Characters: Edgar Frog
Spoilers: Reign of Frogs, the Tribe. Kinda
Synopsis: Edgar isn't afraid of the dark. The creatures that inhabit it though, that is a different matter.
Edgar Frog is not afraid of the dark. The very idea is laughable, that a vampire hunter responsible for the deaths of so many bloodsuckers might be afraid of anything at all, let alone something so simple.
In Edgar's mind, there are two of him. Not in a weird, schizophrenic kind of way – although from time to time he does wish that someone would come along and tell him that he's crazy and that the monsters are all in his head. The two versions of himself are the man that he is now, and the kid that he was then. Before it all went wrong. Before Alan was gone.
They speak to one another sometimes. Again, not in a crazy way. He is well aware that he is simply making up conversations with himself and is under no illusions that he is speaking to another person who can think and understand him. Sometimes, he thinks something, and then he thinks a reply to himself. He has decided that it is a personality quirk that forms after spending too much time alone.
He doesn't mind being alone. Actually, he prefers it. People are great, some of them, but he doesn't need company. Wants it, sure, but but relying on others is dangerous because sooner or later they will always be taken away from him.
His trailer is out in the middle of nowhere. He bought it with a bank loan and a deposit gifted to him by his parents after the sale of the shop. He pays the loan off monthly, and from one month to the next he ever knows whether he's going to be able to make the next payment. He is already behind. Hunting vampires doesn't pay the bills. People seem to have gotten it into their heads that monster extermination should be a service provided free of charge. The more mundane business provides most of his cash, but he is still barely scraping by, still selling off his precious old comic books. It breaks his heart each time he has to drive into town and hand over more of the carefully stored pieces of his childhood in exchange for a handful of twenties.
The younger Edgar shakes his head in disgust as he watches. At night, he tells Edgar just what he think of him as they look through his dwindling stock. He asks what he is going to do when they are all gone.
Edgar just shakes his head, having no answer to give.
Edgar doesn't turn the light out at night. Not for anything. Electricity bills be damned, the light stays on. His younger self sits slouched on the end of the bed, flicking through an old issue of Destroy All Vampires, laughing at him. Edgar doesn't care.
He doesn't actually get electricity bills, his trailer isn't wired into the grid and his power comes from a generator round the back, into which he pours gallon after gallon of gasoline, something else that he can't afford. The generator sits within the salt circle that he re-lays every other day. The protection of the salt makes it safer, but there are no guarantees. If something came for him, if he came for him, the thing that kept the dark away could easily be stopped.
So Edgar sleeps with the light on and – as a backup – with a UV flashlight under his pillow right next to his favorite stake. The other Edgar actually thinks that is kind of cool. He never had UV lights, or holy water grenade guns. These things had been the stuff of fantasy back then. The idea of getting himself ordained, therefore allowing himself to make his own holy water – his younger self grins in pleasure every time he does that.
No matter what people say, it is impossible to sleep with one eye open, both figuratively and literally impossible. Falling asleep leaves you vulnerable. Edgar sleeps lightly, he always has done, but now he is sure that no human could sneak up on him unnoticed. Vampires are different. They are stealthy, and fast. And they can fly. If a vampire wanted to sneak up on him while he was sleeping, it could. He knows and accepts that, and takes the appropriate precautions.
That's why the proximity alarms. They are no guarantee, and if the vampire knows they are there, he could probably avoid them, or take out the generator, silencing the alert before it had the chance to sound.
The salt ring around his home is a deterrent more than anything. It might take some time, but a determined vampire would get through. It would just be a case of breaking the circle, once there was a gap in the perimeter, the ring would lose its power.
He prefers not to sleep at night if he can help it. Night time is when the monsters are on the prowl. He can't stand to let his guard down when the sun is below the horizon. The other Edgar points out the irony of the situation. In trying to keep himself safe from the creatures of the night, he has essentially become one himself.
So often he sleeps, or rather naps, during the daytime. Nights, he paces, he works, sometimes he hunts.
On the few nights when, for whatever reason, he needs to sleep, he sometimes leaves the TV on. He hopes that when the power is cut, the sudden absence of both light and sound will wake him from his slumber into a state of instant alertness. It makes him feel safer.
He hates that he needs to sleep with the light on. It makes him feel like some scared little kid insisting his mom leave the door ajar and the nightlight burning in the corner of the room. His younger self agrees, he laughs at him. Edgar ignores it. When they were kids, he and Alan had laughed at the darkness, it held no fear. Not for them, the awesome monster bashers of Santa Carla. Oh, but the darkness had proved them wrong, hadn't it?
They are out there. He is out there. And Edgar knows that one day the lights will go out, and it will all be over. The only question is, will he be killed outright, or will he be turned and therefore forced to kill himself?
He has lost track of how long he had been living in fear, whether it has been months, or years, or a whole lifetime. Time passes differently for the immortals. How could it not? They never forget, and they can afford to bide their time, wait for the right moment. They like to play with their victims. They wait until you are beginning to think that just maybe you are safe. That's how it had been for Sam.
So tonight he lays in his bed, the television tuned to the Cartoon Network, the light on, the flashlight and stake in easy reaching distance, and his eyes wide open. Edgar Frog. Vampire hunter. Not afraid of the dark, but very much afraid of the things that call it home.
His fifteen year old self rolls his eyes as he flicks through one of the last remaining comic books. Edgar doesn't care. What he thinks is irrelevant. He doesn't understand. He is from before, before he knew how bad it could get. He had been naïve back then, and stupid. Convinced that he, Alan and Sam together could take on the forces of evil and win. That version of himself had never known solitude, he didn't know what it was like to be alone in the dark, because he had always had his brother at his side.
Edgar glares across the trailer at the apparition reading the comic book and wills him to disappear. He does as he is asked. After all, he was never there in the first place. “You just wait,” he says to the space where he had been. Fifteen was before the world went wrong. The kid would understand one day.