Monday, January 9, 2012
Excerpt from "The Playground" in The Vampire Bridegroom:
Once a psychic vampire buried himself under a playground.
Mrs. Hartman's third grade class responded to the subconscious knowledge of the vampire's presence.
The vampire hibernated six feet under the monkey bars in the moist wormy earth. The children built Gothic sandcastles above the grave. When it snowed, they built deformed snowmen.
The vampire loved the tributes from the children.
The vampire had special talents: He milked the spectral life force from the children when they played on the monkey bars. He nursed through a silvery spectral cord, an invisible straw-umbilicus; their little hearts did the pumping for him.
Other symptoms of the vampire's presence emerged:
A schoolboy, stricken with nightmares, snuck out at the witching hour and hanged himself on the monkey bars, still wearing his urine-stained pajamas.
Great colonies of strange ants formed, mutations that thrived off of the spectral energy emanating from the grave, the children all covered with bites.
The children grew weak and gaunt from their offerings.
The children drew their daily crayon pictures in tribute to their master, a grandfatherly old vampire beneath the monkey bars. They drew their stick-figure selves dancing and playing on the sandy surface above the cocoon-grave; soon they added fangs.
Read the rest of this flash fiction story in The Vampire Bridegroom!