Discover more from Untitled RomCom
Vampires are a thing now.
You heard it here first.
So back when I was writing this ~thing~ that I was definitely going to turn into a book-like thing, I’d written about 400 words of sweet, sweet exposition. No finesse to speak of. The intention was always to go back and expertly weave it into the narrative, to set the stage and engage in world-building in a non-hamfisted way. I just had to get it all down on paper first lest I forget my own parameters as I wrote. Well! Lucky for… whoever, I *didn’t* turn it into a book and really don’t plan to, so! Enjoy 400-odd words of sweet, sweet exposition.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Vampires are a thing now, in case you’re wondering. Apparently they’ve always been a thing, technically, but they were big on secrecy for millennia. All that changed 20 years ago. Norah was 6, Shelby 3 (editor’s note: this might change, intentionally or otherwise); so they didn’t know the difference. They had older cousins, but current affairs education in their local high school was severely lacking.
So the family kids didn’t really understand much of what was going on except that the vampire novels their weirdo cousin Liz read were at least partly autobiographical for some of the writers. The most their various cousins got were the rumors school hallways always produced, which trickled down to Norah and Shelby, though they usually just parroted them without much context:
- The vampires were only pretending to be peaceful. They were probably plotting to kill us all.
- Vampires all have rabies.
- Vampires had poisoned the food in the school cafeteria. That’s why the mystery meat tasted so bad.
- Jane Murphy was probably a vampire. That’s why she was such a slut.
None of it was true, of course, but no one knew – cared to know? – any better. It was one of those things the adults didn’t want to talk about with anybody under the age of eighteen, like terrorism or sex. Good suburban kids who didn’t walk alone at night wouldn’t get mixed up with vampires, at least not until they discovered them on their own in college.
It happened exactly how her parents hoped, and also feared. Norah grew up not giving it all much mind, graduated, went to college, started reading the newspaper and figured out what this vampire stuff was really about. By the time she got to college, the US was already well over a decade into this “new” reality – the definition of “new” being flexible since apparently much of the rest of the world had been keen to the reality for a while.
All it took for the Great American Wake-Up was a mid-size metro daily successfully suing the Department of Homeland Security for its vampire records (or something like that. The wiki makes the rounds on Twitter on occasion). They didn’t get everything but they got enough to do some number crunching. According to the government’s own data on this “new” plague — data going back just about to the time of the country’s founding — vampires really weren’t anymore dangerous than anybody else. Vampires had technically killed more people than regular humans had, but it was like saying brunettes committed more murders than redheads — worth a few “News at 11’s”, but ultimately statistically insignificant. This fact was widely reported, then vehemently branded liberal media brainwashing, and eventually grudgingly accepted.
Which brought the world to where it was today — 20 years later. And specifically, where Norah was — this really superb rec hall situation. Because vampires are a thing.