Bloodless Episode 26

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Oliver has a falling-out with his shrink and reunites with an old relative. Kelly begins to regret returning to her psychology major. Charlie thinks of old times with Oliver. Roy reveals a secret. Sheffield bristles at the negative reviews for his new film. Tricia is intrigued by a new patron.

BLOODLESS

 

“NON-COMPOS VAMPIRIS PT. 2”

 

TV-MA DLSV

 

“Gave up on caring, gave up on being fine. Now I’m coping with a path of relentless decline. Throw a dog a bone and I’ll spit it right out. I’ve burnt all the things I can live without”

  • Noam Cohen

 

(Open on Oliver making drinks at Davie’s. There’s a group of sad-looking, balding vampires at the bar, each with a pint of animal blood)

 

SAD VAMPIRE: Here’s to six months of human blood sobriety.

 

(They all brandish their “six month” chips, and clink their pints together)

 

SAD VAMPIRES: Cheers!

 

(They all sip their animal blood, and each of them almost wretch doing it)

 

SAD VAMPIRE: Just gotta get through it.

 

(Oliver rolls his eyes)

 

OLIVER: It’s not that bad, guys.

 

(Oliver serves a vampiric couple two literal Bloody Marys, complete with a stalk of celery in each. The vampiric boyfriend, who’s a biker with a leather jacket and gloves gives him a nod)

 

VAMPIRIC BIKER: Thanks, brother.

 

(Oliver starts on a blood margarita when a valley vamp comes up to the bar)

 

VALLEY VAMP: (Valley girl accent) Ummmmm, could I get a St. Domingo Iced Tea?

 

OLIVER: I have three other orders to get to, I’ll get to you in a second-

 

VALLEY VAMP: Um, excuse me? I’m sorry, but people don’t talk to me like that-

 

OLIVER: Well, I’m not a person and neither are you, so, fuckin’ deal with it.

 

(The Valley Vamp scoffs, beyond offended)

 

VALLEY VAMP: I should’ve been fuckin’ filming, you would’ve been SO cancelled.

 

(The Valley Vamp walks away as Oliver takes a second to breathe)

 

OLIVER: SHEFFIELD! I COULD USE SOME HELP OVER HERE!

 

(Sheffield walks in from the back with a copy of The Daily Northwestern)

 

SHEFFIELD: Did you see this review in The Daily Northwestern?!

 

(Oliver turns toward Sheffield and squints)

 

OLIVER: Did I see a film review in the student newspaper of the university I no longer attend- no, Sheffield, I somehow missed it this week.

 

(Oliver puts salt on the blood margarita and serves it to a patron, as Sheffield steps forward and starts reading from the newspaper. Oliver starts making a “Red and Stormy”)

 

SHEFFIELD: “The festival debut from 24-year-old former Northwestern film student John Sheffield is a monument to ineptitude- incoherent premise, amateur writing, half-hearted performances, and a length that makes oblivion a compelling alternative to simply enduring the four-hour running time”.

 

(Sheffield throws the newspaper down. Oliver serves the “Red & Stormy” to another patron)

 

OLIVER: Jesus Christ, just stop reading the reviews, it’s just gonna make you feel worse.

 

SHEFFIELD: How else am I supposed to learn-

 

OLIVER: Well, I guess that is a good way of looking at it-

 

SHEFFIELD: Let me finish- how else am I supposed to learn how many TASTELESS ASSHOLES there are in the world!?

 

OLIVER: Jesus- if you’re not gonna help me, then congrats, you’ll have to do it by yourself just like me. I’m taking my fucking lunch.

 

(Oliver throws down the towel and walks off. Sheffield growls as the valley vamp walks up to him)

 

VALLEY VAMP: That asshole refused to take my order- will you?

 

SHEFFIELD: Sure, what is it?

 

VALLEY VAMP: The St. Domingo Iced Tea.

 

(Sheffield throws up his hands)

 

SHEFFIELD: I don’t know how to make that shit- TRICIA, WHERE ARE YOU!?

 

(Tricia walks in from the outside)

 

TRICIA: I was havin’ a fucking smoke, what is it?

 

SHEFFIELD: Work the bar for a bit, please, I need a smoke break myself.

 

(Sheffield takes out his pack and walks past her. Tricia rolls her eyes and approaches the valley vamp)

 

TRICIA: What do you want?

 

VALLEY VAMP: A fucking St. Domingo Iced Tea- how many times do I have to say it?!

 

TRICIA: Watch yourself.

 

(Tricia reluctantly starts making the St. Domingo Iced Tea)

 

VALLEY VAMP: Nobody has ever raised their voice at me- (The Valley Vamp tears up) and honestly, I don’t know how to handle it.

 

TRICIA: Jesus Christ- (Tricia gives her the drink) Go away before I handle it for you. (The Valley Vamp angrily grabs the drink and walks away. Suddenly, Barrett Shine walks in, and non-chalantly sits at the bar. Tricia slides over to him) What do you want?

 

BARRETT: …I’ll take simple cup of squirrel blood.

 

TRICIA: You sure? It’s our cheapest drink.

 

(Barrett shrugs)

 

BARRETT: I don’t have much.

 

(Tricia shrugs and pours him a cup of squirrel blood and serves it to him. Barrett hands Tricia a ten-dollar bill, which she turns around to place in the register. Barrett throws a bit of the squirrel blood over his shoulder, and then Tricia turns back and hands Barrett two dollars)

 

TRICIA: There’s your change.

 

(Barrett pockets the cash and smiles)

 

BARRETT: I like your outfit.

 

TRICIA: I’m no dancing, so I don’t have to bear any sexual harassment from anyone.

 

(Barrett holds up his hand)

 

BARRETT: Furthest thing from my mind.

 

(Tricia squints)

 

TRICIA: …How old were you when you were turned?

 

BARRETT: Why?

 

TRICIA: You look like you’re on your third pubic hair, that’s why.

 

(Barrett chuckles)

 

BARRETT: I was eighteen.

 

TRICIA: …What happened?

 

BARRETT: I got in a car accident. My neck was sliced by a shard of glass from the windshield. (Barrett points to a faint scar on his neck) I was bleeding out fast. One of the medics was a vampire.

 

(Tricia squints)

 

TRICIA: Really?

 

BARRETT: Yep. He’s kind of a legend around here, we call him “St. Steve”.

 

(A bunch of vampires in the bar raise their drinks and cheer, yelling “SAINT STEVE”)

 

TRICIA: HUSH!

 

(A tiny vampire child wearing a newsboy cap and with soot on his face limps over)

 

VAMP KID: (British accent) But, ma’am, St. Steve saved me life! I fell into a chimney I was sweepin’ and got burned half to death, ‘till St. Steve came by and drained me white!

 

TRICIA: Holy shit, when was this, 1880?

 

VAMP KID: 1980, actually, child labor laws were not widely enforced in Alabama back then.

 

TRICIA: Why do you have a British accent?

 

VAMP KID: (Southern accent) I’m a professional actor- here’s my CV and headshot.

 

(The vamp kid takes out a resume and headshot depicting him resting his chin against his fist)

 

BARRETT: St. Steve has touched all our lives. He’s even touched our children.

 

(Tricia narrows her eyes)

 

TRICIA: Let’s watch what we say.

 

BARRETT: Anyway, I spent the next decade or so dropping bodies across North America.

 

TRICIA: Jesus Christ.

 

BARRETT: You remember the Jodi Arias case?

 

TRICIA: …Yes.

 

BARRETT: That was me.

 

TRICIA: What are you talking about?

 

BARRETT: I’m the one who killed Travis Alexander.

 

TRICIA: No, you didn’t. Jodi Arias did, you literally called it the “Jodi Arias” case!

 

BARRETT: Believe what you want- but that was me.

 

(Tricia sighs deeply)

 

TRICIA: Dude, there are photos of them together before and after the crime!

 

BARRETT: I did it.

 

TRICIA: Listen, man- I hope you’re not doing murders anymore. That’s part of why we set this place up, it’s a place where vamps can enjoy non-human blood and stave off cravings.

 

(Barrett smirks and raises his glass)

 

BARRETT: I applaud your noble efforts. (Barrett takes a small sip and gags) Can you please make me something else- Christ!

 

TRICIA: Fine, what do you want?

 

BARRETT: Surprise me.

 

(Tricia takes Barrett’s drink, turns around, and starts making another one. Barrett leans over the bar and surreptitiously snaps a photograph of the work schedule sitting on the lower counter. He sits back down and pockets his phone, as Tricia turns back to him and gives him a glass of blue-colored blood)

 

TRICIA: There.

 

BARRETT: What the fuck is this?

 

TRICIA: We call it “Blue Blood”, because it’s like, expensive.

 

BARRETT: But it’s just-

 

TRICIA: Blood with blue food coloring, yeah.

 

(Barrett slaps a tenner on the bar)

 

BARRETT: I’m gonna go.

 

TRICIA: Fine, get the fuck out of here.

 

(Barrett leaves. Tricia sighs and rubs her forehead. Cut to the white room where Kelly interviews patients. A 40-year-old-man with bloodshot eyes and scars on his face and neck is nervously tapping his fingers and grinding his teeth, as Kelly walks in with a clipboard and sits across from him)

 

KELLY: How you doin’, Jeff?

 

JEFF: FUCK YOU, YOU NATTERING CUNT!

 

(Kelly sighs and sits down. “Half-Asleep/Half Awake” by Swain comes in, as we cut to shot after shot of Kelly entering the addiction clinic, each time with different clothes. We also get shot after shot of her standing in line at the cafeteria and getting served stale mashed potatoes and a potato between two slices of wonder bread. Then shot after shot of her entering that white room to greet a different mental patient. Sometimes relatively normal looking, sometimes completely crazed, or even chained to the wall. Then several successive shots of her taking smoke breaks outside the building, then shots of her dispensing therapy to the patients- sometimes they’re calmly talking, sometimes they’re ranting and raving. One of the times she gets scratched across the face by a crazed woman with greasy hair, and men in white coats come in and restrain her. We then see successive shots of Kelly exhaustedly getting into her car and slamming the door shut and letting out an enormous sigh. We see cigarette butts pile in her car’s ashtray. As the song ends, we see Kelly sitting in front of a shy-looking twentysomething wearing a floppy light blue hat and a tight baby blue corset, with a pentagram necklace and a bracelet made of twigs. Her eyes are cast downward. Kelly is smirking)

 

KELLY: …So, Starling, how long have you been a witch?

 

STARLING: My whole life. It was bestowed at birth, but it took me until I had an identity crisis in sophomore year of college to realize it. Now they’re saying I’m nuts.

 

KELLY: Well…you’re not.

 

(Starling rolls her eyes)

 

STARLING: All the shrinks say that, but they all feel otherwise.

 

KELLY: No, like, you’re not mentally ill at all, Starling.

 

(Kelly looks up at the camera in the corner. She gets up and switches the camera off)

 

STARLING: What are you doing? (Kelly sits down) Are you gonna beat me up!?

 

KELLY: No, I’m gonna tell you something. You don’t belong here. (Kelly leans forward) I’m a witch, too.

 

STARLING: Shut the fuck up.

 

KELLY: No- it’s true! Men have been committing real witches to psychiatric care for centuries, it’s how they control us. But I can get you out of here.

 

STARLING: If you’re really a witch, do a spell. (Kelly nods and drops a pen on the ground. She then makes it levitate back up to her hand. Starling’s eyes widen, and she kicks Kelly in the face and retreats to the back wall) WITCH! WIIIIITCH!

 

(Kelly grips her bleeding nose and tries to get up)

 

KELLY: FUCKIN’ POSER!

 

STARLING: HELP! HEEEEEELP!!! (The men in white coats run in and restrain Starling) SHE FLOATED A PEN! BURN HER! BURN HEEEEER!!!

 

(The men drag her out of the room)

 

KELLY: OH, DON’T BOTHER HELPING ME UP! I’M TOTALLY GOOD OVER HERE!

 

(Cut to Davie’s. Tricia is doing her burlesque routine. She is wiggling her tits and waving the tassels every which way, to roars of approval. Kelly is standing backstage with a bandage on her forehead, and she’s looking exhausted. She casts a spell and shoots a wave of sparkles that twists and turns around Tricia like a pixie. Tricia wriggles out of the spectral constraints and starts crawling along the stage like a cat, as pale hands hornily pat the stage after her. Kelly’s eyes, however, are heavy. Tricia looks back as Kelly has seemingly missed her cue. Tricia turns around and starts crawling back toward Kelly)

 

TRICIA: MAN, I HOPE THOSE SPARKLES DON’T CHASE ME! (Kelly collapses onto the stage. The audience gasps, and Tricia runs over, and turns her over. Tricia shakes her) KELLY, WAKE UP, DAMNIT! THE SHOW ISN’T OVER!

 

(Cut to Kelly sitting on the couch in her apartment, with Oliver sitting next to her and applying a bag of ice wrapped in a paper towel to Kelly’s forehead)

 

KELLY: I hate this fucking shit.

 

OLIVER: The practicum or Davie’s?

 

KELLY: BOTH, honestly!

 

OLIVER: But the practicum more, right?

 

KELLY: Yeah, I mean- it shouldn’t be part of my JOB to get the shit beaten out of me, I don’t work for Ellen!

 

OLIVER: Then, leave!

 

KELLY: It’s only another week.

 

OLIVER: Another week of THIS, Kelly! You were so exhausted you couldn’t even shoot a rainbow up Tricia’s snatch or whatever you do.

 

KELLY: That was the next move, yeah.

 

OLIVER: How was this incident not the final straw?!

 

KELLY: If I back out now, with just a week left, I won’t get my drug counseling certificate and I’ll have to be one of those guys doing caricatures on the boardwalk.

 

OLIVER: Can you do stuff like that?

 

KELLY: I’LL HAVE TO LEARN!

 

(Kelly gets up and walks toward the window, where she begins to lift the giant sheet covering it. Oliver gets up)

 

OLIVER: What are you doing?!

 

(Kelly stops)

 

KELLY: I’m gonna look outside-

 

OLIVER: I don’t know if you know this, but I’m a fucking vampire! So maybe don’t lift the blanket from the windows!

 

KELLY: It’s not gonna hit you- I’m just opening it a crack!

 

OLIVER: I don’t care! I don’t like it!

 

(Kelly growls and turns around)

 

KELLY: I’M TIRED OF LIVING IN THIS FUCKING TOMB! (Oliver is taken aback. Kelly composes herself) …I’m sorry, I’m just-

 

OLIVER: No, no, it’s fine- please, just open the window, I’ll hide in the bathtub.

 

KELLY: Stop being a fucking martyr, okay?

 

OLIVER: You know, between the practicum and Davie’s, you’re barely ever fucking here. I don’t think we’ve had sex since my graduation party!

 

KELLY: YES WE HAVE!

 

OLIVER: When!?

 

KELLY: …After your graduation party, it took place after the party. That’s “since”.

 

OLIVER: Jesus Christ.

 

KELLY: Whatever, I don’t have to do shit for you.

 

OLIVER: No, no you don’t.

 

KELLY: It’s one more week! Get the fuck over it.

 

(Kelly storms out of the room. Oliver slowly resumes his seat on the couch. Cut to Charlie sitting on the couch in his messy-ass apartment, with Nancy resting her head on his chest- quickly falling asleep. They’re watching Family Guy on Hulu. Peter, Quagmire and Joe approach the Quahog Mini-Mart.)

 

PETER: Okay, guys, Lois wants me to find Cleveland, and since he eats like, nine candy bars a day, it we wait here at the convenience store, he’s bound to show up.

 

(A group of teenagers approach)

 

TEENAGER: Hey, can you buy us some beer?

 

PETER: Ehhh, I don’t know, I don’t think it’d be right.

 

TEENAGER: Ugh! I knew you weren’t cool.

 

PETER: Wait, no, no, no, hold on a minute. (Cut to Peter handing the teenagers beer) See? This is pretty cool, huh?

 

TEENAGER: Yeah, I guess, but what we could really use is some weed.

 

PETER: I think that might be over the line.

 

TEENAGER: (To his friends) See? I told you this guy wasn’t cool.

 

PETER: No, no, no, hold on a minute.

 

(Nancy has fallen asleep on Charlie’s chest, and he notices)

 

JUDGE: (OS) Mr. Griffin, did you or did you not- (Charlie stares lustily at Nancy’s neck) distribute alcohol and marijuana to minors?

 

PETER: (OS) No, your honor I did not.

 

(Charlie’s teeth extend)

 

JUDGE: (OS) Told you the defendant wasn’t cool.

 

PETER: (OS) Now, now, now, hold on a minute!

 

(Charlie licks his fangs, but after a few moments of consideration, he lets them retract as an ad plays on Hulu. He stares contemplatively at a Mazda ad where a Mazda is speeding down the side of a mountain path. The camera zooms in on that Mazda and we flashback to Charlie zig-zagging his Honda, which is festooned with Christmas lights and ornaments, down the street approaching Oliver’s old apartment, at night. Charlie peels into Oliver’s apartment parking lot, and spills out of the passenger’s seat with a bottle of whiskey in hand)

 

CHARLIE: (Singing) HAPPY HONDA DAYS!!!

 

(Oliver walks out of his apartment and looks shocked)

 

OLIVER: Jesus Christ, Charlie- you’re gonna get arrested.

 

CHARLIE: PFFFFTTT, cops don’t fuck with perfection, baby.

 

OLIVER: Just come inside, you psycho.

 

CHARLIE: Thanks for inviting me, bro.

 

(Charlie stumbles past Oliver and into the apartment)

 

OLIVER: You’re welcome?

 

(Oliver closes the door after Oliver. Secular Talk with Kyle Kulinski is playing on Oliver’s Smart TV. He’s speaking into a microphone with a still of the infamous public argument between Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump in the Oval Office- with Mike Pence sitting there, uncomfortable)

 

KYLE: Apparently, a lot of the reporters walked out of the room at the end of that, and they looked shocked, is what people were saying on Twitter- they had this look on their face, like, “AH! We just saw mommy and daddy fight!”

 

(Oliver shuts off the TV and Charlie crashes onto his couch and takes a pull on the whiskey bottle)

 

OLIVER: Can I at least have some?

 

CHARLIE: Bet.

 

(Oliver sits on the couch, and Charlie hands him the bottle and he take a pull on it. He hands the bottle back to Charlie)

 

OLIVER: Aright- you got the other mind-altering substance?

 

CHARLIE: Fuck, man, Mr. All-Business- Jeff Bezos-lookin’ ass.

 

OLIVER: I look nothing like Bezos, dude, that guy looks like a fuckin’ vampire. (Charlie grows quiet and looks down) …What?

 

CHARLIE: …Here’s your fuckin’ weed, dude.

 

(Charlie tosses Oliver a bag of weed)

 

OLIVER: Why are you upset?

 

CHARLIE: Just watch what you say, a’ight?

 

(Oliver looks totally confused)

 

OLIVER: …You wanna play Smash or something?

 

CHARLIE: Nah, there’s a bitch I’m trying to fuck on that I gotta meet. Rain check.

 

(Charlie gets up. Oliver follows suit)

 

OLIVER: Alright, bro, catch you later.

 

CHARLIE: Sure thing. (Oliver and Charlie bro hug and Charlie makes his exit, ripping a nasty fart on his way out) Oh, shit, my bad.

 

OLIVER: Bro, are you serious?

 

CHARLIE: Enjoy that, cus.

 

(Charlie smiles and leaves. Oliver rolls his eyes, chuckles, and turns on the AC. Cut to Charlie getting back into his Honda Accord. He turns on the engine, torches a joint, rips it, and backs out of the parking lot, going over the curb in the process. He then peels out and follows the road until he stops at a red light. Charlie suddenly starts sniffing the air. Suddenly, Barrett pops out from the backseat and covers Barrett’s mouth with his hand and holds a stake directly to his heart)

 

BARRETT: Pull into a parking lot or I’ll dust you worse than you dusted Oliver on your way out of his apartment.

 

CHARLIE: (Muffled) HOW’D YOU EVEN KNOW THAT HAPPENED?!

 

BARRETT: Vampiric hearing, bitch- though I probably didn’t need it in that instance.

 

CHARLIE: (Muffled) Fuck this shit, man.

 

(Charlie runs the red light, resulting in a long honk from a driver who barely misses him. He pulls into a parking lot outside a public park and turns off the car)

 

BARRETT: I don’t wanna hurt you, I just want to talk. Can we talk?

 

CHARLIE: (Muffled) Fine! (Barrett uncovers Charlie’s mouth and climbs into the front seat with a water gun drawn) Jesus Christ- a water gun full of holy water?!

 

BARRETT: You know it. It was a bitch getting it in there, but it was so worth it.

 

CHARLIE: What the fuck do you want, man?!

 

(Barrett grabs a Transformers lunchbox from the backseat and opens it. Several wads of cash are in there)

 

BARRETT: That’s fifty-thousand dollars right there. (Charlie starts laughing) …It wasn’t enough money to fill up a suitcase, okay?

 

CHARLIE: Bro- why the fuck are you showing me this?

 

BARRETT: Turn Oliver, and this is all yours.

 

CHARLIE: Why?

 

BARRETT: NONEYA!

 

(Barrett closes the lunchbox. Charlie squints)

 

CHARLIE: Can you at least tell me how you know Oliver?

 

BARRETT: Bro- this is a no-questions asked type job. You wanna do it, great, you don’t, then we’ll hash it out on a rooftop in dramatic fashion.

 

(Charlie shrugs)

 

CHARLIE: Alright, fuck it. But I want half upfront.

 

BARRETT: This is reasonable.

 

(Barrett opens up the lunchbox, takes out twenty-five thousand, and hands the lunchbox to Charlie)

 

CHARLIE: Yo, you can keep that.

 

(Barrett sighs, takes the lunchbox back and hands Charlie the money in his hands)

 

BARRETT: Remember, you can never tell Oliver who ordered this.

 

CHARLIE: I don’t even know your name.

 

BARRETT: All the better. My number right now is 847-211-5311. (Charlie takes out his phone and punches that in) Please text me, so I’ll have your number, too.

 

CHARLIE: For sure.

 

(Charlie puts his phone away)

 

BARRETT: Can you do it right now?

 

CHARLIE: Bro- relax, I’m gonna do it.

 

BARRETT: I would really feel better if you just did it now.

 

(Charlie holds out his fist)

 

CHARLIE: I’ll catch ya later, bro.

 

(Barrett sighs and fist bumps Charlie. Barrett steps out of the car, and Charlie gives him the peace sign through the window)

 

BARRETT: JUST SEND “HEY”, DUDE!

 

(Charlie speeds off. Cut to Charlie wistfully exhaling smoke while watching a J.C. Penny ad on Hulu where an African American dad dances with his seven-year-old daughter in pajamas in a white void. We see this is ad five of twelve, according to the right-hand corner of the screen)

 

ANNOUNCER: All Summer pajamas are 50% off next month only at J.C. Penny!

 

CHARLIE: HOW ARE THESE ADS NOT OVER YET?!?!

 

(Cut to Tricia sitting next to Sheffield in his darkened computer room. There are crushed-up cans of coffee everywhere and an ashtray that is overflowing, and both Sheffield and Tricia have heavy bags under their eyes. But Sheffield leans back and breathes a deep sigh of relief. Tricia pats him on the back)

 

TRICIA: See? Isn’t that better?

 

SHEFFIELD: I can’t believe we actually cut that down to two hours.

 

TRICIA: Well. It only took a month and a half of persuasion, and three nervous breakdowns, but we did it.

 

SHEFFIELD: You think people will like it?

 

TRICIA: I do. (Sheffield smirks) But we might not want to test it out on people right off.

 

(Sheffield nods knowingly)

 

SHEFFIELD: I got ya.

 

(Cut to a crow of vampires seated in folding chairs at Davie’s, as the film is being projected on the back wall where Tricia usually does her routines. We see CJ, one of the black teenagers, at Mr. Frost’s hospital bed. Sheffield and Tricia are sitting in the back watching along)

 

MR. FROST: You gotta do one thing for me, CJ.

 

CJ: (OS) What is it, Mr. Frost?

 

MR. FROST: …Drive that ice cream truck for the rest of your natural life, kid. Keep the dream alive.

 

(The vampires crack up, and anger flares in Sheffield’s eyes)

 

SHEFFIELD: (Whispering) Why are they laughing?!

 

TRICIA: (Whispering) They’re enjoying it, Sheffield!

 

SHEFFIELD: (Whispering) They’re MOCKING it!

 

(CJ has tears in his eyes)

 

CJ: I will, Mr. Frost. Law school can wait. The world needs to taste your sweet cream.

 

(The vampires laugh their asses off. Sheffield growls and storms out of the bar)

 

TRICIA: Sheffield!

 

(Tricia goes after him, as some of the vampires turn around to look at the commotion. Cut to Sheffield sitting in his apartment, wearing sweats and a t-shirt and pouring himself a glass of vodka. He downs it immediately, and flips on his Smart TV. He goes to the Criterion channel and starts scrolling through various art-house, independent and classic movies- foreign and domestic. He finds a category called “up-and-coming directors”. He scrolls through Shane Carruth’s “Upstream Color”, Robert Eggers’ “The Lighthouse”, and finally, Ezra Milburn’s “Streetlight”. He stares at the description for Streetlight, which reads, “Directed by Ezra Milburn, 2020, United States. Starring Lehigh Schutte, Brenda Albertson, Darian Gumworth. Set during the height of the crack epidemic of the 1980s, this bold Chicago Filmmaker dares to view those afflicted by crack addiction not as moral failures, but as human beings suffering under economic and state oppression”. Sheffield takes a deep breath and starts the movie. We see the film opens on an oppressively bright streetlight at night in a bleak South Side neighborhood in the early 80s. Suddenly, the streetlight is shot out, and everything goes dark. “Streetlight” appears on screen. Cut to Tricia emerging from her car in the parking garage adjoining her apartment building. She is taking a drag on a cigarette as she walks towards the side entrance, and she produces her key and gets in the building. She walks through the lobby, takes a final drag on her cigarette and stubs it out in the complimentary bowl of candy. Then she walks over and calls the elevator. Cut to Tricia walking toward her apartment. She hears sobbing from inside. She quickly unlocks the front door and walks in to find Sheffield sobbing naked on the couch, surrounded by empty beer cans and cigarette butts as the credits roll on Ezra’s movie)

 

TRICIA: Jesus Christ! (Tricia runs over to Sheffield and grabs him by the head) What the hell is wrong?!

 

SHEFFIELD: I HAVE NO TALENT, TRICIA!!! (Sheffield wrests his head from her hand and sits up, holding up his own hands) THESE HANDS CANNOT CRAFT WHAT MILBURN CAN! I AM THE SALIERI TO HIS MOZART!! THE, THE, THE, RINGO TO HIS JOHN LENNON, THE FUCKING BIG BOI TO HIS ANDRE 3000!!!

 

TRICIA: First of all- fuck off with the Big Boi hate. Secondly, why are you naked?!

 

SHEFFIELD: BECAUSE MY LIE IS EXPOSED! I’M A FRAUD, PATRICIA!!

 

(Sheffield collapses into Tricia’s chest. Tricia strokes his hair)

 

TRICIA: Shhhh, no, Sheffield, you’re not a fraud. You’re just starting out. I’m sure Spielberg’s first movies weren’t very good either-

 

(Sheffield shoots up and looks Tricia in the eye)

 

SHEFFIELD: SO, YOU ADMIT IT! YOU HATE MY MOVIE!

 

(Tricia freezes up. She takes a deep breath and gets on one knee. Sheffield looks confused)

 

TRICIA: Jonathan Anthony Sheffield, will you marry me?

 

(Sheffield’s eyes well up and he covers his mouth melodramatically)

 

SHEFFIELD: …Uh-huh…

 

(Sheffield grabs Tricia by the head and plants a long kiss on her. Tricia’s eyes stay open the whole time, brimming with apprehension. Cut to Edgar speaking in a courtroom in defense of a greasy-looking white dude shoved into a suit and glasses. Roy is sitting by the defendant as Edgar gives his speech, before the judge, jury and prosecution)

 

EDGAR: You’ve heard the prosecution present, in gory detail, the alleged crimes committed by my client. (Edgar approaches the jury) I feel I don’t have to tell you this, because you already know. They’re trying to manipulate you. (Edgar shrugs as he walks away) Allegedly, my client, Mr. Francis, broke into the home of 27-year-old Alice Galecki and threw her out a three-story window, along with her dog Mr. Muffins. They’ll tell you that last detail to manipulate your emotions- BUT- what they won’t tell you is that Mr. Muffins was dead before he ever went out that window. His neck was gently broken beforehand. He did not suffer. (Edgar taps his head) Remember that.

 

(Roy glares at Mr. Francis. Francis glares back and Roy quickly withdraws his gaze. Cut to Edgar and Roy walking out of the courthouse, followed by a gaggle of reporters with cameras and mics)

 

REPORTER: Mr. Huntsman, are you surprised the jury convicted after only fifteen minutes?

 

EDGAR: Not remotely, now if you’ll excuse me, I have a boozy lunch to get to in Lincoln Park.

 

(Edgar and Roy disappear into the back of a town car. Cut to the back of the town car. Edgar hands a tenner to the driver)

 

EDGAR: Take me to Gemini, and use surface streets, there’s gonna be traffic on the highway.

 

DRIVER: Yes, sir.

 

(Edgar gives a heavy sigh)

 

EDGAR: No jury was gonna acquit him.

 

ROY: Yeah. Because he did it.

 

EDGAR: He insisted I argue that a hundred-pound woman and a tiny schnauzer was a threat to him- in a house HE broke into.

 

(Roy taps his fingers impatiently and looks out the window)

 

ROY: I’m glad he got convicted.

 

(Edgar nods)

 

EDGAR: I don’t blame you.

 

(Roy grips his knee angrily)

 

ROY: …Did you hire Erica to fuck with me?

 

EDGAR: What?

 

ROY: Erica. You hired her to fuck with me, didn’t you?

 

EDGAR: Why- are you two not friends with benefits anymore?

 

ROY: She’s Harold Lennon’s sister.

 

(Edgar looks shocked and rubs his chin)

 

EDGAR: Oh, fuck.

 

ROY: YEAH.

 

EDGAR: I had no idea.

 

ROY: You didn’t even bother looking it up when you saw her last name?!

 

EDGAR: No- a lotta people have that last name. I didn’t do a background check on Henry Dahmer or Jennifer Gein, did I?

 

ROY: Yeah, but now that you mention it- you probably should have!

 

EDGAR: What do you want- for me to fire her because your friend killed her brother?!

 

ROY: SHHHH!

 

(Roy points at the driver)

 

EDGAR: He don’t hear nothin’.

 

DRIVER: Not a word.

 

(Roy sighs)

 

ROY: Listen- I don’t want you to fire her, that would be fucked up. It’s not her fault, and she’s suffered enough. (Roy sighs) But I’ve had enough of this shit.

 

DRIVER: What do you mean?

 

ROY: …I’m tired of sitting in judgement of guys like Charlie Francis while I’m covering for MULTIPLE HOMICIDES.

 

EDGAR: Okay, you just told me to keep quiet and then you screamed “multiple homicides”.

 

ROY: I don’t give a shit- I’m gonna go to the police- and not only about Harold.

 

EDGAR: You mean Shuttle and the others?

 

ROY: YES! I’m tired of having this load of shit on my shoulders!

 

EDGAR: Roy- as your lawyer, I feel I must strongly advise you to not to- or at least to just tip off the police anonymously.

 

ROY: You’re talking about selling out my friends without admitting my own culpability in all this shit?!

 

EDGAR: Your culpability is just covering for them-

 

ROY: No, it’s not, I encouraged them to waste those other dudes!

 

(Edgar sighs)

 

EDGAR: You’re throwing away your life, Roy! If you admit to a conspiracy to commit murder, that can land you at least four years in prison, and as many as fifteen.

 

ROY: It’ll give me time to think about what I’ve done.

 

EDGAR: It’ll give you time to get the FUCK beaten out of you by skinheads! Plus, you have to shit in front of other people, and it’s not fun, I’ve been there.

 

ROY: You’ve been to jail?

 

EDGAR: No, but I had a studio apartment once.

 

(Roy sighs)

 

ROY: I don’t care. I’m giving them the killer, so I think they’ll be lenient.

 

EDGAR: Yeah, but, and I hate to remind you of this, but you’re BLACK.

 

ROY: I know, I know-

 

EDGAR: Also, what do you mean “the killer”? In the Shuttle case, it was two killers, no?

 

(Roy shakes his head)

 

ROY: I ain’t givin’ up Kelly, she, at least, has been a true friend to me.

 

EDGAR: Oh, so now covering for people is okay?

 

ROY: She had just been attacked by these people! That was borderline self-defense, until Oliver decided to shoot a bunch of people who were unconscious!

 

EDGAR: Roy, you can’t do this-

 

ROY: Mr. Huntsman. I’m going to do this. Don’t worry, I know a good lawyer to have in my corner. (Edgar smirks and nods solemnly. The driver pulls up to a light, turns around and mimes zipping his own mouth and throwing away the key. He winks and turns back around) Wait, what does the wink mean?!

 

(Cut to a white cop working the front desk at a Chicago police station. Roy and Edgar walk in, wearing masks. The cop stands up)

 

OFFICER BENNETT: Excuse me, could you two remove your masks? It’s policy here.

 

EDGAR: We most certainly will not.

 

ROY: I have some information regarding a quintuple-homicide from about a year ago.

 

(Officer Bennett’s eyebrows rise)

 

OFFICER BENNETT: Oh. (Bennett grips his radio) Chief, you’re gonna want to come down here.

 

(Cut to Roy sitting in interrogation. Detectives Bridget Hutchison and Brian Sussex are interrogating. Detective Hutchison, a statuesque brunette in her 40s, lays out a series of crime scene photos showing each of the victims dead on the pavement)

 

DETECTIVE HUTCHISON: You recognize these five men?

 

ROY: Yes.

 

DETECTIVE HUTCHISON: Can you tell me their names?

 

ROY: Not really, I just know this one- (Roy points at the one with his throat cut) had the nickname “Shuttle”.

 

DETECTIVE HUTCHISON: His name was Julio Ramirez. (Roy nods) Who killed him?

 

ROY: I did.

 

(Hutchison and Sussex, a slightly overweight dude with a buzzcut, trade looks)

 

DETECTIVE SUSSEX: …Why?

 

ROY: He was trying to kill my friends and I, but. By the time I slit his throat, him and his homies was already subdued. We were just afraid of retribution, because Oliver had already shot one of them during the altercation.

 

DETECTIVE HUTCHISON: Hold on- who’s Oliver?

 

ROY: Oliver Shine. He’s the one who shot the other four. One of them during the altercation, the other three while they were all knocked out.

 

DETECTIVE SUSSEX: Why were they trying to kill you and your friends?

 

(Roy shrugs)

 

ROY: They had some beef with Oliver from, like, a year earlier. They threw down behind a church. Then, during this BLM protest, we all ran into one another.

 

DETECTIVE HUTCHISON: Who’s idea was it to kill them?

 

ROY: Both of us- Oliver and me.

 

DETECTIVE SUSSEX: But you slit Shuttle’s throat before anyone was shot?

 

ROY: Well- after this dude- (Roy points to one of the victim’s photos) was shot, but before the other three were. The first dude was legitimate self-defense, I wouldn’t charge that one if I were y’all.

 

DETECTIVE HUTCHISON: Why didn’t you come to us sooner?

 

(Roy sighs)

 

ROY: …Oliver’s my friend. But also, people like me ain’t too fond of talking to people like you, if you know what I mean.

 

(Hutchison nods)

 

DETECTIVE HUTCHISON: I DO know. I’ve read Robin DeAngelo. (Roy holds his tongue) I just want you to know that your perspective is valid.

 

ROY: …Thanks…

 

DETECTIVE SUSSEX: Anyway, go on.

 

(Roy licks his lips)

 

ROY: Where was I? Oh yes, ruining my life. As I was saying-

 

(Cut to Oliver on the couch in his therapist’s office- playing with a Rubik’s cube. Dr. Nestle takes a sip of coffee and smirks)

 

OLIVER: …I still don’t know what the fuck to make of this shit with my brother. I keep seeing him, every once in a while, and it feels so real.

 

DR. NESTLE: Often it does feel real.

 

OLIVER: …Kelly’s getting pretty tired of it. She tries to be supportive, but she’s got her own stress to worry about. It’s hard to deal with other people’s pain when you’re dealing with so much of your own.

 

DR. NESTLE: Uh-huh.

 

(Dr. Nestle checks her watch)

 

OLIVER: …Is there somewhere you need to be?

 

DR. NESTLE: Me? No, no, I’m good.

 

OLIVER: Okay, well, Kelly and I have been fighting recently, and I think it has a lot to do with- (Dr. Nestle peers out the window) okay, what the fuck is that about!?

 

DR. NESTLE: Me? Nothing at all. Let’s focus on you.

 

OLIVER: What’s going on?

 

(Dr. Nestle scoots forward)

 

DR. NESTLE: Oliver, I won’t lie to you. Your recent, delusions of vampirism have been very concerning.

 

OLIVER: …Okay…

 

DR. NESTLE: Plus, you’ll remember recently when you harmed yourself in front of me.

 

(Oliver sighs)

 

OLIVER: I explained that- I was trying to prove a point!

 

DR. NESTLE: So was the man who flashed me on the bus this morning.

 

OLIVER: You take the bus?!

 

DR. NESTLE: Oliver. I filed a petition with a district court.

 

OLIVER: You did WHAT?!

 

DR. NESTLE: There are people on their way who will get you help. Forcibly.

 

(Oliver gets up)

 

OLIVER: YOU ASSHOLE!! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?! (Men in white run in, and one of them sticks Oliver with a needle. Oliver easily pushes them away) GET THE FUCK OFF ME! (Oliver staggers as the men in white start to get up) What-what the fuck is this- an elephant tranquilizer?!

 

(Oliver falls back onto the couch)

 

DR. NESTLE: You crush a plate with one hand to prove you were a vampire once, I told them they might need a heavier sedative. (The men in white restrain Oliver as he begins to lose consciousness) I think maybe it’s PCP.

 

(The men pick up Oliver and start to drag him)

 

OLIVER: You fuckin’ bitch, I’ll remember this-

 

DR. NESTLE: Wow- a real mask-off moment, Oliver. Nice!

 

(Barrett Shine bursts through the window in a torrent of glass, and summarily slits Dr. Nestle’s throat, grabs one of the men-in-white and throttles him to the wall, and slits the throat of the other one. Barrett runs over to the knocked-out man-in-white and bashes his brains in with his foot. Oliver is half-asleep on the ground, as Barrett rushes over)

 

OLIVER: B-Barrett?!

 

BARRETT: Let’s go, little brother. (Barrett picks Oliver up) Although, from the looks of it, I’m the little brother now. (Barrett takes Oliver and jumps out the window from whence he came. Cut to Oliver chained to the wall in a musty basement with stone walls. Barrett slaps Oliver awake. Oliver blinks rapidly as he awakes and furrows his brow- as the image of his late brother comes into focus) Rise and Shine, Mr. Freeman. Rise and shine.

 

OLIVER: What the fuck…how is this- that’s a really dated reference, by the way.

 

BARRETT: I died in 2007, give me a break.

 

OLIVER: How is this happening, you haven’t aged a day?

 

BARRETT: Take a wild guess, little brother.

 

(Beat)

 

OLIVER: …You’re a vampire too, huh?

 

BARRETT: Last time I checked.

 

(Barrett smirks)

 

OLIVER: …But how?

 

BARRETT: I was real fucked up, driving down the skyway, when I looked down at a text I got from a buddy of mine, and I slid on the ice and rammed into the back of a hummer at 70 miles per hour. By the time medics got on the scene, I was bleeding out quickly. But lucky me. One of the medics was undead.

 

OLIVER: Jesus Christ.

 

BARRETT: St. Steve saved my life that night.

 

OLIVER: …When did you rise?

 

BARRETT: Shortly after you guys buried me- though I made sure to make the grave look undisturbed.

 

OLIVER: Why did you disappear for over ten years?!

 

BARRETT: You know better than anyone, it’s not an easy conversation.

 

OLIVER: Fair enough- but what have you been doing the past fourteen years?!

 

(Barrett shrugs)

 

BARRETT: A little of this, a little of that.

 

(Cut to crime scene photographers snapping photographs of Dr. Nestle’s dead body on the couch in her office, along with the men in white dead on the ground. The place is crawling with cops and detectives speaking to one another, and the place is cordoned with crime scene tape. A receptionist is outside the room sobbing, being comforted by an CPD officer. Cut back to Oliver and Barrett)

 

OLIVER: Holy shit- it’s coming back to me! You slaughtered my therapist and those social workers!

 

BARRETT: I wasn’t gonna let them commit you!

 

OLIVER: YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO KILL THEM! YOU HAVE SUPER-STRENGTH, YOU COULD’VE JUST SUBDUED THEM!

 

(Barret scoffs and rolls his eyes)

 

BARRETT: Fine, Mother Theresa- I didn’t have to kill them, but I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m a VAMPIRE. It’s in our nature!
 

OLIVER: You can resist that.

 

BARRETT: When are you gonna stop being ashamed of what you are?!

 

OLIVER: Exactly- WHAT I am. Not a person, a thing. That’s what you’ve chosen to surrender to. Animal instinct. Is that what you’ve been doing? Running around the country slaughtering people the past decade and change?!

 

BARRETT: You ever heard of the disappearance of the Jamison Family, in North Carolina? Around 2009?

 

(Oliver looks confused)

 

OLIVER: No?

 

BARRETT: Well. That was me.

 

OLIVER: Congratulations.

 

(Barrett looks annoyed)

 

BARRETT: I also did the Boston Bombing.

 

OLIVER: What?! No, you didn’t! They caught that guy a few days after it happened!

 

BARRETT: Well, why do you think I take credit for the high-profile shit?! Because the stuff I actually did doesn’t impress anybody!

 

OLIVER: You’re a sick FUCK.

 

(Oliver spits upon the ground)

 

BARRETT: Oh- REAL mature!
 

OLIVER: WHAT?!

 

(Barrett sits down and crosses his arms)

 

BARRETT: I try to reconnect with my little brother- and he spits at me. That’s just fucking great.

 

OLIVER: YOU ARE NOT THE VICTIM HERE- I AM LITERALLY CHAINED TO THIS WALL!

 

BARRETT: You’ve changed, man.

 

OLIVER: Last time I saw you, I WAS TWELVE YEARS OLD! Yeah, I’ve changed- I don’t collect fucking Yugi-Oh cards anymore!

 

BARRETT: And you don’t wet the bed- I hope.

 

OLIVER: I had stopped doing that by twelve, asshole.

 

BARRETT: Not from what I remember.

 

OLIVER: What the fuck brought you back after all these years, anyway?!

 

BARRETT: …Listen, Charlie didn’t turn you on a whim.

 

(Oliver’s eyes go wide)

 

OLIVER: What?!

 

BARRETT: Strap in, this story’s gonna be a wild ride.

 

OLIVER: I’m- clearly strapped in, so just spit it out.

 

BARRETT: A little over two years ago, I found myself pretty bored with committing grisly murders.

 

OLIVER: Oh, poor you.

 

BARRETT: But then…

 

(Flashback to November 2018. Barrett is pouring himself a cup of blood in the dank kitchen of his dark apartment- where the windows are covered by enormous sheets. Barrett makes his way to the couch in his adjoining living room. He sits next to a woman’s body- drained completely of blood. He picks up his remote and tries to turn on the TV. But it doesn’t come on. He presses it several times impatiently. He throws the remote down, and then grabs an envelope on his coffee table- it says, “NOTICE OF POWER DISCONNECTION” and it’s from the Chicago Department of Finance)

 

BARRETT: FUCK!

 

(Barret throws the notice aside. He rubs his eye and picks up a copy of the Chicago Tribune off the coffee table. He shines his phone’s light on it- the headline reads “PRITZKER ELECTED GOVERNOR- Nationally, Democrats Take House, GOP Make Gains in Senate”. He turns back to the arts section and scans it. He finds an article featuring a picture of Oliver, Kelly and Jeff Shine at an art show. The headline reads “Northwestern Art Students Dazzle with Tepidly-Received Art Show”. Barrett looks intrigued, and as he lowers the paper, he appears wistful. He gets up and throws the newspaper down)

 

BARRETT: (OS) I realized you would never accept me unless you could relate to me. The way to do that, was to find a vampire who could get close…

 

OLIVER: (OS) You bastard.

 

BARRETT: (OS) Now, hold on! Don’t jump to conclusions! (Cut to Barrett sitting in his car at night with a pair of binoculars, spying on Oliver meeting up with Charlie outside his apartment. Oliver and Charlie bro-hug and exchange weed. Oliver gives him the peace sign and goes back inside his apartment. Barrett smiles widely) After following you for several weeks, I found out your dealer was a vampire. I had my way in.

 

(Cut back to Barrett and Oliver in the basement)

 

BARRETT: So, do you remember that night when Charlie dealt you drugs, crop-dusted your apartment and left?

 

OLIVER: I mean, he did that a lot- so? Not really?

 

BARRETT: It was the eleven-year anniversary of my death.

 

OLIVER: Okay, yes, I remember.

 

BARRETT: I offered Charlie money to turn you into a vampire that night.

 

OLIVER: You told me “not to jump to conclusions”!

 

BARRETT: And you still shouldn’t!

 

OLIVER: WHY?! YOU PAID SOMEONE TO KILL ME, YOU SON OF A BITCH!! NOW I’M CURSED FOREVER!! (Oliver struggles against his chains) JESUS- WHAT ARE THESE, TITANIUM!?

 

BARRETT: Because I CALLED IT OFF!

 

(Oliver is confused)

 

OLIVER: THEN WHY DID THIS HAPPEN!?

 

BARRETT: You’ll have to ask Charlie that question.

 

OLIVER: Holy shit-

 

BARRETT: Luckily, you’ll have that opportunity soon enough.

 

(Oliver squints)

 

OLIVER: I’m sorry, what?! (Barrett gets up and plunges a needle into Oliver’s arm) OH, FUCK youuuu…

 

(Oliver drifts off)

 

BARRETT: (Whispering) Hush little baby, don’t say a word. Barrett’s gonna buy you a bag of blood…

 

(Cut to Nancy sleeping in Charlie’s bed. Charlie rises behind her, extends his fangs, and goes in for the neck. Nancy’s hand reflexively strikes at Charlie’s neck)

 

NANCY: What do you think you’re doing, love?

 

(Charlie raises his hands)

 

CHARLIE: I’m jokin’! I’m jokin’!

 

NANCY: Bugger off.

 

(Nancy gets up and walks into the bathroom. Charlie retracts his teeth. There’s a knock at the door. Charlie walks out of the bedroom and into the foyer. He looks through the peephole and sees Barrett. Charlie backs away- shocked)

 

CHARLIE: YO- I AIN’T GIVING THE 25K BACK, I ALREADY SPENT IT ON A PARTY YACHT THAT SUNK THE VERY SAME NIGHT!

 

BARRETT: (OS) That’s not why I’m here, bro. Open up.

 

(Charlie sighs, and opens the door)

 

CHARLIE: What do you want?

 

BARRETT: You wanna earn the other 25k?

 

(Charlie looks intrigued. Fade to black)

 

TO BE CONTINUED…


Submitted: September 27, 2021

© Copyright 2021 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.

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