An excerpt from my weird little vampire comedy, “Suckers,” about Doug, a vampire who finds out that fangs give you a speech impediment and geek is forever.
EXT. HIGHGATE CEMETERY, LONDON, THE DAZIEL TOMB, NEAR SWAIN’S LANE – NIGHT
A Victorian-era cemetery: Gothic architecture, climbing ivy on the trees and stone. Pagan gargoyles lust after stone angels in the dark. The moon is out and the fog lies low.
A Londoner, teenage, in heavy eyeliner, SARAH HUTCHINSON, slight, dressed all in black is walking through the fog, a bag slung over her shoulder. Her artificially black hair falls in her face a little as she passes by a particularly large and foreboding tomb.
A DARK FIGURE whizzes by. Sarah freezes. The only motion is the swirling of the fog. She breathes shallowly and adjusts her bag on her shoulder.
Another BLUR OF MOVEMENT on the other side of her, she whips around with a gasp.
A POV from behind the graves. Sarah’s eyes are wide and glassy, like a cornered animal.
Sarah’s eyes settle on the viewer’s angle. The POV shot tilts upward, shooting into the air at a vertigo inducing pace.
Sarah looks at the top of a tree. The fog swirls just above it, but there is nothing there but leaves and low-lying cloud.
Sarah alone on the road, a silhouette in the moonlight. She is still scanning the area by the tree line off to the side.
This isn’t funny, Sean–
Suddenly, the dark figure POUNCES on her from above, bringing her to the ground. She lets out a muffled cry, but is immediately silenced.
There is a struggle and then a sudden stop. The figure has SUNK its TEETH into her NECK.
Sarah’s eyes roll back in her head as she falls back. The creature is sucking, licking, then it pulls back.
Sarah’s neck, bleeding, pulsing, so very red and alive.
Sarah laying on the ground, the figure still on top of her. Suddenly it SLUMPS and collapses on top of her. It has FAINTED.
Sarah slowly COMES TO, dazedly pushes the figure off. It is a young man with dark hair and pale skin that almost glows in the moonlight.
She picks up her bag and begins walking again towards the cemetery gate. Then she looks back. She touches her neck, sees that she’s bleeding.
She PICKS UP SPEED and begins to MOAN.
The man lies STILL, face down, SPLAYED OUT on the road.
A voice with a thick, very musical Welsh accent fades in. He narrates the action as we see it happen. The bottom the screen has a title card: “THIS IS A DRAMATIZATION.”
When Sarah Hutchinson returned with a bobby, no evidence of her attacker could be found.
The POLICEMAN shines his flashlight around the path while Sarah clutches her bag to her chest, shaking.
What happened that night in Highgate Cemetery, resting place of Christine Rossetti and Karl Marx, Bram Stoker’s favorite picnicking grounds? Was it a ghost, Dracula, or a trick of the fog? You’ll find out this week on Spirit Seekers International.
The title: “SPIRIT SEEKERS INTERNATIONAL” slams into the screen like a cat scare in a grindhouse film.
The title fades and we suddenly see a man sitting on the roof of a tomb, his legs dangling. His chin is covered in blood, as are his unsettlingly long canines. It is the same figure that attacked Sarah. He glowers as we suddenly CUT TO BLACK.
EXT. HIGHGATE CEMETERY, DAZIEL TOMB- 3 AM (REAL LIFE)
The style of cinematography has changed. Grittier, with less veneer than the dramatization.
The vampire from the dramatization, DOUG VARNEY, 49 but looks 24, FALLS OFF THE ROOF, missing holds, scrambling, HITTING the GROUND with a RESOUNDING and VERY UNDIGNIFIED THUMP.
Doug is dressed the same as before, but he also wears thick framed “Buddy Holly” glasses that make him look like he walked out of an older time. He looks twenty-four but seems to have the melancholy air of a man in his mid-life crisis.
He brushes himself off and examines his glasses.
He heads down the path the opposite way of his victim from last night. He has a heavy LIMP from his fall.
INT. QUICK BURGER, HIGHGATE, LONDON- 3:15 AM
The late night fluorescents and glazed over employees of a fast food chain. The menus have an eerie glow.
A lone cash register dings as a teenage EMPLOYEE, a Londoner, opens and closes it over and over again, an attempt at entertainment.
Suddenly, he looks up and the drawer swings into his stomach as he stares ahead of him.
He is staring at Doug, standing at the counter, his face still covered with blood.
How can I help you today, sir?
When Doug speaks, he has a thick speech impediment as a result of his protruding fangs.
A burger. Raw.
I’m afraid that that’s unsafe, sir. May I recommend the spicy chicken sandwich?
Give me the burger.
His eyes flash, and the employee is taken aback, but recovers.
I’m afraid, sir, that you can’t order off the menu. It’s against company policy.
Doug’s eyes flash again, and he bears his fangs, hissing slightly. It would be much more effective if he wasn’t wearing a black t-shirt caked with leaves.
He opens his mouth to give the employee a tongue lashing, but he CUTS HIS TONGUE on his FANGS.
He reaches up with his finger and brushes the blood off his tongue.
I’ll have the chicken sandwich.