Ellen approached the bar cautiously and ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio. She was there to meet some guy named Ralph on a blind date arranged by Mandy, a friend from work. Ellen hated blind dates as they usually didn’t work out. The last three almost put her off men completely.
Mandy had assured her that Ralph was special, a real gentleman. Her last date Larry “forgot” his wallet and she ended up paying for everything. The guy before Larry didn’t bathe because he was between jobs and was trying to save money. And Andrew was boorish, rude with the wait staff at the restaurant, dissatisfied with her clothes and makeup, and generally loud and obnoxious when spending time on his cell phone.
Mandy had given her a perfume to wear. It smelled of lilacs and orange oil. “Wear this,” Mandy smiled as she handed over the bottle, “he’ll find you.” Ellen had dabbed it on quite generously before leaving her apartment for the bar.
She sipped her wine and fidgeted with the glass, tapping her freshly painted nails against the stem. The more she thought about the earlier dates, the more she wanted to flee this one.
She dug around in her purse for her phone and dialed.
“Hello?” the party at the other end of the call answered.
“He’s late,” Ellen whispered loudly into the phone.
“You”re early,” Mandy hissed back. “Take a chill pill and give him time. You won’t be sorry.”
“I’m already through my first glass. I don’t want to be drunk when he gets here.”
“Then don’t be,” Mandy replied.
“You’re no help.”
“Just relax. Enjoy yourself. And whatever you do, don’t embarrass me.”
Ellen clicked shut her cell phone and slipped it back into her purse. She turned her attention back to her glass of wine and slowly scanned the room while she took a sip.
Several sips later a blind man entered and slowly made his way to the bar. He was sniffing the air as he slowly walked towards her. He stopped beside her and sniffed her shoulder and smiled. “Your name wouldn’t happen to be Ellen, would it?” he asked with a sheepish grin.
Before Ellen could answer, he introduced himself. “I’m Ralph, your blind date for the evening and I get the feeling that Mandy didn’t tell you much about me.”
“She certainly never said anything about you being blind!” Ellen gasped. “Now I see why she insisted on the perfume.”
“Do you still want to go through with this date?” Ralph asked. “I’ll understand if you don’t.”
“I’ve never dated a blind man before,” she smiled at him. “Sure, what have I got to lose?”
“I was thinking we’d start the evening with dinner followed by a movie,” he paused briefly. “Unless you’d rather see a show?”
“How about we go dancing after dinner?” she countered, “But only as long as you let me lead.”
She escorted him out the door to his limo. They drove to a five-star restaurant for dinner. Ellen was suitably impressed by the ride, the dinner and the conversation.
After leaving the restaurant, a vile beast set upon the duo, tossing her companion aside with ease and crushing Ellen’s back against a brick wall. He licked her throat and sniffed at her neck. Before he could sink his fangs into her, Ralph was there pulling him off and tossing him aside.
The vampire rose up to attack again, but Ralph was ready for it and drove its head into the wall. Ellen stared in disbelief at the sudden change from man to beast as Ralph grew teeth and claws.
The vampire found itself facing a large angry cat that did not hesitate to rip out its throat before severing its head.
With the threat gone, Ralph resumed his human form, naked and panting on the alleyway pavement. Ellen quickly gathered his clothes and helped him cover himself while they slipped quickly into the limo.
“I’m sorry you had to see that,” he said while hurriedly buttoning a clean shirt.
“It’s OK. It saved me the trouble of having to deal with the blood-sucker.” She smiled at him.
“Come again?” He straightened his tie and pulled another pair of dark glasses out of a drawer. “How exactly would you have dealt with him?”
“It’s the perfume, you know; it’s quite strong, good at masking scents as well as marking potential prey.” Ellen waited for a response.
“You were never prey. What would you know about prey anyway?”
“Quite a lot actually,” she said as she bared her fangs and launched herself at him.
Ralph quickly reacted, driving a stake into her heart. He tapped on the glass between the compartments and the driver lowered the window. “Mandy, it looks like you’ll have to find a new friend. This one turned out to be a vamp.”