How can there be so many people walkin’ around out here who don’t smell any good?
Robin climbed on top of a fiercely orange yellow Ford Aztec that had been parked near the curb. A couple of passerbys gave him a fleeting what the heck look before continuing on their way.
He considered going after one of them, but they smelled like an assortment of leaves and greenery.
Didn’t appeal to him at all.
He sat Indian-style on the car’s roof.
Where all the good smellin’ people at? Why don’t they come on over to this side of town?
There was a break in the traveling throng.
Robin saw him.
He was all crouched up in a recessed doorway for a shoes store. But there was no missing that white hair and those mirrored sunglasses.
Robin jumped off the car and walked over to the new vampire. He stopped in front of him.
Antioch looked up. “Robin.”
“Robin.” Isellta flapped his wings.
“Robin.” His mother wiped her eyes.
“Robin.” His father hugged him.
He shuddered and backed away. “What are you doin’ to me? What kind of attack is this? What…”
“Robin.” “Robin.” “Robin.”
Their voices swirled and merged and became each other’s echoes.
“Ahh!” Robin plastered his hands over his ears. “Stop it! Stop! STOP!”
The voices grew louder. They left the enclosure of his mind and escaped through his mouth.
The three voices became echoes of his own voice. “ROBIN. ROBIN. ROBIN.” He unleashed his claws and took a swipe at Antioch’s face.
The voices faded.
“I did not do that on purpose.” said Antioch. “It just happens on its own.”
“Well, ain’t you a special little daisy? You need to get that under control or you’ll wazoom the wrong person and get a stake in your heart. Not that I care. I’m just sayin’.”
“How can I get it under control? I don’t even know how I’m doing it.”
Robin sighed. “Stupid. Stupid newbie.” He grabbed him by his shirt front and hauled him up to his feet. “Come with me. Ain’t nothin’ good to eat in this side of town. Lucky for us both, I know where there’s some good eatin’.”
“Stupid and useless. I swear. Eatin’. As in people. People with good tastin’ scents.”
Robin sighed again. “And here I thought you were a whole lot smarter than me. Eatin’. As in bitin’ their necks. As in drinkin’ their blood. That’s what eatin’ means to us.”
Antioch shook his head. “I don’t want to.”
“Ba–lo–ney. You want to and you know it. So, quit bein’ a whole lot of stupid and follow me.”
He shook his head again. “Too many people out there. Too many scents. Too many…Too many…”
“So, what? You gonna sit out here and starve? Stupid. Just stupid. Just so you know, vampires can’t die from starvation. They just get sick and weak and miserable until only blood from a hunter can heal them. I don’t know about you, but that sure ain’t my idea of fun.”
“Why do you care?”
“I don’t. So, you comin’ with me or what?”
Antioch thought about it.
He nodded. “I’m hungry.”
“Good. Let’s get gone.”