started out with just a subtle scratching sound. I first heard
it as I was on my way to the kitchen, heading through the dining
room, to get a drink of water. I had awakened with a dry throat
about three in the morning.
was just a very light gnawing sound. I immediately knew what it
was. It was getting cold outside and they were making their way
in to nest and pillage for the winter. Mice!.. I would take care
of them the next day. A few poisoned bait stations would work
wonders with the little fellows.
to hear, I tiptoed to the wall near the fireplace. The sound stopped
as suddenly as it appeared. I could hear nothing, but I knew it
had come from within the outside wall next to the fireplace.
my water, took a big swig while contemplating how to get the poison
to where they were. Time enough to figure it out in the daylight.
house had been a bargain, a treasure, privately sold to me by
a friend of an old friend. It was a remodeled turn of the century
two storied brick in a nice neighborhood.
I guess mice was a simple thing. It wasn`t like I had found a
giant leak in the roof or the sewer backed up. They had even let
me move in before the final papers were signed. Yes, mice could
be taken care of quickly and without much bother.
my water glass with me, I headed back to my bed but as I got to
the doorway, the soft scratching began again. I turned and looked
behind me. It sounded much closer than it had before.
until tomorrow', I thought, and continued on to bed. Little did
I know, then, the horror that lay in store for me..
in my bedroom, I found sleep was impossible, it being the farthest
thing from my mind. Laying in bed was no longer satisfying. My
new found problem manifested itself again at that moment, just
the gentlest of scratchings, but I heard it now, coming from the
hallway outside my bedroom..
I said, flinging the covers aside and sitting up on the edge of
the bed. Across the room there was a well stocked bookcase against
the far wall. Perhaps reading could occupy my mind.
where I was I could make out some of the titles. As I have always
been a fan of horror fiction, one, in particular, caught my eye.
'The Curse Of The Vampire Rat'.. Rat? It must read 'Bat' but at
this distance it looked like 'Rat'..
ever so softly, I heard the scratching begin again. This time
it was in the wall behind my bed. That was it ! Enough.. I was
up and headed for the bookcase. I would pass the time reading
until daylight and then I would head to the hardware store for
mice bait and traps.
scratching sounds had become louder. 'Well, Enjoy', I thought,
'your days are numbered' and I reached for the book I had seen
from across the room.
was surprised to see that my eyes weren`t as bad as I had thought.
The title was 'The Curse Of The Vampire Rat' not 'Bat' as I had
assumed. That was something different. It should keep me occupied
until I could go shopping for my little unwanted friends in the
back on my pillows once again, I saw that in the faceplate to
the book was a picture of a woman with the most alluring look
on her face that I have ever seen. Under the picture was written
was dressed in a black dress of another century and had long black
hair parted in the middle and shading her face on both sides.
The most striking thing was that her eyes were red, almost glowing.
It was hard to turn the page.. the eyes in the drawing were that
began to read, ignoring the scratching sounds. The preface went
on to tell of a young child from the mountains of Romania, Ratina,the
girl in the drawing, coming to America and growing up in a house
in Charleston, on Leah Street.
this very house was on Leah street too..... and in Charleston!
reading the unusual story for awhile I became drowsy and my eyelids
began to close and I sank into a peaceful, luxurious rest and
dreamed.. despite the scratchings now and then inside the walls
of my room.
must have been having the most sensual dream for I awoke feeling
as if the love of my life had me wrapped in her arms. I opened
my eyes slowly, hating to leave this feeling behind. My night
light was still on and in its glow, I beheld the most unusual
sight. There before my eyes was the most alluring woman I have
slowly turned and her long black hair rippled with the lights
glow as her black dress swirled about her from her slow undulating
movement towards me. I felt a rush such as I have never known
knew.. I knew. It was she, my other half, my soul mate.. It was
the girl in the drawing. It was the beautiful Ratina. Her red
eyes held me captive. I was her slave. She embraced me with arms
filled with promise and mystery. My eyes closed in ecstasy and
I felt the bite of her sharp incisors on my throat and then the
most exquisite pain.. almost akin to joy.
my eyes, I gazed lovingly into her red rat ones above her long,
pointed, gray face. I reached out and stroked her soft gray fur.
She nuzzled against me and began to speak..
heard her whisper to me, telling me that we must sublet the house
as to have a fresh tenant because soon we would have to feed.
We would need new blood..
knew Ratina was right because I was already beginning to feel
a little hungry. There were lots of people searching for deals
such as low rent in a nice neighborhood.. It would not be hard
at all to make ends meet.
long gray tail began twitching in anticipation...