A waitress with a name tag that read “Rose” came over to serve them. She looked friendly with her bright-red hair and snapping gum. She took their order and then asked if she could assist them with anything else.
Linda decided to come straight out with what they wanted to know. She began by explaining their situation. “Two of our friends disappeared from a party given at End House this past Friday night. We suspect that the people who reside on the hill are the ones responsible. Do you know anything about them that can help us?”
Rose called over two men. “Hey! Rob and Joe! We need help here!” Linda and Shana, becoming frightened, began to stand up. Then they noticed that the two old men, who were coming over to them, had big smiles on their wrinkled faces. They joined them at their booth.
Rose said to the men, “These women were at that party and they think that the hill people had something to do with the disappearances.”
The one called Joe, who had a full head of white hair and a long white beard, nodded his head in agreement. “We have always suspected that those people were evil. Tourists disappear every year and nothing is ever done about it. The sheriff seems to be in cahoots with them. Parties are given on the hill on the same two nights each year. On these nights, shadows can be seen creeping around the deserted streets of town.”
Rob, who wore very thick glasses and had curly grey hair, added, “The parties look like secret meetings of some society. Everything is always done after dark.”
Rose spoke up. “We never see these people until the sun goes down. They don’t bother talking to us. I’ve been living here thirty years and I’ve spoken to only a few of them.”
“Our town doesn’t go out after dark; we steer clear of the hill people. There have been many legends, but we don’t know if any are true,” Joe said.
Shana asked, “What are some of the legends?”
“One legend describes the hill people as vampires in hiding. They meet with the rest of the vampires in the world twice a year. These meetings are planning sessions on how to keep their species alive,” Joe said.
“Another legend has the hill people as good vampires that are trying to rid the world of The Dead, a sect of evil vampires who enjoy killing people—just for fun. The Dead have greater powers than regular vampires and are led by a strong and malicious head vampire. The good vampires meet twice a year to plan the defense of their slowly diminishing group,” Rob explained.
“How can you remain living here if you believe the worst of the people in town?” Linda asked. She didn’t believe in vampires, but if these people thought so poorly of the townspeople, then why didn’t they just leave?
Rose answered for them, “We don’t know if the legends are true. We’ve been living here unhurt all these years. Maybe the tourists disappearing are just coincidences. We can’t pack up our whole village and leave. We need the income from the ocean: the fishing has been very profitable.”
“Maybe they want you to remain living here for some sinister purpose,” Shana said.
“If you find out anything, please let us know,” said Rose, with concern beginning to dawn in her eyes.
“Don’t worry. We’ll let you know of any new developments. We’ll figure this out and find our friends,” Linda replied, trying to downplay Shana’s dire warning.
The village looked lovely and peaceful on the surface, but Linda was afraid that there was much more brewing beneath the surface. As she ate her lunch, she tried to be as cheerful as possible so that Shana wouldn’t notice her rising fears and suspicions.
The Dead Game by Susanne Leist
Row of Trees (1915) by Jan Mankes (Dutch, 1889—1920).
WALK IN SHADOW
Who waits in the dark?
Stalking its victims.
Blending with the night.
Walking in shadow.
Lighter than air.
One with the mist.
Leaving death behind.
Traces of evil.
Evil wrought on the town.
Who are you?
Come out in the light.
I know you can’t.
I know what you are.
Creature of the night.
Come to me.
And your time on earth will end.
For I protect the town.
I protect the innocent.
Come out of the shadow.
And face me.
All will know who you are.
The leader of The Dead.
Your time is at end.
THE DEAD GAME
The battle between good and evil rages on.
The sky and water have turned blood red.
Red as wine flowing down the side of a cup.
Red as blood oozing from the a deep gash.
The Dead hold the world in their hands.
Our world of people, hope, and humanity.
Their world lies below civilization.
Below the depths of humanity.
They have to come to our shores.
They have come to Oasis, Florida.
To exert their claim over humanity.
To rule with a cold heart and an evil mind.
The Watchers and good vampires band together.
They must search and destroy the evil ones.
They must find the leader hiding behind his disguise.
A disguise to fool some but not me.
Wolf cannot hide long in his protective shell.
His evil will come to the surface to show all.
He might be a charmer with women falling at his feet.
But I will not succumb to his charms a second time.
The sky shudders and bleeds its pain.
Thunder brings with it daggers of hail.
Lightning casts flashes of light upon the hidden.
Upon the dark shadows roaming the streets.
The wind calls my name, “Linda, come to me.”
It is soothing like a warm blanket on a winter’s night.
It holds promises of passion and endless love.
But I will hold strong and not weaken.
OUR GAMES HAVE JUST BEGUN
THE DEAD GAME
vintagegal: Dracula (1931)
Who was the original vampire?
Most say it was Count Dracula,
Who had unlimited power and charm.
Enough charm to lure followers
All the way to hell and beyond.
He had one descendant.
Where can he be found today?
Is he one of The Dead in Oasis, Florida?
Come and find out.
THE DEAD GAME
DEAD BY MORNING
He comes in the night
With a show of might.
He comes for the few.
He’ll make them anew.
They’ll be ready to fight
Each and every night.
They’ll take on more men.
They need more than ten.
The Dead will gather strong.
And I still might be wrong.
But they’re surely here for you and me.
We’ll be buried in the bright blue sea.
THE DEAD GAME