The Bakeneko: A Lawson Vampire Short Story by Jon F. Merz – Part Eight

The Bakeneko: A Lawson Vampire Short Story
By Jon F. Merz

Part Eight

Higashi gestured for me to take a seat across from him.  As I did, he sighed deeply.  “Such a waste to lose one so young.”

“Indeed,” I said.  “As you can imagine, his family is distraught and have tasked us with finding out exactly what transpired.”

Higashi shrugged.  “There is little to tell unfortunately.  The young man was found with several grievous injuries to his upper torso and severe blood loss.  He was cold by the time we reached him.”

“And what sort of creature could do that sort of damage?”

Higashi leaned back.  “In these mountains?  We only have a few species that could be the culprit.  Bears mostly.  They might have attacked the young man as he hiked.”

“I heard a rumor that there was another death here recently.”

Higashi frowned.  Clearly he wasn’t thrilled that I knew that.  “There is nothing to discuss about that particular case.  The woman was old and her death was attributed to carelessness.”

I smiled and gave him a look that told him I didn’t buy that for a minute.  “How tragic.”


“It’s the most curious thing that carelessness could result in the same loss of blood as the young college student, wouldn’t you say?”

Higashi’s jaw tightened.  “I would hate to think that you are trying to establish the idea that we have a serial killer here, Lawson-san.  Especially since you have only just arrived here and are unfamiliar with our town and its inhabitants.”

Higashi obviously wasn’t going to play ball and that was fine.  I hadn’t expected him to.  “You are correct, of course.  I would like to take a few hours to walk around and familiarize myself with the area.  That is, unless you have any objection to me doing so?”

“None whatsoever,” said Higashi.  “I have several errands to run anyway.  Perhaps we could meet back here later to discuss any further inquiries you have before returning to Tokyo?”

“That sounds excellent,” I said rising.  “Thank you very much for your time, Higashi-san.”  I bowed and walked out of the office. 

Higashi’s reaction wasn’t exactly surprising.  I was a foreigner and this was a small town.  The combination of those two factors didn’t exactly endear me to the populace, let alone the police in charge of a murder investigation.  If I was going to get any sort of real intelligence, I was going to need to find it on my own.

Click here to go to Part Nine!

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