Disposal - Vampire Short Story
by Simon Stewart
(Bradford, Yorkshire, UK)
Vampire Short Story - Disposal
When he initially arrived he had not known what to do, the task was beyond him. He stared at the narrow shaft that was thrust through the heart of the man lying there before him, on the floor. He had taken her call, had not believed her but had come anyway. She stood beside him, she who had killed him. She knelt down beside the body and pulled back the man’s upper lip; he saw the teeth and reeled away to be sick in the corner. When he had finished she lead him to the small kitchen on the ground floor, let him rinse out his mouth and splash cold water on his face. Then she turned to him and pulled down the collar of her blouse exposing the two puncture marks to the side of her neck.
‘He always took from that side, he would come about midnight and stay and suck for a while.’
He retched, only just making it to the basin. Again, rinsed out his mouth and splashed water on his face; took great gulps of air, hyperventilating. She brushed against him slightly as she went to a cupboard to his left. She pulled out of it a glass and a bottle; and poured into the glass a slug of whiskey, which she passed to him. He necked it down but it didn’t stop his shivering. He tried for the cigarettes in his pocket but just clutched, compulsively, at the pocket.
‘I didn’t like it at first but he did other things - he was quite proficient at the other things.’ she said, and smiled at him.
‘I –’ he tried.
She walked past him and out the room, already bored with the conversation and what he would say. He managed to put a cigarette into his mouth, and get it lit. He stayed where he was to smoke the fag, only going over to the sideboard to where she had left the whiskey to refill his glass. She came back in, looked at him and walked back out again. He didn’t know what to do, what to say.
He knew the man, had know him a long time. Knew about his taste for younger women. But this. This. In fact, he had become bored with the retold tales of conquest and the attempts to inveigle him into joining in. Had preferred to keep their conversation to that of theatre, of wine: anything, but women.
He found he was not enjoying the cigarette and chucked it in the sink, where it fizzled slightly before smoking out. He, then, finished the whiskey and put the glass down on the sink top, passed a hand across his face and through his hair and went out of the kitchen passed the room with the dead man, to find her. She was sat in an armchair in the sitting room, smiling at nothing. He stood and looked at her not knowing if he knew her any longer. He thought he had, had not thought she was one of the conquests. Thought she had meant something else to him. A preparer of fine monographs of a shared interest in the history of drama. Not one of those. He wanted another whiskey, wanted to find something to say. Failed. She looked up.
‘It was a game.’
‘Game?’ he managed.
‘Yes. A game. I would help him and he would suck his pleasure – take me – but only if I could hold his heart at stake. But he convulsed, I think, to caught in the act. God, he came – Christ, as that pierced him. Had a hell of a job rolling him off me – Oh, do stop looking shocked. It’s boring.’
He sat down in the other armchair. Sat, and worried his fingers. Then he spoke.
‘Should we –’
‘Should we what?’ she said, when she realised he was not going to finish saying anything.
‘Call someone?’ he hesitated, ‘The police.’
‘God, the police. Stop being silly! You really are a silly sometimes.’
‘But we have to do something.’
‘No, we don’t. Not immediately.’
‘People will be expecting him. Friends, you know.’
‘No, they won’t!’
‘He’s in Spain. Everyone thinks he’s at the caserio, camping out there – doing a bit of work on the place. Nobody knows he’s here, he got a lift back over with some lorry driver he met.’
‘Do stop saying but. We just have to get rid of the body – so think of something, stop being useless!’
He could not think of anything and just sat there useless, worrying his fingers some more. Rubbing at them, pinching them hard.
‘I know!’ she said, ‘I’ve got it.’
With that, she got up and went out of the room. He heard her going down the corridor. He thought to do also, go after her but did not, anything to escape further scathing comment from her. He glanced towards the phone in a type of longing, wishing for someone to take this away – take it anywhere. He heard something; it sounded like some yelp. Then he heard her clattering back down the corridor and going up stairs to the rooms above, carpets gradually dulling further sound. He got up and thought about going back out there to the whiskey but didn’t; decision taken from him as he heard her coming back down the stairs and soon in the room. He waited for her to say something but she did not say anything, did not even look at him. He watched her as she went across the room and started rifling in the desk, in the corner. She let papers fall to the floor and did not close the drawers properly – a couple of them gaped open after she had been through them. With a sudden tssk she slammed the last one she had been looking through, shut. She then left the room clutching in her hand a piece of paper she had got from the desk.
He himself went over to the desk and started routing through the papers there, half-heartedly, not knowing what, if anything, he was looking for. He came across interesting statements of account and a crapped out unclosed position in certain stocks; he wondered what death did to short sellers. Then he saw something that he did not want to see or even think about – it confirmed too much – but he continued looking at the bundle of faded photographs he had found in the corner of one of the drawers. He dragged cigarettes again from his pocket, and lit one. Drawing deeply – now nervous to a degree he did not want to look into. Taking his glasses off did not make the awful truth of what he had seen in the photographs go away. He sat down on the chair behind the desk and began to cry, blinding himself with tears; wept at the damage and the deceit taken.
Stayed that way for a while till he felt himself snotty with mucous and found tissues to use, then still sat there feeling drained beyond misery.
He heard the phone in the hallway being crashed down into its cradle and a plosive ‘shit’. She came back into the room and seeing him at the desk came over to see what he was doing.
‘Oh. You’ve got those, have you.’ she said, after noticing the photographs scattered on the desktop, ‘Interesting aren’t they? Explained a few things to you, have they. He always did say you were a little slow on the uptake – want the police now, do you?’
He did not say anything, way past anything to say.
‘I particularly like that one of him – he looks so dashing in that uniform with that lovely on his arm.’ she said, tapping at one photograph in particular, ‘Ages well, doesn’t he?’
Fresh tears leaked from his eyes.
‘Oh, god. You’re crying. I stopped being able to do that months ago.’
She sharply cracked him across the side of the head with the back of her hand and turned on him, telling him to stop it.
‘Sorry.’ he muttered. Then added, ‘What are we going to do?’
‘Don’t you worry, now. Don’t worry your little head, I’ve plans. And you’re going to help me. Got uses for little old you.’ she smiled at him, viciously, ‘Think there hasn’t been this sort of problem here before?’
He did not want to say a thing, was not sure what she was – might be; was not certain that he wanted to find out.
She stroked his head, then said, ‘I’ve got to make another little phone call – stay here. I’ll bring you a whiskey. A whiskey for my favourite boy.’
She looked him full in the face. He nodded, weakly.
She left the room again. This time he heard her pick up and use the phone but caught only scatters of conversation. He caught a name. Oh no, he thought, not him. For a moment, he thought he was going to be sick again. He heard the phone being put down and her footsteps recede down the corridor, then come back. She came back into the room holding out a glass of whiskey, which she gave to him. He threw half of it down. She gave him a pensive gaze before going to sit in an armchair.
‘You’re going to have to help me – there’s somewhere in the cellar we can put him. Keep him cool till Freddie can come and collect him.’
‘Yes, move him – you idiot. Can’t leave him for the cleaner to find, now can we?’
‘I don’t want to touch him, can’t Freddie –’
‘Freddie’s in Glasgow doing something interesting and can’t get here till the day after. He did suggest the lime pit but that will leave some bones to mess with, and I can’t be bothered. Much easier to use a crematoria.’
‘What if – ’
‘Doesn’t matter, nothing.’
‘Come on, then. May as well get it done.’
He drank off the rest of the whiskey and got to his feet, not quite sure how. And followed her; helped her get the body done the cellar steps and into a large chill cabinet down there. Sweaty and breathless, fighting against nausea, he helped her manoeuvre the body down the twists of the stairs and hunch it up into the cabinet for it to sit there. He did not take any last look as she slammed down and locked the lid on what he had ceased to regard as something he knew. She turned and looked at him speculatively.
‘Come here.’ she said, ‘You really have been very good, not even been sick. Even lost the smell of it from earlier, though you’re a bit whiffy with sweat and whiskey.’
She pulled him to her with a strength he did not think her ever to have had. Thought, no. Then whimpered as she clasped arms tightly around him before lowering her head to his neck, nuzzling and a sniffing at it before biting in to feed.
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