Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Baylah could feel everything. She could taste the events in Philadelphia. She knew about Papa and what he did to the others. Did she hate him for it? No. That's just what animals do. Was he always an animal? What does that matter? He is one now. But she knew that Jonathon was safe. And she knew that the humans were actually close by, tucked snug in the Jersey Pinelands. So she waited. That was the easy part. The broker had a nice place. It waasn't directly on the beach, but it was 'beach block.' And the master bedroom deck had a good ocean view. Everything inside was straight out of HGTV, all granite and hardwoods and stainless. Huge, flat-panel TV's held court in every room. The town wasn't deserted, but the pace was slow. It gets like that during the winter. The locals like it. You can browse around the picture perfect shops on the avenue and nobody bothers you. Best of all, there's no 'me first' battles at the deli counter in Casels. If she had to be stuck anywhere, Margate was as good as any. Not that Baylah was purchasing a lot of deli (maybe once in a while for the broker. they did have evening hours after all), but you understand. Though she did enjoy the proximity to Atlantic City. Ten minutes in the car and they were there. She already had her favorite machines. The dollar video Joker Poker was the best. What? Did you think vampires couldn't get hooked? Think about it. They can't absorb as many varieties of nourishment as humans can, so they search for other ways to satisfy their needs. True, the blood (or more accurately, the life) supplies quite a jolt. And contrary to what some misguided hacks want you to believe, they can have sex. Their bodies are preserved in perfect working order, after all. It's just not the way they reproduce. But sometimes they hunger for a little more. And the excitement of a casino can be very satisfying. The broker smiled, he liked to make her happy. Her purse (some fifteen hundred dollar designer thingie) was always kept filled. And she did manage to contact one of the surviving 'familiars' (look, even the broker was a 'familiar' of sorts) who saw to it that a manila envelope neatly stuffed with thick piles of Benjamin Franklin , greenish-gray, engravings was discreetly hand delivered to her every few nights. Considering all that had happened, existence was good. The hunting was good. She could always focus in on some rotten bastard who needed to die real bad. Granted, A.C. was festooned with spy cameras. They were everywhere, in the casinos, the malls, the parking garges, the streets. But it was not difficult to lure the prey to quieter, more remote surroundings. Say a cozy, old fashioned motel just out on the highway and surrounded by wetlands. You've seen places like that. You know. And via some judiciously presented blood gifts,it was not hard to 'make friends' with the night manager. What's best, the worse the bastard, the less they were missed. And gambling towns...any gambling town...grow a lot of bastards. So Baylah waited. And she plotted. And she planned for the day  when Papa would pay. She had a strong sense of justice, this one. As would any soul once forced to work as a slave. Do you like Atlantic City? Do you go there often? Well then, maybe you've seen her? How could you miss. She looks like what the 'contemporaries' call a fashion model. But be careful. Don't get too close. Especially if you're one of them 'rotten bastards,' that she so obviously enjoys, or you just might 'stay' in Atlantic city forever.......

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