Dammit, his hair wouldn't stick up.
He woke up one morning with the idea that he really wanted spiky hair. For some reason, also, he didn't like his lame mousy-brown hair.
He looked at the package from Mr. Johnson, his boss at the high school. Immediately, his heart went in his throat as he thought he was getting fired. It's not like they would have kept his job open all this time, he thought.
He tore open the package carefully, not like he used to tear through things like this. Inside was a galley proof of a novel, written by one of his own students. Young adult writing was in vogue now, and to think that one of his own young writers had actually sold a novel to... Penguin?
He felt a twinge of jealousy. He had written mostly poems, and those were published in small backwater magazines like "Austin Chronicle" or "Boston Review". He once got a poem in the New Yorker, and that was framed on his wall. He never had enough for a chapbook, and could not write novels.
Inside was a note, "If you could edit this, Walt would appreciate it," he said, using the name of the dean of English in the high school. "A blurb would be nice, too. Hope you're feeling better, signed DJ."
He looked at the title. "Vampire Elite."
He threw the book across the room.
No way was he reading that trash, that drivel, that horrible stuff about those horrible creatures that threw him off the side of the building and when he tried to fly away it came after him and they plummeted to the ground and--
"That's how I died."
Roger took a sip of the wine and looked across the room at his friend Al who had just come out of a coma. Roger was Claire's brother, and they had been friends, but Al was looking at him strangely, as if he didn't quite know him. When Roger had first called, Al had asked "Who?" and Roger had to explain, "You know, your lawyer best friend from college?"
He was also looking at him like some girls looked at him. Roger couldn't quite tell, reading that kind of a signal from a guy.
"I need to find Scott."
"I'm not quite sure. I know I have to find him."
Roger frowned, thinking immediately that some sort of brain damage happened to him while in that coma. "Al, I think your memory's a little scrambled."
Roger looked over. Now would not be the right time for Al to get reinvolved with her. "She's fine, Al. Better than fine."
"She found someone else," he muttered, looking down.
"Yes," Roger said quietly, lying through his teeth.
"I hope...she's better."
"I think I'd better go," he said, before I tell you you're a madman.