Garth, the event coordinator was at the venue an hour before the meeting was to begin. He checked the AV setup one more time, straightened a few errant chairs and went over special meal requests, mentally checking them off as he went down the list. What’s a special garlic meal? So peculiar!
He fired up his laptop and the projector screen whirred. The S.H.A.V.E. oath appeared in bold green (not red) font. SHAVE always sounded zany to Garth, more like a hipster Barber shop than what it really stood for – Society for Human and Vampire Empathy.
Garth and the other vampires were meeting human delegates face-to-face for the first time in…well, for the very first time.
The humans had wanted to discuss some life threatening emergency. Alfred, the president of the Vampire chapter of SHAVE had thought it best to discuss face-to-face than on their usual Skype call. The humans had said something about putting their lives on line for the betterment of their people and agreed.
What is with these humans playing the martyr? Vampires had lived in perfect harmony with humans for some time now. They bought blood only from certified blood banks for vampires, never jumped on anyone in the dead of the night (excuse the pun) and almost never complained about the declining quality of human blood these days.
Just last week, Fiona, Garth’s girlfriend, had unknowingly drunk the blood of a guy who ate at Taco Bell every day. Poor girl had had nausea and gas for days. Tainted, unhealthy blood was the bane of their existence these days. Must bring this up at the next meeting.
But today, for once, dinner won’t be just about eating. He expected arguments and fireworks. We’ll be having dinner with dinner today! Garth chuckled internally at that thought. It would be fun to dissect this meeting with Fiona later over a chilled bloody Mary and their favorite comedy – ‘The Twilight Series’.
The vampires had been instructed to drink their fill before the meeting. As a gesture of respect, blood would not be served to vampires during the meeting. The humans walked in half an hour later than the appointed time with ashen faces and terrified eyes. Braids of garlic dangled around their warm slender necks. He forced himself to focus on something other than their necks.
“A warm welcome to our very first in-person meeting“. Garth looked around with a smile, but nobody laughed. Some sense of humor for dinner, anyone?
“Ahem! Anyway, let’s all rise and repeat the SHAVE oath”
While they recited distractedly, two petrified waiters came in bearing clattering dinner trays. The pungent odor of their special meals replaced the air in the room. Emboldened by their garlicky allies, Patrick the president of the Human Chapter began,
“Thank you for meeting us, We’re here to talk about…”
Barney, the youngest vampire and the newest SHAVE member was getting a little carried away by the mesmerizing human scent. To calm himself, he discreetly brought out his hip flask and took a sip. A drop of blood somehow escaped his lips and drooled down to his chin.
Fear fogged Patrick’s brain. He mumbled something inaudibly. The rest of the humans shuffled in their seats. The room grew hotter and suddenly Garth had an inexplicable urge to run his tongue over his fangs. Garth had now started a “lick”. The other vampires joined in.
Hearts drumming in their heads, the humans stood up. Alfred was apologising profusely between licks, but the human huddle was heading for the door.
A thick sheet of darkness fell over the room. The powercut couldn’t have come at a worse time.