White Wyrms Chapter 9: Vampires

Writers Fantasy posted on Jul 18, 2022
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“Uncle Nim?” A small voice came from behind him. Nim turned to find Cari barefoot and in her sleep dress. “Cari, what are you doing up?” He picked her up. “I had a bad dream. I want Mommy.” “We’ll go find her. We’re still in my receiving room.” It was Ann’s birthday. They’d had a celebratory dinner in Nim’s receiving room with family and friends. Most of them left, but some were enjoying a chance to visit. “What was your dream about?” Nim asked. “Vampires.” “Vampires? Where did you see vampires?” “When I went trick-or-treating with Grandma and Grandpa.” “Those were only costumes. They were just people like you and me.” “Dragons?” “Human, like your daddy. There are no monsters.” “Uh-huh. What about Mommy?” “Your mom isn’t a vampire. She’s a dragon.” “She’s the Monster of the North.” Nim stopped. “What? Where did you hear that?” “Grown Ups talking.” “When Aunt Drepal was younger, a very bad person captured her and made her do bad things. But she’s not like that now. And that’s your Aunt Drepal, not your mom.” “But Mom is Drepal.” “No, their twins, like Aunt Piena and Uncle Janta, or Jix and Til.” “No, Til and Jix are two people. Mommy and Drepal are one.” “They just look the same.” Nim hated lying to the girl, but she was too young to understand. Ann couldn’t keep Drepal completely hidden. To protect Ann, they claimed the two were twins. Drepal had been taken by the immortal that killed their mother and given to Lyra. Emeton had issued her a pardon. Cari shook her head. “They’re the same. Their magic is the same.” “Their magic?” Nim thought quickly of the twins he’d known. Jix and Til were too young for magic. “Look at Uncle Janta and Aunt Piena. Their magic is similar and so was that of Uncle Pt’this and his twin brother, Pt’bur.” Cari shook her head. “It’s the same. It looks the same and it feels the same.” “It feels the same?” Was the girl a sensitive? “It’s late. You know neither Mommy nor Drepal is a monster. Let’s find Mommy and get you back to bed.” He continued up to his receiving room. “Trolls are monsters,” Cari continued. “But trolls aren’t vampires,” Nim pointed out. “Which are scarier?” “Vampires aren’t real.” “Trolls are.” “But trolls don’t come to Sen-gan. They stay in the mountains.” “Cari, what are you doing up?” Jo asked as they entered the receiving room. “I had a bad dream. I want Mommy.” The girl looked around for her. “She and Daddy had to leave for a moment. They’ll be back.” Jo held out her arms for the girl and Nim put Cari in her lap. “Carla and Steve took her trick-or-treating and apparently, it was a little too scary,” Nim explained. “What was your dream about?” Jo asked. “Vampires took all my candy and ate it with those big teeth.” She used her fingers to imitate the fangs. “Where’s your candy?” Jo asked. “In Mommy’s room.” “You know there are no vampires, right?” Cari nodded. “Uncle Nim said so.” “And you know Mommy’s room is warded, right?” Cari nodded again. “So your candy is safe.” “Unless Daddy eats it.” “What are you guys talking about?” Ti asked. “What is trick-or-treating?” “On Earth, humans have festivals every month,” Nim explained. “One is called Halloween. People used to believe all sorts of monsters roamed that night so they would dress up as monsters too. Now, kids dress up and go house to house begging for candy. That’s trick-or-treating. Vampires are a type of monster they used to believe were real.” “What other festivals do they have?” Sapphire asked, changing the subject from monsters. “What’s coming next?” Jo smiled teasingly. “Nim’s least favorite holiday. Thanksgiving.” “What’s wrong with that?” Pt’this asked. “It sounds similar to the Day of Jubilation.” “There’s nothing wrong with giving thanks,” Nim said. “It’s the way they do it. Long ago, some people traveled a long way to live in a new land, like the Baj-tisk did. They celebrated surviving in the new place by having a feast. Every year they supposedly re-create this feast. Jo starts talking about it and decorating. All the boarders who couldn’t go home and a few friends were coming. She was shopping like crazy and wouldn’t let me help, so I wouldn’t get sick. The day comes and the house smells great. I’m starving by the time dinner’s ready. Then she brings out a turkey as the main dish. A turkey!” Ti and Pt’this growled. “Birds are bait,” Pt’this said. “Oh, hush,” Dae scolded. “I like turkey.” “You two behave,” Sapphire added. “We’ll be having turkey soon at the home.” “It’s too small,” Ti complained. “It’s plenty big. You have not gone hungry once since you moved in. And you need to set a good example for the kids,” Sapphire insisted. “So what comes next?” Dae asked. “Something called Christmas,” Nim said. “It’s almost as crazy as Thanksgiving. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, Jo starts switching out the decorations. There are a lot of candles, tree branches, and this guy in a red suit.” “Santa,” Cari said. “Yeah, his name is Santa Claus. And there’s a baby that was born in a barn who was supposed to be a savior. Then we go out in knee-deep snow and find a tree to bring home and decorate it. A tree in the house.” “It’s an Evergreen. It’s a symbol of God’s everlasting love,” Jo said. “You said you didn’t believe in that god.” “I said I didn’t know. John said he was the same as the one you worship as Creator. You believe in him, don’t you?” “I do, but I don’t know that they’re the same. Anyhow, she puts colored lights on everything and she’s baking cookies all month. We’re supposed to buy gifts for each other and wrap them in special parchment and give them on Christmas Day.” “Christmas is a big holiday,” Jo insisted. “I wanted our first to be perfect.” Dae sighed. “That’s so sweet. Was it?” Nim shook his head. “Two days before the festival, I got sick again and passed out. Jo got worried and brought me back with Tani’s help. We didn’t get to celebrate.” “Well, we’ll get to this year,” Jo said. “My mom wants us to come for a visit. Kory will be old enough.” “I think I have a meeting that day,” Nim claimed. “Shut up, you do not. I already talked to Emeton about you having time off, and I spoke to Thorgrey at the college.” “It’s with the council,” Nim said, thinking quickly. “Is that what you were talking about?” Pt’this asked. “That’s why you wanted me to tell them he was unavailable?” “You didn’t,” Nim insisted, hoping it was one of Pt’this’s pranks. He didn’t feel up to spending that much time with Jo’s parents after the last visit. Pt’this nodded. “She didn’t tell me why.” “It’s only three days,” Jo assured him. “Thailyn said you can handle three days.” “What if I have to cast and get sick?” “There should be no reason for you to cast. If you do it just to make yourself sick, you’re suffering. My family is making an effort to get along. We should too.” Nim sighed. He’d never been happy with Jo’s parents for disowning her. If they were willing to work things out, he should make an effort too. “I’m sorry. I’ll behave.” “It looks like someone has calmed down,” Pt’this said indicating Cari. “She’s not asleep,” Jo said. “Who’s not?” Ann asked as they entered. “Cari?” The girl opened her eyes. “I had a bad dream.” “About what?” “Vampires ate my candy.” Andy took her from Jo. “Grandpa Steve may eat it if he was here, but vampires won’t.” “What are vampires?” Dae asked. “They’re dead people who kill other people by drinking their blood with long teeth, and then they become vampires too,” Cari explained, holding her fingers to her mouth again. “That’s horrible,” Dae said. “Where did you hear a thing like that?” “Jeff told me.” “Who’s Jeff?” Sapphire asked. “Uncle Mark’s son.” “And who is Uncle Mark?” Dae asked. “He’s Sam’s son,” Ti explained. “We met him when we met Sam’s ex-wife.” Andy frowned. “When did you see them?” Nim knew Andy didn’t like Cari having anything to do with his half siblings’ families. He tried not to hold his birth father’s actions against them, but he couldn’t forget the fact that the only reason he was related to them was because of Sam. “They were at Grandpa Steve’s office.” “We might have to talk with Grandpa Steve,” Ann said. “Let’s get you to bed,” Andy said. “You know the rooms are shielded. No one can get your candy.” “I want Mommy to come.” “I’m coming,” Ann assured her. “Can you check the shields?” Cari requested. “They’re fine, but I will,” Ann promised. “Will you come back when you’re done?” Nim requested. Ann nodded as they left. “Sure.” *** “She’s going to sleep as little as you when she gets older,” Pt’this said when they returned. “Probably,” Ann agreed. “As long as she doesn’t have nightmares.” “Nim, what do you need to see us about?” Andy asked. “Cari said Ann is Drepal. According to her, both your magics look and feel the same.” “All magic looks the same,” Andy said. “Not to someone with hypersight,” Ti said. “How can she feel magic already though?” Nim shrugged. “That’s what she told me.” “What brought this up?” Andy asked. “I told her there were no monsters and she said Ann was the Monster of the North. When I tried to explain that it was Drepal, she claimed they were the same person.” “We haven’t been called that in years,” Ann said. “It seems you have, just not in your hearing.” “I’ll talk with her in the morning,” Ann said. “You can’t tell her who you are,” Pt’this warned. “She’s too young to keep it a secret.” “I know. I’ll figure out something.”

Production Credits


Comments (3)


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zaqxsw 9:40PM | Mon, 18 July 2022

You know what they say... "from the mouths of babes oft times come gems". It seems Cari has a special insight that will make it hard to keep Ann's secret. Another great chapter full of family drama. Looking forward to how Ann and Andy deal with this one.

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Wolfenshire Online Now! 4:06AM | Tue, 19 July 2022

I'm not sure if Cari is confused, or Nim is confused, either way, I am. These stories are so wonderfully complex and full of life. Well done.

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Leije 1:14PM | Tue, 19 July 2022

Very well crafted scene with all these superb characters !

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