Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Chapter 18: Of Vampires and Jesus

After that we discussed how we were gonna hide this from everyone. I told them my parents really didn't care where I was, but Quentin argued otherwise. When he did I was surprised to hear hime refer to my father by his first name.
"Wallace isn't stupid," he said, "Or Lisa would never have married him. I don't think he ever figured out exactly what was going on, but he always knew there was something,"
At long last, we decided I would tell everyone I had signed up for some activity that it was very difficult to disprove. At Quentin's suggestion, we decided it would be "self -defense classes" - technically accurate, since self defense was my main reason for turning Draconic. So that decided, I got out of the car, with the agreement that they'd pick me up after school on Thursday and to not go out at night anymore than I had to.
The next day in study hall, I took my customary place next to Mora. That was when I had a thought. It still wasn't safe, apparently, for me to look things up on the internet. But there were other resources I could use. One in particular who'd been sitting right by me for weeks.
"So," I asked her, as casually as I could, "What do you know about Vampires?"
"Quite a bit" she answered, "What do you want to know?"
"I'm working on a research paper," I lied, "And I need to know about them. Any information you could give me would be helpful,"
"Well, let's see," she said, pensively, "Give me a place to start. What do you know already?"
I told her everything i knew about Vampires - just basics really. How they were a failed attempt to extend the human lifespan through magic thousands of years ago, how they fed on human blood and, by releasing a special enzyme into a victim, could sometimes turn their him or her into a subservient vampire. Then, so as not to look like i knew more than I was letting on, I told her how the last vampire had supposedly been betrayed and staked by Nazis as Germany was being invaded at the end of World War II. She smiled up at me as if to say, "are you done yet?"
"Well," she said finally, "You have the propaganda version down. Most of that is right, except they're not dead, but I suspect you already knew that,"
I was caught somewhat of gaurd by her last statement, and I don't think I recovered well.
"You need to learn how to be a better liar," she said, "I knew from the moment you started talking that this was never about a research paper. You ran into one didn't you?"
I knew continuing to lie to her was pointless, but for some reason I didn't feel safe telling the truth either. So I avoided the question.
"What would make you think that?" I asked.
"Well, I've never seen you wearing a cross necklace before. By the way, you should know that probably won't repel any vampires for you. And you smell like garlic,"
"Wait a minute," I replied, "What?"
"A Holy Symbol of a religion other than your own is useless in repelling the undead. If you don't believe in Jesus, that cross is just a piece of jewlerly,"
"I go to church," I answered, adamantly.
"I went to mass for ten years," she responded, "But I was never really a Catholic. Religion doesn't repel the undead, belief does - the symbol just acts as a focus for that belief. So for me, a Tarot card would work. Atheists and agnostics are kind of screwed over though - belief in the vague concept of a supreme being might work on a Zombie, but not for long, and it certainly wouldn't work against a Vampire,"
"I believe in Jesus," I told her, firmly.
"Conceptually, maybe," she answered, "But I wouldn't count on him to help you if you run into another vamp,"
To be honest, I'd never been especially religious, but my parents were devout Presbyterians, and I'd never really thought much about it. It still upset me to see my faith being questioned by someone else - especially someone like Mora, who seemed to change religions or pick up some new form of mysticism every week. I was too upset to finish the conversation, so I took out some homework to try and get done.

1 comment:

Erin said...

So, if belief is what repels the vampire, couldn't an atheist just draw the symbol for pi or something and say, "Here. I *believe* in math." ?