My Neighbor, The Vampire

When they said they were from “Cluj”, you know, I didn’t think a thing about it. I mean, who thinks “Cluj…Transylvania,” right? I mean, I thought “Cluj…rhymes with ‘rouge.’” Like I did when I was in college, you know, I just thought of something that rhymed with the word, so I wouldn’t forget it in case anyone asked, “So, where are the new neighbors from?”

I mean, I didn’t want to look stupid or rude.

Anyway, I wouldn’t have found all that creepy stuff if I’d minded my own beeswax. What on earth made me think it was a good idea to go poking around someone’s house while they were away for the weekend? Good grief. I’m such an idiot.

Well, actually, it started out innocently enough. I mean, I was really just looking for some cat food. Man, their cat can eat. Have you seen that thing? Loads and loads of Meow Mix or whatever it is they give him. But I didn’t think that I was going to go from kibble to coffin so fast, you know?

I mean, if you’re going to keep a coffin in the first floor guest room, put a lock on the door will ya? That kinda sight can give a gal a real fright. Yeah, I know there are those new eco-friendly caskets that they make into furniture you can use until you croak, but c’mon. Isn’t that a bit much?

Of course, now I know that the environmental thing is just a cover for the coffins-turned-coffee tables biz. The truth is that vampirism is on the rise. Heck, it’s practically an epidemic in some cities. You can find a bunch of them on Twitter and MySpace, if you know the right keywords. There are even Meet Ups. Oh, and as for the coffin furniture scheme…all it took was for a couple of clever, artsy Danish vampires to start marketing coffins-in-waiting as eco-chic and…voila!

I still think it’s creepy to keep a coffin visible like that. But, hey, that’s just me.

And gosh, I have to say that they seemed like such a nice older couple…I just had no idea how old they really were. They always stacked their recycling by the curb so neatly. Now that I think about it though, he was a little too excited about dressing up as Varney the Vampyre for the neighborhood Halloween-in-the-Park-after-Dark party. And she knew an awful lot about European history. No wonder. She lived it.

Good grief. How could I have been so clueless?

Funny but even as a kid I was fascinated with bats and vampires and stories about Vlad the Impaler. I used to wad up the electric blanket around my neck, just in case one snuck into my room and wanted a nibble. I thought he’d get a shock, which would buy me a little time. The way kids think…funny, huh?

Oh, yeah…so, there are a couple of myths about vampires. First, they can in fact go out in daylight. I mean, they have to make a living somehow. They’re really pretty normal seeming, you know. Second, they don’t really drink all of your blood…just enough to make, well, a conversion of sorts. Third—and most importantly, they don’t really bite you on the neck. It’s really closer to the clavicle. Kinda looks like two moles…come closer…see?...they look just like these right here.

By Penny Dreadful

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