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I relate this story because it causes me no small amount of mirth. My name is William, I am a vampire. I will forego most of history as it is not even worth remembering to write down. I will say that I was born twice in the latter part of the 1300's in London. After my second birth I had new rules to learn. They are the common rules that are part of the lore of my kind.

Sunlight can be harmful with prolonged exposure. Not in the sense of bursting into flames spontaneously. More in the sense of sunburning quickly and badly. I still enjoy the sunrises and sunsets.

Silver has an anaphylactic response. There's nothing holy or special about the material, it's just that the majority of us are allergic to it. The same goes with garlic, though not to the severity of silver. More likely to develop hives with garlic and have seizures with silver.

Drinking blood is of course something we do, and most of us that remain in the world have become rather picky in our selections, particularly with the spikes in popularity thanks to some mediocre authors and equally mediocre films. We have a waiting list of those who want to be fed on. They'd never believe us if we outed ourselves as vampires, after all, they're "vampires" too.

Not able to enter a dwelling without permission, another falsehood I must express. The history behind this is a good story, but perhaps for another time. However, I will say we have good manners when it comes to other people's dwellings, and will accept invitations when asked in. We have also been known to break and enter if we know someone is inside that may have seen something they shouldn't.

The rule I wish to discuss, and that gives me so many moments of laughter is that of the holy symbol. Most often portrayed as a crucifix or a cross. Any holy symbol will do actually. However, there is a single caveat.

A friend and I were vacationing in part of Sweden this last winter. They had never seen the Northern Lights and Sweden's a fun place for visiting, as well as witnessing their marvels. So we found a small town whose name eludes me, near the coast and rented a room from a lovely couple. While they sorted things with the room, I snuck out for a snack as it had been a long flight.

Blood tastes the same for us as it does for mortals. I'd say the biggest difference is that the taste is quite enjoyable for us. I sniffed out a meal, walking alone on one of the small paths in the town. I swooped in and fed and left before he even knew what had happened. A few seconds passed and he got up, cursing and kicking at a stone that was on the path behind him.

After feeding I turned to make my way back to the house when I saw my actions had a witness. Witnesses are not something that we allow, and we've strict guidelines for dealing with them. First I walked toward them, friendly like. Sometimes they don't know what they saw, and engaging in conversation can dilute the uneasiness they might feel. We like to take advantage of the human's capacity for explaining away strange occurrences. Like with the man I fed on, it was simple him tripping over a rock.

So I walked toward her in a non threatening manner, and they reacted poorly. They got tense and they turned to run from me. So I had to move on to alternative 4, giving chase and then finding a place to hide the body. Not the easiest in an area I've not been to since the plagues. I wanted to avoid this.

The woman ran, I followed and caught up quickly. I grabbed at her arm and she tugged away hard, spinning herself around and falling to the ground. I took a few steps toward her and froze. Paralysed, not by my choosing or ability. I was stuck there as she pushed herself away from me trying to get back up. When she spun back around I was able to move again. As you may have probably guessed, she was wearing a holy symbol.

I closed in on her again and killed her quickly and dragged her away from the path. I took my time and had a full meal. I would like to state that I prefer not to kill anyone, as it arouses suspicions and makes life generally more difficult for those of us that remain. As I went over her body, the usual things, identification, money, and so forth, I found her holy symbol. I plucked it off, a simple wooden carved relic. I literally mean relic, it had to have been older than I was. I pocketed it and buried her belongings a couple hundred feet away from where she laid, then carried her body the other direction and left it in a field. Over the years you get good at faking death scenes. This wasn't the best, but it wouldn't be discovered hopefully until sunrise in a few weeks. I returned to the house and apologised to my friend that we would have to leave sooner, I was feeling really ill and it would be best to head for a town with a hospital. We paid the full rent for the time we would have stayed and requested the nearest city with a hospital.

In the car my friend lets out a sigh and asked what happened. The explanation was short and they were curious about the pendant I had taken. When we were safely on the road heading toward Norway I pulled it out and handed it to him.

He's new to the fold and hasn't had the time to learn everything, so he asked me what you may have asked. Why doesn't it paralyse us right now. This is why it makes me laugh.

A holy symbol only holds power when in possession of the faithful. Before this I don't remember the last time a holy symbol was wielded at me by a faithful person. I made note of it mentally this time, because the faithful have become few and far between. I have to say though whomever that young woman was, she truly believed in the power of Odin.

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