Petals of the Rose
How to Part a Vampire From His Blood
As Dim and Jacob pack up to run off into the Hedge again, Olga expresses surprise. “Where did you meet a vampire?”
“Radio cab.” Olga just raises an eyebrow and goes to gather the other ingredients.
Waconda recalls that the name on the cabbie’s license was Hakim. He calls a cab and convinces them he’s willing to wait as long as is necessary to get the cabbie he wants. It seems Hakim always takes a night shift. He and Shika settle in to wait for the guy to arrive.
While they are waiting, they talk about how they are possibly going to convince a vampire to part with his blood. Seems like an awfully big deal and they ponder about it for a little while. Shika brings up the idea that maybe they can ensnare him in a pledge. Waconda says that in order for that to work, they’ll need to perform the verbal equivalent of a blitz. They formalize a plan and wait…
When the cab arrives outside the Shelter, they get in, and Waconda takes the passenger seat next to the vampire cabbie. They ask for a destination down in Wilsonville in order to make the trip take as long as possible.
Waconda begins the blitz. “So, you may not know this, but we asked for you specifically. Hakim.”
The cabbie looks over at him as he drives. “Is that so?”
“Yeah, that’s so. We figure we need some help that only someone like you can give us.”
“When was the last time you gave blood?”
“I don’t give blood.”
“That’s a shame, because I think you really want to help us.”
“Why would I want to do that?”
“Because we know you’re a vampire.” Hakim steps on the brake, pulling the cab to a screeching halt. “And I’d hate for that knowledge to become common knowledge.”
“You need to get out of my cab.”
Shika offers, “You should hear him out.”
“So we know what you are. And instead of making your… life… uncomfortable, I’m willing to offer you a trade. One pint of your blood now, and some time in the future, you can get a favor of equal value from me.”
“Why should I trust you to follow through on that? I don’t know you.”
“Here’s a number you can reach me at. You call me, and I’ll do one thing for you. All I ask is one pint of your blood, and I promise you won’t come to any harm from it. Curse me if I’m lying. What do you say?”
“Alright, if it will get you out of my cab, I’ll do it. I don’t know why I don’t just kill you both.” As he states his agreement, Waconda feels the Wyrd lurch, and he instills a little Glamour into the moment to bind the pledge together: a pint of blood now, and a favor later, with either party cursed if he reneges.
Shika smirks. “Because you don’t know what we’re capable of.” She offers him an empty Mountain Dew bottle. Reluctantly, the vampire bites open his own wrist and allows his thick, dark blood to drizzle into the bottle until it is mostly full. He licks the wound closed and hands the bottle to Shika. She screws the lid down on it.
Hakim looks Waconda in the eye, and there’s something predatory there. “Get out of my cab.” Sensing the opportunity to make the best of the deal, Waconda says “done” and climbs out of the cab. Shika exits as well. Without even trying, he’s fulfilled his half of the bargain and gotten away free and clear.
The vampire seems to sense that he’s been had, and he shouts “FUCK!” at no one in particular before gunning the engine and driving off.
Shika holds up the bottle of blood. “Vampire blood: check.” They catch another cab back to the Shelter.