A half-hour after sunset that evening, the door to the Forbidden Arts R Us opened. Francine Forella looked up from behind the counter. One guy stepped through the doorway. He was one of the two from L.A, who’d been in here earlier that afternoon. He was accompanied by a blonde woman with a good figure, in her early twenties.
Pilar now sat alone at the large round table near the back of the selling floor, again looking over some books.
She raised her hand, and wiggled her fingers in Pete and Kate’s direction.
“Hi there.” She spoke cautiously. “How’re you doin’?”
“Good evening.” Pete told her, “How we’re doing, remains to be seen.”
She called out to Francine, “She’s one of the vampire gals I re-ensouled this afternoon!”
Peter and Kate looked around cautiously. The proprietor nodded and looked at both customers with caution.
She asked Pete, “Where’s that other guy you came in here with?”
Pilar added, “And the other gal, who you were in the motel room with?”
“They had to go back to L.A. They’re part owners of a Sunset Strip nightclub, and they’ve got some business they have to deal with immediately.”
Now Francine told them. “There was a vampire woman who showed up at Zeke’s Place last night. She said she owned an L.A. nightclub. There was a volley-head game on the TV. She asked Zeke how to arrange for a closed circuit hookup, so they could start showing the Demonic Games live, at her place.”
“Demonic Games?” Pete repeated, “’Volley-head’?”
Kate’s eyes lit up. “You mean they really do knock decapitated human heads back and forth over a net?”
“That’s right.” The woman nodded. “The recreational activity they were engaged in is no game for wussies.”
The vampire gal smiled, “Oh I think that’s wonderful! I’d love to attend a game!”
Pete said uneasily, “You would?”
Kate nodded happily.
“I understand that.” he told her “You being a new vampire and all, but don’t expect me to be buying any tickets.”
“Oh Peter.” She pouted. “Don’t be a wus.”
Francine told him, “That’s right Mister. ‘Wus’.”
“Now just a minute!”
She spoke to Kate. “I tell you gal, this entire Dimension is dying from Wussyism.”
She repeated what she’d told the other vampire woman who she’d met the night before.
“I remember back in the Demon Realm, when I attended ole' Beelzebub High. All our team sports were genuine massacres; and everyone who got killed, had his or her head impaled on a stake. During my senior year, I fought as a member of the girls’ squad, on the Gladiator Team. I killed more than a dozen opponents, and I got killed myself four times, and each time that happened, my own head was impaled on a stake. Then the next day, our headless bodies stood up, walked over to the stakes, picked up our heads, and put them back on.”
Now Kate gasped softly. “That’s where I was. That’s what I was doing; and I was enjoying it.”
Pete looked at her, with a very puzzled expression. “You were there? Doing…? Enjoying?”
She nodded, “Just a vague memory. That was after I was killed and before I became undead. I was in Hell; though it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as where Victoria ended up. I was actually enjoying myself; or maybe I was just hallucinating.”
“That was no hallucination.” Ms. Forella told her, “You were in Good Girls Hell.”
Pete asked, “There’s a Hell for ‘Good Girls’?”
The woman told him, “A lot of good girls do got to Hell sir.”
“But Kate? “ He asked, “In any kind of Hell?”
Kate told him, “It was no surprise to me Pete. Is it really a surprise to you?”
"Oh that sounds wonderful!" Now Kate spoke with scorn. "Too bad those games can only be played in the demon realm."
The woman told her, “Well you can always purchase DVDs of the events.”
Pete repeated, “’DVDs’?”
“Right.” The woman pointed across the selling floor. “We have a whole shelf full of them.
"Like you said." The proprietor told Kate, "It’s too bad you can only watch them on DVDs. Now personally, those are the kind of games I'd like see them start playing here at our local alma mater, Sangreville High, but it’s just never gonna stop being a wussy school."
“Hey! Francine!” Pilar called out. "That’s going too far! When I was a Sangreville Cheerleader, more than half of us got vamped! We knew the danger, but we cheered, and waved those pom-poms at those night games anyway! The guys called me a ‘good pussy’ not a ‘wussy’!"
Kate sighed. “Oh, I wish I’d attended high school here!”
Pete looked uneasily at her again, making a troubled groan.
She spoke to him. “You know Pete, that Handbook is right. Being a vampire doesn’t have to suck.”
Now he spoke to Francine. “You’ve actually lived in the ‘Demon Realm’? You attended a ‘Beelzebub High’?”
“That’s correct. Mr.” She hesitated, “By the way what is your name?”
“I’m Peter Ramsey. She is Miss Kathleen Nellington.”
“Hello both of you. I am a demon in human form, who has just celebrated her 1146th birthday.”
Pilar had got up from the table and come over to them.
She chuckled, “And none of us have any idea of how she was able to blow out all those candles on her birthday cake.”
Pete repeated, “Demon?”
“That’s right. My name’s Francine Forella, of the Demonic Order of Beelzebub.”
Pete interrupted, “Francine Forella?” He pointed to the poster in the front window. “Are you the one who’s running for the State Assembly?”
“Yes.” She told him, “That Candidate is me.”
He sounded puzzled. “A Demon’s qualified to run for Government Office?”
“Why certainly.” She told him. “I am an American Citizen of the Demonic Persuasion, who is well qualified to represent the, shall we say ‘unique’ Constituency of this Assembly District; and I am campaigning against the widespread domination of Wussyism in our culture.”
Kate said, “Good. We demonic and undead beings do deserve to be represented. Don’t you agree Pete?”
He hesitated. Then he said “If the local voters agree, why not?”
She went on, “And as a brand new vampire, I agree with Ms. Forella. We’ve just got to get rid of all this Wussyism; beginning with yours.”
Now Pete said, “Wait a minute!”
Kate spoke sharply. “You don’t agree?”
He told her, “Let’s get out of here now, Kate.”
“No Pete. Remember why we’re here. We need her help!”
The demon woman asked, “Help in what way?”
Pete told her, “It’s our friends Jimmy Manetti, who was in here with me, and the other vampire woman who you met last night, and who Pilar here re-ensouled a few hours ago. It’s like she told you. They are owners of a nightclub in L.A. There is an organization named Vidamort Corp, that’s trying to take over the business.”
Pilar gasped. She and Francine both looked troubled.
“Vidamort?” Francine said, “They’re a very dangerous organization, to both the living and the undead, along with us demonic beings too.”
“Yeah.” Pete told her. “That’s what we’ve been hearing from everybody. They’ll be too much for our friends to deal with on their own, and we’ve been wondering if there’s some way you might be able to help.”
“Against Vidamort?” The Demon woman spoke seriously. “Believe me, they are beings who everybody, both human and demonic, should be careful dealing with; especially humans. It’s best for humans to avoid dealing with them totally.”
Kate said, “But our human friends are in trouble with them; and we have to do something to help.”
Pete spoke to Pilar. “Can we use your help again? Maybe you can speak the same incantation that restored Kate’s and Vicky’s souls. Do the same for the folks who work at Vidamort Corp?”
The troubled Pilar shook her head, “I’m sorry. I was able to handle two vampires who hadn’t killed anyone yet. They were also willing to repent and be re-ensouled; but if a vampire’s unwilling and unrepentant, that just not possible. Then there’s another thing. When it comes to the demonically owned and operated Vidamort Corp, which does not encourage repentance, I’d just be taking on too much.
“I’m sorry.” She sighed. “I’d really like to help, but what you’re asking is way beyond my powers, or the powers in the Consecrated Shrunken Head of the late Snuffer-Vampire-Snuffer, Senorita Juanita Obregon.”
“Is it really?” Now Kate asked, “What was all this talk about being opposed to Wussyism?”
The dark haired Bruja glared at her. “Now just a minute lady!”
“Hold it!” Francine shouted.
Pilar stopped glaring. She and Kate calmed down.
Pete now spoke to State Assembly Candidate Francine Forella. “I understand you can’t give us any direct help; but is there anything at all, that Kate and I could do on our own, that wouldn’t involve you, but might at least give our friends some kind of protection?”
“There is one thing.” The demon woman nodded. She asked Kate, “Are you along with the other woman, who Pilar re-ensouled with you, willing to lose your souls again?”
“Lose our souls again?”
The woman spoke to Pete. “Are you willing to lose yours too? Is the other woman’s business partner? If all of you are willing, then you can have yourselves demonized. Then you and your friends will all be powerful enough, to deal with whatever Vidamort sends against them.”
He said, “Oh forget it! Let’s get out of here now Kate!”
“No! We have to protect our friends.”
“But have ourselves demonized?”
Kate ignored him and spoke directly to the demonic woman. “Tell me. Exactly what would I have to do, to get myself demonized?”“Well you would have to travel to the Demonic Realm of Beelzebubia.” “Travel?” Kate chuckled, “Well the way you’ve described the place, it sounds like a really fun place to visit.” She gave Pete a condescending look. “At least for someone who isn’t a wussy.” “Oh it is!” Ms. Forella cheerfully pointed toward a rack of brochures near the door. “Plenty of Scheduled Tours, and if you’d like, you can purchase a video.”