For starters, the organizers miscalculated the general interest among vampires for collectively addressing the avoidable self-annihilation of their preferred food source. The three hundred known nests across the globe sent a total of twenty-eight delegates.
The meeting was held in New York, over the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. They were unable to secure a room in the United Nations, as initially planned, due to a centuries-long campaign of obfuscating the existence of vampires behind scorned folklore and, more recently, popular young adult novels.
Expecting a larger attendance, the Swedish vampires offered their humongous retail furniture store in Red Hook. Since the meeting started at midnight and the store would have been closed regardless, the Swedes were able to appear magnanimous without costing themselves anything. The only drawback to the space was a dearth of windows—but surely thousands of years of experience would solve this climate change problem long before the rising of their old enemy, the sun.
Vampires spread out among fake rooms were set up as a variety of small to very small dens and convertible home offices, perfectly designed to enrage amateur decorators. Plates of human eyeballs were festively garnished with bloody lingonberry sauce.
Glenn helped himself to a blister pack of erasable markers and wrote “Welcome” in all caps. Centuries of gatherings on a variety of subjects taught him that often the vampire who did the most standing got most of the credit. He solicited big questions for the agenda from the group.
“Why is the climate changing?”
“Hasn’t the climate always changed?”
“Are all of the humans going to die or just most of them?”
“How long have they got?”
“What else can we eat?”
“How can we help?”
Tabatha struggled to emerge from an egg-shaped chair to draw two lines under the last question, emphasizing it.
“This is why we’re here,” she said. Tabatha looked like a younger, even better-looking Elizabeth Taylor, because she was her great-great-great-grandmother. “Ever since they figured out that ancient underground seaweed could power their automobiles and fax machines, the atmosphere is getting overloaded with gases.”
Yasu was one of the younger attendees. From her perspective, the immortality factor was the main pro against a long list of cons. She had been a foodie before and had yet to appreciate the subtle nuances to blood. Blood was delicious and she craved it beyond all control, but it all tasted the same to her.
“I guess, what I’m saying is that we should do something to stop this climate change if we can. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. Yeah, they are stupid, but they’re our primary food source. Isn’t it our responsibility to care for and maintain them?”
About half the delegates vocalized their approval of this reasonable summation of the core problem.
“But what are we supposed to do?” This from a creaky voice in the back, a vampire who was turned as an old man was stretched out across two variations of a three-seat sectional sofa. “Build solar panels?”
The convention erupted in a cacophony of hisses.
Glenn felt like he was losing the group. “Hey, hey. C’mon. We agreed to the Bran Castle rules for this conference.” He pointed with the red marker at the white board on the other side of the room. Under “Agreements” he’d written:
1. Anything read from a vampire colleague’s mind may not be repeated aloud.
2. No hissing.
“What about skiing?” This was asked by an almost otherworldly thin man, leaning against a red metal bookshelf. It was unclear if he was really wearing a tux or just billowing with sophistication.
Tabatha waved off his question. “That’s not really the point, is it, Lysander? How could you go skiing if you are slowly starving over a thousand years in your ice cave until you collapse onto yourself into an immortal flesh cube?”
They stared at each other while the air in the room started to freeze. Until Tabatha jabbed her blue marker at one of Glenn’s boards.
“Okay, fine, no solar. That’s fine. I think the humans are doing that kind of thing already without our help. But what can we do? What are our strengths? Shout out ideas. We have literally thousands of years of experience and cunning in this room. Not to mention that we have very patient capital.”
“Eat all the humans who are most responsible, like all the oil company executives and all Americans.”
“Invest in wind power.”
“Switch to eating other mammals that are less self-destructive and kill all the remaining humans so that the world will start to heal itself.”
“Promote human veganism.”
This last suggestion was met by a chorus of “ews.” Some of the nests considered themselves “bloodies” and they preferred their food to have an omnivore diet.
Tabatha and Glenn were fast filling up the whiteboards with ideas. Yasu tossed up one of the cushions from her place on a showroom loveseat. Following her lead, the delegates started writing their own favored ideas on various home goods.
“Build an ultra-dark interstellar spacecraft and pack it with juicy humans to explore the universe for a better planet.”
“Reveal ourselves to the world so that humans hide in their homes and stop driving around or consuming things.”
“Put the carbon underground again.”
“Stow a bunch of humans underground to eat later.”
“Invent perpetual motion machine.”
“Eat all the politicians.”
There were no windows, so the delegates were unaware that the sun was starting to come up while they brainstormed. The smell of the human staff arriving for work alerted them almost in time.
The vampire delegates fled more quickly than a human eye could follow, escaping through the dark parking garage, and promptly exploded in the sunlight. Dust to dust. In their flurry, they left behind the meeting notes scrawled in the most unlikely places.
Which is why we know exactly what happened at the first and only International Vampiric Convention on Climate Change.