VAMPIRE, VAMPIRISM, VAMPIRIC, VAMPY!
A collection of short stories which explore and celebrate the vampire genre with talented, world-class writers. There’s something here to delight and horrify even the most seasoned vampire fan.
Abraham R Nox, Adrian Bond, Dennis Kriesel, Emily de Rango, Eric S. Brown, Frank C. Gunderloy, Jr., Greg Beatty, H. Turnip Smith, J.R. Corcorrhan, Jean Burnett, Jennifer Moore, Joshua Alan Doetsch, Laura Cooney, Lester Thees, Liz Williams, Lorna Dickson, Miles Deacon, Mordant Carnival, Raymond T. McNally, Richard Jones, Sheri Morton-Stanley, Stephen Minchin, T. P. Keating, Tom Phillips, Trent Walters.
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A vampire story by Stephen Minchin – Featured in Fangers Inc. Volume One
This is the tape I was telling you about – last Thursday night, filmed by one of the cameras down Willis Street, the one just opposite the gas station. I’ve rewound it to just before these guys appeared, so if we watch it from here?
Now it’s a little after one in the morning, and it had been raining on and off, so it was a pretty quiet night. I think our guys got called to six or eight incidents in all, just a couple of fights, drunk and disorderly’s. The usual.
Watch this guy right here, at the mouth of the alley smoking a fag. As soon as the guy on duty saw this bloke, he kept an eye on him; most of the time a guy like this is just waiting for a friend, but every once in a while, you get one who’s up to something. Now he ducks back into the alley just as this guy here turns the corner, and this bloke is exactly why people get mugged – a middle aged man in a nice suit, drunk, you can see him stagger a little there, and alone. He’s asking for it, really.
And when he passes by the alley, bam, hit over the back of the head. This mugger must have been doing it a while cos it’s not that easy to hit cleanly, but this man just drops. He doesn’t even bother dragging him out of sight, and he’s pocketed his wallet and cell-phone in about twenty seconds.
It normally takes one of our security guards about two minutes to reach something like that, but we happened to have someone in the area. The cameras help, yeah? because the crims know that they’re there so they know we’ll have anything on tape, but they also know that we can’t reach a scene just like that. I just wish we had a better picture, ‘cos I’d love to see this guy’s face when our man pulls up and nicks him. That’s our car, and the guy just stands there with his arms crossed and lets them bring him in. The other thing the crims know, is that you can’t run away when we can follow you all over town on the cameras.
I’ll fast forward this bit. It turns out that the guy on the ground hit his head when he dropped, and blood was just pouring out of his forehead. He was just coming to when the ambulance arrived, but he was in a mess. They ended up keeping him in overnight, but he was fine the next day.
Okay, so I’ll start playing again here. This is right after the ambulance has gone, the last of our guards has gone, and the street’s deserted. But watch this.
This woman walks into the frame, looking around to check that there’s no one watching her, and she walks straight to the mouth of the alley. I’ve checked the other cameras and she wasn’t watching from up the street or anything, she can’t have seen what happened, so how she knew it was there’s a mystery to me. But she just stops right where the man was lying, looks around again, and then crouches and runs a finger over the asphalt. Then she holds the finger up to the light and licks it.
That’s not the half of it, though, just watch this. Now she’s getting down onto her hands and knees and actually licking the ground. You can almost make out the bloodstain, that darker patch there, and, I mean, I’ve compared the frames from before and after, and she really was licking that guy’s blood off the pavement.
She keeps that up for a while, and now, here comes another guy. When she sees him approaching, she doesn’t get up, but just sort of stares at him, and if you look really closely it almost looks as though she’s snarling or something. He just keeps on walking towards her and then, this is just getting weird, he crouches down opposite her and starts licking the ground as well. So now we’ve got a guy and a girl on their hands and knees, licking the pavement where some poor bastard got mugged and bled everywhere. They keep glancing at each other, watching each other like they think the other’s about to attack them or something, but just go on licking the ground. It was about now that the guy on duty says he got on the phone and called for a car to head back down there – I was talking to him this morning and he said that it was interesting in a bizarre sort of way for a while, but by this stage he was starting to get a little worried.
I’ll just fast forward to when the car arrives. These two don’t do anything but lick for a few minutes until, here it is now, our car pulls up at the curb. Now straight away they’re on their feet, backing away from the security guard, and you can see the look on our guy’s face as he works out what’s happened. Looking from the blood on the ground, to the guy and the girl, and then she reaches up and wipes her chin and our guy bends over to puke in the gutter.
And as soon as he does the male darts forward and grabs the guard by the hair. I’ve talked to the guard since then – he’s still at home, on sick leave, and he says he’s not coming back – and he said that he could smell the blood on that guy’s breath. He reckons that he had teeth that had been sharpened down to points, and he’s convinced that this guy was about to bite him in the neck when the woman pulled him away and started screaming at him. He says that she said something about them not being animals, that they couldn’t kill any more. Then the guard stands up straight again, shines his flashlight in their faces, and they turn and run.
We’ve got them on other cameras, we can see them running away from the centre of town. They were hoofing it, damn fast, and they got lucky – a fight had just started down the road, and we had to send the guards down there to break it up, so our couple got away.
Do you want a copy of the tape? I was going to make myself a copy anyway, so as long as you don’t get me in trouble, I’ll do one for you too. I can’t wait to show that to my brother, he’ll think it’s totally out of it. Guess some people will do anything for kicks, right?
(c) Stephen Minchin, All Rights Reserved.Photo by Lee Soo hyun on Unsplash