60 comments

Oct 30, 2020

Funny Happy Urban Fantasy

Most people believe the sun, a braid of garlic, or a stake through the heart to be a vampire’s greatest threat. They’re wrong. In my 826 years of death, my greatest foe has always been seasonal allergies.


“ACHOO!” I sniffle, letting out a dry, uncomfortable sneeze. Seeing as my body is, well, dead, I don’t produce mucus. Every sneeze feels like pulling a piece of sandpaper through my sinuses.


“Are you kidding me Haelyas?”


Glancing over at the passenger in the front seat of my car, I roll my eyes as she starts to laugh.


“Are we really going to go through this every Fall for eternity?” she asks.


“You’ve only known me for 12 years Aveline, just wait. You’ll get used to it.”


Her melodic laughter makes the hair on my arms prickle – the only “living” sensation I’ve ever experienced in my eternal death.


“And when we get to the pharmacy, remember that my name is Henry now. I’m fairly certain the last man named Haelyas died back in 1652.”


“Relax, babe,” Aveline chuckles. “This town is so sleepy, they wouldn’t notice us even if we drained all the children right in the middle of the square.”


I can’t help but chuckle. Her twisted sense of humor is refreshing. Most of the Cold Ones I know are horribly dull. But Aveline is young. Her 19 years of life ended only two decades ago.


Continuing down the narrow, two lane road my pale fingers grip the worn steering wheel of this faded, grey Chevy Impala. Aveline has kicked her translucent feet up on the dashboard, and her long black hair is fluttering out the window, dancing in the breeze like butterfly wings. From the day I met her on that pier in Seattle, she’s always loved the outdoors. Even on chilly Autumn days like today. That’s one advantage to being dead – you’re never cold.


“Haelyas, can we stop and watch the puppet show before we go to the pharmacy?”


Shuddering in displeasure as I turn slowly onto State Road 46, Aveline reaches over and lightly places her hand on my thigh.


“Please?”


“Fine,” I sigh, “but you do know that the French named marionettes after the Virgin Mary, right?”


“Ha!” scoffed Aveline, playfully and gently pinching my cheek. “You know God doesn’t exist, my love. If He did, we wouldn’t. Don’t let the puppets bother you.”


Groaning, but accepting her request, I turn off the main road and begin winding through the side streets, passing row upon row of single-story homes. The grand oak trees, in their varying shades of fuille morte, are quite beautiful. But not as beautiful as Aveline’s dull, dead blue eyes, nor the thin smile that plays on her pale face as a yellow leaf gets stuck in the windshield wiper.


Unbuckling her seatbelt, I watch anxiously as she leans out the window to grab it.


“Careful, Aveline.”


“Or what? I’ll die?”


She had a point. Grabbing the leaf, she retreats through the window and sits back in her seat, simply holding the giant leaf in her small hands - its golden skin and brown veins contrasting magnificently against her pale fingers. As my gaze flits between the woman beside me and the road before me, I think about my past. Perhaps at one point in my death I, too, had been able to find happiness in such simplicity. But if those years ever existed, they were long gone.


“Haelyas...turn here. TURN!” she yells, pointing at the turn off to the small parking lot.


Startled, I slam on the breaks, then gently coast into the last empty spot. She starts giggling once more and slaps my forehead with her leaf as I turn off the car.


“Earth to Haelyas! Are you in there?”


“Hey,” I laugh, “cut me some slack. I used to travel by horse.”


“At least you can drive. Just be grateful you died old enough to drink!”


Aveline jumps out of the car before I have a chance to respond, running eagerly up to the tiny, one-window box office and purchasing two $5 tickets. Catching up to her, I start rubbing my itchy eyes. Unable to make tears, I have absolutely no relief from their burning.


“Babe? You okay?” Aveline reaches up and gently touches my cheek.


“Yeah, yeah I’m…I’m…ACHOO!” Another agonizing sneeze escapes, followed by a few dry coughs. Aveline waits patiently until my episode is over.


“Riddle me this,” she questions, taking my hand and pulling me towards the outdoor puppet theatre, “why is it that we don’t have any bodily functions, and yet you still have allergies? I mean, how is that even physically possible? And how on earth does medication help you if you can’t even digest it?”


Settling into two empty seats, I put my arm around her waist and pull her close to whisper in her ear. “Trust me, my beloved, I have asked these same questions for nearly a millennium. Next time I find a Cold One with a background in medicine, I’ll be sure to ask.”


She snuggles into me, and the puppet show begins. I’m loath to pay attention, but quickly find that this pit-stop is worth it, as Aveline’s giggles shake the both of us. Her smile is worth every insufferable second sitting through this atrocity. But soon that irritating tickle in my nose grows once more.


“Ah…Ahhh—”


“No, baby, please. Just hold it in!” Aveline hisses under her breath.


“ACHOO! ACHOO!”


Two loud, obnoxious sneezes in quick succession, followed by another fit of dry coughing, completely interrupts the puppet show. The family with four young children two rows ahead of us turns to look at me, the father scowling at me for having interrupted their afternoon’s entertainment.


“ACHOO!”


“Okay, that’s it, let’s go,” Aveline says, pulling me up and guiding me out of the theatre’s sitting area back towards the car.


“ACHOO!”


“This is ridiculous, Haelyas. We’re going to the pharmacy.”


Aveline reaches into my pocket and grabs the keys, guiding me to the passenger seat as I alternate between furiously rubbing my eyes and scratching my nose.


“Hey,” she says, sliding into the driver’s seat. “You okay?”


I nod. “ACHOO!”


Rolling her eyes, Aveline pulls out of the parking lot and heads straight to the pharmacy down the street. A tiny, family-owned business, Ed’s Pharmacy is a single-room store with only six shelves of medicines to choose from. But that’s enough for us.


Pulling in and turning off the car, Aveline gets out and opens my door, trading places with me as I hurry towards the entrance, eager for the boxed relief sitting inside only a few paces away.


“I’ll wait in the car!” Aveline shouts. I wave to let her know I heard her.


Pushing open the door and heading straight to the first aisle, I feel another growing sneeze.


“ACHOO!”


Rubbing my dry, itchy nose I scour the shelves for that telltale purple bottle.


“ACHOO!”


“Sir? Is everything alright?” asks the young girl behind the register. She takes a few concerned steps towards me.


“Oh, yes. I’m – ah…ahhh – fine, just – ACHOO! Feeling a bit under the weather.”


“Okay,” the young girl eyes me suspiciously, stepping back behind the counter. “Well, the allergy medicine is in the fourth aisle. Sounds like you need it.”


Quickly finding the fourth aisle and grabbing the box I’m looking for, I step up to the register.


“ACHOO!”


Grumbling under my breath as I start rubbing my eyes once more, the girl scans the medication and throws it into a plastic sack.


“Are you sure you’re feeling okay? You sound awful.”


“Yeah, I’m fine. How much?”


"$18.27."


Fishing through the loose coins in my pocket, it takes me a moment to find exact change, and I find myself wishing it was easier for a vampire to get a credit card. As the girl hands me the plastic sack, I fall into a fit of dry coughs and she grimaces.


“Do you want our nurse to take a look at you to make sure you don’t have a sinus infection?”


“I definitely don’t have a sinus infection.”


“You don’t know that until you let her look. It’s painless, I promise. She just uses a little light to look in your ears and nose.”


“No. I’m – ACHOO! – fine.”


The girl stares at me in silence, eyebrow cocked.


“Fine," I relent. "She can look at me. But I’m telling you that I know, definitively, that I do NOT have a sinus infection.”


“This way,” she beckons, stepping around the counter and leading me to a small room where an older woman is fussing with a stack of papers.


“Cheryl, can you check this guy’s sinuses?”


Cheryl and her tight, grey curls turns to look me up, and down. Adjusting the red spectacles secured around her stout neck by a bejeweled chain, she pushes her rolling chair over to the patient’s table, tapping it lightly.


“Sure, honey. It’s a good thing you came in – you look a bit pale. Sit on down.”


The young girl leaves, and I’m left alone with Cheryl. Hesitantly, I sit on the edge of the table that’s covered in paper.


“What’s your name honey? How old are you?”


I laugh, unsure how to answer. “My name’s Henry Turner. I turned 23 a while ago, ma’am.”


“Do you have insurance?”


“No ma’am.”


“Oh well, that’s alright. I’ll just take a quick look. As long as I don’t see anything worrisome we’ll let this be our little secret,” she smiles and gives me a quick wink. “Let me have your hand, honey.”


Confused as to why she needs my hand, I hold it out, and she clips a small, black device onto my finger. She fiddles with it for a moment before shaking her head. She seems confused. Taking it off my finger and putting it on hers, I hear a small beep as it lights up. She unclips it from her hand and puts it back on mine. For a moment, she stares at my hand as an awkward silence fills the room.


“Honey, I’m just going to take your temperature and blood pressure the old way. This doohickey seems to be malfunctioning on me.”


I start to panic as I realize that she’s trying to take my non-existent vitals. I glance toward the door. Aveline would be very upset if I blew our cover. Again. We only lasted three allergy seasons in Springfield, so I’m determined to make it longer here. I can tell Aveline likes this quiet little suburb. Although, admittedly, I never imagined myself settling in Indiana.


Standing from the patient table, I pull the little black device from my finger and hand it back to Cheryl.


“I’m actually running late, so I need to get going.”


“Honey are you sure? It won’t take but a minute.”


Nodding, I grab my plastic sack and run out the door, keeping my head down as I pass the girl behind the counter. Walking straight out to Aveline, I slam the door as I get into the driver’s seat.


“What happened?” she asks. “You were in there forever!”


Taking a moment to calm myself, Aveline groans.


“Haelyas, please don’t tell me you had to kill the pharmacist again. We just got settled!”


I shake my head. Unscrewing the lid on the pill bottle, I pop two tablets into my mouth, swallowing them dry.


“Allergies. They’ll be the death of me.”


Putting the car in gear, Aveline laughs and takes my hand as I begin the drive back to our new home, vowing never to get my sinuses checked again.

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60 comments

05:23 Oct 30, 2020

Here's a shorter, lighter piece that I whipped up tonight. Something a bit more light hearted to ring in Samhain! I hope you all enjoy :)

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Calia Markus
19:56 Nov 03, 2020

This was so funny. I got so uncomfortable when I realized these days coronavirus is outside the door, but I just forgot about it and enjoyed the story which was extremely funny! Today was a really tough one, but you just made my day. You made me smile and laugh. I totally love your creativity! Great job! -Have a nice day and take care of your soul, Calia.

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21:00 Nov 03, 2020

What a sweet and thoughtful comment, Calia! Thank you for taking the time to read through - I'm so glad Haelyas and Aveline were able to brighten your day :) You are appreciated.

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Lina Ozz
01:34 Nov 02, 2020

“Haelyas, please don’t tell me you had to kill the pharmacist again. We just got settled!” Haha! This piece was just hilarious! That line got me; the added "again" was just perfect. This piece is fun, hysterical, and extremely well-written; I love that section where you describe all the details and the confusion with the pharmacist when she can't get a read on his vitals. I just love everything about this piece!

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02:03 Nov 02, 2020

Thank you Lina! Definitely not my normal style of writing but I couldn’t help but go for a light hearted piece in the middle of all the Halloween doom, gloom and horror :) Thank you for stopping in and leaving your thoughts!

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Lina Ozz
02:55 Nov 02, 2020

You are so good at it––you've got a knack for the humorous storytelling! Hope to see another one like this soon, too :)

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Nicole Escorial
07:34 Nov 14, 2020

An utterly GREAT READ! I enjoyed it from the start till the end. It was funny as I myself got allergies, just not to a particular season though! Hahaha! It’s so refreshing to read something like this that’s light, but still brings us enough feels to get us going through the story. I really loved it, and I hope to read more like this from you! XOXO

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16:47 Nov 14, 2020

Thank you so much Nicole! I do really enjoy the lighthearted stories and have been seeking a prompt to allow me to write another in this vein. Hopefully I spot one soon! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Many thanks!

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Aisha H.
17:49 Nov 10, 2020

I really liked this story! It was funny and well written!!

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17:50 Nov 10, 2020

Thank you so much!

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John Del rio
02:12 Nov 09, 2020

well written. i like the science of the undead that you put in there. for instance; how since they produce no mucus, that allergies are so trying for them. i like the little mundane problems that the undead could have; like not being able to get a credit card and what not. i enjoyed it and look forward to enjoying more of your stories.

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03:39 Nov 09, 2020

Thank you John! Adding those little background pieces and side bits were a lot of fun. Appreciate you reading through and leaving your comments!

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John Del rio
04:42 Nov 09, 2020

i also like how his companion wonders how medication can work on him when he has no real metabolism.

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Leah Ashton
02:03 Nov 06, 2020

I loved this. It really cracked me up that a vampire has allergies. Poor guy. I hate having allergies, especially with this pandemic. Thank you for the well needed laugh.

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02:05 Nov 06, 2020

I’m so glad this gave you a little chuckle Leah! Thanks for reading and leaving your reaction :) much appreciated!

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Xiomatli Diaz
18:42 Nov 05, 2020

Omg, I love it!! It's the perfect interpretation of the prompt and I love their personality contrasts!! Such a good short story ♥

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19:17 Nov 05, 2020

Thank you so much - you're too kind! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and leave feedback :)

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Gip Roberts
21:44 Nov 04, 2020

This is pretty good for something you just "whipped up". What I liked most about it was the idea that even a vampire can't get rid of allergies. Ain't that the truth! Millions of us who haven't gone to the other side yet can certainly sympathize with poor Haelyas.

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21:50 Nov 04, 2020

Thanks Gip! I was definitely inspired by my own struggled with the Fall sneezes. Yuck. Thanks for reading through and taking the time to comment - much appreciated!

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Ben Franklin
03:35 Nov 02, 2020

Lol, it's definitely not 1652 anymore, he is more likely to get staked through the heart for coughing in public than for being undead. Loved it, great take on this prompt!

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04:13 Nov 02, 2020

Thank you! I agree - he'd better watch where he coughs in public :) Thanks for taking the time to read through and leave a comment!

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Ben Franklin
04:30 Nov 02, 2020

No problem, I really enjoyed it

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Ingrid Debona
11:44 Nov 05, 2020

This was a very good read. I kept expecting the nurse to turn out to be a vampire with a background in medicine though.

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15:26 Nov 05, 2020

Haha very cute idea. Thanks for reading Ingrid!

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Cathryn V
22:40 Nov 04, 2020

Cute story, imaginative and entertaining. I like the descriptions especially of Aveline. Also enjoyed the line about how lucky Haelyas was to die old enough to drink. Thank you!

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22:52 Nov 04, 2020

I loved that too Cathryn! Thanks for reading and leaving your feedback - I’m glad you enjoyed the story :)

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21:06 Nov 04, 2020

Not what I expected, Aj but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep up the good work.

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21:49 Nov 04, 2020

Thanks Michael! I appreciate the time you took to read and comment :)

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Ola Hotchpotch
15:48 Nov 04, 2020

Nice story.

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16:07 Nov 04, 2020

Thank you!

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Iris Greyfeather
11:46 Nov 04, 2020

Wait, what is the tiny device he handed her?

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12:59 Nov 04, 2020

It’s a pulse ox! Doctors and nurses clip it to patients’ fingers to see how much oxygen is getting into the bloodstream. But since vampires have no biological need to breathe, his blood-oxygen saturation would be zero, which is why it wasn’t working :)

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Iris Greyfeather
22:40 Nov 04, 2020

Ohhhhhhhh, thanks

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17:04 Nov 03, 2020

Wow, I thought it was just me...the allegeries, I mean... Anyway, that was a lot of fun. And thanks for the follow!

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Kylie Rudolf
15:13 Nov 03, 2020

Very well written! I was laughing so hard over the allergy part in the first sentence, please have the poor man/vampire take a Benadryl!

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15:15 Nov 03, 2020

I know right! Ugh, allergies are the worst. I wrote this piece while I was sniffling like a fool waiting for my Zyrtec to step up and do it's thing, so I empathized with the poor man :b

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Kylie Rudolf
15:29 Nov 03, 2020

I myself have been a bit congested lately, I was reading your story while bemoaning my impending cold. Can totally relate to season's being the death of me.

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Jeni Conrad
10:54 Nov 03, 2020

This is a fun story. I love the idea of a vampire with allergies. I've just recently picked up my own set of allergies and they are TERRIBLE! My nose is running right as I read this and the itchy eyes are so bad; nothing else makes me want to gouge my own eyes out like allergies. Horrible things. I love how you make it clear that Henry loves Aveline a ton without saying it so much. He's always watching her and thinking about her. It's cute. Good job. :)

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14:20 Nov 03, 2020

Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed this little piece :) I’m not a romance writer, so often struggle writing physical displays of affection, so tend to opt for the more subtle ways of communicating that care - I’m so glad that came across to you. Thanks for taking the time to read through and leave your feedback!! And yes, ugh allergies are just the worst. I hope you feel better!

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Radhika Diksha
08:56 Nov 03, 2020

Would love it if you give your feedback on my stories.

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12:59 Nov 04, 2020

Yes done!

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Radhika Diksha
13:28 Nov 04, 2020

Thank you so much.

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Radhika Diksha
08:56 Nov 03, 2020

A unique vampire story. The story has both love and humor combined in it. Loved the ending, loved your writing style. And by the way, I checked your blog. And I would like to say that you are gorgeous.

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15:14 Nov 03, 2020

Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm thrilled you enjoyed Haelyas and Aveline's story. And I so appreciate you checking out my blog! You are too, too kind. I have to chalk it up to the magic of the photographer, she did such a great job :D I'll check out your stories today!

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