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James Leavey's Corner
I Was Raised As A Vampire

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I Was Raised as a Vampire


by James Leavey, editor, The FOREST Guide to Smoking in London
and The FOREST Guide to Smoking in Scotland


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James Leavey

My mother always told me, "Vlad, drink your soup before it clots." And I did. I usually lapped it up through my hollow canine teeth which acted as straws. Sometimes I was given a Bloody Mary to savour, and other times, the special treat of a Bleeding Annie to rip and slobber over.

Father was away a lot. Mother said he flew for Transylvanian Airways, but then she was always a bit batty; probably the result of being an accident-prone part-time witch who occasionally flew off the broom handle.

One morning, just before the dawn of my seventh birthday, as Mother tucked me into the coffin, she explained that I wasn't like other children. "Why do you think your hair is so long, black and rarely combed" " she asked. "Because I can't see my reflection in the mirror," I replied.

It seemed normal to me to wear a black cape over my school blazer. And as I had never attended a Christmas carol concert, I never missed it.

Then she asked me if I ever wondered why most schools aren't open from dusk to dawn.

Now that was a good question. For the last two years, I had attended a nocturnal kindergarten run by Countess Frieda von Dracula, my distant cousin, 25 centuries removed. It opened on moonless nights, in the middle of the Wallapachian Mountains, and entrance was by careful examination - of its pupils' molars. Anybody with fangs that weren't as sharp as a razor or at least three inches long, were barred. Packed midnight feasts were also banned - as were human takeaways from the tiny village that nestled under the shadow of the crow-like crag where the school was perched.

That said, we enjoyed our lessons: bleeding, reading and feeding. I excelled at games, such as Hide and Bite, Grab a Granny, and Watch out for the Crucifix. What fun we had in the playground, my little shrouded chums and I, circling a victim, transforming ourselves into wolf cubs, and bleeding them dry. We got the idea from playing Wall Street on the Net.

"Mummy, " I cried, "am I really so unlike other children""

"Of course not, dear," she replied. "But all the other children at your school are not human. And neither are you."

"OK, Mummy. Can I have another Havana cigar""

"Certainly my dear little Vlad," she said, handing me a Montecristo No.2 from Daddy's humidor, after cutting the end and lighting it. "And never forget. It's better to fill your tummy with smoke or pure human blood, than those nasty genetically-modified foods."


Copyright James Leavey, 2000. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from the Author.

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