THE VAMPIRE'S BARGAIN

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
On the run from a bully, a young boy hides in a seemingly abandoned house only to discover that the house is owned by a vampire

Submitted: June 30, 2016

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Submitted: June 30, 2016

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THE VAMPIRE’S BARGAIN

By

Spencer R. Langseth

 

Zach Richmond ran as fast as his scrawny legs could carry him through the dimly lit night street of his neighborhood. Sweat drenched his white Batman shirt and his orange crop of hair at the top of his head. How could a simple stroll on his bike lead to a nighttime ambush from Charlie Simmons, the eighth grade bully of Bay wood middle school where Zach attended as a seventh grader? What had he ever done to him? Did he ever insult him? He couldn’t recall. Did he get him into trouble? If so, then he wasn’t the only one.

Charlie Simmons wasn’t just a bully, he was a young psychopath. To everyone he was known as “Charlie: the devil”, a name very much deserved. His hobbies were beating the sixth graders to a bloody pulp, setting fire to trashcans in the back of the school, threatening the Latino, African-American, Asian, and Indian kids within an inch of their lives, and various other unsavory activities. So needless to say, the principal’s office was a regular destination for him. Due to his intimidating size and strength, no one in their right minds would stand up to him. His favorite people of choice to pick on were the nerds and social outcasts. Unfortunately for Zach, he fell into that category. If ever there was a nerd, Zach was it. This earned him a top place on Charlie Simmons’ list of kids to pound.

He could feel Charlie close behind him. He couldn’t run much longer. Eventually his legs would give out and that would be the end. Then he saw it, the old Langley house. Everyone in Bay wood stayed away from that place. It had been there for as long as Zach could remember. It was Victorian in architecture with a high tower and four gables facing each side of the house. Black wood and cobblestone made up the exterior. Weeds and vines broke through the wooden floorboards and wrapped around the pillars of the front veranda. The grass in the lawn had grown to nearly the height of a corn stock. And vines strangled the iron fence outside.

 The house was built in 1915 by Foster Langley, a rich oil tycoon, as a home for him and his young and beautiful bride, Emilia. It was like a happy ending to a fairy tale. But the fairy tale didn’t last. After two years of living in house, Foster was called away to war in Europe, leaving his wife home alone for months until one morning in the fall of 1919, police found the dead body of Emilia Langley, her neck broken. No one knew what truly happened. But judging by the shattered window of the tower and Emilia’s broken neck, the police speculated that she committed suicide by leaping to her death. She was buried in the local cemetery without a funeral or headstone. Afterwards, no one ever saw the return of Foster Langley. The house became a local legend, however. People claimed to hear sounds coming from the old house. Some people claimed to see the face of Foster Langley through the darkened windows. The house was now the local rumored haunted house of the town.

Zach didn’t believe in ghosts. He wasn’t afraid of some urban legend. He was, however, afraid of the psychotic bully in pursuit. Running out of options, Zach jumped the fence of the Langley house and made his way for the front doors. To his surprise, they were unlocked. He quickly slammed them shut and locked them. Charlie Simmons banged hard. “Let me in, you little bastard!” he demanded. Zach didn’t comply. After ten minutes of banging on the front doors and yelling, Charlie gave up. “Sleep well amongst the dead” he whispered through the key hole, “tomorrow, you’ll be joining them.”

Seeing that he was safe, Zach unlocked and opened the door to leave when from the corner of his eye, he saw a faint light coming from a room beside the staircase. Curious, he went to see what was and found himself in what looked like a grand study. An oak desk stood in front of a large window. The walls were a golden color covered with framed medals, swords, and various other bric a brac. Four tall bookshelves stood amongst the walls covered in books and head busts. And the pelt of a Bengal tiger lay on the dark oak floor. He stood in stunned silence. Never had he seen a collection like this aside from a museum.  “Good evening” a cold sounding voice behind him said.

 All the blood in Zach’s body froze. Slowly, he turned around.  Standing before him was a tall man in red-satin male’s dressing gown, a white, high collared shirt with a black ascot, black pants, and black shoes. His platinum blonde hair was slicked back. His skin was white, almost translucent. His eyes were a dark shade of red. And his fingers were long with sharp nails at the end. “Welcome to my home, dear boy”, he said courtly, “My name is Foster Langley.”

When he opened his mouth to speak, Zach saw that both his canines and incisors grew down to long, sharp points. He couldn’t bring himself to say what it was that was staring in front of him. He had seen plenty of Dracula films to know what it was. But those were just fiction. Until now, he thought they didn’t exist. Zach didn’t hesitate, he ran. He would take his chances with Charlie. He was not going to be a vampire’s meal. He ran to the front doors to find them closed. He tried to open them but they wouldn’t budge.

Zach felt the vampire’s cold hand grip his shoulders. “It has been ages since I’ve had company in this house” he said “I insist you stay a little longer.”

“No!’ Zach yelled in fear, “you’re a vampire!”

The vampire gave him an amused look. “You are smart, boy”, he said warmly, “very smart”.

A sinister laugh issued from his lips. “You are correct” he said, “I am a vampire. In 1917, I was called away to fight for our country against Germany. I was stationed in the trenches of Stolhofen. For days and nights, my fellow comrades were dying left and right by German gunfire, mustard gas, and cannon fire. It was one night in October I met my fate. The blood and devastation attracted the attention of a truly evil creature. One that looked like a man, but was not. The German locals referred to it as a Nachtzeher or 'night waster'.I caught it feeding on the ones in my squadron who were close to death. With fury, I tried to fight it off and though I succeeded, it punished me before I delivered my killing blow. It held me down and bit into its arm and fed me its putrid blood. The next night, I was no longer a man. I too began to feed on my own men. And when I had finished with them, I crossed enemy lines and fed on the enemy without stopping. When I returned home to America, my wife was horrified at my ‘condition’.  And so she leapt to her death, leaving me alone in this world.”

“Please let me go!” Zach cried, “I truly am sorry for what has happened to you and I’m sorry I trespassed. But please don’t kill me!”

The vampire smiled. “But you trespassed” he replied, “Didn’t you’re mother and father ever teach you that it isn’t polite to come into a person’s home uninvited?”

“I’m sorry!” Zach screamed, “I’ll do anything, just please let me go!”

The vampire laughed again. “You amuse me, child” he chuckled, “suppose I let you go. You will do something for me in return.”

“y-yes” Zach replied in a quivering voice, “anything”

The vampire smiled. “You will bring me someone to take your place as my meal. It could be an enemy of yours, perhaps. It matters not to me. But you will bring me a life for yours. That is my bargain for you. A life for a life. Do we have an agreement?”

Though what the vampire was demanding of him was one of the most evil things to do, Zach needed to escape so he gave in and accepted the bargain. “y-yes” he said.

 The vampire then let go of him and with a motion of his hand, the front doors opened. Before Zach could leave, however, the vampire grabbed him. And with the swipe of one of his long nails, slashed his cheek. The vampire licked the blood on his finger from the wound.

“Consider that a warning” he said, “If by tomorrow night I do not have my life, I will come for you. And when I find you, I will drain you to a husk.”

 Zach bolted, making sure not to dare look back. As he ran, the vampire’s words echoed in his head. But how could he choose who would need to die? This was not something to be taken lightly. Then he remembered what the vampire said. It could be an enemy of yours, perhaps. It matters not to me. That’s it. He knew who to choose. Charlie Simmons liked to convince people he was a monster. But tomorrow night, he was going to see what a real monster looked like. In fact, it was going to be the last thing he ever saw.  

 


© Copyright 2017 Spencer R. Langseth. All rights reserved.