“Rescue 1, are you available?”
“Their timing is impeccable,” I said out loud.
“That’s a roger, what have you got?”
“Respond to The Lamplighter Motor Lodge on Whippoorwill Lane for domestic disturbance, State Police requesting EMS.”
“Rescue 1, responding.”
I put the radio mic back on its clip.
“Bob, come with me, Angus, get Crissy and Charlie to The Russians, use the tanker truck, Tim, take care of Billy, and decide whose side you are on. I strongly advise you put some thought into it. You will not live forever, and Sid has no intention of turning you. Stay with me and you might live a good, natural life. I have no idea where all of this is leading, other than the road to hell with Sid.”
“I’m with you, Malcolm. Sid’s a douchebag, I thought things would be different,” said Tim.
“Count me in, Malcolm,” said Billy. “You have always been good to us.”
“Excellent. Radio for help, get back to the Outpost and advise Sid that his little gang of creatures were annihilated by a hot blonde human junkie and her band of whatever the hell they are. Tell him little, for he is clever, and will se through too many lies. Thankfully, his arrogance will blind him for now, and he will be unable to see that you have switched alliances. The thought of such a thing is completely impossible for his ego to absorb.”
“He scares the shit out of me,” said Billy.”
“He should. He’s a Vampire.” I flashed my fangs and walked to the old Cadillac. “You drive,” I said to Bob, who reluctantly followed me, after kissing his daughter goodbye.
“Stay safe,” he said, and stared Angus down. “And leave her alone.”
“Your daughter is beautiful, Bob, and I am attracted to her, there is no doubt. We are at war, and there is no time for frivolity. I will respect your wishes until this ends, and then, perhaps we can talk.”
“Excuse me,” said Crissy. “When you two are through deciding my future I’d like to get off this highway. We’ll meet you at The Russians place after your call. Midnight approaches, the sun rises early, and there is a lot to do. I like you, Malcolm, and you too, Angus, but I love my dad, and if we don’t get moving none of us will make it through this night.”
“Smart girl,” I said, and walked toward the ambulance.
The Lamplighter Motor Inn on Whippoorwill Lane is a lovely, family owned business that attracts out of town workers from the cable companies that seem to be the only people working these days. It is also a great place for married people to meet. Many times have I responded to the place, it’s outside resembling one of those cozy German lodges that I do so love. Perhaps I will return there, some day, and buy an inn of my own. I think I’ll call it “Malcolm’s Lair,” and charge ridiculous amounts of money for tourists to spend the night with a vampire.
It’s a strange world I have seen develop over the centuries, this latest trend of watching other people live their lives while sitting in front of an electrical device and getting fat is a mystery to me. Life, as I remember it is full of interesting things, chances, adventure, love and friendship to name a few. To be glued to somebody else’s drama is such a waste.
“Where to, Malcolm,” said Bob, sitting in the drivers seat did wonders for his mood. Little compares to the rush of having five-hundred horses under your power, and a moonlit Vermont highway under your wheels. The old Caddy took off, leaving a trail of stone and dust in its wake.
“Follow Highway 16 south to the intersection of Route 66. There, where the road narrows turn left. Four miles from that point a traffic signal will slow us, and at that point turn left. The Motor Inn is a mile further.”
We rode in silence. Bob drove the ambulance expertly, and I was not surprised. His intense blue eyes seemed to see through the mist that had gathered on the roadways, and the tension that had gathered over the last day began to dissipate. That tension would return in force soon enough, but the mechanical movements needed to drive allowed his mind some needed rest. He made the turn just as I directed, and we approached the scene cautiously. The State Police had cruisers surrounding the inn, and a command center was posted one hundred yards to the side, out of gunfire range. Bob leaves the motor running and we both get out and approach the incident commander. He’s a stern man, is Colonel Stone, overbearing and brilliant. He knows something isn’t right with me but has yet to figure out just what.
“Malcolm,” he says, and nods his head at Bob. “We’ve got a hostage situation, a man in Room 6 with a gun threatening his friend. He says he’s going to kill himself, or her, or both, you know the drill. Stage a safe distance and be ready to pick up the pieces if we need you.”
“Let me know if you need me, I can help,” I said.
“I’ve seen you in action, can’t quite figure out how you do what you do, but I’ll keep you in mind. I have the state’s best negotiator on the phone with the gunman now; we’ll see how things pan out.
Bob and I took our position at the Caddy. I prepared the stretcher, placing the blue bag full of ALS equipment, the 02 bottle and the monitor on top, ready to roll. The hour grew late and I grew hungry. I had a girl to rescue, a king to dethrone and some blood to drink. This hostage situation had better resolve itself, and soon, I didn’t have all night.
“What’s your plan, then, Malcolm?” asked Bob as we watched the hostage situation from the safety of our position.
“I plan on waiting for a while, and if the moron in the hotel makes a move to hurt his friend, I’ll get my vampire groove on, fly through the window, kill him, drink his blood and fly back out, while the ever vigilant Staties stand by and wonder what happened.”
“That’s good to know,” replied Bob, a dissatisfied look on his face. His eyes grew tired, and the set of his jaw line betrayed his tension. “But what of us? What of Crissy and Charlie? We have no part in your schemes, or your war with this ‘Sid,’ nor do we want any part of it. We came to Vermont to escape the madness that has become of the city. Once, when my wife was alive, things were different. We had a home on Rockaway Beach, flowers in the window boxes in summer, lights in the windows at Christmas and friends and neighbors. One by one the neighbors moved on, and in their place people who stayed to themselves inhabited their places. The job isn’t what it used to be. Since 9-11 I’ve lost my taste for it. It all seems so meaningless now, so futile.”
My heart bled for this man, who lived his life as I once did, albeit in a different century. He had what we all want, what we all need, closeness and comfort of family, and the nearness of friends. Living a finite life surrounded by loved ones is all that is needed, all we can expect. To wish for more is a sin against nature, and a slap in the face of the gift of life. We can have faith in the afterlife, and believe it exists, but we will never know for certain. Even I, who glimpsed peaceful immortality upon my death, still wonder.
“I also plan on killing Sid, once and for all.” There. I said it out loud. Hearing the words pour from my lips sealed my resolve. Sid must go. I’m tired of all of this. To settle down, and live my nights as a Paramedic, drinking the blood of my patients and that of some other undesirables is my lot, and I accept that. Saying it, sharing my plan with a human felt right, and that gave me a taste of peace.
“I’m tired of waiting. And I’m hungry. The douche bag in Room 6 has got to go.”