Vampire Play

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31 PLAYS IN 31 DAYS: Play 7, Day 7 – Vampire Play

 

LIGHTS UP on a darkened room, whose major light source is the bleed from a harsh white light at the edges heavy drapes.

DAMON, a 30ish man in matching vest and trousers that may suggest period or even livery, sits in a lyre chair beside a chaise lounge, on which LAMIA, a30ish-40ish lady in an elegant dressing gown,  swoons. DAMON holds two fingers to her neck, solicitiously staying a bit of bleeding there. He has a spot of crimson at his lips as well.

 

                                                                                DAMON:

I’ve lived a long time, lady, and I can tell you –the voice of centuries of experience— that immortality does not suit everybody.

                                                                                LAMIA:

I want it.

LAMIA is very weak, but there is command in her voice.

DAMON smiles.

                                                                                DAMON:

So you said, and so I shall oblige. You may rue it, or relish it. Either way, you pledge to me the use of your family crypt.

LAMIA smiles, too.

                                                                                LAMIA:

You shall lie next to me. We shall lie together. Forever.

                                                                                DAMON:

So you said. Whether that shall be with you as my partners across the ages, whetting and slacking our appetites together nightly, or as the cold comfort of an accustomed corpse, or as a pile of ashes, remains to be seen.

LAMIA’s breathing is labored.

                                                                                LAMIA:

Take me. Do it now.

                                                                                DAMON:

It’s slower than that. I’ve taken much…

DAMON removes his hand from LAMIA’s neck to daub his lip with a meticulous finger, then returns two fingers to her neck. Perhaps we saw two red spots there?

                                                                                DAMON: (cont.)

…and you’re very weak.

                                                                                LAMIA:

Take more.

                                                                                DAMON:

No. If you should die suddenly, before you’ve taken mine, I won’t be able to… revive you. Not complete the process and… reanimate you. You have to die slowly.  It’s the only way. Even in immortality, we pay that price.

                                                                                LAMIA:

 How long will it take?

                                                                                DAMON:

Not much longer now. You’re fading fast. Your heart is working harder to pump more blood, that simply isn’t there. Soon it will cease this futile effort.

                                                                                LAMIA:

What do we do then?

                                                                                DAMON:

I give you my blood. You take it, it mixes with your own. You take in whatever odd property it is that makes it different, makes me thus, makes up my strange claven. Our claven, soon.

LAMIA’s shallow breathing has become quite erratic.

                                                                                LAMIA:

I think it’s starting.

DAMON adjusts his fingers slightly, to take her pulse.

                                                                                DAMON:

Yes, it is. Or ending, rather. You are seeing the last of this life. Close your eyes.

LAMIA does so. DAMON removes his fingers from her neck, puts his wrist to his lips, puts his lips around them and bites. His wrist comes away bloody. He offers it to her.

                                                                                DAMON:

Drink.

LAMIA drinks, sucking and swallowing gently at first, then working her jaws and gulping. DAMON closes his eyes slowly. LAMIA opens hers. Her breathing relaxes, less shallow and less strained. At last, she is finished. She wipes her mouth with her open palm. As her hand comes away, she is smiling.

 

                                                                                LAMIA:

I feel… different.

DAMON’s eyes flutter a bit before he opens them.

                                                                                DAMON:

Of course you do. You’ve now dined as the undead.

                                                                                LAMIA:

It’s finished?

                                                                                DAMON:

It begins.

                                                                                LAMIA:

I’m so… thirsty!

                                                                                DAMON:

Or hungry. Or lusty. Or full of rage. From now on, they’ll feel much the same.

                                                                                LAMIA:

I’m immortal!

LAMIA’s eyes beam in wonderment and delight. DAMON chuckles indulgently.

                                                                                DAMON:

You like it already.

                                                                                LAMIA:

I love it. Oh, yes.

DAMON rises, takes her hand to help her to her feet.

                                                                                DAMON:

Come, we’ll prepare for your first hunt.

LAMIA withdraws her hand, touches her neck.

Hunt?

DAMON paces the room, imagining city streets and populating them with imaginary quarry.

 

                                                                                DAMON

We’ll start out small. A child. Though they’re not very filling. And so sickly sweet. All sour milk and sweat.

                                                                LAMIA:

A child?

                                                                DAMON:

A slip of a girl, perhaps. An adolescent. Attracted to older females.

                                                                LAMIA:

Girls?

                                                                DAMON:

Or an older female, weak. Not too much struggle in them. Too metallic, to my taste, but you’ll find your own palate.

LAMIA has risen by this point, the lady trying to find her strength.

                                                                LAMIA:

No.

                                                                DAMON:

Just until you are stronger.

                                                                LAMIA:

I want you.

                                                                DAMON:

Well, you can’t feed on me. I’m exhausted. I need to feed, myself.        A nice, juicy one.

                                                                LAMIA:

I want you.

                                                                DAMON:

You can’t.  I mean, you could, after I’ve fed, but then I’d just be fetching your blood-meals — a bloody receptical!

                                                                LAMIA:

You said you’d help me.

                                                                DAMON:

And as a point of honor, I will. But as a point of honor, I’m my own flesh and blood. So are you. You’ll have to feed yourself.

He softens a bit. Living isn’t easy, dying is hard, and the undead is completely unknown to her.

                                                               DAMON:

I’ll teach you.                                                    

LAMIA turns on him, a cold and imperious monster now.

                                                                LAMIA:

I don’t need a tutor!

LAMIA crosses to the chaise lounge and arranges herself on it.

                                                                LAMIA:

And you… You don’t need trouble, Damon. You need a place to sleep. You need what I have.

 

                                                                DAMON: (simply)

I have it now.

The two eye each other, confronting the situation in the half-light.

                                                                LAMIA:

No.

                                                                DAMON:

Lamia.

                                                                LAMIA:

Damon. I can’t. I can’t. I won’t. You have to help me. You have to do this. There’s no other way.

                                                                DAMON:

You’re right.

DAMON crosses to the heavy black curtains,  stands to one side of them, grasps them by the border and suddenly lifts the drapery so  as to cover himself in their black folds, as with a cape, as daylight streams in through the windows. LAMIA screams. BLACKOUT.

 A clock chimes deeply in the distance. Seven o’clock.

SPECIAL UP on a pile of dust on the chaise lounge where LAMIA was.  DAMON is visible at the drapes, peaking through them into darkness before he lets them drop and turns to regard the dark and empty room.

 

                                                                DAMON:

So, it’s dust. Why do they always choose dust? So strange to me.

Sounds from the street outside rouse DAMON from his contemplation.

By the Dark Prince, I’m famished!

DAMON exits. SPECIAL on the dust. FADE TO BLACK.

 END OF PLAY.

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