The Vampire With Braces

Rhiannon Lotze

little vampire

Illustration by Sal Jackson

On Frank’s first day of school he hugged six vampergarteners and complimented three of them. Of course he was sent home with a note that said:

We are sorry to inform you that your son Frank has been an incredible angel. He hugged and complimented some of our students and has just been all-around nice to everyone. If you cannot get your son to stop acting so good, he will be expelled.
Worst Wishes,
Headmistress Batty

Frank’s parents had known that he was an unusual vampire from the day he was delivered by the stork. Oh, sure, there were no outward appearances of it, but they knew just the same. Despite Frank’s pale complexion and jet-black hair, his blood-red lips and sharp baby fangs, Frank just wasn’t a proper vampire. For one thing, when he was flown in by the stork, it wasn’t on Halloween like every other baby. He was flown in on can you believe it? Valentine’s Day! I mean, if he had been born on October 30th, Devil’s Night, that would be okay because he’d surly turn out a horrible son, but Valentine’s Day? Weird.

Whenever his parents tucked him in at morning, he hugged them instead of trying to bite them. When Frank tried to hug them, Mr. and Mrs. Frank’s Parents pressed themselves against the wall and screamed.

Then there was his name. When he was delivered, the label read Frank. Everyone else had an actual vampire name like Jon, which stands for jugulars or nothing. Frank didn’t stand for anything. It was just Frank. Boring!

Frank also tried to sleep during the night, but everyone knows that vampires are nocturnal. And he cuddled his stuffed animals instead of ripping their heads off, and he didn’t want to drink bottles of blood. His parents had to force him to, and then he would only drink it cold, straight out of the dungeon blood cellar, instead of warmed up in the microwave.

The letter from the headmistress at Frank’s school was the last straw for his parents. They told him that if he wouldn’t be bad, they would put him out in the sun to burn.

So Frank ripped the heads off of his stuffed animals and he punched all the kids in his class. He even bit his parents a couple of times for good measure. At the end of the week his parents were so proud of Frank’s horrendous behaviour that they gave him his first vampire cloak. Frank pretended to be happy about it but later, in his room, he cried.

In the next couple of years, Frank kept on behaving badly. He became the worst kid in school, and all the teachers hated him and gave him straight A’s.

When Frank was twelve, he had to go to the vampodontist.

Remember to bite his fingers, Frank’s Mother reminded him.

And break all his tools, too, said Father.

I will, Frank told them.

Frank let the dentist look at his fangs and he bit the dentist’s probing fingers several times.

Finally, the dentist said, Frank, you need braces.

No one in the history of vampires had ever needed braces. How was Frank supposed to fit in now?

The dentist continued, If you sit still, I can put them on you right now.

So while the dentist put the braces on, naturally Frank squirmed and fidgeted. When the dentist finished, Frank looked in the vampire looking glass. Now he didn’t look like a typical vampire anymore and he didn’t want to act like one, either. He was already set apart from the rest of them, and the braces just proved that.

Then, as Frank stared at himself, his skin changed from pale to peach, his lips from blood-red to healthy pink, his hair from black to dirty blonde, and his teeth shrank and blunted. Frank left the office through the back door, braces still in place, and entered into the human world.

If you go to the office now you’ll see Frank’s parents there, still waiting patiently for Frank to come out, but he is never coming back.

“The Vampire with Braces” is Rhiannon Lotze’s first submission and publication. She is thirteen years old and lives with her family, paper and pencils.