Updated: Dec 12, 2019
Chuck steeped out of the office building and gratefully took in the cool evening air. It was always too hot in his office and he was glad for the chance to be out in the open. Since it was such a beautiful night, he decided to walk instead of taking the usual crowded subway. And besides, the walk would give him a chance to think over the two unusual events that had happened one on top of the other.
He had met two very strange people. Chuck had many friends and a wide circle of acquaintances and two oddballs more or less wouldn't make much of a difference usually. But somehow he knew that these people were especially important.
The first was Angela Wilder. They had met prosaically enough when Angela applied for a job as his legal secretary. He had hired her on the spot. Chuck knew many beautiful women but Angela was something else again. Tall, with brown-blonde hair and a pink and white complexion, she had almost perfect patrician features. Only one thing marred her almost absolute beauty and that was very quality that had attracted her to Chuck in the first place. It was her eyes---or rather the expression in them. Chuck had taken Angela to lunch many times, hoping to find out what caused the anguish behind those lovely blue eyes. But always she had neatly avoided his probing questions. And whatever troubled nightmare she was reliving. Angela kept to herself. Oh, eventually she told him of a jilted love affair, but Chuck sensed that was only a small part of the story. However, in spite of her mystery, or perhaps because of it, he found himself in love with her. And he knew that affection was returned.
Chuck pulled up collar of his coat. ''Damned cold for March,'' he muttered to himself as he cupped his hand against the wind and lit a cigarette. He stepped into the nearly deserted street and crossed over to opposite curb. This slight change of scenery brought to mind the other person most occupying his thoughts. Just for the hell of it he had enrolled in a course on the Occult. It was held at the evening division in the City University. Since it was a very small class he had time enough at the first meeting to analyze each student. One stood out among all the rest and eventually Chuck had gotten to know him slightly. Rob Gellar was a man in his middle twenties, good-looking in a dark, brooding way. He was a grave-faced young man and never permitted even the slightest trace of a smile to grace his features. But he was a fascinating person and his unfailing old-fashioned courtesy Chuck found very much to his liking.
Chuck exhaled the last of his cigarette and paused long enough to crush the butt against his heel. He was almost the University and was already rehearsing the words necessary to invite Rob to dinner. Chuck admitted to himself that he was a bit nervous extending even this small invitation of friendship to the young student. Rob seemed to create a feeling of distance between himself and other people.
In fact, he was beginning to have second thoughts about inviting him. But he had promised Angela--- which brought his mind back to something that had happened earlier.
Yesterday he had asked her if she liked Southern fried chicken.
''Sure,'' she said. ''it's my favorite.'' Then he had invited her over to try it, after explaining that he prided himself on his cooking.
But a look of remembered terror flashed across her eyes for a fraction of a second. ''Just the two of us? I---I couldn't. I won't be in a man's apartment alone with him.''
So Chuck had promised to invite a third party. For some odd reason, Rob came into his mind. Somehow he could picture the three of them together and having a very good time. He was determined to ask him to join them.
Walking into the class a few minutes early, Chuck saw the young man sitting along in a corner and as usual, ignoring the others. ''Rob,'' he said, getting control and fighting down a certain nameless nervousness he still had whenever he spoke to the man, ''how about coming over to my place after class? I want you to meet my girl. And besides, you'll get some free grub.'' He cursed himself as even this bit of lightheartedness seemed to go dead in front of the strange young man. But Rob accepted with his unsmiling yet gracious courtesy.
After the class was over, and Chuck was once amazed at how much Rob seemed to know about the supernatural, the tow of them went off in search of a taxi. A curious, luminescent glow hung balefully in the heavens. ''Good God!'' exclaimed Chuck, grateful for the chance at small talk. ''The moon looks like it's on fire or something.'' Rob Gellar's black eyes scanned the sky. He drew a deep breath. ''In my father's country, when such a moon rides the sky, the people flee to their homes, bolt their doors and windows.'' He then added, in a low voice, ''It is a moon beloved of vampires and werewolves.''
Chuck laughed nervously. ''Not to mention witches and other weirdos floating around.'' He got and repressed almost as quickly the sudden impulse to run away and leave the heavy, brooding tension behind him. But he had promised Angela that he wouldn't be alone with her. And besides, maybe she'd find Rob as fascinating as he did.
A cab loomed up in sight and Chuck and Rob got in. There was whiff of something unpleasantly rancid in the taxi.
''You know,'' Chuck told the driver, ''if somebody gets sick in your cab, the least you could do is clean it up.''
''Nobody threw up in this cab, buster,'' said the insulted driver.
But the ride was a short one and Chuck halted the taxi in front of a supermarket about a block away from his apartment. ''I have to pick up some stuff for dinner,'' he said. Then glancing at his watch, he added, ''My girl will be coming soon. Tell you what. Let me give you my keys and you go on ahead to the apartment. So if she arrives, you can let her in.'' Rob agreed and Chuck went on to the store.
Rob Gellar walked up the stairs to the flat, and smiling secretly, turned the lock and went inside. He took off his coat and waited. And like a well-rehearsed drama, the doorbell rang.
Angela Wilder had come.
Rob opened the door to admit her. They nodded to each other. He stood there waiting but whatever he was expecting from Angela never came. She crossed the room and stood in the shadows.
''Rob,'' she began quietly, ''I have never failed you before. Always in the past I've helped you gain converts. But now it's different. You see, I've fallen in love.''
But before Rob could make a retort the doorbell rang again. This time it was Chuck. Entering, his arms full of groceries Chuck remarked, ''I take it the two of you have introduced yourselves.''
Rob and Angela nodded. ''It won't take me long to get dinner ready.'' And Chuck disappeared into the kitchen.
Rob looked searchingly at Angela. ''You're going to marry him?'' he asked.
''If he'll ask me, yes.''
''I forbid it,'' he said quietly.
She stared at him. ''You have no real power over me and my will is as strong as yours. I've changed my mind---I want to be mortal, not one of you!'' She spat out the last words and the faraway look in her eyes vanished for a moment.
Chuck returned to the living room. He placed a large wooden salad bowl on the table, with an equally huge wooden spoon and fork. ''I'll join you two in a couple of minutes,'' he said.
''You'll join us now,'' declared Rob, his voice curtly commanding.
Chuck's head swung around toward Rob. He was taken back by the authoritative tone of his quest.
Rob, his dark eyes fixed unwaveringly on Chuck , asked, ''Has Angela ever told you about the other man in her life?'' Chuck's eyes went quickly to the girl, then back to Rob. Rob continued. ''There was such a man, you know.'' He paused, then added, enunciating each syllable, ''It was I.''
Chuck started to say something but Angela cut him off. ''It's true what he says but Chuck, dear, I don't want to go back to him. But you're quite wrong about one thing,'' this directed toward Rob, who seemed to have grown taller in height, ''you're not a man---you're an infernal monster and I want nothing to do with your perversions!''
Rob looked at her, a tight-lipped half smile on his face. ''Do you honestly think you have a choice?'' he asked sarcastically.
Chuck stepped into the private drama and demanded, ''Look, it all depends on Angela who she wants.''
Rob turned wearily to Chuck. ''No, it doesn't depend on her any more than it depends on you.'' He gestured with his thumb to his chest. ''It depends on me.''
''No any more it doesn't!'' Angela had now completely lost her dreamlike quality and became fully alive. ''I've helped you ruin men's souls long enough. Love is stronger than you are and together Chuck and I will destroy you!''
Rob turned his back on her and said slowly delighting in each syllable, ''Chuck, you are to give her up to me. Do you understand?''
But Chuck had gained courage from Angela and he was proud of the angry flush he felt spreading across his cheeks. He burst out, ''Just who and what do you think you are to go around giving me orders!''
Rob maintained silence for a moment, then said, ''You want me to show you who and what I am?'' He directed his eyes toward Angela. ''You, my dear, already know.'' A momentary pause, then: ''Very well I shall provide you with the necessary demonstration. It's a simple matter really. In fact, all I have to do is smile. Watch.''
He drew back his lips in a grimace. Where the canine teeth should have been were two enormous white fangs. The razor-sharp tusks gleamed and dripped venomously. His black eyes expanded until they were like glowing, white-hot coals.
Angela screamed and there was a heart-stopping flurry of movement as Rob Floyd himself at Chuck. He hurled his host against the couch, pulled him away from it, and tearing off his shirt, threw him to the floor. He leaped astride the fallen man, pinning him securely to the rug. Then, jaws dripping, he lunged at Chuck's throat. His enormous incisors pierced, sank deep into the soft flesh of the neck. Blood spurted from the punctured skin. Rob's tongue, long and wine-colored, began to lap and suck up the bubbling red blood. Chuck writhed in delicious agony until blackness enveloped his mind.
''I haven't killed him---yet,'' Rob told Angela. ''There's plenty of time for that. But now it's your turn.'' He advanced slowly, enjoying the terror that spread rapidly over Angela's perfect face.
''I'll make you into one of us---tonight!''
He clutched the girl by the shoulders, pulling her towards him. Anne put up a feeble resistance but Rob's mouth swooped down toward her neck. Once again she experienced the tingling pain that sent her into ecstasy. Again, the hideous lapping sound as he sucked up the girl's rich, warm life fluid. He held her tightly until all resistance was drained from the slender, delicate body.
Then he released her and stepped back. She looked at him with unseeing eyes.
''I command you to love me.''
The girl's eyes remained sightless as she replied, ''I will resist you. My love is stronger than your hate.''
She said each word slowly, as if repeating a long-forgotten lesson suddenly remembered.
Rob screamed with rage. His arms swept around Angela. His lips, cold with the chill of the tomb, mashed down on her mouth. He hoisted her up into the air and carried her into the bedroom. There, he seized her dress and tore it off. Her bra was next and his frozen fingers touched the hardness of her nipples. And then her panties. He gazed for a second at the warm object of his desires and then ripped off his own clothing.
In a moment he mounted her and joined his icy limbs to her scented body.
Grasping the huge wooden fork from the salad bowl, he approached the bedroom. Not daring to breathe, he opened the door and with agonizing slowness made his way to the bed.
Swaying slightly over the prone, thrusting figure of the man-monster, Chuck raised high the wooden fork. Then with all his might, he drove it deep into Rob's back.
The vampire gave a great convulsive shudder. Springing to his feet, he turned to confront his tormentor. But in an instant, dark crimson streams of blood pulsated violently from his mouth, his eyes, his nostrils, his ears, He tried to speak but the pain was too great. Then he began to quiver and before Chuck, who was too drained of emotion to care anymore, Rob melted into an evil-smelling black mass.
Then the disgusting liquid evaporated into a cloud and stench filled the room.
In a moment it disappeared. Chuck was vaguely conscious of a great calmness settling in his mind as if all his life's petty problems had suddenly vanished. Slowly all past and future merged into present as he regained control of his being. Chuck heard Angela stirring in the bed and went to open a window to let in the cool night air.
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