Unlucky Thirteen

“You’re a braver man than me sticking around here.”
“I felt I owed it to them.”
“Good man,” he said. “Good man. How many are there?” The policeman removed his helmet and mopped his brow.
I looked around and answered, “Twelve.”
“Geez! What kind of a nut does something like this?”
“A complete one.”
“Exactly.” He drew back the curtain and peered into the tangerine light of the hotel car park. “They should be here soon.”
“Not yet, though?”
“No. I was the first. We don’t often get things like this happening, not around here, and especially not at night.”
“People move about more now,” I suggested.
“Oh, yeah, the nuts sure do.” The policeman stooped to wipe a smear of crimson from a dead woman’s neck. “Are they all like this?”
“Yes.”
He picked up the phone, then reacted with anger when he saw its line cut. “You might get a reward for this,” he said, after composing himself.
“I don’t need one.”
“Oh, don’t be modest. It’s rare for anybody to phone in anything to do with the gangs.”
“Why?”
“Retaliation.”
“For what?”
“Sticking up to them.”
“I’ve done it before.”
“Wow! You are brave. When?”
“Tonight.”
“What d’ya mean tonight?”
“The night is mine and they wouldn’t leave.” I gestured to the mess. “This is the result.”
The policeman paused, his eyes narrowed, brow furrowed and feet took several involuntary steps back.
I had him bent back double in a flash, my fangs poised over his bulging jugular.
“This can’t be real. I must be dreaming, that’s it, dreaming.”
His arms flailed and feet kicked; nothing connected.
“This ain’t real,” he said again.
“That’s what they said, too.”
Only then did he seem to appreciate the splendour of my work, all that precision sliced flesh and crimson liquor. “Why me, though? Why wait? he babbled.
“Thirteen’s my lucky number,” I grinned, as I bit, and savoured, then left.

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