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Short Story

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I SEE…” said the vampire thoughtfully, and slowly he walked across the room towards the window. For a long time he stood there against the dim light from Divisadero Street and the passing beams of traffic. The boy could see the furnishings of the room more clearly now, the round oak table, the chairs. A wash basin hung on one wall with a mirror. He set his briefcase on the table and waited. “But how much tape do you have with you?” asked the vampire, turning now so the boy could see his profile. “Enough for the story of a life?” “Sure, if it’s a good life. Sometimes I interview as many as three or four people a night if I’m lucky. But it has to be a good story. That’s only fair, isn’t it?” “Admirably fair,” the vampire answered. “I…show more content…
But then the vampire smiled almost wistfully, and the smooth white substance of his face moved with the infinitely flexible but minimal lines of a cartoon. “Do you see?” he asked softly. The boy shuddered, lifting his hand as if to shield himself from a powerful light. His eyes moved slowly over the finely tailored black coat he’d only glimpsed in the bar, the long folds of the cape, the black silk tie knotted at the throat, and the gleam of the white collar that was as white as the vampire’s flesh. He stared at the vampire’s full black hair, the waves that were combed back over the tips of the ears, the curls that barely touched the edge of the white collar. Now, do you still want the interview?” the vampire asked. The boy’s mouth was open before the sound came out. He was nodding. Then he said, “Yes.” The vampire sat down slowly opposite him and, leaning forward, said gently, confidentially, “Don’t be afraid. Just start the tape.” And then he reached out over the length of the table. The boy recoiled, sweat running down the sides of his face. The vampire clamped a hand on the boy’s shoulder and said, “Believe me, I won’t hurt you. I want this opportunity. It’s more important to me than you can realize now. I want you to begin.” And he withdrew his hand and sat collected, waiting. It took a moment for the boy to wipe his forehead and his lips with a handkerchief, to stammer that the microphone was in the machine, to
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