Convenience Store Love


  Aaron t. Evans

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Change. It's something that I've always wanted in my life. Hell,
everyone wants a change of some sort or another, but the changes I
wanted were the big kind. I wanted the kind of changes that led you to
cut all ties, move to another state maybe, possibly take over a small
third world country. That was a joke. Anyways, I wanted big changes in
my life, and that's what I got.

My life was pretty boring. I came from a small coal-mining town in
Pennsylvania that was suffering from lack of coal. Not many businesses
remained, and there weren't many opportunities for young people. I
never went to college after high school, and maybe I should have, just
to get out of that shitty little town. Not that I could afford college,
my parents were worthless as far as parents are concerned. They just
left me to do my own thing, not really caring if I got arrested or
knocked some girl up. They were poor and uneducated, and apparently
they didn't care if I followed in their footsteps. I almost did. I was
just some skater-punk trying to make ends meet.

I guess you could say I got lucky, because I got a job at the
convenience store a couple of blocks from my parent's place. I worked
there for about a year before I finally moved out and got my own pad.
It was a small apartment, one bedroom, a living room, a kitchen and a
bathroom with one of those old cast-iron tubs with a shower-hose
connected to the spigot. It was livable, but not my dream home by any

One night a few years back I was working the late shift. It was a dead
night, only three or four people had come in. I was behind the counter
scoping the new issue of Playboy. Same airbrushed shit as always. Not
that I didn't enjoy what I was seeing, I did. It was just fake.

The bell over the door jingled, and I stashed the Playboy on a shelf
behind the counter. When I looked up, my eyes were treated to a site
that was very real. It was a woman some five and a half feet tall.
She had short, spiky black hair that made her pale, high cheek-boned
face seem all the more alluring. Her eyes were large and dark, her lips
full and very red. She wore a lot of dark eye make-up; she always did.
This woman came up to the counter and asked for a pack of cigarettes.
I almost fainted. Have you ever heard of the Sirens from Greek myth? I
guess her voice could be compared to that. It was alluring,
intoxicating and beautifully hypnotic. I was so caught up in the sound
of her voice I wasn't paying attention to what she was saying to me. I
didn't card her either. She really didn't look much older than me.

"Are you okay?" she asked me, and I finally snapped out of my little
stupor. Her hand brushed against my mine as I handed the smokes over to
her. It was like little jolts of electricity were shooting through my

"Oh, uh, yeah, I'm fine. I just thought I uh, saw a mouse behind you."
I figured it was a good enough cover up, but she wasn't giving any

"Really? I could have sworn you were staring at me."

"Well, uh, I."

"Don't worry, it happens."


Then she caressed my cheek, turned around and walked out the door.

About a week later I was arguing with some old lady over the price of
bread. She kept telling me that she could by it at the supermarket for
twenty cents cheaper. Like I gave a shit. I told her if she wanted
cheaper prices to go to the supermarket. She complained that she
couldn't drive and that her husband wanted a late night snack. It was
about two in the morning, and I figured the lady must have forgotten to
take some medication or something. She walked about twenty steps to get
here to buy bread at two.

The old lady wouldn't leave me alone, and I wasn't about to mark the
bread down, not unless she let me spit in the bread bag or something. I
was about ready to tell her to get the hell out when the bell above the
door jingled. Normally I wouldn't have looked up, being that I was in
the middle of an argument, but something compelled me too. When I
looked up, it was the woman from the week before. She was dressed in a
black leather jacket, a dark blue belly shirt that revealed a pierced
belly button and a very slender waist. She also wore a black leather
mini skirt and sported Docs on her feet. Her hair was blue this time.
She apparently caught the gist of the argument with the old lady,
because she stepped in and paid for the old bat's bread.

"Here, old mother. There's no reason you shouldn't have your bread."

The old lady just smiled and said what a nice young woman she was, then
left. I kind of felt stupid. Of course, when this lady was around, I
was stupid.

"What's up "Pete?" I was kind of surprised that she knew my name, but
then I remembered I was wearing a nametag.

"Not much, Ms."

"I'm sorry, I never introduced myself. My name's Alessandra."
I wasn't sure if I should shake her hand or kiss it, but I shook it,
just so I wouldn't seem like some kind of a freak.

"What can I get you tonight?" I asked, feeling kind of weird. I really
wanted to get to know this woman better, but I didn't know how. I just
felt really confused around her.

"Well, you can get me another pack of Marlboro Lights and then we can
go out to this all night club I know about."

Besides the fact that her request was a wee bit direct, it just struck
me odd that this lady wanted me to go somewhere with her when I hardly
knew her. I could also get fired for leaving early. I really needed
the six fifty an hour I was making.

"Well, the smokes I can do, but the night club, I can't."

Alessandra leaned against the counter, her face inches from mine. I
stared into her dark eyes, and for a few moments I felt like I was
staring into an abyss.

"Sure you can," was her only reply. I almost went through with it too.
But I wasn't going to let some woman talk me out of leaving work and
getting fired.

"No, I can't. Maybe some night I have off?"

She pouted, and I almost changed my mind.

"Tonight," she said, and this time when I looked into her eyes, I
couldn't say no.

Like I said before, I live in a relatively small town. There's only
one nightclub in town, and it's only for people twenty-one and older.
Surprisingly, the place did quite well. The Night Spot, as the club was
called, was packed. I was surprised, I guess. I'd never heard of anyone
actually going to the place. Strobe lights and music blared from every
direction; people were either dancing alone or grinding together. At
first I felt a little out of place. Most people were pretty dressed up,
wearing all sorts of cool clothes. There I was wearing my blaze orange
work shirt and my blue jeans. My hair was sticking up at all sorts of
wild angles, but I guess that looked kind of natural there.

I was surprised to here that Alessandra actually owned the Night Spot.
She couldn't have been much older than me, but here she was, the owner
of a popular nightclub in a small town.

We made our way through the crowd to the bar where we both ordered
drinks. Hers was a thick, red concoction, and I couldn't understand the
name of the drink, it was in French or something. I just ordered a
bottle of Bud.

Small talk ensued, and it was just the normal get-to-know-each-other
crap. It seemed that Alessandra was originally from Los Angeles. Her
parents were really well off, and that's how she could afford the
nightclub. She decided to move to DuBois because it was a small town,
and she felt that her club would do well there. I told her my life
story and drank another beer. Alessandra asked me if I wanted to see
the rest of the club, and I said sure.

As we were making our way through the crowd, she grabbed my hand. I
had never noticed before when she'd touched me just how cold her touch
was. It was like being caressed by ice almost. That didn't bother me
though, I was too excited to see the rest of the club.

We went up a dark stairwell that was guarded over by two hulking
bruisers. They eyed me suspiciously, but then smiled as Alessandra led
me up the steps. I felt like I was on the outside of a joke for a

The stairs ended, and a dark hallway began. There were rooms filled
with people of all ages and races and genders, mostly people I'd never
seen before. Some people greeted Alessandra, and she did the same. She
didn't stop to talk to anyone though, and we kept moving down the

Finally we came to a locked door at the end of the hall. Like the
stairwell that led to the hallway, this door was guarded over. I
thought it was kind of odd, but then I figured this might be her office
or something. She was from L.A. too, so maybe that was where she kept
her drugs.

The door opened and what I saw was not what I expected. The door
opened up to really cool living room. Black lights beamed their light
over a wrap-around couch on one side of the room and a love seat at the
other. A huge entertainment center seemed to brace the far wall. The
room itself was soundproof. I couldn't hear any of the music from

Alessandra led me back to her room, which was surprisingly simple; a
bed, a dresser and a nightstand. She kissed me unexpectedly then. It
wasn't really unexpected, I knew it was coming, just not when. It was
one of those things. We made our way over to the bed, kissing and
fondling the whole way. I couldn't really say anything, because she
started to nibbling on my ear and kissing my neck. Then came a sharp
pain. I thought she was getting a little rough at first, then the pain
was intensified. She was actually biting my neck!

I didn't want her to stop though. I derived some kind of pleasure from
it. It was near-orgasmic. That's the best way I can describe it. But
it didn't last. I found myself getting very weak, my eyelids getting
heavy. Too late, I realized I was dying. The bitch was killing me.

I barely remember what happened next. I was very close to death when
Alessandra got up and drew a knife from her nightstand. She cut a gash
across her palm and held her hand over my mouth.


I didn't want to die, that was for sure. My instinct took over and I
opened my mouth in acceptance. If I had known then what I know now, I
never would have accepted her offer.


When I woke up the next day, or night actually, I really had no
recollection of the night before.

"What time is it?" I asked, fumbling to get my pants on. It was odd,
but everything sounded louder. I could here music coming from
downstairs clearly. I could actually pick up individual scents from
certain objects in the room.

"It's about twelve at night."

"Shit, I'm missing work!" I hurried to put my shoes on, and as I did,
Alessandra laughed.

"I don't think you have to worry about work," she had a sly smile on
her face that really freaked me out. Things were also starting to come
back to me now, a little bit at a time. I could remember her biting

"What do you mean?"

"You're above work now."

"Really, and why's that?" I clenched my fists and backed away.

Something seemed really wrong.

"Have you wondered why everything seems louder, why your sense of smell
is greater? Give me your hand." It was more an order than a request.
Before I could move away, Alessandra was there, suddenly, holding my
hand to her breast. Her skin didn't seem very cold at all, anymore.

"Do you feel my heartbeat?" she asked, staring into my eyes. I didn't.
I also couldn't hear her heartbeat. I figured if everything seemed
louder, I should be able to hear her heartbeat. I couldn't hear my own,

"What did you do to me?"

"You're a vampire, love, get used to it"

That was a year ago. I spent the better part of the year living with
Alessandra, trying to learn more about what I was, and what the rules
were. Oh yes, there are rules to being a vampire. We have our own
little nation, with our own clans, just as culturally diverse as that of
the Living. We control a lot of what goes on in the world, behind the
scenes and all.

I only stayed with Alessandra until I knew what I needed to live on my
own. Now I'm living in Chicago, far away from her. I live off of the
blood I steal from blood-banks, but eventually I'm sure I'll have to
feed on one of the Living, that's just the way it is.

I said I wanted change. Now I have it. Tomorrow I open up my own bar,
simply named the Red Tavern. Don't worry about how I got the money to
do it, that's another story for another time.

This isn't exactly what I had in mind as far as change was concerned.
Still, I'm not bitter. This just gives me a chance to experience change
at a whole new level. I can't wait to see what tomorrow night holds for

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Biographical Notes:  i'm a 22 year old aspiring author of novels and comic books. i spent three and a half years in school, and have transferred recently.

Purpose:  the purpose to this story is many-fold. first, i wanted to create a scary setting to use over and over again, like lovecraft and stephen king. second, i really wanted to write a vampire story that was more realistic, and not gothic or overly dark. you should have fun with this story.

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