Saturday, December 14, 2013


They have a place where they sit. It's a little roof on a building next to a Dunkin Donuts. There's a dumpster down there off to the side in a walkway going back to an alley. Twice a night the people from the store dump unsold merchandise in it. Not stale crap. They could still sell it, but the manager of this franchise likes everything real fresh, because there's a Starbucks down the street and they sell a lot of the same things. Poor folks know the schedule. Some of them dive for stuff. Tomas hides up there on that roof. You can't see him from the street, because it has like a rim or a border around it. He peeks down from there. Been doing it for years. Since she's been here, Sarah goes up with him too. They take a wallet, just a plain wallet. Buy a new one every time. Fill it with twenty dollar bills. That way you get the most money in it. Sure fifties or hundreds would be better, but some places won't take them. With twenties, you can get about four hundred dollars in there and it will still fold over. 

Toss it down when they see somebody coming. Not too many people on the street real late at night. Homeless folks go fishing then. They look for doughnuts, apple fritters, flat bread sandwiches . Sometimes even little plastic containers filled with tuna fish, which are still edible if you get 'em real quick. They got one lady who comes by regularly. She's only semi-homeless. Got an old aunt with a disability in a little studio nearby. Lets her sleep on a cot. Little girl sleeps on a foam flip chair that turns into a bed. Tomas and Sarah gonna give her a wallet. Let it go 'plop' on the side walk. Dumpster lady jumps a little. She don't know what it is. Could be a pigeon, 'cause dead ones occasionally splat down from the sky, especially late at night. God knows what's up there. But she sees it. And it ain't no dead pigeon. Lady looks all around. Streets empty. Ain't no witnesses. Tomas puts a piece of adhesive tape over the open part of the wallet to keep it closed so none of the money falls out. She picks it up. Holds it right over her breast bone and looks. Sees all the money. Gets real still for a second, then shoves it all the way down in her pocket. Keeps her hand down there with it too. She got an old coat and they got deep pockets. Drops her plastic bag with the doughnuts and tuna fish in it and all, pulls down her knit cap and runs off. Sarah (she's up there too) whispers - Let's put a diamond ring in it next time..... Tomas goes - What would she do with it? Go to one of those 'we buy unwanted gold and jewelry' places? They'll cheat her. They'll steal it from her. This way is better. At least they eat real food. At least the little girl gets a coat, some Christmas toys.... Sarah says - Next time put a card in it, one of those pre-loaded debit cards. We could put a few thousand dollars on that. One of  your 'familiars' could do it.What? didn't you ever think of that before?....... Truth is, he never thought of that before. She forgets how old he is sometimes.

They climbed down from the roof and walked home. Streets were icing up. So much steam comin' up from them grates, looks like ghosts dancin' on the corners. Sometime like two ghosts dancin' a duet.

Sarah goes into an all night convenience store near where they live and buys two turkey breast hoagies with the works. Not for her and Tomas. She wants 'em for wilkravitz and Edith. Tomas gets a People Magazine. They pay and walk out. Tomas says it's good for them to be seen buying food 'round where they live. Most folks don't know 'bout them. This way they look more real.

When they do get back to the townhouse, Marianne is there. She's one a the elferinas... the talkative one. If you want, you can GOOGLE Marianne In Britches by Billy Kravitz and read all about her. Gotta scroll up and down though. It's a long story and she had a rough beginning. They can see she's been crying. Edith tried to comfort her. Gave her a hot apple cider. But she's still all broken up. Tomas goes - What's wrong? What happened?..... He sort a knows. Vampires feel things. Not the details, but they know. Thing is, Marianne wants to talk and he lets her.

She died. She's dead - the elferina sobs. The caretaker's wife. She's gone. And we don't want to stay there anymore.... Sarah hugs her. Tomas says - We'll take care of you..... Though he knows he doesn't really have to take care of them. These pubescent vampires are very self-reliant. It's just that they don't want to be alone. The caretaker went off with the niece and nephew. Soon there'll be another caretaker there. They don't want that anymore. One hundred and sixty nine years in that cemetery is enough.

But he wonders how it'll work out. So many night-folk coming and going from one address... So many.

And not all mortals are so tolerant....


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