Libby’s Post: Meeting Camden Scott

Brian parked his BMW in front of the single story nursing home.

Nerdo Vamp opened his door first, letting the cool, damp air in. “I think it would be best if just Libby and I went in.”

Brian nodded and turned the car off.

nursing home

Image courtesy Sara Star NS via Flickr.

“She works at a nursing home?” I whispered, trying not to look too closely at the residents gathered in the dining hall. They were so gray and fragile and worn. Their skin, their hair, their clothes, everything about them looked tired.

“I do believe Ms. Scott has a fondness for the elderly, if I remember correctly.” Nerdo Vamp turned his attention to the bubble-gum chewing, twenty year old manning the front desk. “Come, let’s check in.”

“Name,” the girl said without taking her eyes from her phone.

Nerdo Vamp laced his fingers behind his back. “This is Libby and I’m–”

“No, not your name. Who are you here to see?” The girl set the phone down and smiled sweetly. But the smile was fake. I would know. I’ve used that smile to get more than a few free martinis.

“Ah, yes. We are friends of Camden Scott. We’d like to surprise her, for her birthday.” Nerdo Vamp adjusted his glasses and tried to smile sweetly. Also fake, but not nearly as good as the gum chewer’s.

calendar

Image courtesy Ebelien via Flickr.

The girl’s eyes became huge. She tore down the “Tranquility of Nature” calendar that was hanging on the bulletin board to her right. “I didn’t know it was Camden’s birthday. I’m in charge of birthdays. Shit. I mean damn. I mean phooey. Whatever old people say.”

Nerdo Vamp cleared his throat. “Not to worry, Miss. I know Camden is quite private about her birthday. She wouldn’t want a big affair in her honor, just cocktails with a couple of her dear friends.”

“Should I at least get a cake? Cookies? No, not cookies. No sweets. Camden doesn’t eat sweets, except that weird cake she brought in for Easter.” The girl pretended to gag. “It was awful. Oh, what was it? Something with an S.”

“I believe what you are referring to is Simnel cake, a type of fruit cake.”

The girl nodded and puckered her face. “It definitely had fruit. Blech. I’ll be sticking with Peeps and Cadbury Eggs next year.”

peeps

Image courtesy Kate Ter Haar via Flickr.

“Well there’s no accounting for taste.” Nerdo Vamp smiled again. “Now if you don’t mind directing us to where we might find Camden.”

“Yeah, sure. Her office is down the hall, that way, on the right. Her name’s on the door.” The girl picked her phone up and turned away.

We passed the dining hall and stopped when we saw her name: “Camden Scott, Volunteer Coordinator.” Nerdo Vamp gave the door two hard knocks.

“Come in,” a cheerful voice responded.

Nerdo Vamp pushed the door open, revealing a woman in a black suit I recognized straight from an Ann Taylor catalog. Her reddish-brown hair was in a loose bun, dark framed glasses highlighted her green eyes. I wondered if the glasses were just to make her look smart. I tried the fake glasses thing once, but ended up getting less free martinis.

The woman rose and held her hand out. “Hi Libby. I’m Camden and I’m so glad you’ve found me.” Her gaze shifted to Nerdo Vamp. She looked him up and down, with her eyebrows raised, before turning back to me. “We have a lot of work to do and not a lot of time. How long has it been since you last spoke to the man who turned you?”

I fidgeted with my ponytail. “Uh, never. I’ve never spoken to him. I just woke up one afternoon, with a killer headache and a crazy note.”

Camden rolled her eyes. “Figures. Colin can be such an ass sometimes.”

“Excuse me, Camden. What exactly is it that you want from Libby?” Nerdo Vamp asked.

She removed her purse from the bottom desk drawer and nodded toward the door. “The question isn’t what I want from Libby. It’s what can I do for Libby.” She closed the door behind us. “I understand you have a little problem with Erasmus.”

I nodded. “Little is one way to put it.”

Libby’s Post – What’s up with this chick anyway?

I left Evan at the Waffle House and went straight to Nerdo Vamp’s office. This was important. It had to be taken care of, like now.

I pushed open the heavy wooden door and stopped at Nerdo Vamp’s desk.

“Yes, yes, Mr. Alexander. To be certain. Although, one must remember that these are uncertain times in which we live.” Nerdo Vamp dropped his pen and turned away from me.

I marched around the desk and stood in front of him again, this time flailing my arms overhead.

office

Courtesy Chris Meller via Flickr

He shooed me away and swiveled around to face the front door

“What’s got you so worked up?”

That voice–it was Brian. He would surely take me seriously.

“Oh my god, Brian.” I flung myself into a chair and let my arms drop lifelessly over the armrests. “I am in sooo much trouble. My husband, you know, Evan, he had this woman follow me. And she knows. She knows it all. And now she’s after me. She’s going to tell everyone… about me… us…all of us. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Do I kill her? Do I turn–“

“Libby,” Brian bent over and grabbed my shoulders, “it’s fine. We’ll take care of it.”

“Take care of what?” Nerdo Vamp was now standing beside me.

Brian opened his desk drawer and pulled out a bag of potato chips. “Some woman found about Libby and is demanding to be turned, or else.”

“Right.” Nerdo Vamp adjusted his bow tie. “Libby, you will learn that there are many reasons a vampire may turn someone, and blackmail is not among them. What do you know about this woman?”

“Uh, oops.” I winced.  “Nothing, except that Evan hired her to follow me. She must be some sort of private detective.”

“Well, Libby, I suggest you inquire further. We may be supernatural, but we are not miracle workers.” He went back to his desk and turned off the computer. “Brian, get the bag.”

I found my phone and dialed Evan’s number.

“Hi, Libby, I–“

“I need to know her name,” I said before he could say anything else.

“What? You aren’t going to turn her?”

“Her name, Evan. I need to know.”

He was silent for a moment and then whispered, “Camden Scott. Her name is Camden Scott.”

“All right. And where does she work?”

I got the address hung up the phone. I looked from Brian to Nerdo Vamp. “Camden Scott.”

Brian dropped his bag and laughed.

“What?”

pretzels

Courtesy David Lofink via Flickr

Nerdo Vamp sighed and sat back down, restarting his computer. “Camden Scott, also known as Fiona Ridgeway, Sunshine Pierce and Beulah Taylor, is already a vampire.”

“Her real name is Mary Billingsley.” Brian opened a bag of pretzels and offered me a bag of Doritos. “Want some?”

I shook my head.

He rubbed some of the salt off a pretzel before popping it in his mouth. “I’ve helped her change names twice now. She’s always into something, causing trouble, creating drama.”

“And sticking her nose where it does not belong,” Nerdo Vamp added.

Brian ripped open the bag of Doritos. “She claims she’s a vampire rights activist. What was her last cause?”

doritos

Courtesy Sean MacEntee via Flickr

“I believe it was ‘Blood Bags are for Brooders’ or something along those lines.”

“That’s right.” Brian licked the cheese powder from his thumb. “She’s anti-blood bag because she believes it’s in a vampire’s nature to hunt, to kill. And if vampires deprive themselves of that basic need, the vampire becomes emotionally disturbed, anxious, depressed, what have you. They then become more likely to commit suicide or kill another vampire… and obviously, more broody.”

I held out my hand for a Dorito. “Is that true?”

“There’s some data to support the theory, but you know, there’s not a lot of vampire centered research out there.”

“I think my all time favorite has to be ‘Humans, Not Housecats’.” Nerdo Vamp nodded at Brian, “Wouldn’t you say?”

“That was a few years ago, after a certain movie came out. She had different versions: ‘Humans, Not Housecats’ and ‘Humans, Not Horses’ and my favorite, ‘Humans, Not Hamsters’. Remember the bumper stickers she handed out at the last conference?”

“Quite silly, they were.” Nerdo Vamp spun his chair back around and began typing. “Like anyone would place something so ridiculous on their automobile.”

Brian moved on to a bag of Fritos. “Yeah, I stuck mine on the refrigerator.”

fritos

Courtesy austinboardman via Flickr

“Okay, this is fascinating and all, but why is she messing with me?” I folded my arms and tried to look pouty.

“Good question, Libby,” Nerdo Vamp said, picking up his phone. “That’s what we’re about to find out.”

**Why not start the series from the beginning? Click here to read about Libby’s first day as a vampire**

Libby’s Post – What has Evan done?

Waffle House Interior

Image courtesy rpavich via Flickr

So I met Evan at the Waffle House today, at 1:00 p.m., just like he asked. I did my best not to cringe as I walked inside. And as I expected, I was BY FAR the best-dressed person there. I’m not sure why people think it’s acceptable to go out in their pajamas and oversized Tweety bird shirts, but they do.

It didn’t used to be like this, at least not that I can remember.

Evan and I practically lived at the Waffle House when we were younger. It was around the corner, had good eats and was open 24 hours a day–perfect for our secret late night rendezvous.

We would sit, side by side in a corner booth, and plot and plan and scheme. We were going to make it be big. We had to. We had to be better than our middle class parents. We weren’t going to struggle to pay the bills or put our kids through college.  And we were going to have a huge house and fancy cars and designer clothing. We’d finally be able to stop pretending to be the people our friends thought we were. I could stop searching for Guess jeans at the Goodwill and buy them new and with a credit card of my own. Soon, we would be envied. People would be jealous of us, and all the things that we had. It was just a matter of time.

Today, we sat across from each other in our old corner booth. It had been more than ten years since I’d eaten there, but really, are you surprised? Once I had more than a few dollars to my name, I was schmoozing the society ladies at Antoine’s. I couldn’t be seen at a Waffle House, even if they did make amazing waffles and hash browns.

“Where’d you stay last night?” I asked, wiping a suspicious looking smear near my water glass.

“The Hilton.”

“Sounds nice.”

“It was pleasant enough.” He squirted a swirl of ketchup on top of his hash browns. “How’s your head?”

“Better,” I took a large gulp of water and tried to ignore the toddler kicking the back of my seat. “One vodka cranberry too many, you know?”

He raised his eyebrows and set down his fork. “I figured. You always drink when you’re upset.”

“When I’m upset, happy, bored. Pretty much whenever. But we don’t have to worry about that anymore, you know. I guess I get to be immune from things like liver damage.”

Image courtesy Joshua Heller via Flickr

Image courtesy Joshua Heller via Flickr

Evan cleared his throat and leaned forward. “Yeah, about that.” He looked to either side and then back at me. “That’s what I need to talk about.”

My mouth full of waffle, I nodded for him to continue.

Still leaning forward, he whispered, “I don’t want you to be mad, but I had you followed. You were acting weird and I became suspicious.”

“What?” I said as nastily as I could. I was annoyed, even angry, but honestly I’d done the same thing to him. He was acting weird, like he did when he was cheating, so I sent someone to make sure he wasn’t doing it again. He wasn’t. This was a couple of months ago and he was still acting weird. I stirred my coffee, letting the spoon clang loudly against the mug. “Please… continue.”

Image courtesy Sam Howzit via Flickr.

Image courtesy Sam Howzit via Flickr.

“I’m sorry. I just had to know what was going on and, well, now we have another problem.”

The spoon slipped from my hand. “Oh god, Evan. What have you done?”

“The lady. The one who followed you. She knows. And now she’s threatening me. She wants you to turn her or she said she’d go public. She saw you feed on at least three people.”

My heart began to race. I took a deep breath and pushed my plate away. “Well that’s just great. Way to make things way worse, Evan.”  I grabbed my purse and started sliding out of the booth.

“Wait. There’s one more thing.” Evan looked down at his plate. He pushed the remaining hash browns in and out of a puddle of egg yolk. “I’m going to lose my job. That’s why I’ve been gone so much. I’ve been trying to get interviews anywhere I can. My list of connections is almost exhausted.” He lifted his gaze and reached out his hand. “Libby, I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Now my heart was really racing. I pulled my hand away and stood up. “Evan, I have to go deal with the first mess you created. I assume you’ll be staying at home tonight. The Hilton can be expensive when you don’t have a job.”

He nodded and began to talk, but I turned and stormed out. Dealing with this lady should be easy. At least with Nerdo Vamp’s help. The thought of not having money–that was making me sick.

**Why not start the series from the beginning? Click here to read about Libby’s first day as a vampire**