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Throw away your Bram Stoker, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, Anita Blake, Sookie Stackhouse and Stephenie Meyer novels (in fact, burn the latter, and dance on the ashes for me) – fiction isn’t going to help you now.   Take it straight from the – er – horse’s mouth.   Listen up, boys and girls.   Here’s how to really tell if that pale sardonic guy who sits next to you in English class (the one who doesn’t give a fuck about what he’s meant to be learning and occasionally smiles at you with too many teeth showing?) is the real deal…


He holds your gaze too long to be comfortable.

He wears dark clothes, dark shades and shuns the sun.

He stays up all night, listening to unsettling music, reading bitter violent fiction, playing murder-and-mayhem video games too well, or wandering the streets in the dark.   When asked why, he’ll shrug.

He tends to be monosyllabic because lying about himself takes so much effort and you’re not worth the trouble.

He smokes recklessly because he’s secure in the knowledge that he’s immortal and cigarettes can’t kill him.

He’s picky about what he eats and drinks though, and in public it rarely involves anything of any nutritious value.

He’s hostile and offensive at any kind of public social gathering because he knows he doesn’t belong with these fucking people.

He has issues with authority figures because a) he’s old enough to be their… something, for starters, and b) they always just look like lunch meat to him anyway.

He has an uncanny ability to always turn up at the sites of arguments, accidents and injuries, and he’ll hang around afterwards, looking at any remains of the carnage.

He laughs and sneers at gothic fiction although he reads and watches it all, and has a disturbing habit of licking his lips during horror films.

He tends to fill his room with gruesome pictures and ghoulish memorabilia because it makes him feel at home.

He offers to do the dissections for you in biology class, and takes far too long over it.

He has , you suspect, a rarified taste for personal and ruthless violence, though you’ll rarely see him indulge it.

He clearly thinks he’s superior to you, though he’d be happy to use you in any way for his own ends.

He makes you uncomfortable because you never know what he’s thinking.

He’s still watching you as you walk away now.


Fuck.   Doesn’t really narrow it down for you, does it?   Oh well – better to be safe than sorry, I always say.   Besides, if you do accidently get left alone with him on a dark winter evening after missing your ride, or late one night at that party you knew shouldn’t have gone to, and he smiles more than usual and comes a bit closer and forgets to blink, well – then you’ll know, won’t you?

Of course, you’ll probably also be dead.   Sorry about that.





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