April 22

Count Verlock’s Apocalypse (Part 3 of 3)

[…continued from April 21 entry…]

 

The vampire felt weak.  He needed fresh blood.

Count Verlock passed through his floor of the high-rise apartment building, testing the doors of neighbors whom he hid from during the day.  Most doors were locked, as was proper in a large city.

Shouts from behind one door offered encouragement, until he realized the sounds came from a television program.  He banged on the door, hoping to complain about the loud volume…but the tenant didn’t answer.

At the end of the hall, one apartment unit opened to his touch.  An empty  pizza carton lay on the kitchen counter…the resident’s body lay contorted on the floor.  Blood-flecked foam gurgled from his mouth.

The electric lights still worked, so the Count expected the elevator would also operate.  He pushed the down button, waited for the metal doors to slide open.

Four dead bodies covered the floor of the elevator.  Verlock stepped over them to enter, and pressed “L” for Lobby.  In the confined car, he noticed a faint odor…metallic and artificial…a bitter mixture of animal waste and rotten fruit.

A few more contorted bodies littered the lobby floor.  Outside, a frozen chaos greeted him.  Lifeless humans everywhere…gridlocked vehicles in the street.

The pre-programmed world went on as usual.  Some motors continued to run, the vehicles locked in park.  At the intersection, stop lights cycled through their colors.

In a curbside box, the day’s newspaper featured a large, disturbing headline.  A foreign power…terrorist threat level…biochemical weapons.

Verlock sniffed the air, noting the fresh stench of death, the poison foam from each victim’s mouth.  He already felt week…but was that because his latest feeding was several days ago?…or because this modern weapon would have its own, gradual effect on a vampire’s strange biology?

He wondered how far the attack reached.  In recent years, Verlock had no need for a human assistant…no Renfield, as in Stoker’s novel.  In the city, everything he desired was within walking distance.  Verlock had never learned to drive a car…and besides, the streets were too clogged with dormant vehicles to allow passage.  Beneath the street, too…part of the stillness he’d sensed upon waking…subway trains had ceased to rumble across the tracks.

He wished he could actually transform into a bat, fly into the next town. Instead, his illusory appearance fell away…unnecessary, since there were no living humans for him to deceive.  Count Verlock hunched over into a feeble, centuries-old creature, fading from lack of nourishment.

Perhaps some nourishment remained within the veins of recent victims.  He sniffed again, noting the awful scent of animal waste and rotten fruit.  At his feet, a young man’s contorted body lay across the sidewalk…his head twisted to the side…neck bare, save for a dribble of foam that had spilled from the man’s mouth.

The vampire considered whether or not to feed.  Indifferent, the traffic lights cycled from green to red, and back again.

 

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Author’s Note:  For a less apocalyptic story featuring the same vampire, please consider the following FREE story, “The Dungeon of Count Verlock,” based on a movie that takes place in the 1960’s.

…To read the full story online, click here…

…If you’d prefer a free eBook version, click here to visit Instafreebie…