldn’t take me in if I did get a cavity for fear of me biting them. A quick run in the shower and I’m out and swathed in a bright pink terrycloth towel. I glance at the clock and mutter a curse under my breath. Dressing quickly, I close up the house behind me and walk towards my car.

The last rays of the setting sun are filtering through the clouds. I close my eyes and tip my head towards them, letting them warm my face as much as they can. Yep, another misconception. Vamps can run around in the daylight. At least the old ones can. Newer ones can’t or else their bodies will explode into flames, if they‘re lucky. I’ve seen a newborn step out into the dawn and explode -literally. It was not a pretty sight. Some of the older ones still have problems with full noontime light and cover their bodies as much as they can. Me, it’s never bothered me too much except for the time I nearly blinded myself looking directly into the sun a few centuries or so ago. What can I say? I was very young and felt like I was seven feet tall and invincible. Even after all those years, my eyes are still highly sensitive to sunlight.

What can be said about us vampires is that we are at our strongest during the night. Daytime saps our powers to the point of barely being able to perform simple mind tricks, and even then it exhausts our physical strength. That’s how the myth of us not being able to walk in the sunlight got started. We just prefer to operate by night instead of being wimpy. Right now, I can feel all traces of sleep fall from my shoulders, my senses sharpened as the sun finally falls down for the evening. My stomach growls and I frown, thinking that I don’t have time to grab something to eat. It’s not like I can drive up to MacDonald’s and order up a large Type AB negative or anything. Besides, I haven’t hunted for human blood since the sixties. I’m what you can call a vampiric vegetarian. One bad experience with a person messed up on LSD and it ruined my palate. I’ve been living off of animal blood for the past thirty five years . It pales to my memories of human blood, but I got squeamish after the walls started crawling that last time. And now I’m kind of afraid of what will happen if I do switch to human after all these years. I’ve seen others that have gone cold turkey because of their ethics, and I’ve seen how they’ve reacted after one drop of human blood touches their lips after many years without. They went mad, slaughtering everything in their wake. It was spooky.

Getting my keys out to my car, I unlock it and start the engine. My poor baby is on his last legs, I bought him way back in the fifties. What you can see of the original paint is a light powder blue, the rest is pretty much white or scratched. He’s got tail fins and he’s a gas guzzler, but I love him to pieces. He coughs and sputters and lets out a loud belch of exhaust as I put him into gear, then putters on down the road. I don’t have very long to drive to get to the antique shop I own, and I park my car in the back with the two others there. By the looks of it, Anne and Dean are working tonight.

New York City is home to a lot of things supernatural. It’s not as busy as some of the quieter, less human populated Midwestern states, but there’s a fair share of ghouls and goblins and the like running around. Anne happens to be a shape shifter. Not a werewolf that’s under the full moon curse, but a person that can shift into any type of animal form that she pleases. Dean is a Newborn I found nearly starving to death and insane with bloodlust after his master was executed. Old Jeremias had it coming, doing the serial killer thing. The police caught up with him finally and a rookie cop’s bullet pierced his heart. He never was tried in our courts, but his minions were rounded up and judged for their deeds. Dean however, managed to escape the Court’s usual sentence of execution by a default. He hadn’t asked to be sent over to our side, Jeremias had done it to him without his consent. The Court ruled that if he could find his way on his own without any help, or if one of us gave our aid to him freely, he would be allowed to live. Those old fanged goats that make up the rules are pretty harsh. I hadn’t been there for the ruling, seeing that at the time I was having relationship problems with my unfaithful almost-spouse, and mere chance brought Dean and I together. I took him in and taught him the ropes, officially making him my trainee of sorts. When I left Damian, Dean came with me. I didn’t ask him to, he just did. Loyalty, gotta love it.

The bells I have on the front door chime pleasantly as I open it. Dean looks up from the counter then goes back to the computer inventory. He’s a cute young man, nearly six and a half feet tall, all arms and legs. His sandy brown hair is in a messy mop on top of his head and it always falls into his dark eyes. He reminds me of an overgrown puppy. Forever twenty-one, he has the look of a boy just on the verge of becoming an adult. He’s matured over the years he and I have known the other, yet he still can be found glued to his living room sofa playing video games in his spare time.

“Heya Lissie,” he says in greeting, grinning up at me with only a hint of fangs showing. He’s been Changed for nearly ten years, but the novelty still hasn’t worn off. That and most Newborns have great difficulty hiding what they are from human eyes. His skin is pink under the soft overhead lights and I can smell the fresh blood that lies under the surface. At least one of us ate before the shift started.

“Hey yourself,” I say, hanging my sweater up in the broom closet.

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