Boris took a break from polishing the deep, rich, black paint on his cherished Chevrolet Impala.
His thoughts drifted back to the fine April day in nineteen sixty-three when he first saw the car sitting on the showroom floor. It was only a matter of hours before he’d purchased the car, and was driving it with the convertible top down. The dazzling mid-day sun glistened off of the chrome as his wavy black hair blew in the breeze. Within a few months, his bright world would be drastically altered. His older brother started dating a very eerie young woman, and soon after his behavior had also become disturbing. He awakened one night to a pain in his neck, and the two of them standing over him, laughing. He stared into the night sky and a wave of melancholy swept over him, as he reflected that one of the things he dreaded most about being a vampire, was not being able to drive with the top down on bright sunny days. He resumed his polishing, and when it was done he put the top up and drove the car into the garage. The sun would be rising soon and he needed to get to bed.
When he opened the door between the garage and the kitchen, he was greeted with his brother’s sarcasm.
“You just can’t seem to get it through your head that you’re dead, can you?”
“You’ve been a vampire for as long as I have.” Boris leaned on the back of a chair, and continued in a low deliberate voice, “You should know by now that we’re neither alive nor dead. We’re undead.”
“A technicality, but it still doesn’t justify spending all your time with that mechanical icon of the living world. Look, dummy. You can turn into a bat and fly. You don’t need a car anymore. When will you ever get that through your thick skull?”
“I’m scared of bats and even more afraid of heights, and, besides, you’re a good one to talk about hanging on to the living world. I see you’re stuffing that big gut of yours full of Oreo cookies again. When you fly, you show up on the radar screens as big as the space shuttle. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to bed, and hopefully you haven’t turned down the heat on my waterbed again.”
Boris started to leave the room as his brother replied. “It seems to me that I’ve reminded you before that vampires can’t cross water, and if you had any self respect you’d sleep in a proper coffin.”
He spoke over his shoulder. “I’m not crossing water. I’m sleeping on it. Besides coffins are for dead people. When I’m dead I’ll sleep in a coffin. Good night.”
Boris slowly climbed the steps to his room and wearily opened the door. He checked the thermostat on the waterbed to insure that it hadn’t been disturbed, and then climbed into the bed. After drawing the shades and securing all light sources, he snuggled into the heap of blankets and was soon asleep.
He awakened feeling rested, and rose slowly from the comfort of his bed.
Only a few wispy clouds obscured an otherwise clear sky as he sat on the front porch gazing at the stars. He rested his elbows on his knees and his chin in the palms of his hands, and thought out loud, “All I want is to be able to drive my convertible on a nice sunny day. Is that too much to ask?”
“No.” A soft, but unexpected voice spoke from behind him.
Boris turned around to see who spoke it. Standing on the porch was a spectacularly beautiful woman with extremely fair skin, dressed in a flowing white gown with small wings gently fluttering in the peaceful evening breezes.
“Who are you?” As soon as he said it, he realized that it wasn’t one of his best opening lines.
“I’m Desiree, a Fairy, and I’ve come to grant you a wish.”
“I thought Fairies only collected teeth.”
“The boss likes us to keep busy, so on slow days we do other things. I understand that you have something that you wish dearly for.”
“What I want nobody can give me.”
“Don’t be so sure. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.” She brushed past him as she slowly walked over to the car.
“You’ve already heard what I want, so why do I have to ask?”
“Humor me.” A sly smile, displaying tantalizing dimples, graced her face while her hands gently caressed the shiny black paint.
Boris thought for a minute, and then spoke slowly. “I want to drive my car on a nice warm sunny morning without the fear of dying. Can you do that?”
“It’s done. Your wish is granted. Tomorrow morning you can drive your car without worrying about dying. I do have one request though.”
“I knew there had to be a catch. What is it?”
“I want to go along.”
“Is that all?”
“I love this car, and I’ve never had the opportunity to ride in a convertible.”
Boris smiled sheepishly and held his hand out to her. “Meet me here at five-thirty. I want to watch the sunrise while we drive.”
Desiree took his hand and rubbed it to her cheek, and then fluttered off.
After she left, Boris picked up a rag and commenced polishing the finish to remove her hand prints. She may be cute, but he had his limits.
Desiree returned right on time. Boris opened the door for her, then walked around the car and took his position at the steering wheel. The sun was not up yet, but beams of light turned the clouds that were visible to varied shades of pink and purple. He drove to a park where he’d spent much of his youth. It was the first time he’d seen it in daylight in many years. He drove slowly and took time to enjoy the reflections off the water in the pond, and the way the light played through the trees, creating eerie shadows on the ground. These were sights he hadn’t seen in years, and he wanted to relish each and every one of them. He emerged from the cover of the trees just as the sun made its entrance. Immediately the skin on his hands began to bubble, and his breathing became labored.
He shrieked in horror, “You lied to me. You told me I’d be able to live when the sun came up.”
Desiree smiled and calmly replied, “No, I didn’t. I only promised you that you could drive without worrying about dying. That’s exactly what you asked for.”
Boris staggered from the car in an attempt to find cover, and amid screams of agonizing pain, he burned to a cinder in the middle of the road. Desiree slowly slid across the red vinyl bench seat, placed her hands on the steering wheel, and took some time to admire her new car. After a few moments she turned around and spoke in disgust to the smoldering clump “A basic Impala!
You could have at least had enough class to buy a Super Sport.” She turned back, put the car in gear, and drove off into the sunrise.
You know all those dark spots on the pavement that you thought were patched potholes – uh uh. Melted vampires.
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