2018 - City Unknown
I clicked on the small round red icon with a white robot on it and soon enough was redirected to the home page of reddit. The small red envelope on top let me knew that I had one message to read, but I set it aside, preferring to browse the "best" of the subs I was following.
Five minutes later, and a little deeper than where I was at the beginning, I couldn't take it anymore. That little red icon kept calling me, the bright color always in the corner of my vision, in the corner of my mind. I knew who it was. It could only be him, and the thought both filled me with excitation and dread. I ignored it for three threads before giving in. Sighing, I clicked on the inbox button.
And as expected, there is was, the only message in my unread box. Mikemotor had answered.
You would ask "What the hell is a vampire doing on reddit?" And I would answer with "Well, everyone needs to pass the time, especially vampires who have copious amount of it on their hands".
So yes, this is how I found myself on reddit, wasting hours and hours away on popular and not so popular subs. What had brought me here first was my interest in modern mechanics and more particularly in mechanical transports. Cars, buses, trains, planes, motorcycle… It was so fascinating the way humans found new ideas to move themselves! Hell, I was as excited as a child when the overboard got out! And yes, I did buy one. And also, yes, I did fall and then kept the damn thing in my closet never to be brought out again. But it had been fun.
So, in my constant search for more information about these moving vehicles that did not involves any animal of any kind, I stumbled upon the website reddit and decided it was good enough to feed me information that I was seeking. The community aspect was also what drew me to it. You actually interacted with other people, and for a vampire as old as me, it was something I was always searching. Interacting with other humans, it helped me stay in touch with the real world, helped learn the slangs, the new trends… It was the best way for me to try to keep an ounce of humanity. It was hard trying to keep up when you could only come out at night. And even if I could come out during the day, the truth was, after years of being a vampire, there was this impassable barrier that kept you from the humans. You sought them out when you needed them, but socializing? God forbid.
So I took what I could and lived on social interaction through a screen with stranger. And this is how I met u/mikemotor. It had started with small interactions, I saw him make a comment on r/MotorcyclePorn, and then on r/Motorcycle and then on every subs that I had a relation by far or not with motorcycles. I had first responded to one of his comments on one sub, then on another sub, and before I knew it, we were following each other and started a private conversation about whether one should go Italian or Japanese when choosing a racing motorcycle. But that was two five hundred messages ago.
I had learned quite a few things about him, his name was Mike (big surprise there), he was a mechanic working in a garage that specialized in motorcycles (which explained all the motorcycle subs he was on), he was 34, was an only child, liked old and classic rock though he rarely went to concert or festival, liked spicy food (that one was very interesting as people eating a lot of spicy food had… interesting blood), and a surprise encounter on a gay nsfw sub let me knew what was Mike's sexuality and that he took working out very seriously and was what the gay community would label as "a wolf".
We both learned that we lived in the same city, and it was only a matter of time before one of us asked to meet "irl". The day was tomorrow night. Mike had asked if I fancied having a beer with him, and while I told him I did not drink beer (I did not drink except blood really) I agreed to meet him after sundown. The message he had just sent me was to confirm the time and place. I replied shortly, telling it was fine on my end.
I closed the computer, rubbing my eyes, it was an old habit very humanlike that I had actually never gotten rid of. I never needed to actually rub my eyes.
Musing about our meeting of tomorrow I closed the computer and went about my night.
As I lay in my bed, getting ready to sleep for the day, I couldn't help the small flutter of nerve that buzzed in my stomach. That was new, and I for one, did not dislike it.
I glanced around the street, crossing when there was a pause in traffic, heading to the pub on the other side. The Beacon red in green letter above the door of the bar. It wasn't a fancy or too modern bar like you found in the city centre. This one was in a discreet street, the front in warm brown wood, the dark green letters on it giving a comforting vibe. The music inside was good, the people there nice, the drink (from what I gathered) where good, everything inside was comfy and clean. Said like that, it was a perfect bar. Little did people know, The Beacon was also a "mixed" bar, like the community liked to call them. And I'm speaking about the general supernatural community. The bar was owned by a couple of demons, and contrary to some more selective club that used witchcraft to keep humans at bay, The Beacon welcomed everyone.
Now, did Mike knew that? Or was he just a normal human that had stumbled upon this gem and decided it would be a good place for a first date. I mean, first meeting an "irl" friend.
I shrugged the slight discomfort that had settled in my stomach and opened the door. Immediately the noise and the smell were too much for me. Cons of being a vampire with super sensitive sense. Still in the entrance, I tried to get my bearing. Relaxing, I searched through the crowd for Mike. He had told me he would be wearing a black leather jacket, but really, how many people wore leather jacket to go out? That's right, a shit ton.
Apprehension growing, I scanned the crow once more, trying to find something, picking up leather jackets man before setting them aside, and then, there, at the back, sitting alone at a table, I saw him.
I would have recognized the built and the presence everywhere. Strong arms, large chest, long brown hair, and eyes so dark they almost seemed black in the dimmed light.
Something dropped, setting heavy in the pit of my stomach.
I made my way to Mike, keeping my eyes on him, soon enough he shifted and looked up my way. His gazed fixed mine, and there, just now it came, his eyes widened in realization.
I stopped in front of the table and looking him up and down. For a wolf, Mike was a damn wolf. As in, a fucking werewolf.
I opened my mouth to speak, not even knowing what was going to come out, before Mike’s guffaw interrupted me.
"You must be Erwin, I'm Mike" he stood, extending a hand, "it's a surprise, but I can't say I'm mad.", we shook hand, and I belatedly noticed that my body had decided to act on its own accord.
I nodded to him, hand still clapped together. When they had first touched, the deep feeling in my stomach had stirred, filling from my head to my toes with warmth. Mike's hand still in mine, I stared at him, that feeling, that warm feeling, I knew it. It was the feeling that I knew this man. I was familiar with this hand, with this half smile, with that twinkle in his eyes. I knew him. And as sure as I knew him, I also knew that this was the first time I was seeing this man in my entire life.
"Mike," I finally took my hand away, not sure how to respond to this new development. Mike smiled back, but it was strained, like something was also on his mind. His eyes went unfocused a short time before fixing on me again.
"Erwin", he sat down, gesturing to the seat in front of him for me to sit too, "I'd offer you something to drink, but I guess you wouldn't be quite pleased with what they have on the menu here".
I sat, smiling faintly, still trying to figure out how to go from there.
We sat, staring at each other, not saying a word. A damn werewolf. Mike was probably thinking the same thing, trying to figure out how in hell had he befriended a damn vampire.
I cleared my throat, trying to find something to say.
"So you come here often?" I heard my mouth utter the word, while my brain was simultaneously screaming at me to shut it. All those years living, all the beauty of poetry, romance, music I lived through, and all I could say was that awful pickup line? But Mike laughed, his eyes crinkling, and once again that warm feeling washed all over me.
"Come on, I'll go get something to drink, we'll talk and who knows, maybe you will get something to drink later tonight", he said standing up. He winked at me before disappearing in the crowd.
You might as well enjoy your night, you old bat.