Famous Cases | Historical Tales | Vampires | Zombies
|At work in my garden|
|My family at a workers camp|
in California. Left to right:
Heladio, Hector, me,
Mariateresa and Jose
|My first school; Austin, Texas|
The vampire population in the U.S. was near its peak in those days, and the effects were apparent all over the country. Every night at dusk, no matter where you where, curfew sirens would shatter the air. As children, we never really understood why our parents made us come in when those sirens sounded. After all, none of us had ever seen a vampire.
Life had settled into a steady rhythm when we arrived in North Carolina for the tobacco harvest in the Summer of '31. It was hard work, with the sun beating down and the sticky tobacco juice getting in your eyes. To make matters worse, the forest around the workers camp was said to be home to a vampire pack; several farmhands had been dragged away in the months before our arrival.
Shortly after we arrived, Orlando began a flirtation with the plantation owner's teenage daughter, Rayleen. At the end of the day's work, she would find some excuse to ride her horse out and steal moments with him. When my father found out, he told Orlando that he couldn't see her anymore; he knew well what would happen if the owner found out. But Orlando was headstrong, and he continued the relationship in secret.
One night, I awoke with a strange feeling of dread and discovered Orlando's bed empty. I slipped out of the cabin and looked for him all over the camp. I finally found him with Rayleen: they were kissing under an enormous oak tree. Embarrassed, I turned away for a moment. When I looked back, four vampires dropped out of the tree and dragged them away. Though the vampires only appeared for an instant, I'll never forget their bluish pallor, black eyes and malevolent smiles.