It was late evening and the sun had sunk behind the horizon leaving Dinard’s shop bathed in a golden haze. The door handle rattled, then there was a click in the lock and Emile walked in, followed closely by Sir John and Phlebotomous Bosch. Phlebotomous was carrying a bag and looked admiringly at the shop.

“Nice shop!” he said. “But do you always have to break in to buy something?”

Emile looked suspiciously over at the vampire, not for the first time that evening.

“I’ll go find Osvold,” he said.

“Actually, it’s closed right now,” said Sir John, “following the death of the owner. But he has an assistant we’d like you to meet. You have something in common.”

Phlebotomous’ eyes widened and he gasped.

“He’s an inventor, too?” he said enthusiastically.

“Not that… “said Sir John as Emile emerged from the back room with Osvold.

“Oh!” said Phlebotomous, “He’s a vampire.”

Both Osvold and Emile flinched at that.

“Osvold, I like you to meet a… friend of mine,” said Sir John. “Mr Bosch, I introduce, er, Mr…”

Prinzregententorte,” said Osvold.

“Like the dessert?” said Phlebotomous.

Osvold’s head hung down and he nodded.

There was a short pause.

“Mr Bosch,” said Sir John, “Phlebotomous, do you have your special drink?”

“Oh yes,” said Phlebotomous. “Luckily, I have it with me to take to Maxim’s!”

“About that…” started Sir John, but Phlebotomous was in full flow. The vampire turned to Osvold.

“I have the ingredients and the recipe,” he said. “It’s a protein-based compound of mushrooms, soy, and plum tomatoes.”

“No animals?” said Osvold, looking surprised.

“None at all,” said Phlebotomous. “It’s ethical, nutritious, and delicious, too!”

Osvold took the flask that Phlebotomous proffered, opened it and took a sniff. He then gingerly took a sip from the flask. His eyes closed and a shudder passed through him. He drank the rest greedily.

There was a short pause.

“I don’t believe Monsieur… Osvold gets out much,” said Sir John to Phlebotomous with a meaningful rise of his eyebrows.”

“So, maybe he can come with us to Maxim’s?” said Phlebotomous.

“Actually… that wasn’t really the plan,” said Sir John.

“We’re not going?” said Phlebotomous.

“Not really,” said Sir John. “We had something else in mind.”

“So I brought the compound in vain?” said Phlebotomous, his shoulders sinking. “It’s just as well Osvold was here to drink it, otherwise it would have been a waste.”

Emile muttered something under his breath.

“Phlebotomous,” said Sir John, gently. “What we’d like to do this evening is for you to get to know Osvold a little better. Sort of – vampire to vampire.”

“Oh certainly,” said Phlebotomous.

There was a short pause.

“Perhaps we should go to a show?” said Emile suddenly, with rather too much exuberance. “Or find a bar? Or maybe a dance?”

Both vampires looked at Emile in shock and horror.

“I’m not sure that I would enjoy that, Monsieur,” said Osvold.

“Oh no – I find loud music painful to my ears,” said Phlebotomous.

“And I don’t enjoy alcohol,” said Osvold, “it upsets my stomach.”

Emile looked flabbergasted.

“What in ‘eavens name do you do for fun?” he said.

“I like collecting stamps,” said Osvold.

“Just French?” said Phlebotomous.

“Oh no,” said Osvold, “I have stamps from around the world. I have a Penny Black from 1840.”

“Really?” said Phlebotomous, eyes widening, “You must show me!”

“Come this way,” said Osvold and the two disappeared into the back of the shop.

“My friend,” said Emile to Sir John, “what has happened tonight?”

“I think,” said Sir John, “that we have just witnessed the birth of the world’s first vampiric philately society”

One thought on “The Paris Awakening: Earth Part 1

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