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Shell Shocked: Being a vampire in Sanibel is no easy chore

By ART STEVENS - | Aug 25, 2020

Art Stevens

I find it tough being the only male vampire in Sanibel. I have to stay in all day and only come out at night to play and dine. That’s why you never see me out in public during the day.

Another problem I have is that I need to drive into Fort Myers periodically at night in order to prevent myself from pouncing on Sanibel residents. The blood supply in Sanibel is very thin because of the age of most people here. I need healthy blood and need to hang out at late night fraternity parties at Gulf Coast University.

Whenever my wife and I arrange to meet socially with Sanibel friends for dinner I tend to stare longingly at their necks. What’s interesting is that no one has questioned the fact that I haven’t aged in the more than twenty years I’ve been in Sanibel. People who know me obviously think I have youthful genes.

I’ve looked long and hard to see if there are any other vampires in Sanibel but so far I haven’t come across any. The problem is the vampires I’ve known for centuries simply can’t afford homes in Sanibel. They tend to live near college campuses so that they can dine young and stay young. They say that there is an embarrassment of riches where they live. Sometimes I visit my friends in college towns and get there by way of overnight delivery via a Federal Express big box. While visiting with my old vampire friends I also manage to fatten up somewhat before returning home. But I can’t get any of my old friends to visit me in Sanibel.

Yes, I’ve made many friends in Sanibel but I’m concerned that one day they will find me out. Most people are rather uncomfortable around vampires and fear for their wellbeing. Not too many folks have a thing about living forever and that’s the real problem. They can’t imagine that their great grandkids could look older than they do one day.

I’ve been a vampire exactly 287 years. The year was 1733 and I was a member of the Cheyenne nation. Yes, I have Indian blood in me along with all the other ethnic traces of blood that I’ve accumulated through the centuries. I remember the moment I became a vampire. I was out hunting for bison when I came across a band of Spanish conquerors. I was chatting with them about what America would be like in a hundred years when they surrounded me, held me down and started biting my neck.

At first I thought that this was the Spanish way of greeting new friends. But after they left me I began to feel dizzy. That night I had the most incredible urge to drink blood. Now, mind you, I had never had a taste for drinking blood before. It certainly wasn’t a Cheyenne thing to do.

I went out of my village tepee that first night and wandered over to the nearby Mohican camp. I crept into the barracks tent of division A warriors and had my first neck bite. After that it became second nature to me.

I’m sure you guessed by now that my dog is also a vampire. How could it put up with me otherwise? I was single for about a hundred years after my initiation into the vampire nation and at that time we didn’t have online pet dating services. I met my dog about 135 years ago on the streets of New York and we’ve been together ever since. In fact, we’re about to celebrate our 130th year together very soon. I get goose pimples whenever I think about that.

But she and I have had to make major sacrifices living the vampire life. I can’t take her off the leash when we walk on the beach at night because she attacks very quickly. She, too, sleeps during the day so it makes life easier. It’s so wonderful that Sanibel has so many great restaurants. My dog and I often hang out outside restaurants waiting for our evening fluids. Sanibel has such a great night life. I can honestly say my dog and I are literally out every night. We’re very sensitive about biting necks in Sanibel though and often cross the causeway into Fort Myers. We’re eager to protect the environment in Sanibel because if we didn’t would Sanibel still be Sanibel?