I grew up being raised by my grandfather. He was a wonderful man, and I loved him with everything I was. He was also one of the strangest men you could ever meet. The man lived to tell stories. When I was growing up, he would tell stories about the adventures he had been on his in younger years. Everyone in town listened to his stories, but no one believed them.
Well, when I turned eighteen, he was getting on in years and the stories started getting wilder. He began telling those who would listen about how he had fought monsters and lived to tell the tales. I was old enough at that point to have stopped believing in his stories. I still loved to hear him tell them, but I no longer thought any of them were real.
That is, until the day he passed away. That was the day my life changed forever in so many ways. I had always thought we were just getting by. When in fact he had over ten million dollars stashed in an overseas bank account and five properties in three countries. But the hardest thing to believe wasn’t the money. It was the box the lawyer brought the night the old man passed away.
When the knock on the door came, I had been reading one of the old Edgar Allan Poe books from his collection and it scared the crap out of me. I walked over and opened the door in a level of anger that far outmatched what had caused it. The lawyer stood there looking sad and anxious. I told him to come in. He did, bringing with him a wooden box and a letter. Both were from my grandfather to be delivered upon his death.
He told me I now owned everything and that I could come to his office the next week to discuss how I wanted to handle my newfound windfall. I took the box from him and sat it on the table. The man stood there a moment longer before handing me the letter. Then, with just a simple nod, he turned and walked back out of my house. At least he closed the door behind him.
I turned back to the table and lifted the lid of the document box. I sucked in a breath at the sight before me. Inside the document box sat a wooden box with metal caps on the corners. It looked old, maybe fifty or sixty years old. But it looked perfectly normal, other than my name carved into the top of the box.
I lifted it out and moved the cardboard box onto the floor. Sitting on the wooden box on the surface of the table, I traced my fingers over the carving of my name. I opened the letter before I opened the box. Picking it up, I slipped my finger under the lip of the envelope. Pulling out the single piece of paper, I unfolded it. I recognized the writing to be my grandfather’s. I felt a smile touch my lips as I read.
I never meant for you to have to deal with any of this. But I am old and I can’t finish the job that was given. So, even though I hate to do it, I must pass the job on to you. Inside the box, you will find the tools for the trade I have been doing since I was a young man.
Forgive an old man’s babbling. Let me start at the beginning and I pray I can explain things well enough to keep you safe. The summer I turned seventeen, I met an old man. He was kind to me, but trusting him got me trapped in a situation I could never get back out of. And now it’s up to you to continue.
The legends are real. Vampires are real. I know you won’t believe me, but I am telling the truth. Inside this box is a kit that will help you defend the human world against them. You need to start by going to the restaurant at the end of the pier and talking to a man named Justin Winthrop. He will put you on the right path.
Again, I am sorry for this. Please forgive me and protect yourself.
I laid the note on the table and lifted the lid of the box. Inside I found strange items, crosses, little bottles with cork stoppers, and sharpened wooden stakes. A laugh escaped my lips. It looked authentic enough, and my grandfather never lied about anything. I walked over to the desk in the corner. The computer was sitting there waiting to be used. I sat down and pushed the button to turn the thing on. A moment later, I was researching the restaurant at the end of the pier. The name of the place was Alburo’s.
From what I read, it was a local place that had been owned by the same family for decades. It was said to be owned and run by vampires. It looked like grandpa was right after all. I picked up the phone, dialed the number to the restaurant, and waited.
A young-sounding woman answered the call. “Alburo’s how can I help you?”
“I would like to set a reservation for dinner with Justin Winthrop. Would that be possible?” I asked.
“Your name?” She asked.
“Joshua Kellen,” I said.
“The first available appointment would be tonight at 9:30. Would that work for you?” She asked, her voice velvety.
“That sounds fine. Thank you.” I hung up the phone, moving away and sitting on the couch. Tonight would be the first night of my new life. I would do his grandfather proud.