Story Go Round 10/25/2009, #1

Bite Me!

(post-titled by John)

Another full moon shone peacefully overhead as Gertrude did her midnight gardening. She found the dead of night relaxing in her garden. It was lovely to be outside while the city was quiet for a change, with only a distant dog bark or siren wail to disturb her nature time.

Down on her knees, weeding the pumpkins, Gertrude hummed her favorite dirge, a Romanian one her father had used to hum her to sleep with as an adult. Now in her sixties, Gertrude missed the old man, but having scattered his ashes in the pumpkin patch, it was like he was there with her there. When she occasionally found surviving bone fragments, that made him seem even closer. But now, while tidying her biggest pumpkin, she found an entire femur that looked too long for him. She paused.

In the silence of that pause, a rustle caught her ear.

"Oh no you don't," she hissed.

She hadn't thought gophers were nocturnal, but what else would be crawling around in her garden at midnight?

Gertrude grabbed her trowel and holding it up like a dagger, she followed the sounds silently. Over by the squash she confronted it. Through the beans she ran from it. Under the grape vines she hid from it. But only the garlic patch saved her from eternal damnation. "You have called my bluff," a suave Transylvanian voice said. "I was searching for my toothpick, I dropped, but I think you look a lot more tasty. Do you come here often?"

She wanted to shout, "What kind of stupid ass question is that?" but the voice was so silky and charming, so instead she stammered, "Every n- n- night."

"I'm so very glad to hear that," the voice purred. "Why don't you step out into the moonlight so I can look at you lasciviously and then circle you closely, breathing warmly on your neck as you — I mean, let's be honest here. If I use my sexy voice you'll do as you're told. We all know how this goes."

But Gertrude had sworn an oath, fifty years ago on this very spot, before the backyard had been turned into a garden — when it was the old old town cemetery from the eighteen hundreds. She was eleven and her mother had just finished lecturing her on being a good girl. She swore she would never encourage, date, or allow neck bites from anyone without a prior introduction of the suitor to her father. But they were in luck! Her father was here!

"What are your intentions toward my daughter," came a deep droning voice from the pumpkin patch. Gertrude gasped as she turned to see the largest pumpkin rise into the air and it had somehow been carved into a likeness of her dear departed dad, candle burning dimly inside so his eyes and other orifices glowed and flickered eerily in the darkness.

"Daddy!" Gertrude cried, and ran to embrace him, but the pumpkin head ignored her and floated single-mindedly towards the source of the silky voice.

"Kristoph?!" he cried when he reached it. "Don't you know that what you have here is a 'nice girl'?! Are you going to ruin this chance with more of that confounded bloodsucking? Straighten up!" Here, the floating pumpkin forcefully whacked the puzzled vampire upside the head.

"But- but bloodsucking is what I do," Kristoph whimpered, nursing a bruise. "It's not just a source of nourishment, it's my lifestyle, my thing."

The pumpkin made no direct reply, instead beginning to sing a woeful song, the tune of which Gertrude recognized with a shiver.

"Daddy, I didn't know that dirge had words," she whispered.

"It's a family song. Come on, Kristoph, you know them too."

"But, but," Gertrude butted as the implication sank in. To the dark spot she called, "So you're related?"

The voice answered sheepishly, "You don't remember me, Trudy? Cousin Kris? You used to call me Paleface and wake me up in the middle of the day when you'd come visit over the summer holidays."

"I'm sorry if I hurt you, Kristoph!" Gertrude pleaded. "I just didn't like being related to an undead guy. But the years since then have given me time to think."

"Oh?" Kristoph said hopefully.

"I suppose I'm a nice girl, though daddies are supposed to say that, but I'm also kind of shallow. I never married because I couldn't stand the idea of my hubby growing old and decrepit. But you, Kristoph, you will always be as hot as you are right now!

"So bite me, Kristoph! Bite me like you've never bitten anyone before! Your days of hitting on women in gardens are over."