The Utterly Uninteresting & Unadventurous Tales of Fred, The Vampire Accountant (Drew Hayes)

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Fred Book I

Some people are born boring. Some live boring. Some even die boring. Fred managed to do all three, and when he woke up as a vampire, he did so as a boring one. Timid, socially awkward, and plagued by self-esteem issues, Fred has never been the adventurous sort.

One fateful night – different from the night he died, which was more inconvenient than fateful – Fred reconnects with an old friend at his high school reunion. This rekindled relationship sets off a chain of events thrusting him right into the chaos that is the parahuman world, a world with chipper zombies, truck driver wereponies, maniacal necromancers, ancient dragons, and now one undead accountant trying his best to “survive.” Because even after it’s over, life can still be a downright bloody mess.

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ISBN: 978-0-9896499-8-8 Category: Tag:

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Read The First Chapter

One

I was midway through packing when I paused to contemplate whether it was appropriate to bring the blood. I mean, sure I needed it and all, but there’s always been something so garish about pulling a bag of O Negative from my little leather luggage. I weighed the options for a few moments, pitting my desire for stylish secrecy against my nutritional needs. In the end, I forged a compromise, pouring the blood into my faux silver (obviously the real deal is off limits) flask, sealing it well, and then placing it between my freshly pressed shirts.

My name is Fredrick Frankford Fletcher, and yes, that name did get me beaten up quite frequently when I was a child. For those of you who are a little slow on the uptake, I am also a vampire. A relatively recent life change. It happened only about one year ago. I’ll spare you the gory details, but one night I was a mild-mannered accountant with a heartbeat, and the next night I wasn’t. Oh, I was still a mild-mannered accountant, but the heartbeat was long gone. I took it well, I feel, or as well as one can handle such things. I attempted to go hunting and feed; however, while I might have been a fearful predator of the night, I still chafed at the idea of physical violence. I can’t even watch slasher films without covering my eyes. After a few failed feeding fiascos left me leaning toward starvation, I opted to use a different set of my skills to secure sustenance.

John Smith, as I will call him here, was a local hospital director that had paid me to cook his books and keep his failing enterprise above water in previous years. Generally, all criminal activity gives me ulcers, but the cause of keeping a hospital afloat allowed me to feel that the karmic scales balanced out. After my life change, we struck a new deal: I would offer the same service each year in exchange for the opportunity to purchase my dinners of choice from his blood supply.

The rest of my lifestyle adaptations were fairly simple. I began having files delivered to my home so I could work on them at night, I refitted my refrigerator for a predominantly liquid diet, and I resumed my life as it was. I was even able to continue indulging my penchant for fine cheeses, despite what voluminous lore had told me. Without being crass, let me simply say an undead body handles normal food as a human one handles gum. While not built for nourishment, it is capable of disposing of such materials. A fact that was far from the first discrepancy I’d uncovered in my cinema-based education.

Perhaps if I’d had any true friends or family, the transition would have been more difficult; however, that was not a burden with which I had been shouldered. My life was just as gray and dull as it had been before.

In a way, that was the most difficult part—going from the thrill of something new to the dreariness of the old. I suppose a part of me had believed the Hollywood hype about vampires living (in a non-literal sense, of course) adventurous lives filled with sex, danger, and riches. My own undead experience had been . . . somewhat less thrilling. I’ve spent ample time raiding the video stores in my town, and I must say I have yet to uncover any tales of vampires whose unlives continue so perfectly parallel to their days of breathing and sunshine as mine has. I would have taken great comfort in such a film. It was that nagging sense of disappointment that toiled away in my subconscious and it was the need for something—anything really—to be different that prompted me to make such a dangerous decision.

I was going to my ten-year high school reunion. Now, I know that this must seem like an impulsive and idiotic idea, and, in truth, it was. I saw that clearly when the invitation arrived. I recognized it, analyzed it, and catalogued it in my mental filing system as I had done with everything else in my monotonous twenty-eight years on this earth. This time though, something caught on the corner of my cranial cabinet, and I saw an opportunity. Here was a chance to take a risk, albeit a small one, and do something that qualified as unsafe. Whimsical even, if one discounted my previous analysis of the situation. Before I could talk myself out of it, I mailed my confirmation reply and booked a non-refundable ticket to my hometown of Kent, Idaho. It was only later that I realized the flight was scheduled during the day and was therefore useless to me, but the grandness of the gesture remained poignant, and I resolved to attend my reunion anyway.

Some three weeks later, as I packed up my supplies for the weekend to come, I began to wonder if other vampires felt skittish before seeing people who had known them in life. The only other vampire I had even encountered was the one who turned me, and he was gone before I awoke. I prowled the darkness at first, hoping to find others of my kind, but after a few movies depicting the vampire political system, I started staying in more. I didn’t really have the constitution for such constant subterfuge and betrayal. A pleasant evening with merlot, blood, and brie worked just fine, thank you very much.

I zipped up my bag and hefted it onto my shoulder. This would have been an ordeal in itself three years ago, but with the night hours and the new allergies to garlic, silver, and sunshine came a few undeniable perks. The enhanced strength, durability, and dexterity were all quite nice. I was more than a minor klutz in my human days, so it was an enjoyable change to walk around without injuring myself. Eternal life was pleasant enough I suppose, though I’d become concerned about what I would do once I finished viewing every movie in the rental store. At least I might be around long enough to truly enjoy the appreciation of my smarter financial investments.

After locking my door and setting my alarms, I stepped into the new-night air. It was crisp with the chill of late October. Admittedly a strange time for a high school reunion, but Kent was a farming community. The fall holidays were close to harvest time, and therefore the heaviest celebrated. (For those of you fortunate enough to not understand that reference, harvest is one of the hardest working periods on a farm. A night off is not just reason to celebrate; it is reason to celebrate to the umpteenth degree. Since Thanksgiving is spent with family, Kent will often hold its reunions on or around Halloween.) This year was my class’s turn, and as Halloween fell on a Saturday, our event was planned for the night of the pumpkin-themed holiday. As a real live vampire would be in attendance, I felt this was particularly appropriate. Even if I was the only one who would know it.

I loaded my leather suitcase into the back of my gray hybrid. I had always tried to be eco-conscious, but realizing that I could actually live to be affected by eventual environmental disasters had doubled my efforts. Once the suitcase was secured, I placed a travel mug of blood into the cup holder and buckled myself in as well. I would have to drive through the night to make it to my hotel in time, but that hadn’t been an issue for over a year. If I were still human, I would have taken a deep breath to steel myself for the expected adventure ahead. Since I was not, I checked my mirrors and turned on my signal, pulling into the road with both hands firmly on the wheel.

About The Author

Drew Hayes is an aspiring author from Texas who has written several books and found the gumption to publish a few (so far). He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in English, because evidently he’s not familiar with what the term “employable” means. Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots. Drew feels kind of like a D-bag writing about himself in the third person like this. He does appreciate that you’re still reading, though.

Drew would like to sit down and have a beer with you. Or a cocktail. He’s not here to judge your preferences. Drew is terrible at being serious, and has no real idea what a snippet biography is meant to convey anyway. Drew thinks you are awesome just the way you are. That part, he meant. Drew is off to go high-five random people, because who doesn’t love a good high-five? No one, that’s who.

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