Tommy’s favourite grandmother died on a Friday. He had a half-day from school on Friday and there was no-one there to collect him. The headmistress, Mrs Etherly, came out to the gate to fetch him and he had to wait in her office until his mum got there. The headmistress gave him peppermint sweets and after that the smell of peppermint made him sad.
When Tommy’s Mum came to Mrs Etherly’s office her eyes were red and she couldn’t smile even though she did try when she saw him. She gave him a big hug and when they were in the car she told him “Nan’s gone to heaven.” Tommy didn’t say a word for the rest of that day, or all day Saturday or even Sunday. Tommy was afraid to look at his Dad, because he always thought that grown-ups didn’t cry but now Dad was crying all the time.
On the day of the funeral Tommy wasn’t sad anymore. Tommy and Nan had read a lot of books together, you see, and he had a plan.
On the morning of the funeral he took the cross his other nan had given him off his wall and hid it under his bed. When his mum wasn’t looking, he threw out all the garlic. During the funeral he sat very still and quiet as old people tried to hug and kiss him and said stupid things like “She’s gone to sleep” and “she’ll always be watching over you.” That night he went to bed early and waited until the house was very quiet before getting up again. He put on black clothes like a spy on a night mission and tiptoed out of the house and walked up to the graveyard. They had buried his nan but there was no gravestone yet. He had asked Mum why and she told him he didn’t want to know. He DID want to know or he wouldn’t have asked but she wasn’t going to tell him.
He could find it anyway because of the big green carpet. He sat down on the grass beside it and started to cry. “I know vampires are meant to be evil but you’ll never be evil,” he whispered to her. “When you wake up you’ll never die and then you can turn me into a vampire too so I’ll never die either and we can be together forever.”
Tommy knew that if you walked over somebody’s grave they would become a vampire. At the funeral he had been very careful not to tread on anybody’s grave by accident. Now he stood up and carefully stepped over Nan’s grave. He waited for a moment and then stepped over again, and then a third time, just to make sure. Then he sat beside the grave and waited. When it was a bit bright, but not really bright, he went home.
For the rest of the week Tommy stayed awake all night waiting for his Nan to come back.
She never did.