Make the universe a better place! Join Daily Science Fiction for only $15 / year, support us via Patreon, or donate any amount.
Take me to a...
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
For more options, try our:
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Kindle Edition
DSF stories are available in monthly digests for Kindle!
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
If you've already submitted a story, you may check its:
Not just rockets & robots...
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

The Cool Kids

Elly Bangs was raised in a new age cult, had six wisdom teeth, and once rode her bicycle alone from Seattle to the Panama Canal. Now she lives in Seattle, where she fixes machines for a living and stays up all night revising her post-apocalyptic cyberpunk novel. Her short fiction has also appeared in Strange Horizons and the Bikes in Space anthology, and she's a 2017 graduate of Clarion West. Follow her on Twitter: @elly_bangs.

For a solid year I was riding high, getting my fix, partying all night and sleeping all day--just like Phinneas, cool and white as snow, who had mortals of all genders falling over themselves to be tasted; who had been twenty-something for centuries. I thought we'd surf that ruby-red high forever, me and him and the other Cool Kids, and I'd never have to suffer my own reflection again. But I woke up one night with an awful taste in my mouth, and when I brushed my teeth, there I was again in the silvered glass above the sink: hazy, translucent, but undeniably there. I almost screamed.
"When's the last time you drank, Jason?" Phinneas muttered, stretching awake.
"If I don't get blood I turn human again?" I sounded like a noob, but I was panicking. I could feel my skin rising above room temperature like a fever.
"Relax! Plenty of blood on the dance floor."
We went hunting in the club, but my confidence was shot. My moves didn't work with gravity pulling so hard. I was sick with my own heat, less Cool by the minute. I was perspiring. I'd forgotten how bad a warm body could smell. I kept tonguing my receding canines. No mortal would offer me a neck.
Phinneas shouted in my ear: "Drink up already! You're bringing me down!"
"My animal magnetism is gone."
"Then don't ask. Just take."
I tried. I found someone all but passed out drunk, but when her neck was right there my appetite ripped out from under me. Without the seduction, without the hypnotically-induced consent, something grotesque about the act of drinking was laid bare. I almost threw up. I ran off into the night, too sick and full of shame to look back or say goodbye.
I ran into Phinneas several years later in the early hours of some night. I invited him out for coffee. I thought we could catch up: we'd been close, once.
"You're getting old, Jason," he said, rather viciously. I'd just turned 31; he was as twenty-something as ever.
"It's not all bad," I said. I calmly considered my reflection in the black mirror of the window, finally at peace with itself--and for just a second the thinnest trace of Phinneas was reflected there with me, grimacing, turning away in self-disgust.
He left without another word, and I stayed up to watch the sunrise.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, April 9th, 2018

Author Comments

I've always found vampires to be oddly rule-based. Modifying or adding a single rule can have interesting effects. Still, vampirism can never be scarier than its alternative: getting older, reckoning with who you are, and taking responsibility for the harm you do to others. These are things a lot of people would like to avoid at all costs, but they are limitlessly worthwhile.

- Elly Bangs
Become a Member!

We hope you're enjoying The Cool Kids by Elly Bangs.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction does not have a paywall, but we do have expenses—more than 95% of which are direct payments to authors for their stories. With your $15 membership, less than 6 cents per story, we can continue to provide genre fiction every weekday by email and on the website to thousands of readers for many years to come. You may also choose to support us via patreon.

Rate This Story
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

5.2 Rocket Dragons Average
Share This Story
Join Mailing list
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):