Sharley could smell Spheris. His scent is strong, not-so-sour but quite follow-able. He stood by a street sign, leaning against it. He is not often called by his birth name. Sharley wore something different today; shiny, but warm clothes ripped straight from a store. He ripped out the tags. Being resired wasn’t his death wish. Who resired him?
Sharley uses a lighter on his cigarette.
“Just wait…” He said to himself, taking the lighted cigarette out from his mouth. He knew which house Spheris was in. “Just you wait, my old friend.”
He looks up to the street sign.
“Qlanberry Street…” Sharley said the name out loud, slightly waving the cigarette/
Sharley’s half-smile became a not-so-happy frown.
“If New York was named Hill York, this would be a heinous crime.” Sharley compares the name to New York. “Qlanberry is a hideous name!”
Sharley puts the cigarette back in and puffed some dark, curly shaped smoke. He and Spheris have a lengthy, but centuries old history together. They used to be thick as thieves and known together as the ‘Sh and Sph’ duo. Sharley drops the cigarette, and then crushes it to bits using his shoe. He walks away from the street sign.
______ ______ _________
Madelyn sat at the table, with Spheris and Amanda sitting right across from each other. They are only separated by an empty chair. Otherwise Spheris is not a happy camper. Amanda had said something along the lines that she told Philip about ‘it’. Staying up late for work was not a problem; Madelyn is a workaholic.
“So…” Madelyn said. “Is someone having boyfriend issues?”
Amanda shook her head.
“I don’t have boyfriends.” Amanda said, in a low voice.
Madelyn leans back in the seat.
“Then what is it?” Madelyn asks.
Spheris and Amanda share a glance.
“There isn’t one vampire in Florida.” Spheris said, with his hands together.
Her eyebrows arched together, and in a moment they settled down.
“Is this some kind of riddle you are playing?” Madelyn asks, turning her head left and right. She puts both hands on the table. “How can you say there are not one, but other vampires in Florida?”
Spheris clears his throat.
“..Maddy…” He starts. “I can explain…Do you remember the first time we met?”
Madelyn folds her arms.
“Of course,” Madelyn said. “It was during the Penchaco Case.”
“And the times I didn’t eat what you ordered for our dates.”
“You fed the food to a dog.”
Amanda laughs. She hadn’t heard how their first dates went until today. Amanda’s good, bubbly-like laughter makes Madelyn want a straight answer. Why would a teenager be laughing at a parent’s silliness? Unless …there was a very good reason for it. Spheris smiles a little but shook it off.
“Madelyn,” Spheris shifts in his seat. Amanda stopped laughing, while she wiped off tears of joy from her face. It was the best story she had ever heard of Spheris. “I’m a vampire.”
Madlyn’s face becomes white as a bed sheet. Madelyn got out her chair, then put her right hand on the tip of her gun.
“I…I…I married a…”
Spheris got up from the chair.
“Vampire.” Amanda and Spheris finish for her.
“A deceiving, back-stabbing blood sucker!” Madelyn said as she took out a gun. She has it aimed at Spheris. “This has wooden bullets in here.” She shook her gun. “Don’t make me shoot.”
Madelyn backs away. Amanda could not believe it. Madelyn used the worst words…ever in one sentence directed towards Spheris. Her eyes shift at Amanda.
“You must be a vampire…too.” Madelyn said.
Amanda points to herself, watching the woman’s eyes
“I’m a hybrid. Amanda said, sensing her father’s anger but most of all the hurt and feelings that he had been burying. She got up from the table. All this time she had put up with Madelyn (By attending weddings, parties, baby showers,etc.) for so long it suddenly erupted.
She lowers her hand
“And try shooting me.”
Amanda’s face morphs into a vampire face, twisted yet this one is slightly different as some of the features that made vampires fearful were not there. It’s almost like the devil had been tamed and adapted over time to travel on land. Her fangs are small, and genuinely sharp. Amanda walks around the table.
“I’m going to file for a divorce with the undead….Well…Nah. I don’t need to do a divorce. You are already dead!”
Spheris’s fingernails become longer.
“Do you know what label we’ve been given?” Spheris asks, in the way a man who’s been through hell (Figuretively) and back would ask.
“Killers.” Madylyn said, backing away holding her gun.
Spheris lost his cool.
“NO.” Spheris raises his voice. “YOU LABEL VAMPIRES as criminals and Lovers.” Madlyn didn’t seem to like what he said. “I see a problem with that. Because we are not just Criminals, lovers, and eternal beings who rely on blood…”
She backs away.
“I’m a Christian, and you never bothered to ask,” Spheris said, pointing to her. “You are a biased detective. The only reason I fell in love with you was because of your voice, not just beauty. Now that voice is a bag of rotten potatoes.”
Madelyn’s face becomes a heated red.
“Am not!” She backs to the door.
Spheris comes closer.
“And if you want to be alive for the next few decades,” He said. “Get out of my house.”
Madelyn slips out the house then ran down the street.
“Dad…” Amanda’s face returns to normal. “What do we do now?”
Spheris face is filled in regret, bitter regret in some circumstances.
“I know Maddie well enough…” He turns around towards her. “I want you to go…Visit your friend Philip for a few days.”
“…Dad what are you doing?” Amanda asks.
“Doing what a dad should do,” Spheris closes the door. “I’m making my daughter protect herself, and I am making her leave the house…” He clears his throat. “Make me a promise.”
Amanda laughs at her father’s sincere-ness.
“And I do not want you to break this one!” Spheris adds, waving his index finger up and down.
“Fine…” Amanda mumbled.
“Promise me you’ll stay alive,” Spheris said. “And don’t fall for the bait act.”