Civilized Dining

I love writing prompt stories because they can take you anywhere.

humans and vampires coexisting? blasphemous!

And, yet, we find ourselves staring at a writing prompt that suggests we must find a way.

143:Your thoughts on how humans and vampires can coexist.

Piccadilly‘s 1000 Writing Prompts.
Photo by cottonbro studio on

Civilized Dining

Johnathon put on the prison guard uniform, then turned to examine it in the mirror. He straightened the clothes as he smoothed them out across his frame. You could make out every bulge and ripple of muscle beneath the cheap polyester fabric.

It had taken him a long time to accustom himself to his lack of reflection in the mirror. He’d avoided them altogether for the better part of a century. He’d avoided them until he’d heard some rude boy in a tavern snidely remark to a friend.

“Doesn’t the poor chap even own a mirror?” he’d asked, and his friend had bellowed with laughter.

Johnathon had, of course, drained them both as they’d stumbled home that night. He’d found a mirror soon after and realized what a slovenly mess he was. He learned to accept that he’d never see his own face looking back at him, again.

Uniform in place and boots strapped on, he exited the bedroom. He grabbed the keys off the counter and whistled on his way out the door. He was hungry.

The drive was short. He eased into a parking space and sat staring out the windshield at the cold gray of the prison. He’d swear the sky was never anything but that shade of just about to rain gray.

His teeth flashed. It was the vampire equivalent of a stomach growl. He wondered what was on the menu tonight.

“Dovin,” he greeted the guard at the gate.

“Johnathon,” the guard nodded as he swung the gate open.

Johnathon heard screaming from across the yard. He quirked an eyebrow at Dovin. The other man shrugged.

“I better go see what all the ruckus is about.”

His boots thumped solid off the ground as he ran towards the sounds of screaming. He shoved through the doors, sprinted down the corridor, and burst into the cafeteria just as the screaming started again. Five pairs of eyes turned to look at him.

Three men in prison orange were backed into a corner, hands raised high. A fourth man, a perp by the name of Vinnie Mandeecio, lay on the ground, screaming. Vinnie had a rap sheet a mile long, but it was all petty crimes. He’d be in for a month here, a year there, then he’d be out again getting himself mixed up in something.

The fifth set of eyes belonged to fellow guard Kenny McGuire. He was beyond ravenous and barely in control of himself. The copper-tinged air led Johnathon to believe Vinnie had injured himself somehow.

“Shit,” he cursed as he moved in to stop what was already unfolding.

Johnathon positioned himself between McGuire and Vinnie. His teeth flashed, reminding him just how hungry he was. He shoved it down. This was not the civilized way to feed.

“McGuire!” he barked. “Stop! Mandeecio is an innocent.”

“Yeah, yeah. I was framed. It wasn’t me. Really,” Vinnie whined.

McGuire’s fangs were sharp. He’d been deprived of a meal more than once recently. He was angry and looking for a fight. These prisoners had simply had the misfortune of drawing cleanup with this idiot guarding them.

Johnathon’s fangs slid out smoothly. He was stronger than the younger guard, and he bore many years of experience. McGuire was headstrong and sure of himself.

“Take your friend and go,” Johnathon ordered over his shoulder.

The three prisoners dragged Vinnie towards the door at the back of the cafeteria. McGuire lurched towards them, grabbing for the injured Vinnie.

“No,” he growled. “You three are free to go, but leave Mandeecio.” He licked his lips. “I can already taste him.”

Johnathon grabbed McGuire by the shoulders.

“Damnit McGuire. Not this way. It’s not the way. Not anymore.”

The young vampire swung. Johnathon evaded it easily enough.

“What difference does it make if it’s Mandeecio or Welforg?”

“Welforg’s a lowdown dirty sleazebag who murdered innocent children so they couldn’t tell nobody what he’d done to them.”

The doors closed as the men escaped. Johnathon hoped they were taking Vinnie to the infirmary. McGuire was still fuming, but he didn’t try to follow them.

“How long have you been a vampire?” he asked the young vampire.

“About six months, now. I was sick. Probably would’ve died. My wife had this ‘friend,’ and now here I am. And I’ve never been so hungry in all my life.”

“I remember how hungry I always was when I was first turned.” Johnathon slung an arm around McGuire’s shoulders. “Let’s go see if Welforg’s on the menu tonight.”

He led him out the doors opposite where the three prisoners had scrambled for their lives. Welforg sounded like a perfect way to satisfy the hunger that coursed through them both.

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