Lysandra Porphyria realized, in hindsight, that perhaps continuing to live in University housing as a graduate student may not have been the best idea. The mouldering, half-eaten sandwiches, the “borrowed” underwear, the roommate’s mouth-breathing boyfriend – all that she could have coped with, but the noise! Graduate level biology is difficult enough, but through the nearly visible fog of blaring music and thumping bass, Lysandra could barely distinguish a macrophage from a lymphocyte. She simply had to find some peace and quiet, and the long-abandoned cemetery at the far corner of the campus seemed just the place since century-old corpses do not, as a rule, favor heavy metal. Being a sensible scientist, graveyards held no particular frisson for Lysandra, but she still noticed her hand shook a bit as she jiggled the gates on the ancient mausoleums, hoping she might find one unlocked. Indeed, she did; it was surely one of the oldest, the once-beautiful carving had completely eroded, and it was almost entirely engulfed in twining ivy. Night after night, she’d pack up her mini-generator and lamp, throw in a few candles for ambiance, grab some snacks and pillows and prop herself against the cool crypt inside the mausoleum for many hours of serene, noise-free studying. Well, it was inevitable that she would nod off some evening, and eventually she did, completely sedated by a particularly dry screed on bioengineering. She awoke with a start, and even though her generator had run out and her candles had extinguished, she could see perfectly clearly in the pitch black of the cold mausoleum, well enough to detect the blood on her fingertips after she touched the burning spot on her neck. She pulled a compact from her backpack to inspect the wound and saw – absolutely nothing. She was not there, no reflection at all! “Oh great!” she wailed, to no one in particular, “now I’m a vampire! Like it wasn’t hard enough to get financial aid before I was Undead!” Apparently hungry vampires in graveyards don’t care how smart you are. Being an Undead graduate student did have its advantages, however. She had a literal eternity to finish her thesis, for example, and unfettered access to experimental plasma – always a plus when she was feeling a bit peckish. Even so, her favored haunt for snacks was her old dormitory, and her roommate proved to be quite tasty despite her other less savory attributes.
This original artwork is copyright Ramona Szczerba 2009. Copyright is not transferable with the sale of this item. The buyer is not entitled to any reproduction rights – image cannot be reproduced without my express written permission. Thanks!