Fright Night: Jerry's Side Of The Story
by Sandy Adams
No copyright infringement is intended.
Based on the movie "Fright Night."
Fright Night: Jerry's Side Of The Story
By Sandy Adams
If I'd known then what I know now, I would have stayed far away from Corvallis, Iowa.
I had just moved into the big house on Oak Street; I hadn't even finished unpacking when the problems started.
It seemed that my new next-door neighbors were the inquisitive types. The mother I could handle easily enough -- her curiosity had more to do with whether or not I was unattached and interested than with anything else. Her son was another story.
Charley, as it turned out, was a budding voyeur with a pair of high powered binoculars and a bedroom window conveniently overlooking my side yard -- and a bird's eye view directly into my bedroom.
As you can well imagine, I was less than pleased at this turn of events. So was Charley when, during an all-night peep session, he got more of an eyeful than he'd bargained for. And I, who had been minding my own business and was just about to enjoy a late supper, discovered exactly what I'd moved next door to.
But the last straw was when Charley brought the police over to my house the next afternoon. They didn't find anything to concern them, but they came this close to disturbing my sleep, and I'm a real bear if I don't get my full twelve hours.
When I dropped in later to explain the error of his ways to Charley, he proved to be a less than gracious host. His mother, Judy, was just the opposite. In person, she was an even bigger flirt than she had been over the phone, but it was kind of charming the way she smiled and giggled, like a school girl with her first major crush. Not bad for my ego, either. I mean, look -- I haven't seen my own reflection in several centuries. It's kind of nice to have first hand proof that I can still attract a lady, even if she is a middle-aged matron.
I flirted back a little, and let her fix me a drink. After all, that was my excuse for being there. She'd invited me over for drinks earlier. I think you know that I would never go anywhere without an invitation, first. Anyway, I was sitting in a large wingchair, sipping my Bloody Mary, when Charley bounded into the room in response to his mother's call. The dear lady wanted to introduce us, you see.
As I said before, Charley wasn't too thrilled to see me. At Judy's prompting, he shook my hand, but I could smell the fear and loathing radiating off him even then. He stammered an excuse to his mother and bolted back up the stairs so fast that he tripped over his own feet and nearly broke his nose on the bannister. Judy apologized profusely for her son's behavior; naturally, I accepted. Sure, I might have to kill him later, but there was no need to be rude about it.
It was late when I returned to the Brewster house. I hadn't had a bite all evening and frankly I was kind of short with Charley when I began our little chat. Still, is that any reason to stab a wooden pencil clean through my hand?
Of course, I was trying to shove him out his bedroom window at the time, so I suppose there were mitigating circumstances...
Honestly, I tried to be reasonable about it. All I wanted was to be left alone. I mean, it's not like I've made some kind of "lifestyle choice" here. I never asked to become a vampire, and I really don't enjoy some of the things I have to do to survive, but I don't have a choice.
I offered Charley a choice, though the kid was too much of a fool to take it. Instead, he tried to shove up little gold cross in my face. That's when I lost my temper for real. There I was, practically bending over backward to be nice to this little pervert, and how does he repay my kindness? Admit it, if you'd been in my shoes, you'd have gotten pissed too.
Well, after the pencil incident, things got a bit...loud. The next thing I know, Judy's pounding on her bedroom door, shouting at Charley to tell her what's going on.
Why didn't she come see for herself? Simple. Before any of this, I'd detoured through her bedroom and made sure she wouldn't interrupt my chat with her son. One good tug from me and that door wasn't budging without some serious effort on her part.
But all the noise was apparently enough incentive for her to put some muscle into it, and I figured she'd be popping up in Charley's doorway any minute. So I gave him a dirty look (just to let him know that this wasn't finished) and flew out of there like a...No. Forget I said that.
On the way home, I made a brief stopover in the Brewsters' backyard, where Charley kept his precious Mustang, and vented some of my frustration. The kid must have thought a lot of that car, parking it well away from the street so nothing could happen to it. In a way, I did him a favor. From now on, he can park it in a shoebox under his bed.
In retrospect, the phone call was a mistake. My wounded pride (and wounded hand) got the better of me. That little pipsqueak had hurt me, actually made me bleed!, and I wanted to return the favor.
So I dialed him up and spouted a few not too subtle threats. That's where I screwed up. And all because I wanted to instill a healthy fear of me into the little creep.
Well, he was scared all right. Unfortunately, he was also angry. And it was that anger that gave him the courage to continue with his private vendetta against me.
I guess that's where Peter Vincent came in...
Charley's friends somehow convinced Vincent to help them prove to Charley that your's truly wasn't a vampire. When they called to explain the plan to me, I agreed without much hesitation. It seemed like a gift from above. And what could be simpler? Just drink a vial of tap water while Charley watched. Then everyone's convinced that the kid's a nut case and so it's no surprise when he goes all the way off the deep end (or out the window), and I come out the winner. Right?
Oh, things started out okay. The teen trio and Peter Vincent, the "Great Vampire Killer" of past movie fame, showed up at my house the next evening at a little after six. Billy, my live-in jack-of-all-trades, met them at the door. They were impressed with the house despite the lingering detritus from the move, and a few well-chosen comments about his career had Vincent eating out of my hand.
The teenagers were even easier to win over; though to be honest, I barely even noticed Ed at first. All my attention was focused on Charley's girlfriend. Amy.
Now, I know what you're thinking, but give me a break. At my age, every woman is a "younger woman". And besides, she looked just like someone I used to know...a long time ago. Someone special. We... But that's another story.
Vincent handed over the "holy" water and I obediently swigged the stuff after the tiniest of hesitations. It had occured to me that this bunch might be smarter than they looked, but I needn't have worried about that. (Unfortunately for me, sheer dumb luck is sometimes a better ally than even the highest intelligence.)
After I'd swallowed the last drop of the tap water (it was terrible, by the way, and like so much in the modern world, tasted of chemicals), I looked at the expectant faces around the room. Everyone seemed satisfied...Everyone except Charley, that is.
Not one to let things go, he pulled another trick out of his sleeve. Or in this case, a gold cross out of his pocket.
He thrust it at me, and I took a single step back. This kid was really getting on my nerves. A glance showed me that my ever faithful servant was about to show Charley a better place to keep his religious symbols when, to my surprise, Vincent beat him to it. He snatched the cross away from Charley and stuck it back in the kid's pocket, admonishing him for his rude behavior. People seemed to do a lot of that; too bad the kid never listened.
I took the opportunity to point out that his behavior was hurting his friends, and that if it continued, it was likely to hurt them a great deal more. Charley took the hint, and we all smiled and pretended to be friends. I allowed myself a silent sigh of relief. Maybe things could get back to normal, now that I had the advantage. But a part of me wondered how long it would last.
As it turned out, not very long at all.
I was trading casual remarks with Ed and Amy, assuring them they were always welcome in my house, when Vincent suddenly got agitated and hustled them all outside. Billy was sure our troubles were over; after tonight's performance, they'd never believe Charley's wild stories.
I would've agreed -- but I'd just heard something crunch under my shoe. It was a sliver of broken glass. Mirrored glass.
Looked like I'd have to go out tonight, after all.
I easily trailed the three teens through the deserted streets. When the trio split up, I followed Ed. Business before pleasure.
It was nothing personal. In fact, I rather liked Ed, and I could understand how he must feel -- never quite fitting in, persecuted for being different. I really didn't want to hurt the kid any more than I could avoid. I was quite relieved when he reached out and took my hand, there in that dark alleyway.
I made sure it was over quickly. He barely had time to scream.
I caught up with Charley and Amy outside a dive called The Club Radio. They ran, like they really had a chance of escaping from me. It was almost amusing.
Inside the club, blaring pop music formed an almost solid wall of sound. The floor was carpeted with wall-to-wall dancers, but I homed unerringly in on Amy. She drew me like a moth to a flame. I wanted nothing more in that moment than to forget all about Charley Brewster and just lose myself in her eyes. For a moment, I almost did.
I smiled at Amy, and when she hesitantly smiled back, I thought my heart would start beating again.
We were dancing, our bodies pressing close, when Charley tried to cut in.
He swung a wild punch at me. (The damned kid was always swinging something at my face.) I caught his fist and rearranged his knuckles for him. Forcing him to his knees, I told him to get Vincent and bring him to my house.
Now, I can hear you objecting. What made me think he'd accept my gracious invitation? After all, we weren't exactly bosom buddies at that point. But I was certain he'd show up.
I was taking Amy with me.
A couple of beefy bouncers got in my way as we were leaving. It had been a long couple of nights, what with the stress of the move and unpacking and Charley...and, well, I admit I lost my temper.
I shredded the first bouncer's meaty throat with a single swipe of my talons. I went a bit easier on his partner, punching five neat holes in his neck and tossing him halfway across the dancefloor. The dancers scattered like panicked sheep.
Charley got caught in the sudden mass exodus from the club, but I was beside Amy in an instant. I swept her into my embrace, keeping her safe at my side. I wasn't about to let her get trampled in the stampede.
Billy was waiting outside with the Jeep (and Ed, who had failed in the simple task I'd set for him, but he was young and I had already decided it would be more fun to take care of the old man myself so I forgave him).
Behind us, I could hear Charley bleating Amy's name as we drove away.
I don't know how he convinced Peter Vincent to accompany him, but Charley wasn't alone when he returned to 99 Oak Street.
I'd made Amy comfortable in my upstairs bedroom (there was a certain fitting irony in that, I felt)...and, no, I won't go into details. A gentleman does not kiss and tell.
Of course, Amy was Charley's first concern when I confronted him on the stairway in the foyer. I really couldn't fault him for that, though I had to wonder what on earth she saw in him -- a gawky kid with no prospects and a model kit car (some assembly required). Well, tonight she'd traded up. I could give her everything she could ever want, all the luxuries she deserved. I would be a loving and devoted husband. Fate had given us this second chance and I wasn't about to squander it.
But, first, I had a couple of loose ends to take care of.
Charley and Vincent went into their "vampire killer" routine; it was more like a Vaudeville routine. Vincent hauled out a large pewter cross and thrust it under my nose, adding a rather insulting slur as he made the melodramatic gesture. Let's see, I believe his exact words were "Back, Spawn of Satan!" He was a bit upset when I laughed in his face.
You see, it's not the size of your cross that counts; you have to have faith. Oh, I'd seen what he'd managed to do to poor Ed's face (that cross-shaped burn had to hurt, and I'd see that Ed was avenged), but Ed was a newly-made vampire, a mere baby, and fragile in the way of all newborns.
I'm a lot older; old enough that only a cross backed by genuine faith can harm me. And the one in Vincent's trembling hand was about as threatening as a fistful of Play-doh. I easily crushed the pewter cross, and contemptiously tossed it aside. Things were going quite well.
Of course, Charley had to butt in.
I'll say this for the kid -- he has faith. His dinky gold cross was practically glowing as he thrust it at me, forcing me away from his partner. I longed to rip his damned throat out then and there, but the pain drove me back, and I moaned my frustration aloud.
Fortunately, my faithful servant was never far from my side. Billy backhanded Charley with enough force to knock him for a loop. In fact, he knocked Charley clear through the bannister and sent him sprawling down to the floor below.
I smiled, feeling a deep satisfaction. When I turned the smile on Vincent, he turned white as a ghost and ran for it. I watched him go, his face a rictus of fear, his trademark coattails chasing him out the door. It was so ridiculous, I had to laugh.
It was turning out to be a fun night, after all.
I thought Charley would make a nice wedding present for Amy, so I hauled him upstairs and deposited him in the bedroom to wait for morning. She'd be hungry when she awoke, and Charley would be there -- all set to be her first meal -- in the very room where his peeping had spoiled my last. I was delighted with the irony, and whistled cheerfully as I headed down to the basement to put the finishing touches on Amy's new accomodations. Charley's anguished howl of denial, as he realized that Amy was now a vampire, made me smile all over again. Things were going perfectly...
I should've killed him myself, when I had the chance. I've often been told that my sense of humor would be my undoing. I really wish I'd listened.
To make a long story short (well, shorter), Charley escaped before Amy could put the bite on him, and he and Vincent managed to trap me in my basement sanctuary. The tables had turned rather suddenly; half my face had been flash-burned by the rising sun before I'd fled downstairs, and Vincent had driven a broken table leg into my left shoulder. I'd pulled the impromptu stake out, but things continued to go downhill from there.
Look, I wasn't exactly at my best. I hadn't had a meal since the one Charley had spied on, and all I'd had that night was half a lousy apple that I'd been munching when The Great Vampire Killer and sidekicks had arrived. My faithful Billy was now a smoking (and useless) pile of bones and green goop upstairs on the foyer floor. My precious Amy had only just awoken to her new existence, and was still too young and inexperienced to be of much help, even against a pair of amateurs like Charley and Vincent. As for Ed... Well, I had no idea where the hell Ed had gotten to. I was on my own for the first time in over a hundred years, and decided I didn't much care for the feeling.
I really hated Iowa, Corvallis, Oak Street, and -- most of all -- Charley Brewster.
He and Vincent began to smash the windows that, only the day before, Billy had carefully painted black to keep out the sunlight. The lethal rays flooded the basement, surrounding me with a searing curtain of destruction. Streaming through the broken windows, reflecting from the old mirrors stored in the corners, the sunlight poured in on all sides, inescapable. Unless...
I tried desperately to return to my coffin, but Vincent beat me to it and slammed the lid shut with a chilling finality. He said something, gloating, but I didn't really hear him; all my attention was suddenly concentrated on the heat building up inside my body.
It burst out through my chest, like a death ray in a science fiction movie, lifting me in the air and slamming me back against the basement wall. I was pinned against the cinder blocks, like a butterfly skewered on a collector's silver pin. Supernatural flames licked at me and I screamed in anger and agony. All I could think of was how close my love and I had come to having the life together we had been so long denied...only to have it ripped away from us, again. It was so unfair!
I know, who ever said life was fair? But to let me come this close to happiness and then to take everything away...Life may not be fair, but does it have to be so damned cruel? < P> I struggled against the consuming flames, unwilling to surrender. I had lived for so long, survived centuries of lonliness and secrecy; even though I despised the way I was forced to live, I didn't want my life to end. Not like this. But there was nothing I could do. The sun was my personal Death Star, cremating me alive.
I was aware through it all; I felt every second of pain as the sun ate at my body, consuming layer after excrutiating layer -- flesh, blood, bone. With my last remaining breath, I called out to Amy. I think she would have come to me, but Charley stopped her, tackling her to the floor and holding her down until it was too late.
When there was nothing left but ash, the physical pain stopped. But my spirit remains, and with it, the psychic pain. The pain that never ends.
You see, vampires truly are immortal, forever bound to the earth. That is why we must carry our earth with us, and return to it during the day. And while our bodies can be destroyed, our souls are as eternal as yours. Since we can't move beyond the earthly plane, destruction isn't a release, merely the beginning of a new kind of horror.
But, of course, you're wondering what became of Charley and the others. You want to hear how their happily-ever-afters turned out.
I'll have to disappoint you, I'm afraid. You see, I'm trapped here in this damned basement, with my ashes and my earth. I only know that after they had watched me perish in the sun, Charley and Vincent gathered Amy up in a celebratory group hug. Then they left -- the basement, and the house. I haven't seen them since. Who knows what they did after that?
What I do know is this: somehow, Ed survived that fatal night. I can sense him, somewhere nearby, frightened and maybe a little crazy.
If he comes here, to the basement, there may yet be a chance for me. And for Amy...
I can wait. After all, I've got an eternity on my hands.
Return to Other Fanfic Summaries