It happened to be a dark and stormy night that evening, perfectly dreadful and yet dreadfully perfect for a Friday the 13th. Thunderclaps announced the entry of another patron into the local haunt, lightning striking just as the familiar faces walked inside. The man, identified by his dark specs, was flanked by his main roommates at the city's central townhouse; a vampire who could be classified as being bats over numbers and a spectral dragon who prefered the theatrics of terrifying. Weaving their way past the close-set chairs, they found a suitably shaded corner booth, Table 13 at the Bat Bolt & Skull. The shop had been remodeled, refurbished, and repurposed from its original souveneir selling station into more of a darkened dining club. It may not be as upscale as the Dubonnet or as ritzy as the Golden Claw, but the owners seated at the corner found it pleasant enough per their tastes. As soon as they were seated, a cute little bat flapped in their direction. "Hi, my name is Junie and I'll…Count! Deadly! Oh, so you finally made it! We were worried you boys wouldn't be here for the opening." "Vell, counting does take up most of my time. But we're here now." "So what will you have?" she queried, switching into effective waitress mode. "What do you recommend?" posed Uncle Deadly. "We have two main horror d'euver platters: The Demon Delight and Gross Goodies," replied Junie. "What's the difference between the two?" asked the dragon, puzzled at the choices. "Demon Delight has blood sausages, cobra cutlets, devilled eggs, and eyeball poppers." "And the other?" Count asked, intrigued himself. "The Gross Goodies feature lizard gizards, slug's knuckles, fried worms, and eyes of newt." Both monsters made a face of disgust, whereas their human host merely smiled lightly. Noticing him for the first time, Junie squeaked nervously, "yes sir?" "You forgot the Adam's apple pie," Ed said, adding, "we'll take the Demon Delight and three black cherry sodas." "Fright away sir," replied Junie, relaxing as her small frame fluttered off to the kitchen relaying their choice back to the hired cook. "Gimme a demon dish and an Adam & Eve!" cried the bat after bursting through the swinging doors leading to the inner kitchen. Aunt Nasty, an elder Frackle bent over by her noticeable hunched back, banged the bubbling cauldron with a wooden spoon attempting to quell the critters cooking inside. She wore a kind of Old World coat over her main body, a darkened apron protecting her dark greenish fur from getting messed up with the saucier ingredients. Junie dashed off to the bar to get the drinks from Yolanda, a blond rat, who tended the bar for now until she either got promoted to waitress or further help was hired. "By the by," Uncle Deadly breathed, "did you catch the outfit she was wearing?" "Yes, nice of Aunt Ru to do the stitching for us," commented his human host. When Junie returned, pie and platter in hand, she'd managed to drag the bar-rat with her. "Eyeing our bods boys?" she asked, a sweet yet teasing smile on her face. Both bat and rat wore tight-fitting white tanktops plastered with the diner's batlike bolt-breathing skulled logo on their shirts' bellies. Burgundy bowties around their necks complimented the short burgundy skirts hugging their waists. White fluffy wristbands and flat-heeled pumps completed the staff members' basic design. (The afore-mentioned stitching provided breathing room for the girls' wings). "Three Cherry Rocks" said Yolanda placing the glasses in front of each customer while Junie then left the platter on the center of the table, nudging the piece of pie towards the club's proprietor. Both girls then flittered off, taking orders from the rest of the incoming crowd. "Mmm, I do love blood sausages," quipped Ed, seizing the morsel. After a few moments, a quickened funeral marchlike fanfare rang through the club. "Oh, almost forgot," Count said. "It's showtime!" Another reason why the founding trio had selected their corner booth was because it allowed the violet-hued vampire to easily slip out of his cushy seat and just as easily slip behind the organ lining the club's back wall. "And now," he ushered in full showman fashion, "please give a warm velcome to our special guest, Miss Batssica Bloodbat!" With a flourish of the keys, cobwebbed curtains parted, revealing the night's singer. She definitely reminded one of another similar starlet, as red was very much her color. From her long evening gloves to her strapless dress to the hair cascading over her right eye, she grabbed her microphone, launching into the song she'd already planned for this particular performance. "Ever since I was a little bat. Just a half a tombstone high. I dreamed of how when I grew that. I'd fall madly in love with the one perfect geist." All the guys in the crowd cheered appreciatively as Batssica began to stroll the length of the staging area, nearing a couple of members of the clientelle. "I want to be a bat's best fiend. But I can't make up my mind. Want to be a bat's best fiend. Looking for a monster, but I don't know what kind." Small spotlights focused on each monster named during the song, before blinking out as she cast them aside. "I can take or leave revenants. And the ghosties leave me coooooold. Poltergeists, I find pointless. And goblins are too old. The Devil will pinch ya'. Gargoyles just give me the blues. Sandmen I find boring. Cause they often make you snooze." Most of the monsters were chuckling at the genial jives aimed in their direction by this bloodied beauty. "I want to be a bat's best fiend. I know he will arrive. Want to be a bat's best fiend. Looking for a Transylvanian 6 to 5." She made her way over to the master organ, amused that the player was wrapped in accompanying her movements with the jazzy music, choosing to linger there for the next verse. "Don't care if he's a big bat. Don't care if he's rich. He'll be my ever-loving manster. And I'll just be his witch." The Count could have chosen to excuse the comment away, but since most of the monsters were mature enough, he decided to let it slide this once. "I'll walk all over archangels. Invisible men aren't all there. And as if you haven't guessed. I think Great Pumpkins are only fair. So, boggle your brains when I'm in the neighborhood. It's a multiple choice question of brood. But when I find true love. The answer's none of the above. Cause the rules all end. When you're a bat's best,—" Batssica stretched the last notes of the song into an ultrasonic belting that would leave most anyone else attempting it out of breath. "Now that's bat humor, she's hitting notes so high it's enough to turn your eeker into a squeaker," joked the Count. At that, two black bats instantly approached, hovering questioningly. "No, I didn't mean to summon you, you can go back to your mistress." "They're not your bats?" Ed spoke, curious at what was going on. "No, they belong to someone else, a sorceress I think." "Fieeeeeeeeeeeend," Batssica ended the song, returning her vocal range back down to earth in time with the last tinkling of organ keys. Smiling a fanged grin, she blew kisses at the audience applauding her before the curtains closed. Yes, all in all, it had been a successful opening night for the monstrous minions and their master. Who knew, the Bat, Bolt & Skull could just prove to turn in a profit if it managed to stay open long enough for the haunting season.