Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Thirst

This is my #FridayFlash and Author Aerobics: Make it Fresh exercise. This week I’ve taken on vampires. It was harder than I thought to try and come up with something fresh. This could have quickly gone the way of satire, but turned into something else…


Thirst
by T.S. Bazelli

Samuel’s lips opened like rusted gates. The sides of his mouth were cracked and raw from the effort, and the words came out malformed, a hot exhalation. There was hardly enough moisture on his tongue to form the word. “Son.”

What had he been thinking, bringing his boy to the desert with him? The arguments ran through his head for the thousandth time. He’d been so selfish, so desperate to spend time with his son, that he had pleaded with Kelly. When that did not work, he had the lawyers to back him up. He was entitled to the time. He had not realized how little time that would be.

Johann was making sand castles, looking like a ghost, a memory of better times, under the light of the moon.

Samuel climbed out of the half-buried range rover and his cheek kissed the sand as he stumbled. Part of a woman’s leg gleamed bluish white in the moonlight. The rest of the body lay beneath a blanket of sand.  Crescent shaped marks, one the size of a boy’s mouth, one the size of an adult’s,  marred the flesh.

He’d done what any father would have done, he insisted, and pleaded with his mind. Hunger had long since died away. The thirst was everything. Their water had run out a week ago. They should have been dead like the others.

“Help will be here in a three days.” His throat ached with the effort of speech. “Do you remember what I told you?”

“I remember daddy.” Johann sifted the sand between his fingers. “Stay in the car when the sun’s out. Don’t tell anyone I’m a vampire.”

“That’s right.” Samuel sat down on the sand beside his son. The bandage on the boy’s neck was dirt soaked but the two evenly spaced pricks had healed nicely. They would not leave a scar he thought.

There was no other choice. Johann had to survive. Under the light of the moon Samuel’s plan seemed foolish, crazy even. He’d cut the two small incisions with his knife, while the boy was sleeping. He’d hardly felt a thing. There had been no other way to convince his son to drink. First the others. Now…

“Now drink.” He held out his arm.  No food. No water. He needed nourishment, liquid at the very least.

Johann’s teeth bit down on his wrist, he felt the liquor of his life being sucked away. Samuel would have cried out in pain if he had any breath left. Death would take him soon…  “Don’t tell anyone.”

“No daddy.” Johann smiled, his teeth dark with blood. His cheeks still full and flush, and healthy. Three more days. He hoped he had enough to give, so at least one of them would survive. “You’re a vampire too right?”

Samuel smiled and didn’t answer. He’d already lied to the boy once. Another lie couldn’t hurt. “Of course Johann. It’s our secret. Everything will be fine in the morning.”

30 Comments

  1. A father has to do what a father has to do… And sometimes it requires them to lie to their children and feed them with his own blood. It’s a surreal form of paternal sacrifice and I loved it. It’s very, very harrowing. And way to make vampires fresh again.

    The second paragraph feels a little forced, since the whole desert situation is not a new development and the thoughts the father has are fitting, if the crash has just happened. But this is just me. Otherwise, gripping.

    1. T.S. Bazelli Author

      That is very good feedback. I’ll see if I can tweak that a little bit. And thank you Harry! Good to see I manged to get the idea got across. I was worried about that.

  2. Wow. And no, I disagree (respectfully!) with Stephen: if that boy survives, someday he will marvel at the sacrifice his father made for him.

    This might be my favorite vampire story ever! (It could use some fleshing out, no pun intended, but if you did that, I think you could get it published!)

    1. I’d hope the boy would! That would be the best possible outcome. And thank you, I never thought this story would get such a positive reaction. Maybe I can flesh it out… hmm…

  3. Nice take. I like that it’s set in a desert as well 😉 This was brief, but expertly done with a lot of content in very little space. Nice simmering depth to the main character as well.

  4. Will the bite trigger conversion of the father, or is he killing himself here by giving the boy a meal? If the latter, I can’t help but be mad at daddy for abandoning his boy. He needs a caretaker, and who is more familiar than your own father?

    1. He’s giving his son a meal so the boy will survive. They’re not really vampires (not sure if that was clear) – it was just a lie to get the boy to ingest some fluids. Daddy’s not going to live through the night, so the idea was that he’s trying to give his son a slim chance of survival since they’ve long run out of food and water.

      Selfish of the father? Wrong of the father? Not quite rational? Maybe.

  5. Wow. Very emotional! What a great tale. Parental love will drive people to do anything for their children, which you show here in the extreme and even technically not with people. I really enjoyed it 🙂

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