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One of Us

“So, you think he’s a …”

“Keep your voice down, Cal!” Toby warned in a raspy whisper. “Besides, we don’t have any proof.”

Boots scuffled in the darkness, and a long, pale face shimmered into the clearing.

“It’s tough to prove something like that, unless you catch a man in the act.” Victor’s baritone rumbled through the night like thunder. The other men shifted in their seats, stared at the ground.

“Not sure what you mean, Vic,” Toby said, voice shaky now.

“It’s Victor.” The newcomer walked toward the fire. “But I been wondering, too, if maybe we’ve run up against something out of the ordinary here, what with Lester disappearing in the night and all. And that trail of blood.”

He stepped up to the fire and fished something from his jacket pocket.

“Now, some folks think vampires are fastidious, every hair neatly arranged. No stubble.” He crouched down and held the straight razor above the fire for a couple of seconds, then ran it across his cheek.

His thick black hair glistened in the firelight, not a lock out of place.

“But everybody knows those creatures don’t show up in mirrors. So, how in the blazes could one of them groom himself like a proper gentleman?”

Victor held the razor up in the orange glow, watching the men behind him in the reflection. He locked eyes with Toby.

Victor stood and walked back toward the darkness but paused to gaze on the men he’d been riding with over the last week. They were unshaven, their clothes were soiled, their hair greasy and disheveled.

“You ask me, you should be looking for a dirty, smelly, messy scoundrel.”

He disappeared into the blackness, leaving the other men to size each other up in the silence of suspicion.

Published inFlash Fiction

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