by Eddie D. Moore
Robert looked both ways before stepping into the dark alley. Once his eyes adjusted, he saw the door he was looking for, and tapped twice before stepping back. A small panel on the door opened, and a raspy voice quickly asked, “Who are you and what do you want?”
“I’m Robert. Our mutual friend, Edward, told me that a man could quench his thirst here.”
Robert heard the slide and clank of the deadbolt just before the door opened. “Well, hurry up. Get in here.” The proprietor quickly shut and locked the door before asking, “What’s your preferred poison?”
Bottles of various shapes and colors lined the walls, and several crates filled with hard-to-find liquors were stacked neatly in one corner. Robert nodded his head in approval as he looked around the room.
“Edward was right; this is the best speakeasy in Baton Rouge.”
“I’m glad you’re pleased. So, what will it be? A fifth of whiskey? A bottle of gin?”
Robert closed his eyes, and inhaled deeply with his nose high in the air. A smile spread across his face, and the new electric lights flickered and dimmed for a couple of seconds. “What I’ve come for isn’t in this room but it is close.” He raised his voice, “Virginia, I’m here for you, my love!”
The proprietor glanced at the Edison bulbs and swallowed hard before pulling a large crucifix out of a crate. His confidence grew when Robert hissed and looked away. “I know what you are, and you’ll never have her!”
Robert held a hand in front of his eyes to block the sight of the crucifix. “You can’t keep us apart. You’re too late for that. If I can’t come to her, she will come to me.”
Muffled shouts came from an adjoining room, and the proprietor placed himself in front of the door. “She can’t heed your summons when she’s tied up, and you’re not getting past me.”
A board squeaked behind Robert, and he spun about with inhuman speed. He grabbed the arm of the man who was sneaking up behind him with his left hand, and clasped his right hand around the man’s throat. Robert stared into the man’s eyes, and said softly, “Nice hat.” Robert glanced at the wooden stake the man was holding, and snarled as he tightened his hold on the man’s throat.
The stake dropped from the man’s hand as he passed out. Robert took the man’s fedora off his head, and let the body fall to the floor. He put the hat on, smiled, and turned to face the proprietor again. “It fits. I’d ask for a mirror but well, I don’t seem to have much use for them these days.”
The proprietor shook the crucifix and held it a little higher. “Leave this place, you devil! I command it.”
Robert laughed. “That silly crucifix doesn’t bother me.” He stepped closer, and his tone hardened. “I acted like it did so that your friend on the floor would feel safe enough to come out of hiding.” The shouts behind the door grew louder, and something heavy thumped against the floor over and over again. Robert looked deeper into the proprietor’s eyes as he got closer. “You hear her pain. She longs to be with me. What right do you have to deny her?”
The proprietor’s eyes lost focus, the crucifix fell to the floor, and he softly said, “She needs you.” Tears fell from his eyes as he stepped away from the door.
Robert smiled as he opened the door, and Virginia stopped fighting her restraints. He saw the longing in Virginia’s eyes, and felt something tug on his foot as he tried to step through the doorway. An instant later, four stakes slammed into his body. One in his shoulder, two in his belly, and one in his heart.
The stakes came loose from the booby trap, and Robert fell to the floor, paralyzed by the stake in his heart. He could hear the proprietor helping his companion to his feet but he couldn’t even move his eyes to look around. Seconds felt like minutes as they slowly passed.
“Jake, are you alright? Here’s your hat.”
“Thanks, Will. We got him?”
“Yeah, we got him.” Will stuffed a mouthful of garlic into the vampire’s mouth. “Stop your staring, and hand me that hacksaw.”
“I can’t believe the bastard was going to take my hat.”
Will admired the teeth on the new hacksaw, and made sure that the vampire saw them as well. “His first mistake was trying to slowly suck the life out of my only daughter.” Leaning closer to the vampire, Will whispered, “I told you that you wouldn’t make it past me.” As Will began to work the hacksaw, he said to Jake with a laugh, “But I guess trying to steal your fedora was his last.”
Eddie D. Moore travels hundreds of hours a year, and he fills that time by listening to audiobooks. When he isn’t playing with his grandchildren, he writes his own stories. You can find a list of his publications on his blog or by visiting his Amazon Author Page. While you’re there, be sure to pick up a copy of his mini-anthology Misfits & Oddities.