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vol. i,  issue xvi
June 30, 2003
Jun. 2003



shut the
Katie McDougal, Chief Executive Vampire
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I don't know exactly when I suspected. Maybe it was the fact I had to work the second shift at the hospital and wondered why the office was deserted during the day. Or maybe it was the odd way Katie would look at me when I got a paper cut. But I think that somewhere, deep down inside, I knew.

Katie was my boss and like many bosses, a total phony. Her biggest fear (at least I thought at the time) was being discovered for not knowing nearly as much as she pretended to know. Like she pretended to know how to send an email but then tried to place an "attachment" inside the recipient's field. She acted as though she was going to have a nervous breakdown. Luckily, I noticed the problem and saved her. Of course she didn't thank me.

Katie had long auburn hair that she insisted on wearing down, even though she was pushing fifty. I guess she thought it made her look younger. And her nails were painted this hideous color of burgundy. They were a little on the sharp side and she often used them to open envelopes. I always wondered why they didn't break but now know the truth. Vampire's nails never break.

I'd come to work at 7 PM (in the summer, we didn't start until 9 PM) and Katie would be there, sitting at her desk, tapping those ridiculous nails while trying to decipher her email. She shook her head. "Things were a lot easier when we didn't have these cursed things," I'd hear her mutter. "We should go back to Olivetti Typewriters. They were the pip!"

She was so weird.

Katie never seemed to be concerned with my life at all. She'd breeze in, appear to look busy at her desk for a couple of hours and then breeze out. She'd take some phone calls while occasionally saying, "No. Not downtown. They've got bugs down there and I don't do buggy."

I typed away at my computer while sneaking peeks at her. Her face was milky white and her red lipstick was always perfectly painted. Every once in awhile, she'd throw back her head and laugh and I thought I saw a glimpse of some pointy teeth.  Man, her dentist sucked.

She would have these other co-workers come in and discuss things with her. I didn't know what kind of things, they just would whisper and then look at me. There was one guy who had yellow eyes. Like organic egg yolks, they were. At first I thought he was sick because we were working in a hospital, but then I discovered that he wasn't sick. He was dead.

One night, I was in the copy room, printing off more dead tree skins that soon would be thrown away when I heard something behind me. I could tell someone was standing there, very still. I didn't want to turn around because I wasn't sure if I'd have to try to defend myself and all I had were a few paper clips. I finally squeezed my eyes shut, replayed a few Jet Li moves in my mind and turned around with a big "HAAAAAIEEEEEE!" The man in front of me jumped vertically about a foot in the air. It was our poor Indian janitor.

"Why you make boom boom sound? You scare me, Miss! Now I clean my mess! I can't call housekeeping, they make me do their beds but never want do my job. Why not I stay in India, bicycle message man best than this."  He bent down to scrub the floor.

"Oh, Mohammed," (every foreign male in the hospital is named Mohammed), "I'm so very sorry! Please, let me help." I tried to bend down to help, but he waved me away.

"No. You go, Miss. Do busy desk work. Your boss waits and she have hurry." He wiped the floor clean and threw the towel in a bin.

I turned to head out and almost walked into Katie.

"Well, it's about time! I have a meeting that I'm almost late to because I've been waiting! Where is this meeting, anyway? You didn't put it on my calendar! I shouldn't have to be asking!" Katie looked whiter than usual.

I backed into our small waiting room. Katie's eyes were starting to turn red.

"I need to be at the meeting, otherwise, it will go into overtime and I have places to go, people to drainI mean meet! I get so weary of trying to do everyone else's job around her. My managers are total idiots. They don't even know how to send an email!" Katie was now advancing toward me and I saw her hands start to rise, her finger in mid-claw.

"Katie, we had a small accident in the copy room, but I have your copies now. No worries."

She whipped her head around to look in the copy room. Never saw a head rotate 330 degrees but yes, it looked strange.

"Accident? As in blood?" Katie was scoping the room as though it was filled with blood.

"No, Katie. No blood."

She looked disappointed. "Well then, I'm hungry. Guess that means I'll have you!" And she leapt across the room toward me.

I quickly sidestepped her with a very cool Jet Li move and she fell through a cheap chair. She snarled.

"Gosh, Katie, now look what you did. You broke the furniture. Our office manager will not be happy." I tsked over the ugly chair that had been put out of its misery.

"I don't care about the damn chair. I want blood!" Again, she came at me, but I drop-rolled on the floor while avoiding her. I quickly grabbed a piece of the broken chair as she sailed in the air in an attempt to body-slam me. I held the wood with both hands as she impaled herself.

"Ow! Ow, ow, ow!!" She glared at me. "That was really mean."

"Well, you wanted to suck my blood. I think that is very inconsiderate."

Katie nodded her head and then took one last gasp of an already dead breath, then collapsed on the floor. Instantly, her form evaporated and left one huge cigarette ash heap in the middle of the waiting room. I shook my head.

"Hey, Mohammed! There's another mess in here. Bring your vacuum cleaner."

I walked back to my desk and typed out my resignation. Stupid vampires.

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