Not a new one, but that’s the thing about vampires: they hang in there. Sava Savanovic in fact had the distinction of being Serbia’s first vampire back in the 1700s. He was a man of means, the owner of a nice grist mill on the hill, and in his glory days, he reputedly picked off one citizen after another who brought their grain up to him for processing. It’s not a bad business plan if your business isn’t so much milling flour as drinking blood. This is the first indication we have that the good people of Zarozje might have been a little on the dull side. Mrdjvk goes up to the mill and comes back dead and drained, Jckjvckstc pops up to see what’s up, Drgnvlsc goes and gives it a whirl, no one comes back, and no one stops to consider that maybe whole grains are better for you after all. Before long a swath of the community has been disenvoweled, with repercussions to this day.
What sort of society, we moderns wonder, would tolerate the existence of one prosperous fellow on the hill who fattens himself up by gradually sucking out the very life-blood of the working people while they’re still alive? It’s preposterous. It’s what happens when people no longer have a stake in their own future. Or in something.
So now, back in Zarozje, land of the malevolent butterfly, the old grist mill finally fell down this year. And five people subsequently died. Citizens are pretty sure it’s the vampire again and are taking no chances. Of course, this is the same crew descended from the original dummies who kept marching up the hill with their bags of grain. They’re worried about a butterfly and they’ve got garlic stuffed in their pants. You might not want to take them seriously, but they have a point. Poor old Sava is now homeless and irritable, sitting at the freeway off-ramp, and if you can read his sign, you’re standing way too close.