THE UNFORTUNATE TALE OF THE TOOTHLESS VAMPYRE
Published in Vampires: Re-Vamping a Classic Tale, from Norgus Press.
It was unfortunate that Ronald hadn’t any teeth, even more so because, as a vampyre, he very much had need of them and had no means of growing them back. Vampyres, as a rule, being reanimated corpses, have none of the regenerative abilities of other nightly things. So Ronald was stuck as he was: an old and toothless vampyre. Though how Ronald had come into such a state is interesting in itself.
As it was, in life, Ronald was not the sort of man to care for himself very well. Keeping good hygiene was a chore, and he did not give much thought to the awful foods and substances he ingested daily. Thus by the time Ronald reached his thirties, he was in much pain from poor health and various ailments. Indeed he was as good as dead.
What exactly possessed the vampyre who found Ronald, reeling in pain, drunk on rum, lying in a gutter in London, to take this unfortunate man as his familiar is unknown. He never told Ronald his reasons, but it might be supposed after many long years of the toil and boredom of immortality, this vampyre decided it would be good sport to have a little fun at the expense of such a wretched man. After all, who was less fitting of becoming a vampyre than Ronald?
Over the years, Ronald’s health never improved, and the vampyre did just enough to see that Ronald lived, though nothing to stop his pain. He promised Ronald a release in immortality, all the while laughing behind the poor man’s back. Were Ronald a more intelligent man, he might not have been so easily hoodwinked, but Ronald believed every word of it.
Of course, Ronald continued to do nothing for his wellbeing. What need was there when a vampyre was at hand to keep him alive no matter how much he abused himself? So in time, Ronald’s body weakened further and the last of his already largely rotted teeth fell out, but there was still no end to his suffering. That is until Ronald’s very existence became more of a liability than a good joke for his vampyre master.
After all, falling apart as he quite literally was, Ronald was an utterly useless familiar. He could not assist in luring victims, being so diseased-looking; both by reason of his lack of natural beauty and how the poor care he took of himself. Then of course, Ronald was not much use as a guard for his master’s coffin, being slothful as well as infirm.
So it was that after a long forty years, the vampyre no longer found humour in Ronald’s case. He turned this toothless old man into one of the undead and abandoned him to fend for himself. Likely his master thought this fledgling vampyre would not last long, and this was done as much by way of punishment for his uselessness as to rid the vampyre of such a worthless servant. Of course, Ronald did not need to be a detective to know how dire his plight was. He had need of teeth, or a replacement for them, but how to accomplish this was quite another matter.