“Here’s the deal,” Coach said as he heaped even more steak on Tim’s plate. It was pink, barely rare. The blood congealed with the juice of the spinach and lentils on the other side of the plate.
Tim looked at Josh. Josh just shrugged, took his plate and reached for the pepper grinder.
“You know how you’ve been saying the new janitor acts weird? How Susan and some other girls seem all drained and you thought it was vampires, and I told you to quit that shit?”
“Yeah,” Tim replied. He really didn’t want to get yelled at about that again, and couldn’t figure out what this had to do with a steak dinner.
“You know all that stuff about vampires? Bite you on the neck? Turn into bats? Crazy made-up shit?
“Well they’re real. They’re real and they’ll be coming tonight.” Coach rubbed his greasy hands together, then slopped the remainder of the steak onto his own plate. He cut it up as he spoke. “They’re coming in mass and they’re coming for you. Every kid on the team is going to be screwed. You’re the healthiest blood bags walking the streets.”
He gestured at Tim’s plate with the carving knife.
“Eat. You got to. It’s the plan I’ve got.”
Tim had a dozen objections, and none cared to voice themselves when his gym teacher was pointing a carving knife at him. He took a bite of his steak and grimaced.
“We’re going to steak them.”
“Stake them?” Josh asked from around a mouthful of meat. He didn’t seem to care. His parents never let him eat like this.
“Steak. E-A-K,” Coach enunciated slowly. “Vampires are magic, right? Well magic is weak as shit against iron. You read any old book and you see: iron stops witches’ spells and cages demons. So when they come, if they get you, they’re going to get a mouthful of iron-rich blood. Beef’s full of iron. So are those veggies. Shame I couldn’t get you some liver, but regardless, you’ll knock them right on their asses.”
Coach shrugged and contorted his face apologetically, then shoveled steak into his mouth.
Tim licked his lips, looking at Coach. He wondered if, in case vampires were actually coming, a History or Chemistry teacher would have come up with the same plan.
Josh handed him the pepper grinder.