continued from http://otherworlddiner.blogspot.com/2008/11/meanwhile-back-at-diner.html
"She bit me!"
Cheryel and Jody took off toward table seven.
"Who bit you?" Jody asked the customer.
"She did." He pointed straight toward Veronica.
"Blood drinker," a deep, ominous voice came from somewhere near the opening to the kitchen.
Cheryel looked toward the accused. Veronica certainly didn’t look like a vampire you’d see in a movie. Though beautiful, hers was a casual beauty. Cheryel had the feeling this woman was more nerd than vamp—pun, sort of, intended.
"It wasn’t me," Veronica whispered. "I’d never hurt a human."
"She did, though," the customer at table seven insisted. "She bit my hand and tried to drink my blood."
Cheryel and Jody exchanged a look. "Hand?" Jody asked.
"That’s weird," Cheryel said.
Table Seven glared. "Weird or not, that’s what happened."
"I saw it too," The shapeshifter at table four said.
Cheryel looked around. The only other customers were a couple at the corner table, and they were so totally involved with each other, it was unlikely they noticed anything.
"What are you going to do with that blood drinker?" Table Seven’s face was burgundy.
"Shouldn’t have blood drinkers among humans," came from the general direction of the kitchen.
"Like you’re human, Igor." Cheryel marched over to the door to the kitchen and pushed it open.
The regular cook was out sick, and Igor had come to help out at the diner.
Jody put her hands on her hips and glared at the substitute cook. "I was very clear that anyone who works here has to be accepting of whatever form our customers take."
"As long as they aren’t a danger to the other customers. I clearly remember you saying that. Blood drinkers are a danger to the rest of us."
"No," Veronica stood glaring toward Igor. "We’re not!"
"You bit me," Table Seven insisted.
"If someone bit you, it wasn’t me." Veronica crossed her arms in front of her.
"I saw you!" Table Seven insisted.
"I saw her too," Shapeshifter said.
"You said I’d be safe here." Veronica turned her glare on Cheryel, whose heart dropped to her bellybutton with the weight of the guilt heaped onto it.
"She’s telling the truth."
They all turned to look at the couple in the back of the diner. "You did see what happened," Cheryel said.
"Of course we did." The woman smiled lovingly at the man. "Just because we come here for some time together—and the best pie in several dimensions—doesn’t mean we’re totally unaware of what’s going on around us."
The man, Cheryel could see now that he was a leprechaun, nodded. "I love my sweet fairy, but it’d be madness to ignore potential danger."
"Like blood drinkers," Igor said.
"No," the leprechaun said. "Like devious shapeshifters."
"A male to female shifter." Jody turned to the man and did some serious glaring. "I should have known."
He shrugged, then abruptly "he" became "she." At first "she" was a short blonde, but then she became tall and shapely, with long light brown hair. It wasn’t an exact likeness of Veronica, but close enough to pass if you weren’t looking too closely. And apparently nobody had—except the couple in the back.
"I suppose I owe you an apology," Table Seven said, his head down, eyes studying the floor.
"It was an honest mistake," Veronica said, then turned to the shapeshifter, who was a short blonde woman again. "You, on the other hand did what you did with evil in your heart."
The shifter smiled. "It was such a fun game."
"It was hardly a game," Jody told him. "And you are no longer welcome in my diner."
"Go." Then she turned to Igor. "And you’re fired."
"Figures." He pulled off his apron and tossed it on the counter, then stalked out the door.
"Thank you," Veronica said, to all of them.
"Everyone’s welcome here," Jody said. "Of course we don’t have a cook at the moment."
"Maybe I can help."
They turned to the fairy. "I make a decent meal," she said.
"She’s an excellent cook," the leprechaun told them. She’s even studied in Paris."
The fairy’s face went ruby red.
"Welcome to the diner," Jody told her.
The staff went back to work, and before long new customers came in and the place became business as usual. As she worked though, Cheryel couldn’t keep from thinking about another leprechaun, one she was very familiar with. As soon as the next shift came in, she took off in that horrid Celerian ship, for once not noticing the sound much. All she could think of was getting home to show her husband how much she appreciated him.
The End (at least for now)