Or, “Real Vampires Don’t Eat Grilled Cheese,” the finale. This is part 9 in a 9 part series. The previous episodes may be found here:
This will be the last part of Anna and Zoe’s adventures with Earl. But my summer plans include giving them a second adventure. Nemesis suggestions?
Anna: So that’s why you’re vegetarian, because of wasted blood? Wouldn’t that make you, I don’t know, more likely to want to drink blood, so that you could put it to good use? I don’t get it.
Earl: I shouldn’t have done that.
Zoe: To your dead pigs? I doubt they’re going to haunt you from the afterlife, if it’s any consolation.
Earl: Seeing them all at once… a hundred dead anything can be overwhelming. And it made me realize. They trusted me, and I took care of them. I hold myself responsible for their deaths.
Zoe: You did what you’d always intended to do, yes? Or did you think you’d stay in business as a hog farmer without selling any hogs?
Earl: I killed them for my own selfish reasons; that doesn’t make it any better. Bacon bits, all of them!
(Earl’s sobbing increases.)
Zoe: They’re just pigs. People kill them all the time, and I’m sure you’ve done worse.
Earl: You think I chose that, either? You think I’m happy about it? I killed a hundred pigs in one year, and I’ve been a vampire for a hundred years. How many humans do you think I’ve killed? I’ve never seen them all at once, and I did my best not to make their deaths bloody and gory, but do the math. How many people do you think are dead because of me?
Anna: So basically, you’re a vegetarian because you have a guilty conscience?
Zoe: I’ve never met a real vampire with a conscience.
Earl: Are you still saying you don’t believe me?
Zoe: I’m saying that is the lamest, most ridiculous, most pathetic story I have ever heard. If you are a vampire, then you’re the sorriest excuse for one I’ve ever met. I don’t believe you could handle the sight of blood if you wanted to.
Anna: Um, can I get anyone anything?
Earl: When have you met other vampires?
Zoe: I don’t have to tell you my life story. And I don’t have to meet other vampires to know you’re a lousy one.
Anna: More coffee, Zoe?
Earl: If you’ve never met other vampires, then you have no basis for comparison. I could be the most wonderful vampire in the world.
Zoe: While crying for the poor dead pet piggies?
Anna: Who’s up for dessert?
Earl: And you keep accusing me of lying, when for all we know, every third word from your lips could be untrue. You might just be projecting your lies onto me.
Zoe: Or you could just be defensive because you don’t feel like a good vampire anymore.
Anna: I think we have apple pie.
Earl: Where do you get off telling me how I feel?
Zoe: When was the last time you did anything truly vampiric? Don’t pretend the cape counts; anyone can dress terribly.
Anna: It might even be fresh… ish.
Earl: I am a real vampire, with or without the cape. There’s nothing I can do to change it.
Zoe: You don’t sound convinced. Real vampires aren’t traumatized by pigs. They don’t cry over bacon bits, and they don’t eat grilled cheese.
Earl (to Anna): You know, I think I will have a slice of that apple pie.
Anna: Sure. I’ll grab it from the kitchen.
Zoe: You realize that if he’s telling the truth, you’re leaving one of your customers alone with a real, live vampire.
Anna: Considering that the customer is you, Zoe, I’m actually more worried for Earl.
(Anna exits left.)
Zoe: I don’t know what’s wrong with you.
Earl: Why do you enjoy tormenting other people?
Zoe: I practically offered her to you on a silver platter. I won’t stop you, no one will miss her, and even now, she’ll probably never see it coming. Yet you still can’t do it.
Earl: I don’t want her. I just want to be left alone to eat my grilled cheese.
Zoe: Because you’re scared. As much as you hate the part of yourself that drinks blood, don’t you hate the scared part even more?
Earl: I don’t hate any part of myself, so drop it already.
Zoe: That is perhaps the first real lie I’ve heard all night. Can you actually say that you like being a vampire?
Earl: Are you crazy? Killing people, drinking blood: You think I like any of it? You think I had a choice?
Zoe: And now? Can you actually say that you like being a vegetarian? Do you have a choice there?
Earl: It’s a lot easier to live with myself.
Zoe: But harder to live.
Earl: I’m undead. It’s not a life either way. Now, will you stop hounding me and let me eat my sandwich in peace?
Zoe: Tell you what: If you can look me in the eye and tell me that grilled cheese is your idea of a perfect meal, I will never again open my mouth on the subject.
Earl: You’ll believe me?
Zoe: I’ll stop saying I don’t.
Earl: You’ll stop trying to get me to drink blood from Anna?
Zoe: You find that tempting?
Earl: I didn’t say that.
Zoe: But you also can’t say it about the grilled cheese, can you?
(Beat. Earl lunges for Zoe’s neck. Big struggle ensues. I like to think at least part of it involves Zoe beating Earl with her purse, but do what you will. After a moment, Anna enters stage left with a piece of pie and a wooden stake. When she sees the fight, she sets the pie on the table and runs over to join the struggle. Eventually, she manages to stab Earl with the stake. Earl falls to the floor.
Both women stare at the body for a minute. Then Zoe walks over to her table, collecting and organizing her papers. Anna crosses to the other table and picks up the pie.)
Anna: Tell you what: Next time, I’ll be the decoy.
Zoe: Then maybe it won’t take so long to provoke an attack. My whole evening is wasted.
Anna: Rules are rules. You know as well as I do that we can’t go around killing every idiot who claims to be a vampire.
Zoe: It slows things down. Speaking of which, it took you long enough to get back out here.
Anna: I was getting pie.
Zoe: In case you wanted a snack while we hunted down the vampire.
Anna: In case you were wrong. I couldn’t run back in here with a wooden stake, no vampire attack, and no pie, could I?
Zoe: Still, twenty seconds earlier wouldn’t have killed you.
Anna: You know that if I ever have to choose between you and pie —
Zoe: I’m beginning to think you wouldn’t mind seeing me dead. Or undead. If I didn’t know better, I’d almost believe you were planning things this way.
(Beat. Anna does not answer.)
Anna: So. See you Tuesday?