By: Steve Bolin

There are only two things in this world that I�m afraid of. The first is that my younger brother might somehow manage to pull off a joke that�s better than mine. Since this has never happened, I don�t worry about it too much. But still, it�s always at the back of my mind, haunting me like a restless ghost.

In fact, April 1st is one of my favorite days of the year. Every year my brother and I try to out do each other with practical jokes. My jokes are usually better than his, if I do say so myself. I know this probably all sounds a bit juvenile, but what can you expect from a couple of teenagers? This is the way we show brotherly love for each other.

The second thing I�m afraid of is vampires. Yeah, I can hear you laughing now. It probably sounds pretty lame for a teen to be afraid of make-believe movie monsters, doesn�t it? Ever since I was a little kid, my flesh just crawls at the very thought of fangs sinking into my neck and turning me into one of the walking undead. I can�t tell you how many nightmares I�ve had involving Count Dracula.

To make things even worse, my younger brother knows how I feel about vampires. For some strange reason, the creatures don�t seem to affect him. In fact, there�s very little that bothers the little twerp at all. The only thing that seems to get his goat is being embarrassed at school.

Keeping that last thought in mind, I came up with an idea for a great practical joke to play on him. Since I knew he�d be keeping a close eye on me during April 1st, I decided to strike a day early, on March 31st, to catch him off guard. It went perfectly.

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About the Author

With the exception of a four-year hitch in the U.S. Navy, Steve has been a lifelong resident of Indiana. He has more than 40 publishing credits, including co-authoring Black Rising, an epic fantasy novel. He plans to assemble his short stories of dark fantasy and weird tales into an anthology.
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