Cookpot

by John D. Payne

“Eat!” I say, and I push the bowl out the door.

The vampire just look at me, with those eyes.  You know.  He don’t want the soup.  He want to eat me. But nobody eat Babulya Zharóvnya.

“Is good soup,” I tell him.  “And you too skinny.  Eat!”

He look some more at me.  He got eyes like the moon, big and silver and beautiful.  Very handsome.  Maybe he try to hypnotize me.  But nobody hypnotize Babulya Zharóvnya.  

The vampire take the bowl.  He nod his head, very polite. “Dear lady,” he say. “The aroma of your proffered sustenance has indeed awakened my appetite.”  He smile, but carefully, to hide the teeth.  Like he gonna fool me.

I no say nothing.  I just wait.

Then he bow, in his green velvet suit and red silk kerchief, to me, in my scratchy black sarafan.  Him, tall and noble, like a prince.  Me, a bent old lady with no more husband and no more children. And no more silly butterfly heart to flutter and swoon for lying vampires. Ha! 

He try again, whispering like a lover.  “It would please me greatly to take advantage of your hospitality.  May I come in?”  

“No.”

He lean in, as far as he can.  “The night is cold, and if your home is as warm as your smile, I would love to break bread with you.”

“You no breaking nothing in my house, vampire.”

He stand up.  “What?”

“You heared me.  Eat the soup, or I no invite you in.”

“Why?”

“You hungry.  You want blood.”  I point at the bowl.  “This soup got beets, hogweed, spinach.  Lot of iron, protein.  Nice and red.  Just as good as blood.  Better!”  Then I take a bite to show him is no poison.

The vampire think about that.  Then he eat.  

“Good.  Come in, Mr. Vampire.”

He come in, and right away he’s try to bite me.  But he can’t.  He just stop, like a statue. Because he ate the soup.  And nobody who eats from Babulya’s pot can hurt Babulya.  Ha!

I give him a smack with my big spoon.  “Bad vampire!  No!”

Then he turn to bat, like they do, and he try to fly away.  But I catch.  And I tear his wings with my teeth.  This not my first vampire. 

“Now you talk.  Who sent you?”

He just hiss and show me his little bat teeth, so I give him another smack.  

“Talk, or Babulya throw you in the soup.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“Bats and beets is good together.”

“He’ll kill me.”

“Oh, too bad.  Poor vampire.”  I break his wing. “You want to live forever?  Talk!”

He quiet for a while.  I give him a shake.  “Enough!  You want a name?  Malchior.  He’s the one who sent me.”  

“Malchior, eh?  Good.  I deal with him later.  Thank you, vampire.”

“You’re welcome.”  He sound pretty sour.  “Now will you let me go?”

“Sure.”

I throw him in the pot. Nobody live forever.  Not even Babulya Zharóvnya.







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One Response to “Cookpot”

  1. Sweetness in the Present Moment – Carolyn Stein Says:

    […] John D. Payne had his fun short story “Cookpot” named a finalist in the Defenestrationism writing contest. You can just click that link and […]

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