Lady Of The Night

Shutterstock / Evgeniya Litovche © Goth girl in long black silky dress sits on dark flight of stepssteps

Kasmira was a bit odd, all right. Could she really be the right girl for my grandson?

“I think she’s a vampire.”

“Mother!” said Steven coming up behind me to gaze out the window. “She’s a Goth, not a vampire.”

“Slip of the tongue,” I said, looking at the pretty girl waiting in the twilight. She was waiting for Jack, my grandson.

“Have you asked her in?”

“I have,” he said, “but she prefers the dark. She’s a bit like you – odd.”

On his charitable days, Steven thought me eccentric, but on his less charitable days he thought me one phone call away from being sectioned.

It still amazed Garth and me that we had such a straight-laced son.

Steven, agitated, shouted up the stairs.

“Jack, will you get a move on! There’s a young lady waiting for you!”

I suppressed a smile. He wanted the girl gone and me out of the door. I decided to oblige.

“Where are you going?”

“To speak to the girl.”

“Do you think that’s wise?”

Which, translated, meant she’ll run a mile if you go near her.

“Don’t worry. I will be the soul of discretion.”

He knew that me and discretion didn’t orbit in the same galaxy.

Still, since his wife had run off with a neighbour, the excitement would do him some good.

“Hi,” I said, approaching in what I hoped was a friendly manner. “I’m Leila.”

“I’m Kasmira,” she replied, checking out my aura. “Jack told me about you.”

“So, Kasmira, you’re a vampire.”

She gave out a long, dramatic sigh.

“We get a bad press, you know.”

“I know.”

“We are civilised and there are blood banks. Besides, I’m only half vampire. My mother’s human – still.”

“Ah,” I said, “that word – still – holds a lot of connotations.”

“My dad wouldn’t force my mum into anything she didn’t want to do,” Kasmira said defiantly.

“And you intend to follow your father’s example?”

“I was brought up to respect an individual’s rights, if that’s what you mean?”

“That’s what I do mean,” I replied. “Jack has only nineteen earth years behind him and everything to live for.”

Kasmira’s pale face coloured at the mention of Jack’s name and I could see that her earth years matched Jack’s.

“Besides, I don’t think his father would approve of an inter-species relationship. If he knew that such a thing could exist.”

She giggled then and that set me off as well.

We were still giggling when Jack rushed out.

“Hi Gran, you still alive?”

“Yep, I thought I would wait and meet Kasmira here.”

“So, what do you think of my lady of the night?”

Kasmira must be important to him if Jack was asking for my approval.

“I think she’s very special.”

He gave me a high five, and so did Kasmira before they went on their way.

I watched them walk along the road, shoulder to shoulder and hip to hip.

They reminded me of Garth and me. We had met at an all-night party and the attraction had been instant.

And, in spite of his all-too-human failings, the only major disagreement between us these days was about what constituted a good brew.

“Do you know,” said Steven, “there’s something strange about that girl. If there were such things as vampires, she could be one.”

“Don’t be silly. She’s a Goth.”

“There’s still something strange about her. I do have a nose for these things, you know.”

“Really? Keep taking the pills, Steven,” I replied, picking up my jacket.

“I’ll run you home.”

“There’s no need, really. There’s a bus due soon.”

Steven frowned. He did worry about me going out alone at night.

You’re such a featherweight, he would say, a mugger would just need to blow on you to knock you over.

“You’re such a featherweight – ”

“I can look after myself,” I interrupted. “Besides, you’re on the nightshift soon.”

I rushed out of the door before he could say any more. I loved my son but he could be so predictable at times.

The bus was late and there was not a soul about.

I muttered a few words and the number 37 zoomed into sight with a dazed driver behind the wheel.

“Don’t know what happened there, love, but hop on…”

“Thank you,” I replied, glad that I had remembered that particular spell.

Broomsticks are so uncomfortable.

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