“Toxic Cinema, #160 – So That’s What Vampires Look Like With a Tan.”
It’s classic Seventies horror cheese at my house tonight, featuring the perma-tanned George Hamilton as Dracula. “Love at First Bite” has some pretty dated jokes, but even I—a rabid old school vampire fan—have to admit I liked the idea of Vlad moving to the city and being traumatized by the modern world. I might have enjoyed it more if I’d even been born when this one came out, but I still managed to suck a Skittle up my nose laughing.
Verdict – With scary flicks like Alien and The Amityville Horror being released in the same year, I have no idea how this one even got made. Rent it for a laugh; get your scares from Ripley and company.
Love from Transylvania,
“That’s it. Everyone leave.”
I gave Vincent points for trying to get some order back in the chaos that was the loft. But really, I was covered in puke and so was Fir. “Order” wasn’t on anyone’s mind but Vincent’s.
“You’re barmy. And you—” Fir jabbed a damp finger at Julia, who was upright only by virtue of Damian and Scott’s arms. “You’re an embarrassment to your father’s name. Get out of my sight before I put a hex on you he won’t have a potion for.”
Damian hauled her up by the armpits and somehow got her over his shoulder. “Looks like my sister gave you an out on that invite.” He glanced at me, his face half-hidden by Julia’s butt. “You ever want to talk about movies again, let me know.”
I would’ve choked if Vincent hadn’t been staring at me as if I’d grown a second head. Damian wasn’t talking about movies. Not with that devil smile lifting his lips. But I was covered in nasty. He still wanted to flirt? He either had the lowest standards ever, or my lips had magic powers I didn’t know about. “I don’t know. Maybe.”
The leprechaun pushed a wedge of slightly-chunky green hair off his cheek. “I’m a grown man. I can find ‘em myself.”
“I know you can. I want to talk to Tizzy alone for a minute.”
Moving to a new couch, a new zip code—anything to get out of talking to Vincent alone—suddenly sounded like a good idea. “Don’t I get to clean up?”
He fixed Damian with a stare. “You’re not going anywhere alone until I know you’ve got a smidge of self-preservation. So far I haven’t seen any evidence of that.”
Damian grinned, showing off perfect white teeth. Still without fangs. Was he a vampire or not? “Always a pleasure, Vincent.”
“The feeling isn’t mutual.”
I watched as they took off, Scott in front and a very pissed off leprechaun in the middle. Damian followed last, doing the fireman act with Julia all the way down the stairs. When they were swallowed by the dancing crowd, Vincent sighed. “You’re going to be trouble, aren’t you?”
I leaned back into the couch, letting out a breath when nothing new squelched. Apparently my legs had taken most of the hit. “I was willing to pretend I never went in that bar. But you and the dog are forcing the issue. How does that make me trouble?”
He sat down on a clean section of cushion and rubbed his face. “If the way you acted in the Dragon was you pretending, then you’re not as good at it as you think. My tattoo isn’t visible to humans. You were busted before Dave and Jim started their fight.”
“Dave. And Jim.” Mud guy and ennui boy?
“Dave was the golem. Jim is also known as Fear Liath More, or the Grey Man. He was only in town for a couple days, and you’re lucky he was too busy fighting to notice you.”
“Yeah. You’re making me feel really good about coming out to the monsters.” I scraped vomit off my knees with the side of my hand. Gross. “Look, I see things. I don’t know what most of them are unless they’re obvious like Scott. I never wanted to know. So me having a conversation about all this? It’s weird. Like ‘violation of my entire life philosophy’ weird.”
“Wouldn’t you be?” I gave up on cleaning my jeans and stared at the floor. “My dad is a teacher and my mom is a doctor. I eat junk food and listen to bad music and write crappy blog posts filled with existential angst. I’m human. And I’d like it if we could just forget about this.”
“I wish we could, but we can’t. This is a haven. That means there are more supernaturals in town than there are anywhere else in the state. Not all of them are like Scott, and if you don’t know who you’re dealing with, you’ll get hurt.”
“There were a lot in New York. I survived.” I swallowed the memory of the vampires in the alley. They didn’t count. It’d been my mistake, and they didn’t count.
“If your idea of surviving is hanging out with people like Damian, it’s not going to work too well here. His father isn’t someone you want to go anywhere near, and that goes for Damian, too.”
“He didn’t seem that bad. Well, aside from his sister. She could fall off the planet, and I wouldn’t mind.”
“So you kiss random guys in clubs all the time?” At my burning cheeks, Vincent shook his head. It sent his chocolate hair in undulating waves. “Tizzy, he’s the perfect example of why you’re here tonight. He’s a dhampir, and you got sucked in by his mojo. You don’t even care.”
A dhampir. AKA Vampire Light. A kid of a vampire and a human, someone who had a lot of the perks of being a vampire—like their powers—but few of their weaknesses. I’d figured they were bullshit. “It’s possible he liked me, you know.”
Vincent’s look had so much pity in it I wanted to punch him. That or myself. Damian, a baby vamp, had been playing with me. And I’d liked it. I needed to have my head examined.
“Either you’re a creature that’s particularly susceptible to vampires, or you’re a human with no sense of self-preservation. Either way, the fairies are going to be interested in you and not in a good way. I know from experience.”
“Right. Because you’re obviously living a sucky life.” I twirled my hair around my finger, still stinging from my stupidity. Dumb Damian and his lips. What was it with me and vamps? “Wait, you’re human? You said your tattoo wasn’t visible to them. Like you weren’t one.”
“I’m human, or I was until I got the fairies attention.” He sighed, squinting at me sideways like he was sizing me up. “That was eighty-seven years ago. I’ve got at least that before I’m done paying for my mistakes with them. So believe me when I tell you that if you don’t stop running and let us teach you what you need to survive? You’ll be lucky to end up like me. Chances are, you’ll end up dead instead.”