When Lu saw her new scooter in the barn of farmer Giles Dullard, on the outskirts of town, she knew it was the moped for her, without any shadow of a doubt—instantly the chemistry was established, she knew, the farmer knew, the bike knew. Figuratively, this unique partnership would serve to form a tight bond, forged equally in wanton desire, love, obsession, style and this vehicle’s flawless gleaming chrome, to engender what might have soon became an ungodly union between mere human and road machine. It would surpass any desire Lu had experienced before. After all, this raw anomaly was something she had simply fallen in love with amid a sudden unexpected wave, combined with a certain fervent lust, and all this for the very first time in her meek twenty-one years on the planet.

The young Korean woman had lived with her girlfriend Emily until they argued one night and Emily walked out never to return. It bothered neither, for as folk often said there were plenty of other fish in the sea and Emily certainly wasn’t the first, nor would she be the last…who needed rules, right?

Giles Dullard stroked his scruffy grey goatee and mumbled incoherently. With his thick moustache entering his mouth and lack of teeth, the 78 year old farmer was a picture to behold, but a wise and weathered one at that, with obvious and greater life experience than the 21 year old college student seeking to purchase her first means of transport.

Lu said, “It looks in perfect shape for a ten year old scooter. But what it the dent on the front bit? I mean, don’t get me wrong, Mr Dullard, I’m interested in buying, but I need answers to certain questions, otherwise I might be making a huge mistake.”

“The knock came from my brother Jake’s head. Shortly afterwards, he went and suddenly died in hospital after some time on a ventilator. You see, miss, Jake lost an awful lot of blood and his brains were leaking out of his ear sockets.”

Lu couldn’t quite believe her own ears. But she remained steadfast and undeterred.

“I think some of his blood might still be on it. God, what a tale…somebody could write a horror story about it, I bet.”

Dullard chuckled. He turned his eyes to the greying skies this Sunday afternoon and squinted as he said, “Halloween tomorrow night… lots of horror stories about Halloween. Jake passed away last Halloween, due to his accident of course… his accident with Alexandra.”

“Who is Alexandra, sir… his girlfriend?”

Dullard looked at Lu like she was a lunatic and the question was insane. “You’re looking at Alex, miss. Alex is the bike’s name!”

There was a silence.

However, for Lu, there was also something was magical and romantic about all this.

“I have the two hundred pounds you are asking, Mr Dullard. I’ve passed my CBT and have my Provisional Licence, so I can just drive her away.”

“Alex will only cost you a fiver a week on petrol, miss. She might bog every five miles or so—bog—you know—splutter a bit—but nothing to worry about, just ride it out and she’ll be fine.”

Lu had heard this before, mostly concerning motorcycles. She said, “I’m not buying a casualty, am I, sir?”

“Alex has twelve months’ MOT. If she had issues, she wouldn’t have sailed through that MOT.”

It made perfect sense. Lu handed Giles Dullard the notes in exchange for two sets of keys.

“When are you taking her on the road?” Dullard asked, adding, “She’s quite possessive, but treat her right and she’ll treat you right.”

Alex was black with beige leather seat. The bike looked almost new.

“Tomorrow night, I’m going to a Halloween party across town. I can’t wait to show Judy.”


“Oh, she’s a girl I like. In fact, I really fancy her!”

Dullard seemed to smile amid the oily beard. “Ah, so you like to jam with the bearded clam, eh?”

Taking no offence, Lu enthused, “Yeah, she’ll be so jealous. She’ll have competition for my affections and attention. I know she’ll love Alex…”

Lu boarded the scooter and revved her up. It was the sweetest sound ever.

Shortly, she was motoring away from the farm and up the hill leading towards town, and what started as a sunny day had become cold and grey.

In the distant skies over the Cumbrian hills, sinister figures and faces seemed to appear in the black clouds, hiding away the sun, their grotesque floating shadows contorted and twisted with what appeared from a distance to be like anguish or the most terrible pain. Some of the clouds seemed to have glaring eyes, some with eyes like black pinpoints, narrowed and squinting. They seemed to stare and curse all beneath in the valleys and townships of the Lake District.

Lu slept uneasily and alone in the bedroom of her flat that night. The scooter outside in the back yard plagued her dreams, turning them into obscene nightmares, ones where she saw doomed Jake Dullard, with his brains seeping from his lugholes, dripping onto his shoulders and down his front, as he grinned perversely, his teeth yellow and green. It was like the joke she heard about teeth. “Summer Teeth… some are yellow, some are green…” But nothing was funny about these particular dreams. Amid them, Jake’s face was everywhere, mostly between her legs, whilst Lu felt his rancid breath against her crotch, his tongue arched and piercing her white cotton panties.

When she woke, it was ten past midnight… five minutes into Halloween and already she felt the true spirit of the festival.

It was cold outside but no wind or even the slightest breeze.

The country was gripped by Covid-19 and leaving the European Union. Which she had long since stopped caring about… these would always be there, especially this frightful virus nobody understood and constantly played down, as a population lied to itself and bypassed common sense, in the end seemingly holding each other under the water…

Suddenly, in the cold darkness of the bedroom, Lu heard a noise and hurriedly reached for the bedside lamp. She quickly switched it on. Lu realized with a panic that her nightmare continued, as well as acknowledging that she was not alone in the room. There was a hum, a steady burr... it sounded like a bike engine turning over. However, how could that be? After all, she was in a room two storeys up in the apartment block on Whitehaven harbour, so how could it be? Also, where was that VILE LAUGHTER coming from…?

The front of the bike had long sharp teeth and it grinned maniacally as blood and bile drooled from its mouth and dripped onto the laminated wooden floor. This created a thick scarlet pool under its axis and wheels. This monstrosity, obscenely called by a sweet innocent name as Alexandra, was now something like a mechanical creature similar to a vampire—seemed to grin from the foot of the bed where it was stationed with a figure on top, yet also appeared vicious and bloodthirsty, a machine which sought her death, and craved her blood and youthful flesh.

The obscene and withered figure of the ghostly Jake Dullard did nothing except grin idiotically from astride the burring demonic black vehicle, his brains leaking from cracks in the bone and spilling out from minor cavities in his fragmented, rotten skull. A stunned Lu was unable to so much as even mumble or mutter—never mind the impossibly inability to open her mouth to speak—for she was understandably too petrified to even move, since she was locked in a peculiar state of stock-stillness, as a desperate muted anxiety and fearfulness overtook her.

“No, no please, please no…” she managed as gravity took control and she experienced her body in the motions and revolutions of being sucked towards Alexandra, and in particular that widening, toothy, gaping mouth, as the mechanical nightmare gnashed and drooled, clacking both sets of teeth hungrily. Before unfortunate Lu knew it, her lower body was in its mouth and about to be crushed.

She screamed for the final time before the mouth clamped shut with a loud snap. Blood squirted and sprayed everywhere from her ripped flesh, as her one definitive scream proved final and short-lived.

Some way, through the bothersome chewing of its prey, the metallic vampire paused as if to catch its breath amid the slurping of blood and chomping on flesh and crunching of bone. The beast onboard, Jake Dullard, was the reason for this. The eating and movement had suddenly stopped and there was stillness in the room. Outside the window, another heavy wave of rain had resumed and a huge roaring wind had picked up. A cold October night, nothing special there for Cumbria…

Something was brewing in this room.

Jake leaned forward on the beige leather scooter seat, seeming to whisper into the protruding right-hand mirror, almost like it was an ear.

Simply, he said, “Happy Halloween, Alexandra!”

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