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The Vampire Shrink

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The Vampire Shrink

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Author: Lynda Hilburn
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books, 2011
Series: Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist: Book 1

1. The Vampire Shrink
2. Blood Therapy

Book Type: Novel
Genre: Horror
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Lynda Hilburn writes paranormal fiction. More specifically, she writes stories about vampires, witches, psychics, ghosts and other supernatural characters. After a childhood filled with invisible friends, sightings of dead relatives and a fascination with the occult, turning to the paranormal was a no-brainer. In her other reality, she makes her living as a licensed psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, professional psychic/tarot reader, university instructor and workshop presenter.

For more information, visit Lynda's website: and her blog:


Chapter 1

My involvement with vampires began innocently enough, long before the blood hit the fan, so to speak.

Like most psychologists, I’d been trained to view the world through a diagnostic lens, to hear my clients’ stories with my metaphorical ears, searching out the deeper meanings. Thankfully, my tendency to reduce each person to a prevailing neurosis was tempered by my irreverent, dark sense of humour, which kept me from taking myself and the world too seriously.

While I was never as bad as some of my colleagues about believing only in what I could prove – if you can’t quantify it, it isn’t there – I had seen enough bizarre situations in my psychotherapy work over the years to make me more sceptical than I was comfortable admitting. That said, my private practice had its share of UFO abductees, demonic possessions, satanic-ritual survivors, religious cultists, attached entities – all the newest selections on the menu of emotional and mental pain – alongside clients with all the ‘regular’ therapy issues.

So when I opened the door separating my reception area from my office that fateful Friday to welcome my new client, I was only momentarily surprised. Waiting for me was a young woman wearing a long black dress covered by a dark-purple velvet cape. Rings adorned all ten fingers, and a long snake bracelet with sparkling ruby eyes wound its way up her arm from wrist to elbow. She had waist-length light-brown hair with multicoloured streaks, and she wore white theatrical makeup, dark-red lipstick and remarkably lifelike, high-quality fangs.

My mind began to pick out the various category boxes I could assign her into. Hmmm, goth? Vampire wannabe? Acting-out teenager?

Well, well. This ought to be interesting.

‘Please come in and have a seat.’ I gave my warmest therapy smile and waved my hand in the general direction of the couch and chairs in the centre of my office. ‘I’m Dr Knight. Please call me Kismet.’

That’s quite an outfit. Spectacular, really. This sweet young thing has a flair for the dramatic. And what’s that delicious fragrance? Sandalwood?

She walked in silently, handed me the packet of forms she’d filled out in the waiting room and sat on the end of the couch farthest from where I was standing. Scanning the information, I noticed she’d listed her name as Midnight.

‘Midnight? That’s a lovely name. Is there a last name?’

‘No. I have no need of anything from my human past,’ she said, with exaggerated seriousness and a dismissive flick of her fingers.

Okay. Let’s not assume the obvious. I chose a chair across from her and picked up my notepad and pen. ‘Tell me how I can help you.’

‘I’m only here because my family made me come. They can’t accept my choices and they’re hoping you’ll talk me out of wanting to be a vampire. They want you to fix me.’ Her voice separated each angry word like little staccato notes.

She gave me the once-over I’d come to expect from my younger clients: the smirking scan that evaluated my tailored light-blue suit and sensible black heels and found them hopelessly conventional. Then, inevitably, her eyes moved to my dark hair, which was very long, curly and often had a mind of its own. The dissonance between my conservative suit and the unintentional rock-star hair disrupted the inner picture she was constructing of me. My age – I’d not long turned thirty – added to the dissonance. I always enjoyed the flash of confusion that washed over their faces at that point. My inner trickster was never far away.

She hiked her dress up until the hem rested on her knees and crossed her legs dramatically. ‘You’re not what I expected.’

‘What did you expect?’ Freud in drag?

‘Someone old, with her hair in a bun and no makeup. You’re not that much older than me And you’re pretty. You remind me of that actress – Megan Fox, the one with the long dark hair and blue eyes.’ She studied me. ‘Or maybe Angelina Jolie, except with blue eyes and less lips.’

Less lips? I knew what she meant, but I ran my tongue over my standard set of two just to verify their existence and tried not to imagine an extra pair on Angelina’s face.

‘Thank you. Are you comfortable with someone who isn’t old and who doesn’t have her hair in a bun?’

She frowned. ‘I guess so.’

I could see that her need to connect was struggling with her automatic protective defences and the jury was out as to which one would continue the session.

‘That’s a start.’ I smiled encouragingly at her. ‘So tell me about your desire to be a vampire. How long have you wanted to be one?’

She pursed her lips and sat silently for a few seconds. Quick flashes of emotion danced across her face as fear, disappointment and resentment gave way to hope. ‘Ever since I met Devereux – Dev, as we call him – about a year ago,’ she said dreamily.

Ah, connection won. Maybe she’ll let me in.

‘Why would meeting Dev make you want to be a vampire?’

‘Well, duh, because he is one.’ She rolled her chocolatebrown eyes and made that ‘tsk’ sound with her tongue against her teeth.

I kept the practised smile on my face and ignored the teenage angst. ‘Can you tell me about Dev?’

Sounds like a lost child has convinced her that he’s a vampire.

She stared down at the floor, using the tip of her tongue to play with the fangs. ‘I don’t think I’m supposed to talk about him. He wouldn’t want me to. He says it’s better if no one believes vampires really exist.’

Of course he does. Oh, I see. Her sharp little fangs fit perfectly over her own canines, with an almost-invisible band holding them in place – similar to braces. How clever.

‘Do you believe that vampires really exist?’ I tried not to sound as if there was only one right answer to the question.

‘Oh, yes.’ She nodded and sat up straighter. ‘Denver has tons of vampires.’

Tons of vampires? What a bizarre visual . . .

‘Really? Midnight, I want you to know that anything we talk about in here is completely confidential. You can feel free to tell me anything you want and it will go no further. I’d definitely like to hear about all these vampires.’ I jotted a note on my pad.

Vampires. Well, that’s certainly a change of pace from aliens and demon possessions.

She arched an eyebrow. ‘How do I know you won’t tell my parents?’

Good. Let’s get right to the trust issue.

‘Unless you’re going to hurt yourself or someone else, I will never tell anyone anything that we discuss,’ I explained, giving her my ethically required disclaimer.

She paused a moment, watching me, twisting her hands. ‘Well, I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to get them in trouble. They need to hide from the humans.’ She licked her lips.

Damn. She doesn’t consider herself one of the humans? Is she brainwashed? How confused is she? Her anxiety level just shot up. Shaking hands, dry lips.

‘Ah, I see. Let’s leave the vampires for later, then. Tell me about you. Are you in school?’

Her mother had left a message on my voicemail saying she and her husband were concerned because their daughter graduated from high school last year and had no future plans. She’d had a 4.0 grade point average, then turned down a scholarship to college and was making reckless choices. Her mother said she thought a boy was involved.

‘No. I used to like school but I’m not into that kind of education any more.’

Hmm. What kind of education is she into?

‘What did you like about school? Any favourite classes?’

A spark of interest flashed across her features before she wrestled her face back under control and reset her bored expression. She stretched her fingers then slid her hands along her thighs, probably to dry the moisture on her palms. ‘I studied art. Painting, drawing. I also write a little poetry.’

‘You’re an artist and a poet?’ I smiled. ‘That’s wonderful. What great talents to have.’

‘It doesn’t matter any more.’ She lifted a shoulder and shifted her gaze to the clock and then back to my face.

Oh, yes. Practised apathy. Feigned nonchalance. Fear.

‘Why is that?’

She tapped a blood-red fingernail on her leg. ‘It’s a waste of my time to sit in closed-up rooms, listening to boring people talk about boring subjects. I have bigger plans.’

I wonder if she’s given any thought to how closed-up a coffin is? ‘What bigger plans?’

‘I already told you,’ she said with an impatient tone.

‘Oh, yes, becoming a vampire. What’s so great about that? Why would you want to be a blood-drinking dead thing? Do vampires really sparkle in the sun?’ I asked, thinking about the latest trendy vampire movies.

Can she find the humour in the vampire craze, or is it deadly serious?

‘Wow.’ She laughed and leaped off the couch, then paced in the space behind the furniture. ‘You are really off. Vampires don’t sparkle. And they’re not dead. Well, I guess they’re dead, but they don’t look like zombies. That’s probably what you’re thinking of.’

I followed her back-and-forth motion with my gaze, noting how her purple cape flared out with each turn in her path. She appeared agitated, perhaps even slightly manic. I relaxed back in my chair and breathed evenly, wanting to encourage her to follow my example.


‘The vampires I know are unearthly beautiful.’ She stopped walking and took a deep breath before returning to her seat. She met my eyes, her chin raised in defiance. ‘Vampires don’t feel bad about drinking blood, either. They don’t have to kill to eat – they can just take a little. Obviously they’re simply higher on the food chain than we are. It’s really quite natural.’

‘Sucking blood is natural?’ I wrote another note.

Sure. They’ll sell blood at holistic food stores any day now. Buy a pint of A-positive and get a pair of Birkenstocks or Crocs for free.

‘Well, yeah.’ She looked at me as if I were the village idiot. ‘Every creature has the right to exist. Just because we don’t understand them doesn’t make them bad.’

Poor, misunderstood bloodsuckers. Midnight is definitely wearing rose-coloured – I mean blood-coloured – glasses.

‘So what is it, then? Do you want to be unearthly beautiful? Is that what appeals to you?’

‘Of course. Who wouldn’t want that?’ She flipped her hair over her shoulder. ‘But I’m more interested in immortality and being with someone for ever.’

‘Anyone in particular?’

She stared at me, silent.

Okay. That struck a nerve. Try something different.

‘I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live for ever,’ I said, twisting the pen through my fingers. ‘Can you? What would I do with myself for all those centuries? I already get bored sometimes over the weekend.’

Midnight giggled, despite her attempt not to. ‘I guess it is hard to imagine. At least I’d have a lot of time to practice my art. My vampire friends talk about some of the things they’ve done with their lives.’

I wonder if these vampires are imaginary friends. Is she having auditory hallucinations? Is she psychotic?

‘What do they say?’

She looked around the room, probably giving herself time to decide how much to share. ‘Some of them spent a lot of years just trying to learn how to be vampires. Nobody taught them, so they travelled around the world, figuring things out, trying not to get staked. Others spent the time doing things they loved – that’s what I would do. Nobody could force me to do anything.’

‘Who is forcing you to do something?’


Definitely more going on here than meets the eye. Is she in a dangerous situation or delusional? What happened to derail her? How did she go from straight-A student to vampire wannabe? Time to regroup.

‘Do you have a good relationship with your parents?’ I played with a button on my suit jacket – a nervous habit I’ve never extinguished.

‘I guess. They don’t understand me.’

The teenage lament. I remember the feeling.

‘Tell me about your mother. What’s she like?’

‘There’s nothing to tell. She has all these ideas about who she wants me to be. Did she ever ask me what I want? No. She thinks because she’s a lawyer, I should be one, too. Being an artist isn’t a good enough career. Money is the only thing that matters to her. All she does is work. She says it’s hard for a woman to make partner in a big law firm, so she’s a workaholic.’

Poor Midnight. Looking for someone who won’t abandon her.

‘How do you feel about that?’

‘I get where she’s coming from, but I don’t want that life. She’s not happy. I don’t see the point.’

‘Do you miss her when she works all the time?’

She opened her mouth to answer, then closed it. Sadness clouded her face before she shoved the feeling into the deep freeze. ‘Nope. I hang with my friends.’

Lots of bottled-up pain here.

‘Do you have brothers or sisters?’

‘No. I’m an only.’

‘What about your father?’ I circled a comment I’d written earlier in my notes.

She paused and studied the carpet. ‘He’s a drunk. A boozer. That’s what he calls himself.’

‘An alcoholic?’

‘Out of control.’ She nodded and brought her gaze to mine. ‘A nut-job, an addict. He sees someone like you. That’s why I ended up here. They’re worried I inherited whatever glitch he has.’

‘You mean a substance-abuse problem?’

Crap. As if things weren’t challenging enough for her . . .

‘Yeah, among other things. He’s an alkie. Drinks so much he has hallucinations sometimes. He can’t work any more. He’s totally paranoid – thinks everyone’s out to get him. I’m surprised he doesn’t wear an aluminium foil hat to keep the aliens away. Growing up with that has been a real freak show.’

No wonder she has no boundaries between what’s real and what isn’t. Mental illness runs in her family.

‘Do you think you have a problem? Drugs? Alcohol?’

‘No.’ She frowned. ‘I’ve smoked my share of pot and I like wine, but I’d rather die than be like my father. I keep myself under control.’

She’d rather die . . . Is all this vampire talk just another form of suicidal ideation? Does she have a plan? A quick way to escape from the pain? She’s sending out such mixed signals.

‘Are there times when you don’t have yourself under control?’

She chewed on her lip again, then glared at me. ‘Why are you making me talk about this stuff?’ Her eyes glistened with the beginnings of tears. ‘I’m already sad all the time, except for when I’m with my friends. What’s the use of talking about it? Do you want me to feel worse? There’s nothing I can do about my family. I want to think about something good. Something positive.’ She sniffled.

Yes. This is good.

I met her gaze, grateful that the dam had finally broken and she might share what was really going on. ‘I know it doesn’t make sense, because all we want to do is avoid the bad feelings, but sometimes talking about them helps. We’re afraid to put our emotions into words because they’re overwhelming. Frightening. But if we can find a safe place to let our guard down, to vent some of that intensity and purge a little of the negativity, we usually start to feel better. Therapy can help. I hope you’ll begin to think of this office as a safe place.’

I don’t know if I would have used a safe place when I was in the midst of my own childhood horrors, but it would’ve been nice to know such a place existed. Maybe she’ll open the door.

She stared at me for a several seconds. She looked very young. Mascara-tinged tears ran down her cheeks. The corners of her lips trembled as she said, ‘I feel so alone.’ Then she covered her face with her hands and sobbed.

I put aside my pad and pen and moved to sit next to her on the couch, hoping I wasn’t jumping the gun. We hadn’t had much time to develop trust, but maybe enough of a bridge had been created for her to be able to tolerate my encroaching on her personal space. I wouldn’t want to push her away.

She cried for a couple of minutes, then raised her face, her eyes scanning for the box of tissues, which I’d kept at the ready. She grabbed a handful, dabbed her eyes, then blew her nose and slumped back against the couch cushions.

‘I didn’t mean to tell you that. I’m mad at myself that I did,’ she said, her tone hostile, still sniffling, not making eye-contact.

I pressed my hand lightly on hers for a few seconds. ‘It took a lot of courage for you to tell me how you feel. I know that wasn’t easy for you. Thank you.’ No matter how many times I’ve heard similar stories, they’re always heartbreaking.

She looked down at my hand, then shifted her gaze to my face, her eyes puffy, voice soft. ‘Courage?’

It’s nice to meet the real Midnight. I don’t think anybody’s reached out to her for a while.

‘Definitely. But I still need to ask you something,’ I said.

‘Can you be courageous a little longer?’

‘I don’t know.’ She tensed, her expression radiating anxiety.

‘What is it?’

‘Are you planning to hurt yourself?’

The question must not have come as a surprise. To her credit, she took a few seconds before answering. ‘No. I would never hurt myself, or anyone else.’

‘Okay.’ I let out the tense breath I’d been holding. ‘I’m very glad to hear that. But if you ever start to feel like you might hurt yourself, or you just need to talk, I’m going to give you one of my cards with a number you can call any time. My service will put you through to me. So, let’s make a contract between the two of us that you’ll call me if you start to feel bad between sessions. Do we have a deal?’

She took a deep breath and nodded, studying me as if she wasn’t sure she could believe me. ‘All right. I guess I can do that.’

Little girl lost. But strong, nonetheless.

The light caught the ruby eyes of the snake winding its way up her arm and I took a closer look. The detail in the jewellery was stunning. I pointed in the snake’s direction. ‘What gorgeous artwork. Did you make it?’

She grinned wide, her trusting younger self peeking out from the shadows, and extended her arm, shifting it from side to side. ‘No. I haven’t tried to make jewellery yet, but I’m thinking about learning. There’s a class I can take on working with silver . . .’ The grin disappeared. ‘I mean I used to think about it.’

Good. Both sides of her psyche are still wrestling for control. There’s hope.

‘You certainly have an artistic eye – your entire outfit is amazing.’

Even through the white makeup I could see her blush.

‘Thank you.’

I glanced over at the clock. ‘It looks like our time is up for today. I’d like to meet with you regularly for a while so we can get to know each other. Would you be willing to do that?’

‘Yeah.’ She grinned again, flashing the designer fangs. ‘It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.’

Well, there’s something to put on the back of my business card: Therapy that isn’t as bad as you thought it would be.

‘That’s great.’ I smiled. ‘I look forward to our time together.’ I moved over to my desk to fetch my appointment book. We scheduled our next session and I walked her out into the waiting area, wondering how she’d look without all the makeup. I shook my head and thought about what a miracle it was that any of us survived our teenage years.

Since Midnight was my last client of the day, I sat at my desk, kicked off my shoes and created a case file for her. I hadn’t been able to decide on one specific diagnosis yet, but I jotted down some possible options and then added a sheet of informal notes:

Female, nineteen years old. Referred by family. Dressed in a goth costume, complete with theatrical makeup and detachable fangs, in accordance with her reported desire to become a vampire. Client’s verbal family history indicates perceived emotional abandonment by both parents: mother to her career and father to alcoholism and co-occurring mental illness. Prior to the last year, she was a straight-A student in high school, studying art. Little support in her family for her artistic skills and dreams. Will explore client’s peer system and her current activities in more detail. Although she hasn’t disclosed much information yet about this person, it is likely she has been influenced by a young male who is participating in the goth/vampirewannabe lifestyle, someone who has given her the affection and attention she craves. She presents herself as a rebellious rulebreaker, but that appears to be a mask. Her defences – the costume, her refusal to give details about the alleged vampires she spends time with and her hostile attitude – keep her protected from more emotional pain. But her body language frequently gives her away: beneath the tough-cookie persona is a sensitive, creative, caring young woman, afraid to share her fears. She is articulate and intelligent, but naïve. She often forgets which role she is playing at any given moment. Explore how seriously she takes this fantasy world she has created. How much is teenage drama and how much psychosis? Continue to build rapport and elicit more information about her vampirewannabe activities. Test her ideas of reality.

Geez. Life isn’t weird enough, so we need to suck blood. Why didn’t

I think of that?

But I had to admit, the topic had already captured my interest. I was, after all, subject to the same rules as any other psychologist: publish or perish. I was due to write another book and the pressure was on. And, if truth be told, my life had become boring. I had accomplished all the goals I’d set for myself and settled into a listless rhythm. After the excitement of always graduating earlier than expected from every academic course I’d ever attended, adapting to the monotony of private practice was less than thrilling. It would be good to have a challenge after my dismal track-record in the realm of relationships.

I turned on my office computer and searched for everything I could think of about the subject: vampires, vampirism, blood, blood-drinking, cults, mind-control, immortal beings, etc. I was inundated with fictional stories about vampires, historical research on blood-drinkers, case studies involving the self-proclaimed undead and websites for wannabes. Talk about an education.

I printed out examples of the most informative sources and spent a good three hours at my desk, reading through psychological reference books, seeking a trail of crumbs. By the time I came up for air and checked the clock, it had become full dark. I usually tried to avoid walking out of my office by myself at night. Too many lost souls wandering the streets.

‘Shit, shit, shit,’ I said aloud as I gathered the papers and tucked them into my briefcase. I put my shoes back on, found my purse and my car keys, locked up my office and headed out to the elevator.

At that time of night, the building was deserted and the elevator came right away. I rode down holding my keys with the car alarm clicker in my hand and strode purposefully out the front door of my six-storey office building. Luckily I had parked conspicuously beneath one of the streetlights in the parking lot across the street. My champagne-coloured BMW was the only car left, so I figured I would be safe.

Just as I exited the building, I caught a blurred movement out of the corner of my eye and noticed a shadow to my right. I felt the hairs on my arms rise and I froze. My stomach tightened and my breath caught as a male figure stepped away from where he’d been leaning against the wall. He stood there, gazing at me, smiling, almost close enough for me to touch. We locked eyes for a long moment. The light shining out of the front of my building was bright enough for me to notice that he was gorgeous: tall and toned, with long blond hair, dazzling eyes and snug leather trousers.

Hey, wait a minute. Stop ogling the good looks of the guy who’s about to jump on you and run!

And I did.

For someone who sits on her butt all day talking to people, I can still move pretty fast when I want to. I am blessed with one of those long, lean runner’s bodies, an inheritance from my father’s side of the family, and my body fat percentage is on the low end. But thanks to my mother’s genetic contribution, I am too well endowed to actually enjoy running on a regular basis.

The fight-or-flight instinct is an awesome thing.

I sprinted over to my car, clicked the lock, yanked the door open, jumped in, secured the door. My heart was pounding out a heavy-metal drum solo in my chest as I fumbled the key into the ignition. My hands shook so badly it took a couple of tries to get the car started. My throat was so dry it hurt.

Once I was safely barricaded in and the reasoning portion of my brain had sauntered back to the party, it occurred to me that I hadn’t heard any footsteps following me as I ran. No voices yelling for me to stop. Still shaking, I scanned the area in all directions but could find no threat of any kind. The handsome mugger or rapist or whatever he was had vanished. Or maybe it had been some regular guy, enthralled by my grace and beauty, and I’d scared him off when I’d bolted. Yeah, right, Nerd Woman.

Maybe he was just there waiting for a friend and I’d overreacted. He probably hadn’t really been a danger at all. It certainly wouldn’t have been the first time I’d freaked out over nothing.

But I had to admit I’d never seen such a fantastic-looking man in person anywhere before, much less standing in front of my building. What were the odds that such a magnificent hunk of manhood would need to troll the streets for female attention? Of course, as a psychologist, I know better than to judge a book by its cover. Perverts come in all shapes and sizes.

My heartbeat finally began to slow down to something approaching normal. I had to say that was the most exciting thing that’d happened in weeks, which said a lot about the pathetic state of my social life.

I sat there for a few minutes until the adrenalin rush subsided and then shifted into drive. I need a new office with a receptionist, a doorman and underground parking. I drove out of the parking lot and steered the car along one of the many one-way streets that confounded the traffic in downtown Denver.

I caught a red light a few streets over, which gave me a moment to check out the nightlife in this popular part of town. I usually left my office before the fun and games started, so the streets familiar to me in daylight were a whole new world after dark. A magnificent old church, apparently converted into a busy nightclub, took up an entire city block. It really was a beautiful building. Such incredible stained glass. Funny that I’d never noticed it before. Groups of partygoers stood on the sidewalk, laughing and talking, performing one illegal act or another. Many of them were dressed in the same kind of costume Midnight had been wearing: so many potential clients all in one place! I briefly considered parking the car, mingling with the crowd and passing out my business cards. There had to be several books’ worth of material to be gleaned from the characters hanging out in front of the gothic cathedral. But that would take bravery – or extroversion – I didn’t have.

Just as the light turned green and I put my foot on the gas, I saw a tall man with long blond hair step down the entrance stairs. He nodded and waved at me when I passed.

Distracted and unnerved by the events of the last hour, I drove home to my new townhouse, punched in my security code and locked myself into my own personal sanctuary.

I lit an aromatherapy candle, poured myself a glass of white wine, sat down in my favourite chair – one of those huge puffy types with an equally large ottoman – and stretched out, letting my thoughts wander back to the blond man who’d waved at me.

That was just too weird. My mind must have been playing tricks on me. It couldn’t possibly have been the same guy I saw in front of my building, could it? Well, wait a minute. That club was only a couple of blocks from my office and if he had been the same man who saw me run to my car, then it made sense that he could have recognised the car again when I passed him. It was merely a coincidence he was at that particular club, and that I noticed the place today.

Just a coincidence.

But the fact that he actually waved at me gave more weight to the notion that I’d overreacted and he hadn’t meant me any harm.


Unless he was a sociopath who enjoyed messing with people’s minds.

Oh well. No use fretting about that now. I would definitely be seeking a more secure office location. And some pepper spray.

I carried my glass of wine over to my desk, opened my briefcase, and spilled out all the vampire material I’d printed. Then I fired up my computer, clicked on the TV, and prepared to spend the next couple of hours researching possible topics for a new book.

‘Allow me to introduce myself. I am Count Dracula,’ blared from the speakers.

Startled, I looked up at the TV then laughed. There he was, the sexiest vampire ever: Frank Langella as Dracula, circa early 1980s. He had the best lips – pouty, full, and definitely come-hither – and eyes that wouldn’t be denied. One of my college roommates had been a real vampire fan, and she had an extensive collection of bloodsucker movies. This version was her favourite.

I sat back and enjoyed watching Frank’s lips for a while, savouring my glass of wine. As the end of the movie approached, I clicked off the TV, because I didn’t want to watch those sweet lips get fried by the sun in the film’s inevitable finale.

As I drank the last few sips in my glass, I had a sudden memory of the last time I’d watched that movie in college, sitting with my roommates and listening to them scream at the end, rooting for the vampire to break free and fly away. Afterwards they all talked about what fun it would be to invite some dark, window-tapping stranger into their beds.

Hmmm. I linked my fingers together behind my head. Vampires as erotic fantasy material. Listening to my roommates that long-ago night, the budding psychologist in me had been intrigued, but I considered vampires to be horrormovie and comic-book fare. I was not the kind of person who believed in the supernatural or the mystical. I’d found that most things turned out to have mundane, predictable explanations.

Of course, since then I’d taken the required class in Jungian Psychology in graduate school and I knew all about his theory of synchronicities – the interconnection between inner and outer realities based on the idea of a collective unconscious. Jung said that there are no coincidences and the universe functions through an unknowable intelligence. I could even agree with that on an abstract level. Yes, it did seem odd I was experiencing things that appeared to be related on the surface. But contemplating the cosmic possibilities of metaphysics was a hell of a lot different from believing in vampires.

Still. This had been one strange day.

Copyright © 2011 by Lynda Hilburn


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