Thursday, May 20, 2010

excerpt from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

"I spotted a pale little fellow across the street, half hidden in an alley, his eyes unquestionably fixed on me. He was dressed entirely in black, with a mess of hair to match, and a small mustache beneath his dark glasses. Unmistakably a vampire. Seeing that he had been discovered, the figure turned and disappeared into the alley. This I could not leave uninvestigated! Aching head be damned! I left my friend to his own stumbling and hastened after the stranger--chasing him down the alley to Conti Street, then across Basin Street, where the devil sought refuge behind the cemetery walls. I had been no more than ten paces behind him, but on reaching the gates I perceived him not. He had vanished. Lost in a maze of crypts. I wondered if he had simply slipped into one of them; wondered how many vampires were--

"And what mean you by chasing me so, sir?"

I spun around and raised my fists. He was behind me--his back against the inside of the cemetery wall, clever devil. Staring at me, his dark glasses in his fingers. His tired eyes and high forehead.

"'Chasing' you, sir?" I said. "What meant you by running?"

"Well, sir, the manner in which you shielded your eyes from the light . . . the familiar glance you shared with the gentleman in the coach . . . I thought you a vampire."

I could scarcely believe what I had heard.

"You thought me a vampire?" he asked. "But I . . ."

A smile grew over the little man's lips. He looked at the dark glasses in his fingers; at the look on this tall stranger's face. He began to laugh.

"I believe us both guilty of grave misjudgments."

"Forgive me, sir, but . . . am I to understand that you are not a vampire?"

"Regrettably, no," he said, laughing, "or I should still have my breath."

I offered my apology and extended my hand. "Abe Lincoln." The little man took it.

"Edgar Poe."

(source for quote: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith, Grand Central Publishing, New York, © 2010)

Vampire Beats by the Mai Shi

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