Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Torch-Bearing Mobs in Vans

One of his cigarette butts and a bat with a broken wing were all that Winston saw illuminated in his car's headlights. His car had broken down and so he waited along the dusty lanes, listening to the dessicated corn stalks rustling a funeral dirge for the farmer's profits.

The cell phone call he'd made had been scratchy and incoherent, but the tow truck driver said that he was on his way. On his way from Wilsterton, sixty miles away.

The corn stalks marched away into the darkness on either side of the road. Winston's imagination went wild with the shadows that disappeared into the rows.

Rain began to fall, at first kicking up little puffs of dirt with each fat orb that hit the ground before the road turned into a mud-slicked mess. Winston climbed into his car and rolled up the windows.

"Dammit," Winston said. He saw the bat flailing and getting battered in the rain. He tried to ignore it until the rain turned to a downpour and he couldn't stand it anymore. He fished out a pair of welder's gloves and a screw tray from his toolbox and dove out of the car into the rain. With a gloved hand he scooped the bat into the tray and carried the half-drowned thing back into the truck.

It stopped moving and shivered, water running off of its back. He dried it off with a handkerchief as best he could.

Then it turned into a slender man with a bulbous head and skin so white that his purple veins traced visible lines like a roadmap to an unplanned town. His arm was bent at an angle not conducive to intact bones.

"Oh, thank you, sir!" the vampire said.

"Holy shit!" Winston yelled.

"I fell out of a barn and broke my arm and vampires just aren't as impervious to injuries as we are in the movies. Just like regular people, I suppose! Haha!" the vampire said, his laugh echoing like a malicious cackle bouncing around the Transylvanian mountains and filling the ear canals of huddled, terrified villagers.

When Winston looked horrified, the vampire held up his hands which ended in long, vicious claws. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to startle you, but I can't change how I laugh."

Winston saw headlights flare in his mirror.

"Finally, the tow truck is here!"

"That is no tow truck!" the vampire said. He turned into a bat once more and scrambled beneath the passenger's seat.

A battered, rusty van bounced up next to Winston's car. All of the windows were down and smoke poured out into the rain because of the dozen or so others in the van holding lit torches.

"We're vampire huntin'! You seen any strange looking folks around here with broken arms and fangs as long as your arm?"

"And heads like a nutsack?" hollered one of the torch-bearers.

"Shut up, Johnny!" said the man in the passenger seat, who smiled at Winston. "You'll have to forgive Johnny, had his cow turned into a vampire and it turned the rest of the fine Jerseys into bloodsuckers."

"Haven't seen anything around here," Winston said.

"Well, thank you for your time," the man said, and the van continued down the road.

The vampire re-appeared.

"Sir, you've saved me twice tonight! How can I ever re-pay you?"

"I've got a problem. It's a real hard problem that I can't solve by myself."

When Winston returned to his job three days later, his career as a party planner grew by leaps and bounds because all of his garden parties were mosquito-free.

The Moral: it was a dark and stormy night.

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