by Bobbi A. Chukran
Here is another fun Halloween short story!
“What’s with the white cape? And the teeth?” the black cat asked the strange fellow lurking in the alley.
“Yes, I’m as serious as the grave.”
“A vampire/ghost? What does that mean exactly?”
“I don’t understand. What do you mean, what does it mean?”
“Well, are you a ghost who is also a vampire, as in–a ghost who might have a predilection for, say, sucking blood? OR are you a formerly undead vampire who is now properly dead, say, somebody killed you, then you turned into a ghost and you’re now haunting me?”
“Aren’t those the same thing?”
“Oh no, my dear fellow. Not the same at all. One presumes that one came before the other. In the first instance, you were a ghost in the first place. In the second instance, you are a ghost in the second place.”
“Probably in the traditional way. How would I know? I was not there!” the cat exclaimed.
“Think about it. Doesn’t getting turned into a vampire assume that I was alive in the first place? Warm-blooded, as it were? If I was a ghost, then I’d already be dead, wouldn’t I? Because you see, there are no ghosts that are not already dead.”
“Well, which are you then?” the cat asked.
“I have no bloody idea! I don’t even know what my name is right now.”
“I believe it’s Vlad.”
The vampire/ghost nodded. “Oh, I see. Right, right—it’s Vlad.”
The cat frowned. “Then, there’s another thing, come to think of it. You say you’re a ghost.”
“AND a vampire?”
“So, if you’re a ghost, then that means you are a dead undead vampire, so it’s simpler to just say that you’re a ghost. Why waste the breath, so to speak, saying ‘vampire ghost?’ Either say, ‘I am a vampire,’ or, ‘I am a ghost.’ No need to muddle up everything.”
“Well, hold on there, my dear fellow! I’m sure there are plenty of ghosts who wouldn’t agree with that. Don’t you have friends who are ghosts? What would they say if they heard you disparaging their existence? Or non-existence, come to think of it?”
“I don’t get out much these days. I take my friends out to dinner, then they have the audacity to fall over dead. So I don’t bother.” The vampire/ghost shrugged.
“I see. So, do you actually TAKE your friends out to dinner, or do you HAVE your friends for dinner? Because it sounds to me like it’s the latter.”
“I don’t understand, what do you mean?” the vampire asked.
“There’s a difference, you know.”
“Well, if you take them out for dinner, you’re implying that you’re having drinks, a few laughs, perhaps some hors d’oeuvres, then a big dinner, and maybe even taking in a show. You’re entertaining them.”
“But I don’t eat much. I could never eat hors d’oeuvres AND a big dinner.” The vampire frowned and rubbed his stomach. “In fact, the very idea makes me a bit bilious.”
“Your digestion is beside the point. You’re the one who said you take your friends out to dinner.”
“You’re right; I did.”
“Then they die.”
“Yes, unfortunately. I get carried away.”
“So, you’ve never wondered why? Doesn’t it seem a bit suspicious to you?”
“Ah! I see.” Vlad nodded.
“Then they become ghosts OR vampires, because they were made dead AND undead all at the same time. In that case, it’s really an either/or scenario, and not an all-of the-above scenario.”
“Ah, yes. So then, they become vampire/ghosts. And NOT ghost vampires. Because they were dead before they were undead.” The vampire stared at the cat. “Or were they?”
The cat nodded. “Oh yes, because that’s the way it works, isn’t it?”
“You know, you’re a very smart creature.”
The cat blinked. “But of course. I am a cat!”
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories (including more Halloween ones) in our mystery section and watch for many more Halloween short stories this month.