Page Five Ghouls, September 16th, 2017

The True and Accurate Accounts

Of

Goodman Llewellyn and Goody Morgan,

The Last Son and Daughter

Of

Merrymount,

In

‘Vampyres-a-Poppin!’

 

 The final leaf is torn from its billowy hammock by the first chilling gust of another grim Plymouth winter. It lilts on gentle currents to its doom; the final tree is bare. Winter is the time of wolves. Wolves and demons. The unholy, resurrected children of Beelzebub stalk the woods and raid the settlements, converting even the most righteous into a blood crazed soldier in Lucifer’s army. The Goody Morgan and I have dedicated our lives to keeping safe the very same who persecute us as heretics. With keen ears one can hear the first footsteps of the coming hell, falling into the dried undergrowth of the impenetrable forests. And here we are just hanging around.

“Goodman Hezekiah Llewellyn, Goody Constance Morgan you have been found guilty of witchcraft and of having been naked at least once. Before the executioner opens the gallows floor and you lose your wicked souls, have you any last words,” the mayor bellowed.

“It is by the providence of these very things you deem wicked, that you still draw breath, Goodman Holmesnow,” Constance pled.

“The woman speaks in tongues,” the mayor recoiled. “Executioner…”

“What the Goody Morgan means to say is ‘you owe us your ass’,” I said, then looked at each citizen with deliberate purpose and all the menace a vampire hunter can gather. “You all owe us your ass.”

“You’ll never take our asses. You’ll be dead.”

“I don’t know what I’d do with that many mules anyway. They’re a bitch to take care of.”

The mayor sighed and raised his hand, “Executioner.”

Our stalling tactic was a success, because at that very moment a villager in the rear of crowd let loose a blood curdling screech. Right on time. A vampire swept down gliding on his leather wings and snatched her off. Just a primal wail receding into the distance. Three more swooped in and did the same. The crowd that had been screaming for our lives were now screaming for their own. The Mayor stared at us in a daze, his hand making weak jabs toward the gallows switch.

“Please, Goodman Holmesnow, do not deign to exert yourself,” Constance mocked.

“She’s infested with demons. Completely unintelligible,” Holmesnow yammered.

“She said, ‘run along, Junior’,” I said.

Constance began to whistle. Three ravens alighted on the gallows pole and began tearing at the nooses and our bindings. In the shake of a crow’s tail we were free. Two town watchmen had gotten their heads torn loose, rendering their crossbows free for the taking. We splintered the erstwhile watchmen’s wooden shields into shards we could load into our new crossbows. It wasn’t ideal, but you work with what you have. Constance had fired off several of our tiny, improvised wooden stakes with unsettling accuracy. Five shots, five creatures of the dark rendered to ash. Constance specialized in vampires. When she was five a vampire turned her father’s boss who then promptly laid off her father. Out of work and destitute, the family had no option but to sell young Constance to a travelling circus, where she was forced to participate in a juggling act. As a prop. That day a hatred was forged for vampires so powerful that Lucifer himself couldn’t smelt it. As for me, I hunt monsters. And vampires qualify.

The vampires were few and easily dispatched. After the fray the citizens gathered around us looking po faced, but relieved. Mayor Holmesnow was among them, hat in hand, eyes downturned and groveling.

“Goodman Llewellyn, Goody Morgan,” he squeaked, “I owe you an…”

“Spare us your interminable bleats of contrition, Goodman Holmesnow,” Constance spit her words like she was rejecting a poison. “The pathos of your visage is recompense enough.”

He looked at her sidelong and cringing.

“What she means to say is, ‘save it, pussy,’” I said.

“You saved us after we tried to hang you,” a citizen piped up.

“You’re not saved yet. That was just the recon company grabbing a snack for the trip back to the nest. More will come. More will die. More will turn,” I had my menacing speech timed perfectly.

As I finished scaring the locals, the two watchmen, from whom we had pilfered weapons and, I’ll cop to it, spare change and one wedding ring, began to rise. They leapt to their feet and bared their fangs, hissing. The Goody dispatched them with furious grace. A citizen vomited, which prompted two or three others to follow suit.

“Hang on now,” a voice called in the crowd, “How do we know these blokes isn’t in on it, then?”

The man was asking the right questions, but we didn’t have to time to establish bonds of trust. Well, Morgan and I did, but these guys didn’t. We could just go to another village. These guys did just try to hang us. But then Morgan’s probably going to want to stay just for the vampire killing. On the other hand…

“Go on, then,” the man yelled, “Give us a reason to trust you.”

I was torn from my reverie by the man’s piercing demand. “I don’t have an answer for you, but if you wish us to stay and prevent the human buffet you’d inevitably become, we’ll stay. If not, we’ll go. It’s all the same to me really,” I rubbed my neck just to be kind of a dick and said, “You did try to hang me. I’d just as soon leave, but the Goody here loves her some vampire killing. Won’t leave it alone. Even if it’s painfully clear we just spent the last week stalking a guy who works IT at UPenn. No, she’ll keep pressing the issue.”

To Constance’s delight, that attack wave I was going on about earlier happened. She got some good licks in. But, they weren’t a cabal of vampires were they, Stephanie? It was campus security. So, how do you like your first time in holding?

 

More Fool Me

Byline: Stephanie Morgan

Dateline: September 16th, 2017

 

Heya, SEG-er’s! This week I thought I saw a vampire. I didn’t. I got some people riled up. Things got out of hand and I got arrested. I’d like to use this space to formally apologize to the University of Pennsylvania security staff. Sorry, for trying to stake you through the heart. I apologise to the City of Philadelphia from taking up time and resources. And most of all I’d like to offer my sincerest and most heartfelt apologies to one, Mr. Darren Walker of Claymont, Delaware who works in IT at UPenn. I’m sorry I shot at you with a crossbow. And I’m sorry I incited an angry mob against you.

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