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There?s something strange going on at Washington Irving Elementary School. People are turning into monsters?literally!
In The Vanishing Vampire, Sebastian?s life has become a real pain in the neck. It all started the night he walked home from the movies by himself. He sort of blacked out and the next morning, he woke up as a vampire. Now he has only one chance to turn back into a human. And time is running out?.
With its blend of ...
There’s something strange going on at Washington Irving Elementary School. People are turning into monsters—literally!
In The Vanishing Vampire, Sebastian’s life has become a real pain in the neck. It all started the night he walked home from the movies by himself. He sort of blacked out and the next morning, he woke up as a vampire. Now he has only one chance to turn back into a human. And time is running out….
With its blend of humor and horror, David Lubar’s middle-grade monsteriffic tales series will appeal to the same audience that has made his Weenies short story collections such a success.
At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
—School Library Journal on Attack of the Vampire Weenies
“Bullies and others get their due in this hilarious new collection of thirty-five warped and creepy tales by the master of the ‘weenie’ story.”
—Buffalo News on The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies
“This book will talk itself right off the shelves, and reluctant readers will devour it.”
—School Library Journal on The Curse of the Campfire Weenies
A PAIN IN THE NECK
I was on my way home from a movie when the dark thing fell on me. I’d been walking quickly, hurrying to the safety of home. Lewington isn’t a dangerous place to live, but I’d just watched the late showing of Creepers from the Crypt. I couldn’t fight the urge to rush through the empty streets. Images from the film chased me as I went, threatening to leap from my mind and become real.
Just one block back, I’d split up with my friend Norman. He headed left on Maple. I stayed on Spruce, walking past that huge oak whose roots were slowly breaking up the sidewalk by the vacant lot.
I heard nothing. I saw very little. Later, thinking back, I remembered the eyes and the teeth. At the time, I just knew darkness was dropping toward me. And the darkness wasn’t only in the night; it filled my mind and took me away.
The darkness inside me lifted as I woke, leaving me wondering why I wasn’t in bed. I was somewhere hard and cold. There was dirty concrete beneath my fingers. I sat up slowly, feeling the world spin. I held very still, waiting for it to stop.
I stood. The world spun again, but with less force. I put one hand out and touched the rough bark of the tree.
The tree. Something dark? Something falling? I couldn’t quite remember.
I turned toward home, unsure of what had happened. I’d passed out or fainted. No. “Guys don’t faint,” I mumbled to myself.
Behind, I heard the scraping slap of sneakers on the sidewalk. Someone was calling a name. Someone was calling me. I turned, moving cautiously, afraid that the world would follow my motion and start to spin again.
It was Norman. He was running toward me, one finger pushing up the glasses that were always sliding down his nose. “Splat, hey, Splat, you okay?”
They call me Splat. It’s a long, stupid story. My name’s Sebastian. Sebastian Claypool. That name is a short, stupid story. Before I was born, Mom and Dad were listening to a lot of music written by Johann Sebastian Bach. Dad thought Johann would be a strange name for a kid. So, blam, they hang Sebastian on me. Thanks, Dad.
It could have been worse. They also liked the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Norman reached me and stood there, taking deep breaths like a catfish dragged onto shore. Running was not a big part of his life. The night had grown chilly, and the air turned to swirls of fog as it left Norman’s nostrils. “I looked back and you were on the ground,” he said. “Did you trip?”
“I don’t know.” I tried to remember. “Don’t tell anyone, but I think I passed out.”
“Wow, that’s bad. It could mean all kinds of things.” He pushed up his glasses again. “You should probably get a CAT scan. I wouldn’t rule out a brain tumor, though of course blood sugar is generally a factor in these cases, and the glucose level by itself isn’t always enough of an indicator to determine—”
“Norman.” I tried to stop him. Once he got going, he was like a bus rolling down a hill. If I caught him while he was just inching along, there was hope. But after he picked up some speed and really started barreling along the Highway of Fascinating Facts, there was no way to slow him down. “Hold on. I just got a little dizzy, that’s all.”
“What’d you eat?” he asked.
I thought back. That part of my night was clear enough. I’d had my usual popcorn—the Tub-of-Fun size that lasts about a quarter of the way through the movie. I’d washed it down with a cherry cola. Then I’d had a pack or two of caramel chews and as many of Norman’s gummy eyes as he’d let me steal. Nothing there to make a kid lose touch with the world. I told Norman the list of snacks.
He seemed to be in deep thought. I imagined him running some kind of chemical tests in his mind, looking for a reaction between the assorted snacks. This could take all night. I just wanted to get home. “Look, thanks for coming over, but I’m fine.”
“Are you sure?”
I nodded. Except for the dizziness, which had almost totally faded, I felt perfectly normal. Actually, I felt pretty good. Everything was starting to look very sharp and clear. As I nodded, I noticed a slight tingling on the left side of my neck. The skin below my jaw felt numb. I rubbed the spot.
“You probably should see your doctor if it happens again.”
“Yes, Mother,” I kidded him. Having Norman for a friend was almost like having a third parent. I noticed that the tingling in my neck was going away.
“Okay.” He started to leave, then said, “See you tomorrow?”
“Sure. Maybe they got some new comics at the shop. We can check that out.” The tingling was completely gone. Everything felt fine.
“Great,” Norman said. “I’ll see you then.” He turned and walked back toward Maple.
“Thanks,” I called after him. As he walked away, he seemed, for a moment, to stay in sharp focus. It was almost like my eyes were some kind of zoom lens. But as soon as I was aware of it, the illusion snapped away.
I headed home. Whatever had happened was weird, really weird. I took my hand from my neck, squinting as I walked into the glare of a streetlight.
My fingers felt like they were still sticky from the movie snacks. That was strange. I looked down at my hand. For a second, I couldn’t tell what I was seeing. The light was so bright. Then I saw it.
There was blood on my fingers.
Copyright © 1997 by David Lubar
Posted July 7, 2013
Welcome to the charming town of Lewington. We have a wonderful elementary school, Washington Irving Elementary School, perhaps you’ve heard of it. Oh, that, how did you hear about that? Never mind, that situation was cleared up and there have been no further issues. Isn’t that oak tree lovely? Yes, the roots are breaking up the sidewalk, but it is such a lovely big tree. It is so sad that no one has built anything on that lot, yet.
In this book, we go back to the town of Lewington (David Lubar has built a town where he likes to play, just like a number of authors before him) and meet Splat. He loves horror movies, his family (OK, there is a question about his older sister, but that is normal for boys) and has loyal friends. Little does he know that his life could become like a horror movie. When I was a kid, the bullies were bad enough, now throw in a vampire hunter and you really have problems.
Faced with becoming a “person of the night” and just trying not to turn into charcoal on the next morning’s walk to school, as well as trying really hard to resist the “Hunger”, that could destroy almost anyone, let alone an elementary school student. The real story here is how Splat deals with this and the choices he makes. Because, let’s face it, choices are what make us and show our true selves. I’m rooting for you Splat.