A dreamer who writes and draws. In 2014, starting with the novel 『Plagiar』, he published a collection of short stories 『The Minotaur』, a collection of medium and short novels 『Falling』, 『Pink Monster』, a smart novel book 『Picture came to me and became a novel』, and a novel 『Sound of the Water Drum』. . brunch.co.kr/@kimmirra
Memory of the Coexistence Party
I opened the window because I was stuffed with the pandemic. I was worried that coronavirus would come in riding the wind. People don’t know that variated coronavirus can even make vampires sick. In fact, they don’t even know that vampires exist.
When I looked outside the window, cherry blossom petals were flowing in the air. It seemed like snowflakes that float in the night sky. Large cross kept appearing and then disappearing every time the decorative lights on an enormous building standing in the intersection would shine. For a moment, I turned my head, blocking the light from the cross with my hand. I closed my eyes for a while because I felt dizzy and then stretched my head outside the window. Cherry blossom petals poured onto me. It seemed like countless white butterflies were dancing, fluttering their wings. There were butterflies in my heart too. I felt bitter because they reminded me of Sharli who danced like a butterfly.
I participated in Poenari Caslte’s rehabilitation program every weekend when I was studying composition in Rumania. While I was wondering if I should quit or not because the process of abandoning my identity was too harsh, COVID-19 spread. So I instantly came back. However, one thing that was as scary as COVID-19 was blood withdrawal symptoms. You need to drink during the change of seasons and when you feel tired, sad, or excited. It’s like a vitamin that doesn’t affect you immediately but ultimately will negatively influence your life when you’re deprived of it.
After searching and searching for a way to solve the withdrawal symptoms, I made a community for similar species to gather and savor the blood. If you get infected with COVID-19 by hastily biting someone you don’t know, it is more fatal for us than ordinary humans. Wherever in the world they go, it is tough for social minorities both when something good happens and when something bad happens. We held a gathering for the coexistence once every 15 days for survival. We regulated the dress code as a black hoodie. Participants needed to provide the passcode sent individually from me upon entering, and body temperature was checked thoroughly. As we were gathering in a circle at the basement storage of a shopping center, we could smell the alcohol for disinfection everywhere. As the candlelight that sensed the smell of alcohol burned vigorously, the host of the coexistence ceremony opened the jukebox and played the COVID-19 music made by the scientists from MIT. It was made by transforming the protein structure of COVID-19 into a piece of performance music. The protein structure of COVID-19 is composed of approximately 1,200 min acid and it has a pointed surface like our hidden canine. The part is like the tooth that the virus uses to penetrate into the host cell, which makes it a target for vaccine development. It is known that the scientists assigned specific notes to each tangled spiral shape or straight-lined shape of the amino acid and specific sound to each vibration of molecules caused by the heat to complete the composition. It started with a sound that was similar to that of a quiet chime bell which turned into the plucking of strings lightly. There was a sound of thunder here and there. The reason for making such music based on the structure of COVID-19 was to find the protein that antibody or medicine could be combined with. On the other hand, we simply turned on the music because we needed some tension to put in our canine into a neck.
Holding each other’s hands, we circled to the music of COVID-19 music. The time spent to pair with each other while circling around slowly and exchanging glances was tiring. While I was satisfied with tasting new blood every 15 days, other members seemed to have a very picky taste of choosing their mate. It changed when I met Sharli. Her blood gave me pleasure beyond survival. The number of members was always even. If one person wasn’t going to be in for a specific month’s gathering, we eliminated one more person by drawing the straw. New members joined every month. Some wouldn’t join for a while if they fell for each other and then joined again when they got sick of how each other’s blood tasted. During the coexistence ceremony, we pair with each other while circling inside the basement storage holding each other’s hands, and stop when COVID-19 music stops. When the host hands out the alcohol wipe to each member, we wipe our necks. When the COVID-19 music starts again, each pair would embrace each other, thrust our sharp canine into each other’s neck, and suck blood as hard as possible. For that moment, the virus music suns like a romantic performance. When the music ends, you should stop drinking blood instantly and get away from each other. My pair for that day was Sharli who was a new member. The first time I saw her, my blood rushed to my brain. Her blood was so sweet and sour that I didn’t know that the music ended. She took her canine out from my neck, but I couldn’t take out mine from hers. During the coexistence ceremony, you need to thrust in and take out your canine at the designated time. She gave me a lot of blood and then collapsed. When she didn’t push me away, I got the feeling that she was attracted to me. Because I got beaten up surrounded by the other members until I passed out according to the rules, I threw up all of her blood.
After that day, Sharli didn’t come to the gathering. I met Sharli a month after at the coexistence ceremony. She appeared in a silk dress that tightly fit on her hips and with a blue scarf around her shoulders. She danced while wrapping and unwrapping the scarf on her body. Her scarf flashed under the light. It felt like her spangled scarf was stimulating every inch of my body. The lump inside my body grew. Swaying my body in front of her, I recalled the taste of the blood of that day. I was excited to allure her and spend a spectacular night with her. But Sharli had her arm in the arm of Jay, the graduate student who drives Porsche. It seemed that she hit it off with him. I couldn’t understand what she sees in such a stupid-looking dude. Seeing Jay and Sharli slipping out from the basement storage, I ran outside.
“Sharli, wouldn’t you like to taste my blood tonight?”
Jay and Sharli simultaneously looked around. Sharli kissed Jay and said, “I like Jay more.”
“You will regret this.”
Jay pulled Sharli’s hand. I was going to approach and grab her hand but ended up grabbing her scarf instead. She turned around and unwrapped the scarf. She left the scarf to me and disappeared with Jay. I came back to the part and constantly drank strong whiskey. I smelled the scarf for a while, wrapped it around my neck and poured the whiskey again. I was too drunk to keep myself straight. And then, I ran into a middle-aged woman. She had a yellow face. Her eyes looked as gloomy as the color of the sunset. In such a desperate state, I could feel nothing but hunger when I saw her. Pulling her hand, I said, “I’m about to go crazy.”
“This is such great news. I’m going crazy here, too.”
We thrust our canines into each other’s neck – it was hard to tell who did it first. Her blood was so gross that would make me throw up whiskey instantly. I pulled out my canine right away and tried to push her. However, she kept drinking my blood, grabbing the scarf on my neck.
“Stop, stop it.”
“You taste so good. Let me have just a little bit more.”
When I woke up the next morning, I looked at the mirror, suffering from a terrible headache. The scarf around my neck was drenched with blood. I unwrapped the scarf. I could see a clear mark of canine on the scarf and on my neck. I felt like all the blood of running out from my body. My species secrete anesthetic when thrusting the canine and secrete chlorophyll for healing the wound faster when pulling out the canine. All of these don’t work properly if you’re not healthy. She must have a disease. I freaked out that she may have been infected with COVID-19. In order to recover, I needed fresh blood. After suffering from constant pain while waiting for the next coexistence party, I ripped open the expired artificial blood that was in my fridge, poured it into a glass, and toasted for Sharli. And the taste… Was inedible. I poured the rest outside the window. The world was so quiet as if it was covered with blood. All of this is because of COVID-19.■