Professor Van Helsing

had his back turned

to the hall throughout

the lecture. Addressing

the blackboard, he argued

that not appearing in mirrors

is the source of vampires’

powers, not part of their curse.

What could be worse, he said,

than seeing your face age day by day

like an ugly candle. He stopped,

proud of the simile. Imagine the freedom,

he said. You could have heard

a pin drop.