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When we left her last week, the narrator of Christine Faris’s “Death Like Garlic” had just entered the movie theater to watch a vampire film when she was drawn into a conversation with a creepy, suit-wearing European. As she continues her way down into the “musk and dusk and twilight,” her interests are torn between the film, the strange man, and the young ticket-taker with whom she has just had her first (potentially) romantic encounter.

Here is the conclusion of “Death Like Garlic”:

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As the long-winded trailers roll before the movie begins, I munch and crunch my flavorful popcorn.  The sense of foreboding returns.  It’s probably just because I’m watching a horror film alone, with some strange foreigner watching me.

The movie begins.  The heroine/victim is dared by her friends, a lively mixture of frat boys and sorority girls on holiday in Northern France, to enter the dark, abandoned, haunted house.  Of course, the moon is full.  The handsome count invites her to dinner.  The count smiling on the screen looks a lot like the dark stranger who greeted me upon my entrance to the theater!

“Yes.  I am the very same count, and the girl on the screen was my last victim.  The marvels of modern technology never fail to amaze me; now, I can watch my kills as often as I want.  I have cameras installed all over my home so that I may capture the essences of fear and passion.”

He has let his guard down, and his thick Romanian accent tumbles through thick evil lips.

“Why do you have a villa in France if you are Romanian?  Why aren’t you living in Transylvania?  Why me, why here, why now?  I didn’t trespass on your property like that idiotic co-ed!” I try to think of how I can get myself out of this stupid situation.

“My dear, dear girl.  Slayers run rampant in the mother country.  I had to move to France in 1817.  It was either leave or get stamped…”

“What is stamped?” I interrupt.

“If you say yes, you will learn more than you can possibly fathom at this moment.  As for why you, I have several friends who live here in this beautiful town.  They have told me of you, and your knowledge of our kind.  You should feel pleased that I think you gorgeous and intelligent enough to come here all the way from Bohemia with a proposition,” was his response.

He gives me a smile that does not reach his cold eyes.  He whispers in my mind that I can either become a queen or remain a stench ridden corpse.  All it takes is a moment of pain, carnal erotic pain.  It will be of no use to scream.

I allow a small moan to escape my lips.

Just as the fiend is about to decide my future for me, my ticket boy is here, garlic cloves around his neck, brandishing a crucifix stake.

“Wait!  Wait!  Allow him to do me this honor!  Do not touch him.  Count, proceed.”

The ticket boy stands there stuttering, as I make the most life changing decision one can make.

ANY CHARACTER HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE

And the narrator and Count lived happily ever after.

Can’t a ticket boy ever catch a break?

Tune in next week and every Monday for more Writings From a Past Life. And click here for previous WFPLs.

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Christine Faris is a senior creative writing student at Stephen F. Austin State University. The inspiration for her writing comes from travel and living in the East Texas Pineywoods. The inspiration for this particular story came from a middle school trip to a very dilapidated cinema. You can follow her musings at http://findingtheendoftheworld.wordpress.com/

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