“Can you look again?” Mrs. Taylor asked pleadingly.
Her daughter, May had not been seen in three days and she was worried. Worried in fact was an understatement. Four young women had disappeared from their sleepy Norfolk village in as many months. All coincidentally on the night of the full moon.
Detective Inspector Hardwick assured her that all was being done that could be done, and that his team would indeed check May’s house again.
The case was odd, healthy stable young women just disappeared. Their beds were made, their houses in order, but they seemingly just up and left with no more with them than what they were wearing.
Constable Clover did take one witness statement which said that the second missing woman, Angela Dunn was seen walking towards the Broads in her nightdress and carrying an umbrella. Mrs. Murphy said she called out to Angela, but she seemed to be in some sort of a trance. That was the only real sighting they had to go by.
Searches of the women’s homes, and careful sweeps of the nearby Broads had yet to turn up any evidence.
There was of course the anonymous call on the “tip line” that said each had had a male visitor on the evening before their disappearances. No one in the village however had noticed such a visitor, much less a tall pale man dressed all in black.
No sooner than Mrs. Taylor had left the room, the “tip line” rang. Constable Harper pressed the record button, and handed the phone to the D. I..
“You need to search at night. Look among the abandoned boathouses,” the voice said.
“Sir, I really do need to have a longer interview with you. Might you be able to visit the station?”
“It is not safe for me to go there,” the voice said cautiously as if someone might be listening.
“Why? What could possibly harm you in a police station?” Hardwick queried.
“The Vampire,” the man said matter of factly.
“Vampire. Listen here, you, you . . . “
If a pregnant pause is one that creates anticipation and builds up suspense, then what followed was a “constipated pause” as his men called it, as they all knew it would be followed by some very unsavoury content.
They were surprised when the anticipated explosion didn’t materialise. Hardwick composed himself, said “Thank you,” and then put the phone down.
He turned to the room full of astonished officers and said, “Apparently Gentleman, we have a vampire on our hands.” With that he went to his office and closed the door.
Prompt A (Genre): Weird Tales (inspired by the magazine of the same name, a more traditional form featuring strange and uncanny events (Twilight Zone).
Prompt B (Story Starter): “Can you look again?”
Prompt C (Photo): Above