a postcard story dedicated by Chris to PAGM

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a postcard story dedicated by Chris to PAGM

When I became a vampath, I vowed I wouldn’t be like the others—draining victims of all positive emotion and leaving only bitter jealousy, burning anger, sour fear. I tried to feed only on those stewed in sorrow and anger. I had to hunt often to stay full, and I grew sluggish and sloppy, returning to the same prey too many times.

One night I woke to a dozen of my regular victims knocking at my door. “We know what you are, what you’ve been doing,” one said sternly. “It has to stop.”

I only stared at them, feeling like a monster in their eyes.

“You’re killing yourself. You need a break. Here.” She gently placed her hands on my face. “Last week, when you took away my anger, I was able to call my mother for the first time in ten years, and…”

She flooded me with the warmth of love’s old embers rekindled, tinged with the sweet regret of lost years. The shock of it took me to my knees, fuller and more complex than anything I’d tasted. One by one, the group shared morsels of their newfound joys and We filled the night with tears we did not understand.

Today, I do understand. I’ve opened a practice. I drain my patients’ excess negativity in exchange for donated positive emotions. Some days, I am run off my feet, but one thing makes it all worth it. For the first time in my unlife, I’ve been able to produce an emotion of my own: pride. Something mine, not borrowed or stolen. And I think in time, I can learn to make more.


Short story written by Peter Chiykowski, prompted by Chris McClaren

Story prompt taken from a photo by Warren Wong

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