She is wearing boots, jeans, and a white tee shirt with black cartoon figures on it. A girl is screaming into a microphone while other cartoons play instruments behind her.
There are lots of lightning bolts and musical notes.
The cartoon girl singer is wearing a hair band. The shirt says, "Hair Band."
"Ay! Muuuuuuuuy caliente, bay bay!" says the resident serial killer, Chloe, striking a flamenco dancer's pose and watching the Dark Haired Chick walk by. She wolf whistles.
The Dark Haired Chick mutters, "Oh shut up," but she is grinning.
There is a Vampire Hunter lying dead on the floor over by the free newspapers, and the Queen Of The Vampires, in the form of a black panther, is standing on his chest and tilting her head at him.
"Roowwwwwwwr," she says, which means "too late for Tums."
Then she sees the Dark Haired Chick come in and loses interest in the expired Hunter. She bounds gracefully into a booth and after joyfully ripping up the upholstery with her claws, shape shifts back into her natural form.
The Dark Haired Chick slings her bag into the opposite seat and slides in.
"Bitch," she says in greeting.
"Biaaaaachhhh," replies the QOTV, imitating her cat self with a big teeth baring hiss.
Chloe, born on a sunny Sunday in May, has gone back to reading Spin, but it doesn't hold her interest. She walks over to the window and looks out at the lights. When she burned down the neighbors' garage, it made the most pleasing light she had ever seen, but as usual, her parents failed to appreciate her achievement.
They were obtuse.
As a girl, sitting at the dinner table, she had decided a guest's filet mignon looked better than anything on her own plate, and so, after waiting for him to pick up his water glass, she pounced, popped it into her mouth and dashed up the stairs to her room with it.
Instead of admiring her grace and daring, her parents had bored and confused her with waves of disapproval. Apparently, the guest was her father's "boss", whatever that was.
It sounded like a type of fungus.
To her, he was weak, there to be fleeced, toyed with, dragged out to the curb and dispatched,
But her mother and father disagreed and punished her.
Was that any way to run a circus?
As a teenager, she had torched the neighbor's garage, subtracted a few cheerleaders (they irritated her) and been thrown out of the house.
She had stayed for a while with a friend, then took up residence in the rough at the local country club, where her parents were members.
What's one less golfer more or less? Like cheerleaders, they were annoying. But she had been shuttled through the legal system, where she was tried and convicted despite having bribed a judge with sexual favors. Did no one else in the world understand simple pragmatism?
She was sent to prison.
With the help of the Succubus, she escaped.
For the past seven months she has been hiding in plain sight at Danny's Coffee Shop.
"How come you don't have donuts?" It is the shorter of two cops who have walked in.
Chloe stays facing the street and goes very still.
The Queen Of The Vampires lifts her head from the Dark Haired Chick's shoulder.
Savanna's hand falls down beside her boot, where she always keeps a knife.
The Succubus is thinking to herself, "if only they had stayed asleep in their cruiser, I could have stolen their souls!" Then she remembers that policemen have bitter tasting souls and abandons the wish.
Silence fills Danny's Coffee Shop.
Then God (the waitress) speaks. "Look y'all," she says brightly to the officers. "Your cop car is going on a call withoutcha."
It's true. Their cruiser is rolling away. They both bolt out of Danny's and run like big blue bats out of hell after their disappearing wheels.
When God laughs, it is like spray from a fountain.
Chloe looks perplexed, then her eyes get big. "YOU did that!"
"Uh huh," says God.
Chloe's parents never understood her, but God does. Every black sheep girl is still her little chica.
The Succubus is looking sleepy.
Savanna goes back to her underground comic book.
The Queen Of The Vampires has her eyes closed and her cheek on "Hair Band."
God is in Her coffee shop and all is well with the world.
photograph by James Bengel. Used by permission.