An entrance

My difficulties began when Cousin Enver came back.

One night a year ago I was sitting at my desk in the small hours, idly trawling the Net, when there was a sudden hammering at the door. I sat up with a start. Cops?! Then relaxed. Two inches of good English oak with steel fittings – they weren’t going to get through that in a hurry without explosives. I left my pipe where it was and went to the intercom.

“What’s wrong with using the doorbell?”

“I don’t see no bells.” The accent was horribly familiar.

“Who is it?”


Oh shit, that’s all I needed.

“Stop banging before you wake the whole street. I’ll let you in.”

“Cousin Enver, how good to see you.” I lied as I swung open the door.

“Don’t use that name,” he brushed past me, “call me John.”

“Come in why don’t you.” I said breezily and to myself, ‘and why not Jonah?’, closing and rebolting the door before following him into my living room.

A few decades earlier Uncle Joe had arranged for his termination and incarceration in Siberia, figuring the permafrost would keep the old bastard out of circulation for a very long time. Unfortunately the Great Planner hadn’t reckoned on global warming. As Enver’s icy bed softened and he felt the vibrations of the fracking drills, he started to wake up …

Or so I learned later. For now Cousin Enver parked himself at my dining table and looked around.

“Where is everyone? Out hunting?”

“No, they’re all downstairs.” I had no idea what to say next. I hadn’t planned for this eventuality. Hadn’t been expecting any callers at all.

“Well, I’m here. Let’s go wake them up and have a party.”

With a sinking heart I took down the key and led the way to the cellar.

There they stood, the four sarcophagi holding my family: father, mother, brother and sister and the fifth, my own, lidless and empty. The other brother had fallen foul of the Roumanian Iron Guard and been handed over to the Germans, who burned him in Majdanek.

“Open them up then!” demanded Enver and I reluctantly went to slide over the stone covers and open the coffins inside. As I raised each coffin lid, Enver’s eyes widened as his gaze travelled from one to the other. I felt tense.

“Where are their heads?”

“I was hungry.” I replied irritably.

“You were hungry, so you ate your family’s heads?”

“No, I sold them to vampire museums.”