Ambrose jolted awake. The net was gone and so were Yogurt and Lime Soda.
I need to get out of here before she comes.
I don’t want to be caught.
Time’s moving too fast.
He tried to push himself up to his hands and knees.
But nothing happened.
He couldn’t move.
Elsie. If you can hear me, please come. I don’t care if you’re angry at me. If you want to slap my face to California and back, fine. I’ll let you.
And I can’t move. Why doesn’t anyone see me lying here? Why doesn’t someone call for help?
I don’t want to go back.
I’ll go mad.
Maybe she won’t come. Maybe she’ll sleep in.
I just want to close my eyes again. Just for a minute.
One more minute.
Only one more minute.
Maybe she won’t come.
If only I could move.
Maybe she’ll stay home.
The ground vibrated as a clunker of a Jeep Grand Cherokee approached.
A door opened and closed.
The scent of burnt olive oil.
“Good morning, vampire. Here I am. Right on the dot. I bet you were thinking I wouldn’t come. Ha! Ha! Ha! I always keep my promises.” She stopped behind him so he couldn’t even look at her. “My net’s gone. How’d you manage that one?”
“Like I’d even tell you.”
“Huh. You’re still lying on the ground instead of charging at me. Can you move?”
“If I could, I wouldn’t be here.”
She kicked him and he couldn’t even flinch. “So, the holy water is keeping you all nicely paralyzed as it should. Good.”
“Oh yay you. How you planning to get me in your car? You really think you can haul me up with your scrawny arms?”
She kicked him again.
“Don’t make fun of my girl arms. Besides, I don’t need to pick you up. I got someone who can do it for me. Hey! Brutus, get over here.”
Something that smelled like clay and wet cement clomped towards them. “Yes, Mistress?”
“Get this vampire into the car.”
Ambrose tried again to move something. Anything.
Brutus scooped him up into his powerful gray arms. “Would you rather I fly him back to Mark Caten?”
“That isn’t a bad idea. I definitely don’t want to go on any long trips with him. Okay. Take him. And don’t you dare try to take credit for his capture.”
“Of course not, Mistress.”
Ambrose’s mind raced trying to come up with a plan. Any plan.
The gargoyle opened his wings wide.
Nothing but sheer desperation. “Just so you know, I am under the employment of Sammy Borscht.”
“Sammy Borscht? Brutus folded his wings. “I don’t want to cross Sammy, Mistress. He’s dangerous. He can make things break and explode with his mind. If we steal away one of his people he will make us explode and break.”
“You can bet all your hunter wages on that.” said Ambrose.
“I don’t care. I have a mission to complete and that mission is hauling this vampire’s sorry bad self back to Mark Caten’s flea circus.”
He laid Ambrose on the ground. “If you wish to complete your mission, Mistress, you will have to do it on your own. I cannot help. I am deeply sorry, Mistress.” He spread his wings and flew off.
“You ungrateful swine!”