The Vampire Walk- Continued
By mark p
The Vampire Walk -Continued
( September 1981)
Billy Ross lay slumped on the park bench in Victoria Park gazing up at the shadowy trees looming above him, he imagined gnarled grotesque faces etched into the bark staring down at him, he liked how their branches spread like black beckoning arms and the smaller twigs resembled spindly fingers on skeletal hands stretching skyward.
It was a long time since anyone beckoned him to their arms, his folks were long gone, victims of the drink and life on the streets. At the Home, it had been everyone for themselves, survival of the fittest, dog eat dog, that sort of thing. At eighteen, he was out of there, living in a squat, always drugged, or pissed out of his head, with a string of previous convictions to his name already, and on first name terms with the sheriffs, police, and most of the Social Services.
He was Rosser, a punk, he was pretty vacant, as the Pistols song said, and he didn’t care.
He listened to the sound of the traffic, not many cars out now, it must be around midnight, the distant sound of a siren, probably an ambulance as Vicky Park was near to the Royal Infirmary, he thought, through a head fogged by the vodka and Special Brew he and Nicki had necked back earlier.
He was on his own now, Nicki having left him hours ago, bleezing drunk.
'Awa’ to score some dope and speed ', she said,
'Aye right , and far the hell was she now?' he thought.
They had a love / hate relationship, one where they one could not live with or live without the other, an alliance fuelled by drink, drugs, and defiance. Rosser and Nicki had met at the Home a few years back, they were kindred spirits. Nicki’s family background had been a lot different from Rosser’s, though. She had come from a wealthy family, living in the West End of the city and, had rebelled against her affluent background.
Rosser’s ginger hair was spiked up and his ears had several piercings, his biker jacket had seen better days and bore the legend ‘Destroy’ and a swastika on the back and was covered in studs and badges, his jeans were turned up to show his almost knee length Doc Martens, his ripped t-shirt with the legend ‘Punk as F**k’ with a picture of the Queen though he was no royalist.
He was halfway through his bottle of Strongbow and his vision was swimming, the voddy and Special Brew he’d drunk earlier did not help.
He would doss down for the night in the park; he was too pissed to make it back to the squat.
He lay back cradling the bottle in his arms like a baby and was dropping off to sleep when something caught his eye, something dark, obscuring his alcohol blurred vision, something black flapping around in the darkness, like a bat….or something?
At first, he thought it might be Nicki, she had come back after all, then.
Out of the shadow, a cloaked figure approached him, crunching across the flowerbed, rustling the leaves and breaking down the roses.
“Who are you, Count Dracula, or something’? ", Rosser slurred.
There was no response from the black clad figure.
The figure, who remained silent, was dressed in a cloak over a frock coat in the manner of an old-time dandy or what would be called in 4- or 5-years’ time, a Goth.
The last thing Rosser remembered was this gaunt, cadaverous face bearing down on him, and the warmth as teeth sunk into his throat.
The park keeper found his body first thing next day in the part of the park that local teenagers evidently called the ‘Vampire Walk’.
Once she found out, Nicki spent the next couple of days on a drunken binge, sleeping in Union Terrace Gardens, to avoid Vicky Park entirely, maybe even return to the family home, who knew.
The following day, the DJ at the Cave dedicated 'Pretty Vacant' to Rosser and his short life, and the dance floor was silent as the angry words of the song echoed in the cold hall.
Instead, the multitude of punks, who normally formed a heaving mass of sweaty bodies on the dancefloor stood in mourning for one of their number.
I read the article in the local press the day after his death. It was a shame, I thought, here was a guy, who was ages with us, and he was obviously from a different background, but he had died the way Chrissie had, and in the same place. As cliché would have it, the plot was thickening. Maybe Andy’s great uncle ‘s tale hadn’t been so farfetched after all.
I went to the reference library to see if they had any information on vampires or local weird goings-on in our area, they were not of much help, so I went through some old issues of local newspapers with the assistance of the latest technology, Microfiche, but found little of interest.
There was something weird going on here, and I would investigate.
(From the Jamie Watson Vampire Archive-edited by Jenny Watson)
(Footnote:) This piece was written for a ‘fanzine’ run by two friends of mine , Eddie and Steve, back in '81-a fanzine for those who weren’t around at that time, was the forerunner of the blog, basically a magazine run by ‘fans’ , amateurs rather than a publishing company. These were usually sold for a small price in pubs, record stores, student unions and so on.
Furthermore, the names of the people have been changed , and I took a few liberties with some of the details in order that it reads like a story rather than an article.
Its amazing what you can do on computers these days, compared to the manual typewriters like my old Ambassador back in the 1980s.
(Jamie Watson -2044)