He’d run through all of the possibilities, and it was the only one left. He stood facing a genuine vampire, fangs, glowing red eyes, and all.
He supposed it was his own mistake, staying in the university archives so late. He had come to Kraków to research his next book on the life of Jan Sobieski, the Polish king, and he was not above slipping a few złotych into the hands of a librarian or two to stay after hours. Now he wished he had called it an early day.
It had attacked him just as he was replacing some manuscripts on a shelf. It would have killed him right then and there, perhaps, if he hadn’t seen it out of the corner of his eye and been able to dodge it. He didn’t know what it was then, some psychotic homeless person who had somehow made it into that part of the library, he guessed.
That he figured it out was a complete accident. The thing had managed to grab his shirt and tear off the top button, revealing the crucifix he always wore around his neck. Upon seeing it, it screamed and backed away. It just stood there, glaring at him. He realized then that he was standing between it and the only way out of the room. Apparently, it couldn’t get past him as long as the crucifix was visible. The sun would rise in only a few hours. He could keep it there. He could kill it permanently.
How many times had he spent months on research only to hit a brick wall? How many times had he wished for an eye-witness account of some event? How many times had he needed an eye-witness when there simply wasn’t one? If what he was looking at was truly a vampire, there was no telling how old it was, what it had seen, what it remembered.
“I’ll make a deal with you,” he said to it in Polish, hoping it understood, “I’ll let you go if you let me go. How does that sound?”
It continued to glare at him, but slowly, it nodded.
“First, though,” he said, “I have a few questions for you….”
(For Sunday Scribblings No. 188.)