That Time With The Vampires
Chapter 8

After getting Omar's car, we went to a roadside diner. I sat down in a secluded booth while Omar called the police from a phonebooth. My neck felt like hell, and I couldn't do much more than rasp and wheeze whenever I tried to say anything. I ordered a coffee with cream and sipped at it, as best as I could with my throat feeling the way it was.

Omar came back inside and sat down across from me. "Got it all taken care of," he said.

"Vampires," I grunted.

He shrugged. "They'll handle it. Call somebody in if they gotta." After glancing around to make sure nobody else was looking into our secluded corner seat, he reached over and took my hand and squeezed it gently.

I believe that life is fundamentally meaningless, that everything is chaos without purpose. I also believe that the moments where you know you're loved and wanted make it all worthwhile. Even with my aching neck, I smiled.

Some days later when my neck was feeling better, I went up to the farmhouse and told George and Letha what happened - or at least the short version. I told him that he'd been murdered by an immortality-obsessed weirdo, but that police were investigating it now. Letha cried. George held her and tried to act strong, but I could see he wanted to cry, too. I wished I could've given them better news, but it was what it was, and it was better to tell them the truth than nothing at all. They'd at least be able to move on.

I also watched the papers to see if anything about the murder showed up. It did, finally; the whole thing was spun as a cult of devil-worshipers making sacrifices to Satan. Michael Fitch and the alchemist were arrested. There was no mention of Thomas or any of the other vampires, nor that there were any vampires, period. (I later found out they claimed to have no knowledge of Fitch's actions, and were careful to keep their status as vampires on the down-low in front of the public.)

And then there was the magic book that I tore apart. Back home, I copied the information down into a fresh notebook. That's basically how I started learning about magic. And that leads into how I met up with another interesting bunch of people, but that's another story.

Me and Omar moved in together before long, and that's when we really started finding out how much we don't have in common. For example, I like rock 'n roll, and he likes classical violin. I like paisley prints, he prefers calicoes. I prefer handwriting, he prefers typewriting. Still, our mutual love for musical theater, hot showers, and being a pain in the ass to assholes got us through.

I went back to George and Letha's farm a few more times, helped them out and made sure they were doing all right. The last time I saw them, they'd just gotten engaged.

We also got a job in theater. Omar was acting, and I was doing sets. We made several friends, all of them completely normal human beings, and all of them a lot more fun than anyone at the Undying Society. We knew we'd have to part ways with them in time, but we chose to focus on the present and enjoy the moment.

Some months later, I saw Thomas and his gang come in to watch one of our plays. He looked as sour and snobby as ever, which wasn't a huge surprise. John Phillips was near him all the time, like a bodyguard or something. Amanda and Theodora looked awkwardly out of place in clothes that looked old enough to belong to somebody's grandmother, and I saw them glare at young women in modern attire. When I saw them getting into their seats, the thought came to me: They might think they're better than us. They might think the world would be better off without us. But they'll never get rid of us.

★ ★ ★

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