TW: Swearing, sexual references and whitened teeth.
Sitting across the table from her, the two boys tried to show themselves in the best light. The pale jock shifted uneasily beneath the parasol of the restaurant, trying to keep his fair skin from the sunlight.
“So let me get this straight, you both like me. One a vampire.” The broad-shouldered boy with a devilish grin and sparkling canines nodded. “And one is a werewolf?” The gangly one with blonde stripes through his brown hair, and fluffy arms winked.
“Come on,” the muscular goth reached a hand across the table. On the wrist was a black leather bracelet. A silver skull ring winked at her from one of his fingers. “You know you want me. I’m mature, sophisticated.” He looked disdainfully at his rival. “I don’t cough up hairballs after the full moon.” From his hairless appearance Esmerelda wondered if the vampire had even hit puberty when he was bitten by an immortal pervert.
The werewolf scoffed, “at least I can take her to the beach on a sunny day, douchebag.” Running spidery fingers through his two-tone hair, the younger, more hairy of the two gave Esmerelda Singer a bashful smile. His was the tan of someone who spent most days outdoors. “If you like the beach? It could be anywhere? I’m not scared of the sun.”
The black hair of the pallid wannabe rockstar danced as he held out his middle finger to the other boy. “I’m not scared of the sun, long clothes, sunglasses, a high collared coat, and a wide brimmed hat are all I need to enjoy a walk in the sun. I’ve done it before, not twenty years ago.”
“Whatever Slytherin, go back to Hogwarts yeah. She wants to talk to a real boy.” As he talked, Esme wondered if the werewolf moulted like a dog.
“And you’re a real boy?” Esmerelda asked? “More so than him?” She smirked. Fluttering her long eyelashes at both, she shook her head. “My options are age-inappropriate necrophilia,” she nodded to the vampire, “or bestiality?” She raised an eyebrow at the werewolf. She looked at the vampire again, “are you what passed for handsome 200 years ago? Thank goodness for the bicycle is all I can say. People finally got to marry outside the family.”
The werewolf laughed with a hint of victory. “And you,” Esme said, “don’t think this means you’re in with a shot. One scratch and I’d be like you, needing my flea shots monthly and waking up in weird places after every full moon.” She stood, flung her ice water at the vampire, and reached into her clutch bag.
The vampire leapt back, shocked by the cold. Falling off his seat into the sun, he burst into flames. Passers-by gasped and began videoing the whole thing for posterity.
Grinning with savage glee, the werewolf looked back at Esme. “Woah.” He held up his hands. A gun that must have filled her clutch bag completely was gripped in her dainty hands. “Easy there, I didn’t like him either. No one’s going to miss a vampire, but I have family.”
“Really?” She asked, voice high with curiosity and mistrust.
“Yeah, please don’t kill me.”
“Where do you live?” Esme pulled back the hammer on the pistol.
“I can’t tell you that,” he said. From his narrowed brow she knew he’d worked out what she was.
“Fair enough.” She pulled the trigger. The bang from her gun was reduced to a loud spitting sound by the silencer. A silver tipped bullet entered the heart of the deadly beast. It fell to the ground, shifting into its wolf form. Fur ripped through ill-fitting clothes as the face elongated.
Esme searched both bodies. Pulling the bank cards and the cash from both wallets, she paid for her lunch with their money. She left the ash and the mutt where they had fallen.
“Two different types in one afternoon, what a day,” she said to herself, pulling down the brim of her grey Stetson. The sun was taking no prisoners. Even her mortal skin stung with the heat of the day. Supernatural monsters or no, humanity needed to sort the climate change issue, or her work was just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
She had a device in her bag for ATMs. She slid in the card that went with it. The card was connected to her device. It let her withdraw money without knowing the pin for a card.
“William Wandsworth III, damn. He really should have gone to Hogwarts.” She put in a balance request. “Holy fuck.” She had to look to check no one had heard her swearing. The balance of the account was millions. She’d never seen so many digits. “Well, it’s mine now.”
Esme rang her ghillie, essentially her manager. “Hey boss man,” she scratched her curly hair and held the sweltering phone booth’s door open with her brown combat boot.
“Hey Es, how did the vamp hunt go?”
“Better than expected, just killed him and a werewolf outside Little Ma’s café.
A coughing sound exited the earpiece of the sticky phone. “Outside, like in public? What have I told you about keeping this shit private Esmerelda Singer?”
“Full name now, is it? I couldn’t do them both any other way. They wanted me to pick one. I did what any open-minded woman would have done, I chose both.”
“You’re gonna be all over YouTube now damnit. This isn’t the ‘90s. You can’t get away with that anymore. There are cameras on every phone and the bad guys keep an eye out for us.”
“They always did Merl. Just tell me, any info about werewolves around here. The one I shot said he has family nearby.”
“Just a second,” he kept grumbling as he put the phone down. She could see him in his basement bunker. Whiskey collection on the wall, above the guns. Papers rustled; metallic items clinked. Swearwords trickled out from ever colour in the rainbow.
“Found something, farmhouse. MacIver estate. Twenty miles north of you. Nothing else around there. Go packing.” He coughed again.
“I always do Merl. Thanks honey. Hope your flush, you owe the swear jar a few hundred.” She smiled, knowing what was coming.
“Swear jar? Fuck off Esme. Kill some monsters. This time I want your photos, not some dick on Instagram who waxes his chest and asshole.”
“Always a pleasure Merl.” She hit the red button on the phone.
Buying a cold lemonade from the freezer section in a convenience store, she was looking forward to putting Godswell behind her.
“Hi there, Esmerelda Singer, isn’t it?” The peppy voice, dumb upward inflection at the end of sentences that weren’t even questions told the hunter exactly who it was.
Esme groaned and looked up from the lemony goodness of her reward for al fresco murder. “Gloria?”
“That’s me,” the woman in a pant suit pointed to the equally impossible smile on her lanyard ID. “Good to see you again Esmerelda,” Gloria pushed brown locks that stank of hairspray behind her ears. “I’ve been trying to track you down for a while. Can we talk?”
“I’m sure we both harbour the capacity for speech. I don’t feel like using it right now though.” Something about the reporter gave the killer an instant hangover no matter how sober she was.
“I saw you got two monsters just an hour ago. Amazing. You should come on my show to give an interview.” The teeth, it had to be the teeth that caused her headache. Teeth weren’t meant to be that white. They made fresh printer paper look grey. Gloria’s eyes were as bad. There wasn’t enough caffeine in the world to get Esme’s pupils that wide. The blue didn’t have a streak of red in it.
“Are you on some super diet or something?” Asked the monster slayer, she threw down the exact change for the lemonade on the counter at the front and held up the bottle.
The cashier nodded and swept the coins into his ink-stained palm.
The bell on the door as they pushed back into the sunlight was less tinny than Gloria’s voice. “Wheatgrass with a touch of ginger. I can get you some if you come on the show.”
“Why don’t you set that up now and I’ll finish this, piss and come and get you?” Esme knew it was too much to hope for.
“Nice try.” That upward inflection again. The killer’s shoulders tensed every time. “You’re not leaving me in the dust again.”
“Thing is, Gloria, I still have more work to do today.” Walking to her car, she guzzled the lemonade and handed the bottle to the reporter.
Looking with confusion at the empty bottle, the reporter threw it at a nearby bin. To the astonishment of Esmerelda, it sailed right in. “I can look after myself. And I have a cameraman to offer up as sacrifice if things start going to hell.”
“Your compassion is commendable,” getting into her Lamborghini Diablo, the high living warrior closed the door. Gloria continued talking, but the slayer tapped the window, put her hands to her ears and shook her head. Miming the words ‘I can’t hear you,’ she shrugged.
Tyres spun, burning rubber before the beautiful car sailed out of the hick town, down roads unworthy of its wheels.