Faith glared at the boy across the counter as he swung his finger between the two options. “Shall I have salted or caramel?” It became a little sing-song. “Salted or caramel? Salted or caramel? Hmm.”
Faith had never really enjoyed her job, but today had been much worse than usual. Someone had been sick in theatre three and it had fallen on her to clean it up. Then she’d had to put up the posters for the next blockbuster movie The Perfect Family starring Sandy Moss – which had meant she’d had no choice but to look at her stupid face – and now she was on popcorn duty.
This little shit was winding her up; he had been deliberating for at least three minutes. She banged down a carton of salted popcorn and told him where he could stick it.
As the little one ran away crying to his mother, Faith could feel the heat of her manager’s eyes. She had to calm down. She’d already had two warnings and he had been abundantly clear; any more and she would be out. She turned to face the wall, took a deep breath, one… two…
“Salted or caramel?” she heard from behind her.
For fuck’s sake! She turned on her heel, but it was a different brat who stood before her.
“I don’t want to speak to you.”
“Please,” April begged, “I only need a minute. It’s important.”
Faith could see her manager lurking again. She forced her face in to a smile and hissed through her teeth. “Piss off, April.”
April followed Faith’s gaze and noticed the manager watching her intently. She raised her voice, in a terrible impression of her mother. “How dare you talk to me like that! I want to speak to your manager!”
Faith watched in horror as her manager started to walk towards them. She turned back to April who was stifling a smile. “Outside,” she spat. “Ten minutes.”
It was about thirty minutes later when Faith joined April on the bench behind the cinema.
“This had better be important.”
April swallowed. “I’m sorry.”
Faith snorted, “Really.”
“You came all the way down here, you almost got me fired, to say that you’re sorry?” She shook her head. “I need to get back to work.”
“Wait!” April stood up, reached for Faith’s arm. “There’s… there’s something else.”
“I’m done with your bullshit, April, leave me alone.”
“Faith,” April whispered. “Listen to me.”
There was something in the way that April had spoken that stopped Faith in her tracks and she found herself turning.
“Faith, you need to hear me out.”
“Like hell I do!”
April walked towards her, brushed some popcorn dust off Faith’s shirt.
“I need to tell you something. I’ve done… something.”
And she started from the beginning.
Faith had been on the bench for far too long; her job prospects were probably in tatters. April had finished her story but Faith still couldn’t believe it.
Faith shook her head. A lover of all things supernatural, Faith was familiar with vampires, of course, but had she ever actually believed in them?
“A vampire,” she said again, laughed, still shaking her head.
“Yes.” April’s voice was firm. “You have to believe me.”
“Oh, I believe you.” Faith stood up, folded her arms and fixed April with a judgemental gaze. “I knew you would only apologise to me when you had something to gain. So what is it, huh?” She was right in April’s face now, at least level-two angry. “Hungry? Need me to be your midnight snack? Hey, might as well. You’ve been sucking my blood for the last ten years, what’s another pint between friends.”
April closed her eyes, she tried to pretend she couldn’t see the veins throbbing in Faith’s neck. “No, that’s not why I’m here.”
“Then why are you here, April?” Level three. “What the hell could you possibly have to offer me now? More hush money for the poor girl? Or maybe I’ve finally earned the right to walk through your fucking front door!” Faith had tears streaming down her face; April wondered if she even knew that. “Just fuck off, April. Fuck off back to your messed up life and leave me with mine.”
Faith turned back towards the door, but she didn’t go inside. April watched on as Faith started to count, her body began to relax, her breathing started to slow. Faith’s voice finally came, small and broken.
“Fine. Why are you here?”
April could feel the darkness creeping in. Faith sensed the change; a cold shiver ran down her spine. April had stepped closer, her lips were right near her ear now but Faith could not feel her breath as she whispered, “I think I’ve finally found a way.”
Faith pushed back. She took in April’s face. The darkness was thick between them but she could still make out April’s eyes shining unusually brightly in the moonlight.
Here she was again. She clenched her fists.
“I’m listening.” She grumbled.