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The Incredibly Boring Un-Life of Benjamin Barker
The following is intended as a humour piece and no copyright infringement of others characters is intended. The mocking is also intended in a friendly nature.
This Document Copyright ©2014 By Laura Morrigan All Rights Reserved except for the names Lestat, Louis, 'Bunny', the 'sparkly vampire', Benjamin Barker and Sweeney Todd, who belong to their respective authors and are used for parody.
Benjamin Barker shuffled the papers on his desk, as frustrated frown on his face. The paper-cut on his hand still throbbed, though it had already healed. It was a typical wound in the life of a paper pusher, but still, a frustrating one. Frustrating because the dull ache and the sight of the crimson liquor brought back so many memories.
Memories from before he was born to the blood, but had already felt its siren song. Barker had been a simple barber by trade, then, when an accidental slip of the blade had sent him into the killing trade. The sight of the blood welling from his customer's throat had changed him irrevocably. He craved it. He could not resist it. Throat after throat he slit with his slender blade. Eventually, a citywide outcry arose. Barker was caught and hanged. But that was not the end of his story.
A few days before he was caught, a man had sat down for a shave and Barker had slit him from ear to ear, only to watch the cut heal itself and the man stand up and smile at him. It was a scary smile, the smile of a predator. The man's teeth had gleamed in the dim light of the barber shop.
Of course, Barker had accepted the vampire's offer to join their ranks, looking forward to an eternity of bloodlust. The night after his hanging, Jack had cut him down, and Barker had woken from his death into new un-life. Things had been good under Jack's reign, but then Amelia had taken over as Vampire Commissioner, and things changed. All the rules. All the paperwork you were supposed to fill out before you even bit anyone! And now he was supposed to work and be a 'benefit to the community!'
Now Barker found himself working in an office, pushing paper, over seventy years in an office, it was enough to almost make one want to walk into the sun!
The cut had already healed but he realised he had his finger in his mouth, sucking desperately at it, even though the taste of his own blood would barely sate him. His fang teeth were extending, ready to chomp down on his own finger when Audrey knocked on the door
Quickly, he removed his finger from his mouth and greeted her with a stern frown, careful not to show his fangs.
'A new file's arrived, Ben. They want you to go investigate,' she handed him a file. He nodded curtly, not wanting to speak around his elongated teeth, and she left the room.
Barker opened the file. After all these years, he still could not get used to these machines that you somehow read things on, it all seemed like some kind of vile sorcery to him, so he still insisted that Audrey 'print off' the files on real paper. As if to humour his attempts to cling to the past, she used the 'font' that looked a bit like handwriting, and this only served to annoy him more.
Barker read over the file and snorted. Young ones these days! It seemed that there was a young vampire in a small town near Washington who had not only revealed himself to a human but who sparkled of all things! This was disgusting! The length these young ones would go to to get a little neck!'
Barker picked up his bags from where he had stashed them behind the filing cabinet a few days ago. He checked that his beloved box was in his carry on. With his diplomatic passport, no one even dared ask why he was carrying a box full of straight razors.
Audrey had come by again. 'Shall I send someone to your house for your bags?' She stopped, confused, as Barker gestured to the bags on the floor in front of him.
'Mina kicked you out again?' she blurted, putting a hand over her mouth too late.
Barker shrugged. 'It's complicated.' Audrey didn't need to know that Mina had caught him with that crazy Bunny or whatever her name was. Really, he had no idea why people called that girl a vampire slayer, she seemed to kiss more vamps than she killed!
'Where are you sleeping?' Audrey asked. Really, for someone brought up by vampires, that girl had no sense of decorum! Barker gestured to the coat rack. 'I hang upside down like a bat. It's very comfy, actually, and the block out shutters and 24 hour guards make this the safest place in the world to be, really.'
He could tell Audrey was trying to decide whether to believe him or not. Perhaps her vampire parents really had been the theatrical kind that sleep hanging up or in coffins. He tried to picture Audrey, with her neat blonde hair and designer suits sleeping in a coffin, and nearly burst out laughing. He forced the laughter back down. You couldn't be too cruel to Audrey, after all her circumstances were not to be envied.
Audrey had been an orphan, adopted by vampire parents who died before she grew old enough to turn. Vampire adoption of human children was actually smiled upon by the Commissioner. It was a good way to initiate loyal followers into their ranks, instead of the usual sycophants and power hungry lurkers who tried to get vampires to turn them. Good help was hard to find these days. The other vampires tolerated Audrey, pitied her, even, but not enough to turn her. She wasn't their problem. She was a bit like the Moneypenny to his James Bond, faithfully serving him, never getting anything out of him. But what she wanted wasn't a relationship, it was for him to turn her.
Action movies without quite enough blood were another part of this endless eternity of boring that Barker now found himself a part of. Barker had actually known Ian Fleming in his last days, a paunchy, emphysema ridden man who had longed for an exciting life, and become immortal though his pulpy books. Better, perhaps, then the lingering life of boredom that Barker was now doomed to. Barker, of course, had left behind his own literary shadow, Sweeney Todd. The subject of books, and even a musical. He had seen the musical many times at the theatre, and thought it a great joke that, when a movie was finally made, he was played by Johny Depp. How many people would actually have believed, if he told them, that before he faked his death all those times, Depp had been known as Atilla that Hun, HH Holmes and, most confusingly, Lucretia Borgia? Of course, he was a movie star, now, worshipped for his vampiric youth and beauty. Most people would never have guessed that it took over three hours of makeup to even make him look human. Before that, he looked quite like Murnau's creeping nosferatu horror. Barker had been lucky to be one of the vampires who retained his fairly youthful looks. Unfortunately, that was not a rule. The blood affected everyone differently.
Barker realised he had been lost in his thoughts. 'How's it going with Louis,' he asked, to change the subject.
Audrey shrugged. 'We're going out to dinner again tonight, I really don't feel like it's going anywhere.'
'You'll never get Louis to turn you, Audrey, he isn't the type to turn someone. You would have better luck with Lestat. Would have', he amended. 'Did you tell Louis I'm very sorry about what happened to him?'
Audrey shrugged. 'Lestat was attracting too much attention. It was inevitable really, that someone would have to take him down. It wasn't your fault.' Barker nodded. He still felt bad. In the old days of Jack's reign, he would never have had to take down Lestat. His gloomy mood followed him into the limo to the airport with its UV tinted windows. The airport itself had special windows, as did the plane. At least Amelia made sure that her agents travelled in safety.
Barker arrived in Washington slightly jet-lagged. He spent the day in a hotel room with the block out shutters down, feverishly swigging a bottle of O Neg cold from his suitcase and eyeing the maid’s neck hungrily. Damn biting restrictions! The paperwork he would have to fill out before he could even take a sip of her! He sighed and watched her walk away. He turned on the TV and flicked through the channels. All the shows were dull and bloodless. He switched off the TV and stared at the blank screen.
The night was clear and cold. Barker made his way to the girl's house, where is was documented that the vampire lurked at night to creepily watch the girl sleep. He caught the creature by the neck, where it wandered and drooled outside the girl's window, putting his hand over its unpleasantly slobbery mouth to stifle its cries and dragged it into the woods. Barker was surprised that it did not fight harder or try to bite him. It must be a very young and weak vampire, indeed.
Finally, deep in the woods, Barker released the young one. Unexpectedly, it fell to the ground, sobbing, 'please don't kill me!' in a pathetic tone.
'Excuse me,' Barker began, his old fashioned good manners always seemed to kick in when someone was in distress, 'what seems to be the matter?'
'Look, just tell Biff I'll have the money for him Tuesday, ok?' the pathetic thing sobbed.
'What on earth is going on?' Barker sighed, exasperated.
The boy looked up,' you're not here to collect the money for Biff?' he asked.
The boy gave him a hard look. 'Wait, are you a real vampire? I always knew they were real! Have you come here to really turn me?'
Barker looked more closely at the boy. Oh hell, he must be slipping, how could he have not realised at once that the kid was human? He should have known at once! A vampire's skin was never that hot, not even after feeding, and that boy had been too weak to even fight him. And only a human boy would moon over a girl in such a pathetic fashion! This was merely a human, who was, oddly enough, covered in glitter.
Barker ended up taking the snivelling boy back to his hotel room to elicit the rest of the story from him. As he had expected, the boy felt safer in the bright surroundings and it didn't take too much encouragement to get him to tell Barker his story.
It was a relatively short one. The boy was a small time drug dealer at his school who, having gone on a bender with the drugs he was supposed to sell, had begun selling vials of his own blood as 'vampire blood' to try and make the money back before Biff, the local drug lord thereabouts, came for revenge.
The girl wasn't very smart and thought she had discovered the boy was a vampire. She was hot and so he led her on. She wanted proof, so he told her that vampires sparkle in the sun and then covered himself in glitter.
'Why sparkle?' Barker asked, amused as well as disgusted.
'I was very high at the time,' the boy admitted.
Case closed. The boy wasn't a vampire, so Barker couldn't kill him without filling out a lot of paperwork, but he couldn't have the boy going around letting people know that vampires were real. Barker left the boy locked in his hotel suite and told him to order anything he wanted from the room service menu, then rang home and asked Audrey to find out the number of a local drug lord called Biff. He let Biff know his little flunkey's whereabouts, and what he had been up to, then headed back to the airport. The little brat would be dead by morning, and, after all, it wasn't Barker's responsibility to kill non-vampires.
When Barker got back to the office the next night, the building was in an uproar. It seemed that Lestat had come back from the dead again and wanted revenge on Barker for killing him. Barker took Lestat out for drinks, and, as it was an 'emergency' Amelia had grudgingly agreed to fax over permission slips. Sipping at the necks of a drunk, wealthy couple, the fine wine the two had imbibed humming in their blood, Barker and Lestat soon made up.
Lestat laughed 'til he cried blood tears as Barker told him about the little drug dealer who had passed himself off as a sparkly vampire.
Barker was having a great time when his mobile phone started ringing. It was Audrey.
'TV Execs just green-lighted a reality show with vampires', she said, 'you need to go deal with this at once!'
'Does the show have lots of sex and violence in it?' Barker slurred. He could almost hear Audrey's pulse rise over the phone as the blood rushed to her cheeks. 'Yes,' she whispered.
'Good,' Barker laughed drunkenly. 'Let it happen. I'm sick of all this fake blood and censorship! Who actually believes that reality shows are real anymore, anyway? I'm looking forward to something a little more bloody on my TV schedule!' Giggling, he chucked his phone on the ground and stamped on it. He would catch hell from Amelia when he finally returned, but right now, he didn't care.
'Was that your pathetic secretary?' Lestat asked, 'is she still waiting for Louis to turn her?'
'For anyone to turn her, ' Barker shrugged.
'Does she not realise the reason that no one will turn her is that we just don't like her?' Lestat asked. 'Even Louis can't stand her, but he's too polite to tell her so. He bitches about her behind her back. I mean, the woman things Britney Spears is classical music! Do any of us want to have to listen to that for all eternity?'
Barker shuddered. 'How a woman brought up by vampires turned out so dumb, I will never know!'
Laughing, the two old friends made their way back to Lestat's house for a 'daycap'. They made it inside and lowered the block out blinds just as the sun started to rise, painting the streets red as blood.
Un-life, Barker reflected, as he sat in the parlour, a glass of blood and sherry in his hand, really wasn't that bad at all, sometimes.
A rare photograph of Jonny Depp without makeup.