The Vampire Kiss



A poor boy tries to defend his family from attacks by an attractive female vampire.


  • The narrator of the framing story is Mr. Fagin of Oliver Twist, and the protagonist Tommy is one of his pickpocket boys, as is Jack Dawkins, who is also known as the Artful Dodger.
  • Tommy may be Tom Chitling, though Fagin describes the Tommy of the story as having been caught and transported (to Australia). In the novel, Chitling has just been released from a six-week prison sentence when he is introduced to Oliver Twist. He escapes the arrests that lead to Fagin's being hanged, so it seems unlikely this is the same person. (However, it may be of interest that Tom Chitling is shown to be in love, and says "So I do do, as she bids me.")
  • Wolfe also used a Dickens character as a narrator in Our Neighbor by David Copperfield.
  • The vampire kisses Tommy for not staking her, which makes him the envy of all his friends, but not destroying her allowed her to finish off his mother. This story seems to illustrate the power of sexual attraction winning over family ties. "She was so beautiful."

Unresolved Questions

  • Did anything happen between Tommy and the vampire during the blank-memory period when he looked into her grave? The "spot o' tallow on her bodice" seems rather suggestive.
  • Despite checking the cellar during the day and supposedly finding nothing out of the ordinary, Tommy is compelled to return that night. Did Tommy and the vampire interact when he was in the cellar the first time? His return that night seems like a post-hypnotic suggestion.

Return to Online Stories