The Littlest Vampire was very excited. Tonight he would get to ride his very first steam train. The trains had never run at night before and he was so very keen to see the black pluming smoke and feel the prickling of dust in his eyes.
He stood on the moonlit platform, shrouded in his little black cape and with his father’s best top hat sitting atop his tiny head. The brim fell over his eager and bright eyes, obscuring his view of the star speckled sky.
The silence fell in droves around him as he waited for the train to arrive; excitement carving its way through his stomach like a sink hole. He glanced from left to right, hoping to catch a glimpse of its sparkling headlight in the distance, but something else caught his eye.
A dark figure sat upon the hard metal bench that loomed up out of the darkness a few feet away. Tall and imposing, the person made The Littlest Vampire uncomfortable. The shadow turned its head to face him, its bright eyes reflecting in the half light of the moon.
It was a man, tall and thin sporting a mess of facial hair and long red locks that reached his shoulder blades. The suit he wore gave him an air of sophistication and importance that the little vampire envied. The man grinned across the platform at him.
“I like trains.” He said, filling the silence with his deep and mellow voice.
The Littlest Vampire crept forward, taking tentative and slow steps on his chubby little feet.
“Today’s my birthday you know.” The man mused. “I’m travelling to find myself a top hat. My old one is all battered and bruised now so I thought I’d treat myself to a new one.”
The vampire crept so close he could rest his nose upon the arm of the seat, his wide saucer eyes gazing up at the man who stared out into the blackness and he wondered about him idly.
His little face lit up in the darkness, suddenly illuminated with the light of the on-coming train. Excitedly he bounded forward, his cape flapping behind him in the breeze.
The man stood, his hands stuffed into the pockets of his great, long trench coat. He moved not a muscle as the little vampire danced and whirled silently around him. The steam and smoke billowed up as the great, black engine roared into the station.
The Littlest Vampire gaped at the locomotive, open mouthed and awe struck, taking in its huge size. The man had stepped up into the train and now stood there in the doorway, a small smile playing on his lips as he watched the tiny creature become consumed with happiness.
Holding out a hand the man helped the little vampire scramble up into the carriage.
“Welcome to the Orient Express.” He gestured about him to the finery that the carriage played host to.
The vampire gasped with joy and wonder and twirled happily around in erratic circles; trying to drink in every last drop of splendor. The man had settled himself into a seat at the back of the dining cart; a cup of sherbet lemon tea in one hand and a saucer in the other. The little vampire peered around the door frame of the neighboringcarriage, a silent plea in his black eyes.
The man peered at him over the rim of his china cup, his reading glasses slightly fogged from the steam that rose in little clouds from the sweet liquid. Placing the cup and saucer on the table he patted the seat next to him. The tiny vampire let out a small squeak of delight before running full pelt up the doorframe, across the ceiling and down the back wall of the carriage to do a tiny summersault into the seat next to the man.
The giant poured a little lemon tea into his saucer and slid it across the table to the vampire, who chugged it down greedily, little drops of tea sliding down his chin. His happiness filled him like a warm, fuzzy glow of sunlight, pouring into his soul.
The man huffed in frustration as he attempted to fill in his crossword, his wooden pen with the gilded name “Luke” sprawled across it in golden lettering.
The little vampire was thoughtful. The man had been so kind to him he wanted to give him a present, it was his birthday after all, but what could he give his giant? He took off his top hat to scratch at his head as he pondered the question.
It suddenly came to him, a flash of inspiration. Turning to face the man he pulled his feet up underneath him and sat upon his haunches with an eager face. He held out his top hat, stretching across the small space between them to put it into the man’s upturned hands.
The Littlest Vampire grinned from ear to pointed ear as the man raised one eyebrow at him in surprise.
“Happy birthday Mr Luke!” The small vampire squeaked in delight. The man smiled as he let the little vampire place the hat atop his head. His look was now complete.