Thursday, November 05, 2015

A Halloween Story

The Interview – A Halloween Story.

It wasn’t what I thought it was, I know that now.  I should have
turned the other way at the crossroads – but one blasted tree looks
very like another in fog, and my eyes aren’t (and weren’t even then)
what they had once been.

It had the signs showing though, or at least I thought it did at the
time.  The pumpkin cut just so. The red and black candles. True, there
was no inverted crucifix – but then not everyone keeps the Faith, in
these New Atheistic times. I certainly wasn’t about to criticise my
hosts on what was after all a very minor matter, very much up to the
conscience of the individual. De gustibus non est disputandum, as I’ve
said for centuries. These things are only matters of taste, whatever
the Hierophants say.

It is important though to check the signs. I know that (and I knew it
then). No one wants to intrude uninvited not even on All Hallow’s Eve.
Not even these days when so far as I can make out everyone feels they
can get away with murder, or dressing like a murderer or a murder
victim. Going where one isn’t wanted, isn’t quite as impossible as
some accounts make it seem, but it does put a damper on things – like
wading too far through blood as Macbeth, might have put it. It feels
sticky, and it puts you off even the most toothsome morsels. I have
always been a trifle – is OCD, the modern term? – about the neatness
of my evening dress.

So, anyway, I knocked – one of the classic secret knocks – and the
door was opened unto me. There were four of them waiting a father
figure, in threadbare evening dress with a plastic Transylvanian star
at his throat where his opera cape was fastened.  A mother, not quite
thin enough to pull off the lace. Two children white faced, ruby
lipped – both frenzied with sugar rush. Their fangs were of course as
plastic as his throat fastening, and absolutely none of them was dead.

Well, I ask you – what can one do – under those circumstances?  It’s
true they ushered me in straight away, so I had an invitation of
sorts, but it rapidly became clear this was a matter of mistaken
identity, if not quite false pretences.  They had hired, what I
believe is called a Vamp-o-gram to come and make some sport for the
older child’s birthday, falling as it did on this very special night.
They had not really invited *me* in at all.

I worried to begin with that a spotty student with contact lens red
eyes, would knock on the door behind me in a minute or two, but he
never did.  Perhaps he took the other turning, the one I missed, in
which case he would have been made very welcome, as long as he had the
good sense to keep his mouth almost closed.  No one could fail to be
insulted by plastic fangs.  Then again, he might have found the
entertainment not to his taste – in which case his squeamishness may
have been his undoing.  No one likes their little games to be jeered
at, or their attempts to court their betters to be mocked.  I rarely
get to see a paper, certainly never a morning edition, so I can not be
sure whether he was entirely sanguine about his experiences that
evening, but then, that’s no problem of mine.

Luckily my eyes, though weak in fog, can still hypnotise and dazzle –
and a pack of cards is often a pleasant companion in those long hours
of the night (for one can not always be eating).  Whether it was what
they expected or not, card tricks, and ghost stories seemed to suffice
to amuse the children (once I had stared long into their eyes)

I was absolutely circumspect in my visitation – far much more careful
than I would have had to have been if I had found the right House –
and I honestly found I enjoyed myself far more as a result.  I touched
not so much as a hair of the head of those delightfully bloodthirsty
children, who hung on my every account of slaughter and despoilment.

I left the father living, his eyes glazed, and his tastes turned
irrevocably to the devouring of insects and spiders – but not in any
way, harmed.

And the mother in her pretty lace, well I am – as they say – only
immortal, and I assure you she completely consented to a night-cap,
and all that that involved. She too was left entirely satisfied by the
night’s work.

Far, far better, such innocence than the sycophantic dribbling and
mutterings of yet another Dark Mass, and the tedious round of making
myself available to socially climbing Vampire Brides with those
ghastly fingernails (where they got the idea that nine inch scimitars
on the fingers are attractive, I can not imagine).

So I realised I had learned something about myself that night, and I
decided that I would be  twice damned to spend yet another All
Hallow’s in my official capacity, suffocating in the musty odour of
unhallowed tombs.

To make enquires as to how to achieve my new ambitions took a little
time, but here I am.  So, given all that I have told yout – what do
you think.  I, Vlad, Caligula, Dracul – grandson of the Impaler
implore you.  I have stated my bona fides.  May I be assured you will
employ me next year?

No comments: