The Crippled Vampire

“You know, I’m kinda disappointed. I never met a vampire in Romania. A couple of werewolves, sure. Even a poltergeist one time. But never a vampire.”

His voice sounded as grizzled as he looked. A chunk of his nose was missing. One eye had the milky white opaqueness hinting and blindness. His beard was a tuft riddled mess of steel gray and white whiskers. I sat at the bar not far from his table where a gaggle of young admirers, mostly men, had pulled up chairs to hear him regale his adventures abroad.

I hunched even more over at the bar. My forearms shifting against the sticky residue from spilled beer. My elbow pushed an errant peanut over the edge of the counter and it fell to the shell covered floor. The old man launched into a tale about the time he single-handedly dealt with a rusalka in Ukraine. I flagged the bartender for another drink. I was going to need the liquid courage later. The groupies were interrupting and asking questions behind me. Finally he stopped and told them he’d need another beverage if they wanted him to continue his sordid tale. One of the young men got up and stood at the bar next to me.

He must have misread the expression on my face because as he was waiting for the bartender to come over he turned to me.

“Pretty wild, eh? Guy kills monsters for a living. He’s been all over the world, man.”

“Yeah,” I said. “Real wild.” I guess my lack of enthusiasm was offensive to him.

“You one of those monster sympathizers? Think they deserve habeas corpus and all that shit?”

“No, I’m just a guy trying to enjoy a drink at a bar without people pestering me. You mind?”

The bartender rescued me from any further conversation as the guy ordered a round for his table and left. As the old man continued telling his tales, more and more of the group would get up and order a round for the table, fortunately ignoring me. As the old blowhard drank more, his tales became less clear. The group surrounding him started to dwindle until he sat alone, nursing the dregs of a beer. I took the opportunity to close out my tab and slowly make my way out to the alley behind the bar.

After ten minutes of waiting in the fog the old man finally stumbled out into the alley. He walked a ways down from me before unzipping. Soon there was the tell-tale pattering as he relieved himself. I slowly crept behind him. He was completely oblivious until the silver knife slid through the duster her wore to give the right affectation for his tales.

“Wh-why?” he managed to stammer as I slipped him down onto his own filth.

“You forgot about the one vampire you met in Romania.” I said, “The one that you crippled.”

His face show recognition and disbelief.

“You’re wondering how a crippled vampire could manage to get to safety before dawn. I know.Well that’s the thing. I’m his servant. I managed to drag him to safety. It’s a lot of work caring for an invalid. Especially a vampire. Master has never been quite the same since his run in with you. I have to rob blood banks in order for him to feed.”

The light was starting go out of his eyes. I loped off into the noise of the city, hoping that this would bring some semblance of peace to my master.


Apropos of: This Prompt

-Crouse

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