"They can't be serious!" Jimmy said, "The safest place for a vampire to hide is the town where the Vampsnuffer lives?"
Kate sighed and stared blankly at the computer screen. She, Pete and Jimmy were all uncomfortably quiet for a few moments. They heard the morning traffic passing on the street outside.
Pete finally spoke, "That could mean that for any vampire, no place is any safer than Sangreville."
She sighed again, this time with a whimper in her voice.
The cell phone on Jimmy's belt rang. He grabbed it, and put the device to his ear.
"Hi." He said, "Vicky?"
"No." A man spoke. "I'm not Victoria Milford. I'm calling a Mr. James Manetti."
"That's me. I'm James Manetti. Who are you?"
"My name is Lawrence MacKenzie, Mr. Manetti. I am an attorney. I work for the firm of Vidamort Corp."
Pete and Kate both looked startled, while Jimmy continued listening to the man on the phone.
"Yes." The man said, "I have been retained to represent the legal interests of Miss Victoria Milford."
"Oh I see." Jimmy spoke to Pete and Kate. "Vicky's got herself a lawyer."
"Good idea." Pete said
Kate nodded. "She's gonna need one."
"Listen Mr. MacKenzie." Jimmy told him, "I have good news for your client. I have an eyewitness who can give testimony, that Vicky Milford was not the Vampire who killed Kate Nellington. Miss Nellington has returned as a vampire herself, and has identified her real killer as another vampire named Roxanna."
"That's good to hear, but do you know that for an actual fact, or is that just hearsay?"
"What I did hear, was Miss Nellington say that herself."
"Would you know how I can contact her, so we can arrange for a meeting, where she can give me a sworn deposition?"
"Could you please hold on a moment?"
Jimmy spoke to Kate. "Vicky's lawyer wants to meet with you, so you can make a sworn deposition, identifying the vampire who actually killed you."
Pete spoke, "Do either of you realize just how strange that statement sounds?"
Kate told him, "Nobody realizes that more than I do, Pete.
"Jimmy." She told him, "Tell Vicky's lawyer, that Roxanna gave me the impression, that his bimbo client put her up to it."
Jimmy resumed speaking on the phone. "If Kate gives you her deposition, it would be definitely detrimental to your client. I've spoken to Vicky Milford myself, and she's exercising her Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination."
"Yes, I know, but that's not the only reason I called. I'm also representing her business interests. I understand, Mr. Manetti, is that you and she are both part owners of the nightclub, the Climaxes."
"Oh, I see. You not only want to take a deposition, you want a business meeting too?"
"Yes. As soon as possible, sometime today perhaps. My calendar is clear this afternoon, from 2:30 to 3 PM. Can you be in my office then?"
"Not this afternoon." Jimmy told him, "You seem to be forgetting that Miss Kate Nellington is now a vampire, and she can't go outside in the daylight. It could be detrimental to her existence."
"Right. So how about us meeting in my office this evening?"
"This evening? You want the two of us to come to Vidamort Corp.'s headquarters tonight, when all their vampire employees, including Roxanna, will be on the job? Forget it Mr. MacKenzie. It could not only be detrimental to Miss Nellington’s existence, but mine also. If you want a meeting, it will have to be in a place and time when it will be safe for everybody."
"Very well Mr. Manetti. Can you suggest a place and time?"
"I'm not sure. I'll have to get back to you on that Mr. MacKenzie."
Then Jimmy clicked off his cell phone.
Jimmy said, "A lawyer from Vidamort Corp. is not only Vicky's lawyer. He also works with Roxanna. It's obvious to me, that he doesn't really want any deposition. He wants to know where you are, so Roxanna and her friends can eliminate you as a witness, Kate."
She said, "And this is the first place they'll come looking! As soon as it gets dark."
Pete said, "Then we've got to get you out of L.A. before dark, but you can't go any place outside until after sunset, which is around 6:30."
She spoke bitterly. "Maybe you should lock me in the walk in refrigerator. It can't harm me now."
Now another male voice called out from the main floor. "Who's here? Who's in the office?"
Pete said, "Harry?"
"He is the D.J." Jimmy said, "He does have a key."
Kate said, "He's my brother. We have to let him know about me."
"I'm Jimmy, Harry! We're all in here!"
Harry Edelstein stepped through the doorway, but he wasn't alone. A woman was with him. She was in her mid-twenties, wore a stylish, light green business outfit and had expensively coiffeured hair. Pete recognized her. He'd seen her in the club before, but they'd never spoken.
Harry said, "Hi Jimmy, Pete. Hi..."
He was startled to see who was seated behind the desk.
His sister said, "You're not alone?"
He said, "You're not dead!"
The woman declared, "Yes she is, Mr. Edelstein. To be more specific, she's undead."
Now Jimmy asked, "And just who are you?"
"Guys. Everyone." Harry replied, "This is Loretta Carolton. She is an employee of the Demon-Snuffers Agency. Miss Carolton, this is Jimmy Manetti, part owner of this establishment. He is Pete Ramsey, boyfriend of..." he pointed uneasily "my 'late' sister Miss Kate Nellington."
Miss Carolton reached in her handbag and took out a cross that she held up for everyone to see. Kate turned her head away and raised her hands to shield her eyes, as her fangs became extended.
"Put that away!" She shouted. "I'm not gonna hurt anyone! I've already eaten!"
Now the woman asked, "Anyone you know?"
Jimmy called out, "No lady! She's only had pigs' blood!"
Miss Carolton asked, "Are you sure of that?"
Now Pete spoke. "Will you put that away lady? Things are hard enough for all of us, as it is."
"Not 'til she retracts her fangs."
Kate did as the woman asked.
"Okay." The woman put the cross back in her handbag. "But if she gets up out of that chair, I'm taking it out again."
"No problem." Now Kate said, “‘Demon-Snuffers’? I've been checking things out, on the Vampires' Handbook website. It says that Demon-Snuffers is a detective agency that hunts demonic beings."
Harry spoke. "I didn't hire them to hunt you Kate. If I knew you were 'back', believe me, I wouldn't have brought her in here."
"I know that Harry. It's okay."
"I've hired them to hunt down that vampire bitch Roxanna, who did this to you."
"Good." Kate spoke to the woman, "While you're at it, how'd you like to add the vampire bimbo Vicky Milford to the list? She's the one who put her up to it."
Loretta spoke to Jimmy, "Isn't this Victoria Milford the one who you posted that $100,000 reward for?"
"The reward for Vicky's been canceled." He said, "Kate was misinformed about her involvement. I'm reposting the reward for Roxanna instead."
"Mr. Manetti!” Loretta told him, “I believe that Miss Nellington here could be much better served, if you spent your time, instead of your money, on restoring her soul, before she does kill somebody.”
The others were all startled.
Pete asked, "Restore her soul? After she’s been killed, and is now a vampire? I didn’t know that was possible?"
“Neither did I until recently.” The woman told them, “What I know is that it involves the use of a certain specific artifact. That artifact is the consecrated, shrunken head of a Snuffer-Vamp-Snuffer with fangs.”
“What!” Pete exclaimed, while the others were now even more startled.
Jimmy repeated, ”’Shrunken head of a Vampsnuffer’?”
Kate tapped the laptop computer on the desk in front of her. “I’ve been checking things here on the internet. I’m trying to find out as much as I can about being a vampire. According to what I’ve read, the Vampsnuffer is the one person, who vampires like myself and Vicky, and every other vampire there is, should avoid most.”
Loretta told them, “I don’t mean that you should decapitate the present, living Vampsnuffer. I said a ‘Snuffer-Vampsnuffer’. That is an already dead Vampsnuffer. Specifically one who was killed by a vampire and then come back as a vampire herself, with fangs of her own. After that, she was killed a second time, decapitated and then her head was shrunk.”
Everyone looked at each other with very puzzled expressions on their faces.
“Oh.” Kate spoke. “Now I see. None of us could be in any kind danger, from a Vampsnuffer who’s already dead.”
Peter said, “And none of us want to be in any danger from Kate the Vampire. What does a vampire’s shrunken head have to do with her soul being restored?"
“Her soul can be restored,” The woman told them, “if she hasn’t killed anyone. Miss Nellington would have to stand, in the presence of someone with magical powers, who’d be speaking the proper incantation in Latin, while holding the consecrated shrunken head of a snuffer vampsnuffer. That should restore her soul."
The others were all silent for a long bewildered moment.
Then Jimmy asked Loretta, “You can’t be serious?”
Harry said, “That is just too weird.”
“And totally gross.” said Pete.
Now Kate shouted, "Wait a minute! I don’t care how weird or gross it is, as long as it works!"
She asked Loretta, "I suppose you know where one of those ‘weird’ and ‘totally gross’ artifacts can be found?"
"What I’ve been told," the woman told them all, "by a very reliable source, is that one such consecrated shrunken head can now be found, with her fangs extended, in a magic shop in Sangreville; where a certain individual with magical powers, can also be found.”