The Running of Errants

The vampire Skovajsa, once the human called Vasa Skoda, was having a very frustrating night. Although not know for his patience, he had decided that the bonding of this human Sophie Quinn deserved a bit of wooing. She obviously wanted more than just a simple generic trinket of diamonds that he’d picked up in a pinch from a nearby jeweler. The song had lied. Diamonds were not best friends to all girls.

His own pride also dictated that anything belonging to him would wear his unique style. That was why he’d arranged to have a special piece made with what he considered his symbol, a crown, joined with what seemed to be hers, an infinity symbol.

He’d noticed the amulet around her neck when they’d first met, assumed her vampire male had given it to her. It was said that sometimes it was better to acknowledge a woman’s ex, even as he was meant to be replaced by one older, stronger, more worthy. It would be so obvious that she was choosing the best once she compared the paltry leather strapped silver amulet to the magnificent piece that Skovajsa intended to give.

So on this night, before he finally made her his, bonded her to him for all times and gained the valuable information she contained in her passably tolerable visage, he would appeal to her romantic side with offerings of gold, jewels, flowers, and, at the end, wine. The special wine. His own blood.

He admitted to what seemed to be butterflies of anxiousness. His last episode in bonding, however inadvertent, had ended…poorly. The creature he had begun with, while beautiful in form, had lacked considerably in lifeforce, essence, style. Not that this human Sophie had any discernible style. She seemed to favor the same jeans and t-shirt only opting for chino shorts in this latest heat wave.

And frankly, her form was underwhelming by modern standards. Short, doughy, curves in the wrong places…brunette. Her one redeeming physical feature was her very long statuesque neck. And her blue eyes were a sort of pretty. But he’d seen the remarkable nature of the ultimate makeover on many television programs and was convinced that once undertaken, she would not degrade the impact of his flawlessness. After all, style could be applied, substance need to be intrinsic.

And what a wealth of knowledge she was. Rumors abounded on her reincarnated lives, lending her centuries of vampirical experience. She would help him greatly, help him find others of worth so he might expand his capabilities.

But it demanded the right touch, the right offering. And so instead of heading straight to her hotel room, 1234, of the Hyatt, he headed into downtown, needing to run a few errands, the first picking up his “Crowned Eternity” necklace at Gilbert’s Jeweler’s, near Pioneer Square.

Which was where things began to go wrong for Vampire Skovajsa. As he entered the shop after hours at his appointed time, the dark curly haired woman behind the counter was not as he expected. He approached while she continued to jabber away on her cell phone, while blaring music in her other ear.

“Oh my God, I can’t believe he said that. That’s ridiculous!”

Skovajsa put both hands on the counter, straightening to full height and impressiveness. He reminded himself that he needed to remain calm tonight, of all nights. It would not serve to lose his cool in front the human Sophie and he had noted that his calm, once lost, was nearly impossible for him to recover.

Excuse me,” he said, pushing just a little Vox in it to gain her attention.

The tousled haired woman stuck her finger out at him. “Just one second.” For a blink, he didn’t know if she’d said it to him or her phone. Then, she tapped an earpiece on her other ear and the music leaking out of her ear reduced to a dull hum. She twisted the phone receiver from her mouth and settled her dark almost black eyes on him.

“Can’t you read the sign? It is after hours. Unless you’re this….” She glanced down at a guestbook in front of her, finger tracing the page. “Victor Bella?”

“Yes, I am. I’m here for my package,” brow furrowing. The Vox didn’t seem to work although he wasn’t at all practiced in using just hints of it.

The dark haired woman, perched on a stool and strangely dressed for the weather in a black turtleneck, gave him the once-over with her eyes, hovering just at his waist.

“Hmm, I’ll say you need to a pick up for your package.” Then she spoke back into the phone. “What? Oh no no no no. That’s just wrong. You tell that fuckin’ little fish faced rat bastard—“

“Ma’am, I really am in a bit of a hurry.” He suddenly felt unwell. It was really bright in the small store. The lights were blaring at him and reflecting off of all the glass and mirrors. He was suddenly sweating in his leather jacket, blinking his eyes.

Ma’am, who you calling ma’am? Alright alright, if you’re going to just keep interrupting,” she said. “Tommy, I gotta go. Yeah I know, some dude that couldn’t be bothered to keep normal hours. Yeah, call you in a few. Buh-Bye.” She smacked the phone down on the counter and slide off the stool. Then she stood there, tapping long fingers on the glass. “Well?”

Skovajsa was confused, digging a finger under his collar. “I’m sorry, who are you? Where is Mr. Gilbert?”

She tilted her head, “Mr. Gilbert spent the last five days straight fashioning your, uhum, package, the last two nights of which he spent refashioning part of it to change moons into that boneheaded ‘8’ symbol because somebody didn’t like his original design and changed his mind last minute. So Mr. Gilbert spent some quality time with Mr.’s Beam and Bitters and went off to bed.”

“I see.” He looked up at the ceiling lights, blinking furiously. “Have you changed your lights recently?”

“Why yes, Mr. Twenty Questions. Just got them installed today. They use natural light to better show off the brilliance in the diamonds, best in the Emerald City.” She laughed. “But yeah, they can be a bit much. Why don’t you put these on?” She reached plastic glasses that looked like Roy Orbison’s sunglasses to him and he gladly put them on. While he still felt uneasy, the light wasn’t directly in his eyes and he felt better for it.

She waited for him to respond. He waited for her to do something. “Am I supposed to say something?” Really, human females were so tiresome to predict.

“A claim ticket would be nice. And your ID. I don’t mind handling Mr. Bella’s package but would like to make sure I give it only to him.” She smirked as if she’d made some sort of joke.

“Oh,” he got his wallet out and produced his ID, handing it to her.

She lifted it up so it was aligned to her view of his face. “Not a very good picture, is it?”


“No one’s driver’s license picture is any good. I think they practice taking bad photos at the DMV. Ok, your claim ticket?”

“But you already know that I am..Viktor Bella. You should just hand over my package.”

Her hand went to her hip and she leaned forward, all slender 90 lbs of her. “Look, pal, my uncle didn’t spend forty years sweating in cramped dirty musty basement cupboards of New York giving his hand toiled artwork away for free out of the goodness of his heart. The store policy on your receipt clearly states both ID and claim tickets are required for pickup.”

Skovajsa the Vampire could feel calm ebbing away as his cool dissipated under the premium lights of the store. Harridan. He took in a deep breath, ready to unload a torrent of Vox right in her face when she spoke again.

“Unless, of course, you have your receipt.”

He huffed the air out. Where had he put that? In his preoccupation of the last few days, he realized that instead of filing his receipt away with the rest of his financials, he’d left it in his wallet. He fished it out and handed it over, one eyebrow raised to see what else she would throw his way.

She unfolded it carefully, raising the ID in one hand and the receipt in the other, examining. Then, a shriek rang out, causing Skovajsa to jump back from the counter.


She lowered the paper and ID, gave him a shrewd look, and tossed her head around. “Barty! Customer here for a pickup!”

A muffled sound was heard from beyond the showroom towards the back room. What shuffled through the door looked like half man, half metallic spider with crutches and braces everywhere on its 4 foot minus frame. “Yes, miss?”

“This kind gentleman is here for his package. Go fetch it.”

The man named Barty looked utterly confused and nearly incapable of movement. “Um, name?”

“Yours, mine, or the customer’s?” the woman replied snidely. “Look, it should just be on the back desk. Uncle Gilbert made this after hours appointment special.”

Barty’s head turned as far as it was able to the back room while his bottom lip jutted out in a way that suggested he didn’t quite know where the package was. And as Skovajsa was about to pitch a fit of his own, the woman flew after the retreating Barty, her white sparkling flip flops making as much racket as she was chattering after him as the two employees went into the back to find the necklace.

Skovajsa decided patience could be found when someone serving his own interests was verbally flogging a fellow human as savagely as the woman was doing to Barty. So he waited and nearly an hour and a half of his patience which involved minutes of finding the right package (after two wrong ones were offered), inspecting the workmanship (which was excellent, by any judge of taste), having to try several of his credit cards while the Versa machine went down, then the computer, then the cash register locked, finally paid off as he made his way to the door and was about to step out when the woman called to him one last time.


“Yes,” he tensed.

“Would you like complementary gift wrap for that?” She smiled. “Any special lady deserves extra special presentation.”

Skovajsa sighed and resolved to the next half hour of selecting just the right presentation. It was the gift of a lifetime and he couldn’t explain how the exasperation resolved into pride and anticipation with his elegantly wrapped, one of a kind offering.

He was so satisfied with himself that he thought she couldn’t possibly refuse him. As such, he was later than he’d wanted, now staring at midnight, and he was about to skip the flowers part of his offering when he ran right into Mariner’s late night game traffic. With the crowds, there was no direct way of getting Eastside without being seen or messing up his perfectly coiffed hair, so he called the specialty florist to rouse her from bed.

Strangely, she was perfectly agreeable to opening up for him at the late hour so he turned his black Escalade down Alaska Way towards lower Queen Anne. It wouldn’t get him out of the city sooner but he might as well use up the time while the traffic cleared to improve his case. Of course, his florist Vicki kept insisting in adding these ugly pussy willow stems to the bouquet and seemed to have installed the very same Diamonique lights in her store so he kept those ugly Roy Orbison glasses in place, even as they seemed to hum a bit.

Another hour lost but with a gorgeous bouquet of lilies and roses, and yes, the damn pussy willows that he intended to yank out on his own but traffic had cleared and he used all 403 horses in his Escalade to cruise across the 520 bridge. He was feeling relieved as if this evening had been some sort of trial and he had survived it with his calm intact.

Until, that is, the red and blue flashing lights jumped into his rearview just as he was taking the Bellevue Way exit. Skovajsa the Vampire, having lived for many years had never received a speeding ticket or parking infraction of any kind so gave himself a calming breath as the cop approached. He had to say, he was little impressed with the figure approaching. The man was smallish and his pants seemed quite ill-fitting. It actually made him smile, almost as if it was some sort of jest in this night of all nights.

The officer approached sideways and did not exactly step up to the window as Skovjasa lowered it. “License and registration, Mister.”

Skovajsa, full of humor and pride from knowledge that this fellow would be easy prey to the Vox, had thoughts that maybe he’d make this fool dance the jig down the centerline in the middle of traffic.

Aren’t you a little short for a state trooper?” he remarked, Vox issuing with vigor from his voice.

The officer stepped up to the window, facing him with dark aviator sunglasses and these odd earpieces that seemed familiar, before flashing him full in the face with some sort of halogen torch that seared his eyes, making them tear up.

“Laugh it up, jackass. Now hand me your license and registration so I can properly write up your ticket for going forty over the speed limit and talking back to an officer of the law.”

No, this night was not going as Skovajsa had planned. As he got out his wallet, it was only going to get worse as he realized the woman from the jewelry store had never handed back his ID. The officer appended driving without a license to the ticket with a smile and a relish, seemingly as impervious to Vox as everyone else he’d had contact this night had been.

Perhaps it might make more sense for a bite to eat to settle himself. He began to look at the officer in a new light.

“You do realize that this registration is three months expired?”

His fangs began to extend all on their own. “No, officer.” His hand moved to the door handle.

Just then, a road construction crew with a portal light generator pulled over on the opposite side of the off-ramp and the crew began to unpack, the lights shining right into his windshield, causing his to shield his eyes, removing his hand from the door.

“Sonofabitch!” The officer called over to them. “You can’t just set up like that without a flagger!” The officer tossed his id and registration into the car, tearing the ticket off the pad and tossing it in the window as well. Then he took several steps back, across the pavement. “Oh, Hell! Move along, move along!” The officer waved at him angrily to get out of the way.

Skovajsa, assessing the situation, realized with so many witnesses and his recent spat of luck, maybe he should take this opportunity to consider his errand run concluded and get moving towards tonight’s goal. So he put the SUV in drive and got the hell out of there.

The officer watched Skovajsa race away and picked up not his 2-way but his cell phone. He dialed a number and paused, waiting for the call to connect.

“Yeah, Ritterreiter, package is coming your way.”

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