Characters: Edgar Frog, Sam Emerson
Spoilers: A few for the first film, but c'mon, who hasn't seen that?
Synopsis: Sam and Edgar ponder the future
Disclaimer: I don't own the Lost Boys
Summer afternoons were traditionally slow in the comic shop. The tourists were busy making the most of the sunshine; lounging on the beach, or strolling around the more traditional vacation attractions, the boardwalk rides, the cafes and ice cream parlors. Night time was their busiest time, most days there was hardly any point being open at all.
It was a Saturday not long before the beginning of the summer break. Not yet the high season, but already warm enough for Edgar to have begun wishing for air conditioning again.
He sat behind the cash register with an order form on the desk in front of him, a list of stock next to it, and a pen in his hand. He chewed the pen's plastic lid slowly between his front teeth as he stared down at his two lists, trying to decide how many issues of each comic to order, based on how many they sold the previous month, and this month last year. It was tricky work. Too many and they ended up with excess stock that would have to be sold off at a reduced price, too few and disappointed customers would take their custom elsewhere.
At the other side of the desk, Sam was sitting directly opposite him. His elbows rested on the desk, head supported by his hands as he stared down at a Batman comic open somewhere in the middle.
The fan in the corner of the room spun ineffectually, moving hot air around the room.
“Hey, guys?” Sam said suddenly. Edgar glanced up from his paperwork. Sam looked up from his comic book, but didn't say anything else.
Edgar waited impatiently for more. Alan, noticing that something was happening, moved away from his post by the door. He was on guard duty, looking out for shoplifters who might help themselves from the box of old comics left outside to tempt in the customers. He came closer to the desk, curious.
“What?” Edgar asked.
Sam glanced back down at his comic. Fingers tapped on the desk in front of him and he chewed anxiously on his bottom lip.
“Do you know what you want to do yet?” he asked, finally.
Alan moved closer, until he was standing next to Sam. He glanced down at the pages of the comic, looking for a clue as to what Sam meant, then at Edgar. He demonstrated his lack of understanding with a shrug of his shoulders.
Edgar frowned. “Do about what?”
“You know,” Sam insisted. “Do. As a job, when you grow up.”
Edgar glanced at Alan for a second time, and then back at Sam. His lips twitched in amusement. “We're already grown up, Sam.”
“You're fifteen,” Sam pointed out, then he sighed. “Fine, when you're more grown up. You know what I mean.”
“Why?” Edgar asked. He kept the irritation out of his voice, but felt himself begin to tap his pen on the order sheet. He stilled his hand and waited for a response.
Sam shrugged. “It doesn't matter. It's just career day is coming up at school, and my mom was asking me about it. The teachers are going to be asking...”
Three kids walked into the shop through and began browsing the shelves. Edgar glanced at Alan, and then at them, signaling him to keep an eye on their customers. Curiosity apparently satisfied, he glanced at Sam, smirked and once he was out of his line of sight, rolled his eyes before he wandered off to watch the potential thieves.
Edgar glanced down at his work. The corner of the paper was now covered in a pattern of tiny black dots. “I've already got a job, Sam. Two of them, in fact. Isn't running the shop and hunting vampires enough for you? You want me to work the checkout at Wal-Mart too?”
Sam shook his head and continued to stare down at the comic book. A large image of Batman filled one page, while the other contained an advertisement for Oreo cookies. Sam stared hard at the paper, as though he was trying to burn the image into his retinas. “I said it doesn't matter. Just forget it, okay.”
Edgar let it drop and turned his attention back to the order form in front of him.
“Don't you ever want to do something else, though?” Sam asked. “Go to college, get a real job. Get out of Santa Carla?”
Edgar sighed and glanced around the small comic shop. The three kids that were flicking through a box of Marvel back issues were a little older than him. Alan stood not far away, arms folded, glaring at them threateningly. To his left, an ash tray filled with a week of joint stubs was beginning to overflow. The heat was becoming overpowering, and he could feel the sweat starting to soak through the fabric of his bandana. He shook his head.
“Nah,” he said. “Why would I want to leave all this?”
He glanced back down at his piece of paper and tapped his pen several more times in quick succession.
Sam also glanced around the shop. He nodded in agreement and turned the page in his comic book. Edgar watched him, wondering whether his friend was seeing something different when he looked around the room.
Suddenly, he wasn't in the mood to fill out the order sheet. There was plenty of time to do it later. “What about you?” he asked.
Sam looked up and frowned. “What about me?”
“What do you want to do with the rest of your life?”
“Oh,” Sam shrugged and shook his head. He turned another page. “I don't know,” he said.
He turned back to his comic and continued to read in silence.
Edgar stared at him, irritated. “That's it? You have no idea, end of conversation?”
“Pretty much, yeah.” Sam sighed and read the final page. He closed the comic. “You guys are lucky, you've got everything figured out. Everyone keeps asking me and I have no idea what to say. I was hoping you and Alan would give me some ideas, to be honest.”
Edgar's lips tightened. He put down his pen and pushed the order form aside. “I've got nothing figured out,” he admitted. “I don't know what I want to do, I only know what I'm going to do.”
“What's that supposed to mean?” Sam asked.
Two of the three kids put their comics back on the shelf. The third, the taller of the three, glanced at Alan, smirked and nudged one of his companions. Still holding whatever book he had been looking at, he turned and ran for the door, his friends followed, laughing,, and Alan began to pursue. Edgar tensed, ready to help, but as Alan disappeared out onto the boardwalk, he realized that by the time he had gotten around the desk and outside, they would be too far away.
Alan would have to handle this one on his own. They could afford to lose one comic book really, but if word got out that they let something like this go, they would be inundated with thieves.
“What do you mean?” Sam asked again.
He shook his head. “It doesn't matter. It's just there's no point planning on going off to college or moving out of town. We've got to stay here.”
Sam's eyes widened and he nodded. “Because of the vampires,” he said.
“No, because...” Edgar sighed and shook his head. From the back room, the distinctive aroma of marijuana drifted into the shop, he wafted it away. “Yeah, because of the vampires. It's like a calling. We've got to stay here and hunt.”
Sam nodded, looking impressed with this. “Not a lot of money in hunting vampires, though,” he said thoughtfully.
Edgar scowled slightly at that. “Well, you still owe us for the job we did for you,” he said.
“Hey, you trashed the house!” Sam protested. “We had to replace practically everything in the bathroom and kitchen.”
“But we got rid of the vampires,” Edgar pointed out.
“Well, one of them,” Sam said. “I got one, Michael got one and my Grandpa finished off Max.”
Edgar pursed his lips. “We killed two,” he said. “You're forgetting the one in the cave.”
“Sorry, bud, that's the only one I am thinking of,” Sam said with a grin. “You didn't get any at our house, Nanook did.”
“Who told you that?”
Sam grinned. “Alan confessed all. He's surprisingly talkative when you threaten to throw that beret of his in the sea.”
As though on cue, Alan returned triumphant, holding the comic book in the air to demonstrate his victory. It was creased and the cover torn, as though he had snatched it out of the thief's hands. He dropped it into the trash and returned to his post by the door.
“Well,” Edgar said thoughtfully. He crossed his arms and allowed the corners of his lips to twitch upward as he regained the upper hand. “If Nanook killed the vampire, he's the one that trashed your house. Your dog, your responsibility, so you still owe us for the job.”
Sam's thought this through, then he shook his head. “Obviously, you guys killed the vampire,” he said. “Alan is a terrible liar, by the way. I saw right through him when he told me you didn't.”
“Good,” Edgar said. He nodded, satisfied.
“You know,” Sam said. “I think I do know what I want to do.” He picked up the next comic from the small pile next to him and opened it at the first page. “I'm going to stay here and hunt vampires with you guys.”
Edgar frowned. “Like you said, there's not much money in it.”
“I'll get a day job too,” he said. “You can only hunt vampires at night anyway.”
“True,” Edgar looked at him searchingly. “Sam, you realize that's not the real reason we need to stay, don't you? If I could get out of here, get away from the vampires, I'd do it in a heartbeat.”
Sam didn't look surprised by this. Instead, he smiled and shook his head. “I know you think that, but I think you're wrong. You'd still be hunting even if you went somewhere else.”
Edgar thought about it. He tried to picture another life in another town, working a real job, never having to worry about whether he needed to stock up on holy water. He couldn't imagine it. Sam was right. He felt himself slump in his seat.
“I guess once you know about them, you have to do something,” Sam added. “You can't just get on with your life knowing they're out there killing people.”
It was true. He knew the truth, and he couldn't leave it alone now. He couldn't just abandon innocent victims to fend for themselves against the monsters. Nor could Alan or Sam. They had no choice, this was who they were now.
He straightened his back and reached for the order form again. Sam watched him closely. Finally, Edgar nodded.
“Good luck explaining that to your teachers on career day.”
Sam smiled and shrugged as though it didn't bother him any more. He turned back to his reading and Edgar continued ordering stock.
Suddenly, he felt better about the future too.