“Elm Street,” complained Miss Cand. “Such a horrible name for this street. And now that new man has moved into the house next door.”
The man she was complaining about hadn’t actually done anything wrong to her. Miss Cand was jealous of him because her beloved tabby cats had instantly started to lie in his garden, not on her couch.
Her nighttime spying informed her that her neighbour, Vlad—she got to know his name from Miss Darsey, the other old cat-lady in the street—was playing with her cats, and sometimes, as a tall, dark and mysterious young man, he brought home some pretty ladies around midnight, and Miss Cand never saw them coming out of his house in the morning when she got up.
Some time passed, maybe one or two months, and Miss Cand began exploring her new favourite hobby: stalking Mr. Vlad. She watched his house all day long, from her bedroom window. A week later, she knew Vlad’s daily routine by heart, except when he usually left for work. She never saw him coming out of the house during the daytime. She saw him only after sunset, wearing all black, which also disturbed her.
“Just like the hooligans, back in the day,” she remarked on the phone to Miss Darsey. As Vlad was both ladies’ next door neighbour, they always gossiped about him and stalked him.
“Or one of those rockers who worship Lucifer,” added Miss Darsey, who was knitting in front of the window, surveying Mr. Vlad’s backyard “He never leaves for work, and almost every night he brings home a new … How to say … a new light-blooded girl, way after midnight. But I … I’m going to say it straight to his face, that we won’t tolerate this….” she mumbled, and both ladies hung up.
A few days passed, and Miss Cand had no news from Miss Darsey. She decided to visit her neighbour alone. “I’ll give him the lesson that his parents forgot to give him,” she said to herself grumpily. Then she slipped her old cardigan over her home dress and walked over.
She knocked on the door multiple times. “I bet he is sleeping in the middle of the day … Such a useless, worthless little….” Vlad opened the door, interrupting Miss Cand’s train of thought.
“Good morning! May I help you?” he asked in a polite tone with a slight East-European accent, but the old lady immediately snapped:
“You are a lazy, useless man! You are up all night, you get chicks, and you never work in the daytime!” she shouted, pointing at the man’s chest and marching towards him. A moment later, she was in Vlad’s living room.
“Come in!” whispered the man with growing anger. The old lady immediately sat on the sofa, although he hadn’t welcomed her to make herself at home. He tried to warn her with the glance of his chestnut-brown eyes, but Miss Cand didn’t seem to pay attention.
“So,” Miss Cand started. “When I heard you talking, I realised that you are not from this country.”
“You’re right, ma’am” answered Vlad, trying to calm himself.
“You migrated here, and you don’t do anything to make your country great!” cried the old woman. “ You are a useless weirdo, you have no place here … Go back.…” She couldn’t finish what she wanted to say. For a short time, she felt an enormous pain on her neck and something warm and liquid flowing down onto her chest. Then everything turned dark.
“Such an over-patriotic frump,” snapped Vlad. “Such a bitter witch … I hope I won’t get a stomach ulcer from the tasteless, dense blood of this old wimp. The other, whose blood I sucked three days ago, is still torturing my digestive system. What a schmuck!”