That’s Funny – You Don’t Look Like a Vampire…

Episode 5 – Blood Lust

Blackie Sherwood started up the old pickup truck as Mags the dog jumped in the back. Within seconds she was sitting beside her best friend, courtesy of the non-existent back window. Blackie had always meant to get the window repaired, but state money was tight and with the Ranger office now closing, there would be no need. He had the use of the truck through the end of the week when someone from Richmond would come and tow it away, probably for resale at a government auction. The forty dollars in his wallet probably wouldn’t be enough, he thought. Come Sunday, I’ll be broke and tired from walking.

Soon enough, they arrived at the dock. Walking up to his boat, Blackie smiled, giving Mags one last pep talk. “Well, girl – at least we still got this ole’ tub.” The state had been giving him an allowance to maintain his own boat, since he used it on official business. As he was loading his seabag, Blackie started to formulate how he could outfit a plywood shelter, creating a poor man’s houseboat. Broke, tired, and needing a place to sleep…

Finally underway, Blackie made a straight line for Cobb Island. He and Mags could see the lighthouse, looming in the distance, a reminder for smart, intelligent people to steer clear. As Blackie surveyed the approaching shoreline, Mags hid her head under a lifejacket. “No, Mags, it’s not a good idea. But sometime you just have go for it, hoping you will either figure it out or find what you are looking for – before someone, or some thing, finds you. Beats flippin’ sliders at the Half Shell.”

Mags looked up at him, expressionless.

“You just keep watch, girl. Let me know if some vampire starts to make a move on me, okay?”

Mags looked at him again. Still expressionless.

“Glad to know you got my back, Mags.”

Blackie’s boat pulled up along shore. The motor now silent, the sound of seagulls searching for tidbits to eat broke the monotony of waves lapping the beach sand. Blackie saw no other signs of life, that is, until he noticed several hawks flying about, circling, eying something probably already dead.

“Good thing you’re not a little poodle, Mags. Those birds look hungry.”

Blackie and Mags spent the next several hours searching the island. He was purposefully avoiding the lighthouse, hoping to find something a little more obvious, explainable, perhaps even understandable. It was not looking promising.

As the sun was on its final descent behind the trees, Blackie decided it was time to face the unpleasant fact that he would have to search the lighthouse. He had not seen a single clue leading to the woman from the bar, nor anything even remotely related to the lawyer man from Richmond. Certainly, not any vampires.

The solid steel door creaked with age as Blackie made his way into the dark, conical structure. The putrid smell hitting his nostrils stopped him right off. Using his flashlight, Blackie discovered bits and pieces of several goats, and one coyote. It was a gruesome scene, right out of a B movie. This was not the work of coyotes, he thought.

Something startled Blackie, causing him to look up. Fading sunlight made the lamp above seem like a strange shadow of geometric shapes, with no clear identity. Blackie recognized the sound of birds nestling in for the evening. The more he thought his surroundings, the more Blackie was surprised no vultures had come in to scoop up the dead animal carcasses. He was also thankful.

It was now pitch black inside the old abandoned lighthouse. The birds were still rustling, only less so. Blackie decided to give himself a half hour more. If no one showed up, he would leave.

The glow of his flashlight started to dim from overuse. That’s when Blackie saw the woman coming out from the darkness of the wall. How long has she been standing there?

The woman manipulated a matchbook, striking a match with one hand. She lit the hurricane lamp being held in her other. The yellow glow growing, her figure became more accentuated,, drawing Blackie’s immediate attention.

“What scares you, Blackie Sherwood, son of Grace? Anything?”

He recognized the voice. It was definitely the same woman from the diner.

“Do I scare you?” she continued.

Blackie was taken aback by the verbal challenge.

“I faced a cougar once, on Fisherman Island. That didn’t scare me, but I was rather concerned. Does that count?”

“How about vampires. Do you believe in vampires, Blackie-“

“Sherwood, son of Grace, yeah I get it. And no I don’t believe in vampires, just crazy people who’ve seen too many movies.”

“In time, you will.  I’m one.”

Mags the dog uttered a low growl…

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