I knew the minute I walked into the room something fishy was going on. I could smell warm bodies, lots of them. Then the lights went on, and a couple of dozen people shouted ‘surprise’ in unison.
I groaned, and obviously snarled, as my expression was met with lots of shocked gasps from my guests. I could see them trying not to stare at my fangs, my red eyes and pale skin, but most of them had probably never been this close to a vampire before, and none of them knew that I’d turned.
“Happy birthday,” Jo shouted.
I gave my best close mouthed smile.
“A party, for me? How wonderful. Thank you all for coming. Jo, was this your idea?”
She nodded and held up a cocktail glass to toast my health.
I glided towards her and put my arm around her shoulders. She was so tiny, so fragile, so human. I could just crush her.
I restrained myself.
“Jo, you shouldn’t have,” I said. I guided her into the hall. “No, really, you shouldn’t have.”
“I wanted to do something nice for you,” Jo said, slipping her arm around my waist and patting me on the hip. “I know how depressed you’ve been recently, what with having to drink blood. I thought it’d cheer you up to reconnect with your friends and get some presents.”
“Vampires don’t celebrate birthdays,” I hissed. I felt so embarrassed. I didn’t want my friends and family finding out about me like this. I could hear their whispered judgement coming from the other room as they helped themselves to drinks and finger food.
“I was going to throw you a turning party, but I thought it might be a bit too personal,” Jo said. “I wasn’t sure if you’d told your mother yet.”
“My mother is here?”
Jo laughed. “No, of course not. I just invited your brothers and your friends from work, oh, and all those people with red names in your phone. I thought they must be important.”
“You invited my vampire friends?”
I tried to control my anger, but I must have looked quite intimidating, because Jo moved away from me, her arm held in front of her face as if she was warding off a rabid dog.
“Did I do something wrong?”
I looked into the living room at the cozy gathering of humanity and couldn’t deny the spasm of hunger in my belly.
The doorbell rang. Jo smiled and went to answer it, but I held her back. “Go see to our guests,” I said, shoving her towards the living room.
Marcus stood on the doorstep, Violet and Angelina behind him. They looked like some kind of satanic heavy metal band.
“Happy birthday,” Marcus said, flashing his fangs at me in a jeering smirk.
Violet pushed forward. “Aren’t you going to invite us in?”
“Come on in, the more the merrier,” Jo called from behind my back.
I collapsed against the wall as the unholy trio walked past me into the house.
“Let’s get this party started,” Marcus said, clapping his hands.
I heard a chorus of oohs and aahs coming from the living room. I had to give it to Marcus, he knew how to command an audience.
Angelina giggled as she followed him into the room. “Ooh, I love a buffet,” she said.

4 thoughts on “Surprise!”

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