Travel to the Demonic Dimension of Beelzebubia and never come back?
Kate Nellington sighed.
Sounds wonderful. She thought. Some day maybe, but as of right now, I have to stay where I am.
Right now it is 4:37 AM. I am stretched out on an upholstered bench inside a booth, in the otherwise deserted, dark and quiet main floor of the Climaxes Nightclub. Not very different than it was, when I was in here yesterday morning.
That was yesterday morning? So much has happened since then, it feels like an entire week has passed.
Tonight there are some differences. I’m much more comfortable; lying down, under a blanket, with my head on a pillow. Vicky found both of them for me in a supply closet. Vicky’s now sleeping on a cot in her office. Is she sleeping, or like me; having trouble getting to sleep?
Another comforting difference is that I’m not hungry. I took care of that, when I made a snack out of Pete.
Pete? I know I should feel really terrible about it, but I don’t. I enjoyed having a few tasty gulps. I’d also thought that I was not just curing his Wussyism. Making him into a vampire like me, would keep our relationship going. We’d eventually be getting married at that Church of Vampires; and maybe have our honeymoon in the Demonic Dimension of Beelzebubia. Now, according to Loretta Carolton he’s undead, but I should forget about any wedding plans!
He took a taxi and went somewhere. She thinks he went to Bloodsuckers Anonymous. I don’t think so. He went home; probably. He took the taxi to his house. He does have a key, and wouldn’t need any invitation. That’s what I need, but my invitation is permanently canceled.
Kate sighed again.
I have to learn to control my bloodlust. I know I’d also enjoy making a meal out of Jimmy, and Kevin, and even my brother Harry, along with Julianna, along with… No. Forget it! None of them will be inviting me into their house ever again! Not even Harry, my brother!
Not even after I’ve learned to control my bloodlust.
As she lay there, Kate heard sounds coming through the storeroom's doorway that stood to the bar's right. She heard footsteps, just like she had the night before. But unlike last night, she heard more that one voice, speaking softly. She heard a male voice, along with a female voice which sounded somewhat familiar.
Burglars? She wondered, Is this a “break-in”? Isn’t there a burglar alarm; a watchman?
If not, she smiled, extending her fangs, I’m here. Tonight, I’m the Club’s “watch vampire”; and I did say that I’d love to “take a bite out of crime”.
She pushed the blanket off of herself, and sat up behind the table, in the booth where she’d lain down, and now eagerly licked the tips of her fangs.
I’m a Vampire Detective? That might be a good career that law abiding citizens would appreciate.
A man stepped through the storeroom’s doorway. He stood to the bar’s right, in the dim minimum lighting, that came from the exit signs and from under the bar. She saw him as a shadowy figure in his late 20’s, dressed in a tee shirt and pants. She couldn’t see his shoes. His facial features were unclear. His right hand gripped an unlit flashlight. An object she couldn’t identify was in his left hand.
A flashlight? She wondered, Is that a ‘burglar’s tool’? My new career begins now.
She called out. “Hold it right there Bud!” her voice sounding firm, louder and sharper than she’d expected.
He switched on the flashlight, aiming the light straight at her face. She couldn’t see beyond the glare. The interior of the Club was now total darkness in her sight; so was he.
The man spoke. “You’re a vampire. I see your fangs.”
“That’s right Mr. Burglar! I’m not unarmed!”
“Neither am I.”
Kate began to tremble.
He went on, “And I’m not a burglar. I haven’t come to steal anything. I’ve come bearing a gift.”
Just what, she wondered, is he holding in his left hand? I can’t see beyond the flashlight’s glare. A stake? A pistol? I can’t see where he is. Can a vampire be killed by a bullet? If not, it can still do an awful lot of very painful, disfiguring damage.
She heard him take a few steps, and saw the flashlight beam moving; but he still focused it on her eyes, so she saw nothing else.
To her right, she heard Vicky call out, “What the hell is going on?”
The flashlight beam moved away from Kate’s face. She could again dimly see everything in the darkened Club. She saw the intruder now shining his flashlight’s beam on Vicky, who’d just come out of her office.
“Good evening Miss Milford.” The man spoke, “Or should I say ‘Good very early morning’?”
Victoria asked, “Lawrence MacKenzie?”
Kate gasped. Then she asked, “Isn’t Lawrence MacKenzie the Head of Vidamort Corp.?”
Vicky told her, “I’m not sure if he’s the Head, but he does have a large amount of authority.”
Mr. MacKenzie spoke to her, “I’m on the Executive Board Ms…What is your name?”
“Kate. That’s Kathleen Nellington.”
Now a woman’s voice called out from inside the storeroom. “Hi there Kate! I hear that your ex-fiancé’s placed a one-hundred-thousand dollar reward, to be paid to anybody who rams a sharp wooden stake straight through my heart! Want to see if you can collect?”
“That’s right! What do you say? You and I? Each armed with a stake? The one hundred thousand goes to the winner!”
“Sounds good to me!” Kate called out. “That’s if my ex-fiancé agrees.” Then she slid out from the booth and stood up facing the storeroom. “I’ve joined the Campaign against Wussyism!”
“Not now!” MacKenzie ordered. “Save the political business and athletic activity for later! We’ve come here to discuss Company business.”
He spoke to Vicky. “We’ve come bearing a gift.”
Then he called out to the storeroom. “You can bring in the souvenir now!”
Two figures emerged from the storeroom into the dimly lit Club. A woman tightly gripped the upper arms of another woman who she forced ahead of her. The woman she gripped trembled but made no sound.
Kate called out “Roxanna! Who’s that with you?”
Victoria was startled. “Loretta Carolton?”
Roxanna the vampire, tightly gripped the upper arms of the trembling Demon Chasers Agency’s supervisor, who nodded but said nothing.
“Ms. Milford.” Mr. MacKenzie spoke. “Your contract with Demon Chasers Agency is discontinued; as Ms. Carolton here is about to be herself.”
The trembling Loretta moaned clearly, but made no other sound.
“Wait a minute.” Victoria asked, “What is Roxanna doing in here? Loretta nailed crosses above every entrance into the Club.”
Loretta moaned once again.
The man explained, “I removed it."
He held up a foot tall cross in his left hand. Harmony winced, shielding her eyes with one hand. Valerie and Kelly did not shield their eyes. Neither of them winced.Mr. MacDonald said, "Now every vampire who wants, can return to spending time here inside the Climaxes, of which Vidamort Corp. is about to become the sole owner.”
“That’s right Ms. Milford. If it’s not, then the drug dealers and bookies will be doing business in here again; and so will the police. I assume you know your partner James Manetti’s phone number?”
“That’s right. You want me to call him?”
“My cell phone’s in the office.”
“I don’t want either you or Miss Kellington here, going out of our sight.”
Roxanna spoke, with her head turned away from the cross. "I’ll go with her.”
Vicky told her, “It’s on the desk. Don’t touch anything.”
Roxanna let go of Loretta’s arm, while MacKenzie moved behind the woman, now tightly gripping both her arms.
Vicky went into the Club’s office accompanied by Roxanna. In less than two minutes Vicky came back out, holding her cell phone in her right hand, but Roxanna did not accompany her.
The man asked, “What’s with Roxanna?”
Vicky raised her left hand, gripping a vamp-snuffer’s stake, with blood dripping from its downward pointing tip.
She told him, “Roxanna’s not leaving the office.”
Then she went over to the booth and seated herself beside Kate, putting the stake on the table in front of her, with her hand on it.
She told Kate, “Roxanna has just become a gift from me to Egbert, as my substitute.”
A startled Kate said, “You’re a Snuffer Vampire?”
Vicky nodded. “Ms. Carolton supplied us with a few of these stakes, along with the crosses, just in case any of us needed to use one for self protection.”
MacKenzie called out, “She’s not the only one!”
He raised his left hand, also displaying a sharp wooden stake, while Loretta sobbed again.
“Wait a minute Vicky.” Kate asked with a tone of annoyance, “Since you’re the one who used it on Roxanna, it means that you’re the one who’ll be getting that hundred thousand dollar reward from Jimmy?”
“That reward,” Vicky told her, “was for her arrest and conviction; not for what I just did.”
Now MacKenzie spoke. “Ms. Milford. I want you to call Mr. James Manetti right now. Tell your business partner to get himself down here as quick as possible.”
Vicky quickly tapped out Jimmy’s phone number. She put the cell phone to her ear and waited. Then she looked up.
“I’m sorry.” She told the Vidamort Corp. executive, “He’s turned his phone off. I’ll have to tell him what you told me, on his voice mail. Then I have no idea what time he’ll wake up; or what time he’ll turn his phone on.”
“Just tell him what I told you.”
Vicky kept the phone against her ear until she heard the beep.
Then she said, “Hi Jimmy. This is Vicky. Right now I’m at the Club with Kate. Lawrence MacKenzie has just shown up here, armed. He’s holding Loretta Carolton captive. It’s obvious that he’ll kill her if we don’t do everything he says.
“The man’s just told me to tell you to get yourself down here as quick as possible. He said that Vidamort Corp. is about to become the Club’s sole owner.”
The Vidamort Corp. executive called out. “Now hang up!”
Vicky clicked off her cell phone.