Hopefully you’ll find this a little more entertaining/humorous than my last post. I wrote this piece last month for my writing group. Our assignment was to write a short piece imitating the style of “Orientation” by Daniel Orozco, a witty, satirical short story that uses a deadpan, second person voice and inane details to desensitize you to the oddities taking place in an Office Space or Dilbert-like cubicle farm (it reminded me a bit too much of my old workplace). I had a lot of fun writing this. I hope you enjoy it!
Writing Exercise: Try your own hand at writing a short piece in this style of voice. Post a link in the comments to your piece!
This is the alleyway, and here’s the bar where we like to hunt. Come on inside, and you’ll see two areas: the dance floor, and the lounge. The dance floor is the elders’ territory. You can take your pick from the lounge. Never feed IN the bar. Except in the bathroom. That’s okay. But only during an emergency. Try to get your victim out of the bar and into the alley before you begin to feed. If you have an emergency and need to feed in the bathroom, ask your master first. If you can’t find your master, ask any older vampire who isn’t currently feeding, but try not to be too intrusive if he’s busy charming a victim. If you feed in public, you will be punished. You don’t want to know how.
You must pace yourself when you feed. What do I mean? I’m glad you asked that. We pace our feeding according to the 2-pint night–one body to drain–at least to begin with. If the whole gang is going somewhere and we’re taking down a crowd and you’ve got four bodies to feast on, pace them out; don’t suck them dry all at once. Alternatively, if we’re headed into a desert spell and one’s gotta last you a whole week, sip on her. A little here, a little there–make her last. She’ll get drowsy and regenerate more supply. Good question, good question. Ask too many though, and you won’t see the outside of a coffin for a long while.
As I was saying, that’s the ladies room, and that’s the men’s. Don’t get them confused. Only use your designated restroom to primp and only use it to feed in an emergency with prior approval. If you see a lady go into the men’s room, do not follow her. It could either be someone going in to meet the Master, or, there are a handful of cross-dressers around.
There are three bartenders: two men named Andrew, who look completely different, and a woman named Erika. Never speak to the bartenders. Don’t even look at them. Pretend they don’t exist.
The emergency exit is in the back of the bar, past the restrooms. An alarm will sound if you use it. Try not to use it. If you end up covered in blood and you can’t remember where it came from, use it and run. Run like the wind.
If you cut yourself, your skin will magically knit back together. If you break a bone, it will magically heal too. There will still be blood, ooze, and pain. But you’ll get over it. Pretty quickly too. It’s kinda awesome. You want a demo? No? Alright, maybe later.
You can’t eat food anymore. Can’t drink anything either. The only thing you can consume is blood. If you try to eat or drink anything else, you’ll just barf. I’ll let you try that one on your own.
You can’t have any contact with your former family or friends. No one you used to know. If any of them ever show up at the bar, point them out to your master, then leave. Your master will make sure they are not on the night’s menu. If you can’t find your master, find an elder vampire. Go down the list. If you can’t find anyone else, feel free to ask me.
Can I see your cell phone? Thanks! No, you can’t have it back.
Sorry about that. Doesn’t look like the SIM chip survived. This is your new cell phone. It has the whole gang’s digits pre-programmed into it. Only call if you’re in a bind or if you’ve been invited to call. I think that about covers it. And we’re back in the lounge.
I call dibs on the redhead. Yes, I can do that.
It’s fun breaking out of your routine to try to imitate someone else’s voice sometimes, especially if that writer has a strong voice. It’s a good learning experience. It’s something we did often in the Fiction Writing class I took at De Anza college. I think it’s a helpful exercise when you’re trying to figure out what exactly your own voice is. I highly recommend trying it on occasion.
In other news, the process of revising my novel to incorporate an urban fantasy element by introducing a new character has become more involved than I expected. I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s fun though. She’s spunky. The other night when my husband came home from work, I bit him on the shoulder (not hard). He asked me, “What’s gotten into you?” I shrugged. I think it was a bit of my character.
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