© by Gary L Morton (550 words)
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Count Varsook tossed his
black cape up elegantly, revealing the dusky gray lining as he spun on his
heel and faced the mirror. A portion of cracked, chipped skull was all the
reflection he had.
“Damn!” he said. Three
hundred years old and he still couldn't remember about mirrors. At the
dresser, he patted some AfterDark on his neck - reflection or not he knew
how uninviting a five o'clock shadow could look on an aging face. And
tonight he was hungry - his appetite had faded some over the years, often he
took a fresh victim just to keep up appearances. “There is no rest for the
wicked,” he thought, and then he sighed.
As he was pomading his hair,
he heard a rap at the door. Night was freshly fallen so he strode over
fearlessly. No one was outside the door; brilliant city lights formed a
rainbow in blurry tears. He reached in his cape for his contacts. His eyes
adjusted and as he was about to shut the door, he looked down and saw a baby
in a basket.
He carried the baby inside,
taking note of the blue blanket. Scratching his silvering head, he figured
that maybe some city agency had mistaken him for a foster parent and
delivered him a baby. He definitely didn't want the burping little beast;
baby blood was about as tasty as juice from sour crab apples.
The Count finished his toilet
by sweeping his hair back dramatically, and then he turned to check on the
baby. It was sleeping peacefully, sucking on the bottle of warm blood he'd
given it. He decided to go out and then ponder the matter later. Spinning on
his heels he became a bat in a flash, flew out the window, and off toward
the gibbous moon.
In the dew-cool quiet of 5.30
a.m. the Count returned, his long shadow moved by the window as he lit up
the candelabra. He'd forgotten about the baby and was planning on a little
reading in his tiny library.
A yawning Count Varsook
turned to cross the room. What he saw froze him in his tracks. Bloody
handprints were smeared across the wall. Tables, lamps, and ashtrays were
knocked over, and a half-eaten body lay on the hardwood floor. It was the
body of a mailman - his mouth was open to scream, but his tongue was torn
out. A hole of black and blood was all that was left of his belly and one of
his arms was gone.
There was no sign of the
baby, but the side door was ajar. Spotting the baby bottle, the Count went
over to pick it up. Just then, a puppy bounded in the door and dropped a
mouthful of intestines on his shoes. The puppy sat at his feet and licked
the blood off its paws.
“A wolf pup,” the Count said
to himself, and then he glanced around the gory room. “Werebabies do the
darnedest things,” he said, wondering what to do about the pup.
The quiet amplified the
footsteps of someone coming up the street; the pup bounded out the door,
followed by the Count. “Heel boy! Heel!” the Count hollered, his voice
echoing down the street.
------ The End -------