Author(s): Janet Paisley
Copyright holder(s): Janet Paisley, Dr James Robertson: Signed on behalf of Itchy Coo, a partnership between Dub Busters and Black & White Publishing.
“Vampire?” Says I.
“Aye, a vampire,” Biff says. “Ye ever see him at the school? Naw. See him hingin aboot the park soon as it’s daurk though, din’t ye?”
“Thocht his maw wis no weel an he has tae bide aff the school.” Biff gies me yin o his ‘wee smout’ looks.
“Believe that, ye’ll believe onythin,” he says. “Bloodless, his mither is. I heard thum sayin in the shop. Nae blood. Noo hoo’d she git thon wey, d’ye hink?”
Hinks I’m daft, Biff does.
“Git awa. Ye widnae drink yer ain mither’s blood even if ye wur a vampire. Yuck! Ye widnae be that hard up.”
“Never said he did.” Biff gits a haud ae ma throat. “Fur aw you ken, she’s yin tae. I jist says ye never see him till it’s daurk. An he’s went a funny colour. Hiv ye seen that? Hiv you seen that?”
I wis gaun a funny colour tae, oan account ae Biff shakin me by the throat. Purple, I hink.
“Aye,” I squeaked. It wis true. McAndrew wis gey peely-wally. Unner the streetlichts, he ay looked yella. Greenish, mibbe.
Biff noticed I wis gaun limp an let go ae ma throat.
“It’s up tae you,” he says. “Git him sorted. He owes me a fiver. I waant it back.”
He daundered aff hame an left me staunin, wheezin tae I got ma braith back. See, the hing aboot Biff is he’s the boss.
Wullie McAndrew yaised tae be yin ae oor pals. He wis ay borryin siller an ye never got it back.
“Whit’s a wee lend ae money atween pals?” he’d say. A richt coggie. Noo he wis a vampire an aw. Biff had said. An ye didnae argie wi Biff. No if ye waantit a life, ye didnae. I wid hae tae git McAndrew sortit.
Garlic. That wis the first hing. I rubbed ma mither’s garlic paste aw roon aboot ma thrapple. If McAndrew wis a vampire, he’d keep awa. Then I’d ken. An nae wey wis he gettin his teeth intae me. No if I could help it. Yince the throat wis done, I chapped up a hale garlic an shoved it in ma pooches.
“Man, ye’re reekin,” ma mither says when I went ben the livin room. “Whaur ae ye been?”
“I’ve no been,” says I. “Jist gaun.”
“Weel,” ma mither says. “If ye’re efter a lassie, I dinnae hink that’ll work. Ye smell like a calzone pizza. Aw ye waant is the tomata sauce.”
See mithers? She kens fine weel I’m no efter a lassie. I mean whit yuise are lassies? Jist waant tae rabbit oan tae thur pals. Ken whit they’re like. So I goes mmm, weel that’s jist you, Charmaine. An she goes mmm, is that right? So I jist goes mmm, it is so right, right back.
‘Magine listenin tae that aw nicht. Ye’d end up doolally. Ask thum whit level they’re oan wi Space-Wars Magnum Coontdoon an ye’d hink ye wur speakin Greek. They’ve aw got the look, ken? The whit-stane-did-you-crawl-oot- fae-ablow’ look. If ye ever wonder whit’s wrang wi yer mither, like whey she’s nae sense, jist mind she wis a lassie yince. Says it aw.
Onywey, I hud bigger fish tae fry. Me an ma garlic high-tails it awa roon the park. An there’s the man hissel, McAndrew, hingin aboot ablow the streetlichts an lookin mair peely-wally than ever. He only ever weers black. I never noticed that afore. He turns roon when he hears me comin an gies me a grin. Ken, he’s awfy sherp teeth. Never noticed that afore either.
“Doaky,” he says. “How ye doin?”
“Doin awright. Hoo’s yersel?” I’m makin shair I dinnae git ower close. He’s skinnier than I mind. Big daurk shaddas unner his een. He looks seik. Seik an hungry.
“No bad,” he says. Then he catches a whiff. “Man, ye’re mingin! Ye must ae stood in sumhin. Whit is that hum? Ye’re honkin!”
It wis ma turn tae leer.
“Garlic,” I tell him. Noo we’ll see if Biff wis richt.
If he wasnae green afore, McAndrew goes green noo.
“Eh, whoah. Keep back fae me.” He looks feart.
“I’m allergic tae that stuff.”
“Git awa,” I tell him, an I shift nearer haun.
“Naw, nae jokin, Doaky.” He’s feart. I kin see it in his een. He’s backin awa fae me. “Dinnae come ony nearer. Ma een’ll start watterin an ma throat’ll swell up.”
I’ve got a vampire oan the run. Flushed oot an a fearty gowk. Ya belter!
“Dinnae talk daft, man,” I laugh. “It’s only garlic.” I say it again. “Garlic. Garlic. Garlic.”
But he’s awa, runnin. Cannae see him fur stoor. A big black blur. I hoot laughin. That’s yin tae me. Vampire, richt enough. The morra, it’ll be plan B.
When the morra comes, I’m ready fur him. Wee bit garlic in ma pooch, whaur he’ll no smell it, jist in case. An I’ve been sherpenin a fencepost aw day. Noo it’s a stake shoved doon ma jooks an a hammer inside ma jaiket. That’s whit ye yaise. Come oan, McAndrew. M’oan git whit’s comin tae ye, ya blood-sookin vampire get.
Yince it’s daurk, I go roon tae the park. Thur’s naebody aboot. I pick ma spot, jist ahint the auld tree. I lean ower the branches, peerin oot, waitin fur McAndrew. The moon comes up. It isnae warum but I’m meltit. Dreepin wi sweat. He’ll be alang the noo. Twa lassie's daunder doon the park, rabbitin oan aboot nuthin. Then awthin goes quate again. I lean furrit mair so’s I kin see the streetlicht whaur he aywis hings aboot. Yince he gits here, I’ll cry him ower. Then it’s wallop.
Somewhaur in amang the trees at ma back, a hoolet gies oot an eerie hoot. Then, ahint me, thur’s a crack fae a twig bein stepped oan. A cauld shiver runs doon ma neck. Ma hair stauns up oan end. A haun clamps ma shooder. I let oot a yell an burl roon. It’s McAndrew! White-faced, daurk een, big cheesy grin. I yell fit tae burst. The cheesy disappears. McAndrew opens his mooth. I yell again. McAndrew doesnae bite. He yells an aw. I gub him. He’s ower, oan his back. That’ll dae me. Afore ye kin say Coont Dracula, I’m sittin oan his chist. The stake’s oot, pintit tae his hert. The hammer’s up. Cheerio, Wullie McAndrew, Vampire ae the Glen. I thump. He yells. I thump again.
I’m a hero an naebody kens it. I faw intae step aside Biff oan oor road tae the school.
“You sortit oot yon blood-sooker yit?” He says.
I haud oot ma hauns. They’re full ae skelfs. Biff doesnae get it. He’s no impressed.
“Git they fae scartin yer heid, did ye?” He jokes an then hew-haws.
“Heid nuthin,” I say, then I show him. “Stake. Hammer. Wallop, wallop. The ither nicht roon the park. Yin vampire sortit, nae bother. Ye missed yersel.”
Biff goes a funny colour. White but it micht be yella. Greenish even.
“Whit? Through his hert? Ye killt him?”
“Nae mair blood-sookin,” says I. “Thon vampire’s kaput, wastit, deid.”
“Ae you stupit?” Biff says an he stops walkin. “I wis oan aboot his borryin, ya lummock! That’s aw! I only waantit ma fiver back!”
I reach intae ma pooch.
“See, that’s the funny hing,” says I. “But when I dinged doon wi the hammer, the stake rammed intae suhim an got stuck. It wis his wallet. I hud tae yank it oot. An ken whit wis in it?” I pull the note oot ma pooch an haud it in front ae Biff’s starin een. “A fiver!”
He doesnae look like he’s gaunnae take it so I grab his haun an slap the note doon.
“There ye go.”
Biff’s starin at the fiver. Thur’s a hole in the middle whaur the stake went in. An aw roon aboot the hole, the fiver’s a wee bit stained wi ridd.
“Is ‘at…is ‘at…”
I never kent Biff stuck fur words afore so I help him oot.
“Blood?” I luft the fiver an keek at him through the hole. “That’s whit it’ll be awricht. Vampire blood. I hink ye’ll kin still spend it, but. Numbers arenae smudged or owt.” I go tae gie him it back but he’ll no take it. He’s backin awa fae me.
“Blu…blu…blood,” he gits oot. “Git awa. I’m no haen that oan me.”
Ken, I never thocht Biff wis a wimp, no afore noo. He’s green fur shair, haun clamped ower his mooth. He’s no stuck fur motorin, but. He turns an legs it, skelpin back up the brae. No gaun tae school the day, then. Need tae keep an eye oan him. He micht be next fur the stake.
I pocket the fiver. Whit’s a wee borry atween pals, eh? Never thocht a wallet’d be a guid hing. Leather, see? Stopped the stake gaun in. I’ll be gaun roon tae Wullie’s bit the nicht, gie him the dosh back. Thur’s nowt wrang wi his mither. It’s Wullie’s no weel. Jaundice. He’ll be anither fortnicht aff the school. We’re gaunnae play Space-Wars Magnum Coontdoon. Aw that time in the hoose, the score he’s got is magic. Hoo cool is yon, eh? Wait tae I tell Wullie hoo weel it worked oot. The tomata sauce oan his fiver, ken? Wait tae I tell him.
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Vampire. 2021. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2021, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=572.
"Vampire." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2021. Web. January 2021. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=572.
The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Vampire," accessed January 2021, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=572.
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