13. Oct, 2016


For much of my life I have been an inveterate collector of stories. Some of the best and not infrequently the rudest have come from the clergy. This particular tale was told to me many years ago by a rabbi.
“Picture this. The coach and horses jolted their way through the black and stormy Transylvanian night. The driver finally pulled up at a crossroads. He alighted to let out his sole passenger- a strikingly beautiful young girl. He handed down her valise and with a shiver pointed the way she was to go. Then whipping up the horses he left her behind with all possible haste.
No sooner was the girl alone than the clouds parted just enough to let a dash of moonlight fall on the hill she had to climb and the castle on its summit.
Rain sheeted down and thunder rolled. However lightening flashed just enough for her to make out details of her place of promised employment…pointy turrets, arrow slits, gothic windows, a draw bridge that was down over a moat and a portcullis that was up. She gratefully made her way to the shelter of the gatehouse only to be confronted by a massive oak door. She saw a bell rope and timidly pulled it.
After what seemed an age, she heard approaching footsteps followed by a slow creaking noise as the great door was eased back on its un-oiled hinges. A handheld candle eased the gloom and the girl found herself confronted by a man servant.
“Yes mistress?” he asked, “How can I help you?” The girl hurriedly explained that she was the new maid. The servant took her valise and led her into a dining room with a roaring fire and table laid out with china and cutlery.
“The master has been expecting you,” she was told. “You will meet him later. In the meantime dry yourself in front of the fire and I will bring you your meal.” And with that he was gone, leaving the girl on her own before returning with a feast of good food.
Feeling full and very tired after her travelling, the girl finally had to ask the way to her bedroom. Shown by the obliging man servant she was delighted to find another good fire and a warmed bed. Hastily stepping out of her still damp clothes, she slipped naked between the sheets and promptly fell sound asleep not noticing that the main bedroom sash window had been left slightly open.
Sometime in the early hours she woke to find that the storm had passed and that there was a faint scratching noise coming from the window, now lit by moonlight. Screwing up her eyes the girl saw that it was caused by a bat trying to get into the room.
After a couple of failures the animal made it and flapped its way down to the rug in front of the still burning fire.
To the girl’s amazement, the bat began to grow…into a very handsome man clothed in an exquisitely cut evening suit complete with cummerbund and scarlet lined cloak. His hair came to a widow’s peak in the front, she saw his eyes gleam faintly red but it was his two protruding canine teeth that frightened her the most. It was a vampire!
He advanced towards the bed causing the girl’s heart to palpitate with fear but bravely she fought down her panic. As the vampire got closer, his eyes glowing redder, his two canine teeth growing longer, his breathing heavier she at last remembered her mother’s parting gift…the crucifix on its chain.
With a sob of gratitude she tore this symbol of Holy Christian faith from her naked throat and thrust it into the vampire’s unsuspecting face!
He started back but to her total surprise he did not collapse into a pile of dust.
Instead he leered lecherously at her and with hands raised, palms pointing outwards said,
“Oi vhey, lady! Is this your unlucky day!”

 (Thank you Solly!)