3.95 - The Vampire of Magnolia

3.95 - The Vampire of Magnolia

 Sampson drove us to a small abandoned building, forcing me to carry our victim down to the basement. He assured me nobody would hear any screams. We strapped him to an old chair before Sampson and Isaac left to get tools. I could try to get information now, but I don’t know what Sampson wants to know. Still, anything I do to this guy will be less painful, less traumatizing than whatever will be done when Sampson gets back with his, “tools.”

“Hey, what’s your name,” I ask the guy.

“Fuck you,” he spits at me, but it just dribbles down his swollen lips.

“If you work with me, I can protect you from what’s coming.”

“Fuck you.”

“Okay, how about some water? Some aspirin? I’ve got a first aid kit. I know you’re hurting.”

“Fuck you.”

“I’m not even torturing you, can you kill the tough guy act for a moment.”

“Fuck you!”

“You were just crying in the trunk, why are you trying to be tough? Nobody is forcing you to do that.”

“Fuck you!”

I’m done, I can’t say I didn’t try. The Werewolf machismo is going to get this guy killed and I can’t do anything to change that. I spend my time waiting by reading through one of the old books I found in the mansion’s library. It’s boring, an analysis of an analysis of Thurgood Marshall speeches. I’m more focused on catching glances of the man tied to the chair. He’s scared, but when he spots me watching he puts on a tough face.

“Hey, I don’t know you, so I know you’re not scared of me. The guy with me, what do you know about him?”

He looks around, expecting an ambush before whispering, “is he Sampson?”

“Yeah, that’s him.”

“The Vampire of Magnolia.”

“Vampire of Magnolia?”

“Yeah, before Katrina, he controlled the whole flow of drugs in Magnolia.”

“Really,” I had already pieced together that Sampson was a drug dealer in the past. I just didn’t think he was able to control a large area. Then again, I’m from Chicago, I don’t know anything about Magnolia. Is it just the abandoned projects or does it stretch further? Either way, I may have underestimated him.

“How’d he control it all.”

“The same way y’all ran me down earlier. Except back in the day, they used to find the bodies with no blood.”

“Okay, why did he leave?”

“You don’t know nothing about this dude and you running around with him snatching boys up,” suddenly he’s confident again. “You ain’t nothing but his bitch.”

I don’t get a chance to respond before a beam of light shines in the room, highlighting all the dust floating in the air, the bruised purple coloration of the young man’s skin. Most importantly it cast and ominous glow on Sampson as he entered with nothing but murder on his mind.

“I heard from the outside, he wasn’t giving you the time of the day,” Sampson laughs as he sits a few plastic bags on the floor.

“Nope, I was trying to save him,” I respond.

“Fuck you,” the young man has regressed.

“That’s what you get trying to play good cop bad cop, now sit back and watch how quick I make this boy spill his guts,” Sampson gives me a playful shove as he digs into one of the bags, pulling out a white paper bag from inside. He walks behind the boy and slowly opens the bag. He pulls a round brown shiny object from the bag, and takes a bite. “Want a praline? Best part of coming home,” he offers me the bag.

“Sure, why not,” I grab one and the texture reminds me of peanut brittle, but softer. The flavor and texture is the same, peanut brittle, but softer, more subtle. “This is really good.”  

“What about you? Want a bite,” Sampson waves a piece in front of the boys face.

“Nah, I don’t nee-,” he doesn’t finish the sentence before Sampson shoves the piece in his mouth.  

“So, I used to be known as The Vampire of Magnolia. I sold drugs, it’s not a secret,” Sampson has lost his joking tone. “Then shit changed after Katrina. I couldn’t keep selling drugs to my people. I tried to dismantle the drug trade but Big Harold, the pussy that thinks of himself as my rival, couldn’t let that happen,” Sampson is speaking to me, filling me in. “Big Harold is a werewolf, classic rivalry. You probably didn’t think shit ran so deep down here, but Magnolia Projects had 2000 people, on paper. Really, it was probably closer to three, you know cousins staying over, boyfriends and girlfriends not on leases. You know how it goes. Maybe, you seem kind of like a bubs guy.”

“More hood adjacent than burbs,” I shrug.

“Fair enough. Anyway, after Katrina, I left, went back to gra,” he pauses to prevent saying Granny, “the grand plantation. But, there were no more drugs. Then my cousins down on the block told me Big Harold was starting up all over again. I let it go for a long time, because I really have been trying to be a new person. But, he kept fucking up, and now we’re here. Any questions.”

“Nah, that pretty much clears it up.”

“What does this have to do with me,” the man asks.

“You’re going to tell me where Harold is,” Sampson crouches down so they’re eye level.

“Why would I do that?”

“Because if you don’t tell me, I’m just going to kill you and leave your body. Then I’ll do the same to your friends, until they come find me. But, if you tell me where Harold is, I’m just going to kill him, take the drugs, and go home.”

“What about me?”

“We’ll drop you off outside the city, with some cash,” I answer when Sampson takes too long to respond.

“He won’t know I told him,” the guy asks.

“He’ll just be dead, so it won’t matter,” Sampson responds.

I tried to use emotion to get the information, but it was pointless. The most powerful emotion here was fear. It doesn’t matter how tactful or caring I am trying to get information if fear is the only language someone understands. Fear is treated like a God around here, and there is nothing that inspires more fear than The Vampire of Magnolia.


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