TIME OF THE TURNING - by Ray O'Bannon

(Click here for audio.)

No, Really! I'm tellin' ya... it's the Time of the Turning, and in a little while this whole place is gonna be crawlin' with vampires! Yeah, I KNOW how it sounds but Iím serious hereÖ vampires, the things are gonna be all over the place and that ainít ALL, pal. Thereís gonna beÖ ah jeez, you ainít buyiní a word of this, are you?

I donít guess I blame you. Youíre just sittiní here on a park bench tryiní to have your lunch, and here comes this loony telliní you thereís vampires cominí. Of COURSE you donít believe meÖ you didnít just have your whole freakiní HOUSE burned down! But Iím gonna sit here a minute and catch my breath, and while I do Iím gonna explain to you, just once, what kind of horrible situation youíre in. What is that? Bologna? Gads, how can you eat that stuff? Anyhow, hereís the pointÖ

See, I know things most people donít know. I know, I know, you think Iím a drunk, you think Iím a druggy... do I look like a drunk? Iím weariní a suit, ainít I? Silk shirt. These shoes? You donít even wanna KNOW what I paid for these shoes. Point isÖ Iím sane as you, buddy. I just know the facts.

See, Iím with the mob. I can tell you that now Ďcause in a little while it ainít gonna matter, ainít NOTHINí gonna matterÖ but yeah, Iím in the mob and I used to go around Ďacquiringí things, mostly books and sometimes a small crate or package. And I couldnít help wonderin' why those books were so important to these people, so I started readin' the things. And I peeked inside a few of those crates and packages once or twice, but that was a pretty bad idea. Point isÖ they were collecting things they thought might help them get in touch withÖ well, letís call it Ďa new business partnerí. And this all went WAY beyond just the mob, OK? LOTSA different groups had a hand in this thing. Anyhow, I found out enough to realize the Time of the Turning is just around the corner, and they couldnít have possibly picked a WORSE time to try to contact this thing!

It has to do with celestial alignments and I think it involves quantum physics and stuff so I ainít even gonna TRY to explain about the Time of the Turning, but it is BAD, buddy. REAL bad. And you donít wanna be around when it happens. Except I figure the vampires will kill everybody off first, so it ainít really gonna matterÖ

Yeah, yeahÖ you still donít even believe in vampires. See that little cemetery over there, just past the trees? Thingís fulla vampires, no doubt about it. See, thatís the kinda things people miss. Everybody thinks a vampire has to sleep in the soil it was buried in, and if it wants to move around, people figure itís gotta fill a box up fulla dirt and crawl inside. Bram Stoker had it right, but nobody paid any attention to what he actually said! A vampire has to sleep in HOLY ground, itís some sort of supernatural paradox. So you tell yourself vampires canít spread around because somebody would notice all the earth beiní moved around. Fact is they donít even need their own coffin; they just ooze into somebody elseís once they find a churchyard. They go from church to church while you sit there eating bologna sandwiches.

And donít think theyíd be happy about me telliní you this. They came after me once they realized I was the one moviní most of those rare books and packages. They figured three vampires would be enough to take me out, but they didnít count on me haviní silver bullets. Yeah, I actually had silver bulletsÖ stop lookiní at me like that.

See, I donít hang out much with the other guys in the organization. I just get the work done and go home, so they like calliní me the Ďlone rangerí. I hate that. Anyhow, my birthday was last week and these wise guys give me a clip fulla real silver bullets as a joke. So I load Ďem up, but since I donít NEVER actually shoot nobody I still got all nine rounds when the vampires show up. Now THEM I got no problem shootin'. Wasted one shot Ďcause I was a little rattled, it was four in the mornin', but the next three rounds each wound up somewhere in a vampireís face. They lay there flappiní around on my living room rug until sunup, and then they did what theyíre supposed to do. They went up in flames and burned my whole freakiní HOUSE down! I knew Iíd be haviní more visitors, so I headed out and Iíve been on the move ever since. Iím thinkiní maybe if I get out of town before it happens... but you donít know, do you? Eat your bologna.

See, I just didnít feel right taking off without telliní somebody whatís goiní on. I meanÖ I canít warn everybody. Who would believe me? So I figured Iíd get it off my conscience by telling at least one personÖ just one person. So Iím telliní YOU. And now Iím gonna be on my way, Ďcause I sure donít wanna be here whenÖ

Whatís that? Yeah, I knowÖ the sunís turniní red and itís droppiní down towards the horizon WAY too fast, and itís gettingí cold all of a sudden, and there you sit lookiní all surprised even though I just TOLD youÖ Time of the Turning. See those headstones over in that little cemetery crumbliní all to pieces? See those vaults and tombs all cavin' in? Time of the Turning.

Well, hey, Iíve done what I can, you know? Iíve tried to warn somebody before I left. I know you donít know what to do now, I donít either. And I donít know if gettiní out of town will do me any good or not, but I figure Iíve still got five silver bullets, and maybe thatíll buy me some time. As for youÖ well, if I were you Iíd hurry up and finish that sandwich.