Authors: Angela Sommer-Bodenburg
Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Monsters, #General
The Little Vampire
This book is for Burghardt Bodenburg, whose teeth are so brittle he could never turn into a vampire, as well as for Katja, who can shout
“Eek! a vampire!” so beautifully – and for everyone who likes stories about vampires as much as I do.
The main characters in this book
Anton Bohnsack, called Tony Prasbody in this book, loves reading. He likes exciting stories about vampires and knows all about the way they live.
Tony’s parents don’t really believe in vampires.
His dad works at an office, his mum works as a teacher.
Rüdiger von Schlotterstein, the little vampire, is called Rudolph Sackville-Bagg in the English version. He has been a vampire for at least 150 years. If you want to know how he and Tony became friends you best read this book!
The other members of the Sackville-Bagg family Tony will meet in this story are:
Anna the Toothless, who is Rudolph’s sister
and Lumpi der Starke, in this book called Gruesome Gregory, who is Rudolph’s elder brother.
Tony will hear creepy stories about other members of the clan. Just look at the names and try to figure out what they mean:
Sabina the Sinister
Frederick the Frightful
Hildegard the Thirsty
Nightwatchman Geiermeier, here called McRookery, chases vampires.
(ǝɓıʇsɹnp ǝıp pɹɐɓǝplıH 'ǝɥɔılɹǝʇɥɔɹn̤Ⅎ ɹǝ
p ɓıʍpn˥ 'ǝɥɔılʞɔǝɹɥɔS ǝıp ǝuıqɐS)
The Thing at the Window
T WAS A SATURDAY
evening, the night when Tony’s parents always went out.
“Where are you off to tonight, then?” Tony wanted to know that afternoon.
His mother was in the bathroom, busy with her hair curlers.
“Oh,” she said, “I expect we’ll have something to eat, and then perhaps go dancing.”
“What do you mean, perhaps?” asked Tony.
“Well, we haven’t decided yet,” explained
his mother. “Is it that important for you to know?”
“No-o,” mumbled Tony. He thought it was better not to tell her that he wanted to watch the thriller on television, which started at eleven o’clock. But it was too late: her suspicions were already aroused.
“Tony,” she said sternly, and turned round so she could look him straight in the eye. “I hope you’re not planning to watch something on
“Oh, Mum,” protested Tony, “what on earth gives you that idea?” Luckily, his mother had turned back to her curlers, and so she did not see how red his face had gone.
“We might even go to the cinema,” was all she said. “In any case, we shan’t be home before midnight.”
So, now it was evening, and Tony was alone in the flat. He lay in bed in his pyjamas, with the sheet drawn up to
his chin, reading
The Truth About Frankenstein
. The story was about a travelling show. A man in a flowing black cloak had just come on the stage to announce the appearance of the monster.
Suddenly the alarm clock went off. Tony looked up from his book, frowning at the interruption. Crikey, eleven o’clock already! He just had time to switch on the television.
Tony jumped out of bed and pressed
the switch. Then he snuggled back beneath the covers and watched as the picture slowly took form on the screen. It was still only the Sports Programme. His room was shadowy and dim; King Kong glowered down from the poster on the wall, his sneer exactly suiting Tony’s mood. He felt wild and adventurous, as though he were the only survivor of a shipwreck, stranded on a South Sea island inhabited by
cannibals. His bed was his hide-out, soft and warm, and whenever he wanted to, he could creep in there and be hidden from sight. A heap of provisions lay at the entrance of this den; in fact, the only thing missing was a keg of rum. Tony thought longingly of the bottle of apple juice in the fridge; the trouble was, in order to get it, he would have to cross the darkened hallway. Should he swim back
to the ship, braving the blood-hungry sharks that were lying in wait for their prey? Tony shivered. But the fact remained that castaways more often died of thirst than of hunger!
So, bravely, he set off. He hated the hallway; the light was permanently broken, and no one bothered to mend it. He hated the coats dangling in the closet, looking like corpses. And then there was the hare! He thought
with horror of the stuffed animal in his mother’s workroom, even though he had enjoyed frightening other children with the thought of it. At last, he made it to the kitchen. He took the bottle of apple juice out of the fridge and sliced off a large chunk of cheese while he was about it. All the time he had half an ear cocked to the other room to make sure the thriller had not begun. He heard a woman’s
voice announcing the start of the film. Tony tucked the bottle under his right arm and hurried back.
However, he had not gone far, just into the hallway, when he noticed that something was not quite right. He stood still and listened ... and suddenly it dawned on him what was wrong: there was silence from the television! That could mean only one thing: Someone must have slipped into his room
and turned it off! Tony could feel his heart miss a beat and then thud as if it had gone mad, and a strange lump seemed to move from his tummy to his throat and stick there. Terrible pictures appeared before his eyes, pictures of men with stocking masks, knives, and guns who broke into empty flats at night to steal, and who would allow no one to stand in their way. Tony remembered that the window
had been left open, and a burglar could easily have climbed in over the next door balcony. All of a sudden there was a crash! The apple juice bottle had slipped from under Tony’s arm and had rolled across the hallway, coming to rest by the bedroom door. Tony held his breath and waited ... but nothing happened. Perhaps he was just imagining all this nonsense about burglars. But if that were the case,
why had the television stopped?
He picked up the bottle and inched open his bedroom door. The first thing he noticed was an extraordinary smell, musty and mouldering like something in the cellar, but like burning as well. Was it coming from the television set? Tony quickly pulled the plug out from the wall. Perhaps the flex was smouldering.