Fat White Vampire Blues
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Jules Duchon was a real New Orleans vampire. Born and bred in the working-class Ninth Ward, bitten and smitten with the Big Easy. Driving through the French Quarter, stuck in a row of bumper-to-bumper cars that crept along Decatur Street like a caravan of bone-weary camels, Jules Duchon barely fit behind the steering wheel of his very big Cadillac taxicab. Even with the seat pushed all the way back.
Damn, he was hungry.
Jules stopped his cab, pressed the wobbly rocker switch that jerked the electric windows reluctantly to life, and stuck his head into the humid night air. “Hey, baby. You interested in some dinner?”
–from Fat White Vampire Blues
Vampire, nosferatu, creature of the night–whatever you call him–Jules Duchon has lived (so to speak) in New Orleans far longer than there have been drunk coeds on Bourbon Street. Weighing in at a whopping four hundred and fifty pounds, swelled up on the sweet, rich blood of people who consume the fattiest diet in the world, Jules is thankful he can’t see his reflection in a mirror. When he turns into a bat, he can’t get his big ol’ butt off the ground.
What’s worse, after more than a century of being undead, he’s watched his neighborhood truly go to hell–and now, a new vampire is looking to drive him out altogether. See, Jules had always been an equal opportunity kind of vampire. And while he would admit that the blood of a black woman is sweeter than the blood of a white man, Jules never drank more than his fair share of either. Enter Malice X . Young, cocky, and black, Malice warns Jules that his days of feasting on sisters and brothers are over. He tells Jules he’d better confine himself to white victims–or else face the consequences. And then, just to prove he isn’t kidding, Malice burns Jules’s house to the ground.
With the help of Maureen, the morbidly obese, stripper-vampire who made him, and Doodlebug, an undead cross-dresser who (literally) flies in from the coast– Jules must find a way to contend with the hurdles that life throws at him . . . without getting a stake through the heart. It’s enough to give a man the blues.
distinct words. He saw what Doodlebug wanted him to do. But it seemed impossible-no one could transform as fast as he was being asked to. Then another image invaded his brain. The image of a miniature train racing steadily around its track. It calmed him, centered him. As they approached Malice X, Jules knew he could do what he had to. He concentrated on an empty bathtub. He pictured his hands turning on the spigots. Liquid Jules flowed out the faucet. He grabbed the spigots and twisted them to
body sway as he fell into micro sleeps. He was hallucinating, dreaming. He had to be. Otherwise, the clouds of mist condensing above the glass panes of the greenhouse and seeping in beneath the garden’s doors made no sense at all One crash, then another, and suddenly it was raining glass. Jules saw, in the midst of the descending shards, a pair of large, wedge-shaped gray forms. The creatures landed on four powerful legs and immediately moved to cut Malice X off from Jules. The three clouds of
eyes. “ ‘Helped’ me? Helped mehow?” He saw what might’ve been the tiniest of blushes light up her cheeks. “I hope you don’t mind, dearest-I gave you a little push. You were waffling so-I wasn’t sure if you were going to fight or run away to Argentina-so I decided to give you a reason to do the right thing.” “What-what are you talkin‘ about?” “Well-llllllll…” Her dimpled face took on a Shirley Temple expression of mischief mixed with innocence. “You see, what happened was, I went to Malice X
deceased for nearly thirty years. Jules wasn’t sure that Dr. Amos Landrieu, onetime city coroner, was still among the living; after all, he’d been near retirement age when he’d been voted out of office twenty-three years ago. But so long as the Lincoln didn’t throw a piston on the way, Jules was determined to make this a night of reunions. The name on the mailbox in front of the big old Greek Revival-style house on Cleveland Avenue, near the Jewish cemetery, still readAMOS LANDRIEU, M.D. The
‘concerned citizens’ over there across the lake are trying to convince him to make another run for office. They’re holdin’ a big rally a couple of nights from now.” He shook his head sadly. “People like that give me the willies. I don’t know what your politics are, pal. But me, my folks brought me over from Germany when I was five years old. Just before WW Two. So people like that… well, they give me the willies, is all.” Jules had never given Nathan Knight and his followers much thought. Or any