‘Right…Mrs Cush, I don’t think we should worry too much about your husband and son- just yet. But we will keep a close eye on this case. I promise you…mm, I don’t know if you have heard, or read in the newspapers, but there was an unfortunate accident a few weeks ago concerning a young couple...very unfortunate.’
‘Why, what happened?’ I was worried now.
‘There is no need for concern, I assure you, Mrs Cush. I shouldn’t tell you really, but I’m afraid the couple were killed by someone unknown. Please I must stress- there is absolutely no need to worry…we will contact you as soon as we have any news.’
I tried to remain calm but I was worried. My eyes filled with tears again. This inspector did not seem to notice. And I don’t think he should’ve told me about the young couple. Why did that stupid inspector tell me; what an idiot. It was a different policewoman who led me out of the labyrinth and into the dull winter sun.
I was so relieved to get out of that place.
It was 2.30p.m. when I came out of that station. I went home with the faint hope that they were there- they were not. I carried my heavy exhausted body into the sitting room and down onto our sofa. I felt so empty. My eyes had run out of tears, they were dry, sore and limp. I tried to fight off the oncoming sleep but it was no use, my eyelids insisted on closing.
I haven’t a clue how long I slept; it was as if I was asleep forever. My mind was flashing with dreams and visions all the time. I found them, I lost them again, they were dead, they joined a religious cult. It was horrible.
It was the sound of smashing glass that finally aroused me from my dreams. This was immediately followed by the sound of wind and rain splashing in from the direction of the kitchen. With caution I slowly tiptoed to the kitchen.
The sight of Lamia standing there in front of the smashed window caused me such a fright and utter disbelief. Rain was spraying in from a hole in the glass where the window used to be, soaking my floor. The woman looked different; angry somehow. That soft innocent appearance had gone. Her eyes were a fiery red, and her face was smeared with something red as if she had been eating Spaghetti Bolognese… messily.
‘What are you doing, Lamia?’ I dared to speak, though feeling a little frightened.
‘Is he here?’ she snarled back at me.
‘Your husband- Is he here, woman?’
‘No he’s not, he’s not here. I’ve had to report him and my son missing to the police.’
‘You stupid woman- why you do this?’
‘Do you know where he is? - where is my husband and baby?’ I screeched back. Feeling a little brave all of a sudden I crossed the kitchen, and over to the window examining the damage. ‘What’s the matter with you..? You jumped through my sodding window...? What…what the bloody hell are you, Lamia?’
She grinned at me with a mouth full of sharp teeth, and this unsavoury vision was completed by two larger rabbit teeth at the front. Next this creature’s nasty mouth turned up and let out a horrid sinister laugh.
‘You no know, do you…Sandra..? Even Paul work it out… eventually.’
‘Worked what out? What are you talking about? I don’t understand. What do you know about Paul?’
Looking back- I was so stupid. How did I not realize? But then why would I? Now I was angry- she knew where they were.
‘What have you done to my husband? What have you done to my child? If you have hurt them...’
With a forced grimace, and that spaghetti still all over her face, she leaned forward towards me. ‘All this time you no even guess…Sandra… you really no know…I tell you, shall I..?’
Then she said it: ‘I am a vampire, my dear, a magnificent wonderful vampire. And so too is your husband, and very soon your child too.’
With the shock I fell back against my cutlery draw. I should’ve known- that’s why she worked the late shift. She is a Vampire? That explained a lot. But Paul and Jason too- no, never, I could not allow that. I opened my cutlery draw behind me and snatched for the biggest thing I could find- a bread knife is what I grabbed. Clutching it by the helm I pointed it towards her. ‘What have you done to my family, you damned monster!’
She just laughed which made me angrier- this thing had befriended me. That innocent foreigner had deceived me- what a bitch. I was overcome with pure hatred. With a furious swipe I slashed her arm with the knife, cutting into the white skin. A large snake-shaped gash appeared, but no blood emerged. Then before my very eyes it merged with her arm and healed. I let out a sigh and dropped my weapon, which by its own power sprung up into the air. She grabbed it and laughed again with a most malicious snigger. With knife in hand the female vampire lunged at me. I slipped and fell onto my back. She pounced, lay across me hissing like a cat, her breath hitting me-it was disgusting; warm and vile, the essence of death itself.
The spaghetti was not spaghetti.
I struggled desperately to push her from me but she was too strong. I was in such fear when she opened her mouth I watched her front teeth stretch into larger fangs.
‘For the honour of my father- this is for Count Arpad.’
I held my breath and expected to die.
Hope, sweet hope had arrived. I heard the front door open; it was Paul and Jason. What timing! Paul seemed bigger, taller and larger around the chest. He held Jason in his arm, who was sound asleep. On seeing Paul, Lamia leapt off me, and I was able to rise from the rain soaked floor.
Without a word Paul handed Jason to me. I tried to speak to him but he placed a slender finger on my lip and shook his head.
‘Please don’t speak,’ he said. It was now that I could see from his mouth two sharp protruding canines. Yet the most disturbing thing about his appearance was that he looked so white, white like her. He had lost his entire colour, except for his ever so red lips. Lamia kept her eyes on him, leapt away and jumped up onto the ceiling. Hanging there upside-down she opened her mouth and let out a demonic snarl like some deranged animal baring her rat-like canines. Paul walked towards her, rose up to join the creature, gripped its arm tightly, descended with her, and opened the back door. He turned to me- his eyes filled with genuine sadness.
‘Get off me!’ screamed the bitch, struggling to free herself from Paul’s firm grip. He did not flinch. A small friendly smile formed around his mouth as he said: ‘I’m so sorry, Sandra. I am so very sorry…’
Lamia was still attached to Paul, squirming as he stepped out into the fierce down pour. And before my very eyes they ascended and vanished into the rain splintered sky.
4 March. - I had not realised how much I have neglected my son of late.
Yesterday when I got Jason up, gave him his breakfast, washed and dressed him for the day, I put him on the floor and set down a few toys for him to play with. I watched him for a few minutes, expecting him to crawl off, as he does. He didn’t. He got up; he was actually up on his two feet and was walking about the room. My head was still spinning from the disturbing events of the previous day. And now my son is strolling about- I did not even know. I called mi-mum.
‘He’s walking, Jason can walk, mum.’
‘Yes, I know,’ she said. ‘He’s been walking for weeks…you didn’t know, Sandra?’
‘Dada,’ said Jason.
What an awful mother I am.
10 March. - It is almost a week since the disturbing revelations with Paul and …that woman. It all seems such a terrible nightmare. I wish to God it was. Jason and I are staying with mi-mum and mi-dad for the time being. I don’t want to go back home, not yet. I told them I didn’t want to talk about what happened. Mi-dad is out of hospital now and still joking. He thinks Paul has gone on holiday for a break. I feel so guilty lying to him. I miss Paul so very much. My little Jason will not know him now and I will have to tell him how wonderful his father was. Worst of all I don’t know what am I going to tell mi-mum, she is bound to insist on knowing. I can’t tell her the truth, can I?
14 March. - Yesterday I told mi -mum all about it- the truth. Obviously she didn’t believe me at first. She said I was a ‘wicked girl’ for making up such a story. Finally, last night when I told my story, she believed me; this was only after she saw Paul with her own eyes when he appeared in her back garden. She was petrified- he must’ve wanted her to see him.
I went out to him when I heard her scream and she said ‘there’s a man outside who looks like Paul…but it doesn’t…he’s white. It’s him, but white…like chalk.’
She was in a sort of daze when she came inside. I told her it was Paul, and to take care of Jason- I would explain everything later. She started to cry as she held her grandson and carried him into the sitting room. I joined Paul in mi-mum’s garden. He was just standing there like a statue. For a moment or two I wondered if he was ever going to speak, when at last he said: ‘I can only speak for a while, Sandra. For some reason that I do not know or understand my human part is still strong. I am here to warn, and prepare you. Please, you must listen to me very carefully!’
I tried to hug him, only he to put out a hand to stop me.
‘No! Please do not touch me, Sandra.’
I stopped a few feet in front of him, while he continued to speak.
‘First of all, you must, please; you must not let me or her into the house. Once inside they can pass the threshold for 24 hours, after that they must be invited in again. They can …we can do a lot of damage in that time. So again do not let us in. I have already made that mistake. Please, you must promise me.’
‘I promise,’ I said.
‘Good, right…Sandra, I want you to destroy me.’ He said it so calmly, so matter of fact. There was no hint of emotion on his face.
‘Why? How?’ is all I could reply. I contemplated saying something else that I cannot remember when he produced a large iron chain from behind his back and announced: ‘I want you to attach me to the lamp post at the end of your mum’s garden so that when the sun rises I will be free from this God forsaken torture.’
‘I can’t Paul.’
‘You must,’ he pleaded. ‘I don’t have much time, Sandra; I am still well over the time of full transformation as it is. Please, Sandra…please!’
I could not see the monster that stood before me, only the man that I loved. The man I had let down so badly. In an attempt to delay I changed the subject. ‘…What about Lamia?’
‘What about her?’
‘Is she still alive?’
‘Oh, well, she is still… un-dead, somewhere.’ At this he raised his opaque eyes to the sky in expectation. Suddenly I became flooded with a new stream of thoughts; after all the events of the last few weeks, all these things that seemed like a bad horror film- what should I believe? -He was one of those monsters now. Perhaps this was a trick and he has completely transformed into one of those damned things. Maybe the sun does not destroy these creatures. He wants to lure me outside, and make me one of his damned bitches. That was all part of their plan from the beginning. No this is a big deception. And how could a chain hold a vampire? I stepped back inside the house and slammed the door shut. I knew now, of course that they could not enter without me inviting them in, so I had to be sure.
‘You’re lying- it’s a set-up. She will appear in any minute now, won’t she, Paul, or whoever you are?’
Paul became animated and came to the door. He did not attempt to enter.
‘No, Sandra, please you must. If you do not kill me now it could be the end for mankind. You will be a complete prisoner; some will be changed, some will be toyed with and tortured just as cats play with mice before they rip them apart and devour them. I don’t want that for you and Jason. You must do it, now, Sandra! You must. The chain will not hold for long, but maybe I can stay this way until the sun comes. And before he takes control…please, Sandra!’
I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I’m mad, maybe it’s because I love him, maybe it’s because I believed those eyes that appeared more earnest than before all this mess began.
I opened that door, went out into the garden and helped Paul to lock himself to the concrete post with one of mi-dad’s big locks. I went back inside the house, turned the key and waited…
Not all went as I thought. Not that I knew what to expect. It was 7 a.m.; the tip of the orange sun begun to blaze its way up to the rescue, sent by God to save us from a planet of vampires, when out of the darkness as if it belonged to the very depths of the night itself appeared an enormous black bat. It descended, and then landed on the damp frosted grass, screeching and screaming. It rested the massive leathery wings by its side, and began to vibrate and spin violently. A moment later there came a cracking sound as it started to twist, shake and transform. Somehow I was not surprised when it was Lamia’s diabolical form standing in mi-mum’s yard seconds later.
‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING?’ she bellowed, tugging at the chain in an attempt to release Paul.
‘No!’ he screamed. ‘This must be done- your kind must not prevail.’
‘Our kind, our kind! – What do you say? - you are one of our kind now, Pablo.’
‘No, Pablo is not here; I can fight him, I don’t know why or how but I have not fully become one of you…things, just yet, Lamia... I believe I have been sent to put an end to your unnatural plans.’
‘You are wrong- there will always be our kind. We will never to be stopped… never!’
Paul grabbed her tightly about the arm. She struck him hard in return and he fell on the lawn. Next he rose and struck her. She stumbled, giving him the chance to grab a hold of her again. The female vampire struggled and together they fought in mi-mum’s garden, with Paul still chained to the post.
With a finger, Paul indicated that I go inside. I did as he instructed. I watched them through mi-mum’s kitchen window battle throughout the twilight hours of the dawn under the silver moon that appeared to be taking such pleasure in capturing these dramatic scenes. Paul struck Lamia, sending her to the far side of the garden, hitting the fence. When she hit him he travelled through the air as far as the iron chain would allow, which brought him back to earth with a harsh hellish thud. At times they stopped and embraced and I presumed that Paul had changed back into that other thing. And they proceeded onto battle once more, continuing until the morning was nearly, nearly here.
Suddenly the horizon over the field had become red and I knew that the sun was about to bring about a new day, thank God. The dawn was truly on its way, almost here.
Lamia screamed, ‘NOOO!’
‘YESS!’ proclaimed Paul in joyful tones.
Lamia continued to struggle with fear in those eyes. For a moment I saw some humanity in that face- a face that I once trusted, and then hated. A face that deceived me, wanted to destroy me and my family, and now a face that I pitied. I turned again to look at my husband. His face was changing, and actually moved as if thousands of tiny ants were crawling all over it. At first I thought the combined forces of the late moon and early sun were distorting it. No, I was wrong. Because the very next moment it began to bubble, mutate and alter. When it had become still again I realized that Paul had transformed into that fiend from hell. The countenance was now protruding and angry. His eyes were bloodshot and his teeth were larger, and he wore the most malicious grimace. All of his features now seemed unnatural, wrong, evil. He stood, and discovered, in disgust, the iron chain that was attached to his waist and wrists.
‘WHAT IS THIS?’ he bellowed, in a deep gravel filled voice. ‘Why am I bound this way? - is this your doing, female creature?’ he pointed his thin finger at me as I remained behind the door. He released Lamia who came to the threshold and started to shout and point at me. ‘Yes it was her, she do it- she wants to destroy us, Pablo! She wants to blot out my father’s name.’
‘Is that a fact?’ he said, behind that harsh countenance fighting with the chain furiously, still unable to free himself. He continued to yank and heave on it as he spoke: ‘you can never destroy us- we will rule this pathetic little world. Do you understand- female creature..?Lamia! Help me out of this thing, come now!’
I opened the door.
‘No, don’t you bloody dare! You leave him as he is, you disgusting bitch from hell!’
It would not surprise me if this is what the name ‘Lamia’ really means, not magical princess.
‘What, my dear, female creature…who are you..? Ah yes, you…you are the wife. Ha, ha, ha… I am afraid, for you he has gone, my dear female creature. It’s all over for him. It is all over for mankind. Come here, now, female creature.’
I stepped outside. I couldn’t help it- his face had suddenly become soft and his eyes a mellow brown- it was Paul. He had come back to me. I continued to walk. I desired him, I couldn’t resist him. I had reached him, when: ‘NO! What is happening..?’
He stared down on himself; another head partly shaped itself out from his chest. No movie special effects could imitate it.
‘I’m back. Now get out, you devil…’
‘Get out of me, now you fiend…’
‘You, Paul- how are you in my body…?’
‘No- you are in my body. There is no way are you going to win. I cannot allow it…’
‘Ha ha ha, you fool, I have no idea why or how you are still here, but you will never defeat us, we are too strong…’
‘But you are the fool…’
‘The sun, it’s up, you diabolical idiot…’
‘You cannot beat us; you cannot..!’
While this was happening I had slowly made it back into the house, and even Lamia, that witch, had not realized that the sun had risen to its full glory, to initiate the new day.
A moment later they both began to scream loudly in agony as the mighty rays of the celestial orb began to do its job. I have no idea who was in control of Paul’s body at that moment. It made no difference.
I had wondered if the sun would destroy these things like in those old horror films. Of course they are only films and this is real life.
I waited for a few minutes to find out if it was indeed created to destroy such satanic beings. I’m glad to say yes. Yes, yes, yes; because the next instance I was forced to look away as their faces became a horrendous mass of melting bubbling flesh, a dark red messy globule, then a pink heaving liquid. When the final and fateful screams had faded I had no idea of their appearance for my eyes were now tightly closed. A hot smoky stench filled my nostrils, burning flesh, sweet and rancid. I pinched my nose.
For over an hour it lasted. When finally I dared to open my eyes and view the scene once more. All that remained were two piles of dusty smouldering clothes and the chain at the bottom of mi-mum and mi-dad’s garden. Inside, mi-mum was holding Jason, weeping and rocking him in her arm chair, while mi-dad was laying asleep upstairs, undisturbed by the night’s events.
On auto-pilot I went out and disposed of the clothes- I was void of any emotions. I could not cry; my eyes had not one drop of moisture left. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to cry again. But I am quite sure that I will never see such things again- well, at least that is my hope. And maybe hope is all I have.