Part 648 – The Collectors Arrive

Hildreth attached the tracker button to the lapel of the vampire’s coat. He pressed his thumb against the center until the device beeped and turned green.

He knelt beside the body.

Will I do this to Ambrose Smith one day? One night? How will it make me feel?

Happy, I suppose.



The Collectors will come and haul away his body to be cremated. Or whatever they do with it.

Elsie came up behind him and rubbed his neck. “The Collectors will be here soon.”

“Do you need me to stay? Mmm. A little higher. Yes. There.” He closed his eyes and relaxed into her hands.

“I’ll be fine. Hildreth.”


“Believe me. Trust me. I only want you.”

He looked up at her and smiled at how her frizzy black hair framed her face.

Images flashed through his mind – snapshots of their future life together.

Waking beside her. His fingers tangled in her hair.

Making breakfast for her. She dressed in her white tank top and sleep shorts. Him in his bare feet.

Hunting with her. Their gold wedding rings shined in the moonlight.

Holding their first born. The first of many.

Growing old together. Their minds filled with memories of joy and sorrow.

“Elsie.” He stood and hugged her. “Elsie.” Everything he wanted to say, everything he loved about her, he summed it up in that one word. That one name. “My lovely, fierce Elsie.”

The tracker button blinked from green to red to green to red to black.

They stayed in their embrace and waited for the Collectors to arrive.

And they arrived.

Right on time.

A dense cloud of luna moths descended on the body, shrouding it with their shapely yellow-green wings.

Hildreth imagined them shrouding Ambrose’s body.

They rose as one, lifting the body into the air.

He imagined them lifting Ambrose’s body.

They carried the body away.

He smiled. And then that vampire would be gone.

But I will not betray her trust.

I will not hunt him down.

If he wants to get himself staked, he can come on over to my house. I will not come to him.

He kissed her head. “Elsie.”

I will never come to him.


Someone tapped Ambrose’s back.

“Pardon me, sir. May I have this dance?”

He turned. An exuberant grin stretched across his face as he recognized the young woman standing behind him. “Anna!”

“Good. You do remember me. I was worried you’d forgotten. It’s been a long time.”

He checked her out. “Apparently.”

“You look handsome.”

He laughed. “It is quite disconcerting to hear you say that.”

“Why should it be? I’ve grown up and so have you.”

“I still remember you as that trouble seeking girl with her two braids.”

She launched into a coughing fit.

Ambrose flagged down a servant carrying a tray of drinks. He took one and escorted her onto the balcony. “Here.”

She took a sip, which seemed to help. “Thank you.”

“Are you unwell?”

She shook her head. “It’s just a bit of a cough.” She smiled. “Don’t look so worried. I’m fine. It’s just a cough.”

“How long have you had it?”

“Ambrose. I haven’t seen you in years. I don’t want our whole conversation to be focused on my health. Or lack thereof.”

“What do you mean? What—-”

“Don’t worry about it. These coughing fits come and they go. It’s all right. I’m alive. That’s all that matters. I’m still alive.” She took another sip of her wine.

“Have you seen a doctor for this?”

She walked over to the balcony’s railing. “I’m still alive. Every day, I’m still alive.”

“Anna?” He came over to her.

She looked out into the night with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes.

And he understood. “You have seen a doctor.”

She nodded.

“What did he…” His heart sank as he understood it all. “How long?”

She shook her head. “I’m alive.” She looked up at him. “Kiss me, Ambrose.”

He took a surprised step back. “Wha…What?”

“Don’t ask. Just kiss me.”


The tears escaped her eyes. “You are very handsome.”

“But…I’ve never kissed a girl before. I have no idea—”

“Just come here and I’ll show you.”


Ambrose opened his eyes.

She died barely a year after that.

Three years after her death, I died.

But I came back to life.

She did not.

He rolled onto his side. How long will I have with Barbara? Will she outlive me? Or will she leave me all alone?

Will I be there for her?

Will I be able to say good-bye?

He reached under his pillow for his phone.

It wasn’t there.


He did a frantic pat around for it.

Only to remember that it was charging up on his nightstand.

He picked it up and dialed her number.

It went straight to her voice mail.

“Barbara.” He laid down and closed his eyes. “Barbara.” His body relaxed. “Barbara. Bar…”

He went back to sleep.


2 thoughts on “Part 648 – The Collectors Arrive”

  1. So much imaginative writing in this chapter. First, Ambrose flashing back to Anna and how it connected with him in relation to his time with Barbara was a nice touch. I know some readers may not like flashbacks, but do me it adds so much depth to a character and scene. My favorite part in this chapter though were the collectors. That scene was written beautifully I thought. Very imaginative and not at all what I thought they would be. Great writing !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!

      The Collectors was a result of me thinking about all of the vampires Hildreth and Elsie stake every night. My vampires don’t turn into dust when they get staked. So, I was imagining all of these dead bodies lying all over the city. It got me wondering about who cleans up the mess.

      I was going to have The Collectors be some sort of black shadow/nightmare fuel, but that felt too predictable. Plus I liked the idea of it being something beautiful. I was going to have it be black and red butterflies, but then I saw a picture of luna moths and I was like “Yep. Those are my Collectors.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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