Warnings: Angst, mention of possible future suicide
Characters: Edgar Frog
Spoilers: The Tribe
Synopsis: Sometimes, in his darker moments, Edgar wonders how long he has left.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Lost Boys
He is out there again.
Edgar knows it. He can't see his shadow lurking beyond the protective circle of salt, and nor can he hear the sound of footsteps on the gravel covered ground, but he knows. He can feel his presence.
It is a feeling that he can't quite explain in words, not that he has ever tried, of course. Who is there to explain it to? A mere mention to one of the other hunters that pass through the area infrequently on the trail of some monster or another would set off alarm bells in their heads. It would instantly mark him as Other. As something potentially dangerous. One of the monsters. The thought bothers Edgar, not because he actually cares what anyone thinks of him and not even because it might mark him as a potential target, but because he sometimes worries that it might be true.
It comes on slowly, beginning with a feeling of restlessness that grows quickly into an itching, creeping sensation, just below the skin of his shoulders and the back of his neck. No amount of rubbing or scratching the skin can chase it away, and he has no choice but to ride it out; wait until he leaves.
It doesn't happen like that with other vampires, though. He hasn't developed some kind of vampire detection ability, a spider sense to warn him of imminent danger. That fact comforts him slightly, in spite of how useful it would be, because least if it's not all vampires, that makes him less... unusual, for lack of a better word. It is only Alan that he can sense.
He has looked into it as best he could, but although books on vampire lore are plentiful, ones with any genuine, usable information are few and far between. Still, whenever he gets his hands on one, he reads it cover to cover trying to increase his knowledge. Alan had been the researcher, and had probably read more books on the subject than Edgar had even been able to find. He often wonders whether his brother knows what is happening. He almost wishes he could work up the courage to open the door when he's out there and ask him. But he can't do that, for so many different reasons.
As Edgar sees it, there are only two possible plausible reasons for what is happening. The first is that he is aware of this particular vampire because of who he used to be, the second is that Alan is doing it on purpose; using some previously unknown vampire trick to project his presence into Edgar's mind. In other words, messing with him.
To Edgar, option two seems the most likely, it is the kind of thing that a twisted, bloodsucking version of Alan might get a kick out of. It makes him think of long summer nights slaving in the comic shop, when boredom or overheating or whatever would convince his brother to try to drive him insane. Even now, with nostalgia coloring all of his memories, he can't look back on those ones fondly. In fact, on the rare occasions that he does look at them, he often finds himself picking out hints of Alan's future in their past. Hindsight shows things you can't see at the time. But it can also be clouded by what you have seen since.
He waits out the unpleasant feeling that marks his brother's visit sitting on the couch. Experience tells him it will pass sooner or later. The length of the visit is entirely up to Alan and the sunrise. Until it is over he sits very still, eyes closed, hands resting on his knees, trying not to think. If he can sense Alan, it stands to reason that it might work both ways. And being the vampire, maybe Alan can sense more than him. He has no intention of letting Alan feel his fear.
Of course, if Alan can sense him, he probably also knows the effort he is putting into pretending not to care, making the whole thing pointless. But there is not much he can do about that.
Finally, the creeping feeling recedes and he allows himself to relax. It is not until he gets to his feet that he realizes he is shaking. Not visibly, not that that matters when he is alone, but enough that he feels unsteady as he makes his way across the room to the door. He pauses, one hand on the handle, reaching out with the part of him that he doesn't trust, searching for a hint of Alan's continued presence. When he is satisfied, he slowly opens the door, switching on his flashlight as he does, and sweeps the light over the area beyond the circle. There is nothing; no hint that anyone has been there.
“Bastard,” he mutters to himself, and half hopes that Alan and his supernatural hearing are still within earshot. He has left no clue as to why he had been there. He hadn't done or said anything. As far as Edgar can tell, the only reason for his brother's visit was to taunt him with his presence.
He closes the door, and puts the flashlight back on the little shelf next to it, in easy grabbing distance when he needs it, then he walks swiftly to the kitchen and fixes himself a Frog juice to steady his nerves. If doesn't work, not really, but at least he feels as though he's doing something to protect himself.
Sometimes, in his darker moments, he wonders how long he has left.
Edgar has always known he will die young. Ever since he learned the about the vampires and dedicated his life to their eradication, he has know that one night he either won't be fast enough, or he won't be strong enough, or his weapons will fail him, and they will get him. He accepted that fact long ago. But until he lost Alan, he never considered the other, much more terrifying possibility.
Now, it is the only future he can see.
Eventually, Alan will tire of his games. He will stop finding satisfaction in his nocturnal visits, or in being a suddenly familiar face in the midst of an anonymous boardwalk crowd, smirking and then disappearing into the sea of strangers. Eventually, the dead things he sometimes leaves outside Edgar's trailer for him to find in the morning will cease to amuse him, and he will run out of things to take away from him.
When that happens, Alan will come for him, just as he did for Sam, and that is a fight that Edgar knows he will lose.
Sometimes, he almost wishes his brother would just get it over with; end the torturous wait and allow Edgar to learn once and for all whether he has the courage to do what Alan and Sam couldn't.
Sam, his friend. His other brother. It still hurts. Of all the things that Alan has taken from him; his home, his family, the feeling of being safe, the loss of Sam hurts the most because his only friend had been all of those things combined. His link to a world where darkness wasn't slowly creeping in from all sides like some noxious tide engulfing a tiny island.
Even now, even after he has seen it with his own eyes, it is hard to believe that Sam, who had loved the sunshine and who had loved life more than anyone Edgar had ever known, who somehow managed to bring light to a room just by walking through the door, had been tempted away into the shadows. With him, the world had been a kinder place. He had helped him to forget, temporally, about the monsters in the same way that being with Alan had reinforced their presence. Sam had been a master of distraction, and what Edgar craves now more than anything is distraction from the horror story that is his life.
He wonders whether the version of Sam with the thirst for blood lurking under his familiar, easy smile still has that talent. If he does, it might not be so bad. If he learns that he lacks the courage to fall on his stake, at least he will have his family back.
He is so tired of being alone.
As he sits, grasping his warming glass of Frog juice between still trembling hands, he realizes that the windows have begun to glow softly with the light of the rising sun. As he watches, it brightens quickly, filling his trailer with clean, natural light that makes the artificial glow of his electric bulbs seem weak and yellowy by comparison.
The daylight is pure and life-giving, even filtered through the dusty windows and drawn blinds of his trailer, it soaks deep inside him and destroys the shadows that haunt his mind.
He downs the remaining Frog juice in one long gulp, leaves the garlic and egg smeared glass on the fold-out table walks to the door and throws open the door again. The light of the sunrise surrounds him. The fresh, outside air rushes in to replace the stuffy, well used stuff inside, and it is wonderful. Still cool and a little damp from the night, it tastes sweet, new and unused.
It is always this way after Alan visits. He remembers now, as he does every time, only to forget when he returns. It makes him wonder again, as he does each time, about vampire psychic abilities. Because it feels as though the sunlight has quite literally chased something from his mind, and perhaps it was something that did not grow there naturally.
Each time, it gets a little worse; the despair a little deeper, and the loneliness a little more unbearable. And each time, it takes until morning to remember that there are still reasons to continue.
One night, he won't last until the daylight comes. He will walk outside, cross the circle and go willingly into the darkness, and then there will be no sunrise for him, ever again.
But until that night, he will hunt. He will work to rid the world of the undead scourge that lurk in the shadows. And he will keep his stake sharp, in the hopes that when the time comes, he will have the courage and the will to use it on himself.
He wonders again how long he has left.