“They want me to be in a movie, based on the series.” said Teeth. “I don’t know if I can go through with it.”
“You know you’ve got to hold out for something better. They’re going to make you another Chocula or Nosferatu – slicked back hair, the black cape,” said State, “and that whole thing with the bats.”
Teeth winced. “You’ve got to take what they give you. It’s not like there are a lot of ordinary roles, let alone good leads, for biters in Hollywood these days.”
“You let them keep exploiting you like this – exploiting all of us like this – and you’re going to end up finishing out your career counting cupcakes on Sesame Street and cackling while they blink the lights on and off.” said Stake.
“What do you want me to do?” asked Teeth. “You’ve got those teen romance vampires that are playing right along with the man. Nice, tame biters, they are. Might as well be zombies in a Thriller video. If I don’t give the human-controlled media what they want, I’ll end up dancing on a Justin Bieber video inside of a year, and happy to get that. That guy gives me the creeps.”
“There are lots of things you can do.” said Stake. “Don’t sell yourself short. There’s Broadway.”
Teeth laughed. “Yeah, Sister Act? No chance they’ll make me wear black flowing robes there. Besides, I think those nuns got that whole look from us. “The Addams Family”? I might as well be Bela Lugosi or Meat Loaf. And don’t even get me started about “Wicked”. A warty green nose? The girl they’ve got in that black dress looks like Paris Hilton before the surgery.”
“Isn’t that the truth?” said Stake. “I know what they’ll do to you, too, if you try out for “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark.”
“They’ll ask me to play Bono, just because I’m older than almost anyone in show business.” said Teeth.
“That whole production is just embarrassing.” said Stake.
“Even the toned down roles are all vamping in black suits or tuxes, with loads of hair gel. “Jerzey Boys”? “The Book of Morman”?, even “Rain” – that Beatles tribute. They dress up in our clothes, and imitate our style, even if they’ve never once spent the night in our neighborhood or come to a family picnic.” Teeth polished one incisor with his finger tips.
“Now you’re with me.” said Stake. “And you know we don’t even get the credit for all those style inventions. They act like it was theirs all along.”
“You’re right, Stake.” said Teeth. “I can’t go on like this.”
“It sounds like,” said Stake, “you’ve either got to dump acting or play along like their little puppet, all weak when they show you a crucifix or open the blinds, ducking and dodging all that holy water, and running around frightened over a sharp stick and a mallet.”
“That’s the worst. I think it’s compensation, because vampires are better endowed. Everyone knows that.” said Teeth.
“So?” Stake asked.
“Well, there’s a group of biters planning to fly back to Transylvania – you know, resettle.” said Teeth.
“The old country? There’s nothing there for you.” said Stake. “This is your home, now. You’ve got to stay here and work for change. All the other biters here are depending on you. You’re a celebrity, even if you do work for the man. Besides, I’ve heard of some change going on out East.”
“Yeah, what kind of change? You mean more picketing or writing our congresspeople?” asked Teeth.
“There’s a biter over there that insisted on being served in a regular restaurant. They told her to leave, but she just wouldn’t. And now some of the biters are starting to do the same – they’re even ordering blood.” said Stake.
“She did it in broad daylight?” asked Teeth?
“At the Chinese takeout. That’s the other thing. She said she’s not staying home in the daytime anymore. She’s going out in the sun like everyone else.” said Stake. “I heard those East coast biters are even buying bathing suits and tanning oil. Stores can’t keep enough of them.”
“I think I could get involved in something like that.” said Teeth.
Stake chuckled. “So could I.”
“When the movement comes, I’m growing a beard, and feathering my hair. This whole clean shaven look with three pounds of gel is someone else’s idea of what a biter looks like. And who wears purple and red linings? I really want a pair of overalls and a thermal undershirt – maybe something flannel. You know, the scruffy look.”
“The times they are a changing,” said Stake.
“Yes they are, Stake.” said Teeth. “They’re changing all right. Let’s you and I go sit at the Denny’s and see about dinner.”
“Especially with a story where it’s just two people talking, you need a plot arc or a character arc.”