Ambrose sat near the front door. He was balanced on the edge of a plastic yard chair and hating it.
Why does this kind of chair exist? It isn’t comfortable. Even if it were snow-free, it still would be uncomfortable. It’s too hard.
I should pick it up and throw it into the house.
That would show Kevin. Stupid mutt.
Ambrose stood and dusted his bottom off. He grabbed the chair and hauled it over to the open doorway.
He raised the chair over his head.
Barbara came out.
She looked at him.
She looked at the chair. “Hm. So, you were bored.”
“Impatient.” He set the chair on the porch. “Is he all right?”
Kevin appeared in the doorway.
Ambrose snarled at him.
“Boys! Please! Calm down.” Barbara laid her hands on Ambrose’s chest and gently pushed him away from Kevin. “I don’t want you two to kill each other.’
“As if that rubbish-reeking dog could kill me. Ha!”
“Jerk. Vampire jerk.”
Ambrose smirked. “Should I say what you drink?”
“Ambrose. Stop antagonizing him. Kevin—”
“Over my dead body!” Ambrose grabbed the chair and threw it at Kevin.
His aim was a little off.
The chair bounced off the door frame and sailed out into the snowy yard.
“Okay, then.” Barbara grabbed Ambrose by his coat sleeve and dragged him off the porch. “It’s time for us to go.”
The ride home was quiet.
Very heavy with unspoken words and quiet.
Ambrose folded his arms across his chest and stared unblinking at the passing scenery.
Barbara kept her gaze straight ahead.
I’m an idiot.
There was no reason for me to act like that. He just…Something about him just hits me all wrong.
He looked over at her.
And now she’s mad at me.
“You okay, Barbara?”
She didn’t reply.
They passed under a street light and Ambrose saw the tears roll down her face.
“Barbara. What is it? What?”
She stopped at a red light.
He unbuckled his seatbelt and leaned in towards her. “Barbara. Did he hurt you?”
She shook her head.
“What happened? What did he say?” He gently wiped away her tears. “Wh–why are you crying?”
She exhaled a shuddering breath. “He’s slipping away. I had thought…I’d kind of hoped that maybe he wouldn’t. Maybe he’d be the exception to the eight day rule. Maybe he would. I don’t know. Maybe he’d last a month. Maybe more.”
The light was still red, but she didn’t really seem to notice.
“He had another dream about the Night Folk. There was two of them this time. I don’t know what happened in the dream, but he woke up scared.” Her voice choked up. “He couldn’t remember his own name.”
Ambrose hugged her. “I’m sorry.”
She cried in full blown earnest. “He…He wanted me to stay with him. Stay with him till the end. I can’t. I can’t. I don’t know…I…”
“I’m sorry for being such a jerk to him.”
“You were both being jerks.”
“So, what? It all evens out?”
“More or less.”
He kissed the side of her head. “All the same, I am sorry.”