June 2022 Flash Challenge, Day 6

Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

It is surprising how much misinformation the media and books have regarding monsters.

The idea that the only way to kill a werewolf is with a silver bullet? Laughable nonsense.

Or that vampires can’t go out in the sunlight? Silly and baseless. Most of them don’t like being in the sunlight, but they can endure it. I remember coming upon one on a beach at Nice. The images seared in my brain. How black the blood ran on the sand and yellow beach towel. Disposing of the corpse afterward was a comedy of errors that nearly landed me in a French jail.

Or the idea that vampires survive only on a regular diet of human blood. That isn’t true.

I’d spent months tracking her. I went undercover and landed a job as a reader at the publication house where she also worked.

She hadn’t fed in a while. That was clear. She did consume enough human food to blend in socially at a tiny publishing house in Madrid.

Five of us from the office are having lunch at a street cafe. We decide upon the paella.

It’s delicious, but I weld my attention to Blythe. I’m careful not to stare, of course. It wouldn’t do if she were to figure out what I was.

She takes tiny bites and chews thoroughly before swallowing with a repressed grimace. I can tell it’s not her idea of a good meal.

“Did you hear about Alejandro?” Luis says.

I steal a peek at Blythe. Her interest is piqued. She sits up a bit straighter, leaning into the unfolding office talk, her senses heightened.

I see her willing someone to ask the question so that she doesn’t have to.

Finally, Isabella, the manager, responds.

“Yes. It’s sad; the doctors say it’s spread to his lungs.”

No one else notices it, but no one else at the table is a monster-hunter disguised as a book reader. Blythe’s expression shifts; she’s almost beaming. She does her best to hide it. Even my coworkers, uninitiated to the truth about monsters, would be appalled if Blythe broke out into a smile over Alejandro’s diagnosis.

Even now, Blythe is busy locating Alejandro’s stream in the akashic record. She is anticipating finding his tender thread and feeding on his life force.

I signal to the waiter at the end of the bar. I wave at him, my first two fingers extended, the middle finger flexed slightly inward at the last joint.

“Could I get a little more fresh pepper?” I say to him.

He makes a series of grinds over my plate. No one notices that no pepper falls from the enormous mill.

“Blythe, would you care for some more pepper?” I say to her, casually gesturing to her with my left hand.

The waiter extracts the wooden stake from the hollow kitchen utensil. He spins the stake once, reversing its orientation. Then he flings it towards Blythe’s chest.

Blythe looks up to decline the pepper, I assume, and sees the stake even as it is already speeding towards her heart. It’s over in an instant. She doesn’t burst into flames (more nonsense). But neither does she bleed. That is what captures everyone’s attention. Where is her blood?

Now comes the tricky bit. I must convince these fine people who have become like family that monsters are real. And if they could, would they mind keeping it to themselves.

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