Evading Melissa

Lazarus washed the grease from his hair and skin, the light sweat that coated him every night. That dream. He had probably called out for Gabriel while he was asleep. Just the thought of it made him blush, though Melissa hadn’t said anything. He scrubbed at his skin until it turned light red. Melissa hadn’t told him what he had done while he was... not himself, to say the least. She had skipped around his question, simply telling him he had the night off. While this was something that most people considered a good thing, Lazarus thought spending a night alone at home was just not going to improve anything. He needed the nights at the museum to clear his head.

He called his work place up and told them he was feeling much better now, and he could still come in if they needed him. His boss was clearly relieved to hear this and gratefully accepted the offer, tacking an “only if you feel okay” on the end to make himself sound concerned for his workers’ health. Lazarus laughed and hung up. He turned to his closet and pulled his uniform out, the dark clothes fitting around his skinny frame. Melissa would be mad, and he appreciated her having his best interests at heart, but his work kept his sanity where it was. No job, no sanity at all. And it would, after all, be no use locking him up in a loony bin, since when the full moon came around, he could break out of any prison he tried to.

Guilt gripped him as he attached his pepper spray – or whatever it was – to his belt, the radio and torch with it. Melissa had stayed up all day in the sun to watch over him. He felt a mixture of things as he contemplated this – the guilt, the weirdness of having a stranger sitting on your bed watching you sleep and then the... the near relief that someone seemed to care after so long alone. Shutting himself off from the world had not worked – the world had found him.

Vampire. He still wasn’t sure about it. She seemed friendly enough, sure, but was it a facade? Was she just laughing at him? Where’d that vodka go... damn insecurities. As he looked, he realised he couldn’t even remember buying it, let alone coming back to the flat with it and putting it down. Eventually he found the bottle in the sink. Empty. He gritted his teeth. Best intentions, best intentions. He picked up a crumpled cigarette box and flipped it open. Two creased cigarettes sat inside and he sighed. God I hate being poor. I hate being a werewolf as it is, why do I have to be a poor one? He took the cigarette out of the box, placing it between his lips. He looked around for a lighter. It’s bright yellow. How can you lose something bright yellow?

He searched around and found it eventually down the back of the sofa. He lit the cigarette and gulped in the toxic air as though it were clean oxygen after having been underwater for so long. It’s hardly going to kill me he sneered at the warning on the packet. Not much can. Silver bullets, maybe, or a well placed normal one. He grabbed an extra jumper and a hat before he left, quietly leaving his apartment, just in case Melissa was next door still and could hear. He exited the apartment block just as peacefully, making his way to his car.

He got in and turned the key in the ignition, waiting for the thing to warm up before he even tried to move it anywhere. He turned the radio on, tuned to Classical fm, relaxing into the weaving harmonies of the orchestra, before setting off. He had escaped Melissa’s insistence that he stay at home all night, though he felt bad the whole way to the museum.

‘Ah!’ one of his colleagues shouted as he pulled up. ‘The final skeleton for the graveyard shift!’ His colleague chortled to himself, though the joke was old. How ironically fitting.

The End

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