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Since they can't really work a job that would allow easy access to blood, I thought of having them volunteer at a blood bank then maybe steal a bag. Alternatively, is it plausible that they would come into contact with expired blood that needs to be thrown out? Or would the bank not allow them to be in contact with the blood unsupervised?

I want it to mostly be human blood, aside from the obvious feeding off victims. The timeline is modern day, vampires are not very well known in this universe. No one knows this character is a vampire. The blood would have to be somewhat frequently obtained, but not necessarily every day. This is in the U.S.

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    $\begingroup$ How much blood does he need and how often? $\endgroup$ – The Square-Cube Law Feb 23 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ About a pint a day, I'd say. Maybe 300-500 mL. $\endgroup$ – whatstacksareweexchanging Feb 23 at 18:10
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    $\begingroup$ Are friends an option? If she has 50 ish willing people to suck blood from, she can drink from one a day without negative health impacts... $\endgroup$ – Dragongeek Feb 23 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ This question is really similar, but different enough for this not to be a duplicate. Nevertheless, the answers on that question go into detail as to why swiping some bags from a blood bank. Namely that hospital blood is under tight controls and a lot of regulation due to bloodborne illnesses and often has added chemicals to prolong the "shelf life" of the blood. $\endgroup$ – user2352714 Feb 24 at 4:18
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    $\begingroup$ Amazing how the amount of blood and other detailed requirements affect the plot. As the answers show, things would go completely differently if the vampire only needed a few ml of blood a day, or a pint but only every few weeks, or could survive on animal blood. Therefore, you can tailor your character's exact "symptoms" to how you want your plot to go. $\endgroup$ – A. B. Feb 24 at 7:31
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She has transfusion dependent anemia.

transfusion

source

Her blood is low. Doctors can't figure it out! She does not seem to have an inherited disease like sickle cell. Her marrow is not normal but she does not seem to have cancer. They are working on it.

In the meantime it is clear that she is very anemic, and so she comes in every other week for a unit of blood to be transfused.


This happens in the real world all the time. People are sick and need repeated blood transfusions. Some blood conditions are really rare and take a long time to figure out - this especially true if your story is set in the recent past. It will not work if your vampire is full on weird supernatural Dracula type turning into a bat / turn to ash in the sun. If your vampire is more of a corporeal being it could work.

If for your fiction she needs to drink the blood, when she gets home she knows right where it is: her veins. This would be fine for a fiction because a canny health care provider might figure out what she is doing.

She might not be the first. If I were an agency looking to recruit vampires (and they can be useful) I would start with a rare blood disorder referral service.

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    $\begingroup$ so she comes in every other week for a unit of blood to be transfused. - she could pick up on multiple different hospitals/medical centers depending on day of week to get a daily dose. To avoid any suspicions around having multiple injection marks, She can have a longer term cannula inserted. $\endgroup$ – Anshul Goyal Feb 23 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ @mu無 Ah yes, IV ports. Painful little buggers. $\endgroup$ – The Daleks Feb 23 at 20:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Willk, But, being undead, the teen vampire doesn't have a heartbeat and body temperature is nearer room temperature. I think those two other symptoms would mean a doctor would rule out TDA, and when the patient didn't show up on the MRI -- because Vampire -- I'd think even the most rational and scientific of doctors would reach for a wooden stake. $\endgroup$ – EDL Feb 24 at 0:54
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    $\begingroup$ Let's turn that around. If close inspection quickly tells a doctor the 'person' being treated is actually a vampire, then unless vampires are exceedingly rare enough will have (say) been hit by cars before that 'we' (society) will know. This necessarily implies that, if the general public doesn't know, it's because 'we' are keeping it secret. In which case, a vampire that does NOT attack people in the park late at night probably gets the medical establishment (which must be in on this) on their side. It's not like it's the vampire's fault they need blood. Do no harm and all that. $\endgroup$ – Ton Day Feb 24 at 2:57
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    $\begingroup$ @EDL The idea that vampires don't show up in mirrors comes from A) modern mirrors originally being a pane of glass against a sheet of silver, and B) the notion that vampires don't have a soul. Given that MRIs don't necessarily rely on silver, nor do they operate on soul-power (or even on the visible light spectrum), I'd argue they could be scanned just fine. $\endgroup$ – Abion47 Feb 24 at 20:34
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Bitcoin, Tor, a PO box, and express shipping with dry ice.

Totally possible to buy on the black market.

My governments "What can I import" page doesn't list it as a prohibited import, so it shouldn't be seized in customs if it's coming internationally. Australia Post will carry it if you label the package clearly. (I'm answering for Australia as no location was given - so I'm using my own.)


Alternatively, if your 15 year old is the only one in their peer group with a job, they could just buy it from their friends. Same if they have access to drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes by stealing from a parent - "trade you a bottle of vodka for 500ml of blood.". Hell that's probably a good trade - and the blood loss gives them a head start on feeling woozy.

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    $\begingroup$ OMG, finally a good use case for bitcoin. I'd give you a +2 if it were possible. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 23 at 18:26
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    $\begingroup$ I wonder what the legality of this is. I could imagine that using the black-market retailers that sell it being illegal but is the actual shipping and possession of blood illegal? $\endgroup$ – Dragongeek Feb 23 at 20:24
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    $\begingroup$ @Dragongeek Actually, it's a strange and weirdly regulated industry. While not illegal, your kid would need a license to import it, and have a facility, inspections, etc. Rules are a little looser for research, so getting an "in" with a research lab would expedite this nicely. $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Feb 23 at 23:35
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    $\begingroup$ It's Tor, not TOR. It is not actually an acronym. $\endgroup$ – forest Feb 24 at 1:59
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    $\begingroup$ @forest researches what you said. Your frustratingly right. Tor was named after "the onion router", the projects former acronym. Wtf? en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network) $\endgroup$ – Ash Feb 24 at 2:48
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Domestic Animals, Nursing homes, Cults, Drugs, and street Life:

If your teen has a nice, cozy home life with adoring parents, this might not work. But assuming your teen is a vampire because everything in his life is f##ked up, then all he needs to be is a street punk.

If human blood is essential, it's a little limited. But at 15, I was hunting deer and had access to farm animals. In the city? Cats and dogs, even birds and rats are ready victims. The local pounds will eventually catch on that you might have done something nasty when you come back a third time trying to "adopt" another St. Bernard. Volunteering at an animal shelter might help with this, and potentially give you access to phlebotomy supplies (you'll see why this is important), especially the extra-large gauge needles (used mostly for veterinary medicine) that make taking out more blood easier. "Job shadow" the vet, and he might even teach you how to draw blood (the rules for animals are looser than humans). But you wanted the animal blood to be only a partial solution.

For the kid with the respectable family, volunteering with vulnerable children and adults gets you access to lots of weak, helpless victims. A retirement home or nursing home will be full of people who either won't understand or be too afraid to discuss your disturbing habits. Cultivate your victims, select those most vulnerable, and don't get so greedy that you kill anyone. Your kid can learn phlebotomy (surprisingly easy and considered low-skilled) and help with blood collections if he wants to be secretive. To actually do it professionally, you need a diploma/GED and to be 18. Fake these and your covered. Otherwise they may be willing to train you, but they just can't have you doing it officially. These folks are being drawn often on a daily basis. Who notices if you collect an extra red-top and guzzle it down afterwards? You can steal blood collection supplies to use in other situations. Patients might not realize you aren't supposed to be drawing their blood, especially the confused ones. This also gets you access to the biohazardous waste containers where blood is discarded after testing. 90% of any blood is ultimately discarded, and even if your kid isn't allowed to do the actual phlebotomy, volunteering or "job shadowing" medical professionals gives you access to the behind-the-scenes medical stuff. If they do testing on-site, it gets thrown out right there.

If the vampire thing gives him any kind of special powers, that helps immensely. If he has charm/aura powers (like traditional vampires) he can start a cult of screwed up loners and desperate hangers-on in school (assuming he can tolerate light). After school, they all go out somewhere, smoke dope & cigarettes, and he feeds on their blood. By pretending to be a vampire, he can feed his actual vampiric needs. If he needs muscle, then he turns his cult into vampires and they all hunt for victims together.

Selling drugs gets you access to lots of desperate people who might be fine getting drugs from the weird kid (if you're not subtle, one who takes blood in exchange for drugs sometimes). You can make the claim you sell it to researchers - those phlebotomy skills come in handy again at this point. Since you don't care if these folks get diseases, get a phlebotomy needle (stolen from any number of places) and a 20ml syringe (reusable). Clean it with bleach between uses if you don't want to hurt people too much. The bonus is when they get high, stoned or drunk and incapacitated. Then they are helpless prey for your street punk and are unlikely to remember what happened - and a needle prick is a lot less obvious than a bite (especially on a junkie).

Homeless people, either on the street or in homeless shelters, have many of the same vulnerabilities that the elderly in nursing homes have. They're desperate, or sick, or incapacitated. They're unlikely to report crimes, especially bizarre crimes. Many are mentally ill and are unlikely to be believed. If your street punk is already armed from selling drugs, he can threaten or attack the homeless and take their blood. If he makes money selling drugs, then he can even pay the homeless for their blood. After all, the street people are already selling their blood for cash at the donation center - why not sell it to the crazy buying it at twice the price? Once again, access to blood collection supplies helps a lot here.

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    $\begingroup$ Lots of good ideas, except turning more people into vampires - now you just have more vampires with the same problem. $\endgroup$ – toolforger Feb 24 at 18:23
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Army of Mosquitoes

The vampire has created an army of loyal mosquitoes. These breed like crazy, go find humans, suck their blood, and come back to the vampire, who then harvests the blood from them. Assuming every mosquito succeeds in carrying 0.01 milliliter of blood, a self sustaining swarm of 10000 mosquitoes should be enough to get 250mL of blood with ~ 2-3feeds each. This number of mosquito swarm varies on the species, the number of feeds, as well as survival ratio.

Humans don't even notice the mosquitoes sucking the blood and just think its a natural infestation. To hide his steps, the vampire takes this colony into different areas/directions every day.

Edit note: Correcting the maths

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    $\begingroup$ A milliliter is one cubic centimeter of blood. Even one ml would be one huge mosquito. $\endgroup$ – NomadMaker Feb 23 at 18:50
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, mozzies manage microlitres of blood, not milliltres. Happily though, a swarm of a thousand of the little ***** seems pretty small swarm, so the plan might scale up. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 23 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ @NomadMaker Thanks, corrected the maths. $\endgroup$ – Anshul Goyal Feb 23 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ Therefore you are milking 1,000,000 tiny mosquitos to get 1 liter of blood. $\endgroup$ – NomadMaker Feb 23 at 20:02
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    $\begingroup$ glossing over the "harvesting" part here. $\endgroup$ – ths Feb 23 at 23:28
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Transforming other people into vampires

Well, if the vampire can't get the blood by himself because of the age, maybe it could wait for the manager of the blood bank or someone with authority to take out blood bags from the bank and ambush the person to transform it in a vampire, therefore, he will not be the only vampire out there needing blood, so it could persuade the newly-formed vampire to grab blood bags for them.

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    $\begingroup$ What's to stop the new vampire from disposing of the tedious 15 year old? An adult used to managing other adults isn't likely to take well to being subordinate to a child. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 23 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ Many vampire fictions have a newly converted vampire be submissive to his master. $\endgroup$ – NomadMaker Feb 23 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime maybe newborn Vampires are not that strong, maybe the more blood a vampire has drank in his life the more power it will have therefore the younger would be stronger, or could be like NomadMaker said $\endgroup$ – Archerspk Feb 23 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ @NomadMaker kid better hope that applies here! $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 23 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime I would expect at least some people to be grateful to someone else for the gift of immortality and be willing to help them out for a while. Not to mention the advantage of having other immortals on your side and the potential of it being more of a give-and-take or friendship. $\endgroup$ – NotThatGuy Feb 24 at 9:38
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Four Ways a 15-year-old vampire brat could obtain blood.

Method One of Three: Make a blood bank employee give them blood.

Archerspk suggested that a 15-year-old vampire could turn an adult who worked in a blood bank into a vampire and then have them provide blood for the kid vampire. But Starfish Prime wondered why an adult vampire would bother feeding the kid vampire nistead of disposing of them.

Could a 15 year old vampire physically handle an adult vampire if the younger vampire couldn't control the older one through magical methods? That depends on the physical conditions of the 15 year old vampire and the adult vampire.

One thing which I have learned is that there is a great range in possible growth rates for boys and girls, and thus a great range in possible sizes and strengths of various boys and girls at any particular age, including age 15, though of course the majority of children and fictional child vampires would be close to the normal size for their ages.

Once I used to buy lunch at a diner where one of the workers was a boy about 5 feet tall who looked like an exceptionally cute child actor. One day at dinner in a restaurant in the same little town that boy was part of the waiting staff and one of my companions asked if he was old enough to work there. He said he was 16, (probably the minimum leagal age to work there) and she said she didn't believe him, that he looked 12.

Another time I met another boy, whose age I don't know, who was exceptionally cute, but this boy towered over my five feet eleven inches (1.5748 meters) self. I think he should have been about six and a half feet (1.9812 meters) tall, and judging by the work he did helping us pack up, I guess he wouldn't have been less strong at age 15 than most men.

But those are not the extreme possible examples.

My historical research about a bugler boy in the US Civil War showed he was allegedly 14 in 1860 and five feet eight inches tall, 19 in 1865 and five feet three inches tall, and 22 in 1869 and five feet Eight inches tall, having grown five inches since the age of 19. And though the official records often said boy soldiers where older than their actual ages, a birth date in 1845 or 1856 is consistent with his age in later census records.

I note that the organization Little People of America had more than 6,800 members in 2010, and membership is restricted to:

Membership in LPA is limited to people 4' 10" and under, or those with a diagnosed form of dwarfism, their families, or those who "demonstrate a well-founded interest in issues relating to dwarfism".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_People_of_America[1]

So the USA population may contain thousands of adults under four feet ten inches tall, who weren't any bigger when they were 15-year-old boys and girls.

Of course some people at the upper size limit of of the Little People of America could still be very strong. I once saw a man who was about five feet tall who was built like a gorilla and looked like he had tremendous upper body strength.

These days it is common for parents to give synthethic human growth hormone to their kids if they are undersized. Thus 15-year-olds who are small for their age may be rarer now than in the previous century.

I note that the six shortest women over the age of eighteen in history ranged from 61 centimeters (24 inches) to 71 centimeters (28 inches) tall, and the eight shortest men in history ranged from 54.6 centimeters (21.5 inches) to 74 centimeters (29 inches) tall. I think that all of them should have been much weaker than any typical adult when they were 15 years old.

Angus MackAskill (1825-1863) reached seven feet four inches (2.24 meters) at the age of 18 and soon reached his adult height of seven feet ten inches (2.39 meters). His early adult weight was 580 pounds (260 kilograms). I think that at the age of 15 he would have been much stronger than most adults.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angus_MacAskill[2]

Louis Cyr (1863-1912) was one of the strongest men in history, despite being only 1.74 meters (five feet eight and one half inches ) tall and weighing "only" 124-154 kilograms (280-340 pounds). At the age of 17 he won a weight lifting contest lifting a 480 pound (220 kilograms), at the age of 18 he lifted a full grown horse. At the age of 15 he would have been much stronger than most adults.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Cyr[3]

Robert Pershing Wadlow (1918-1940) reached a height of eight feet eleven point one inches (2.72 meters) and a weight of 439 pounds (199 kilograms). Unlike most of the tallest men in history:

He possessed great physical strength until the last few days of his life.

He reached a height of seven feet ten inches (2.39 meters) and weight of 354 pounds (161 kilograms) at the age of 15 and should have been strong enough to handle most adults.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wadlow[4]

There are some very strong female wightlifters and bodybuilders, and I think that many of them would have been stronger at the age of 15 than most adult men.

Anyway, I guess that about 50 percent of 15-year-olds are at least as strong as adults of their own gender and ethnic group, and about 50 percent of 15-year-olds are no stronger or even weaker than adults of their own gender and ethnic group. If the bloodthirsty kid is a 15-year-old American boy, he might be stronger than the average adult American woman.

Method Two: Work in a Blood Bank?

The assumption that a 15-year-old vampire brat couldn't work in a blood bank may be unfounded. I once entered an ice cream parlor in Cape May, New Jersey, where three boys about twelve years old were behind the counter. They looked like triplets, and I guess their parents owned or operated the store, because I think that most states in the USA have exceptions to their child labor laws allowing children to work at their parent's farms or businesses at much younger ages than they could work for unrelated employers.

Or maybe those kids were working illegally despite being in view of every customer who walked into the store.

So if any blood banks are private small scale mom and pop businesses a kid 15 years old or younger could legally work there. Or maybe the kid works illegally in a blood bank, more or less hidden in the office away from visitors, cleaning up and doing paperwork - if that paperwork includes keeping track of incoming and outgoing blood it would be great for the vampire brat. And maybe the kid sometimes has to dispose of blood that spoils and collects some of it for their own use.

Method Three: Work in a Farm or Slaughterhouse.

Or maybe the kid works on their parents' farm raising and slaughtering livestock, and maybe they are in charge of collecting and selling or disposing of blood from the slaughtered livestock, and has their own methods of handling some of that blood. Of course that is if animal blood will satisfy the vampire brat. And if the story is set in a developing country with lax child labor laws, the vampire kid could work in a huge slaughterhouse where nobody tracks the amount of blood spilled.

Method Four: Claim to Need Blood for Medicinal Reasons.

Such a claim would probably be the literal truth for a more scientifically plausible vampire brat. So if the vampire is of the less fantastic type and medical tests would show they are alive and not undead, maybe those medical tests would reveal that they need blood, and they could legitimately get transfusions of blood as Willk suggested.

Back about 1960, I was told that a woman friend of my parents had a medical condition which required her to drink a glass of ox blood every day. If that was not a tall tale, there may really be such a medical condition, which might possibly still be treated by prescribing animal blood. And if animal blood is good enough for the vampire brat, they might claim to have that condition.

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Find yourself some vampire groupies and offer them a deal: you give me your blood now and in the future I'll turn you into a vampire.
That should give him a few years to find a alternative way to find blood. And now you have your own groupies; not a bad deal.

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  • $\begingroup$ The question specifically asked for alternatives to feeding from victims. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 24 at 9:54
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    $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime Hardly victims here. Sounds pretty willing in this scenario. $\endgroup$ – JoshuaZ Feb 24 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ @JoshuaZ people often enter willingly into all sorts of scams and abusive relationships. Because they haven't noticed that they're the victims, doesn't mean they aren't. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 24 at 16:39
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    $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime Yes, but that doesn't mean that someone letting someone else drink one's blood necessarily makes one a victim either. $\endgroup$ – JoshuaZ Feb 24 at 20:05
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I had a similar conundrum in a short story about an adolescent converted by cruel vampires playing a joke and converting a bumbling zit covered dork into a vampire.

I decided to do what almost all vampire writers do when dreaming up their spin on an age old tale - I ignored the rules.

My vampire is immortal. Can't cut his head off, he tried. Can't burn him. Tried that too. Can't guarantee he won't come back. But his biggest fear is being immortal in the condition he is in, in a lab somewhere being dissected forever. So given that, why would I give in to the idea that he can starve?

So I changed what blood does for him. I rewrote the rules to not require blood as a constant unless he wants to have a reasonable amount of energy for a while. Otherwise, all the absence of it does is make him tired, but in the same way a human gets tired if they let their blood sugar levels get too low, or over exert themselves. In my story, he is learning, and neither of us knew what would happen in the long run, or what blood really does for him. I used that to allow me to side step the idea of a bumbling dork vampire running around biting people, especially 30 years after conversion where my story takes place. What has he been doing all these years? Nothing. Because he feared what would happen if he got caught and they realized he was in his 40's but looked like a kid, and happened to be impossible to kill.

I made things like animal blood, and general blood in meat packs at stores, as pretty much ineffective. And about as appealing as imagining the experiential difference between drinking an ice cold bottle of coca cola vs one thats been sitting in the sun all day. So the appeal of warm human blood is there, and he could find ways to get some on odd occasions, but making the blood lust optional seemed like the best way to avoid the whole need to feed all the time issue.

If anything, yours could benefit from the interesting side effects in behavior and maybe even physically that happen when they don't feed for long periods, or even years. And consider, a gila monster has to eat 4 times a year give or take. When you're immortal, maybe feeding is a little like the mighty gila monster. Sometimes you have to, but thankfully it is rare enough to make it more of a subplot than a difficult riddle that people won't forgive you for not solving.

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