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Jenni Clarke - Author

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‘It was just a game, Valhare. Who’d have thought we’d end up being the last?’

Valhare lowers the rat in his hand, blood drips from the corner of his mouth. ‘Does my friend finally see sense? Or did he see that pretty redhead in the village?’ He throws the desiccated rat out of the cracked window.

Brone swipes greasy strands of hair from his pale face. ‘It would be nice to look upon a girl more than once a year, without them screaming.’ His sunken eyes glitter with hope. ‘This Halloween was one of the best in a long while.’

‘But our make-up doesn’t smudge, and I get hungry. I don’t think our style of cuisine would be accepted.’ He cocks his head, creeps along the wooden panelled wall and smashes his hand through the decaying wood snatching another juicy rat. ‘Imagine tasting all those different animals, cooked in their own juices.’ He grimaces. ‘And enjoying them. D’you suppose they taste as nice as rat’s?’

‘At least we never go hungry.’  Brone points at the rat which squeals and twists in Valhare’s long fingers.

‘Until they use rat poison.’ Valhere shudders. ‘it took me 200 hundred years to get rid of the ache.’ He eyes his find, but throws it to Brone. ‘There’s more in this old castle, perhaps we could stay here a while.’ Valhare drags an old wooden crate through the dust and sits down. ‘A comfy life we lead.’

Brone groans and shake his head. ‘Maybe you’re right. Everyone gone, all because of that stupid game. What was I thinking.?’

‘You weren’t, we were young and immortal. Nothing could harm us.’

‘You really want to play?’ Brone sunk his long teeth into the rat’s neck and sucked.

‘Got to be better than the life we lead. Haven’t you had enough of this dull existence? Hiding in the dark, sneaking around in the moonlight. We’ve had some fun though. Remember that year you decided to howl every time you bumped into something? It’s no wonder they think we change into wolves.’

Brone chuckled. ‘You can talk. Poor Dracs, you convinced him he was allergic to rat blood, and suggested he tried sucking other animal’s blood.’ He shakes his head. ‘He was so ill.’ Brone wiped the blood from his chin, his long tooth catching in the black fabric of his sleeve and tearing yet another hole.

‘We did have fun, starting rumours and playing pranks.’ Valhare sucked on the grey body in his hand. ‘Until the game backfired. No-one could’ve predicted the outcome, or the girls choosing the dare.’ He reached into his ragged pockets. ‘I’ve got some, if you want to play?’

Brone dropped his rat.

‘Truth or dare, Brone?’

Brone sighed. ‘I dare, do you?’

Valhere nodded and held out his hands. In each was a head of garlic. ‘To a mortal life, and beyond.’ He tossed one to Brone, and the two vampires crunched together, screaming with pain as immortality was ripped from their hearts.

 

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