Drabble 170 – Hemeralopia

A cropped photo of a woman smiling with ice cream in one hand and a bouquet in the other.

I was never all that afraid of monsters, until I read an interview where someone (I believe it was Sarah Michelle Gellar, but I can’t be sure) was asked, “Do you believe in vampires?” Her response was something like, “I can’t answer, because either way would make them angry.”

That didn’t make me believe in vampires, suddenly, but it did mean that every time I wandered outside at night, I imagined that they could be lurking behind every tree, or underneath a car, ready to grab me and spirit me away. The thought was exciting, not just because I (like many mid-2000s kids and teenagers—this is the time when I was reading Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and later Charlaine Harris) was enamored with the concept of vampires, but also because if they did exist, that left room for all kinds of other creepy things to be out there, too.

I didn’t love the idea that the myths were true, but nor did I hate it. There’s something appealing in the idea that we don’t really know what’s there in the darkness.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

HEMERALOPIA

(n.) from Greek ημέρα for “day” and αλαός for “blindness

Day blindness, or an aversion to sunlight.

“This is kind of an awkward question,” she says, pausing between licks of ice cream. “But the stories say—”

“Oh, the stories,” the other woman sighs, rolling her eyes behind dark sunglasses.

“They say you can’t come out in daytime.”

Ice cream hurts her pointed teeth, so she can only imagine the taste. “And yet, here I am.”

“Right.” 

“Thing is, moonlight is just reflected sunlight. If it was true, I’d only be able to go out on new moon nights. Just a myth.”

One hand slips into another. “I’m glad. You’re much too pretty to hide away all day.”

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