There was a fight in the alleyway.
Half-drunk, Hal considered walking away. He couldn’t help anyone in this state. But still, he found himself shambling towards the sounds of scuffling and muffled curses.
There were two men. One was pale and dressed all in black while the other was in jeans and a faded t-shirt. The pale one was grabbing the other man by the throat and trying to get in close. His mouth was open. He had such sharp teeth. Hal didn’t notice the garbage bin until he knocked into it. The sudden sound drew both of their attention and Hal decided to yell, as confidently as he could, for them to stop.
The man in the t-shirt took the opportunity to throw something to the ground, away from the fight. Following the clattering sound, Hal saw something sharp land on the ground. It had not sounded like metal hitting concrete, it had sounded like… wood?
It landed near Hal and he stumbled as he bent to pick it up. The man in the t-shirt called for his help, that his assailant kept trying to bite him. Hal put it in his pocket and moved forward to try to grapple the pale man.
As Hal struggled to pull him away, the surprisingly-strong pale man screamed about needing blood. Needing to feed. Begging to be released.
Hal finally succeeded in separating them and stumbled backwards, unsure of how long he could hold the frantic man in his arms. He needn’t have worried, as the newly-released man in the t-shirt stepped to his side, took the stake from his pocket and, faster than either of the now-entangled men could react, plunged it into the pale-man’s chest. He went limp instantly, the sudden weight causing Hal to drop him.
Staring at each other over the dead body, Hal froze for seconds as the man in the t-shirt waited warily for him to scream. He didn’t.
“Was.. that a vampire?!”
“No, of course not. He was a lunatic trying to bite me”
Hal was unsure if this was better. He wondered if he should call the police, and if a wooden stake would show fingerprints.
The man in the t-shirt smiled at him.
“I think I should thank you. Can I give you a drink?”
“I think… I think I’ve had enough, I should get going. I mean… I drank enough to think vampires were real… I-“
Hal paused, then looked at the even-paler body on the ground. He wore all black, had pale skin, but what had appeared to be fangs he could now see were fake covers. He looked back up at the man in the t-shirt. He was smiling, showing off teeth just a bit sharper than they should be. Hal fuzzily realised that the band on his faded shirt was from the sixties. Some small group his dad had mentioned once or twice.
“I owe you my life. So, I am more than happy to offer you a drink, so you can extend yours…”
The man shrugged and raised his eyebrows, like a girlfriend trying to entice him into a late-night drive-thru run. Then he tilted his head, exposing his neck.
“I’ve had enough to drink”
He repeated, more certainly. He turned and left the alley, refusing to look back at the laughing man. The sound of squelching as something was removed from something soft. The sound of a body being dragged.
He had definitely had enough much to drink that night.