Part 176 – Side by Side

Elsie sat beside Hildreth on top of her usual perch –  the Williards’ family mausoleum.

He smiled at her. “Have you ever wondered what we’d be doing right now, if vampires didn’t exist?”

“No. Because I know what I’d be doing. I’d be sleeping.”

“Same here. Still.  What would our lives be like? What would we be doing? Where would we be working?”

“Ah.” She shuffled into a more comfortable position. “I’d be a Tae Kwon Do teacher.”

He laughed. “No, but really. What would you really want to be?”

“You have a problem with my first choice?”

“Yes,  because it’s too close to what we already do.  Come on, Vansing. Dig deeper. What job do you secretly fantasize about?”

She unzipped her satchel and pulled out her stakes. “Librarian.”

“I knew it.”

She looked up at him.

“You’d be the prettiest librarian ever.”

“I don’t know about that, but I would enjoy the peace and order of it. Every book in its own slot on its own shelf. No one to kill. No city to protect.” She counted her stakes once and then counted them again. ‘What about you?”

“A miniature golf course designer.”

“I had no idea you even liked golf.”

“I don’t, but miniature golf is awesome. So many obstacles. So many challenges. So many different designs. And to be able to create such a course…” He sighed happily only to burst out into a laugh. “We’re a lovely couple of nerds, aren’t we? Of all the glamorous and exciting jobs we could wish for, we choose librarian and miniature golf course designer. Might as well rename ourselves Nerd 1 and Nerd 2.”

“There’s nothing wrong with being a librarian. Do you have enough stakes?”

“I didn’t say there was anything wrong with it. I have my Bossman 550. I don’t need stakes.”

“Oh, for goodness sakes!” She handed him six of her stakes. “Put these all over your person. You never can tell when you’ll need one. And there’s nothing wrong with being a golf course designer.”

He buckled a couple around his ankles. “Miniature golf.”

She helped him attach a stake to his right wrist. “Even miniature golf. If that’s your dream.”



“My dream is seeing you walk down the aisle. My dream is hearing those most beautiful of vows. I’ll say them to you and you’ll say them to me.”

“And we’ll be man and wife.”

“Two as one.”

She leaned forward and kissed him.

“Heey-uhh. Bill? I thought I heard some noise.”

Elsie and Hildreth snapped to attention. She grabbed her stakes. He grabbed the Bossman 550. “Bring them on.” he whispered.

“Eh, you’re always hearing ‘some noise’ and it’s always nothing.”

She smiled. “I’m ready.”

“Heeey-uhh. Bill? I think I see a lady up there.”


“Up there. Mausoleum top. Heeey. You think it’s that hunter wench that’s been killing everyone out here?”

“I say we find out.”

“Sounds like a cue to me.” Elsie whispered. She rose to her full height and ran to the edge of the roof.

Hildreth fastened his weapon to his back and ran after her.

She jumped off.

And so did he.

“Oh. Oh! Ohh! Biiiiilll! There’s two of ’em!”

Bill bared his fangs. “Good. One for you. One for me.”

Elsie charged toward them. She punched Bill in a fluid series of blows. One and Two and Three and Four and Five.

Each blow curved and turned into the next one.

Hildreth took on the other vampire – the short, lumpy-looking one – and he was the cymbal crash to Elsie’s violin pizzicato.



Three. Four. Five.

Over and over until the vampire began to weaken. His defenses slipped and Hildreth staked him.

Elsie staked Bill just a few seconds later. She smiled at Hildreth. “Not bad.”

“Not so bad yourself. We should do this more often.”

“Well.” She kissed him – a long, lingering kiss.. “The night isn’t over.”


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