What Was Missing
“Ah, yes, put it right there.” Sal sighed in relief as the cool air blew through the store. He watched the burly man position the air conditioner unit from behind the counter, hunched over the counter with his head resting in his hands. He finally felt like he could breathe again as the coolness cut through the Nevada heat, and he wiped the sweat off of his forehead with the soft fabric of his peach-striped tank.
The worker carefully made his way towards the front of the shop, making sure to avoid bumping any of the precious artifacts arranged on Sal’s shelves. He approached the counter and crossed his arms, huffing from the exertion. “I’m all done, then. It should condition your store nicely.”
The large man extended his hand. Sal nodded, and placed his pale hand in the other man’s, shaking it firmly. Sal saw the man’s green eyes widen in surprise, as usual. It was strange for someone to be so cold in these parts. “It’s already working,” Sal said with a warm smile before releasing the worker’s hand.
“Just send me the bill and we’ll be all good. And here, this is for you, sir.” The shopkeeper slid the man a twenty-dollar bill across the glass counter, and he accepted it with a smile and a wave before making his way to the door.
“You have a nice day, sir. And if you’re ever looking for some nice decorations for your home, I’ll give you a discount next time you come!”
As soon as the door swung shut, Sal closed his eyes and exhaled deeply. He wiped his hands down the front of his shirt, as if trying to rid himself of human essence. He could tell he was getting hungry, but he had to wait until nightfall before he could eat properly.
Ugh. I have to do something to get my head off of this hunger…
Sal stepped from around the counter and towards the far wall of his shop. There were books in bookshelves along two of the walls, and on the wall behind the counter, there were plaques and frames hanging. The other wall was reserved for the large glass windows that drew in everyone’s attention. In the middle, there were assorted rotating racks that held miscellaneous trinkets, which looked borderline gift-shop-esque but were much more valuable.
The vampire started to hum an improvised tune as he rearranged some books that were out-of-place, but his focus was shifted once again as he heard the tone that played when the door opened.
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