Vladko Sr. and Jorvik
They were known as the Flying Vladkos. The greatest high-wire act to come along in decades. They played all the great cities of Europe. Places like Berlin, Paris and London adored them.
They admired their daring. You see they insisted on performing without a net.
“We do not require one for we are skilled at what we do!”
“Ah, but what if one of the children misses the catch, what then—do you want to take that chance?!”
Vladko senior would only smile when asked that and re-iterate what he had already said.
As for the audience, they’d continued to be thrilled, most daring not to even breathe while the act was going on.
“Do you see that?!”
“I have never seen anything like that in my life! They really seem to fly!”
A truer word was never … well, you know the rest of that saying.
Yes, they were rather special, quite unique actually—this family.
There were four of them. Papa Vladko, his wife Hannah and their two sons: Jorvik and Bosco. You wouldn’t want to meet nicer people. They were cordial and polite and not at all arrogant. When told that a reporter had come to interview them they were so welcoming.
“Of course,” Papa beamed. “We shall be honored!”
They really seemed to be delighted, answering all of the reporter’s queries but then when he began to ask some rather peculiar questions they grew increasingly alarmed.
When the man suddenly rushed toward a small cupboard the Vladkos shouted for him not to open it.
“Why are you afraid? Do you think I’ll find something unusual?”
Without saying another word, he flung open the door and gasped for there were six bottles of red liquid surrounded by ice.
No one said a word for what seemed an eternity.
Abraham Van Helsing’s brother looked triumphant. “I have you at last, you vermin!”
"Oh no you don’t!” Papa cried for he had suddenly recognized something about the man’s appearance. “Where is he, your brother? You are small fish. I want to know where our would-be destroyer is!”
“You’ll see him soon enough! And he’ll be the last thing you ever do see!”
This threw Papa into a rage. He lunged for the man, tearing out his throat. Mama tried to hold back the children but could not. They had not had fresh blood for quite some time.
Both Jorvik and Bosco had the man drained quickly, leaving Papa and Mama hardly a taste, with the exception of whatever blood had pooled nearby.
The children only 13 and 14 when they died, and still those ages now after several centuries, felt badly for having been greedy.
“We are sorry,” they said. “You can have all of his flesh though. We will be happy with a finger. And that we shall share between us!”
Mama sighed. “Such good children, I have!”
Papa waved her off. He was thinking about Van Helsing.
“He must already be here. You know what he’s like. So dogmatic. So bigoted! Our worst enemy!”
Papa gazed upon the mutilated carcass his family was feeding on. He continued to speak though they were not paying attention for Abraham Van Helsing’s brother tasted much too good.
"Ah, the Vladkos! We meet again!"
“Mein Gott!” Mama cried, placing herself in front of the children. “He will destroy all of us!”
They tried to make a break for it, but Van Helsing shouted it was too late and began throwing the stakes.
A shot suddenly rang out. The owner, Joe Fielding had taken perfect aim.
“He won’t bother you again,” he announced dramatically.
And he wouldn’t either, for Fielding’s real name was Renfield. His family knew all too well about vampires.
"Not all vampires are evil.” Fielding said. “My own brother was duped by one he trusted. Yes! Count Dracula was a mean son of a bitch but some vampires are wonderful beings, you and your family for instance!”
Vladko smiled proudly. “Our family has only killed when forced to."
“Don’t I know that Vladko? Why you and your kin were great heroes! You saved many from the Inquisition and the Crusades!”
Fielding nodded, looking at Van Helsing’s corpse. “People like him foster prejudice and prejudice blindly enforced can never be a good thing.”
"You’re quite right,” Papa said. “I shall remove him now, for it is time to feed the lions I think.”
Fielding smiled. “Permit me sir, to at least carry his legs.”
copyright 2012 Carole Gill