I knew she was a vampire the moment I laid eyes on her. This tall, raven-haired beauty fooled most people, but not me. I wasn’t sure if she knew I knew. I said nothing. As an investigative reporter, I had run across a vicious killer vampire some years earlier. He had no conscience. His need for blood was the only thing that mattered to him — nothing else. Fortunately, his lust was his Achilles heel and finally brought about his dramatic demise.
The vampire crew finally cornered him, paralyzing him with silver bullets filled with garlic. But they had to work quickly, the effect would not last long. Wrapping him in silver chains he was fastened to a prepared stake and set on fire; it was horrible to watch. The first half hour he writhed, screaming obscenities at the crowd cheering his demise. It was the rays of the rising Sun that struck terror into the creature. More silver bullets and additional fuel finally put an end to this demon of darkness.
His ashes were still dangerous and could infect. Carloads of garlic were thrown into a grinder and spread twenty feet all around the stake. A sprinkling system was installed which systematically sprayed holy water on the grounds for a month. Pig dung was turned into the soil as fertilizer for the garlic planted throughout the area. A fence was erect with warning signs on all sides.
In spite of all the precautions, I wondered if any of his victims had survived and had been turned. Had he taken a bride? Was she still with us?
And then I met Lillie Lester. Was she perhaps a bride of the monster, abandoned by his death; on the prowl for blood or a mate? I wasn’t sure. In spite of my misgivings, we became friends. Her intelligence impressed me. No, it arrested me. But I remained on guard especially when her pallor changed; a telltale sign that she was about to feed. My jugular was in jeopardy at those moments; I avoided her. I was surprised when I saw that sunlight did not have a negative effect on her. She avoided it as do all beautiful women with fair skin.
She had the most marvelous sense of humor and had me in laughter a good deal of the time. I loved her perfect imitation of Tallulah Bankhead. As she left my home one afternoon she stopped in the doorway, turned and said, “Dahling, I’ll come and make love to you at 5 o’clock. If I’m late, start without me.” Then she turned and disappeared down the walkway while I roared with laughter. She didn’t return that day at 5, but we did make love once. There are no words to describe the ecstasy I experienced with her. I believe if she had sunk her teeth into my jugular, I would have let her.
I once quoted Tallulah in a question to Lillie, “Tallulah once said, it's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time. Is that true?” She threw her head back in laughter, but she never answered my question.
Her charms began to erode my guard. I denied I was falling in love; I was afraid. My fear was assuaged the day I cut my finger while preparing lunch for us. When she saw the blood, her eyes flashed hideously as she passed out on the kitchen floor. When she came to, the expression on her beautiful face told me she knew I knew her secret. She apologized for fainting and excused herself from lunch. As she departed she chuckled in her Tallulah husky voice, “Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it.” I never saw her again.
I often wondered if she vanished because she cared enough for me to protect me from her curse. I missed her terribly. It was a long time before the cloud of melancholy disbursed and I was able to move on with my life. However, the lingering question remained, was she happy? She certainly made me happy in the short time we had together.
Rumors surfaced about another vampire in a distant city. Was it Lillie? If the reports were true, I was fearful it was her. I hoped it was not her as I checked my supply of silver bullets and my stash of garlic. I was still a reporter and had a job to do. I prayed my Lillie was safe somewhere else, always hopeful she would return to me someday.