Millennials Are Killing Vampire Culture!

(1,100 words)

Millennials. A source of fear and dread. This article isn’t about the honorific vampires with storied lives (and unlives) that stretch across more than a thousand years. We’re using the term in the more modern sense, the one that has been co-opted by mortals to mean people who reached adulthood in the early years of the 21st century. These people have only been around for a few years and it’s clear that they are already The Worst.

Morwenna du Clare has been living in the Pittsburgh area since shortly after the American Civil War ended. She ended up taking taking a roommate during the Great Depression to help with the upkeep of the house. “But really it was just a way for me to get a live-in food source that cleaned the house and did the laundry.” Morwenna playfully nudges the woman sitting next to her at the table.

“Yeah, I really put a damper on your plans by being a vampire, too,” says roommate Sylvia Bacon (no relation to Francis Bacon).

“We’re still roommates almost a century later because we love the company,” says du Clare. “But the city is changing, and not necessarily for the better.” Du Clare is referring, of course, to the influx of Millennials in the area.

Bacon agrees. 

Renting Problems

Home ownership levels are at record lows, because Millennials are opting to rent their living spaces instead of purchasing them. It may be convenient for them, but it creates a significant burden for vampires. For the large percentage of vampires who must be invited inside a home before they can feed, the Millennial lifestyle is causing a disproportionate number of vampires to go hungry. Nearly 72% of vampires living in the United States are believed to be affected by the permission requirement.

This issue is especially problematic in areas with apartment complexes owned by large corporations. “It’s too difficult to get permission to enter most apartments because [permission] needs to come from multiple people,” says Bacon. “In the best case scenario, you have to find out who owns the building and get their permission just to get through the main door. Then you have to get permission from the renters in the unit. And then you have to wait until they go to sleep before you can feed. But most of the time it’s nowhere near that easy.”

Du Clare slams her fist on the kitchen table. “They don’t answer their phones, even though they stare at them all day. They don’t answer the door when we knock, and they never go outside! Do they just expect us to starve?” 

It’s a sentiment echoed by many vampires living in the city. Lobbyists from the Vampiric Permission Institute (VPI) often cite a pivotal case 2010 when bringing up how difficult obtaining permission can be in today’s society. One vampire was forced to spend 27 nights without feeding due to a particularly thorny right-of-way issue. Most of that period involved analyzing business records to determine the rightful building owner of a mixed-use building in San Francisco, but it still required two international flights and an emergency impact survey to fully resolve the permission situation. 

Too Nomadic

Another quirk of the Millennial lifestyle that vampires are rapidly learning to loathe is the Millennial tendency to relocate or lead a nomadic life. Opinion surveys conducted by the VPI rank nomadism as the second most common complaint vampires have with Millennials as a whole. Aleister of Gaul agrees. Despite his name and imposing figure, Aleister is neither from Gaul nor old enough to remember when it was a nation. He resides in a Gothic mansion in the Oklahoma panhandle where he collects leather chairs with impractically tall backs. 

“It all comes down to neighborly relationships,” he muses from within one of his numerous chairs. “Whatever happened to being a good neighbor? Call me old-fashioned, but I think vampires should be entitled to a long-term relationship with their food. It wasn’t until the last 20 years or so that Skype and the internet ruined the food chain and allowed mortals to maintain other relationships without needing to be in the same area.” Aleister paused for a moment of reflection before adding. “Personally I don’t see the appeal of Skype because I don’t show up on the camera.”

“But these kids with their friends on Skype telling them about opportunities if they just move east or move west… These thankless meat-sacks keep relocating in search of steady jobs with benefits. Kid, those jobs don’t exist anymore. Just settle down, squeeze out eight or nine kids, and stay in one place until you’re dead. I’d offer to tell them that to their faces, but we’d have to go through that whole permission thing and they never stick around long enough for it to be worth it.”

Too Diverse

Millennials are also one of the most ethnically diverse population groups in the United States, which is a problem for older vampires with refined tastes. One vampire who declined to be named for this article out of fear of being labeled a racist, had this to say: “If I wanted Moorish blood, I would have stayed in Iberia. All of this mixing between generations is making the everyone’s blood taste the same. I’m having to pore through family histories on just to find someone with a relatively pure bloodline that doesn’t taste like garbage. Why is it so difficult to find a good vintage Ashkenazi Jew these days? Those people had the best blood!”

Incompatible Diets

Sergei Tepes IV, age 517, is a very energetic vampire who claims a very notable (though-distant) relative:  Dracula, the original Master of Misery and Baron of Blood. “This whole deal with the gluten-free movement is posing a problem to my bowels,” Tepes admits. “It’s fine if you have to avoid gluten for health reasons, but so many people are starting a gluten-free diet just because it’s trendy. But then you accidentally feed on someone who still eats gluten and you swell up like a balloon.” Tepes accentuates his point by pantomiming an explosion. “It’s just like… ‘Damn, Susan, can you cut back on the gluten just a bit? Some of us have dietary conditions!’” 

Tepes is referring to the now-infamous phenomenon known as “Blood Bloat.” This condition has skyrocketed to crisis levels in areas of the United States with high concentrations of Millennials. As many as 1 in 10 vampires reported being afflicted with Blood Bloat in 2016 (the most recent year for which data is available). For vampires with extreme dietary sensitivities, gluten-laced blood can cause serious injuries. “One of my friends ended up with a partial rupture in his side last year because of Bloat,” Tepes reported. “It wasn’t life-threatening or anything, but it’s scary if you’re not expecting it.”

Just as the interview is wrapping up, Tepes pulls me aside and asks the one question we all wonder about: “Can we talk about Millennials’ fascination with avocado toast? Who even eats that stuff?” 

Truly Millennials are the worst food source on this side of the Dark Ages.