Saturday, 1 April 2017

The Chronicles Of A Middle-Aged Vampire- Part 17

Maeve spirited my daughter away to consult catalogues and choose a casket with the same elan she would have displayed while picking a pair of Manolo Blahnik sandals, and with as little regard for the cost.

That left me all alone with the suave and very sexy Mr. Jonathan Stell. He waited until the door closed behind the two young women, then he turned to me and beckoned me to follow him.

At the end of a hall-way he ushered me into a large cold room with huge steel drawers covering one wall, and a very complex set up in the middle which I presume was where the dead were embalmed and made presentable. A post-mortem photoshopping that gave the bereaved a much better looking corpse to regret and grieve over.

As he walked to the drawers and started pulling one out, Mr Stell commented casually over his shoulder. "We haven't met before, Ms Schultz! You weren't at the last mixer. I would have remembered those eyes..."

I was confounded. "Mixer? I'm sorry...Well, I've been a bit of a recluse for many years - socializing hasn't been part of my life."

He smiled. "Ah...That explains it! I presume your husband...a little slip in the dining room, an accident?"

I stared at him perplexed. "My husband died in the bedroom. He was murdered. Are you sure you have the right body?"

He slid out the drawer, and there was Frank, decorously covered with a sheet draped over his gaping throat and exposing only his face. I winced. Frank's eyes bulged out of his sockets and maintained a frightening glassy sheen. His jaw hung open in a horrified silent gape, his cheeks contracted in a death rictus.

"Oh yes, in fact I was going to suggest a closed-casket wake and funeral service. Though we can disguise the death-wound, there isn't much we can do for his expression, as you can see. It's quite startling."

"He was surprised by the killer..."

Mr Stell grinned knowingly. "VERY surprised I'm sure, and not a little afraid, judging by his face."

"I have no idea. I was unconscious at the time."

Mr Stell winked at me. "Of course you were! So do you agree to the closed-casket service?"

"Yes please!" I would be saving May and Frank's other siblings the sight of those bulgy eyes and gaping jaws.

"Usually, we can smooth away the expression after rigor mortis fades, but the neurotoxins of a vampire's bite tend to prolong that state for many days, until they break down. At least it saves on the cost of embalming."

Dark spots danced before my eyes. "A vamp-va-vampire's bite?" I drew myself up to my full height. "Are you mocking me in my time of grief, Mr Stell?"

"Not at all. But you seem to think ME a fool, Ms Schultz. I recognized a vampiric kill as soon as Mr Valginsky was brought in, and when I saw the signs in you, I knew."

I felt faint. "Please...I...You see, I didn't know. I blacked out and just...found him like this."

"You didn't know? Your maker, he didn't explain?"

An unaccountable surge of loyalty had me exclaim: "It wasn't Donnie's fault! He made a mistake, I started screaming and called the Police...He had no chance to explain."

Jonathan Stell chuckled. A rumbling sexy sound that sent a frisson of desire down my back. "No wonder! Donnie is a nice boy, but a total klutz!"

"You KNOW Donnie?"

"Of course I know Donnie, I sit on the board of the International Society for the Protection of  Supernatural Species. The ISPSS."

I giggled. "Seriously? So you're a vampire too?"

It was Stell's turn to laugh: "Goodness, no! I'm a Ghoul."


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