"Woof! Woof! Woooo!" howled the bloodhound as he sniffed the ground. The dog ran, nose to the ground, past a large white house and unfenced yard to the woods. Brent gasped as he saw blood droplets in the grass. He hoped the Master was all right; that his memory was back and blood sugar level stable. With his amnesia, would he let down his defenses and be eaten by a cat? Or worse, revert to old nature forgetting his membership in Biters Anonymous and attack humans? He guessed he had about two hours left of darkness to the find the Master before dawn.
The dog ran into the woods. Branches and brushes scratched Brent's arms as he held onto the leash running after the excited dog. There in the distance lay a bright green lump of some sort. The dog ran towards it and stopped as Brent, gasping to catch his breath, saw the Master in human form lying sleeping or unconscious on the ground wearing a bright green housecoat with gray flowers over his pajamas and fuzzy pink house shoes. The dog looked up at Brent as if to say, I found him; now you help him.
Brent shook his head and sprang into action. He took out a snifter of nourishing blood for the Master and held his head up for him to drink. Rutherford moaned and opened his eyes. "I feel awful." He looked around and asked, "Brent, what am I doing out here?"
As Rutherford drank all the lifesaving red liquid, Brent told him the story of how the swine flu had thrown his vampire body into a loop. "Master, can you walk? It's going to be daylight soon. If it hadn't been for Old Zeke's bloodhound pup, I never would have found you."
Rutherford sat up and patted the puppy's head. "What a noble beast." The dog licked his bleeding hands. The older man took off his housecoat, and Brent threw it into the woods so the lady would think it just blew off the line.
Brent pulled at the dog's leash. "Master, is there such a thing as a vampire dog? He was licking your blood."
"I don't know. There's no vampire handbook. I guess we'll have to keep him a few days and watch him carefully."
Brent helped the limping man to the truck parked over the ridge. "Master, I have to know. What's the deal with the housecoat and house shoes?"
I'd rather forget the whole thing."
"No, Master, I have to know."
Rutherford said, "I was flying blind, couldn't see much more than a blur. Well, I flew into the clothes line and this thing wrapped around me."
"Okay, but what about the pink house shoes?"
"My feet were bleeding, and I kind of borrowed these off the porch yonder."
"Well, it sounds too strange to be a lie."
"Brent, I can't see a thing. Did you bring my glasses?"
"Yeah, they're in the truck with some medicine."
Rutherford settled into the seat, leaned his head back to rest, and quietly snored. The bloodhound pup jumped into the front seat beside the older man. Brent looked at him and said, "I sure hope that dog is okay. Old Zeke will skin us for hurting one of his dogs."
Once the Master was settled in his coffin for the day and the bloodhound pup lay sleeping on the fireplace rug, Brent Field checked his e-mail. His eyes lit up with delight as he saw Amanda's name. "Great," he said as he read that Amanda loved the Valentine roses and they made reservations for Biker Week at Daytona Beach and hoped to see both Rutherford and Brent there. He laughed as she related that Purple Lips loved her roses, too, and just bought a purple leather jacket and helmet. In a matter of four to five weeks, they would be at the beach riding motorcycles and dancing once again. The telephone rang.
"Thanks, I'll be right over to pick up the new glasses," Brent said, glad that the Master would never again have to go out flying blind. The pup came over and lay at his feet. Brent hung up the phone and said, "You know, fellow, you're starting to grow on me. Besides, the Master might wander again. I think I'll see if the Master would like to buy you from Zeke."
The Master answered this question that night as his fever went down to bat normal. "I reckon that's a good idea. You know, we could call him Vlad, him being a bloodhound and all."
"Master, do you think he'll be all right? He ate dog food this evening."
"Only one problem, where do we keep him when we go to Biker Week in case he develops a certain problem?"
"How about we fix a room in the basement with a doggie door until we find out?"
"Ah-choo." The Master sneezed, and nothing happened. Brent laughed in relief. "I've got a surprise." He opened a small box and handed the Master a pair of small glasses, just the right size for a bat. "Now, you'll always know where you are."
"Great, Brent. Now, as soon as I feel better, let's start pumping iron so I'll look buff at the beach. I'm not getting any younger, you know."
To purchase a copy of Beverly's book, Gothic Bedtime Stories, contact her at P. O. Box 803, Alderson, WV, 24910 or by email: hbpoe(at)excite.com. The cost of the book is $15.00 -- mention the Piker Press for free shipping.