Just a warning. This is not a full-story. It ends just when it’s getting started. And yes, the title’s cheesy, but I couldn’t come up with anything better.

Vampiress

A Killer Weekend

384 words

“Welcome,” I murmur, my voice husky and soft, forcing my audience closer. “I’m so glad you could join us.” I can’t believe I’ve sunk to this, hosting a “Haunted Weekend,” my beautiful turn of the century manor transformed for the month into a dreary, spooky, cobweb-laden house. Tall candles light each room, sending flickering shadows across the spaces. But each weekend party is fully-booked and even most of the weeknights. It’s bringing in money, which was the point.

I lead the way into the dining room, where Justin is already seated at the head of the table, the goblet in front of him filled with deep red wine. “Sit.” A wind whistles outside, moaning through the branches of the oak, rattling the windows. The creaking stairs and an occasional small bang can be heard, thanks to Justin’s son; it’s the perfect job for him, scare the adults without being seen.

I’ve hired two of the neighborhood teenagers to serve the meal tonight. The entree is a delicious roasted chicken filled with toasted pecans, plump raisins and fresh apples in a bread stuffing, with an Amaretto sauce that I’d slaved over. The food is as important as the atmosphere, in my opinion, though I’m not sure if Justin agrees. Of course, in his vampire guise he isn’t allowed to eat anyway.

On cue, just before dessert is to be served, a cry echoes down the hall. Justin ignores it, continuing to lavish his attention on the man and woman seated closest to him. I, too, pretend I haven’t heard, until Lily, wild-eyed, rushes in according to plan. “You must come! She’s in the library.” The girl plays hysterical well.

“Shall we?” I suggest, and without waiting for an answer, walk down the corridor to the library, the hem of my black dress dragging across the floor. Of course the others follow. They realize it’s part of the game, and besides, who could resist?

In the library, as expected, Caroline is in the leather wing chair, her head tilted to one side, a red stain spreading across her uniform, but something’s wrong. I can’t put my finger on the problem until I get closer, preparing to dip my fingertip in the “blood.” I freeze, my hand involuntarily covering my mouth, smothering a scream. Caroline is dead.

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Dottie at Tink’s Place has a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge that I’m enjoying. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday – 350 words, give or take.