“Don’t you dare step outside.”
Alec froze at the door, hand on the handle. He looked behind at Clyde, only able to see him in shadow because of his newly increased night vision. He turned his gaze down to his watch. “It’s night time now,” he said. “Burn in the sunlight, free at night, isn’t that right?”
The older vampire scowled at him, but Alec was getting used to it. He was fairly certain that was Clyde’s default expression for anyone other than his white snake, which was somewhere in the room. “Burn in the sunlight. Yes, that is right. Do you know what tonight is?”
Alec tried his best not to sigh. “Some other vampiric tradition that no one other than vampires know about, so I couldn’t possibly know until you’ve told me?”
“Fool! It’s the full moon!” Clyde coughed after his emphatic statement.
For a moment, Alec was certain he was a fool, because Clyde still stared at him as though something ought to be obvious. “’Free at night’,” Clyde scoffed. “As if we ever are. We burn in the sunlight.”
“About that,” Alec interrupted. “Why?”
“Don’t interrupt! What do you think moonlight is?”
The new vampire paused. “Light… from the moon?”
“The moon doesn’t produce it’s own light!” Clyde barked. “It reflects the light from the sun! It’s sunlight! Just less potent. Dimmer. Usually we can survive when in the shadows, but when the moon is full… it is best not to risk it.” He covered another cough.
Alec was bewildered. “We burn in moonlight too?”
“The moon doesn’t have it’s own light!” Clyde repeated. “It’s the sun! Always the damn sun. Now sit back down. We’ll be passing a lot more time inside over the next few days, so you’d better be ready to deal.”
The snake slithered past Clyde’s feet, unnerving Alec but seeming to calm his mentor. Reluctantly, Alec returned to his seat, ready to face the next several nights and days with Clyde and a creepy snake as his only companionship.