M.A.Z.E. 001

M.A.Z.E. 001

Read Time:7 Minute, 4 Second


001: Two Jocks, A Cheerleader, and a Priest

Two jocks, a cheerleader, and a priest walk into Bella Vista’s Italian Bistro and Bar like it’s some kind of joke. The priest isn’t a part of this, they just happen to be there, holding the door as the other three enter. As soon as they pass, he follows them in then immediately breaks away, heading to a group in the opposite direction. The other three… are vampires, and they’re heading my way.

I was really hoping they would come straight my way, straight to the bar, because my entire plan was reliant upon them coming to the bar. Unfortunately, my plan was reliant upon them going to some other section of the bar and not coming to the empty seat directly beside me. The taller of the two jocks, Brady Cooper, I recognize him from school, leans over the empty seat and rests one elbow on the bar. He raises his other arm to wave at the bartender as he offers me a bright, charming smile.

“Hey,” he says to me and I immediately turn away from him, slip off my stool, and move around to the far end of the bar; still within sight but not within talking distance. I find another empty seat and wave to the bartender to get her attention. She acknowledges me with a lift of her chin, raises one finger to ask me to hold on a minute, then turns and starts mixing a few drinks for Brady and his group.

Damn, I mutter. My plan is also rather reliant upon them not already having drinks. With a heavy sigh I resolve to follow through anyway; it’s a good plan, a classic plan, and is always a cool way of introducing a mysterious stranger in the movies.

After a few minutes the bartender is heading my way. I straighten up and lean over the bar so I can speak to her without raising my voice too much.

“What can I get for ya, hun?” She tosses a towel over her shoulder like any cliché bartender should, and rests her hands on the bar top.

“See those jocks over there?” I lift my chin in Brady’s direction. Brady is laughing at something the other jock just said. The bartender turns, looking back over her shoulder, and nods at me.

“Yeah, what about them?” She turns back to face me and cocks a brow.

“I want to order them a few drinks, and give them a message.”

She turns again, turning her whole body away to look at them for a solid seven seconds, sizing them up, before turning back to look at me. She looks me up and down then shakes her head.

“Yeah, I don’t think you’re their type, hun.”

“I want to se- uh, what?” Her comment zips over my head at first but it eventually circles around and crashes into my ear. My brain freezes and I stare at her for several seconds, trying to reboot.

“No, no, I’mn’t, that, no’n’t. They’re-” I stop talking, if what I was doing could be called that, and take a deep breath to center myself. “I’m not interested in them like that.”

“I’m just fucking with you, kid.” She chuckles and rests herself back on her elbows on the bar. “What do you want?”

I lean up in my seat and lower my voice to just above a whisper.

“I want to order them each a Bloody Mary. When you serve it to them, point to me, and tell them – they know what you are.”

“Three Blood Marys, point, know who they are.” She pushes off the bar and grabs a few glasses.

“No, no. I know what they are,” I correct her.

“Know what they are,” she repeats. She pauses, sets the glasses down and stares at me. “What are they? Celebrities or something?”

“No, they’re v-,” yeah, go for it, tell her they’re vampires dipshit. “-they’re. Well, it’s complicated.”

“Is this some back country drama where they killed your sister in the styx then fled the county, then you tracked them here and are plotting some murderous revenge plan where you fuck with them for a little bit then slaughter them in the back alley behind the bar?”

My mouth is slack as I listen to her. The imagery she just painted in my head puts the vampires in a pile of gory body parts at the bottom of a dumpster, and I can’t say I hate it. It’s also much too close to what my plans are. I shake my head, waving my hands in front of me to clear the images.

“No, no, nothing like that. It’s just, well, look, I’m just trying to do a thing here, ya know. It’s kind of an inside joke sort of thing.” I fish a ten dollar bill from my pocket, pin it to the bar under my pointer finger, and slide it toward her. “Just the three Bloody Marys and the message. Please. And keep the change.”

I sit back in my seat and turn. The seat spins a little too far and I have to turn myself in the opposite direction to center myself so I am facing Brady, Jock 2, and their cheerleader friend, Cory. Brady is from my old high-school, and I’m guessing he’s one of the more recent victims of the new vampire in town. Jock 2 is Brady’s right hand guy but I never got his name. The cheerleader is a new student, which makes her easy prey for the big jock vampire to seduce and manipulate. Her name is Cordelia, but everyone calls her Cory because they’re young and hip. They’re going to turn her soon and I’m hoping I can intervene befo-

The bartender clears her throat and draws my attention back to her. She’s still standing there, the bill I gave her pinned to the bar under her hand, with no Bloody Marys made.

“Um,” I glance from her to Brady, then back, really unsure of what social que I may have missed. “Y- yes?”

“Bloody Marys are nine dollars each, hun.”

“Oh,” I say, letting it trail on for a few seconds. I spin in my seat, turning sideways, and lift my heavy combat boot to rest on the stool next to me. The man sitting there pulls his drink away from his face and turns at his waist to glower down at my boot. Then he notices my legs and his eyes travel up the length of my body until they eventually reach my face. He’s silent for a moment as he tries to process what he’s seeing and trying to decide if he should hit on me or just hit me. I shake my head at him and mouth the word ‘no.’ He scowls, shakes his head dismissively, and turns back to his beer.

My fingers dig deep into my boot and retrieve several crinkled bills which I smooth on the edge of the bar and place before the bartender.

“That’s six. Hold on, I’ve got some change somewhere, maybe I can get two.” I stand and begin searching my pockets but I stop when I notice her shaking her head.

“Don’t worry about it, hun.” She scrapes up the sixteen dollars and drops it all in the tip jar before turning, grabbing two glasses, and heading off in Brady and Crew’s direction. I return to my seat and try to find a good, natural position that gives off an air of mystery; something dark and intimidating without looking like I’m mourning the recently deceased.

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