By John G. Hartness
A Black Knight Short Story
Copyright 2011 John G. Hartness
“Don’t answer that.” Sabrina warned as I reached for my phone. She was on the couch beside me with the TV remote in her hand, popcorn in her lap, and a beer on the table beside her. I had a straw in a nicely chilled bottle of B-Negative and a beer chaser. And a ringing phone.
“I’d listen to her, bro.” My partner, Greg Knightwood warned from his armchair. He had his own beer and blood combo pack set up, and his bare feet were crossed on a tattered ottoman that had survived years of moving since we’d graduated college. I shuddered every time I saw anybody’s bare skin touch that thing, even though Greg was long past catching any diseases. We were all three settled in for a long overdue movie marathon, and after the events of the past few weeks, we deserved it. A trip to FairyLand and back, a cage mage against trolls and evil fairies, and playing matchmaker for a dragon definitely had taken its toll on the three of us. So we were all looking forward to a nice night of mindless entertainment, and then my phone rang. I could see why they were shooting me daggers just for thinking of answering the call, but I’ve never been the brains of the operation.
I ignored them both and picked up the phone. Bobby Reed’s face looked up at me from the screen, frozen in the goofy look he was sporting when I took the picture. I swiped my finger across the screen to answer and said “Sharky’s Pool Hall. CueBall speaking. You rack ‘em, we smack ‘em.”
“Jimmy?” Bobby’s voice sounded weird, thready and high.
“Yeah, Bobby, what’s up? We’re stocked pretty well right now, but if you had anything exotic come in I can come see you tomorrow.” Bobby was a coroner’s assistant for Mecklenburg County, and was also one of my best connections for fresh blood. Having Bobby on speed dial kept the people of Charlotte from a lot of odd cases of iron deficiency and listlessness that vampire victims are known to experience.