Jeanne and William arrived at their apartment a little before dawn. William had wasted most of the night drinking and found no victims but it would be light soon and it wasn't safe to hunt in the daytime; therefore, the two vampires retired to their coffins to sleep the day away.
Two hours later the phone begin to ring. Each time the answering machine would turn on and record a message that never came. Just a click, a repetitive never-ending nuisance that went on long enough to wake the undead, until, finally, Jeanne decided enough was enough, and rose to answer it.
“Hello,” she said.
The voice on the phone was harsh, menacing, demanding, desperate yet cruel. “William, you damn blood sucker. You thought you could hide, lurking in your lair, emerging to prey upon the blood of the innocent, feeding upon women and children who’ve never done you wrong. Yet, know you now that justice is at hand. Your time is near. I know who you are and I know where you live and my name is justice, you undead feeder upon the innocent. When we meet, I shall show you no mercy.”
Jeanne cupped the phone with the palm of her hand and called down the hallway. “William, dear, the phone is for you.”
“Hunh? I’m sleeping,” muttered William. “Tell them to call back in the evening.”
“William, dear. I think this is the sort of thing you’d like to take care of yourself.”
“Is it important?”
“Well, it is to them and I think it’d be best if you spoke to them directly.”
"Who is it?"
"It appears to be a vampire hunter.”
“A vampire hunter?”
Soon William was slowly stumbling down the unlit hallway.
She handed him the phone and William put the receiver to his ear slowly, like someone half asleep or half dead, which was only natural, for William was both. “Hello,” he said, voicing the word tentatively, apparently, for once, unsure of himself.
Jeanne could hear very little of the remaining conversation. Just an occasional something about “lurker in worm-eaten graveyards” or “evil feeder upon babies and other innocents” and, of course, a never ending stream of cliched, hackneyed phrases about “justice” and “retribution” and “cleansing the Earth of half-living fiends.” By the expression on his face, William appeared to be as bored with all this as she was.
“Well,” said William finally speaking into the receiver, “there is no choice but to settle this honorably using the code. Vampire and vampire hunter together. Each facing the other in a tradition that predates known history.” William paused. “What? Surely you know what I’m talking about. You aren't’t new at this, are you? Why the code of demonic dueling has been around far longer than either of us. Probably longer than mankind itself. I’d think you’d at least have heard of it. What kind of vampire hunter are you, anyway?” Another pause. “Tomorrow soon after sunset will be fine. Nice to hear you’re getting into the spirit of this thing. Oh of course, bring all the stakes and weapons you want. I am a vampire after all. You’ll need your weapons, I’d think… What? Who are you calling a weak-kneed drunk? Look mister, just bring your weapons and we shall see what happens. My place will be fine. Well, yes, you just chose the time so under the code I choose the place. You did know that, didn't’t you?” William paused and nodded his head a bit more, finally finishing with a smile. “Why thank you. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you and I look forward to meeting face to face.”
“How did he find us?” asked Jeanne.
“Who knows!” said William. “It’s the information age. Privacy’s a thing of the past. Perhaps he somehow learned a bit about skip tracing or purchased a how-to-be a detective books. Maybe he somehow gained access to my library card records. Who knows. LOL! In any case, that’s ultimately unimportant. What matters is that he’ll be here tomorrow.”
“Was that wise to invite him over, William? What shall we do when this vampire hunter arrives?”
“Relax.” He smiled showing his fangs. “He was coming anyway. At least, now we know when he’ll arrive and can plan accordingly.”
“You may have a point. But William, really now, ‘the dueling code of the vampires?’ Where did that come from?”
William smiled. “Relax,” he said.
The next day, not long after sunset, the moment arrived. The knock on the apartment door came.
“Who is it?” said Jeanne.
“It is I,” came the deep solemn voice from the far side of the door. “Marcus Finklewitz, Vampire Hunter. Remember that name for it is the last name you shall ever hear.” Jeanne rolled her eyes and turned to where William waited with a pair of police officers. “That’s him officers,” said William. “I know that terrible voice anywhere. That’s the one. The crazy man who’s been stalking me for weeks. I don’t know how he decided I was a vampire, or even why. But he’s crazy. I’m telling you, officers, I’m so lucky to have you here. God bless the police department. Whatever would we do without you guys? Our brave boys in blue! Thank god you’re here to protect me.”
The old cop drew his baton with his left hand and held the small canister of pepper spray with his right. His younger partner Lewis followed suit and did likewise.
Jeanne opened the door to reveal a man standing there dressed in a long black trench coat, several long pointed stakes held in each outstretched hand. “Die minions of evil!” he shouted. “It is I, Marcus Finklewitz, Vampire hunter!”
“Hold it right there, buddy,” said the lead cop. “Back off.”
“Take this, spawn of Satan,” cried Marcus Finklewitz. “I am a vampire hunter. Police uniform or not, I know your true face, Bloodsucker.” Shifting the stakes to one hand only, the vampire hunter quickly reached in his pocket and tossed a half-filled, loosely tied condom of clear liquid at the police officer, which burst and splashed over the dark blue uniform. “Holy water!” cried the vampire hunter. “Prepare to burn.”
“You stupid asshole,” cried the cop. “I’m wet.” The police officer steadied the pepper spray canister, depressed his thumb and let the liquid spray over Finklewitz’s face. Finklewitz began to scream and rub his eyes as he stumbled, half-blind, gasping for breath. “Stupid crazy-ass fool,” said the cop. “Cuff him, Lewis.” Turning to William, the cop said, “Sorry about this mister. Makes you wonder sometimes, what’s wrong with the world that all these half-baked wackos are out on the streets. It’s the liberals who don’t have the backbone to keep them in the mental hospitals that does it.”
“Yes, officer. It’s sad indeed,” said William. “Those nasty liberals and all.”
The police officer turned his head to watch Lewis dragging the now-handcuffed screaming vampire hunter down the apartment stairs. “Hey don’t drop him like that, Lewis. We got in trouble for that last week, you know.” With a snicker, he turned back to William and began speaking. “Yeesh. It’s bad enough that the kook thinks vampires are real, much less than he’s going to attack someone about it. But at least we’ve got him now. If it’s not too much trouble, it would help if you could come down to the station and fill out some paper work on what happened.”
“Er. Officer,” said William nervously. “Can we fill out that paper work at night?”
The officer looked at him funny. “Of course,” said the officer. “I do work the night shift after all. And the sooner the better.”
“Very well, officer,” said William. “We’ll be by the station shortly.” And with that, the police officer turned and headed down the stairs where the sound of a screaming, pepper-sprayed vampire-hunter wannabe had been joined by several mysterious thuds as if someone had somehow fallen down a short flight of stairs.
The police officer’s voice was a bit quieter as it came from the base of the stairs. “Oh, what a pity,” he could be heard to say. “It looks like the vampire hunter fell down by accident. Well, we’ve got to take him back to the station anyway.” Jeanne and William heard another thud, another scream and the sound of the building’s front doors slamming open and shut as the cops left.
With a contented sigh and a laugh, William looked at Jeanne and said: " I might be a weak kneed drunk, but I sure showed him."