Okay, it’s true. I believe in vampires, but I have proof.
Okay, it’s true. I believe in vampires, but I have proof. The recording was poor but that part came through loud and clear.
Jim sighed and stared across the desk at Editor Pratt. “It does not matter how many times I hear ‘I have proof’. Vampires do not exist.”
“That’s what I like about you Jimbo, a skeptic through and through. Our readers love it.”
He hated the moniker Jimbo, but Editor Pratt paid well for the stories he wrote, so he shrugged it off.
Pratt stood up, with the usual rustle of paper. “See Georgina for your normal advance and have the copy on my desk in two days, standard fee. Here’s the address. Mr. ‘I have proof’ is expecting you this afternoon.” Pratt sat back down already engrossed in the next emergency, which was buried somewhere in the pile of paper on his desk.
Jim rose, turned to the door, looked at the scrap of paper, back at Pratt, sighed and opened the door.
“Hey! Don’t forget the recording.” Out from under the pile of paper flew a USB stick. Jim caught it with ease.
Stepping into the elevator Jim was relieved he was alone. Humans could be such a distraction. Freelance writing allowed him the alone time he so craved. The only downside was having to attend at the magazine. He had to meet personally with Pratt for each story assignment and, had to go through Georgina for the money. Pratt was old school; gruff, tough as nails and could read people better then the magazine he edited. Jim could tolerate him though. If you spent more than 5 minutes in his office you were wasting his time.
Georgina was older than school, and has been with the magazine since day one. Two things Georgina was good at; talking, and knowing what was going on at the magazine before anyone else. Rumor has it she is the reason the Producer rarely stepped foot in the building.
The elevator jerked to a stop and the door opened slowly. Jim took a deep breath, steeled himself and stepped out.
“Caught another vampire story I hear. I’m still shaking from your last one. I don’t know how you do it. I almost believe you don’t believe in vampires. Maybe... “
Fifteen minutes later he was walking out the front door with a fat advance in his pocket. He walked a block to try and clear his head, and hailed a cab.
“Where to buddy?”
Jim snapped back to reality and looked at the scrap of paper in his hand. “26 Willow Street.”
The cabbie smiled, “That’s clear on the other side a town. Ya good for the fare?”
Jim pulled a roll out of his pocket and held it up. Before he could get it back in his pocket the car jerked and the cabbie was screaming at the traffic.
Forty five minutes later Jim was standing in front of a nondescript house on the very edge of town. The street actually ended, just ended, in front of number 26. Only abandoned pasture lay beyond. He took a deep breath, steeled himself, walked up to the front door and raised his hand to knock. The door flew open, a hand emerged, grasped his and shock it vigorously. “You must be Jim Shanks. I have been waiting all day to tell you my story. The magazine said they were sending their best. I am so pleased to meet you. Would you like something to drink? Did you have any problems finding...”
Jim was inside and seated in a living room before he realized it. Blurry photographs were scattered all over the coffee table and floor. I hope this is not his proof, he thought.
“Do you take milk or cream? How about sugar? I can’t have sugar, it... “
Two and a half hours later he was in a cab, thankful he was still hungry and had not lost control. The cab ride home was uneventful and gave him time to clear his head.
The blood rare steak he had for dinner had done its job and Jim was in full control again. Dark red spots on black bats in a blurry photograph; that’s what Mr. ‘I have proof’, called proof, he thought as he sat at his typewriter starting the story. His fingers seemed to have a mind of their own. He let them continue, while he allowed himself a moment to vent.
Vampires; why do humans continue to believe such things exist. A frail human, with a simple bite, can turn into a bat and live off blood. Wow. It is unbelievable how gullible and stupid humans were. Real monsters would not be so wasteful, sucking only the blood out and leaving the bodies. Real monsters have existed for thousands of years by being ruthless and not leaving evidence behind. Of course there are stories; I penned many of the better ones, but never any proof. Real Werewolves are particularly efficient, carefully selecting a victim, devouring the whole body, leaving no trace. Just the blood, how ridiculous is that?
The typewriter stopped clattering and the last page clicked out. He reordered the pages, read them over one last time and stuffed them in the envelope marked Editor Pratt. He will deliver them tomorrow and collect his fee.Alberta this time I think. I have not fed out west for awhile. The full moon is still four days away, but Jim could already feel the ancient urge within.
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