ECONOMIES OF SCALE

“A ewte!” you cry out, hoping to have got it right. “I’m a ewte!”

The vampires exchange glances, and then burst out laughing. The sound is eerie, inhuman, echoing through the room.

The dark-haired female’s laughter is particularly high-pitched. She clutches her stomach tightly. “An ewte? Someone hasn’t looked in the mirror recently!”

This sets off the blonde on a fresh bout of laughter. “Maybe… maybe the scales and tail are just hidden somewhere under all that pink skin!”

You back up nervously, hoping to escape whilst they’re distracted, but the movement recaptures their attention.

The vampires all go immediately still, their heads swiveling towards you, and you freeze once more.

The leader steps closer. “Have you been living under a rock, or do you think we’re stupid?” He takes another step closer. “To think we would mistake you for an ewte—a reptile!—when you’re so obviously human…. To me, it looks like you think we’re stupid.”

“I’m sorry?” you reply, although you don’t know why you’re apologising.

He takes another step closer. “You will be, soon enough. Only a bland would’ve made a mistake like—” He stops mid-sentence, then looks at you sharply.

You hear an odd click behind you, and turn around, only to realize that the blonde is now standing guard over the door. Her mouth is half-open, exposing two sharp canines. She’s in a half-crouch, prepared to spring.

A hand grips your shoulder tightly.

You jump, and glance upwards. It’s the male vampire, but he’s not looking at you, he’s looking at the blonde. “This one’s not for eating.”

She pouts, but straightens slowly, moving away from the door and back to the bed.

The leader pushes you roughly towards the door. “Get out of here before I change my mind.”

What do you do?

* What else? Get back out into the corridor!

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