“But How Will Brexit Affect Vampires?” by Lita Kurth

Dec 20th, 2016 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

In a huge cavern in Transylvania, a hundred thousand bats gathered for an emergency meeting, clinging in tribal clusters from stalactites. At the center of the cave, various national representatives nudged and wedged themselves into better spots, until a huge ancient bat with scarred wings, raised his head and emitted a sonorous whistle. All fell quiet.

“I must convey extremely bad news,” the ancient bat said. “We no longer have an account at the Blood Bank of England.”

A groan went up. A mother bat extricated her wing from her children and waved wildly. “But I’ve been feeding my kids English blood their whole lives!”

The ancient bat nodded. “It’s a big change, but I hear there’s a good chance the Blood Bank of Scotland or of Northern Ireland can step in. It’s even richer blood, I hear.”

“Nothing like Celtic blood,” boasted a Scots bat, but everyone could see the vested interest in that, and worry remained palpable. A flurry of questions ensued: “What if other blood banks withdraw? What if they charge higher prices? What if because of red tape, blood takes so long to get here, that it spoils?”

The ancient bat raised a wing. “We have an even bigger issue,” he said. “Forty percent of our membership want us to consider tight national boundaries.”

A bat from Spain flew off the wall. “Brothers and sisters, we’ve always been international. Like squirrels, like deer, like falcons, we know no boundaries.”

“Animals? Speak for yourself! I’m a spiritual essence that occasionally takes material form,” proclaimed a bat whose flag was apparently hand-made. No one recognized the country.

The Spanish bat grimaced. “This is just a capitalist ploy to beat down the workers, region by region, country by country, and destroy our high standards in product quality and working life! Don’t let them do it! We’re stronger together.”

“We’re a mess together,” said a small-town bat from Nottinghamshire. “And I prefer local blood. You never know what they put in foreign blood.”

“Then maybe you shouldn’t be allowed into Transylvania! Apparently, you don’t mind being exploited as long as it’s under the Union Jack!” spat out a German bat. “You’ll be drinking Chinese blood with a British label.”

All the bats were murmuring now, shoving, pushing, and glaring. After numerous attempts, a bat in spectacles made himself heard. “From a strictly empirical and biological viewpoint, we need a diverse diet. The EU has helped each country retain its smaller farms, its genetic array. Better blood for us.”

“Until we’re in debt and they starve us in the streets!” shrieked a Greek bat.

“What do you want? Another world war?” cried out the Spanish bat.

The noise subsided. Everyone enjoyed a blood bath, but there was a price: a tainted and anemic blood supply for years afterward.

The ancient bat sighed. “Let’s keep our wars small and continual and preferably out of the EU. Shall we have a show of wings for staying in the EU, please?”

Most wings went up. There seemed to be general agreement.

Then a flapping like that of flags in a high wind arose from the far corridors of the cavern. Unknown bats with razors in their claws tore into their brethren, killing, maiming. The cavern echoed with shrieks. Most fled madly toward the exit. Some abandoned their children. Some suffocated in the crush. Some, the Spanish bat among them, stayed to fight and, after fierce battle, overcame the unknown enemy. As he lay bleeding and dying on the dirt, the Spanish bat noticed, scattered among the dead intruders, the banners they had carried in: a French flag, a British flag, a Spanish flag, all dirtied, all torn.


Lita Kurth received her MFA from Pacific Lutheran University and has published work in three genres. Her CNF, “Pivot,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her CNF “This is the Way We Wash the Clothes,” presented at the Working Class Studies conference, 2013, won the 2014 Diana Woods Memorial Award (summer-fall 2014) and appeared in Lunchticket 2014. She teaches private workshops online and in her living room (Lita Kurth Writing Workshops on Facebook). In 2013, she co-founded the Flash Fiction Forum, a reading series in San Jose. She contributes to Tikkun.org/tikkundaily, TheReviewReview.net, classism.org, and San Jose’s Metro.

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