Storytellers takes a glimpse into an artist’s inner psyche through a story of their choice.
Alanna McArdle aka Ides had a different Halloween experience to most of us. Sure, it’s always good to up the realism stakes with a costume and to scare the hell out of your neighbors, but to actually meet a vampire, in professional guise, is an experience to detail. And as it was, Alanna’s taken to our Storytellers feature to recall the event a friendly vampire offered to take her blood.
Ides requested we listen to “Mistakes,” below, while this story plays out:
I never really liked Halloween, so I guess I don’t mind that I’m missing this one. But if I had a mirror I’d see that I nailed the costume for once. My hair is in knots, plastered with grease across my face. Despite those three solid days and nights of sleep my eyes are still sunken in, swollen, reminding everyone that I really didn’t want to wake up. My face is tinged with the same pale yellow of these walls that might as well be absorbing me. I haven’t left this place for four days. I never really liked Halloween but today I’d make a great ghost.
I reach across the bed for a book I am pretending to read. I am hoping it will make them think I am back to normal. A small spurt of blood shoots up from my arm back into the I.V and dissipates in a cloud. I stare at it, but the nurse is staring at me. The same nurse who will tell me tomorrow that if I keep crying ‘they’ll section you.’ I am pretending to read so they will let me leave.
Staring at the pages, someone interrupts a fantasy about you I’ve been replaying in my head: you come to visit me, and I can leave, and I’m with you. A man’s voice, but it’s not yours.
“I am the vampire.”
I laugh for the first time since I’ve been here.
“I am a phlebotomist. It comes from the Greek word for ‘vein’. I have come to take your blood.”
I can tell this is not the first time he has told this joke. I stretch out my arm and watch as he slides the needle from the IV out and replaces it with his own. 2 minutes pass in silence. I guess we’re both too tired to make any more jokes.
“I’m going to check these out and see if your blood is clean enough now for you to go home.”
I never really liked Halloween, but at least this time I met a real vampire.