The Hunt

©2015 by Richard S. Crawford; 575 words


“I don’t understand,” Thomas said. “I thought vampires were supposed to be sexy. You know what I mean?”

“Yeah,” Rupert replied, taking a sip of his drink. “Anne Rice and all those role-playing games. And those damn Twilight books. The girls ate them up, right?”

“Oh yeah. Eternal life. Brooding, maudlin personalities. The elixir of life. Stylish clothes. What’s not to love?”

“I don’t know, Thomas. I just don’t know.”

The two of them sighed, practically in tandem, and took synchronized sips of their Bloody Marys. They looked around the bar. It was called The Graduate, probably because it was so close to the college campus. and there were plenty of attractive young women here. Short skirts, low cut tops, high heels, all calculated to seduce and ensnare. Yet none of them had given Thomas and Rupert a second look. Or, rather, they had, but the looks had not been flattering.

“Hang on,” Thomas said, “you’ve got a little something on your cheek. Just a moment.” He reached up and snagged a small flap of skin that had sloughed off the other man’s cheek. A shining glint of bone peeked out from underneath. “There. Got it.”

“Looking good?”

“Looking good. But you need to feed soon.”

“Excellent, because I think my dinner’s headed our way.” He pointed at a petite redhead who wore a tight pair of jeans, a tighter halter top, and a pair of red heels. “Look at her. Reminds me of Anastasia. Remember her?”

“That Russian girl? Nah, the hair’s all wrong. Besides, I thought you were over her.”

Rupert did not reply. The redhead had approached the bar and was ordering a drink.

“Hey,” Rupert said to her. “Let me buy that for you.”

The girl looked at Rupert, then her face twisted into a grimace of disgust. “Vampires, huh? Out on the prowl?”

Rupert and Thomas looked at each other, then back at the redhead. “How did you know?” asked Thomas.

“You got that look. You know. Pale skin. Fangs. Clothes that went out of style a century ago. Rotting flesh. Did you know that your cheekbone is showing?”

Rupert put a hand to his cheek. “Yeah, but…”

“It’s really ugly. You don’t seriously think you’re going to attract anyone looking like that, do you?”

“We’re vampires,” Thomas said. “On the prowl. Haven’t you read Interview with a Vampire?”

“Come on. Let’s go out back. You have to feed. And I’ll let you turn me. I can show you everything you need to know about women.”

Rupert turned to Thomas and grinned. Thomas grinned back and winked. “Go get her.”

#

The redhead returned a few minutes later, smiling and dabbing delicately at her lips with a paper napkin.

“Hey,” Thomas said to her. “Where’s Rupert?”

“Dust,” the girl replied. “It was his own fault. He got too frisky and I had to stake him. That’s just how things go sometimes.”

“But he was my best friend! We went to school together in the 1700s!”

“Then he should have known better than to hook up with a hunter.” She smiled coquettishly. “You want a go at me? If you’re gentle, I promise not to kill you.”

Thomas looked her up and down. He touched the shedding skin on his face, his thinning hair, the spot on the side of his head where his left ear had once been. Then he shrugged.

“What the hell?” he said. “You only live once.”

THE END


My wife dared me to write a vampire story where the vampires weren’t sexy but thought they were. And so here we are.

This story first appeared in The Literary Hatchet, Issue #15, August 2015.

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