At first Vic thought the problem might be his coffin. It was old and the upholstery was getting threadbare. So he bought a new one. It didn’t help. Then he thought maybe it was the room he was sleeping in, so he broke into a mausoleum and tried to take a nap there. The cold stone and presence of other dead was comforting, but the problem persisted. This wasn’t the solution he was looking for.
Frustrated and in need of new ideas, he went to Ricky’s apartment and knocked on the door. “What do humans do when they can’t sleep?”
Ricky blinked. “Hello to you too, I guess. I didn’t know vampires could get insomnia.”
“There’s a lot you don’t know, primate. Just answer the question.”
Ricky motioned for him to come inside. “There’s a lot of things humans do, but I don’t know how much they'll help you.”
“Exercise until you’re tired.”
“Vampires don’t jog.”
“You mean sit around and say ‘Om’ over and over?” Vic paced the room in agitation. “You’re right. You have no good ideas at all.”
Ricky went to a bookcase and selected a heavy paperback. “Reading this worked for me in college.”
Vic took the book and frowned. “The Republic?”
“I nearly failed Philosophy, that’s how boring it was.”
Vic tossed the book onto the sofa. “Forget it. I’m sorry I came here.”
“What did you expect? Humans usually just deal with it. If it gets too bad, they go the doctor and get some pills.”
This was more like it. “What kind of pills?”
“I doubt they’d work for you.”
“Tell me what they're called, anyway.”
Vic listened while Ricky rattled off the names of a few common sleep aids, then thanked him for his time and left.
Later that night he broke into a pharmacy, bypassed the computer password, and got a list of addresses. Just before dawn he peeked in the window of a peaceful suburban ranch house. The young woman lay asleep, the bottle of Ambien on the nightstand beside her.
Vic smiled with anticipation and shoved open the window. What did humans know? A big, sleep-inducing meal was all he really needed. He jumped into the room and stood looking down at his salvation, savoring the moment. “Warm milk and Plato’s Republic, my ass.”