MARIA AND LIZ
At the Crashdown Maria starts to walk from the kitchen to the dining area to wait tables but Isabel is there. When she sees Izzie there she does a one eighty and walks back thru the swinging doors to where Liz is working.
Maria says, You know what? You take the front. I’m gonna do that can inventory your father has…
Maria! Liz says.
She’s out there, Maria says.
Who’s out there?
The hive queen herself, Maria says.
Maria, you gotta calm down. Get control of yourself.
I am in control, Maria says. I am in control. No! I am not in control. Liz, let me confide. I live my life in constant terror of her. Moment to moment knowing each one could be my last. Look, i’m sorry…
No, no, no. I understand. But we’re stuck with each other. Just the five of us. So, just for me, try to be friendly to Isabel.
Okay, sure, great, Maria says with the voice of mortal fear. Ha! Just a big happy family of five.
You can do it Maria, Liz says.
Maria walks out to where Izzie is sitting, taste of ashes in her mouth. Fear and loathing of the strangeness of this thing with the terrifying brown eyes that has the temerity to look human. Blood rushes to her head as she walks.
Hi, Maria says.
Hi, Izzie says.
So, Maria says.
So, Izzie says. How about some fries?
Fries, Maria says. Good choice. Really.
Thanks, Izzie says stolidly.
After Maria goes back thru the swinging doors Izzie hears the front door open and turns around.
She sees sheriff Valenti come in, pause at the door. He makes a great show of taking off his wraparound Ray Bans and then his cowboy hat and walks without haste to the counter. Maria is behind the counter when he stops and says, Could i get a coke please?
Maria has just settled down a little from the terror of Izzie and this man seems like the central horror in all this. She freezes.
He says irritably to Maria, You do have Coke, dont you?
At that moment Liz comes in and sees the white faced terror on Maria’s face.
Yes, yes we do, Maria says, recovering. Um…to go ?
Sure. That’d be fine.
He looks around and sees a very apprehensive Izzie, who makes the mistake of looking away, mirroring the fear that suffuses Maria.
Maria puts the coke down with a straw on the counter. She says, Anything else i can tell you today, sheriff?
Liz and Izzie stare at Maria.
I mean is there anything else i can get you, sheriff? Maria says desperately.
Actually i need your car insurance information, Valenti says mildly. For that fender bender we had. County regulations.
Maria sobs and looks down.
RU alright? Valenti says.
Oh, yes, Maria says. Yes, i’m totally alright. Happy as a clam.
Valenti leans forward conspiratorially and whispers, I’m here to protect you from anything. Anything. You understand?
Maria bites her lip and looks down. Liz touches Maria on the shoulder and says, Maria, it’s time for that can inventory. Can i ring this up for you sheriff?
Valenti puts some bills on the counter. Keep the change, he says and walks out with only a little less preening than he’d walked in with. Izzie stares at his back as he leaves.