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Anita and Deedee froze, and stared at each other for a moment.
Did someone hear their brother growling? Did someone call the police?
The doorbell rang again, startling them.
Then Deedee giggled as she figured it out.
“It’s the pizza guy! Tommy ordered a pizza for us just before he started wolfenating.”
Right. With all the action, Anita had completely forgotten about dinner. Some big sister she was.
“I’ll go get it,” she said. “You stay here and watch Tommy. Don’t go near the cage, and yell if he starts doing anything suspicious.”
Deedee nodded, and sat on the floor facing her brother.
As Anita made her way up the stairs, her sister’s voice drifted up to her.
“I know you’re hungry Tommy, and we always share the pizza, it’s just today I’m going to eat it first because I’m really hungry. But I promise I’ll save you a slice for when we fix you ok?”
She shook her head and smiled, then closed the door to the basement. She grabbed her purse from the kitchen.
The doorbell rang a third time just as she opened the door.
“It’s about time!” said the pizza guy. “I was starting to think we got pranked and no one was home.”
Anita let out a short laugh.
“Hi Pete, how’s it going?”
“Good good, the usual. Not much going on tonight. It’s always a pleasure coming to visit my favorite humans.” He lifted the two pizzas he was carrying, then flashed her a quick grin. His canines were unnaturally large.
“That’ll be $22.75 please.”
Anita nodded, reached into her purse, and cursed.
“Sorry, I’m missing some change for your tip. Let me go grab some from the kitchen.”
“It’s all good Anita. Why don’t you invite me in and I’ll help you look for it?” His eyes glittered dangerously for a moment.
Anita rolled her eyes at him.
“Really? That old trick? C’mon Pete, I expect more from you.”
She turned towards the kitchen as Pete burst out laughing behind her.
“Hey, you can’t blame a vampire for trying. Especially a poor pizza delivery vampire like me. For a second there, I was worried I’d have to eat all this food myself.”
She rummaged in one of the drawers, found some change and went back to him.
“Can you even eat pizza?” she asked. “I thought you guys only drank blood.”
“Actually we can eat pretty much the same things you eat. It doesn’t nourish us though. It’s kind of like when you eat a candy bar for dinner. It takes the hunger away for a bit, but then it comes back twice as strong when your body realizes you tricked it and didn’t give it any actual nutrients.”
She reached her hand across the doorway to give him his money. He took the cash and handed her the two pizzas, his hand stopping short of the threshold. Vampires couldn’t cross into a home uninvited, no matter what.
It was a weird property of their curse.
“Thank you kindly my dear, this tip is much appreciated. It will help feed my starving family for the coming months.”
Anita laughed again. Pete’s parents were extremely well-off. They owned the highest-rated pest control service in town. Anita’s parents had hired them last year to fix a rat problem in their home, and they had solved the problem in less than two hours.
Their employees were all vampires, for two good reasons. First, vampires couldn’t really work during the day unless the job was remote, limiting their career options. This was a good way to support their community.
And second, vampires were excellent at hunting vermin. It’s hard for pests to hide when the people hunting you can smell your blood.
Despite their money, Pete’s parents insisted he work for his allowance. Seeing as he spent his days cooped up at home, taking virtual school and waiting for the sun to go down, he decided to take a job where he could meet more people.
He was a cool guy… for a vampire. Which gave Anita an idea.
“Pete, how much do you know about werewolves?” she asked.
“Oh the usual. Get bit, full moon, silver bullets, that kind of stuff. Hey wanna see a magic trick?” He placed his right hand on the empty space between them, where the invisible barrier kept him out, and leaned against it.
Anita frowned as he leaned against nothing, but didn’t fall. He looked like a bad mime.
“Stop that, this is serious. Do you know about the time limit to turn werewolves back into humans? Before the transformation is complete?”
Pete scratched his head and thought for a moment.
“Yes, I remember reading about that in school. You’re supposed to make a potion with allium longicuspis, and feed it to the cursed person before the end of the full moon.”
“How come I never read about that? We’re the same age.” She frowned.
“Vampires and humans don’t always take the same classes. I also know how to cook a soufflé, but I doubt you learned to do that either.”
TO BE CONCLUDED!
How will our heroines save their brother? Will they be able to do it in time? And seriously though, where the heck are their parents?
For the answers to all of these and more, tune into tomorrow’s FINAL chapter of Friendly Creatures!
That’s right true believers, the story ends tomorrow.