When the body of Nurse Constance arrived at Thyme Funeral Home, Augustus recognized the corpse for what it was.
Just weeks earlier his newborn son, Samuel Thyme, had been stolen away by Nurse Constance and the old man in the dark Cadillac, a debt paid in blood by the mother. Susan had died due to complications—the physician’s way of saying she had died of a broken heart.
Augustus had considered following. He had tried drowning his misery, one bottle after another. Even while he pressured the police and persued his own investigation, he took to drinking like a fish.
Susan had called the old man in the Cadillac, Patriarch, the first of their kind.
The first what?
Augustus had collected all manner of books on the occult. He poured through them between cases of beer. Down in the city, he asked around. And he started seeing them everywhere.
Even before he was ready to admit it, he knew what he saw. Vampires. He saw them in the pubs and on the street corners. He even saw them in the damn library.
He had vampires on the mind.
There were days he didn’t know if they were only in his head. He didn’t want to know. He saw their fangs when they sneered at him. He saw their iridescent eyes. Even when he wasn’t drunk out of his mind, he saw them still. Even And now one sat across from him at the pub.
“I’m looking for Ithuriel”, said Augustus. That was the name he had found in an old tome describing the first of their kind.
The vampire stroked his goatee as if primming for a date.
“You know not what you say,” said the vampire.
“He took my son!” said Augustus. He slammed his fist on the table knocking a bottle over.
A hush fell over the pub.
They all looked at him with thirst in their eyes.
Slowly, Augustus stood. He recognized the threat before him. He was about to lose his life, or drench his own hands in blood. Either way, his son would be lost. Excusing himself, he slipped away and stumbled for the door.
The rain felt hot like blood streaming down his face. He fled from the vampires on the mind.