It was already twilight when they hopped into Arthur’s
police cruiser, making their way up the hill to the cemetery. Mort’s Cadillac
was still parked in front of the church when they pulled up. Something smelled
strange upon entering the rectory. Father Mendel boiled stew in an enormous tub
reserved for church potlucks.
“The ingredients demand
five cloves of garlic, ash from a vampire, and holy water boiled and simmered
at body temperature,” dictated Mort while reading Undead Fiends.
The priest mixed the
ingredients, not noticing the sheriff or Mathew entering the room.
“What are you brewing, Vampire’s
Delight?” asked Arthur.
“Oh, hello sheriff, I
didn’t see you. I’m glad you found Mathew. This remedy we’re brewing is supposed
to counteract petrifaction. However, it’ll be difficult to get ash from a
vampire until it’s defeated.”
“Too true, but I’ve
already collected some of the creature’s ashes,” said Arthur with a grin.
“How’s that possible? We
sent Charlie to look for pieces of its clothing among the graves, but he hasn’t
“YOU SENT THE BOY INTO
THE GRAVEYARD ALONE!” shouted Arthur angrily. “Why would you do something so
“If he’s petrified, we’ll
have the remedy to bring him back to life,” replied Father Mendel arrogantly.
“That’s assuming we can
defeat it,” retorted Arthur.
“Oh, I don’t think it
should be too difficult. We already know how to slay the creature. You said you
brought the vampire’s ashes with you?”
“Only a trivial amount,”
said Arthur while pulling the matchbox from his pocket.
“That’s ok; it might be
enough for one dose. How did you get it?” asked Father Mendel.
“After the vampire
petrified one of the boys, I fired six shots in its direction. I must’ve hit my
mark because I found stuffing and black fabric on the ground. Sunlight filtered
through the trees, incinerating it within seconds.”
“Which boy was
petrified?” Mort asked.
Frank Nebowitz; I need to
make a phone call to Hank’s Auto Body Shop so he can bring the boy up to the
church. He’s usually discrete and won’t tell the rest of the town. If word gets
out that a vampire is petrifying our citizens, we could have a general panic on
“Was there anyone else in
the woods besides Mathew and Frank?” asked the priest.
“Jackie ran from the
scene like grease lightning. Would you like me to pick him up?”
“He won’t be a problem.
Jackie has a reputation for telling lies and making up stories. No one will
believe a vampire is loose on our town.”
“It’s almost dark and
Mathew is safely inside the church. Do you think Drake will strike tonight?”
“Contrary to popular
belief, vampires will enter a church. We’ll be safe as long as the lights stay
on. I’ve already spoken with the lighthouse keeper about the situation. Jeff
and his wife have agreed to keep a sharp lookout for the vampire during the
evenings. There’s a lookout observatory in the cathedral if you’d like to come
Everyone followed the
priest up the polished ladder to a dark room with an enormous telescope pointed
at the heavens. “I usually use this room for stargazing, but just occasionally
it’s fun to watch the town of Washaway Bay. You’d be surprised what people do
when they think no one’s watching,” chuckled Father Mendel.
The lighthouse beam
burned in the distance, briefly illuminating portions of the dark peninsula
before heading out to sea again.
“Mort, would you like to
be the first to look through the glass?” asked Father Mendel.
“I’d be delighted.”
Looking through the
telescope he saw Washaway Bay cast in shadow.
“There’s the summer camp
where the Scouts practice archery. To the south, I can see the generators and
the lighthouse. Martha’s Diner is easy to spot. Her light is still on. Wait a
second, come quick!”
“What is it, what do you
see?” asked the sheriff in a hushed voice.
“BROKEN MIRRORS!” gasped
“Oh my God, you’re
right!” whispered Arthur. “What should we do; what can we do; Father?”
“Sheriff, we’d better
take your police cruiser to Martha’s and see if she’s alright. Mort, I want you
stand watch with the boys. Lock the trapdoor behind us when we leave. If the
vampire knocks, pull out the crucifix so it can’t approach.” Father Mendel
handed Mort the silver cross and followed the sheriff to his cruiser in the
“What can we do to help?”
“You heard the priest.
We’re to stay here to keep a lookout.”
“Screw that idea!”
challenged Mathew. “How are they going to slay the vampire when they find it or
it finds them?”
“There’s no reason to get
belligerent.” said Mort.
“Like HELL there isn’t.
Charlie, are you with me?”
“What do you plan to do?”
“Remember what we read in
Undead Fiends? The book suggested the
only way to slay a vampire is to lure it into the sunlight or jam a wooden
stake through its heart. I had an idea when Mort observed the town through the
telescope. We should enlist the Boy Scouts at the archery range. A couple dozen
arrows are bound to find their mark.”
“I like your plan. Mort,
what do you think?”
But the antique dealer
wasn’t listening as he gazed through the telescope. The police cruiser arrived
near Martha’s Pancake House. “Boy’s, they’re about to go inside.”
Suddenly, the lights in
Washaway Bay went out. The generators near the lighthouse buzzed and crackled.
Blue sparks flew from the wires connecting energy to the town.
“Drake has disabled our
power, leaving Father Mendel and Arthur like sitting ducks. Hold on, the
lighthouse is flashing. I think its Morse code. The message reads, ‘Vampire
Spotted’ STOP, ‘Power generators destroyed,’ STOP, ‘Need assistance at once.’”
“Mort, do you have your
car keys on you?” asked Mathew.
“No, they’re in the
“Because we need them
Mathew went down the trap
door, intending to do something rash.
“I think we’d better
follow,” suggested Charlie.
“Oh…ok, but I’m driving!”
yelled Mort. The old man really moved when he wanted to. They almost beat
Mathew to the car, jumping into the 1959 Cadillac.
“Let’s go recruiting and kill this thing!”
shouted Mort. He couldn’t believe he was thrown into another life or death
adventure, feeling alive for the first time since he purchased his antique
shop. Driving the hearse down the hill at break-neck speed, they passed
Martha’s Pancake House in half a second. Nearing the lighthouse, Mort noticed
Jeff, the light keeper, petrified in the doorway. “I hope the vampire left the
scouts alone,” he whispered.
Parking near the
campsite, they moved cautiously toward one of the long barracks near the bay.
Mathew held the crucifix in his right hand, ready for the vampire to attack.
A light was on inside. He
knocked, opening the door. Most of the scouts were awake; some were playing
cards, others were reading Boys Life,
and a few were tying knots.
“I need you all to drop
what you’re doing and follow me. It may be difficult to believe, but there is a
vampire loose in Washaway Bay! Grab your bows and arrows. I need your best
marksmanship to drive a stake though the vampire’s heart!” yelled Mort
Every scout snapped to
attention. It didn’t matter if the vampire was real or fiction. This was
definitely more fun than trying to tie a Bowline Knot. Eight scouts, fully
armed, crammed into the back of the old Cadillac. Mort drove to Martha’s Diner
as fast as he could. Everyone piled out of the hearse, stringing their bows,
waiting for any sign of movement.
A full moon rose above
them, illuminating the pancakes speared to the diner’s roof. Mort pulled a
flashlight from his pocket, deciding to investigate the dim restaurant.
Entering, he shined the light on four statues. Martha and Ted Mulberry were
behind the counter. Arthur and Father Mendel had their arms out like they were
trying to strangle something.
Mort reassured them,
“We’ll brew some holy water once we’ve slain the vampire. Walking out, he was
confronted by eight bows and arrows ready to fire. “Any sign of the vampire
yet?” he asked.
“Not yet,” whispered
Charlie. “We thought you were it for a second.”
Then, from further down
the street, a figure approached. It’s long black cloak draped on the asphalt,
moving purposely toward the crowd. Drake was not intimidated by the living.
Lacking a soul, he was unencumbered by fear.
Charlie. Eight arrows pierced the darkness, five finding their mark. “AGAIN,
READY…AIM…FIRE!” This time, all eight arrows hit their mark, knocking the
vampire onto its back.
“That did him!” shouted
Mathew. But the vampire got to its feet, drawing nearer. Drake was covered in
quills, looking like a porcupine.
“I don’t understand;
there are at least five arrows lodged in its heart,” cried Charlie in
bewilderment. “Hey Colman, what are those arrows made of?”
“Graphite, I think.”
shouted the Boy Scout.
Charlie wondered if they
were really going to die because of his trivial oversight.
Suddenly many scouts were
petrified. “I thought I said not to look into its eyes,” yelled Mathew.
“I think we forgot to
tell them,” replied Charlie. “Quick, give me a leg up. I have an idea. Mathew
cupped his hands so Charlie could climb onto the roof. He ran over to the stack
of pancakes impaled on a wooden stake. Pulling on it, the sign wouldn’t move.
Kicking it, the sign broke off, falling on the ground.
Drake was nearly in reach
of Mathew. The boy held the crucifix in front of him with his eyes closed.
Reaching for the silver
cross, the vampire touched his hand. Drake felt as cold as ice, opening its
mouth, revealing enormous fangs.
Mort fumbled on the
ground for the wooden stake, his nimble fingers finding it and flinging the
weapon at the vampire.
The javelin struck,
temporarily stunning Drake. Mathew grabbed it, shoving the stake into the
A whirlwind wrapped
around the creature as it disintegrated from the inside. Skin flaked off the
contorting body, becoming ashes in the wind.
“Quick, salvage the skin.
We’ll need the ashes to revive those who’ve been petrified!” warned Mort.
Adrenalin pumped through
Mathew’s veins. It took him a couple seconds to comprehend the antique dealer.
He grabbed a handful of Drake’s ashes, stuffing them into his pockets. Mort and
Charlie did the same.