Crooked – A Story About Teeth

Time to get back to some fiction. I’ve had a slightly unconventional story idea about vampires (I know, doesn’t sound too unconventional) bouncing around my head for years, but never tried to put it to paper until a friend happened to inadvertantly remind me of it — on Facebook, of all places. So, thanks to social media, I finally decided to take a crack at it. Here’s the first page.

*

The first thing she saw when she woke up was the lamp light coming from the post outside the alley, and she panicked. Scrambling to climb under the deteriorating cardboard box draped over the side of the dumpster beside her, her breath came in sharp pulls – an enigma, given her condition. Her tiny lungs kept pumping, even after her heart stopped beating.

It was more an emotional consequence than a necessity – her body sensed danger, and triggered a jolt of energy, a knee-jerk response to fear – the lungs prepare for fight-or-flight, quickening and enabling one to have more breath, when really, one does not need it in this particular instance.

This enigma was what had clued her in to her condition, just a few weeks ago. One day, she had an accident, and the next day, she was lying in bed, recovering, and she noticed that she had stopped breathing. Almost immediately, she drew in a sharp breath – her body became wracked with hyperventilation for several minutes, a mechanical thing that she couldn’t prevent from occurring – and after a moment, she calmed down. She tried holding her breath, just to see how long she could do it. She did not take in a breath until the next day.

Now, in the alley, the moon leering at her from above, she closed her eyes, slowed her pulse, and whispered, it’s not the sun, it’s not the sun.

If Sadie had been a normal 10 year old, she would have gleefully run forward at the thought of a sunny day, but instead she cowered from it. The irony was certainly not lost on her. She used to chase her brother around the yard on summer mornings; now she chased rats at three in the morning. God, was she hungry. Rats tended not to have too much meat on their bones.

imageThey tended to get caught in her braces, as well. The wires dominating her mouth made her no match for their gamey fibers; the little blue elastics caught on their skin, snapping at her gums and making her post-midnight snacks a painful ordeal. Sadie often wondered if the blood that mingled when she spat out a bone was her meal’s or her own. She wondered how much of her own she should be willing to part with.

Curse the man who put her in this predicament. Curse the man who preyed upon a 10 year old girl, and curse the man who saw her orthodontic handicap and continued to suck his dinner from her neck. Sadie had thought she knew the extent of humanity’s selfishness – that was before she met a vampire.

*

I don’t normally write about vampires, guys. I have no desire to follow in Stephanie Meyer’s footsteps (sorry, not sorry, to any Twilight fans). But I like the idea of this character. Let me know what you think!

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