“Rose soda, huh?”

“Yeah. They have the original kind here, where the bubbles have thorns.”

“Doesn’t that hurt your tongue?”

“A little bit, yeah. And it always tastes a bit like blood as a result. But I love the texture.” 

“I remember that my dad used to love it, too. He used to mix some with vodka before he went hunting. Said that it helped the blood get into his system faster.”

“Oh yeah. Sometimes I forget that you were raised by vampires.”

“Sometimes I forget, too. Sorry for bringing it up.”

“No, no need to apologize. I find it interesting. I have to admit, I don’t know very much about them.”

“Well, I know more than I’d like, so feel free to take some of my knowledge.”

“You don’t mind talking about it?”

“Only if you don’t.”

“Huh. Well, there is one thing that I’ve always wondered about. When a vampire drinks blood, where does it actually go? Does it just drain into their stomach like other drinks do? Or are there special siphons hidden in those teeth, like the sort mosquitos have?”

“Well, that’s probably the most interesting part. It doesn’t actually go anywhere, you see.”


“Vampires need to drink blood because they exist in a state of blood debt. Their veins are filled with a sort of negative blood, which never leaves their system- it only ever bleeds inward. Because of this, drinking blood is something of an interest payment- it cancels out the opposite stuff that keeps accumulating inside of them. Without this process of negation, the internal pressure would just continue to build until they imploded.”

“Wow.” She paused. “That is not what I expected at all. So, whatever blood they drink ceases to exist?”

“Well, an accountant probably wouldn’t agree with that way of describing it, but yeah.”

“And how does one end up in blood debt in the first place?”

“Just like you might expect- by the vampire borrowing a second life after death has already claimed them. All they have to do is accept a single drop of the substance from another vampire, and the debt will continue to compound until it fills their corpse. After that point, it’s just a matter of keeping their books balanced.”

“And what happens if they pay off the debt completely?”

“Then they’re back at net zero blood, which means they’re physically dead.”

“Oh. So at that point, it’s better to just stay in debt?”

“Depends on how you look at it. My dad didn’t think so, for instance.”

“Why not?”

“Well, the way that he explained it to me, once you’ve been a vampire for a while, paying it off starts to look like a much better ending than the alternatives.”

Negative matter tends to have curious properties.

Being dead always takes some getting used to.

A second cardiovascular system makes for interesting blood accounting.