Aphelion Issue 266, Volume 25
October 2021
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Valentine’s Day Cheap Thrill

by Michael Dority

You want a thrill? Then I’ve got something tasty for you.

Remember Poe’s story The Masque of the Red Death about Prince Prospero trying to avoid the bubonic plague? Didn’t work. Everyone died. Even the rich guy.

So here we are, two shots in, and the next booster is just on the horizon. The chances of the fully vaccinated catching the Delta variant are up to 43% and rising. Pfizer says it won’t be long, and the government will soon agree.

What’s this got to do with Valentine’s Day? It’s easy. I’m a vampire. Valentines are the shape of a heart, and the color of blood.

The life is the blood.

Who’d have thought it? Just imagine the risk to me now. I won’t die. But oh, the indigestion.

Not something commonplace. No, it makes me vomit blood. Then I’m prowling for more. Never knowing when I’ll be poisoned again.

The wretched pestilence has fouled my food supply.

…Always wondering, does he have it? Does she?

It’s an equal opportunity debilitation.

Step right up, take a bite and spin the wheel of misfortune.

The alive and undead are all victims now.

2021 Michael Dority

Michael Dority has recently had the following stories accepted for publication:

  • “Heaven’s Black Top Hat,” Schlock, March 2021
  • "World of Sensations,” Black Petals, October 2021
  • "Peril of the Lamperosa, Parts 1 and 2,” Schlock October/November 2021

Find more by Michael Dority in the Author Index.

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