Did he told you --
what he's got me doing tonight?
No he didn't.
He wants me to go pick up some alien spellcaster kid
from some spicy food eating contest in uhaigha
and bring him back to widowshild.
Sounds like fun.
No, it does not sound like fun
it sounds like kidnapping
When has that ever stopped us before?
We're not kidnappers!
We are a lot of things but
we are not kidnappers
Well I guess tonight, you are.
// WIDOWSHILD TOWNHOME //
I, Mandarc, haven’t been here since Friday Perkins left the fold. And now, here I am, back again.
Only this time, I’m doing penance.
When I drive up, Emmitt is still suffering ill-effects from the chilis.
IF YOU’RE GOING TO THROW UP, GO AROUND OUT BACK, OKAY?
I’LL BE HERE.
He leaves, clutching his mouth, and heads for the back of the house. I remove my cellphone from my pocket.
You would never give Cedric a direct order.
Cedric has learned to do what's right without being told.
He's self-isolating on a drug binge!
I have you -- I'm using you.
What about Trente Gagarin?
You think I can't protect myself from Trente Gagarin?
You dishonor me.
And I knew I could say no more.
When I look up from my cellphone, Emmitt is coming around to the front of the house again. He has tears dotting the corners of his eyes and is still doubled over his stomach in pain.
He says he’s tired. I say that laying down until the worst of the pain has subsided is a bad idea.
The digestive system works best when vertical.
So I ask him to play chess with me.
On the porch is an outdoor set for which I’ve always had a certain affection. The pieces are hand-carved and the bottoms are set with strong magnets so as to resist the wind.
I always used to sit out here when the weather was amenable.
So we played chess in the rain.
His blue skin unnerves me. It’s an intense blue, like a cartoon character. Even the most normal of Mortals sends shivers down my spine.
I’m not accustomed to this.
When I get to the bedroom, Friday has left a pair of her lacey undergarments strewn over the comforter.
I attempt to squirrel it away without him noticing.
I probably failed.
Fuck you, Friday Perkins. Fuck you.
When Emmitt wakes up in the morning, the first thing his instinct does is bombard me with questions.
WHY IS THE BEDROOM IN THE BASEMENT?
“Cedric has learned to do what’s right without being told.”
I must feign politeness.
BECAUSE IT’S ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY.
How would I want someone to speak to me?
I’M A VAMPIRE.
His expression opens in surprise.
YOU’RE A – ?
How do I field that one?
I try to suppress laughter. It seems inappropriate for the moment.
When he later leaves me to go prepare breakfast, the odiferous scent of burnt eggs reaches me in the basement. It makes me gag. I go upstairs to interrupt his process.
YOU SHOULDN’T EAT THOSE.
THE EGGS ARE STILL –
NO THEY’RE NOT.
I CAN SMELL IT.
THEY’VE GONE ROTTEN.
BUT I DID THE FLOAT TEST…
The smell is overwhelming.
THROW IT AWAY, OKAY?
THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING ELSE IN THIS GOD-FORSAKEN HOUSE YOU CAN EAT.
I THINK I SAW SOME BURRITOS IN THE FREEZER –
GREAT GREAT SOUNDS GREAT.
And I go back downstairs to prepare a drink.
All I have left is leftover fruit from Caleb’s gift at New Year’s Eve. They’ve started to go soft.
I hear the telltale squeak of the shower switching off. Emmitt has located the facilities adjacent to the indoor lap pool.
I am glad I didn’t have to give him a tour.
I am in my cups when he joins me again.
DOES YOUR GIRLFRIEND LIKE IT HERE?
HER NAME IS FRIDAY PERKINS.
AND YEAH. I THINK SHE DID LIKE IT HERE.
SHE NEVER COMPLAINED.