Patches gingerly opened the door. Eugenia flew in and, in tripping over the stoop, shot headlong into Dustin. Not seeing this accidental attack coming, Dustin toppled to the ground, along with the table and candles by the door. All tangled limbs, Dustin howled in surprise, scrambling to free himself. In such an intimate heap, though, the vampire couldn’t resist the scent and warmth of the boy’s flesh.   She sunk in her teeth as if into a ripe peach.

“Eugenia! No!” shouted Patches, jumping in to pull her off the boy.

The damage had been done though. Despite Patches’ efforts, blood spurted from the punctures in his neck, and he screamed maniacally, grasping at the ragged wound. “She bit me! She bit me!” he shrieked over and over, sounding rather like a gramophone. Patches rolled his eyes. So much for keeping the neighbors out of his affairs.

Eugenia, meanwhile, skulked in the corner, wiping her mouth and looking wistfully at the writhing body on the floor.

“You’ll be fine, kid,” Patches offered. “Now quiet down. We can’t have the neighbors inquiring!”

The caterwauling didn’t stop, though, and unable to think of a better plan, Patches knocked him over the head with the fallen candlestick. Silence descended once again over the tiny apartment.

Eugenia stared. “You realize if we leave him, he’ll begin wasting?”

Patches turned, snarling. “You utter fool! I warned you about this sort of thing! Now, I’m going to have to dispose of a body. Great, just great. As if I haven’t enough to get done!”

“Body?” the vampire’s eyes widened.

“Yes, body. I can’t let him waste, so what choice did you give me?”

Eugenia shrugged, looking away coyly. “You could let me finish him off…”

“Absolutely not!” Patches replied. “Just what I need, another thirsty vampire on my porch.”

“We’re not all that bad.”

“No.” Something in the ferocity of Patches’ face told Eugenia not to further press the matter.

“So…you’re…” she started…

…but Patches bent over and snapped the young neck. Just like that, one problem solved, another created – not to mention the blood pooling on the filthy floor.

“You owe me, Eugenia,” he said. The way he enunciated each syllable informed her he wasn’t joking.

The vampire nodded furiously, her eyes wide.

“So you’ll help me dispose of this, correct?”

She continued nodding, her hair whipping in punctuation.

“Excellent. I’ll get the tarps , you get the mop. In the pantry cupboard.

Eugenia ran into the other room. Something in his eyes told her not to waste a moment.

Even still, by the time she had located the cleaning supplies and returned, the body – and Patches – was gone.


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