Many a book and screenplay are written by shrinks – excuse me, licensed therapists – who think they’ve cornered the market on crazy. I’ve read quite a few – in my profession I’d go nuts if I couldn’t laugh at myself. They’d lock me away if I couldn’t laugh at my patients. Privately, of course.
I only wish this were the cathartically hilarious tell-all most people enjoy. I also wish it didn’t have to be published posthumously. For my own sake, my family’s, I have no choice.
First, no, I’m not a mob shrink. Nothing so tame as that. Second, I know most of you will reject this out of hand as incredible, unbelievable, as outright lies, or the ravings of a lunatic. I honestly wish that was so. For a long time I was looking for hidden cameras, questioning my own sanity. Eventually I was only looking for an escape. Resignation is all I have left. That, and a stubborn determination to do my job well until I draw my last breath.
Here it is: I am a psychiatrist. My clients are vampires. I’m chronicling their sessions, based on my notes, in an effort to … I’m no longer sure why. I just have to write or go insane. Having to keep this secret is killing me slowly, driving me to the brink. You, if anyone reads this, will view the slow disintegration of a capable, confident professional.
So let’s start at the beginning, with my first client, Rowan Woode.
He wasn’t what I expected.
There was no cape. No widow’s peak. No long, glistening, visible fangs. Maybe visions of
Up front I’ll tell you that much of vampire lore is correct. Most legend, most mythology, is born of truth, of things almost too fantastical to believe, then spun into fantasy, larger than any life or truth could ever be.
I’ve found, in my years of probing, that yes, vampires do avoid sunlight at all cost. Yes, they do suck blood, killing most of their victims, or turning them, in rare instances, into vampires. Yes, they are technically “the undead”.
Contrary to Bugs Bunny cartoons, none have the ability to transform into bats, winging away at the slightest hint of trouble. Not even I believed that one. No, they don’t sleep in coffins during the day, unless they’re in a particularly tricksome mood. No, they aren’t terrified of clergy and crosses, though they do tend to avoid them for the most part. There are the few who will seek out a priest for a theological debate – and snack.
What I can tell you for certain, at least in my experience, is that vampires as a whole seem to be miserable, depressed, lonely. Like most of the rest of society, but more so.