Prompt: A reverse vampire that can’t leave the light and can only enter places he isn’t allowed.
“Okay, be quick about it. The sun’s going to set soon.” Henry says, glancing over his shoulder at the horizon. “There isn’t much time.”
“Okay, okay,” I, an interviewer with the local news, says. “So, you’re a vampire?”
“Yes.” Henry nods.
“But you can’t go out at night?”
“Yes.” He nods, again. “I also can’t go into darkness or shadows. Anything but light burns my skin.” He raises his tan hand, a dark scorch mark runs across the back of his hand and wrist. “Want to know how I got this?”
“I—uh, sure, yeah.”
Henry crosses the space between us and our eyes lock, and he places his fingers against my temples and oh my God. It’s like I’m floating above us, another me standing dazed with Henry’s fingers to my head. The vision blurs, swirls, twists, and I’m hovering above Henry standing on the sidewalk in the middle of the day, looking down at the ground.
I can’t see what he’s staring at, then I am next to him. There’s a grass yard, shadowed by a gabled house. Henry is holding an empty waffle ice cream cone, and in the yard is a ball of what seems to be strawberry ice cream. His teary eyes are strained, focused, and his fingers are tittering against his lag. He’s debating, hesitant. He stands on the shadow’s edge, lets out an exaggerated exhale and lunges for the ice cream—
I’m thrown back into my body and Henry steps back. “You see?” he says. “Terrible, isn’t it? Strawberry is my favorite flavor.”
He continues walking down the sidewalk. It takes me a moment to shake the haze from my mind, then I catch up to him. “Yeah— uh, yeah, sorry; that must suck.”
He nods. “It does.”
“Anyway, my next question: uninvited places. In stories, vampires can’t enter places unless they’re invited in. Is this true?”
“It is,” he says, but shakes his head. “But, not for me.”
“I can only enter places I’m not allowed in.”
“Like,” he starts to say, stops walking, and glances around the houses lining the street. “Ah!” He spins me around and points with a skeletal finger. “You see that house, there?”
“The brown one with white trim, there; right there!”
I nod. “Oh, yeah, that one with the ‘No Trespassing’ sign in the yard?”
“Yes, yes, that one. Places like that I can enter.”
“But not places you’re allowed in, like coffee shops or malls or any of these houses with no signs?”
I face him, rub my forehead. Can’t anyone do that? I think, but ask: “So you’re saying if I were to invite you into my home you couldn’t come in, yet if I told you that you weren’t allowed in, you could?”
He smiles, revealing two pearly sharpened fangs. “Yes, yes! Now you underst—” His eyes widen, and horror streaks his face. “Oh, oh God!”
“What?” I say. “What’s happening?”
“The sun, it’s setting!” he points towards the horizon.
I look to where he’s pointing, and he’s right, it’s setting. The sky is awash in burning orange and yellow. the sun a sinking red-orange orb.
“I must go!” he shouts, and sprints away, turning at the end of the street and disappears behind a house.
Read my previous prompt, “A Good Boy Forever”
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