by Guy Belleranti
This story was first published by Emerald Tales in October 2009.
Dirk laughed from behind his clown makeup and pointed his gun at the vampire-costumed couple. “Your jewelry,” he said to woman. “Give it to me. And you–” he waved his gun at the man “–toss your wallet on the couch.”
Both did as ordered and Dirk laughed again. It was so easy picking out targets on Halloween night; he could walk the sidewalks and no one noticed or cared. He was just one of many costumed figures out and about. Then when he saw the chance, he rang the bell at someone’s house and when they opened the door…
“Tricked you good,” was what he always said, flourishing his gun at the same time. He’d already robbed three places, leaving the owners tied and gagged, and the lights off when he left. And this couple–apparently he’d caught them just before they left for a costume party. Vampires! Ha! He was the one who going to suck someone dry, to take their cash and jewelry to add to his evening’s haul.
Dirk tucked the woman’s necklace, bracelet and two rings into one of the big pockets of his clown suit–nothing of outstanding value, though one of the rings did have a small diamond in it. He rifled through the contents of the man’s wallet. Lot’s of credit cards, but those weren’t of any use. “Two twenties and a ten?” he snarled, “is that all you have?”
“I don’t carry a lot of cash,” the man said.
“Yeah, but I bet you’ve got more in the house. And you–” Dirk looked at the woman “–you’ve probably got a box stuffed with fancy jewelry.”
“We aren’t wealthy people…”
The front doorbell chimed and children’s chatter reached his ears. What the hell? He’d turned all outside lights off. Couldn’t the damn brats take a hint? “Not a sound,” Dirk whispered, waving his gun. A minute went by and the voices faded away back toward the sidewalk. Now, where had he been? Oh yeah, more valuables in the house. He shot a glance around the room. Some nice artwork on the walls, new-looking furniture… okay, maybe the couple wasn’t rich, but they must have more that would make his visit worthwhile. He’d just have to search a bit.
Dirk whipped out a length of rope. “Lady, turn around while your husband ties your hands.”
“Tie her hands?” the man squeaked, “I–”
“Shut up and do as you’re told,” Dirk ordered. He threw the rope at the man. “Tie her.”
The man’s eyes burned in anger. “Sorry, dear,” he said to the woman as he wrapped the rope around her wrists.
“Now her ankles,” Dirk said, tossing a second rope.
A minute later she lay on the floor trussed up like a turkey. “Excellent,” Dirk exulted. No one else had rung the bell and things were going perfectly. He’d give the house a quick search and then be on his way, but first, he had to tie the man and then gag both. “Sit on that chair,” Dirk ordered, pointing at one of a straight-backed set. “Then put your hands behind the chair back.”
The man hesitated and then slowly sank onto the chair. Dirk grinned. “I must say I’m impressed with your vampire outfits. Impressive Dracula style clothes and the make-up looks natural too, almost as good as in a Hollywood film! Too bad you’re gonna miss your party.” He pulled out another length of rope. “Okay, Mr. Vampire,” he said, leaning in, “time to–aagh!”
Dirk screamed as the man’s jaws fastened down upon his gun hand. The gun clattered to the ceramic tile. Dirk screamed again, his eyes popping in horror as the man’s mouth released his hand and fastened on his neck. “What are you–?” Dirk’s head spun. As he sagged to the floor, he saw the woman fling off her bonds and move in, fangs extended.
“Nice fake knots, darling,” she purred to her partner.
The man nodded. Blood dripped from his mouth as he said to Dirk, “And you, my foolish clown, thought we were in costume.” He turned. “Come, dear, replenish yourself. Drink up.”
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