Austin Durant, college professor, historic restoration specialist, and Vampire Hunter, was working on a time line for when the first Vampire Hunters made their appearance in California. Some said it was 1867 but he knew it was probably earlier. Any written records were difficult to find, and there were no public records.
He closed the blinds in his office. Damn it was hot for April. Like everyone else he was at home, doing Zoom conferencing, and wondering if he’d ever be able to do live classes again.
The phone vibrated on his desk. He was quick to catch it before it vibrated right off onto the floor.
He looked at the caller I.D. It was his fifteen year old nephew Caden.
“What’s up Caden?”
“Uncle Austin, I’m at the hospital. Mom broke her arm. The bone was sticking through.”
“She was out in the yard and tripped. I drove her here but they wouldn’t let me come in with her. I’m waiting outside in the parking lot. They said they’d call me.”
“It could be hours. Is there any shade?”
“Yeah, I found shade. I don’t want to leave her. I just have my permit. I’m not supposed to drive alone.”
“Do you want me to come down and get you?”
“No. It’s ok.”
“Do you have a mask? Gloves?”
“A mask. No gloves. I’ve got a bottle of hand sanitizer in the car.”
“Do you need anything to eat. Drinks?”
“I went through the drive through. I drove without mom but I turn sixteen next week. I’m sharing some chicken nuggets and fries with Cookie. I got big drinks for both of us. Water for Cookie.”
“Why’d you bring Cookie?”
“I don’t know. Nobody would bother a kid with a hundred pound dog. I have a book too, and my phone.”
“Where’s your dad?”
“Home. Didn’t my mom tell you? He has it. I think he has Covid19. My dad has been in his office on the spare bed for the past week coughing. He could barely get up the stairs by himself. We bring him food and leave it at the door like room service.”
“Is he going to be ok?”
“I don’t know. I think so. They said to bring him back to the hospital if he gets worse.”
Caden’s voice broke. Austin could hear him starting to cry.
“No. I mean yes, I’ll be fine. I’m just worried about my parents.”
“Do you want me to come to the hospital?”
“No, it’s ok. I just wanted to let you know about my mom.”
“Should I send a friend? You know, a friend.”
“They don’t need to social distance.”
“Right. They’re sort of already dead. Um, I’m fine for now. Um, Uncle Austin, could you, uh, have one of your friends check on my dad for me?”
“Would you ask them to stop by Dairy Queen and get my dad a Blizzard. Something with chocolate. Either the Oreo one or the Fudge Brownie one.”
“I think I can arrange that.”
“Cool. He’d like that.”
“I’ll send someone your dad knows.”
“Thanks. Uncle Austin this is so weird.”
“No, the pandemic.” Caden gave a little horse laugh, the way teenage boys do. “It is so weird. Thank for being here for me.”
“Always. Love you kid.”
“Love you too. I’ll keep you posted on mom.”
They finished their call and Austin sat at his desk thinking about his sister, his nephew, and his brother in law. His heart ached at the thought of not being able to do much.
Then he picked up the phone and dialed.
“Hey, it’s Austin. Could you do me a favor?”
The silky smooth vampire voice on the other end answered back, “Anything for you darling. Just ask.”
“Have you ever been to Dairy Queen?”
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman