Copyright©March 2014 Suzy Stewart Dubot
Published at Shakespir
An Anglo/American who has been living in France for over 30 years, she began writing as soon as she retired. It is a passion discovered late in life, but lived to its fullest. With her daughters, she is a vegetarian and a supporter of animal rights. She uses words when she’s not protesting in the street.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Book cover design: Suzy Stewart Dubot
Photo: George Hodan
“I really don’t get this vampire thing.”
Tony had begun by dragging off the black, slicked-back hair that was his wig. Anyone near would be able to see that it had made him sweat. He’d already flung the standard vampire cape over the chair’s back and then had watched as it slinked slowly to the floor. He was too tired to bend and pick it up.
“The perversity of inanimate objects,” he muttered to no one in particular.
He continued with the removal of the rest of his vampire garb.
The other members of the cast were too busy getting changed to pay much attention to anyone else. They all had to share the one large storage room that had become a dressing room for the town’s pantomime.
Ironically, this year’s play, ‘The Vampire and the Dentist’ was taking place in the Broad Hinton church hall. The town’s civic centre, with a theatre where pantomimes usually took place, had been deemed unsuitable when the water sprinklers had gone off by error. All the padded seats had been soaked.
“How can people laugh at a vampire?” he continued. “Some of those kids in the audience were screeching with laughter, and I swear they were under twelve. They should have been terrified.”
Bob, who was already shrugging into his overcoat, took the time to offer an opinion.
“Come off it, Tony, this was a comedy. Nobody’s scared of a vampire in a pantomime. And don’t forget to take out those teeth before you leave.” He nodded his head in the direction of Tony’s mouth.
Margery was nearly ready to go too, so chipped in.
“There are so many films and TV programmes with vampires and werewolves these days that they’ve been demystified. Have to say that some of the actors who play them are really irresistible. You have to love them.”
“But I was playing someone scary. They should have been scared, unless I’ve failed as an actor…?”
James went past and patted him on the shoulder.
“You were the only scary one against a cast of comedians, Tony. You didn’t stand a chance, although I do believe I saw one old lady faint,” he laughed.
“That was my mother,” said Margery. “She always goes to sleep half way through any programme, so don’t take it personally, anyone.”
By now, they were all ready to leave, except Tony, who had been distracted with his meandering thoughts.
Alice had been in such a hurry to get away that she hadn’t even bothered to remove her exaggerated stage make-up. She was pretty enough that she could get away with it, though.
“Night, everyone. Last one out turns off the lights!”
Tony bent, picked up the cape and brushed the dust off it as the door clicked shut.
He was alone.
He sighed as he sat on the chair ready to remove his make-up. For the benefit of stage lighting, it had been exaggerated to look a bit like Sam Dracula, Grandpa in the series called ‘The Munsters.’
He reached for the pot of cold cream and the tissues, and then began peeling off his nose.
It was a nuisance that he didn’t have someone to take his make-up off for him as the mirror was useless. He was certain to miss a lot of the face paint, and there was no way he was going to be seen walking the streets with guck on his face. He’d rather die.
Wait a minute…
He was dead.