The Call, 1936

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The telephone’s sharp ring shattered the silence.

I had both Colts in my hands before the first ring finished, and they were in their holsters by the time the second ring began.

The house was little more than four walls and a roof, and none of them were in particularly good shape. I was as surprised with the glass in the window as the plants that stood in it, waiting for the dark storm clouds to pass and free the sun once more.

The phone continued to ring, so I took the handset from the cradle and answered the call.

“You should leave.”

The voice was small and delicate with the unmistakable diction of a southern child who was well-raised.

“I can’t do that,” I replied.

There was a pause followed by a sigh.

“You’re going to make me hurt you. Daddy said I shouldn’t hurt folks, but I need to eat.”

The sweet, innocent nature with which these words were spoken drove a harsh, cold spike into my heart.

“I’m terribly hungry.” There was a lilting, almost hypnotic rhythm to her words.

I recognized what she was trying to do, and I let out my own sigh.

“Child,” my voice was gentle, “that won’t work with me.”

She hesitated a moment before she spoke again. “Who are you?”

“Let me ask you this,” I countered, “how old are you?”

“I remember when General Washington came to speak with my father in Virginia,” the girl answered, her tone pert. “The General sought my father’s favor, and he received it. We fed only on the British, and we didn’t turn them.”

“My name is Duncan Blood,” I told her, “and you’ve come to the wrong New England town.”

“I was invited,” she snapped. “I did not know any Bloods were left alive.”

“The professor at Miskatonic who invited you is dead,” I told her. “Your invitation to this town is revoked. If you stay, I’ll find you.”

“Hunt me if you will, Mr. Blood,” the girl replied, her voice cold. “I will stay here until I am ready to leave.”

I hung up the telephone, and it rang a heartbeat later.

“Yes?” I asked as I answered it.

“My plants,” the vampire asked. “Will you turn them for me?”

“Yes.”

The line went dead, and I returned the handset once more.

I rotated each plant and considered how best to stop the vampire.

#fear #horrorstories #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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