Ten years ago, I wrote the following vignette, which first appeared in Blood Samples Magazine and then was reprinted in the collection Blood Sampler.
Warily, the vampire watched through the old house’s broken window as an exterminator’s truck pulled up. A comical fellow, wearing coveralls and a nametag reading “George” stepped from the passenger side. A plain looking woman in a pantsuit stepped from behind the wheel. George and the woman exchanged a few brief words. She picked up her purse and stalked off, around the corner. “Probably going for a cappuccino,” thought the vampire wryly, “while her husband does the dirty work.”
The vampire watched George unload chemical tanks and spray wands, carrying each to the house. As the vampire considered heading for his coffin, he was gripped from behind by the burning pain of a stake ramming through his back toward his heart. Turning, the vampire saw the woman wiping blood from her fingers with a Handi-Wipe. “We’re the only company in town that exterminates absolutely everything infesting a house.”
Throughout history, vampires have been linked to plague and pestilence. So, to my mind, it’s always made sense to view vampire slayers in the same way as exterminators. I expanded and developed George and his wife for my novel Vampire of the Scarlet Order. There they became Larry and Georgia, Vampire Exterminators.
I was blinded at first. In reality, only about three of the big bulbs on the ceiling were on. It was enough to see clearly in the big auditorium. Mercy and I cautiously peered over the edge of the orchestra pit and saw a man in coveralls making his way to where Alice lay naked and vulnerable on the futon. The man in coveralls carried a spray tank and a wand.
“Exterminators?” I asked, my eyebrows knitting.
“It would seem so,” said Mercy. “Weren’t there two of them?”
“Shouldn’t we go and get Alice?” I was more worried about the exterminator we saw than the one working elsewhere. The exterminator we saw didn’t look very threatening. He was of moderate height, clean-shaven with big ears and short, curly hair.
“What’s he going to do?” asked Mercy. “Spray her with bug poison?”
Something seemed wrong about an exterminator striding through the middle of a room. It struck me that an exterminator should work the periphery of the room, where the bugs are, not stalking cat-like through the center of the room. Of course, he may have simply been going to check out the form on the futon.
“We’re safer where we are for the moment,” Mercy said, seemingly agreeing with my assessment. “He’ll see the ‘dead’ body, get scared and run out to call the cops. That’ll give us time to hide Alice.”
Instead of showing signs of wariness toward the body on the futon, the exterminator stopped. He put his tank on the floor and with a brief look around, aimed the wand directly at Alice’s vulnerable form. “Maybe he is going to spray her with bug poison, after all,” said Mercy, raising her eyebrows at the odd scene.
The few times in my life I’ve had to deal with bug poison, I’d been struck by how much the stuff looked like water or mist. Only its strong scent told me it was anything other than water. The mist coming out of the exterminator’s nozzle was definitely not water or any ordinary bug poison. It looked like a fog or even a dust cloud. I would have thought this was simply a new kind of poison, except that the exterminator wore no mask, gloves or other protective gear. Almost like a living creature, the mist enveloped Alice. Alice continued to sleep in her death-like state, unaware that anything was happening.
As it turns out, Larry and Georgia are on a mission for higher authorities. To find out what happens to Alice the Vampire, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Vampires of the Scarlet Order. You can learn more at: http://www.davidleesummers.com/VSO.html. Next week, I’ll introduce you to even more dangerous vampire slayers from the world of the Scarlet Order.
What’s more, I’d like to present some good news. The first edition of Blood Sampler has sold out and the publisher will be bringing out a new edition early next year. Stay tuned for more details!