The Bakeneko: A Lawson Vampire Short Story by Jon F. Merz – Part Six
The Bakeneko: A Lawson Vampire Short Story
By Jon F. Merz
I choked it down and then put the container back inside. You can’t go leaving used vials of blood around a hotel without expecting the maids to freak out. Doesn’t matter if you’re in a city or a small inn in the country. Stuff like that is gonna make people curious.
The jolt of life force energy smacked into me and made me gasp like I’d touched a live wire. It passed quickly as it was absorbed into my body, fueling me up. I rose from where I’d been sitting on the tatami mats and padded over to the verandah outside of my room. The shoji screens slid back without making any noise and I stepped out on to the polished wooden deck exterior.
The humidity was gone, replaced by a stiff, icy breeze. I shivered once and took a long look out at the woods and mountains that surrounded this ryokan. In the distance, I could see the mountains mists still floating above treetops while thick, dark clouds blotted out the moon.
I wondered if it would rain. But as I was considering this, I heard a solitary cry echo from somewhere deep in the forest. I frowned. It didn’t sound like a wolf or a coyote. Or even a werewolf for that matter.
Not that I expected to attribute these deaths to the Lycans. They had their own service for dealing with the members of their race that violated their laws. If this was a rogue Lycan then I’d simply leave it to whomever they sent to deal with it.
The cry sent a shiver running up my spine. It sounded plaintive. Like some screech of despair.
I wasn’t familiar with all of the animal life in Japan, but I figured there would be a good explanation for it. Given the darkness and the weather, my imagination had simply conjured up something spooky instead of logical.
I smirked in spite of myself. I’d always been a sucker for a good scary story. Even if I ended up scaring the shit out of myself as a result.
Back inside the room, I settled down under the covers of the futon and made myself comfortable. I tried watching another game show and switched it over to an old Kurosawa flick instead. I’ve always enjoyed Rashomon and watched until my eyelids felt heavier than I could manage. I switched off the television, turned over and promptly fell asleep.
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