Ask Me Not by Amy Strauch

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SUMMARY: August 2008 Flash Fiction Contest Theme Unintended Consequences

"Excuse me Miss." I look behind me to see a young man with red hair in a crew cut. He's nicely muscled like a gymnast. I'm sure he could lift quite a bit but his mortal strength is nothing compared to mine.

"Yes?" I smile.

"I hear you're a vampire. Is it true?" God, does everybody know about us these days? I thought I was pretty good at blending in despite the fact that we'd gone public a couple of decades ago. Only a few were concerned about our existence but we took care of that problem with the subtle persuasion of mind control.

There are the occasional hidden dens of where human addicts go to feed the vampire addicts. Humans recover from their addictions but we don't. Once we've tasted human blood, there's no going back to livestock.

"No." I lie. I don't want to turn anybody, I don't want to feed from anybody and I don't want to be bothered by his sad story. I've been approached by hundreds since we went public by people with terminal illnesses, by people who know someone with a terminal illness or by somebody who'd so afraid of death that they'd choose death to avoid the unknown.

It was none of these reasons that I was turned. I was turned for love and stuck with Lord Henry Anderson in an arranged marriage. Henry thought he loved me and turned me on our wedding night. I thought he was repulsive. I learned sword work from his younger brother Edward and eventually cut off his head. It was the only way I could escape the man.

"You're a terrible liar. My name is Nicholi." He said with a faint Russian accent. He tells me his name as if that makes a difference in him getting what he wants.

"What part of no, don't you understand?"

He smiles. "Jones said you'd be difficult to convince. Just hear me out. There's plenty of time." Sure, just because I'm immortal doesn't mean I have all the time in the world. I live just like every other person on this planet. I don't like being late.

Jones? Would that be Bruce Jones? That piece of fertilizer.

"Two minutes. I will know if you are lying."

"I need your help." He looks a little unsure of himself.

"Duh. Tick, Tock." He scowls at me.

"Yesterday I was contacted for a hit." Well, that's a first. I drop my digital newspaper to the tabletop and look him in the eyes. What would a hit man want with me? Why does Bruce Jones know a hit man? "I've been hired to kill one of you and that's out of my league." I try to suppress a laugh but a snort slips out. He gives me the evil eye.

"Sorry."

"Is there any chance I could kill one of you as I am?" Fiction gave us all sorts of powers but the truth is much less dramatic. We're just damned hard to kill; so hard that we need to lose our head before we don't come back. No human with a sword could come that close.

"There isn't much of a chance of killing one of us, as one of us." He looks disappointed.

"I'll take my chances. Turn me. I'll pay you handsomely." I'm not going to risk returning to my addiction. For me to turn him means going rogue.

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