It was nearly dawn when they finally got to bed. Gabi was exhausted, and she was certain that her wife was, too. Still, they were both flopped across the blankets, awake, staring at the ceiling.
“It’s an infestation,” Alex finally said.
“It’s my family,” Gabi countered, without much heat behind the protest. “You agreed to this?” It was more an apology than it was a defense.
“I know you said your family was big, but when we said ‘family reunion…’” Somewhere outside, a drunken hoot punctuated her remarks. “Well…” She coughed. “I was imagining the dead ones would stay home.”
“Oh…. Oh!” Gabi put both of her hands over her face. “They… yeah. I didn’t think you were talking about, um, about them.” Some things were best left unnamed. “I didn’t expect them to show up, either. If I had, I would have warned you.”
“But now we’ve invited them in. And… “ Alex lifted one hand up and flopped it back to the bed in a gesture that seemed to take in the whole week-long mess. “They won’t go home. How does your family put up with it?”
“Mostly by moving. You might have noticed all the RVs and campers? We move a lot. And… sorry. Generally we’re more careful about the whole invite thing. I guess I’ve just been away too long.” Gabi turned towards Alex. “I’m sorry. I really didn’t think they’d come all this way.”
“So… you move, hunh?”
Gabi sat up and looked at Alex. “We move a lot, yeah.”
“Remember when you teased me about the van?”
“I’ll never tease you about a vehicle again.”
“So how fast can you pack?”
Gabi thought about the bloodsuckers currently living in her basement, and the nasty bite-mark she’d been hiding from her wife; thought about her dead relatives doing the same to her sweet Alex. She counted her belongings quickly. “Twenty minutes. Thirty-five and have no regrets at all.”
“And, tell me… what does fire do to these things?”
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