Twisted Tales

by Richard Campbell

The Vampire

Everyone knew the folklore. Vampires had been around for generations and everybody knew how they operated. However, this particular specimen was different.

They were all supposed to be terrified and take every precaution to avoid being bitten. Garlic sales had rocketed and the local church had developed a thriving holy water business and was actually making a profit for the first time in living memory. Carvers of wooden crucifixes were inundated with orders and desperately trying to recruit apprentices to help. Nothing, however, seemed to have the least effect. The Vampire appeared impervious to every defence and had recently developed a bad habit of leaping out of any convenient patch of shrubbery with a malicious look on its face and fangs at the ready.

And, why were the bitees not turning into vampires themselves according to tradition?

The loss of blood, though small, was tiring and productivity had fallen as a result. Nobody was immune and the supply of bandages was not going to last much longer either as more and more people appeared with plasters in unlikely—and frequently embarrassing!—places. It was almost as if the vampire had a twisted sense of humour. Really? A frivolous vampire? It was unheard of, and now that they had heard of it, most wished that they hadn't.

"It's not right, I shouldn't have been bitten here," old Mrs Winjer had been heard to mutter as she rubbed her ample rear. Anyone else bitten in the same place tended to agree with her.

Things came to a head when one of the village boys, challenged by his friends, strolled, apparently unconcerned, past what had become the vampire's favourite lurking spot. The fact that he appeared to have neglected the final tidy up after alleviating a perfectly natural bodily urge, was a condition of the dare.

The vampire, with a hiss of delight, latched onto the exposed portion of the youth's anatomy. Disregarding his fangs, he used mouth and tongue to wondrous effect and left an ecstatic lad writhing deliriously on the grass, before making his satisfied way to his coffin for a short nap.

Quelle horreur!

Nobody had minded the vampires biting tricks too much, apart from the inconvenience of having to apply plasters to the rather small punctures. However, a perverted and depraved creature who would do that to a pure and innocent youth was simply not to be tolerated. So, under the direction of the self styled guardians of the village morals, and over the objections of those who were coining money, to say nothing of the lad who had been so grievously (though blissfully!) violated, the wood carvers were set to work using every bit of wood they could find.

Finally all was ready and the deserted tomb in which the vampire was snoozing happily was entered stealthily. Surrounding the open casket the sharpened wooden pegs (they should have been stakes but the lack of suitably sized pieces of wood had dictated otherwise) were raised. Then on a signal from the most moral of all the guardians, a certain Mr Lee-an Derson, were thrust downwards.

Unspectacularly, the vampire expired (with a reminiscent smile on his face) and crumbled away to nothing, followed by the pegs which, their work done, did the same. Though without the smile.

Congratulating themselves on a job well done, the villagers exited the tomb in a triumph only slightly marred by the violated boy's inexplicable regret and sorrow.

Sadly, after a few annoyance free days, and much to their dismay, a second vampire appeared who seemed even more depraved than the first, although a few dissolute youths hailed his appearance with unabated pleasure and delight. Unfortunately, as every remaining scrap of wood had already been used, nothing could be done even though the degenerate creature was known to have moved into the former occupant's coffin for well deserved naps after his exertions.

The villagers, with the youthful exceptions noted above, concluded—and it wasn't much comfort!—never put all of your pegs in one casket.

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