It was just before midnight when a cloud covered the moon and a bat flew right in front of me. Before I had time to worry about whether I was up to date on my rabies shots, it had transformed into a pale man in a black cloak.
“I have come to suck your blood!” he said in a heavy Eastern European accent.
Years of watching television and movies had prepared me well. I put my hands together into the sign of the cross.
“Oy. Again with the crosses! What do I look like, the Pope?”
The accent was the clue. “You’re Jewish?”
“You think I don’t look Jewish? I’m wearing all black! You want I should have the hat and forelocks, too?”
I groaned. “But…you can’t be Jewish. Jews aren’t allowed to drink blood.”
“Okay Mr. Big-Shot Rabbinical Authority. You’ve never heard of pikuach nefesh? You’re allowed to violate the law if you need to do it to live. What do you want me to eat? Gefilte fish?
“But you’re not allowed to invoke pikuach nefesh in order to justify killing someone.”
“So maybe I don’t kill someone. Maybe I just leave you drained and a little bit blechedich.”
I didn’t know what blechedich meant, but it sounded ominous. I had a plan, but I needed to buy time. I started walking – not running away, just looking like I was pacing as I thought. The vampire followed effortlessly, floating beside me.
“The problem is, it’s not just that my blood isn’t kosher. I’m chametz”
“Chametz? You’re flour? You’re leavened bread?”
“No. But I ate lots of bread just before coming out here. Loads of bread. French bread, tortillas, naans, croissants, every type of bread you can think of. I’m sure it’s all in my bloodstream.”
“You ate bread? But it’s Pesach!”
“So maybe I’m not the most frum Jew in the world.”
“Not the most frum Jew in the world? Complicated Talmudic controversy, this is not! Not eating chametz on Passover is the basics!”
“Okay, fine, maybe I’m not religious at all. Maybe I’m the kind of Jew they kick out of Reform synagogues for not being observant enough. Whatever. The point is, I ate chametz, my blood is chametz, and it’s not going to kill you to go find somebody else who didn’t eat any bread today.”
“So you’re not religious. Why should I have to suffer because you’re not religious? It’s not like I’ve come to suck your stomach contents.”
I started walking a little faster. I was almost home now. Once I was in front of my house, if I made a run for it I might be able to get into the door. And once I was across the threshold, I knew vampires couldn’t come inside unless invited.
“So that’s actually not relevant. You’re not supposed to benefit indirectly from chametz on Pesach. So if I eat the chametz and use it to form my blood, and you drink my blood, then you’re benefitting. This is why some people won’t drink milk on Passover if they can’t prove the cow didn’t have chametz.”
“Milk, schmilk. Everyone agrees you can have meat on Pesach no matter what the cow ate.”
“So I think blood is more like milk. It’s a liquid product of the body, rather than part of the body itself.”
“It’s more like meat. It’s a part of the body, used to sustain the body, rather than something that’s meant to go outside of it.”
I had exhausted my knowledge of dietary law, but that was okay, because my distraction had been successful. I was in front of my own house now. With a burst of speed, I ran through the front yard, flung the door open, and made it into my living room. “Ha!” I said. “I’m over the threshold! And I’m not going invite you in!”
The vampire shrugged, walked straight across the threshold, and grabbed me by the neck.
“How?!” was the last word I managed to say before losing consciousness.
“You are not so frum a Jew? Well, maybe I am not so frum a vampire.”