from the archives of Rebekah Postupak
(to relieve/exacerbate your Saturday boredom, if any.)
“There was something about the woman that made me uneasy,” said Paula.
“Oh, me too, for sure,” said Nance. “She almost made me ill, actually.”
“Looked fine to me,” said George. “Great car, I thought.”
“Well, you’re a man,” said Paula. “We wouldn’t expect you to notice anything.”
“Men never do,” said Nance. “Blind as bats.”
“Idiots,” sniffed Irene.
“As I was saying, something just seemed off about her,” said Paula. “It wasn’t her clothes, exactly—”
“Oh, no, her clothes were fine,” said Nance. “Her skirt was really cute. I wonder where she got it. It kind of shimmered.”
“It was a cute skirt,” Paula agreed. “But she still seemed, oh, I don’t know. Wrong.”
“I liked her shoes,” said Svieta. She didn’t usually speak up at these post-block-party meetings, but surely nobody could argue against such a perfect pair of candy apple red heels.
“I know, right??” said Nance enthusiastically. “What a great red! Not too perky, not too dull. I want a pair.”
Paula felt herself rapidly losing control of the discussion. “We need to talk about whether she’s right for our neighborhood—”
“Red can be ‘perky’?” said George, shaking his head in mock amazement.
Nance giggled. “Oh, you are a hoot, George! Like you don’t know your reds better than any of us.”
“You totally nailed the red in my kitchen,” Irene agreed. “In fact, I was hoping you wouldn’t mind taking a look at the den, next.”
Fury crawled up the back of Paula’s neck like a dozen tiny scorpions. “Back to today’s newcomer…”
“I thought she was nice.” Svieta couldn’t believe she’d dared say it. She studied the floor intently. How would the others respond?
“Bravo!” said Irene. “And since you made the motion, let me second it. Lizzie stays!”
“Who’s Lizzie?” George asked suspiciously.
“The new girl!” said Nance. “The one you said has a great car.”
“SHE’S WARMBLOODED AND I DON’T LIKE HER!”
Everybody’s mouths dropped open, and Paula suddenly realized she’d shouted the thought out loud. She hastily sat back down.
“I’m just saying, maybe we should take a little time before voting,” she said weakly.
George raised an eyebrow. “We all seem to be fine with her except you.”
“Yeah, what’s your problem?” said Irene.
“She makes me nervous,” Paula whispered. “She’s creepy.”
“I know exactly what you mean,” said Nance. “Creepy is as creepy does.”
Irene threw a barbecue mitt at Nance. “That doesn’t even make sense. Anyway, times are changing. We need to get used to the short-toothed kind.”
“Yeah. Not everybody can be lunch,” Svieta said, feeling bolder by the minute. “And it won’t kill us to let her stay.”
The room fell silent as everyone now gaped at their newest member, her words still hanging awkwardly in the air.
Paula swallowed hard.
Swallowed again, almost choking with the effort.
But it was no use. Within moments the howling laughter of an entire garage full of vampires echoed down the empty street.