by Robert Bagnall
Doug sharpens Swan Vestas. Making both ends useful, he says. “Wait until dark. Then you’ll see.”
We watch purple dusk turn to night through the broken sash window.
A rattle at first, then a scratch. Doug’s flashlight scans the floor.
Doug’s lit match waves a tide of them back. I swing my miniature spear, stick it to the critter through the thorax. It writhes. Becky Parsons, vampire killer!
Suddenly something’s not right. “Doug?”
By my ankles, the flashlight is carried away, turned on us. Doug’s slumped, bitten, jerking. I’m down to my last match. The vampire ants have won.
Robert Bagnall lives on the English Riviera, within sight of Dartmoor. His speculative fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, websites and anthologies since the early 1990s.
His first novel ‘2084’ was published in 2017 by Double Dragon Publications. He can be contacted via his blog at meschera.blogspot.co.uk.