“Look, Ralph, I was there. I saw it with my own fucking eyes. It was fucking unreal.” Tammy pounded away at her laptop, speaking into her Bluetooth as she wrote. She kept one eye on the chyron crawling at the bottom of her TV; she had WCCO on and was waiting in vain for more info on the local unexplained epidemic.
Tammy pulled up another tab and Googled every symptom she had witnessed at First Ave. The trouble was, stringing together a bunch of weird behaviors resulted in slash fanfic more often than not, and she wasn’t trying to read about Edward and Jacob from Twilight bumping uglies. Who the fuck decided that it was a good thing to make vampires sparkly and full of angst and feelings? Back in Tammy’s day, vampires didn’t give a shit about hurting humans – as it should be per the natural pecking order of all things paranormal.
“…should be announcing it in minutes – so my sources say.” Tammy had only been half-listening to Ralph, so she had no clue what he had just said. She didn’t want to ask as she didn’t want him to know she had only been half-listening, but she had a hunch it was something important – so she swallowed her pride and asked.
“What was that, Ralph? My phone broke up, and I didn’t get the first half of what you said.”
“My sources in the mayor’s office tell me that Rybak is going to make a major announcement soon – as in breaking story. Most likely about this bird flu shit.”
“I told you, it’s not bird flu!” Tammy shuddered as she recalled what she had witnessed at First Ave last night. She had been chatting it up with a hot Scottish dude who strongly resembled Ewan McGregor and who had been assiduously plying her with Maker’s Mark all night long when a fracas had broken out near the downstairs bar by the coat check. She had broken away from Craig with great reluctance and dashed over to the bar.
“Sir, you need to—” The bartender was flung into the wall near the pool tables by an enraged man who turned to the screaming woman next to him, ripped her arm off, and started gnawing on the fingers. Tammy had intended to stay and watch from a distance, but once she saw a stupefied-looking woman put her hand through a man’s throat, she ran like hell for the doors. She frowned as she thought about how she would have to write around that bit of information; she was ashamed of her cowardly behavior, but she wasn’t trying to be a martyr to get her story.
“…five minutes or so. It’s gonna be huge.” Damn it. Tammy had shut Ralph out at the most inopportune time once again, and she didn’t want to look like a dipshit by asking him twice in two minutes to repeat himself. Fortunately for her, Mr. Butters chose that moment to open his mouth and yowl at the top of his lungs.
“Gotta go, Ralph. Time to feed Mr. Butters.” Tammy abruptly ended her phone call, took out her Bluetooth, and went to the kitchen to open a can of tuna for Mr. Butters. He impeded her progress by weaving his chubby little gray body between her legs every time she took a step. “Damn it, Mr. Butters! How can I feed you if you won’t let me walk?” Tammy scooped Mr. Butters into her arms and carried him like a baby into the kitchen, him purring the whole way. Tammy set him on the counter, opened a can of StarKist, and set it on the counter in front of Mr. Butters. He immediately dove into the can as if he hadn’t finished off his kibble not an hour earlier. Tammy’s ears perked up when she heard Mayor Rybak speaking from her TV in the living room.
“We have a situation on our hands, and we want to contain it as best as possible.” Tammy remembered what Ralph had said about a major announcement and ran into the living room so she could watch Mayor Rybak’s press conference as well as listen to it. A handsome man with an easy smile, Mayor Rybak had his game face on as he read his prepared statement. “We don’t want people to panic, but we do want Minneapolis citizens to take as few risks as possible. To that end, we are declaring a ten o’clock curfew and that all nightclubs are closed down until further notice. I will not be fielding any questions.” Immediate cacophony broke out, but Tammy wasn’t listening any longer. Stunned by what she had just heard, she immediately called Ralph back. She needed to know how the fuck she was going to get her a piece of this story.