OK… I was sitting in my former cafe (before it closed down, dammit) minding my own business… when out of the blue an acquaintance of mine (and erstwhile waitress at the aforementioned joint) happened to mention that, while strolling around a local mall, she chanced to spy some True Blood merchandising goodies in one of the music stores there.
I smiled and nodded, feigning disinterest while becoming inexplicably engrossed in the contents of my tea-cup.
Until now, I have kept The Beast at bay, appeasing it with a bookmark here, a key chain there… a bottle opener! And yes, the DVD box sets have gone a long way in assuaging its hunger. But The Beast would not be so easily mollified this time. Its thirst would not be quenched with mere trinkets.
Before I knew it, I was in the record store and standing before a veritable wall of True Blood merchandising. Busts, figurines, mugs, t-shirts, 4-bottle packs of Tru:Blood (O positive, of course), glasses, aprons, caps, neon Merlotte’s signs. I was dizzy just looking at it. I wanted it all. Every single piece. I had to have it.
A dear friend was having a birthday in a week. I’d already purchased for her the Season Three DVD set. Of course. She needed a present. Or two. The thin edge of the wedge slid in so easily. She’d love a Fangtasia cap. Oh, and I had to get her a bottle of Tru:Blood. And I couldn’t get her one without buying two more for her two daughters. And they come in packs of four so… golly… I guess I could have the last one! My dear friend is an enthusiastic, some might even say voracious, tea drinker (read “Orange Pekoe Junkie”), so naturally a Merlotte’s mug was just the perfect thing for her. And oh, I might as well get one for myself too! The prices were beyond insane but it did not matter. The Beast was feasting and it cared not a whit for cost or expense.
I tore myself away, my arms filled with vampyre kitsch and tchotchkes.
“Will that be all?” the pale languid tattooed beauty at the cash purred.
I nodded, my head still swirling from the rush. It was then that my eyes rested on the latest edition of Rue Morgue magazine. A dopey smile spread across my lips. “I haven’t read Rue Morgue in ages!” I whispered to myself.
The Evil Temptress was on me like a vulture with lipstick and nail polish.
“We have lots of back issues, if you’re interested,” she teased, her lily-white hand gesturing to the rack of magazines.
“I haven’t read one this year, I don’t think,” I replied dreamily.
“Well then, why don’t I pick out all the issues printed so far this year?” she said, offering me her sweetest and most predatory smile. Her eyes were emeralds, growing larger and brighter.
I nodded as if in a trance.
She rang up the total, an obscene amount of money for me, and I paid it without question, without even registering what was on the register.
I don’t even remember walking to my car or driving home.
My dear friend liked her presents, as did her daughters. My Merlotte’s mug and bottle of Tru:Blood sit on one of my library shelves where I can see them easily from my seat at the computer while I watch the first few episodes of Season Four of True Blood.
The Beast slumbers within, sated.