Ah, those good old Cape May days… by Jackson D’Catur
I remember the first time we had a vampire in Cape May. It happened not long after I had my collection of Fabergé eggs shipped from St Petersburg ahead of the Communists and the cargo vessel arrived off The Point, empty and ragged of sail.
I assumed the crew had been lured by the siren sounds of Wildwood and thought nothing of it, dispatching my serving men aboard to remove the cargo. There was a rough, scratched message on the deck, and a lot of dried brown stains and signs of violence. I thought the message read “Umpires,” and assumed there had been a hotly-disputed cricket match on board, that ended, as many do, in violence.
Not long after, I was plagued by what I took to be an unseasonal mosquito in the D’Catur manse. Every morning I rose from bed with welts on my neck which I was pressed to conceal with a silk ascot. The Young Albert of the day was grumpy, too, I recall, always barking at shadows.
I grew weaker, and had awful dreams, but still didn’t twig: we D’Caturs are made of tough stuff and also, you will recall, I have drank of the Fountain of Youth, and so am really, to all intents and purposes, indestructible, except by… well, enough of those sorts of details, eh?
One morning I awoke shading my eyes from the bright light, and realized that I was not in the mood for my usual egg-and-garlic omelette, and when I picked up my silver hand mirror from the bedside table I was horrified to see the headboard BEHIND me, through my own slightly ghostly reflection, plus the handle of the mirror burned like fire. I realized that the twin punctures on my neck were not a mosquito’s work at all.
Well, I may be slow on the uptake but I am quick to act, and I sprang from bed and ran to the weapons chest I keep by the loo, in case I am ever surprised whilst on the throne. I rummaged through, discarding pistols and swords. I did not have any stakes but did come across a box of toothpicks and seized them. I was expecting to have a long search in the basement, for surely the fiend was in one of the crates from Russia, but then I heard snoring from under the bed. I crept up and what did I see but, wedged there, a remarkably fat vampire. He had been suckling on my own supernaturally rich blood for weeks and was as fat as a gorged tick.
In the event, all I had to do was prick him lightly with a toothpick and the fiend exploded in a shower of entrails and blood, which remarkably and luckily burst into flame and left little in the way of mess, just ashes and a set of sharp teeth that I have mounted on the wall.