You’d think that being the only human amongst a family of vampires, werewolfs, and shapeshifters would suck. Hell, it’s a perfect premise for young adult novel. I can picture it now: a young hero or heroine is facing an identity crisis while their mother is out every full moon fighting hunters, their father is a night owl who can’t stand the sunlight but is a leader of a vampire collective, and their sister is a shapeshifter that could assume the form of anything, from spying on her fellow classmates as a tiny sparrow, to assuming the prom queen’s form to make a real bitch out of her in front of the student body. Meanwhile the protagonist is just all “woe is me” until they either learn to carve their own path or by the end of the second book they discover that they’re actually a shapeshifting-were-vampire or something. That was never my case.
Yes, my mother gets to live an awesome life defending her kind by hunting down werewolf hunters every full moon. Yes, my father is the head chair of his local vampire council. And yes, my sister has and continues to, make an ass out of everybody that has crossed her. From ruining the prom queen’s life, to making her ex-boyfriends appear as real dicks, and even assuming the form of her teachers to change her grades. Finally yes, I was jealous at first that I wasn’t gifted with their abilities. Who wouldn’t want to transform into a badass wolf warrior? Or have the longevity of a vampire? Or be able to take the shape of the teacher that’s failing you and adjust your grades? They all sound fun, in theory. But over the years I’ve learned that my mundanity had been nothing more than a blessing upon me sparing me of the tedium and drama that comes with that of my family. Let’s start with my mother.
My mother is an awesome woman. She’s as good of a mom as she is a defender of her kind. Single handedly she’s taken out some of the most powerful werewolf hunters across the state, allowing her people to live and prosper and just live their damn life. All the while she still manages to wake up early enough to take her two children to school and be there for all of my band recitals and my sister’s games. But there are massive drawbacks to her life, such as constantly having to be on the alert for hunters. Which yeah, really sucks. Werewolves are an endangered species all thanks to dumb scared humans who can’t stand the notion that sometime people just turn into giant half-man half-wolf beasts at the sight of a full moon. Not to mention that the only way to control it is to not look at the full moon nor let its rays touch you. Which led to some some awkward moments during band recitals that just so happened to line up with he full moon. My mom would always have to get to the school early and then stay late. And if she transformed we’d have to lure her to the minivan with her favorite snacks (raw bacon), while my sister shifted into her form and drove us back home, all the while mom rattled in the backseat howling at the moon. It’s not easy covering that up.
Then there’s my dad, the most decorated and respected vampire in the whole state. The man was born here when it was first settled, cursed to become a vampire at the age of thirty-six, and hasn’t left the state ever since its founding a hundred and nine years ago. Despite his young age he had garnered quite the reputation amongst his peers, even among the vampire that cursed him. He has helped build an infrastructure worthy of his kind allowing for many of them to roam free without the threat of garlic and crosses. How he managed to do it is beyond me. Of course as he made the state better for vampires the increase in human disappearance had escalated significantly, making out state the “worst place for overnight campers” in the whole union, and yet the money he’s poured into the tourism board keeps the tourists coming and they keep being eaten by his kind. Nevertheless, he is a true statesman of the vampire sorts. A wonderful man and role model for sure, but his curse makes it damn hard to be a father. Very rarely would he attend anything my sister and I did because of his curse, especially in the summer months when the nights grew short. And his reclusive nature and determination to stick to the landlocked state he calls home means that we never ever took a trip to the beach.
And then there’s my sister, the shapeshifter. On the surface it appears she has it the best of us: she can go out in the day time, she didn’t rely upon the moon to transform her into a inhuman entity, and her talent makes it easy to get away with practically anything. Seems nice right? Wrong. Being a shapeshifter means always being on. Shapeshifting requires a mental fortitude that of a monk because there is no “true form” of a shapeshifter, their bodies are always trying to assume the form of whatever figure that graces their mind (willingly or not). They’re like water, taking whatever mental shape that they encounter. It took her years to control it before mom and dad deemed her stable enough to join public school. Now she’s in much better control and can maintain her “base form” quite well (although that doesn’t stop her from adding extra muscles to help her exceed at all the sports she plays). Not to mention juggling all of her identities. She’s worn so many faces and lived so many second and third lives behind them that she needs to remember who’s who and what she’s done in each form. Her room is full of notebooks outlining the many people she’d assume, or plans to assume, that she has no time for herself. She’s an addict, unable to keep a form for more than a few hours before changing to another, including her base form. It sounds stressful to be honest.
Finally, there’s me. The normal guy in the family. I have nothing special about me, not even my grades (and my sister won’t alter them for me, because of course she won’t). And honestly, I don’t mind it. It’s nice not having to worry about being hunted down. It’s great being able to go to the sun and enjoy the beach (which I hope to one day experience). And I like my body perfectly fine, thank you very much. I’m glad I got my parent’s recessive human genes, that way I can just live a normal life.
The prompt and inspiration for this story can be found here.