Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Get It Now

Sometimes my friends are much smarter than I am.

Actually, more than sometimes.

This is Geri, from when she was my roommate.

Yes, those are fairy wings.

(Gee, I just can't figure out why we're friends. :P )

I've been an avid book reader for 23 years. (At least I think so. My earliest actual memory of reading is of 101 Dalmations, which is a novel, not just an intermediate or an easy reader. Therefore I assume that I was a beginning reader no later than age 3 or 4. But this isn't really relevant. On with the show.)

The point is, I've been reading for a long time. I was raised by a mom who has practically read everything ever. And yet I just learned something completely new about reading, courtesy of Geri.

In stories, I'm sort of the ever-present tag-along. I watch everything as if I'm there, but just observing. Not interfering.

As Geri put it, even if the character was a mid-twenties American female who made harry potter wands and worked at a library, I still wouldn't see her as me, or me as her. I'd notice the similarities and be able to understand her very well, but she'd still be someone else that I was watching stuff happen to.

And apparently that's not usual. It seems that a great many people, when they read, actually put themselves into the shoes of the main character. They become Harry, or Bella, or Katniss for the duration of the story. They feel the story as though it was actually happening to them.

This might seem like common sense to you. But I didn't know. That's not how I read.

Do you even begin to understand how much stuff suddenly makes sense to me now that I know this?

For one thing, I finally get why it's more important for me, than for some, to really fall in love with the characters in a story. If you become the narrator, the stuff that happens to you will feel personal, even if it's stupid stuff. But for me, I have to have a really good reason to become besties with them first. If I do, then I'll be overjoyed or devastated along with them. But if I don't, then the stuff that happens won't really matter to me.

More importantly, though, it gave me a flash of insight into an on-going argument I've been involved in.

This is Barbara. She works at the library with me.

Yes, that is a (thankfully plastic) bloodstained cleaver.

You may, by this point, be seeing a pattern in the people who are my friends. :P

Barbara is the only person I know who is weirder than I am. (In good ways, of course.) Barbara also likes Twilight. (In the avid defender kind of way, and not as a casual reader.) I despise Twilight.

Thus the basis for our argument.

My concern, here, is that Barbara is a linguist. She is a word enthusiast. She literally sees the pictures in her head as conglomerations of text.

Essentially like this =>

(Except she doesn't know that many languages. Yet.)

So I've been perplexed, befuddled, astonished, disconcerted, flustered, bewildered, non-plussed, mystified, and straight up confused about how someone who loves words like she does could possibly be so very defensive about a series that many acknowledge as having no literary value whatsoever.

The one thing I could ever remember is her saying something about really identifying with Bella.

And suddenly it makes sense!

*Confetti falls*

*Stars and Stripes Forever plays*

Because of the way I read, when I tried to stomach Twilight, I had the usual task of deciding whether or not Isabella Swan was worth becoming best friends with. I weighed pros and cons. (And between you and me, I'm pretty good at finding the cons.) Do I want to hang out with someone like her?

To me, she came across as lame and shallow. Emo. Self-pitying. And easily infatuated by a pretty face.

I rather feel like Kristin Stewart was aptly cast. (And that is a terrible thing.)

Any similarities between myself and her were utterly irrelevant. (I didn't see that many anyway. Other than both being dark haired and anti-social.) There were too many things I didn't like about her to bother with trying to understand why she was an idiot.

I'd never be friends in real life with a person like Bella Swan.

And yes, I have reasoning behind these judgments. But that's not the point, here.

Now, if we look at the other type of reader, things change completely.

If you become Bella, and identify her, even just a little, then the stuff that happens to her becomes personal. It happens to you. And when things become personal, even more connections get made. Even similarities that would otherwise be totally unimportant, can crop up and increase the bond.


Me and Geri also discussed relative ages. I read Twilight when I was 25. That probably made a significant difference. A silly little teeny-bopper of 14 will interpret and understand Bella's reactions in a vastly different way than I did as a fairly well-adjusted (if poor) college graduate.

I'm explaining this terribly. It always goes so much better in my head.

All I'm really trying to say is this: I still think Twilight is useless. BUT I finally understand why some people can get attached anyway. It's another one of those "our brains just interpret stuff in a different way" type of things.

So consider this a truce on the Twilight Bashing. :)

That is all.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pointers for Daniel Radcliffe

I just watched part of an interview with Billie Piper. She'd been in a movie with Matt Smith, and in Doctor Who with David Tennant. They asked her which one was the better kisser. Her answer:

Who wouldn't love that face?

So all I'm saying, really, is that David and Billie could show Harry and Ginny a thing or two about how it's done.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Revenge of the Vampire Teeny-bopper: Finale

I'm sorry I didn't finish this in a timely manner. Being completely broke does tend to affect one's schedule.

So, at long last, the riveting, spectacular, jaw-dropping, romantic, (Insert 12 obnoxious adjectives), finale of the Revenge of the Vampire Teeny-Bopper!

To faint, or not to faint? But that wasn’t the only question. How did they get to... wherever they were? Why was she standing in a coffin? And where did Jason go?

Mandy tried to ask, but her mind was too boggled, and everything came out in a jumble.

“It’s alright.” Eddy said, rushing to her side. “I’m here. It’s fine.”

He helped her out of the coffin, and hugged her tight against him. Mandy was too scared to care how awkward it was. She buried her face into his shoulder and tried very hard not to cry.

“They’re real. They’re real!” She squeaked.

“I did tell you.” He said. It was a calm, gentle voice. Not the usual I-told-you-so tone that she generally expected from him. She felt a little better, but it didn’t change the fact that her whole perception of the world had just been run through a paper shredder.

An eerie moan echoed through the dark room. Mandy clutched Eddy’s arm a little tighter, and he pointed the flashlight in the direction of the sound. They saw nothing.

Then again, in the far corner, a groan and a horrible creaking sound.

“Let’s get out.” She whispered, but Eddy seemed not to hear her. She tugged on his arm. “Come on. I think there are some stairs.”

“Right.” Eddy replied, but he sounded distracted. The light still pointed into the corner.

Mandy couldn’t see anything without the flashlight. She tripped over several more large wooden objects before giving up and returning to Eddy’s side.

“Please, come on.” She begged.

“Okay.” Eddy grunted.

Before he could turn to follow her, there was a loud pounding followed by a crash. A lid exploded off of one of the boxes in the corner. Mandy could see a pale, blood covered hand. It rose slowly from the box, followed by a thin figure, dressed all in black.

The creature groaned again, and turned to face them.

“Jason!” Mandy screamed, and grabbed Eddy’s arm. She towed him as fast as she could through the piles of crates and old junk. But Eddy was unconcerned. Either that, or he was entranced by the creature.

She stopped and slapped Eddy across the face. “Don’t let him trick you. We have to get out. Come on!”

Jason stumbled out of his coffin in a very un-vampire-like manner.

“Mandy?” He asked, sounding confused.

“Keep away, you... you... undead thing!” She cringed, and wished that she had thought of something a little better.

“Mandy, get away from him! NOW!” Jason shouted.

“I won’t listen to you! Your vampire charms won’t work on me!” She said far too loudly, and began again to tow Eddy along toward the stairs.

“No, Mandy! Please, don’t!” Jason called out. He tried to rush toward her, but he slammed his shins hard and doubled over with a groan.

Mandy paused. Everything she had ever heard about vampires said that they were graceful and strong. At the moment, Jason didn’t fit that description in any way. She looked at him a bit closer and noticed that he, too, had a black eye, and several bruises.

“What’s going on?” she asked as calmly as she was able.

“Why don’t you ask him.” Jason said grimly. Despite her resolution to ignore Jason, Mandy couldn’t help but turn to Eddy.

“Eddy? What is it? Come on, we need to go.”

Eddy didn’t move. He just glared at Jason with hatred.

“Ask him why we’re down here.” Jason continued. “Your best friend. He knows.”

Finally Eddy spoke. “You monster. You demon. Seducing the girl I love with your charming ways. What other choice did I have?”

“I’m the monster? At least I don’t try to frighten girls into liking me!”

Eddy glared, and Jason stumbled a little closer.

“What do you mean, Jason? Eddy?”

“He did all this. Set it all up to try to make you like him instead of me.”

“No! You’re a vampire. You’d say anything. I can’t listen to you.”

Jason looked hurt. “I did lie to you a little. About all that weird stuff in my hallway. But not about this. Please, Mandy.”

“No! Come on, Eddy. We’re going.”

“Eddy! Tell her! Tell her now!” Jason ordered. The tone of his voice and the sincerity with which he begged were so convincing. Mandy had to concentrate hard to keep herself from believing him.

“Mandy, it’s alright. No one is going to hurt you.” Eddy said to her, again in the soft voice that she had never heard him use until that afternoon.

“But if he’s a vampire...” she said in a weak voice.

“No one will hurt you.” He repeated.

Eddy and Jason were glaring at each other. Neither moved. Both were breathing hard. Both had bruises. They had obviously been fighting in the dark, before Mandy had found herself inside the coffin.

Eddy had blood streaked down his face, and Jason had some on his clenched fist. That, at least, made sense to her. But something else didn’t. The bruises. Could vampires bruise? Could they bleed? Could they run out of breath?

“Tell me the truth. Now.” She demanded. Eddy didn’t look away, but Jason lowered his eyes and slumped a little.

“Mandy, vampires are real. And there is one in this room. But it isn’t me.” Jason’s voice was almost a whisper. “He’s the monster. He set all of this up.”

She looked at Eddy, who had the decency to look ashamed.

“I suppose it was bound to come out sooner or later.” He mumbled.

“It’s TRUE?!” She shrieked.

“I’m a vampire. But I’m not a monster!” he insisted. “I was trying to protect you from him. He’s the bad one.”

“Excuse me!” Jason started, but Mandy stopped him.

“Explain yourself this instant, Edward Devereaux!”

“Vampires aren’t undead or anything. They’re just creatures. Humans are one kind of creature. Vampires are another. With modern technology and everything, we get along fine, now. No one gets hurt. But back in the olden days, we got hunted. We got tortured and killed, just for being different.”

“Being different meaning ‘drinking innocent people’s blood’, I think.” Jason interrupted.

“Shut it.” Mandy ordered. “Keep talking, Eddy.”

“Our people had to live somehow. It’s the circle of life. No one complains when lions eat a gazelle.”

“The gazelles aren’t too happy about it.” Jason said, but stopped again when Mandy gave him her death glare.

“Anyway, that doesn’t matter anymore. With all the modern conveniences, we can live together.”

“How old are you, Eddy?”


“How long have you been seventeen?”

“Six and a half months. I’m younger than you are by three days. I told you, we aren’t undead. We’re just like everyone else. Living, growing, dying. We don’t hurt anyone. But some people can’t seem to let that go.” Eddy growled at Jason.

“What does that mean?”

“You know how, a long time ago, if the dad was a carpenter, the sons would all be carpenters too? Or if the dad was a shoe maker, the sons would all learn shoe making? Certain families chose the profession of vampire hunter, and passed it down from father to son. And there are some of those hunters in the world that still kill us. That still think we’re a threat to the humans. His family was one of those groups.”

“Is that true?” Mandy demanded of Jason.

“Yes.” He answered sheepishly. “That’s why we have all that weird stuff in our house. It’s anti-vampire equipment. But I swear, we don’t use it. My gramps was the last one who actually hunted a vampire, and that was over 50 years ago. We’re getting rid of it after he’s gone.”

“Oh, and you just happened to show up here and hit on my best friend by coincidence.” Eddy spat.

“Yes, actually. I didn’t even know you were a vamp. Not until I walked into your house and got all dizzy. I don’t hunt, but I can’t help the genetics.”

“Whatever.” Eddy grumbled bitterly.

Something told Mandy that it was all the truth. As crazy as it sounded, it was definitely real.

“I never wanted to kill anyone. I don’t want to go into the family business. My dad didn’t either. He’s a dentist.” Jason insisted.

Before she knew what was happening, Mandy was kissing him. He was shocked, at first, but definitely the good kind of shock. When they broke apart, she stammered,
“I don’t know what made me do that.”

“Trust me, I don’t mind.” Jason replied with a ridiculous grin.

“I do.” Eddy complained.

Mandy marched over to him and slugged him in the face.

“What a left hook.” Jason muttered. “Remind me not to ever get on your bad side.”

“Hey Jason, don’t ever kidnap me, stick me in a coffin in a dank basement, and pretend that I’m about to become undead just so you can get close to me.”

“Duly noted.”

Eddy groaned. “Why?”

She helped him up off the floor. “I can’t be with someone who gets so jealous that lives get put in danger.”

“I didn’t mean it to be like that.” He protested.

“Oh, come on. How else was this going to end? Did you even think it through?”

“Not very well, apparently.”

“Eddy, you’re still my best friend. And I forgive you for all of this. But never. Ever. EVER. Do that again. Got it?”

“Duly noted.” He smiled a little, but it looked like it hurt.

“You’ll find the perfect girl for you.” She smiled. “Now, lets get some ice on that eye.”

“Butterbeer anyone?” Jason asked, as they marched up the stairs.

The End

Monday, January 16, 2012

Revenge of the Vampire Teeny-bopper: Part 5

Sorry about the wait. That is, if anyone actually cared about how this story was going. It's just a joke story anyway. Also, there's really only so much you can do with teenage vampire love stories. So don't blame me.

So here we are, presenting the penultimate chapter in the Saga.

Part 5:

Through the rest of the day, Mandy couldn’t help staring that the tiny red drop on Jason’s collar. Maybe she was being paranoid. Maybe she was letting Eddy get to her. But things just kept cropping up. Things that couldn’t all be coincidence.

Transylvania? Gothic entryway? It almost seemed too much. But there was that nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach. Eddy might not be right. But he knew something.

As soon as the last bell rang, she dashed out of class, avoiding Jason. She whipped out her cell phone and dialed while speed walking through the bustling hallways.


“What did he do?” Eddy replied instantly.

“Nothing.” She answered, but her tone was significantly less reproachful than before.

“Nothing, but...”

“He’s got blood on his shirt.”

“Really?” Eddy sounded almost excited.

“I’m serious, Eddy. I don’t know if you’re right. But maybe there is something... weird.”

“He’s still coming to our movie night, yeah?”

“Well, I guess so.” She wasn’t so sure if she wanted to be in the dark with him.

“Good. We can work it out, then. I have a plan.”

“You’re not going to do anything stupid like trying to stake him?”

“Of course not. But there are other things.”

She didn’t like the sound of his voice, but she couldn’t think of anything else to do. “Well, alright. But nothing drastic, okay?”

“Okay. See you in a couple hours. Come a little early.”

At 5:00, she hit the doorbell. Jason wasn’t due until 5:30, and she thought she should leave plenty of time to check Eddy’s plan. She didn’t entirely trust that there weren’t any wooden stakes ready to use.

“Come on in.” He let her into the entry way, which was brighter than normal. Several extra lamps had been plugged in, making the place look crowded and gaudy.

“Eddy, why do you have garlic hanging on the wall?”

“Just watch his face when he comes through the door. That’s all.”

“And what happens if he reacts badly to the garlic?”

“We move to step two.”

Eddy showed her around the living room. There was a strategically placed crucifix, a glass with “holy” water in it, and a few hidden stakes.

“We talked about the stakes. We’re not skewering anybody tonight.”

“What if he does try to hurt you? Huh? I’m not just gonna sit around and let a monster kill my best friend.”

She groaned. “I’m starting to feel like this was a silly idea. Vampires aren’t real.”

The doorbell rang. “Let’s just watch and see.” Eddy said as he went to the door.

“Hey, guys!” Jason said, sounding remarkably normal. “I brought my elder wand and some butterbeer. A little nerdy, I know, but who cares?”

“Great,” she said, trying to sound as un-suspicious as possible.

Jason walked into the hallway. The moment he passed the threshold, he twitched. His face contorted for just a moment, as though he’d hit some kind of painful invisible barrier. Mandy’s stomach lurched violently.

“Are you okay, Jason?” She asked, trying to hide her fear.

“Huh? Oh, yeah. I think so. I just kinda felt weird all the sudden. Headache, I guess. I should probably eat something.”

“Good idea.” She squeaked, trying not to hyperventilate. Silently she added, “as long as the something isn’t me.”

She glanced surreptitiously to Eddy, who looked triumphant.

“Snacks!” Eddy said, leading them to the living room. He handed Mandy a glass of ice water, and then turned to Jason. “Water?”

“Yeah, that would be great, thanks.” He took the supposed holy water from Eddy, sipped it, and immediately spat it out all over Eddy’s face.

“Geez.” Eddy grumbled.

“Sorry.” Jason coughed. “That was really weird and rude. Sorry. But what kind of water is that?”

“Just water.” Eddy was busier trying to hide the suspicious tone of his answer than trying to clean up the water.

“Wow. That’s weird. Just... sorry, man. I didn’t mean to...” He trailed off. At first, Mandy wondered why, but then it became obvious. The room was darkening. The windows were slowly dimming, and the lights were going out one by one.

“What’s happening?” She asked, doing a spectacular job of not staying calm.

Someone’s voice, though she couldn’t tell whose, said “I don’t know. Mandy? Where are you?”

“Here,” she said, and she reached out to the last place she had seen Eddy. A hand grasped hers, and for a moment she felt safe. Then it was ripped away, and a scuffle started. Furniture crashed. Fabric tore. Mandy felt herself being pushed and shoved, all the while completely blind in the darkness.

Then everything fell silent. She was terrified. “Eddy?”

She tripped over some kind of box, and made a huge clatter. “Eddy, where are you?”

“Here.” A match flared to life. Eddy was standing a few feet away. His eye was thoroughly bruised. Then the match guttered out.


“I think I saw a flashlight around here. Hold on.” He lit another match, groped around on a nearby desk, and grabbed something just as the match died. The eerie blue of an LED light took its place.

“What happened? Where are we?”

“Mandy, look where you’re standing.”

She did. She had stepped inside the box she tripped on. It was a long, rectangle box with beautiful wood on the outside, and soft, silken lining on the inside. There was a lid nearby. It took all her will power not to scream. She was standing inside a coffin.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Revenge of the Vampire Teeny-bopper: Part 4

Part 4:

She spent the whole of the next few days wondering if what she had seen was real. It was the weekend, and she hadn’t talked to Jason since the incident.

She had either hallucinated the creepy hallway, or she had exaggerated its weirdness. Either way, she had fainted. And either way it was truly embarrassing. Jason had to take her home and explain to her father why she was only partially coherent.

That could not have been a pleasant confrontation.

She hadn’t mentioned it to Eddy. She wanted their date to be as non-weird as possible, although she wasn’t sure how that would happen. True to predictions, it wasn’t too bad. But it wasn’t too amazing. He was her best friend, after all. Dating just wasn’t what she had in mind when she thought of him.

It was Monday morning on the way to school when Eddy finally pressured her for details.

“It was a really good date, okay.”


“You don’t have to sound so surprised.”

“Well, I just kind of hoped you were... bored or something.”

Mandy could tell that ‘bored’ was not the word he had originally intended to use, but she didn’t press the subject. “No, it was really fun. We have a lot in common. Actually, I invited him over to our Harry Potter movie party.”

“You what?”

“You two could be good friends if you weren’t jealous of each other. And I don’t want you to be.”

Eddy looked downcast. “You like him. Not me.”


“Don’t you? It’s true, isn’t it. Don’t lie to me, just to make me feel better.”

“I... He’s really a good guy. And yes, I do like him. But...”

Eddy’s eyes had narrowed again. “I see how it is. You won’t even admit that you freaked out at his house. That’s how much you like him. He could be a monster, and you’d still choose him.”

“That’s just ridiculous. He is not a monster, and I... wait, how did you know about his house?”

Eddy looked ashamed, and mumbled, “Your dad told me.”

“Why?” She glared at him.

“I had to know, okay. He’s got something wrong with him, and I don’t want you to get hurt because of it. So I asked. I didn’t stalk you, I promise.” He glanced over her shoulder and grimaced. “He’s coming now. See you later. Have fun with the psycho.”


Mandy was flabbergasted, and hoped that Jason hadn’t heard him. Whether he had or not, Jason kept a casual expression, and smiled when she waved at him.

“Hey, Jace.”


“I’m sorry.” They both said at once, and then they laughed.

“I’m sorry about the other night.” Jason said before she could speak again. “I should have warned you about all that old weird stuff in our hallway. I’m so used to it, I forget it’s there, and that it’s kind of scary. It’s my grandpa’s. My dad keeps trying to get rid of it, but pops always throws the king of all hissy fits. Starts spouting about family heirlooms and stuff.”

“No, it’s fine. I’m just embarrassed that I actually fainted. It was really dumb, and I’m sure it wasn’t easy explaining it to my dad.”

“He was worried, but he was pretty cool about it. Well, relatively speaking. I think next time, we’d better hang out at your house, though, so he doesn’t hate me forever.”

“That might be a good plan. So, heirlooms, huh? Where is your family from, anyway?”

“Romania. Well, sort of. Mom’s side, Romania. Dad’s side immigrated into Romania when my granny was little, but no one knows where from. Maverick isn’t exactly a Slavic name.

“No one knows? But how does that work?”

“Well, I’m sure they knew when they got there, but they kept it really secret.”

“Romania. I think I saw a documentary on the history channel about it. I...” She froze, pulse racing a but faster.

“Mandy? Are you okay?”

“Jason, isn’t...” She took a deep breath in. “Isn’t Transylvania in Romania?”

“Yes, but... Oh.” He looked startled for a moment, and then laughed loud enough to draw stares. “That explains it! No wonder.”

“Explains what?” She was trying to keep calm, but her thoughts had gone careening down a particular train of thought, and there was no coming back.

“Eddy’s vampire stories. He must have found out we were from near Transylvania, and immediately thought of dracula.”

She laughed nervously. “Yeah. Funny, huh.”

His tone was casual. His reaction to the information was perfect. Everything about Jason Maverick told her to relax and forget all of the silly suspicions.

Except that she had just noticed his collar. And there was a small stain on it, just below his chin. A dark red stain that could only be one thing.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Revenge of the Vampire Teeny-bopper: Part 3

Part 3:

Whatever Eddy and Google had said, Jason seemed completely normal when he picked her up. He drove a used corolla, like any average student. He paid for dinner, mostly with crumpled ones. He was just the right amount of awkward that was required on any first date.

By the end of the night, Mandy had completely forgotten about anything weird or occult. Jason was a normal kid. A nice, kind of cute normal kid.

“I feel like I talked about me way too much. Tell me something about you.” She said as they walked down the sidewalk after the movie.

“Nah. I like talking about you better.”

“Come on. One thing. Favorite... I don’t know... favorite book?”

“You’re going to think I’m such a dork.” Jason said with a laugh.

“Try me.”

“Alright, favorite book, and I’m not ashamed, Harry Potter. Specifically the seventh one.”

“Me too!” Mandy blurted. “Well, almost. I like prisoner of Azkaban the most.”

“Well, that’s certainly not the reaction I usually get.” Jason replied, and he sounded relieved. “Girls usually look at me kind of funny, and say ‘oh.’ You know, in that ‘I’m so disappointed that you’re a nerd’ tone of voice.”

“Well, you’re safe with me. In fact, me and my best friend Eddy dressed up for the last premiere. We’re not talking just any old costumes. It was epic.”

“Just tell me you didn’t do Harry and Ginny.” Jason asked worriedly.

“No way. When I say epic, I mean we were fantastic.”

“Ooh. Do tell.”

“Well, Eddy was Dumbledore. Full out robes and beard. The works. And it was good.”

“Nice. And you?”


“Eh. I was hoping for a bit more than that. She’s kind of over done. 3-D glasses and some radish earrings, and people call it good.”

“Not me. Full-sized, complete with roaring, lion head hat.”

“Now that is something I have to see.”

“We can arrange that. Actually, me and Eddy watch the movies all the time. You should come hang with us. I think normally you two would be good friends.”


“Well...” Mandy didn’t know exactly how to tell him what Eddy thought without offending him. “Don’t take it personally, okay, but Eddy thinks you’re a killer vampire. I tried to reason with him. He’s not normally like that...”

She trailed off because Jason was laughing too hard to hear. It took him a minute before he could breathe again.

“That definitely has to go on my list.”

“What list?”

“Well, you know how a lot of people keep a quote wall or a notebook. A place where they write down all of the most random and absurd things that people say. I’ve got something kind of like that. It’s my “Hilarious, but why is that even real” list. Stuff I see in the news, or overhear in the hallway that’s just too funny-but-dumb not to record.”

“Now that really is dorky.” She laughed. “But I like it. So you’re not offended?”

“No way. I totally get it.”


“Oh yeah. I can tell he likes you. Sometimes guys go overboard with the weird-ity when they like a girl enough.”

“Weird-ity. Nice. Well, I’m glad you understand, because it’s been throwing me totally off my groove. I’m not used to him acting like that.”

“I guess it’s kind of my fault. For asking you out, and everything.”

“No. He should have had the guts to ask me a long time ago, if he was that worried about me being taken by someone else. He did finally spill his guts today, though. We’re going out tomorrow. Like officially. It’s going to be awkward, because we’ve known each other for years, and we never even thought about each other that way. Or at least I never did.”

“Well, I hope it goes alright. But not too alright. I’d like to see you again.”

Jason open her door, and she got into the car, grinning like the cheshire cat. The whole ride home, they talked, perfectly at ease with each other. She had absolutely no problem with seeing him again.

“I hope you don’t mind,” Jason said apologetically, “but my mom really wants to meet you. She’s not too weird or embarrassing as a mom, except when it comes to girls I take out. So I’m just letting you know up front, she might ask some weird questions.”

“I don’t mind at all.”

They pulled up in front of a clean-cut little suburban house, complete with white picket fence. As they got out of the car, the front door opened, and a blonde woman appeared. She wore an apron and yellow rubber gloves, and looked like she had just walked out of a magazine about 50's house wives.

“Hey, mom. This is Mandy.”

The little lady danced down the stairs with a huge grin.

“Hello, Mandy. So nice too meet you. So, what do your parents do for a living?”



“Please don’t act weird. She’s nice and gets good grades. I promise she’s not a psycho.”

“Alright. Alright.” She said, but she had a gleam in her eyes that warned Mandy that the questions weren’t over.

Once they climbed the steps, Mandy found herself in the entry way to a long, dark hall, and her breath caught in her throat. Instantly her palms started sweating, and her stomach did several terrifying somersaults.

The hallway was epitome of gothic. Gargoyles. Weapons. Unlit torches in brackets. All dimly lit, and all screaming “creepy”. If there was any place in the world that was suitable for a family of vampires, that was it.

Revenge of the Vampire Teeny-bopper: Part 2

Part 2:

“It’s not big deal, okay.”

“Eddy, you stormed out of math class in a murderous rage yesterday. That isn’t nothing.”

“I... it’s just... alright, look. I was jealous.”

“Jealous? Of what?”

“Of him. Mandy, I’ve been in love with you for a long time. And when you said you’d go on a date with him...” He trailed off and shrunk into his chair.

“Well,” She said calmly, “that’s definitely not what I was expecting.”

“Well, now you know.”

“Why didn’t you ever tell me?” She asked. He tried to look away, but she grabbed his chin and steered him back, just as she’d done hundreds of times.

“I was scared. I didn’t want to complicate things. You’re still my best friend, whatever the case. But, I dunno, I just couldn’t. I was going to though,” He added quickly, “I really was. I had it all planned out. But I knew how you felt about valentine’s stuff, so I was gonna tell you today instead. I guess I did, but it wasn’t exactly how I planned.”

She leaned back and thought for a few minutes before she replied.

“I don’t know how I feel about you.” She said at last. “I mean, I love you as my best friend. I always will. But love, love? I’m not saying I don’t. But I’m not saying I do either.”

Eddy relaxed a little, as though he had been worried that she’d get offended.

“I suppose a date is in order.” She said with a smile. “There’s no way of knowing, without trying it out.”

He smiled, and relaxed all the way. “Good. Great. Um, yeah. Tonight?”

“You know I’m going with Jason tonight.”


“But what, Eddy?” She gave him that knowing look. “Jason deserves just as much of a chance.”

“But there’s something wrong with him!” Eddy leapt from his chair.

“Getting possessive and angry is NOT helping your case.” She folded her arms and glared at him.

Eddy looked shocked, but backed down and sat, still glowering. “Sorry. But it’s true. Just google it.”

“I am not going to google him just because you’re jealous.” She said.

“No really.” Eddy got quiet and very serious. “Just do it. Type in ‘Maverick Family’. Please, just as a favor for me.”

Mandy rolled her eyes and swivelled her chair to face the desk. “Fine.” She said. “But not because I’m worried. And not because you’re right. But because you are paranoid, and won’t leave me alone about it until I do.”

She typed in ‘Maverick family’ and hit enter.

“Read the top ten results out.” Eddy said.

“Number one,” She said with false patience, “Maverick: gas station franchise. Two, Maverick gasoline. Three, vampire killers. Four...”

She did a double-take. Vampire killers? How on earth did that end up as the third top result?

“What else?” Eddy said, not sounded nearly as surprised as Mandy was.

“Four: Gas stations. Five: Vampires. Six: Vampires. Seven: oil spill. Eight: Vampires. Nine: vampires. Ten: vampires.”

She leaned back and rubbed her eyes. There is was, in black and white. Six of the top ten results were about vampires. Killer vampires in 2012. Then she shook her head.

“So what?” She said in her most solid tone. “There’s lots of mavericks in the world. And there’s no such thing as vampires, whatever google says.

“Vampire killer doesn’t always mean the undead.” Eddy said mysteriously, and then he left.

Mandy didn’t know what to think. He was right there. Sometimes creepers and psychos liked to play vampire. And google’s top results aren’t there just on a whim.

“This is ridiculous!” She said out loud. “There are no such things as vampires, and Jason Maverick is not a psycho killer on the run.”

But she had only known him a short time.

“Curse you, Eddy.” She yelled out the door, though she knew he was long gone.

That was all she needed. Strange, creepy ideas weirding her out while she was on her date.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Revenge of the Vampire Teeny-bopper: Part 1

Whether out of revenge for a slur on Texas, or from sheer morbid curiosity, we may never know. But what we do know is that our winner has chosen her genre. A vampire romance.

As my own words are insufficient to convey the emotional response to this choice, I shall fall back on someone else's. To quote that one guy from Jurassic Park, "Hold on to your butts."

** Any resemblance to persons living, dead, or undead is entirely deliberate.

Part 1:

His fingers tenderly brushed past her knee as they sat together on the park bench. He didn't realize it. It was just one of those unconscious signs of affection. After all, he was madly in love. It was adorable. It was nice.

And it was kind of sickening.

Mandy turned away from the couple and tried to eat her lunch in peace. But out of the corner of her eye, she still saw the sappy expression on Mark's face as he didn't study algebra.

"If I ever meet the guy who invented Valentine's day, I'm gonna feed him to a pack of rabid weasels." She grumbled.

She looked down at her sandwich. Ham and cheese didn't seem quite as appetizing anymore. She crumpled the wrapper around it and tossed it back into the bag. In the same movement, she snatched the zingers and had them halfway out before she stopped herself.
"Oh, no you don't!" She shouted at Mark and Trina. "You will not ruin chocolate for me too!"

Mark looked like he had just been hit in the face with a cricket bat. Trina, to Mandy's disgust, hadn't even noticed the outburst. She was far too busy not studying photosynthesis.

Mandy gathered her things and ran off to find a more suitable place for enjoying her dessert.

There weren't very many of them.

Everywhere she went, she came across couples. The place was a nauseating jumble of cheesy poems and cheap candy.

"Awful, isn't it."

Mandy looked around and found the speaker.

"Oh, hey Jace."

Jason slurped the last of his strawberry milkshake through an unnecessarily complicated crazy straw.

"I guess it's just you and me." He said casually.


"That aren't hooked up on Valentine's Day." He winked at her.

"Jason, I've known you for a week and a half. There will be no making out."

He laughed. It was a nice laugh.

"Come on. Give me a little credit." He said. "I'm not that creepy. And anyway, I don't know much about you. You might be a serial killer."

He tried to fake a concerned expression, but it didn't work. They both laughed.

"You never know." She said cryptically.

"Just a date." He said.


"A date. You know, dinner and a movie or something. Strictly non-psychopath."

She considered him for a moment. He was cute enough. Maybe a little dorky. Nice enough. Definitely not a serial killer. And certainly brave enough to ask her on a date so smoothly.

"Only one condition." She replied.

"Sorry, but no. I'm not giving you my social security number."

She couldn't help but laugh. "Alright. Have it your way. I'll just pick something else."

"Name it."

"Tomorrow, not tonight. I don't do first dates on Valentine's day."

"Deal." He grinned and then looked at his watch. "Uh oh. We've got about 27 seconds to get to class. Sorry."

He snatched up his backpack and sprinted for the door. Mandy walked. They weren't the only ones who were late, so she wasn't very concerned. Lunch rarely ended on time.

What she was wondering about, though, was the relative ease with which Jason Maverick had broken down her no-romance-on-valentine's barrier.

She just about slapped herself. Romance? Hardly. He'd asked her out to dinner. A date to be held the following evening. There was nothing out of the ordinary there.

Still, she couldn't help smiling. He'd seemed like a good guy ever since his family moved in a month ago. And they had been actual friends for at least a week. Deep down inside of her there was a girly girl fighting to get out, and she had to wonder about a possible Jason and Mandy future.

Later, in math class, she sat next to her best friend, who immediately noticed her half-dazed expression.

"I saw you talking to that new kid. What is it, Jason?"

"Yeah." She replied. Then she recognized the tone of voice. "Oh, come on, Eddy. Don't sound so paranoid. It's just a date. And he's just a normal kid."

"I don't know about that." He mumbled.

"What's that supposed to mean?" She asked a little too loudly. A few people turned to watch the confrontation.

Eddy shrunk under the weight of observation. "Nothing."

"At any rate, you're my best friend, not my dad. And if you were my dad, you'd see how nice he is."

"There's just something weird about him. What's his last name?"

"Who cares?" Mandy protested. She'd never encountered so much resistance to a date before.

"Nobody cares. I was just asking." Eddy pouted a little.

"Maverick. Jason Maverick."

Eddy's face went from sour to furious. His eyes almost glowed, and he looked like he was about to tear the desk apart with his bare hands.

Normally Mandy would have said something snide or sarcastic to cool him down, but she'd never seen him like that before. For the third time in her entire life, she was stricken utterly speechless.

After a few seconds, Eddy gained enough composure to realize that he'd been making a scene, and he dashed out of the room before anyone else could stare at him. Mandy's gaze followed him out the door, and she suddenly wondered if there wasn't something real behind all of Eddy's odd behavior that day.

It's that time again

That time when I haven't blogged for a little while. And when I don't have any idea about what to blog. That time when the audience (such as it is) gives their input.

Once upon a time, I had a sort of contest. The first to respond to my post with a comment was the subject of a story, and got to choose several elements. (see here:)

And I think the story actually turned out really fun. (See here:) In fact, it covered 4 posts. I liked it quite a bit.

So let's do it again.

First person to comment gets to be the main character in a story. They will choose the genre and at least one random element.

The second person to comment gets to either be a side-character or to choose two other random story elements.

If there is a third person (wishful thinking here) then they can surprise me. Consider it a wild card. Whatever you want. (Within reason.)

The same rules apply as last time.

  • Comment on the blog, not on the facebook link
  • It must be a real comment. None of this "First comment!" or "Pick me!" nonsense.
  • Your topic of choice cannot involve anything overtly inappropriate.
  • No, I will not divulge my social security number

That's pretty much it. Onward Ho.