Baylah climbed up out of the sea. Her companion's Margate beach house was untouched. Most of the Jersey Shore came through unscathed. The hurricane was over and all were safe. That's if you only look to the surface. Some are scarred by different storms. In the Atlantic city area they inhabit an underworld, seperated from our more secure stratta by two inches of a specially treated, tropical lumber. ....'Under the Boardwalk, down by the sea...On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be'......But what they don't tell you is that the baby is only seven month old. You know how, in cartoons, they always sweep dust under the rug? Well, they do it in the real world too. Look at the mole people inhabiting long forgotten, never used subway tunnels. And what about the 'bums' squatting under seaside promenades. You know the ones I mean, those guys down in the cool, damp shadows peekin' up your little, skirty-skirt through the boards. Yeah, it's cool and damp now, but come back in November. Then it's hell.
Baylah goes down to that world. She visits the 'damned,' distributing gifts and favors like a Heavenly redeemer. A drop of her life-preserving blood here. A wad of twenties there. Maybe some hand-held video games for the little, dirt-caked kiddies. Right now, tonight for instance, she's already saved two queens (homeless mothers) and a set of one eyed jacks (half blind winos. That's a full house.
Some nights she'll rent a room up topside in a presentable, but cheap, off the main drag, little motel, so the people she rescues can take a hot shower and pick out some clean warm clothes from an assortment she throws out on the bed. Other times she'll 'cull' an especially noxious street dude preying on these perpetual campers, just so things will be a little more peaceful.
None a the outdoor set ever let on that they spot her as a vampire. If they do, they keep it to themselves. She wants to start gettin' 'em jobs. You know, like head washers in beauty parlors or lawn mower pushers. Then maybe move up to real estate salespeople and clinical dieticians. Who knows? That's how she is. But the companion tells her to be careful, since , in reality, she is a somewhat feared and misunderstood supernatural creature herself. But I think he's afraid some mob might burn down his house. Watches too many Frankenstein movies, if you ask me. She asks him if it's all right for her to take some of the cleaned up ones to an all-you-can-eat buffet. He just grimaces and shudders. She takes that as an 'OK.'
Vampirinos and vampirinas can be so good hearted. You watch. She'll start doin' more. You wait. You'll see. Come back tomorrow night and I'll fill you in on what's goin' on with Laila and Roland. Her father is takin' it real bad.
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