"Alexander!" I gasped. "He was exposed to garlic! Call nine- one-one!"

Jameson's eyes grew even buggier than usual, making me even more terrified of the tragic state of the situation. But then he collected himself and opened a cabinet door. Lying on the shelf was an antidote. Jameson handed me the shot.

"You must give it to him in his leg," he ordered.

"I must?" I said, shocked.

"By the time I climb those stairs, Miss Raven, it may be too late."

I grabbed the shot from his slender hand and ran.

My heart raced as I took off up the grand staircase, doubtful I would get to Alexander in time.

I rushed into the room to find Alexander lying on his back on his bed, his skin turning blue and his eyes growing vacant. His breath was shallow.

I remembered watching Pulp Fiction. A nervous John Travolta wound up his arm and slammed a shot into Uma Thurman's arrested heart. I wondered if I could be so brave.

I placed a shaking hand on Alexander's thigh and raised the shot. "One. Two. Three." I bit my lip and jammed the injection into his leg.

I waited. But Alexander didn't move. How long did it take? Was I too late?

"Alexander! Talk to me! Please!"

Suddenly, Alexander sat up, rigid, his eyes wide open. He breathed a full breath of air as if sucking in all the oxygen in the room.

Then he breathed out, and his body relaxed.

He looked up at me with weary eyes.

"Are you okay?" I asked. "I didn't mean to--" "I need some--" he tried to say.

"Blood?" I asked, worried.

"No. Water."

Just then Jameson came into the room with a tall glass.

I held the glass to his lips. Alexander quickly drank it down. With every gulp his eyes grew more alive.

"Your face looks almost pale again," I said eagerly.

Jameson and I breathed a sigh of relief as Alexander recovered.

"Why were you carrying garlic?" Alexander finally asked.

"In case Jagger visited me again."

"Jagger?" Jameson asked, alarmed. "He's here?"

Alexander and I nodded.

"Then shouldn't we go? Is Miss Raven safe?"

I grabbed Alexander's hand. "Batman saved me from his evil nemesis before. And tonight he will for good."

The closest I'd been to Dullsville's drive-in was when Becky and I were in elementary school. We would sit outside the surrounding fence and watch a blockbuster movie in the crisp grass, eating popcorn and candy we brought from home. If we were lucky enough, the patrons would have their movie speakers turned on full blast. If not, Becky and I would provide our own dialogue and crack up until a security guard shooed us away.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that Becky and I would be driving through the gates of Dullsville's drive-in with two boyfriends. When the rumors about Dullsville's drive-in being built on an ancient burial ground began, it was forced to shut down. But the only thing excavators discovered buried in the dirt were worms, and the theater had recently reopened. The smell of fresh paint mixed with the night air. Metallic gray speakers hung on stands next to the arriving cars. A yellow-and-white snack bar and picnic tables sat fifty yards behind the last parked car.

As Alexander drove Matt, Becky, and me through the parking lot, couples were wearing homemade capes and slicked-back hair, while little kids sporting pajamas and bat wings hung out on hoods and roofs of cars. Schoolmates from Dullsville High wore black T- shirts and jeans. It was obvious that no one but Alexander and me had actually seen the film. Alexander and I were the only patrons who came dressed as Vladimir and Jenny; everyone only knew it was a vampire movie, so they just wore black. The moviegoers stared at us as we drove through the crowd.

We found a spot in the back of the drive-in, and the four of us got out of the car to decide on snacks.

I had other things on my mind besides popcorn. As the three of them discussed "to butter or not to butter," I tiptoed around the parking lot. Jagger could be anywhere, waiting to sink his fangs into my neck.

Alexander found me hunting around the bushes.

"Come here," he said, leading me back to the car. "He's spoiled enough of our fun. We should at least try to enjoy ourselves. Look around. Tonight, we're not outcasts," Alexander said, and gave me a squeeze. He was right. I glanced at the crowd, larger than Alexander's Welcome to the Neighborhood party.

"This is way cool," I said, for a moment forgetting about the impending danger. Matt and Becky returned with popcorn and drinks. The previews started, and we got back into the car--Matt and Becky in the backseat and Alexander and me in the front.

I immediately locked the doors.

"What are you doing?" Matt asked. "It's a drive-in."

"Keeping out the riffraff," I said.

Just then a preteen boy with straws stuck on his teeth for fangs pressed his face against my window.

"See!" I said, as we all laughed. I leaned against the window, bugged my eyes, and flashed my vampire teeth.

The boy's mouth dropped open, and his straws fell to the ground. "Mom!" he cried, and ran off.

"That was awful," Becky admonished.

"But funny," Matt confirmed.

We munched on our snacks and cuddled as the previews ended and the movie began. All the while, Alexander and I anxiously glanced outside for any vampire activity.

"I don't think I can do this," Alexander whispered when he caught me focusing on the picnic tables instead of the movie screen.

"Of course you can." I could see the concern in his eyes. I leaned over and gave him a kiss on the mouth.

"Hey, we can't see," Matt and Becky said.

Alexander and I laughed, a great relief from the nervous tension that had been building up in us. I cuddled next to him and, for a while, forgot about Jagger. We got lost in the moment, and Alexander and I recited the lines of the movie together. Three-quarters of the way through the film, at the moment that the vampire Vladimir was bringing Jenny to a graveyard wedding, the screen turned yellow, and the film burned and crumbled. We could hear a flapping sound.

The crowd began yelling "Boo!"

"Aw, man," I heard Matt say.

"It's all a conspiracy to make us buy more popcorn," I said.

We climbed out of the car and stretched.

"I could use a drink. You guys want anything?" Matt asked.

"Thanks anyway," I said.

"I'll go with you," Becky offered. Matt grabbed her hand, and they left for the snack bar.

"Should we be concerned about them?" I asked, feeling uneasy.

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