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A HEARTY BREAKFAST • by B. J. Adams

Mrs. Alsgood  glanced at her distorted reflection in the microwave door, adjusted her rimless glasses, and pushed back a stray lock of gray hair. With a sigh, she adjusted the ruffled apron around her ample middle and surveyed the room.

Sun streamed into the spacious kitchen and bounced from the white walls and white curtains. On the window sill, in small flower pots, thyme, garlic, and majorum strained toward the light. The room crackled with frying bacon and smelled of baking rolls. The table, with crisp white linen, was set for one. 

Before she could turn her attention back to the sizzling bacon, in came Brad Sedley, her only guest today. Not more than twenty years old, tanned, muscular, he was what the outfitters called a river rat.

“Good morning,” said Mrs. Alsgood. “Did you sleep well, dear?” 

“Yeah,” he said, stretching his arms and looking a tad groggy. “I was dog tired after that drive last night, gettin’ in so late and all. Man, that bacon smells good.”

“It’s best to start the day with a hearty breakfast,” she said. “How do you like your eggs?”

“Sunny side up.”

“Do have a seat, dear,” she said. “Orange juice is on the table. Are you here for rafting with friends?”

“Naw, I’m here by myself, thought I might hook up with somebody and jet ski down to the lake. Your web site says the river’s a block from here?”

“Yes, and there’s a jet ski rental on the right when you get to the river. We have so many jet skiers here. I wonder they aren’t all deaf.”

She placed the bacon and two eggs before him along with a basket of warm rolls.

No one here with him. That was good. She could have taken care of things last night, but she liked to talk to her guests first, in case there were any complications, and a hearty breakfast added zest to the meal.

“Coffee?” she asked.

“Yeah, sugar and cream.” He mounded butter on a roll and attacked his breakfast. “I wanna get my own jet ski pretty soon,” he said.

“Oh, my,” she said. “They’re so noisy. And use so much gasoline.”

“But they’re fun!”

“And they always have leaks and spills,” she said. “So polluting.”

She picked up the coffee pot and savored the aroma for a moment. Although Mrs. Alsgood didn’t like the rafters — they littered and fouled the river — she really hated the jet skiers. Two birds with one stone, she thought. She poured his coffee and said, “Enjoy. I’ll be back to tidy up in a bit.” She stepped out the back door into the garden where she filled the bird feeder, refreshed the birdbath and watered her petunias.  When she returned, Brad was finishing the last of his bacon and buttering another roll.

“More coffee?” she asked.

“Naw. I’m good.”

She studied the hall door intently, focusing her powers on it. Slowly, the door responded to her wishes and began to swing shut. Just as it closed and the lock turned, she put the coffee pot noisily on the counter and said, “Now then, to finish up.”

Brad stood to leave. Mrs. Alsgood raised her hand as if to signal, stop. She summoned all her concentration and could feel power rumbling like molten rock in a volcano. Brad’s knees gave out and he collapsed back into the chair. “That’s very good,” she said. “Nicely done.” 

“What’s goin’ on?”

“Nothing, dear.” She stepped toward him and bared her teeth to reveal two enormous canines.

“What the…!”  For a moment he was paralyzed, staring wide-eyed and uncomprehending. He leapt out of the chair, turned and ran to the hall door. He hit the closed door with a thud, then rattled the handle. He threw his weight against the door, but it was solid and had heavy hinges. He turned to face her. Back pressed into the door, he shrieked, “NO!”

She approached him, caught and held his eye, again focused her energy on him. She could feel him fighting her, like a river bass on a tight line. He was strong. This would be good sport, too.

He grabbed the chair and slid it between them. “Wha… Who are you!?” he asked.
 
“Nothing to worry about, dear.”

“Go away… What do you want?”

“It won’t hurt. It will be over quickly. You won’t feel a thing.”

“What’re you doing up in broad daylight?”

“Broad daylight?” she said, puzzled. Then comprehending, she laughed. “Oh, that’s in the movies, dear. Real life is nothing like the movies. And don’t bother looking for a stake,” she said, holding his eyes and focusing her energy.

“What’re you gonna to do?”

“I think you know.”

“Why me?”

“Why not? I need nourishment. The earth needs less noise, less pollution. Think of it as your contribution to combat global warming. Cap and trade. You’re capped; your allowance traded to me.” 

“You won’t get away with it.”

“Oh, I’ve been getting away with it for centuries.”

He shoved the chair at her and made a break across the kitchen for the outside door. Thud; it too was locked. He threw all his weight against it again and again. But it too was solid. He turned to face Mrs. Alsgood. She could feel him wearing down. 

She again raised her hand, renewed her focus. He dropped to the floor. She sprang, bared her fangs, expertly pierced his jugular vein.  

When Mrs. Alsgood was satisfied, she walked to the door, looked out toward the garden, where she had already dug a hole. The shovel stood upright in the soil. He’ll be biodegradable, too, she thought. 


B. J. Adams is a freelance writer in Southeast Texas. She writes fiction and nature articles. When not at the computer plugging away, she enjoys feeding, watering and grooming her small menagerie of bonsai.


This story was sponsored by
Camilla d’Errico: A character designer and artist who dances on the tightrope between pop surrealist art and manga inspired graphics. Explore her paintings, characters and comics: Tanpopo, BURN and Helmetgirls.

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A HEARTY BREAKFAST • by B. J. Adams, 3.1 out of 5 based on 45 ratings
Posted on October 28, 2009 in Horror, Stories
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  • http://users.beagle.com.au/peterl P.M.Lawrence

    “hen she returned” = “When she returned”?

    And that shovel should be a spade – you just can’t dig properly with a shovel, the blade and handle are all wrong for it.

  • Debra

    Very well written. I’ve kind of OD on vampires though. Would’ve been more fun had she just been a crazy old lady who kills for some psychotic reason. Still, nicely done.

  • http://rumjhumkbiswas.wordpress.com rumjhum biswas

    This one’s the wolf in Red Riding Hood turned into werewolf with a horror slant? But our old fairy/folk tales were often horror weren’t they? Enjoyed this version despite the typos/mistakes (as pointed out by PM Lawrence).

  • http://teenangel.netfirms.com Jim Hartley

    Great! Loved it. very easy-going beginning, but about the time she got to the coffee I could see that SOMETHING was going to happen, and it did. I have no problems with the author taking a few liberties with vampire-lore, after all we don’t really KNOW. (And I must admit to having taken a few liberties with vampire-lore is stories I’ve done :-) )

    Five fangs!

  • Smitty

    A few typos/syntax errors got in the way a bit, but I liked it. There was a lot of forewarning of things to come early on. I would have preferred to have been a bit more surprised. Nice writing though.

  • Jen

    Interesting story. I originally thought she was going to be a human canibal, but this was cute too. I liked the twist on the vampire loe too.

  • http://mickeymills.wordpress.com Mickey

    It seemed a little cliche’ to me, but I enjoyed the writing. She reminds me of an aunt I was deathly afraid of growing up.

    The onslaught of this kind of story, this time of year, begins to wear on me.

  • Brian Dolton

    Sorry but this one didn’t work – even the title pretty much gave things away so there was no great surprise and not enough outside that to make it stand out for me.

  • Margie

    A grandma vampire! How original. . .it made me laugh. :)

  • Damon Shaw

    Great details give a tension right from the start. Vivid writing. Fun story. More please.

  • http://frederation.wordpress.com Fred Warren

    Well, I’ll never think of “cap and trade” quite the same way again. Fun story. I liked the little domestic touches.

  • http://www.cocktailfiction.wordpress.com Cathryn Grant

    Well-written, but the outcome was revealed a little too early for me. I really like the last line and the twist on vampire lore.

  • kathy k

    Cute and fun. I enjoyed it.

  • Sharon

    Environmentally conscious vampire crone who runs a B&B…how PC and CP (Culturally Pertinent) can you get? 5 spades up.

  • J.C. Towler

    The “monologuing” toward the end was a bit clunky, as was some of the Q&A focusing on vamps of lore and the vamp presented in this story.

    I wasn’t sure if Mrs. Allsgood just killed those she found environmentally detrimental or just anyone who happened into her B&B during meal time. Points for an interesting concept, a green vampire.

    –John

  • http://jfjuzwik.webs.com Joyce

    Clever. I enjoyed this.

  • Nancy Wilcox

    Enjoyed this one, though it gave too much away at the beginning. I would have liked to have been surprised. But a good voice, and I like the vampire being environmentally conscious.

  • http://ionplayer.blogspot.com/ Ian Rochford

    I think you give too much away in the “No one here with him” passage, but aside from that I enjoyed this. Particularly like the idea of a greeny vampire – there’s an idea worth a novel!

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