HUNGER AND SLEEP: DIRECTOR’S CUT

by Chris R. Morgan

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[Note: This is a continuation of a previous post.]

PBS presents

(Shit, I can’t see anything.)

Where’d he go?

(I don’t know he just went off.)

What’s the matter?

(My light is fucked up.)

[distant screams]

(Wait he’s over there.)

A film by the Evergreen Culture Collective

Oh hey guys, nice of you to join.

[Help!]

Will you shut up? Oh my god, what a tool bag. Listen. Listen! You gotta calm down. This hurts me as much as it’s going to hurt you. I mean, it might hurt you a little more, but everything’s going to be fine. You’ve been training yourself for this moment your entire adulthood. And you lost. And that’s something we’re all gonna have to live with.

What was that all about?

Fucking gym rats, always think they can outrun me.

HUNGER AND SLEEP

Okay guys, this one’s for the legal team.

[Wait … wait! No!]

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL

***

BODEGA, THURSDAY 9:46 PM

So this bar’s around the corner?

Yeah, I think it’s under a different name from when I remember it. But same nice outdoor setup, same shuffleboard amenities, same doo-wop music. Same pumpkin spice poutine if you’re into that.

(Nice!)

Hey, so I think someone’s been following us.

What?

Like he’s right there by the dairy.

Oh shit.

Is that a hunter?

Worse. Don’t loo— … Too late.

[Hey.]

What. What do you want? How did you find me?

[Who are these guys?]

These are just people I’m helping out for a project.

[Cool. So … I was wondering about that thing … we talked about.]

What is there to talk about?

[Like, helping you out with … stuff.]

I’ve been pretty clear that I don’t need help. And don’t think I don’t know what you’re getting at.

[I don’t see what’s so wrong about it.]

Because it’s not worth it. I assure you. I’m not saying this to be exclusionary. I don’t need this shit on my conscience.

[Whatever’s left of it, anyway.]

Petulance is not a good look for you. Don’t you have a dissertation to work on or something?

[I’m a software programmer.]

And you’re going to stay that way. You’re going to walk away from here and have a contented life. Greeting the sun every goddamn day because that is what contented people do.

[And what about when your symptoms start showing? And you can’t hide in plain sight anymore?]

I think I’ll manage.

[Not with the way you’re living.]

Did it ever occur to you that you are already a vampire? Like, of people’s time and energy? I’ve heard that’s a thing, go crawl to a coven if it means that much to you.

[I’m only trying to help.]

Oh, and if I see this shit on Xanga you’ll hear from me. Boundaries, Dustin.

Symptoms?

Nothing. You’re not gonna use any of this, right?

***

HIGHWAY, FRIDAY 3:20 AM

(Beth. … Beth!)

What?

(We’ve been following him for an hour. Where are we going?)

Okay, hold on. “Ted” … “Ted”!

Yeah?

Why are we here?

I thought you wanted to go here?

Why would we want to walk on the Staten Island Expressway?

I guess a scent took me here.

A scent?

Yeah, it happens sometimes, when I go without eating for a while.

You ate four hours ago.

Really? That feels like forever ago.

Jesus Christ, you’re teeth.

Sorry … sorry.

(So where’s the scent taking you?)

I think I lost it actually.

(Are you fucking kidding me?)

I … look, I don’t know where this takes me sometimes, man.

No, no. Dave, chill out. It’s fine. It’s fine. We can just get an Uber or a taxi or something. We’ll say we broke down or got stranded. That’s not weird, right.

(No that’s not weird at all.)

***

PUBLIC STORAGE UNIT, FRIDAY 8:15 PM 

Hey, Dave.

(Yeah?)

I was looking for a charger and this falls out of your bag.

(Hey … hold on …)

(Is that a stake?)

What the fuck? We had a deal with this guy, we were building trust.

(Wait, are you totally sure about that?)

Are you questioning my instincts?

(Well I mean … )

(The harvest festival thing.)

No one asked you, Lance.

(But no one will intern for us anymore.)

Hey, what’s up?

Shit, sorry. We thought you were asleep.

I was.

Did we wake you?

No, it’s just after dusk and I have a kind of biological clock for that. Oh, so that’s what you were talking about.

We can explain.

Let me look at it.

On behalf of the crew, I apologize and assure you that we are not vampire hunters.

(It was only precautionary.)

Dave. I got this.

Oh I know. You think vampire hunters come with Nerf guns like these? Where did you get this?

(At Prospect Park the other night.)

Of course you did. As whittling it isn’t bad, I guess. But it’s not going to do you any good. In fact, I’ll let you demonstrate.

What?

Yeah, I’m game. Dave, put your camera down and come stand in front of me.

(But … I—)

Don’t worry; nothing’s going to happen to you. Think of it as fact-checking.

(O- … okay.)

Wait … wait. This is nuts, you’re implicating my crew directly in—

Listen, I wanna get this out in the air. Think of it as a favor. I owe this to you. For putting you through so much else this week.

But—

Okay, let me do this. I, “Ted Cruz,” hereby consent to have …

(Dave.)

Dave—thank you—stab me in the heart with his artisanal stake. And I absolve him and you of any responsibility over its consequences, however monumental or meager. Okay? Okay. Now, Dave, you know where the heart is, right?

(Yeah.)

Good. Have you ever stabbed someone?

(I gutted an elk once.)

Not at all the same thing. So on three you’re going to thrust that with all your strength on this point, where my finger is. All right? Good. Get ready. One … two … thre—

Oh my god … oh my god.

(Get back!)

(I’m gonna be sick.)

(It’s fucking everywhere. Why is it so black?)

(Wait, is he … did he die?)

(Check.)

(No you check, shithead.)

Shut up, both of you. “Ted”? Are you—

[laughter, hacking]

“Ted”?

There’s a mop [hacks] in the corner, and a sink at the bathroom is down the hall. You need some practice, Dave. E for effort, though.

***

CEMETERY, SUNDAY 5:47 AM

[Distant howls]

(What the hell?)

What do you think it is?

(I don’t know.)

Go on, Lance, everyone is thinking it anyway.

(Wer… werewolves?)

Maybe.

(You’re shitting us.)

Who’s to say? It’s a crazy world out there.

(Fuck.)

Makes you think, I guess.

Are you guys kidding me? That is obviously a fox.

(Oh, come on.)

(That’s not funny.)

No it’s not, and you should be thankful to people like us.

Why?

Just because that’s not a werewolf doesn’t mean that there might not be one elsewhere.

What do you mean?

I can’t say for certain that we got them all.

The vampires were at war with the werewolves?

I wouldn’t say war exactly; war implies a mutual aggression. I have no idea how the werewolves would have felt about us, but we have kind of an … arrangement with werewolf hunters where if we sense a herd of them or a den or whatever the fuck they call their squads, we send the signal and they root them out.

That sounds like genocide.

Look, I don’t want to get bogged down in semantics here. They were a problem once, they are no longer. Everyone, basically, is happy.

(That’s so crazy.)

(Yeah.)

Guys, I’m fucking with you. Werewolves literally do not exist. Listen to yourselves.

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