“Mama’s Monster”

Sammie Jo glanced up toward the bay window. A half an hour til sunrise, she told herself. Her vampiric mind and body could feel it coming, knew instinctively down to the exact second when the light would flood the living room of her childhood home. Half an hour was more than enough time to finish what she had started.

Her gaze returned to the unconscious figure on the area rug. “Mama.” She slapped the woman across the face. “It’s time to wake up.”

The woman’s face scrunched up then an eyelid lifted, the other swollen shut. “Oh, Sammie Jo…baby…” She raised her arms to embrace her daughter, but Sammie Jo slapped them back down.

“Baby? Maybe once. Maybe once you protected me like a mother should her child, but that time passed long ago.” She rose to her feet, wanting to loom over her mother and make the woman feel what she’d felt all those years. Fear, disgust, shame. A wide smile pulled the corners of her mouth up, her sharp fangs clearly visible. She laughed as her mother cringed.

“Mothers are supposed to protect their babies from monsters, not let them into the house.” Bile rose in Sammie Jo’s throat. “You sat back—did nothing—when he hurt us. You’re just as guilty as he was… Notice I said ‘was,’ Mama. Past tense. He’s dead.”

Tears ran down her mother’s bruised face. “No, Sammie, please, no.”

Sammie Jo knelt down, relishing in the terror emanating from her mother. “Yes.” 

The vampire closed her eyes, remembering the taste of her stepfather’s blood. Rancid like meat that’d gone off but strangely satisfying. She knew, though, that she could never be like those vampires who fed exclusively from rapists and murders, trying to justify the need to take life in order to survive. Humans harmed others to survive as well, maybe not the same way, but they did so without the constant need to vindicate themselves. She would go her eternity like the human she once was, enjoying the clean taste of innocents’ blood without guilt.

Her stepfather and her mother were a pet project, an exception to her rule.

Sammie Jo cradled her mother’s cheek. “You knew what he was doing. How could you not? The way Andi and me acted around Keith, how we avoided him when we could. That’s why Andi’s what she is now, you bitch. Shooting up and selling herself to forget being held down every night by someone she hated.”

Fifteen minutes to sunrise now.

“I’m the monster now.” Sammie Jo hissed, baring her fangs. “You have no idea how long I waited to get revenge for both of us.” She tore into her mother’s neck, guzzling the blood like a drunk at the bottle, the taste of stale menthol cigarettes sliding over her tongue.

The vampire rose, grinning down at the lifeless body, then walked to the kitchen stove. Nothing like the cleansing power of fire to finish the job.

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