They came at night, when all was dark. Sleek, vicious shapes, teeth sharp and claws brights under the thin light of a watery moon; the unearthly howls of the wolves echoing throughout the village. Terry hated them almost as much as he hated his name, which was pretty rubbish for a Transylvanian. But it was the vampire cats that he hated more; the way they shrieked their song, the way they pounced on the unwary, and the way they left dead songbirds everywhere meant that Terry was determined to stop the scourge once and for all, and so he sat now in the early evening, waiting for what he knew would come. And then, as the last of the people in the village hurried home and piled the furniture and most expendable children against the door as a barricade, Terry lifted his butterfly net and brought it down hard. When he brought it up again a bat was struggling within.
‘Why?!’ it said.
‘Because I want to speak to you, Terry replied.
‘So phone!’ said the bat; ‘You do this every time! It’s ridiculous!’
‘You never answer the phone,’ Terry said, twisting the net so the Bat could fly free, which it did before flapping so that it hovered opposite him at head height. ‘I want to know why the cats are turning undead again. The Count promised last time.’
‘The Count also promised not to eat anyone,’ the bat pointed out.
‘But he didn’t eat anyone,’ Terry replied. ‘It’s strictly drinking with him. ‘
The bat looked at him with an apologetic air and shrugged its wings as if to say ‘can’t do anything about it.’ Terry sighed, and took up his stick. It was time to visit the castle again.
The castle was big, and forbidding, and foreboding, and generally loomed. It also gave off the distinct impression that it was trying too hard. Terry found the way annoying; mainly as he had to shoot half a dozen vampire cats with a crossbow that fired silver quarrels. This did not slow him down for long though, and soon he came before the door, barred and solid as the night was black. He knocked, and the door fell over.
‘What is it now?’ boomed a voice.
‘I’ve come to complain about the cats,’ Terry said.
‘And you had to knock over the door?’ Terry found himself feeling defensive.
‘I just knocked,’ he said as he skewered a cat sneaking up behind him with an over-shoulder shot. ‘And I’ts about these damn cats. You promised you’d not have any more.’
The count appeared before him in a flash.
‘Vampire cats?’ he asked; ‘again?’
‘Yes,’ Terry said; ‘are you going to tell me you didn’t make them? Because you’re the only one who does that sort of thing.’
The count looked guilty.
‘We’ll, I didn’t; I mean, not quite. you see’ –
He broke off abruptly, staring down.
‘Well?’ prompted Terry, as the Count looked wretched.
‘I think I know where they came from.’ he siad, and Terry glared at him.
‘What did you do?’ he said, and suddenly two things happened; he felt a sharp pain in his ankle and the Count said in a guilty rush:
‘I may have made vampire mice.’
More odd stories and absurdist fiction by Severley Odd can be found on Amazon