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Haplessly Ever After

By MadMargaret

Humor / Horror

Exposition

ACT I
November 1982

Willie Loomis was bat shit crazy, or at least on a one-way street in that direction.

He had known about it for a while, and made a concerted effort to act normal at the grocery store, with his wife, at his job, at his other job…but just the idea of getting through the day was overwhelming. At night would come some pretty messed up dreams, but then he'd wonder if they were dreams after all; it was quite possible that shit had really happened.

The boy remembered at one time belonging to a vampire. He also remembered becoming a vampire, and for a while that was cool. That was when he acquired his black leather jacket, although it got ripped in a fight with the Collinsport Ghoul a/k/a Harry Johnson. Afterwards, Willie gave up his bloodsucking career to please his wife. Of course, Maggie wasn't his wife then; she wouldn't even go out with him when he was dead.

Then, just a few months later, Willie Loomis was wed to the girl he loved, and he wasn't exactly sure how he had managed that. Why would Maggie marry a Brooklyn bum when she was engaged to Joe Haskell, the handsomest, most mild-mannered guy in town? You see, now that's what didn't make sense. But it wasn't a dream; there was a ring on his finger, and a matching one on hers.

Her father, Sam Evans, didn't like the hoodlum turned handyman, not one bit. Then, suddenly, he had insisted the couple get hitched and there they were, standing in front of a judge at town hall. It was a Wednesday morning. The young man wore a second-hand suit Julia helped him purchase, and Victoria Winters stood to one side holding a bouquet of violets. Maggie's dad sat at the back of the room while her former boyfriend, Joe, paced in the hallway.

It would have been nice to have had a best man, someone on his side, but Willie had no friends. Jason was dead, and Barnabas was dead too—sort of. Buzz, while not dead, had ridden his motorcycle off into the sunrise to find greener pastures and pursue his academic interests on the highway to heavy metal heaven.

It was a quickie wedding, the result of a whirlwind romance—which was a nice way to describe what had happened. Maggie and Willie had taken off for Bangor late one Friday afternoon for the much anticipated date she once promised on a whim. Because of the ruffian's unsavory reputation, Maggie was somewhat less than forthcoming to her father about their plans.

It had started out as a quiet dinner at a respectable restaurant with a moderately-priced bottle of wine, but ended up in a hotel room for a raucous weekend of eating and wearing pizza, guzzling rum with Hawaiian Punch, and making up for a lot of lost time. When the couple sneaked back into the Evans cottage on Monday afternoon, Sam, Joe and Sheriff Patterson were waiting for them. The police officer discreetly looked the other way as his two friends slugged the troublemaker.

That evening, Willie returned to the Old House with trepidation. Holy fugnuggets, if Joe and Sam had been that mad, what was Barnabas going to do? He sat on the floor near his master's coffin, contemplating the injustice of his situation. He and Maggie Evans were both consenting adults. It was not as if he had kidnapped and raped the girl. Yes, during those three days, one of them should have picked up the telephone, but they didn't think about that—or chose not to.

The coffin lid creaked open and the vampire alit as Willie mentally prepared himself for the inevitable. Barnabas looked down at his senseless servant, a purple bruise on the boy's cheekbone evident even by the dim candlelight, and shook his head.

"Why do you and good judgment continually remain at odds?" he sighed.

"I d-dunno. I'm sorry."

"Are you now? Are you genuinely sorry for what you've done?"

His left leg started to bounce. "Uh…no."

"You do realize everyone thought Miss Evans had been abducted again? I had to bear false witness as to your whereabouts when search parties appeared at my threshold. And why? Because whenever there is wrongdoing in the village, the first suspect is invariably my manservant. Count yourself fortunate; had she been my daughter, you would be in a stockade and horsewhipped."

"I just w-wanted—"

Barnabas brought up the young man by the shoulders. "Thoughtless, selfish boy, what a disappointment you are to Julia and me." He retreated up the stairs, leaving Willie more troubled than relieved.

The vampire's displeasure compounded at the revelation that his servant was getting married and moving out of the Old House, both without permission. Julia reminded her husband that he was the boy's employer now, not his owner. Barnabas scoffed at the absurdity of modern times.

Of course, his boss hadn't attended Willie's wedding but, at Julia's insistence, paid for the suit and the rings, and gifted the couple with $100, the equivalent of two years' salary for a literate servant in his day. Barnabas considered it more of an apology to the Evans family. He also afforded the lad the time and means with which to document his existence, as he could not apply for a marriage license without a birth certificate or Social Security card. To everyone's great relief, Willie's blood test came back negative of any abnormalities.

So Mr. and Mrs. Loomis lived happily ever after.

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