Nosferatu Blues
By: Walter G. Esselman

Detectives Hanzo McCoy and Carly Dancer screeched to a halt at the edge of the dock.

Out in the harbor lay their suspect. Dancer took out her monocular and looked at the white boat in the harbor. It looked like a Right whale floating on the surface.

"It's the Bellaphon," said Dancer.

"She must be on there," said Hanzo. "Does it look like we have time to call in for a boat?"

Several guards walked along the main deck and on the upper deck, two more guards used searchlights to pierce the night and scan the dark water. In between them, the crew scurried about the ship.

"They look like they're getting ready to leave soon," said Dancer.

"And when they do, she's gone," said Hanzo. His voice took on a low growl. "Too bad we don't have swim gear."

Dancer cocked her head to one side. "Maybe we don't need it."

"What're you on about?" asked Hanzo.

Dancer turned and with a little bounce, ran back down the dock. She reached an old building with a trash heap in front. Scooping up a cinder block, she awkwardly ran back. She put it at his feet.

"You're not thinking…," started Hanzo.

"You don't need to breathe anymore since…well, since you became a vampi…," started Dancer.

"Don't say it!" snapped Hanzo.

"What?" asked Dancer. "It's what you are now."

"I know, but I don't have to be happy about it," said Hanzo. "It's not like I had a choice in the matter."

"Okay, fair enough partner," said Dancer. "But since you have a…unique physiology, you could sneak right up to the boat."

Hanzo leaned over the side of the dock.

"That water doesn't look clean," said Hanzo.

"Do you have a better idea?" asked Dancer.

"No, but…," started Hanzo.

"Let me help," said Dancer and she pushed him off the dock. Hanzo hit the dirty water and, out of a primal instinct, swam up to the surface. He gulped a deep breath and then realized, he did not need to. She was right about that. He glared up at his partner.

"You know, there'll be payback for this," said Hanzo.

"I know," chirped Dancer. She scooped up the cinder block and threw it to Hanzo. "Catch!"


A reef of a tropical island,what a treat it would be to walk along the sea floor off a tropical island. The bottom of the harbor though, was another story. Holding the cinder block, Hanzo moved in short hops along the foul mud and debris.

As he hopped over a shopping cart, he thought back on this past month. He and Dancer had been investigating a small crime when he had been assaulted. Killed and walking again. He remembered, in flashes, the woman who had bitten him. She had been sharp and lean but had the most striking blue eyes. Hanzo had not seen her since that night and he did not know what he would do if he caught up with her. What reasoning would he use to arrest her? Attempted murder? She did actually kill him; or ‘Biting with intent to snack'.

A searchlight scoured over the surface of the water. Letting go of the cinder block, Hanzo did not buoy up without air in his lungs. He gently drifted along. Kicking up, Hanzo came up alongside the boat.

Grabbing the anchor, he easily pulled himself up to the side of the boat. He crouched on the anchor still hidden by the side of the boat. A bulky guard walked purposefully past and Hanzo inhaled deeply. To his surprise, past the salty water, he could smell the guard.

Dominating over the smell of cloth and leather was the man's MP5 machine gun.

After the guard had moved past, Hanzo shot over the edge of the boat moving fast. He ran to the first door and peeked inside. The way was clear so Hanzo began to check the interior of the boat. Had he given himself time, he would have marvelled at how quickly and quietly he moved.

"…out of here as quickly as possible," said a feminine voice from below. Hanzo slipped down some stairs and came to a door. "I'd hate to miss a minute of the sun at Ponta dos Ganchos."

"We will leave for Brazil in fifteen minutes," said the ship's captain. He left a moment later.

Hanzo slipped out of the shadows. He moved into the room and saw Sheila Collins.

Sheila was one of the best thieves in world and a murderer if the security camera holds up in court. A part of Hanzo tried to remind him that she was an alleged murderer, but his anger blazed.

"Police and that man had two daughters," snarled Hanzo.

"Who do you think you are?" demanded Sheila Collins. She picked a gun off the table but then she looked into his eyes. Sheila froze and her brown eyes grew large and vacant. Hanzo's anger dropped away. It was like he had stunned her. She was helpless. And Hanzo was hungry.

Hanzo took a step towards her. He could see the vein in her neck throbbing, and it was so very tempting. He stopped.

"You have her in your thrall," said a voice softly from the door. He knew, knew without looking, that it was the woman who had bitten him. Left him to die? No, he had fought her. He had shot her and jumped out a window! She continued speaking. "That's what we call it when our…prey is under our power."

"What is your name?" asked Hanzo without taking his eyes from Sheila.

"Oh, you don't know me that well," laughed the woman. It felt as if she were starting a dance of words.

"So, what do I call you?" asked Hanzo.

"Call me…Mariska, yes, I love her SVU show," said the woman.

"Okay woman-who-wishes-to-be-called-Mariska," said Hanzo. "What are you doing here now? I'm in the middle of an investigation."

"Investigation?" chuckled Mariska. "Or, were you going to forgo your gendarmerie duties for a little snack."

"No!" said Hanzo, but even to him it was a little too abrupt. He took a deep breath. "There are rules about snacking on suspects. So I ask again, what are you doing here?"

"I was following you silly," giggled Mariska.

"Why?" asked Hanzo.

"You're my responsibility," said Mariska.

"Then tell me what you've done to me?" asked Hanzo.

"Done? You make it sound as if I set you on fire!" laughed Mariska.

"You killed me," said Hanzo.

"I've made you better, faster," said Mariska. "I've made you something more."

"More than a cop?" asked Hanzo.

Mariska laughed.

"You don't have to play cops and robbers anymore! You can be free!"

"Free to kill," said Hanzo.

"You can start with this one," said Mariska and he did not see her wave dismissively.

"Fill the emptiness inside you and ensure that she never kills another person's father."

"You know?" asked Hanzo.

"Such cute little moppets too," said Mariska. "Confused that daddy's not coming home."

"And killing this one will make that all better?" asked Hanzo. He laughed."They say if you go to the crossroads, you can make a deal with the devil."

"That's a bit harsh," said Mariska with a pout in her voice.

"But accurate," said Hanzo.

Mariska shrugged at this.

Hanzo whipped around. There was a flash of solid steel in his hand. Mariska jumped back in surprise as the handcuffs just missed her wrist.

"You're under arrest for assaulting an officer," declared Hanzo.

"You dare!" snapped Mariska.

"I am an officer of the law and I will uphold it!" spat Hanzo.

"Fool!" cried Mariska and then a smile spread across her face as she looked beyond Hanzo. He had broken eye contact with Sheila. He spun around hoping to reestablish contact.

Sheila was blinking the sleep out of her eyes even as her gun raised and she shot Hanzo.


"…if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?" asked Hanzo as he hauled a handcuffed Sheila on to the deck. Her reply was scathing and biologically impossible.

The hole in his chest had already closed, but his left lung felt charred.

Mariska was already long gone. But where was Sheila's goons, wondered Hanzo. There was no one on deck. Hanzo borrowed a lifeboat for the return trip. Hanzo itched at the bullet hole in his shirt.


Hanzo and Dancer left Sheila to be processed at the police station. They walked out into the morning sun.

"And you didn't see any guards when you came back up?" asked Dancer mulling over the idea.

"Not a one," said Hanzo. "Did you see anything?"

"No," said Dancer. "They'd walk around a corner and not come back out again. Do you think this Mariska ate them?"

"I don't know," shrugged Hanzo.

Dancer suddenly started to chuckle.

"What?" asked Hanzo.

"You tried to cuff a vampire," laughed Dancer. "I have the most awesome partner in all the world."


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