Monday, January 31, 2011

194 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Ninety Four

Though I watched him like a hawk, Jure showed no sign of being aware of Linda's hot longing gaze. He circulated among the guests making small talk and showing off his jewelry and fine clothes.

Jure was good in social situations. He liked the praise, admiration and fawning attention lavished on him by others. Vampires admired him for his longevity and reputation as the most feared vampire in Istria. Some said he was the most feared vampire in all of Europe. Being feared was a good thing in vampire culture, which was sort of like the WWE.

Human women just about swooned when Jure turned his dark and brooding gaze upon them. This wasn't all due to glamour. Jure was an impressively constructed man. It was hard to believe a body like his had been built in a time before steroids. I had seen the jaw dropping definition of his muscles before he understood I was off limits.

His handsome aristocratic face had a touch of cruel brutality around the mouth and eyes that would be sexually appealing to any woman that liked her man large and in charge. He was obviously intelligent and cultured, wealthy and powerful, a potent blend of manly aphrodisiacs for my inexperienced fifteen year old daughter.

What Linda didn't know was that Jure was able to glamour me and most likely he would be able to glamour her too. He could also read my mind. I believed he could even influence my dreams and put thoughts in my mind. This telepathic power came from the Mother of all Telepaths, our own dear Anna Hita.

She had Turned her direct descendant, Jure. That meant he was doubly related to her. Her human bloodline had coursed in his veins when he was a telepathic human and now her Vampire bloodline imparted her power and blessing to him.

It also gave her a lot of control over him and his behavior. She had forbidden him from bothering me or doing anything to eliminate Eric. She had erased the memory he had of his sexual encounter with me. Things weren't exactly set to rights, but considering the immense power Jure could wield if he wasn't reined in, I was happy with the status quo.

Until tonight. How was I going to discourage Linda from mooning over Jure without waving a red flag in front of her? Fortunately Jure was a sophisticated and refined man. The goofy flirting of a teenage girl wouldn't attract him. Still, it might open the door between our two households, a door I preferred to keep shut.

From behind me a deep slightly accented voice rumbled, "From the way you have been staring at me all evening I am speculating that you either have a crush on me or I ran over your dog."

I turned in my seat to see the object of my recent thoughts. I smiled my bright phony smile. I didn't want him to know what I had been thinking about. Could I shield my thoughts from him the way the girls could shield their thoughts from me? I had no way of knowing, but I hoped so.

"Not at all, I was just admiring your new necklace. Aren't those rubies? Such clarity and fire, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it." I was talking like Scarlett O'Hara on the verge of getting the vapors. I restrained myself from fanning my face with my hand.

I hoped to distract him by turning his attention towards one of his favorite topics. He collected jewelry and like any collector he loved to talk about his latest acquisition.

The exciting tale of how these rubies had been smuggled out of Burma by a princess concealing them in her bustle was interrupted by a pasty-faced Charlaine.

"Hi Mr. Grando, sorry to interrupt. Mom, I feel sick to my stomach, like I might have to .... you know ..." she said, glancing at Jure. She didn't want to say "puke" in front of the handsome vampire.

"Please excuse me, Miss Stackhouse," Jure said to her, "I didn't mean to monopolize your mother. Goodnight to you both," he said, already backing away from our table with a courtly bow.

This tactful withdrawal might have been due to good manners, but I suspected it was really because he was afraid Char might let loose and spew all over him and his finery.

I smiled inside at the threat my nauseous little girl posed to the big bad fearsome vampire. I looked appropriately concerned for Charlaine's well being on the outside, naturally. She really did look ghastly, sweaty and pale.

Linda suddenly appeared. "Was that Mr. Grando, here, talking to you?" she asked in wonder, looking around to see where the latest object of her adolescent hormones had run off to.

"Yes. We have to get your sister home, she's feeling ill," I told Linda. "See if you can locate Adele and your father and let them know I'm taking Charlaine home."

I sat Charlaine down, then went to the coat check to get our jackets. By the time I had returned the whole family was at our table. We said our hasty goodbyes on the way out, getting Charlaine to the car before she lost it. All the punch and goodies she had eaten this evening came back up. When she thought she was done we got her in the car and hurried home to get her to bed.

All night she had chills and fever followed by bouts of being sick to her tummy. I tried to wait for her own immune system to kick in and fight off the flu, but right before dawn I gave in and asked Eric if he would mind giving Charlaine a few drops of his blood.

I mixed it in a shot glass of tomato juice and had her slug it down. Within minutes she was asleep, her chills gone, her forehead no longer hot to the touch.

Just in case our other children came down with the flu the next day, Eric left about ten drops of his magical blood in an empty aspirin bottle I put in the refrigerator.

It wouldn't be quite as potent as if it were fresh, but it should do the trick. Adele escaped the flu but by the mid-afternoon Linda was starting to develop symptoms. I dosed her the same way I did Charlaine and she too fell into a deep healing sleep.

The use of vampire blood for healing might seem like a no-brainer for a family with a vampire conveniently at hand, but I feared that too much exposure might make the girls exceptionally vulnerable to Turning. They were healthy human girls, most of the time there was no reason why they couldn't get over colds and flu like anyone else did.

I didn't want to weaken their natural immune systems by jumping in with vampire blood every time they started to come down with something. They didn't get much exposure to other humans due to their telepathy. The few things they did get might make their immunity stronger.

I canceled classes that night and again I postponed the visit of Calabim, his mother Rayana and his sister Bee until Linda was all better. I hoped to encourage Linda's interest in the djinn in order to distract her thoughts away from Jure.


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more to come ......(Good Monday Morning Amigos - It's so wonderful to check my blog and see you have stopped by. Thanks for commenting and for all your encouragement. It makes all the difference.

Anonymous Z - Yes, humans also have supernatural siblings in another dimension. Mine is a vampire, what's yours? :-)

Sally - Yes, the girls probably do have supersibs but we don't know what who they are yet. I only know what Sookie knows and she hasn't heard from Somewhere Else to know who is connected to the girls.)


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Sunday, January 30, 2011

193 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Ninety Three

A few nights later the scales on Eric's back started to loosen. He had his arm twisted behind his back touching them. He had showered and they were itching him like crazy.

"Can I help?" I asked. Nothing was worse than a terrible itch you just couldn't quite reach.

"Yes, the dragon scales seem ready to fall off. Could you try lifting one and see if it comes away?"

He hadn't gotten dressed yet. He sat down naked, cross legged on the bed and I sat behind him. I turned on both night stand lights so I could see what was going on. One of the scales at the bottom was dangling by a corner. That must have been the one Eric was picking at. I held it between my fingers and tugged at it ever so gently. It came free. Under it was a dark mark.

"Did that hurt?" I asked, reaching around in front of him to hand him the scale.

"No, it felt good. Try removing another one." He studied the translucent bottle green scale, then set it down on the bed.

I got my nail under the next scale and pried up a little bit. It popped free. I found doing this oddly satisfying.

"Mmmmm, Sookie, that feels wonderful. Strange, but good," Eric said. He brought my hand around to feel him. The good feeling was apparently flowing into every part of his anatomy.

After a few minutes I resumed gently lifting and pulling off the next scale. The dark mark continued on under that scale. Since the scales overlapped each other I could only remove one at a time. All of them came free without causing Eric any discomfort.

Under the scales was a tattoo of a dragon done in green and a dark royal blue, a beautiful slender sinuous creature that bore little resemblance to stocky short legged Madge. It did have a forked tail like hers, and the vertical slit pupils within the bright yellow eyes were clearly drawn.

"It's a tattoo of a dragon!" I told Eric. I had seen a tattoo of a dragon very similar to this one, where had that been?

"It is not a tattoo," Eric said, getting up and looking at his back in the floor length mirror with my hand mirror. "A tattoo is something that is drawn on human skin. This is the indelible mark of the flugdrak. Primitive tribal humans that saw the flugdrak marks on vampires began trying to imitate those designs on their own bodies using ink and needles. Vampires were like gods to the humans that interacted with them before the trouble started."

"Trouble?" I asked.

Eric turned towards me. I could see his flugdrak mark in the mirror. Seeing it reversed like that jogged my memory. This was a larger version of the dragon design I had seen on Jure's impressive bicep. That must mean Jure exchanged blood with a dragon at some point. Jure had the mark of the flugdrak too.

Eric sat on the side of the bed. "This was long long before my time, you must understand. Vampires coexisted peacefully with humans until it became known that vampires lived on human blood. Before that we had been able to keep them from knowing using our speed, stealth and of course, our glamour. A band of renegade vampires from far away decided to deviate from our successful pattern of behavior."

"They enjoyed getting blood drunk, not caring who saw their frenzied feeding, leaving drained bodies strewn around. Soon all human tribes had heard about vampires. Once they knew what we really were we became the hunted instead of the hunters. Our need for daytime rest made us extremely vulnerable to staking. We quickly had to develop new strategies to survive. Vampires were hated and driven out of their homes and homelands to wander. It made life very difficult for us."

"A few rotten apples spoiled it for the rest of you," I said, hugging him in sympathy.

It was the age old story. Retaliation brought on vengeance from the other side with hate being passed back and forth like a deadly game of hot potato. These long standing self perpetuating animosities had plagued both vampires and humans for umpty-thousands of years.

Can't we all just get along?

Guess not.

"Watch what I can do," he said turning his back towards me.

As I looked his mark of the flugdrak disappeared from left to right, like a picture being erased from an Etch A Sketch. Then it reappeared from right to left.

"If you like it I will leave it visible, but if you prefer I can make it go away when you are around," he offered.

I wasn't sure how I felt about the mark. It looked striking against his pale skin, drawing my eye to the breadth of his back and his well formed back muscles, but it was strange to see something new on his body. Maybe I would get used to it, but for the time being I told him I liked him best without the mark showing. He seemed indifferent. The mark disappeared.

This was not a body decoration for vanity but the sign of a sacred trust between the vampire and the dragon. I got the impression that there was a long history between vampires and dragons, but there wasn't going to be time to get into this topic tonight. We needed to get ready for Preston's party.

I put the shiny green scales in the new larger trinket box under the original smaller one on my dresser. Perhaps the girls would each like a scale to keep in their own trinket boxes, or there might be some magical use for the scales. They seemed too scarce and beautiful to discard. Just like hen's teeth, dragon scales were hard to come by.

The party was in full swing when we arrived at Fangtasia. I managed to avoid seeing Preston crunch down any bugs. Preston looked good considering how traumatic his Turning had been. Jure had his chunky balding housemate dressed in a beautifully cut suit that almost hid his substantial paunch. His thin flyaway hair had been carefully styled for this occasion. Too bad one night was all any vampire could enjoy an excellent haircut.

The way a person looked the exact moment they were Turned was they way they would remain until their final death. Any modifications - haircuts, dental work, implants - would be gone after the next day's rest.

A long haired vampire that wanted short hair would need to keep a stylist on retainer to cut their hair every single night. A short haired vampire that wanted long hair would need to resort to a wig or nightly extensions.

That was why I wanted to be in tip top shape, perfectly groomed, tummy surgically liposuctioned and tucked, teeth whitened and skin clear when I was Turned. I wanted to join Eric looking as good as he did. Call me vain, but when it was going to last forever, it mattered to me a whole bunch.

For some reason Jure had taken to having Preston under his roof, perhaps because the former slaveling was still obedient and not very self aware. Preston was agreeable to going along with whatever was asked of him. This might be a trait attributable to his long time as a slaveling or perhaps it was just the way Preston had always been.

Since we didn't know anyone that had been acquainted with Preston in his human life we had no way of knowing who he had been or what his human personality had been like. Some people came through their Turning with their personalities intact, some lost something in the process. I planned to keep my entire personality after I Turned, thank you very much. For good or ill, it was what made me Me.

I trusted that Eric would make sure everything went smoothly during the three days and nights it took to Turn me Vampire. I was also counting on him to prevent me from killing a lot of people when I was taken with the blood lust and lack of control the newly Turned vampire experienced. He knew that my morals would prevent me from ever being truly happy if I shed innocent blood.

Since no one knew when Preston's real birthday was we all sang "For he's a jolly good fellow" when it came time for Preston to open his gifts. The girls had gotten him a book on entomology so he could find out exactly what kind of bug he was crunching.

Eric and I got him a new bedroom set for his safe room, with a bed that adjusted for comfort. It was an extravagant gift, but I suspected Eric felt guilty over abandoning Preston and giving him away to Jure. It had worked out very well for all concerned so I didn't think Eric had anything to feel bad about.

The night was going beautifully until I saw something that caused me to freeze in my tracks, suddenly realizing what I was seeing. It was the way Linda was looking at someone. I had seen that besotted look on her face before.

Linda quite obviously had a flaming crush on the most frightening vampire I had ever met, Jure Grando. It sent a chill down my spine.


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more to come .....(Happy Sunday Fanpires! You are all a lovely addition to my day, thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts.

Just a heads up here, this stage of the story will be winding up soon, but the next part is soon to be forthcoming. I hope to answer every question and dry every tear by the time I finish.

Eminé - I hope you are getting better now that you are under medical care. I'm sending happy healing thoughts your way.)


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Saturday, January 29, 2011

192 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Ninety Two

No, that was ridiculous, I decided. My vampire husband could not possibly be the father of Madge's brood of dragonlets to be. I counted the reasons why.

First of all, Eric was unable to procreate the usual way. A vampire's blood tinged sperm was not viable. The semen I had used to conceive the girls had been brought from a human version of Eric existing in the past and in another dimension. That had been Anna Hita's wedding gift to us, probably the most unique wedding gift ever given, and certainly one of the most appreciated.

Second, Madge was another species from a different dimension. From watching the Discovery Channel I knew that species had to be very closely related, like a dog and a wolf, before they could mate and produce offspring. A giraffe couldn't have a baby with a hippopotamus, which was probably a good thing, considering what their children might look like.

Third, even Eric, with his gracious plenty, would not be able to meet the needs of a two story tall female. Eric's vanity would not allow him to attempt such a futile act. Madge's generous size would make Eric's experience like walking into a warm room. Case closed.

Fortunately the girls slept through the return of their new family member. When they got up and read their notes they were very happy with the way things had gone.

"Can we go down to the pond to visit with her?" Charlaine asked. "We could pack a picnic."

Darren was coming over today to help Charlaine study for her geometry test. They would be in the classroom alone but with the monitors on. Charlaine was probably hoping Darren and her could go on a picnic and hang out with a real dragon. None of my daughters was boring. When you factored in all the supernatural stuff in their lives they might be a little too interesting for many men.

"She's not here anymore. She's in Scotland visiting her mother." I hesitated, not sure I if wanted to tell them about Madge's condition.

Was it a secret Madge should tell them? I thought it wouldn't be a secret since she was planning on calling the girls and warning them about not thinking things through. Besides, we were now her adopted family. I decided to tell them the rest.

"She wanted to see her mother to tell her something very important. Madge is expecting."

"She's pregnant?" They all asked at once.

I affirmed that she was. They asked me more questions, but I didn't have any more answers. I told them that Madge had asked for their phone numbers to talk to them from Somewhere Else when she got there. I hoped they would be impressed by the tale of caution Madge would tell. Could a dragon's indiscretion be a lesson for my girls? I couldn't see why not.

The girls were all having their breakfast of choice. Charlaine liked coffee, scrambled eggs and microwave sausages. Adele was having a bowl of Vampire Crunch cereal, which turned the milk bright red. It gave me the shudders but Adele said it was delicious. She was having V-8 juice with it. With her preference for all things vampire, I was worried she might start growing fangs soon.

Linda was reading the paper with her tea and toast when she gasped.

"What is it?" I asked her.

"Remember that guy Ricard Shagg, the werewolf that was here to see me a while ago?" she asked.

Of course I remembered him. He had overstepped the bounds of good behavior and been ejected from the house by Eric.

"Yes, I remember him. We didn't like the way he behaved," I said.

"Well, he must have been driving under the influence or something," Linda said, still looking at the news paper. Then she looked up, her eyes wide with shock. "He drove his Tahoe into Lake Pontchartrain and drowned."

I knew it was hard for young people to hear about the sudden death of someone they knew. It made death seem more real, more like something that could happen to them. Usually they felt so far removed from death, to have it come close was a shock.

"I'm sorry to hear that. He may not have been the most polite young man, but he was very young. It will be hard on his family," I said, always thinking about the parents when a young person suddenly passed. That change in perspective had happened automatically once I became a parent. Hostage to fate, just like Eric said.

"Wow, who would have thought he would die just like that?" Linda said. Since she wasn't emotionally attached to him, it was just the shock of seeing someone and then having them pass suddenly she was dealing with.

"That'll teach him for disrespecting Daddy," Adele said, getting up, wiping her hands on the dishtowel.

I thought about reprimanding her for her callous attitude, but I realized she was fiercely supportive of her father in all things. Ricard had acted badly and even given Eric the finger.

That was enough for Adele to think that his death was a proper punishment. I didn't say anything to her about it, she was experiencing the passionate overreaction of her youthful age.

Changing topics she asked, "Do you have Madge's phone number?"

"No, I forgot to ask. I don't know if you can call her, or if she can call you on her phone. You might see a phantom phone appear in order to speak to her. If a phantom phone appears bring it to me and I'll answer it. We don't know who might be on the other end."

The girls were fascinated by this and wanted all the details of my phantom phone call to Arvakur. I could see why. How many time does a person make a phone call to a unicorn?

They were dying to see and ride the unicorns but that was way beyond our financial means. I wondered why Madge could come and go from her dimension at will but it took a great deal of effort and cost to bring the unicorns to this dimension. If I remembered I would ask Eric about it.

I got out our wedding photo album and showed the girls the few photos I had tucked in the back of the King and his bride riding the rented unicorns that had been the combined wedding present of the sheriffs and other members of the royal staff. That was when I had learned that Arvakur and Alsvidur were Jason and my supernatural siblings.

"Do we have supernatural siblings too?" Adele asked.

"I imagine you must. Most people do. Since they don't live in this dimension most people don't know they have one. I don't know who, or maybe I should say what, your supernatural siblings are," I said, feeling uneasy at this new line of thought. What if their otherworldly family members were some kind of monster like you-know-who?

"Oh, what if they're angels or cherubim?" Linda rhapsodized, "Wouldn't that be lovely?"

"I want a unicorn," Adele said, "Just like Mom and Uncle Jason."

Charlaine looked thoughtful. "I know we don't get to choose, but if I could I would want a dragon just like Madge. Daddy is lucky, he got to sign up with someone really cool. How come he never had a supernatural sibling before Madge?" she asked.

I wasn't going to tell them about you-know-who and his gruesome demise. I tempered the story. "Your father's first supernatural brother became trapped and died. Your father and his sibling weren't close at all because he was a troll, not a very nice creature," I said.

"What was his name?" Charlaine asked, "The troll, I mean. What was his name?"

"You know, I really can't say," I answered, and that was the truth. His name still struck fear in my heart.


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more to come .....(Salutations my Faithful Friends - I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and let me know what you're thinking as you read. It gives me a whole new perspective on the story. Happy Saturday!)

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Friday, January 28, 2011

191 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Ninety One

I told Eric about my concerns for Madge's safety. If she was going to be a member of our family we were going to need to find a way to protect her.

"Madge is at risk if she stays here. She only wants to visit occasionally and will come if needed. She is safer in her own domain," Eric said.

"The girls will be so disappointed. They were planning on building a huge barn to house her," I told Eric.

He found that so funny he actually laughed out loud. "Our girls are like you in that regard, kind and loving to a fault," he said, cuddling me to him.

That reminded me of something I had been thinking about.

"Do you remember when Pam suggested that you teach the girls how to handle a sword?" I asked him, turning so I could see his face.

"Yes. I believe the word she used was 'wield' ", he said. He kissed the tip of my nose.

"Would you really teach them?" I asked.

"Would you want me to?" he asked, surprised.

"Yeah, I would. They need to learn how to defend themselves the best they can. I think they should get shooting lessons too."

Eric looked at me a while before answering. "That is a good idea if they are to remain human, but if they become vampire their need for guns and swords would be lessened," he said.

"What do you mean?" I asked, alarmed. I sat up in bed. "What makes you think about them Turning vampire?"

"I did not think about it but they have discussed it with both Pam and me."

"They did? They never mentioned it to me," I felt completely blindsided by this information.

There had never been a hint of these ideas in the talks I had with the girls. Of course I hadn't tried to read their minds, they would have become irritated or even angry if they sensed my feelers trying to probe their thoughts, shutting down their minds before I got to read them. They were adept at keeping up a barrier to me and to each other, something they may have learned to do in the womb as crowded triplets.

"They believed you would be upset if they brought it up to you. They wanted to get information to make their decisions and then let you know once they knew what they wanted."

Eric was rhythmically rubbing my back, trying to calm me. He could tell I was agitated by this news. "Nothing has been decided. Even if the girls did decide to Turn, it would not be until they were in their twenties and could make an informed decision," Eric pointed out.

"But then they would never have children, never have a family," I objected.

I hadn't realized I wanted to be a grandmother someday until this news threatened that possibility. I had taken it for granted the girls would marry and have children. I also hoped that perhaps they would have inherited the fairy longevity gene, though with human Eric as their biological father they probably would not have my long long life, if I was being brutally honest with myself.

I was on an emotional teeter-totter. On one side I didn't want them to live a normal human life, grow old and die, while I remained young. On the other side I didn't want them to miss out on being human and having the human joys of children and marriage. What I saw clearly, what Eric was saying, really, was that it wasn't up to me to make those decisions. This was their life, they had the right to choose how it would be played out.

But letting go of things was never my strong point. Eric knew that about me.

"Sookie, tonight nothing is being decided. These are just ideas our daughters are discussing. Do not let it burden your heart."

He wrapped his arms around me to comfort me. What had Eric called our children many years ago? Hostages to fate. As I was a hostage to fate for him. Becoming a vampire, living on and on and on, how did Eric do it and remain sane? Could I become vampire and stay mentally stable? There were no guarantees, I saw with painful clarity.

I wrapped my arms around him and hugged him tight, treasuring his strength and wisdom, my hands running over the glassy scales that covered his back. It was very strange, having something physical change about Eric. I wondered what mark would be under the scales. I hoped it wouldn't be anything that marred his appearance. Of course I would love him no matter what.

A few nights would reveal what mark the scales now concealed.

The next morning I had a phone consultation with Dr. Vay before the girls got up. She confirmed what Dr. Fay had said, that I could get pregnant, but probably wouldn't for many decades. Fairies lived for so long they had plenty of time to reproduce.

She also told me that becoming Vampire would be the end of my fertility, so I needed to take that into consideration when making the decision to Turn.

She hadn't told me anything I didn't already know, so I tried not to brood on it. There was no clear right or wrong that I could see.

If I kept on being human I would continue to be vulnerable in a way that left Eric at risk of losing me, something that might weaken his will to continue living. Being human would preserve my ability to become pregnant again, but I wasn't really sure that was something I wanted.

If I Turned then I would have the unknowns of what it would be like to be a vampire, and I would be giving up my fertility. What I would gain is the ability to survive just about anything. I would be what Eric was. I would be with my husband forever. If my children remained human I would outlive them by centuries.

Eric loved me the way I was now. Would our two vampire natures still be compatible? Would I still appeal to him once I wasn't human? There was no way to predict how he would feel. I just had to trust in our compatibility after the change.

Unfortunately I wasn't a very trusting person sometimes. Life had a way of blindsiding you when you least expected it. There was no way to cover every contingency.

If I became Vampire then neither of us would be available for the girls during the day, unless Daynight was developed enough to make our daytime lives possible. I knew that possibility was getting closer every time a new formula was tried.

We would be next-door to useless though if the formula made us slime covered parents that were as weak as kittens. It would need to improve enough to allow us to keep our vampire strength.

Would it influence my decision if Daynight was perfected? Maybe. I loved the day, and I didn't want to be unavailable for my daughters half the time.

Gordon was looking out the window and wagging, so I went to the window see what he was looking at. It was Madge, back in her full size as a dragon. Her back was to me and her sides were heaving.

Was she crying again? The sunlight glittered as it hit the ridges in her rainbow tinted green scales. Gordon sat down to watch her. He was so tall he could look out the windows like a person. Apparently Gordon liked Madge and he was already thinking of her as a member of our family.

As I walked out to see what was wrong with Madge I wondered why she was such an emotional wreck, especially now that Eric had agreed to not only become her supernatural brother but had formed a blood bond with her too. She got what she wanted, now what was wrong?

"Madge, honey? Is something bothering you?" I asked loudly so she she knew I was there. I didn't want to surprise her and have her lash out with her tail or something.

She made a retching noise and suddenly gallons and gallons of pink foamy stuff the consistency of Pepto Bismal shot out of her open mouth. She moaned, then more gallons were heaved up.

A great big puddle of pink dragon puke lay on the lawn. It smelled like peppermint, taking some of the disgustingness out of the mess. Still, it was yucky to look at.

"Are you sick?" I asked her, thinking about calling Dr. Ludwig or her new associate Dr. Lightman. Did they treat dragons? I hoped so.

"No, not really," she said, sounding miserable. She turned to face me. "Do you have a towel?" she asked.

I jogged back to the house and got an old bath towel from the linen closet and jogged back outside with it. The puddle was gone.

I handed her the towel and asked, "What happened to the ....? " and indicated the place where the throw-up had been. The grass was a little flattened, otherwise it looked fine.

She took the bath towel, which was like a washcloth in her big paw, and wiped her rubbery black lips with it.

"When it hardened I threw it into the woods. It will evaporate in a few hours." She pointed in the direction of Jure's house.

I pictured a big irregularly shaped pink Frisbee of dragon upchuck flying through the air and landing with a thud on the roof of Jure's house.

Of course it would probably be gone by the time he got up. Since he was the one that suggested Madge come here for help he deserved whatever mess it left, if any.

"So ... you're not sick?" I asked. I was not going to be able to nurse an ill dragon, that was obvious.

"Not really, I'm ....." she hiccuped and sobbed at the same time, a big yellow tear rolled down her scaly green cheek and went splash on the ground.

"I'm just .... It's just that I'm ....." She couldn't seem to bring herself to say what the problem was.

"You're .....?" I asked, hoping to help her along.

"Pregnant," she blurted out with a puff of icy steam. She lay down with a big freezy sigh. "I'm knocked up. With child. Up the jaggy."

"Up the jaggy?" I had never heard that one before.

"It's Scottish. My mom picks up a lot of Scottish sayings from overhearing the folks boating on the Loch," she explained.

"I see," I said. My mind raced with the possibilities. Was she going to have her dragonlets here? In my yard? The poor thing, no wonder she needed her mother.

"Are you going to go be with your mom?" I suggested, the operative word here being "go".

I hoped to heaven she left before the girls got up and found out about this latest development. They were all gaga for baby anythings. Baby dragons would be the ultimate love fest for them.

Madge and her brood would never be allowed to leave, bringing impossible problems. Where do you hide a pregnant two story tall dragon and her offspring? How many babies did dragons have?

"I'm afraid to tell her," Madge said in a very small voice for such a very large dragon. A big yellow tear rolled out of her eye and almost hit my foot. I stepped back.

"Madge, she's your Mom. You have to tell her. She might be mad at first, but she'll come around. She loves you. I'm sure she'll love her grandchildren too." I said as reassuringly as I could.

Of course I had no way of knowing how her mother would react. I knew a girl in high school that was thrown out of her home when she got pregnant. She had to go to a home for unwed mothers and give the baby up for adoption.

It was the only way her parents would let her come back home. Her return home didn't work out, her parents berated her day and night for breaking the rules of their religion. She finally ran away. I never found out what happened to her or her baby. It was a sad ending to a sad situation.

"I know, I know," Madge said wearily, "But first she'll yell at me for being so careless. I guess I deserve it."

I wondered who the father was, but I didn't ask. It was probably a sore spot for her. Or maybe dragon fathers just fertilized the female and then went off, never to return. Some human men did that too.

I knew zero about dragon reproduction. I didn't even think I could look it up on the internet and get reliable information. Dragons, like fairies and werewolves, were still listed under the 'imaginary beings' category. Madge was not supposed to be and that made her presence here a predicament.

"I need to tell her, then go back home to lay my eggs. They can't hatch here, that's for certain. I just wanted to thank you for all your help. Give Eric a kiss for me and tell him I'll let him know when the babies hatch. I know he'll want to see them."

She stood up. "I better leave. I'm going to transport to Loch Ness, then return home. One night of passion can lead to a lifetime of responsibility. Let your girls know that, there are consequences to a night of passion. Or maybe I'll call them when I get home and warn them myself. Do you have their cell phone numbers?"

I did and recited them to her. She recited them back, then threw me a peppermint scented kiss and vanished in a gigantic puff of purple smoke.

This time she didn't turn into a dragonfly. She just blinked out of existence here, probably appearing instantly at Loch Ness. I hoped her mother would be kind and understanding. An angry dragon was no laughing matter, probably no laughing mother either.

I picked up the pink stained towel and started walking back to the house when a thought hit me. What did she mean when she said Eric would want to see the babies? Why would he care what the babies looked like?

Could her night of passion, the one that left her in the family way, have been with my husband? Was more than a blood exchange involved in becoming his blood sister?



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more to come .....(Good Morning Fanpires! Thanks so much for sticking with me. I appreciate you taking the time to write.)

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

190 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Ninety

"They were all asleep. Adele still had the phone in her hand," Eric said when he returned to the bedroom.

"Did you tuck them in?" I asked from the bed. I was snug as a bug in a rug and hoped I wouldn't have to get up again.

"Yes, I covered them, turned on their night lights, and put the phone on Adele's nightstand. I also left them notes telling them that we have a new large scaly member of the family. This way they will not have to wake you early to find out what happened."

Smart of Eric to think of that. I told him I appreciated his thoughtfulness.

There is something I should tell you about ...." Eric began, standing next to the bed, still fully dressed.

I patted the bed next to me. "Why don't you get in bed and tell me while we're snuggling, " I suggested. Having the girls all asleep was like an aphrodisiac for me.

"Not before I tell you what to expect," he said, pulling off his shirt. He let the shirt drop to the floor. "Exchanging blood with a dragon results in a mark being left. I now bear the mark of the flugdrake, or I will when these drop off."

He turned around, showing me his back. Across his broad shoulders, right where his shoulder blades were, were numerous overlapping green iridescent scales. Each one was the size of a fifty cent piece, and had little ridges in it that caught the light. It was beautiful, in a way, but sort of creepy. The scales seemed to grow naturally right out of his white flesh.

"My stars!" I exclaimed, getting out from under the blankets and crawling to the edge of the bed. "Can I touch them?"

"Yes," he said, sitting on the edge of the bed, turning his back to me so I could examine the scales all I wanted. Eric knew I was a curious person.

The scales felt like they were made of cool green glass. "Do they hurt?" I asked, after running my hand over the area.

"They feel stiff and strange, but they do not hurt. I have heard that they begin to itch when they are ready to fall off."

"How long does that take?" I asked.

"It varies. It might take as long as three nights."

"And there's a mark under there?"

"Yes, but I do not know what it will look like. Each blod limning is different. I hope my mark will be attractive to you." he said, turning and taking me in his arms. "I do not want anything to diminish my appeal to you."

He paused, then added in a much lower quieter voice, "Sookie, I must tell you, the dragon took a lot of my blood, so I am very hungry."

As he said these last words his fangs snicked down. He looked at me with his intense blue gaze. I knew this would be the time he would have glamoured me if I was an ordinary human woman and he was a hungry vampire, but he couldn't glamour me due to my unusual mental make up. Fortunately he didn't have to use his glamour. His charm and skill were plenty to get me in the mood.

Even though he was starved he took his time with his feeding, making sure my pleasure equaled his. The feeding ended right as my response peaked, leaving me eager to feel his body on mine. He fit the openings and curves of my body like he had been made just for me.

During our lovemaking I tried to be careful and not touch his scales when my hands encircled him, but he whispered to me, "Do not fear you will hurt me. The scales are as hard as iron."

"That's not the only thing as hard as iron," I answered breathlessly.

The dragon blood seemed to have had a powerful effect on Eric and he was even more graciously endowed than usual. He took it easy when I let him know he seemed unusually large, and his slow movements and the increased sensation of him within me made for a memorable experience. We kept trying different positions until we found the one that hit all the right places but didn't put a strain on my limited human body.

Later I asked him about the way dragon blood boosted his already active sex drive.

"The blood of the dragon is known to have this effect on both humans and vampires. For that reason dragons were hunted to the brink of extinction. The unicorns saved the last of them, bringing them safely over to their dimension. Allowed to breed and live freely in their own dimension the dragon population has begun to recover. But their blood is still coveted as a sexual stimulant," he explained.

I remembered from watching the Discovery channel that many rare animals, especially those with horns, were hunted so that their horns might be made into a virility enhancer. Some desperate men would believe any fantastic thing to bolster their sagging abilities. They would pay anything for a potion that allowed them to rise to the occasion.

If poachers thought they could sell the animal horns for great profit they didn't care if an animal was endangered or protected by International law. By the time the local law enforcement found the mutilated remains the poachers were long gone.

I hoped our dragon Madge, newest member of our family, knew how to keep herself safe when visiting here. As big as she was, no being was safe from the kind of weapons and firepower available to hunters these days, especially if they are operating illegally and willing to go to any length to attain their ends.


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more to come .....(Greetings Fanpires! Allow my warm thanks for your visit to drive away some of the winter chill.)

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

189 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Eighty Nine

I cleared away the fruit and nuts I had offered the girls with their cocoa. My cocoa sat there untouched, developing a wrinkled skin on top.

I was experiencing the sort of low level dread that acts like an appetite suppressant. If they could put that worried feeling in pill form, it would be an effective diet pill. Of course, I doubt if anyone would walk around feeling the clench of apprehension in their guts just to get thin.

More than two hours from the time Eric and Madge disappeared from the backyard, Eric returned. He came in the front door just like he had been out for a stroll.

"You're home!" I exclaimed, very happy to see him safe and sound.

I ran to throw my arms around him.

He stepped back. "Do not touch me," he said in a mildly warning tone, holding up his hand to stop me.

"Why not? Did Madge lick you?" I asked. I recalled the terrible icky stuff her lick left behind.

"No, but we exchanged blood. Now I need time for the bond to become permanent. I will go to the computer and submit the paperwork. The computer makes everything so much easier," he said, beginning to head for the office, "In the past we would have needed to send a courier to Switzerland."

"Why Switzerland?"

I sat down on my computer chair next to Eric's office chair. I didn't like to swivel and roll, so my chair was a solid oak chair with four legs and a nice toile cushion on the seat. The toile matched the curtains in the office.

"I do not know. The Commission of Dragons is situated there, so that is where all paperwork must be submitted."

Eric brought up a website titled "International Commission of Dragons". He clicked the link to fill out the forms for adoption and began typing.

"Have you filled out one of these forms before?" I asked, standing up behind him so I could peer over his shoulder.

"No, never, but it is self explanatory."

He took a piece of blue paper out of his pocket and typed in the thirteen digit number on the top. It was a divorce request signed by both Countess Adrijana Dragon and Madge the Zmaj. Then he faxed a copy to the Commission.

"There, that should be all that is required to adopt Madge." He turned his chair towards me, looking up at me with his frank blue-eyed gaze.

He seemed to monitor some internal process and smiled. "There, the bond is complete. You may touch me now."

"How was the blood brother, blood sister thing?" I asked him, sitting down on his lap.

His lap said, "Howdy there, little lady".

"It was quick. I have not had any dragon blood in over seven hundred years. I forgot how different it is from human blood."

"Do you need some of my blood to wash the taste out of your mouth?" I asked, offering him my wrist.

He looked at my wrist, then kissed it. "No, I would prefer to wait until later when we can do it properly."

"Properly?"

His lap said, "Like this" and "Like that". I smiled at the three way conversation we were having - Eric, me and his lap.

"Perhaps I should say, improperly." He stood me up, then stood up too.

"I will go check on the girls and let them know my decision, if they are still awake," he said, leading the way to the door of the children's wing of the house.

"Soon I will come back and show you the effect dragon blood has on me," he said, then he kissed me with knee buckling passionate fervor and left to see about our offspring.

I went to the bedroom and changed into my new yellow nightgown. I had hung it out in the sunlight to air, I hoped Eric could still smell the sun in it.


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more to come .....(Greetings All! I am dashing out the door early this A.M. but I wanted to express my appreciation for your continued presence.)


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

188 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Eighty Eight

After Eric had changed into his casual jeans and a tee shirt with a picture of a cute cartoon panda on it, he joined Pam and me in the living room. I kept Gordon tied in the kitchen. I didn't know how he would react to the scent of geriatric sheep on Pam.

Pam was glued to the TV monitor, fascinated with the economics class. I wished she could transfer some of her enthusiasm to the girls, they were less than interested in the topic.

We had a new teacher tonight, Craig Duett, a ginger haired young human man that also taught at the community college during the day. He had a nice smile and an energetic delivery on his topic. He wasn't afraid of vampires since his cousin had married a vampire woman.

"Master, did you know the world’s heaviest coin was from Sweden and weighed more than 43 pounds?" Pam asked Eric in her crisp faintly British accent.

"Yes, it was struck from copper in 1644. The king owned a copper mine so he wanted to use the most copper in each coin possible," Eric said, his face showing how little he thought of such blatant cupidity.

Apparently nothing had changed in the last few hundred years. Politicians still lined their pockets using their political power to give their own companies business. Sometimes these deals were cleverly disguised to render them opaque.

"More money is spent on arms in the world than on education, health, or any other form of development," Mr. Duett was saying. He had the girls attention, I'd give him that, though this wasn't the stuff on their tests.

They were going to need to learn about aggregate demand, productive resources, and elasticity of demand, all sub-chapter headings in their economics books. I hoped Mr. Duett was up to the task of teaching them those things. Maybe the fact that he was handsome in a wholesome boyish way would keep them focused.

Eric turned down the sound. "Thank you, Pam. I will not need to impose on your night off any further. Did you have plans?" he asked politely.

"Yes, but I must go home and change first. This dress smells like sheep," Pam said, standing up and indicating her teal silk shift.

Only Pam would go out sheep gathering in a thousand dollar Miu Miu dress. I hope the dry cleaner would be able to clean it. I thought I remembered that sheep wool was covered in lanolin, a natural oil. That would be mighty tough to get out. I wondered how Pam was going to explain it. Oh well, at least it wasn't soaked in human blood.

"I will pay for the cleaning," Eric said, mirroring my own thought processes.

"Thank you. I will put the bill on your desk," she said.

"However, if the dress is ruined I will buy a replacement and give you the bill for that," she added smoothly.

Vampires were very vigilant over every dime because their wealth equaled their ability to survive.

I thought the cost of the sacrificial sheep just went up. Ka-ching.

"Give my love to the girls, tell them I am ready for another poker night," Pam said to me at the door.

She gave me a cool slight kiss on the cheek, nodded at Eric, and roared off in her truck, the exhaust system shaking the house. I didn't think it was legal to have your truck so loud but Pam could probably get out of any ticket with either her beauty and charm, her glamour, or her downright scariness.

Eric and I joined Gordon in the kitchen. Eric had put the giant green crow egg on our kitchen table. I made a mental note to disinfect the surface. Gordon's leash was too short to allow him to reach the table so he had his nose raised to sniff the scent of the exotic object on the table.

"Feel like an omelet?" Eric joked.

"How do you open it?" I asked. I hoped there wasn't anything alive in it.

"I will use a hammer, that seems to be the appropriate tool," Eric said after a moment of consideration.

While he went to the toolbox in the garage I worked out what he meant. This egg was laid by Odin's messenger and Thor was Odin's son. Thor's symbol was a hammer named Mjöllnir.

It was pronounced "Mmyol-neer", though there was some tricky Nordic tongue work involved in pronouncing the word my Louisiana mouth couldn't quite manage.

"You were referring to Mjöllnir?" I asked him, showing off that I had figured out his reference and that I remembered the name "Mjöllnir". I felt Pride, the kind that goeth before a fall.

He chuckled at my pronunciation. "No, I simply thought a hammer would smash through the thick shell."

When my face fell he hugged me to him and said, "Just kidding, my talented linguist. You have correctly guessed my meaning. Now what should a talented linguist get as a prize? It should be something you could use your talented tongue on."

He went to bend me back to kiss me and my leg banged into the table. Behind his back I saw the egg wobble, then roll off the kitchen table.

"The egg!" was all I could get out before the egg hit the kitchen floor.

It cracked into two pieces with jagged edges. The inside of the egg was bright red. Eric picked up the two halves and took a rolled up piece of parchment out of the larger half. He unrolled it and read it, frowning. I read over his shoulder. It was written in runes.

"What does it say?" I asked him, almost jumping up and down with curiosity.

"It says, "Blod syster", he translated.

"Blood sister?" I asked. I had heard of a blood brother. I supposed a blood sister would be the same thing but with a female.

"I am to exchange blood with her as well as adopting her. This will bind her to me, guaranteeing her loyalty and fealty."

"Can you drink dragon blood?" I asked, remembering the thick yellow blood that had flowed from her flank when my supernatural sister Arvakur jabbed her in the side with her unicorn horn. This was due to the stressful conditions in the Underworld. Under usual circumstances Arvakur and Madge were friends.

"I can, but the effect is .... remarkable and permanent." He looked unsure about the whole idea. And what would vampire blood do the dragon? I shuddered to think.

Before I could ask Eric more I heard a scratching sound at the window. Gordon jumped up and began barking, his deafening voice echoing off the kitchen walls so loudly I couldn't stand it. Usually Gordon just gave one big bark, but tonight he was in a frenzy.

I looked out the window and saw one huge yellow eye looking in at us. Madge was peeking in the house to see what we were doing. I waved at her as Gordon continued to rupture my eardrums.

"Take him to the dog run," I hollered at Eric, raising my voice to be heard over the racket.

Eric grabbed Gordon's leash and they ran to the enclosed area set aside for the dog. As the dog's noise faded I heard the scratching sound again. I realized what I heard was Madge's eyelashes rubbing on the glass. The poor thing was trying to find out what was going on. We owed it to her to tell her something.

I held up a finger to her in a "Wait one moment" gesture. She blinked twice, maybe that meant "Yes, ok."

Eric returned without the dog. "So, what are you going to do?" I asked him, pointing to Madge's big eye.

He said, "I will both adopt her and become her blood brother or I will do neither."

He went outside to tell her that. I watched from the window. Eric looked small compared to the dragon. She was easily as tall as our house.

I heard noises coming from the classroom entrance, then our brood burst in, all asking about what Eric decided.

"Where's Mr. Duett?" I asked them, worried he might see Madge.

"He had to leave right away for his next teaching assignment. He home schools some other kids too," Charlaine said.

The teacher would have left by the front. I looked out back and saw Eric and Madge were gone. Where were they? I hoped they were both still in this dimension. Maybe they went to the clearing to exchange blood. I thought of Eric drinking that thick yellow blood, like egg yolk, and almost gagged. He hadn't said what effect it would have on him, but he said it would be permanent. That was worrying.

I told the girls that Eric was discussing things with Madge, but it looked likely she would become a member of our family. They jumped around with happiness.

"Do you think she'll give us rides?" Linda asked.

I could see they were still thinking of her like a pet rather than a person. Well, they would just need to get to know her.

"Maybe. You could always ask her," I said.

We sat around the kitchen drinking cocoa, waiting for their father and Madge to return but an hour later there was still no sign of them. Adele wanted to go out and look for them, but I said they might need privacy and any interruption could disrupt the adoption process.

We discussed economics for a while, but they spent more time pointing out how cute Mr. Duett was than discussing the lesson plan for the upcoming weeks. They had homework, so that was a start.

They had to make a list of their needs and wants and differentiate between them, explain how time is money, and fill out a worksheet for a lesson in the concept of compound interest as it relates to the time value of money. I tried to look interested, but I had to admit to myself that the topics seemed difficult to grasp.

The girls were getting antsy to make their calls and check their messages. I didn't let them bring their phones into their classroom. I told them I would call them when their father returned. I silently added, if he returned tonight, but I didn't want to worry them with my fears.

I had suddenly started to ask myself - What if this was all a trick cooked up by Jure to get to Eric?


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more to come .....(ky, RW, Cindy, Eminé, Anonymous Z, Sally, Char, Wendy - I was delighted to see you had visited and also graciously taken the time to comment. Thank you!

Char, Wendy - Welcome to my blog! I'm very glad to know you're here. It was great of you to leave a comment, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Wendy - were you here before as WendyLou?)

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Monday, January 24, 2011

187 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Eighty Seven

Our three daughters began talking at the same time, explaining why a dragon would be an awesome sibling. Their voices combined to create a solid wall of sound.

He held up his hand signaling his desire that they should be silent. He headed them off before they built up a full head of steam. For a wonder they all stopped talking instantly, responding to the authority in his gesture. Eric was used to being in command and it showed.

For a split second I thought about how useful it would be to have Eric around all the time to exert his parental control on the girls. Then the dangers of Daynight came to mind and I saw that I had the lesser of two evils.

"I have much to consider before making this decision. Please give me the time I need. I know what your wishes are," he said with quiet dignity. I could tell there was something going on in his mind since talking with Anna Hita.

Fortunately they had their economics class tonight so they had to go. That would give me a chance to find out what Eric was thinking about and give us time to come up with a plan if his refusal enraged Madge.

As soon as the girls left I put on their classroom monitor without the sound so I could keep an eye on the class and also talk to Eric about our strategy for dealing with a disappointed dragon.

"Eric, I don't know how Madge is going to react when you tell her ..."

He interrupted, a very un-Eric-like thing to do. "I am reconsidering my decision. Anna Hita's advice was thought provoking. I have sworn allegiance to Odin. He has seen me through since the old days. I believe I should consult with Odin about this decision."

"How will you do that?" I asked.

I never thought of Eric as religious, though he did tell stories of Odin and Jord, and their son Thor. These stories were meaningful to him, containing valuable lessons. One culture's folklore was another culture's religion.

"I will summon his messengers, Huginn and Muninn, to carry my question to Odin. It will require a sacrifice."

This was that real old time religion, the kind where something had to die. I felt bad about that.

"Do you really have to kill something?" I asked.

"Yes, it is required. I will obtain a sheep for the ceremony," he said, already planning it out. "Do not worry, it will not have to be a human sacrifice."

I didn't find this very reassuring. He was going to have to slaughter a sheep. Of course I ate meat, wore leather and took venison from my brother when he had gone hunting. It was pretty hypocritical of me to begrudge Eric one sheep in all these years to attain his goal.

He made a phone call and twenty-five minutes later Pam drove up to our house with a sheep trussed up in the bed of her souped-up metal-flake black pick-up truck. I could hear her twin chrome Flowmaster American Thunder exhaust pipes while she was still a block away. They made the windows in the house rattle when she pulled in the drive.

In the meantime Eric had put on his traditional Viking gear - leather kilt, sword in scabbard and fur lined boots. He went into the woods to speak to Madge. He was going to tell her the truth, that he had doubts about this adoption, so he was going to consult Odin through his messengers Huginn and Muninn.

When Eric returned and went to unload the sacrificial sheep it was no longer alive. Eric was annoyed.

"Master, it was a very old sheep with serious medical problems," Pam said, by way of explanation. "It was the only one I could purchase at such short notice. Even so, I had to pay the farmer and his stout wife an outrageous price for it. Do you wish me to go and try to find another one?"

"No, I do not have time for that. This will have to do," Eric said, throwing the huge limp woolly sheep over his shoulder and heading for the woods.

Before I followed him I asked Pam a question. "How much did you pay for the sheep?"

Pam was brushing bits of fur and straw off her designer silk dress. "After I got the farmer and his wife to calm down, they agreed to sell me the sheep. I had to return to the club to get the money from the safe because they would only accept cash. The price was eleven thousand dollars."

Keeping a straight face, I just nodded and told her I was going to follow Eric and see his ceremony. Pam went to the house to keep an eye on the monitor and guard the children while Eric and I were in the woods.

As I walked through the woods I thought about the farmer and his wife opening their farmhouse door at ten o'clock at night to see a fashionably dressed pale-as-moonlight vampire woman asking to buy a sheep.

The farmer must have had his wits about him to jack the price up so high, or maybe he thought the amount would discourage her and send her away quickly. At any rate, I bet they were dancing around in their farmhouse with joy right about now.

I was proud of Pam for not glamouring the farmer or stealing the sheep. It was yet another sign that the vampires were giving up their old ways in favor of mainstreaming efforts.

Of course, Pam and Eric got the worst end of the deal, something that would never have happened in the days before the Great Revelation. Perhaps Pam had no idea what a sheep cost these days. I didn't know either. But a sheep, sick or well, couldn't possibly cost eleven thousand dollars unless it was some prize winning superstar.

I couldn't see Eric and his sacrifice but I knew where Eric was going. We had a clearing about a quarter of a mile into the woods where he could swing his big sword and we could engage in some outdoors sports. By outdoor sports I mean, of course, making whoopie on a blanket under the stars while the girls were being watched by a friend, family member or trusted employee.

Eric already had a fire going in the circle of huge round stones we used as a fire pit. As the flames built in height Eric untied the sheep and laid it on the ground.

He didn't waste any time. With the tip of his sword he wrote in the dirt. I knew these marks were runes, the writing his people used for both ordinary and mystical purposes.

The night was a little chilly, but clear and quiet. I had worn several layers of warm clothing, knowing that the temperature could still drop like a stone this time of year. I sat on a large log at the edge of the dirt part of the clearing, about twenty feet from the fire pit.

Eric began to intone words in his ancient language. I caught the words "Odin" and "Valhalla". The flames lit up the area, casting a dancing golden light on Eric as he raised his muscled arms to the sky, sword in his right hand. He repeated the words again, arm still raised.

This was how Eric looked back in his human times, a magnificent and powerful young man, his long hair wild around his naked torso. The scene was like an ultra-realist painting in a fairy tale book, surreal and yet completely vivid. The shadows cast his Nordic cheekbones and sculpted physique in high relief as he moved, making him a thing of beauty and a joy forever to watch.

His chanting got louder as he lowered his sword and suddenly severed the head of the still warm sheep. He dipped his sword in the blood to cover the blade, then raised it again, still saying the words he had learned over a thousand years ago. Then he was done.

The whole living woods seemed to hold its breath for a few heartbeats, then I heard a sound in the distance like laundry snapping in the wind.

"They are coming," Eric whispered to me, turning from the fire. His face was tense. "Do not make any sudden movements."

The sound got louder, becoming distinguishable as the flapping of four huge wings. I looked up and saw the stars being blotted out as two enormous black crows descended to earth and landed next to the bloody headless sheep.

They immediately began to tear the sheep apart, throwing hunks of meat in the air and catching them in their sharp beaks, tipping their heads up to swallow. They ripped most of the meat off the bones in a feeding frenzy. An owl hooted somewhere in the distance and the wind picked up, whispering among the mighty pines that surrounded us.

"Was my sacrifice acceptable to you?" Eric asked the crows when they were done.

He had moved back a few yards to give them room to feed. They would open their wings and hop around to get more pulling power as they denuded the bones with their razor sharp beaks, so they took up a lot of room. They held the piece they were working on with one large talon.

The crow nearest me looked Eric in the eye. These crows looked dangerous because of their supernatural size and strength. They were as tall as Eric. Their thick scaly legs and big black talons looked reptilian. Their jet black feathers glowed iridescent in the firelight. They were beautiful, but frightening.

The crow squawked, "Caw!" and nodded.

"I have a question for Odin, whom I have served and honored all my long life," Eric said slowly and formally in his deep voice. "I have been asked to adopt the dragon Madge and I do not know how to decide. Send me a sign so that I might know which choice to make."

The other crow, I later found out this one was Muninn, walked up to Eric and opened her beak. Her strange round eyes, black and shiny as onyx, squeezed shut as she screamed and strained. I watched, worried that this was the build up to some attack, but then she squatted and laid an egg, a mottled green egg that tapered at one end, as big as a football. Ouch, I thought.

The two crows pushed the bloody sheep bones around with their curved beaks for a little while, picking off any meat they might have left, then they ran, making little running hops until they were airborne, taking off into a night sky as black as their plumage. I realized I had been holding my breath, and I started to breath in and out again.

Eric and I didn't move for a minute. Then I asked in a soft voice, "Are they gone?"

"Yes. They came quickly tonight. They must have been hungry." He was already putting out the fire with buckets of dirt. Scooping the dirt obliterated the runic writing.

Then he kicked the sheep bones to the edge of the clearing. Hunks of dirty bloody white sheep fur blew away in the wind.

"We should get back," he said.

"What about the egg?" I asked.

"I will bring it with us and we can open it where there is more light," he replied. He tucked the egg under his arm. He didn't need the light to see what was inside it, but I did.

"Do you know what's in it?" I asked as we headed back down the trail to the house.

"The answer, I hope," Eric said, taking my hand.


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more to come ......(RW, ky, J, Cindy, Anonymous Z, Sally - Each day is a new beginning with all of you around. Thank you so so much for taking the time and thought to leave a comment. It is always appreciated.)


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Sunday, January 23, 2011

186 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Eighty Six

"I don't rightly know, Eric," I admitted. "But it just seems like what goes around comes around, if you see what I mean."

"I do not see at all," Eric said, not at all stubborn now, but earnestly telling me his viewpoint. "What happens in one instance has no supernatural result in what happens in another instance. Otherwise the good people of this world would be rich and healthy, the bad people would be poor and sick. But that does not happen. It is random chance, fate, and intelligent self care that determines how well a person lives."

"I just feel in my bones that if we do not do a good turn for Madge we might be jinxing one of our own daughters sometime in the future," I told him. I was speaking from my heart and he heard it.

In a kind way he said, "I understand what it is like to be in the grip of superstition. Much of the world was ruled by those primitive beliefs until the lamp of reason and science lit the darkness and showed that there was nothing to fear from black cats or broken mirrors." He took my hand as if to reassure a frightened child. Eric was the older and wiser one here.

"But this is more than that, Eric. This is about good and evil, right and wrong. It would just be wrong for us to look out for our own children, but ignore the plight of Madge. She misses her mother terribly."

"That is most unfortunate," Eric said shaking his head, "But her misfortune does not obligate me to act on her behalf. I must consider what is best for me."

"I think there are higher laws at work here. We need to help her," I said, realizing my statement didn't have anything to back it up.

"I disagree, and since I am the one that will be forever tied to a sibling, then I must be the one to make the decision," he said. He made it sound so reasonable, and so final.

"Isn't there someone we could ask about this?" I wondered out loud. I thought of the Reverend Fullenwilder. I could just imagine the pucker of disapproval on his face if I brought this question to him. Eric's Maker was dead, but ...

"How about Anna Hita?" I said suddenly.

"Anna Hita?"

"Yes! Could we bring this question to her? I just want to be double sure we wouldn't be hexing our girls somewhere down the line," I said, excited by the idea of the kind and wise Scryer's input on the question. Anna Hita was a mother too.

Eric thought, then he looked at the hope in my face. "Very well, see if you can get her on the phone. I do not see the harm in asking her this question. But do not mention You-Know-Who, there is no need for that."

Vampires liked to play their cards close to their soundless chests. I would be very discreet in the way I posed the question to Anna Hita.

I called her New Orleans parlor and got Corinth on the line. I guess that meant Isabel was no longer acting as secretary for the Scythian Scryer. I told Corinth I just had a quickie question to ask if Anna Hita wasn't too busy.

"You are in luck tonight," she said pleasantly. "The recent hurricane capsized her client's ocean going yacht, drowning all on board. Therefore she is free at this time. I'll bring the phone to her."

Well, I thought, I may be in luck, but her client for this evening wasn't. Was it wrong for me to feel lucky in the face of such a disaster for her client? Was luck like a teeter-totter, when one person was up it meant someone else was down? I didn't have time to ponder this before I heard the phone being picked up.

"Sookie, I hope nothing is amiss?" Anna Hita asked, concerned that my phone call might be news of yet another misfortune.

Did she believe things happened in three's like I did? Was my life ruled by these superstitions? That was something I was going to need to think about later.

"No, no, everything is just fine here. Eric and I were having a discussion, a philosophical talk and I had a question for you. Is this a good time for me to ask it?" I thought I would phrase the question in the most general terms possible in the interests of fairness and confidentiality.

"Yes. I am free. And I am glad to hear from you, always, my dear Sookie," she said warmly.

"Can I put this on speaker phone? Eric is here with me in our bedroom," I asked.

"Of course," she replied.

"Okay then," I said, once we were on speaker phone. "Is there such a thing as karma? Are there tangible real benefits to going by the Golden Rule? I don't mean in heaven or anything, I mean, can you mess up your luck by being a selfish or bad person?"

"Hmmmm," she mused, "Good question .... one for the ages. In a word, no. There is no one-to-one relationship between the good a person does and the way their luck goes. Some good people are very unlucky and some bad people enjoy good luck."

This was pretty much what Eric had said. I couldn't disagree with it, she was right.

"I just can't shake the feeling that there's some benefit to doing what you know is right," I said, hoping I didn't sound argumentative.

"There is a benefit, the satisfaction you feel from reaching out and offering something to someone. But that too can turn to bitterness and heart ache if your good effort has disastrous consequences. Think long when you decide only once," she advised.

That was it then, I saw. There was no way I was going to convince Eric on the grounds of our future good luck. To tell the truth, I didn't know if his adoption of Madge might have disastrous consequences. Jason used to say no good deed goes unpunished, and so many times he appeared to be right. In spite of how it tugged at my heartstrings, I was going to have to back Eric up in his decision to say no.

"I really appreciate your advice. I was thinking with my heart, not my head," I told her. Eric rubbed my back in support. He knew it was hard for me to let go of my notions.

"There is one notable exception," Anna Hita said slowly.

"What is that?" Eric and I both said together.

"If you answer to a higher being. For example, I answer to Isis. She is my goddess and protector. She grants me favors and assists me, but in return I must honor her with my actions and serve her cause if she requires it. To act dishonorably is to damage my relationship with my goddess, something I must not do if I hope to retain her favor."

"What if you don't know if something is right or wrong?" I asked.

"Then I consult her and she sends me a sign. I listen for her instruction."

I think that was close to what I did. I prayed to the heavenly being I had been raised to believe in, and that heavenly being had a right and a wrong, though it wasn't what some people said it was, at least for me. For me it was what was loving and kind, that was the way I was meant to go. I knew Eric thought of this as a weakness but for me, it was my strength.

Then our talk changed to the girls and how well they were doing, our next trip to see her, and Lingza's progress towards becoming more peaceful inside. I chatted, but Eric was unusually silent.

A small tap on the door let me know our girls had reached the limit of their patience. They wanted to find out what their father had decided.

I let the girls in to say a few words to Anna Hita, then we ended the call in our usual loving way.

When Eric faced the girls he looked .... perplexed.


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more to come ......(It may be a chilly Sunday here where I am, but you have warmed my heart with your visit. Thanks!)

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

185 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Eighty Five

The girls and I looked at each other, amazed at the sudden disappearance of a creature as large as Madge. The breeze carried away the purple haze. I thought of the song of the same name by Jimi Hendrix from the record "Are You Experienced?". That had been one of the more surprising albums included in Gran's eclectic record collection.

Was the dragon gone from this dimension? I thought she might have gone to see her mother in Scotland, then Linda pointed and exclaimed "Look!"

At first I couldn't see what she was pointing at because I was looking all the way into the tree line. But her hand traced a line upwards and as I focused in closer I saw what looked like a very large insect.

"Hi everybody," a tiny voice buzzed.

As it got closer I saw that it was a large dragonfly, a special one with iridescent purple wings and yellow eyes with vertical pupils. The mighty Madge could transform into a magnificent dragonfly. That made some kind of sense, in the weird way things in the supernatural world sometimes did.

Linda held out her hand and Madge landed on her palm, coming to rest.

"I'm going to the lake to eat, I'll be back after the sun goes down," the tiny voice droned.

Then the dragonfly lifted off, zooming and darting away in the direction of the woods. Beyond the woods was a small lake or large pond, a good place for a hungry dragonfly to get a meal and rest.

"Holy Moly!" Adele said.

"I can't wait until Daddy gets up," Charlaine said with glee. "He's going to have a chance to adopt a real dragon!"

"Too bad she won't fit in the house," Linda said. "We'll have to build a special barn for her."

"She's not a pet," I told the girls, "She's a being, a person, like we are. If she stays here she'll be our guest. But I don't think she's going to stay. I don't think your father is going to want to adopt her."

They needed to prepare themselves for the truth. Eric avoided entanglements. His life was complete with everything he had, he wouldn't volunteer for any additional obligations. Of course, the girls and I might be able to influence him. We were his one soft spot, what we wanted mattered to him.

I knew how persuasive the three of them could be, but how did I really feel about the whole idea? I needed some time to think about it before I decided what approach I was going to make to Eric.

Would a dragon be an asset or an encumbrance? Would Eric's adoption of Adrijana's cast-off sibling drive her into some new frenzy of revenge? Could I trust Madge? After all she had abducted me and threatened my life on orders from Adrijana.

Last but not least, did I have an obligation, as a mother, to help the great big heartbroken daughter? The golden rule would make the answer obvious, I must help. Could I go against what I knew to be right?

All this soul searching was making my head hurt. I needed some coffee if I was going to be up this early. I felt too revved up to go back to bed.

I hoped Madge would be all right down at the lake. She was an insect now, would she be vulnerable to attack by birds or whatever ate dragonflies? I realized I knew nothing about dragonflies. I decided to ask the girls to find out more about them.

Linda rescheduled her meeting with Calabim, his mother Rayana and sister Beezooba. They were supposed to come over tonight, but she told them something had come up and she needed to move the visit to another night. I guess a dragon as big as a small house took precedence over a guy that could fly on a carpet.

I cautioned the girls not to pounce on their father tonight when he arose. I wanted a chance to talk to him privately first. If they were squealing, pleading, tugging and pouting all around him he might not be able to hear what I had to say. I thought I could make a cogent argument on behalf of the dragon.

After Eric rose I gave him a chance to shower and get dressed before I brought up the topic that loomed large in my mind. In my experience men need a few minutes of time to themselves before addressing any issues.

He came out of the bathroom wearing a red tee shirt with black Gothic lettering that said, "Squint as You Approach, Lest my Beauty Blind You."

That gave me a smile. I wondered if he knew it was supposed to be humorous. Eric had a healthy dose of vanity.

Sometimes he didn't know what he had on his tee shirt. I had to make him go back and change one time when he came to the door wearing a "Midol" tee shirt.

"Can we talk for a minute?" I asked him, bringing him by the hand over to the seating area in our bedroom.

"Certainly, my angelic flower," he said smoothly, flashing his most rakish sexy smile.

This sweet talk meant he was hungry, not the best time to bring up a weighty topic. I considered letting him feed first, then discussing Madge with him. But I didn't know how long the girls would wait to flood their father with their input. I better speak now while we had a few minutes of quiet.

"We had a visitor here today," I began, trying to ease into the subject.

Instantly Eric was on Viking alert, ready to sever heads with his blade. He was a man of action, words came last with him.

"It's nothing to be alarmed about. It was that dragon I met in the Underworld that time, Madge?"

"The dragon that was going to kill you?" he said, looking more alarmed, not less.

"Yes, but that time she was acting under orders from her evil sister Adrijana. That's why she was here, Adrijana's going to divorce her for disobedience. Madge needs a new supernatural sibling so she can continue to visit her mother here in Scotland. She wants you to adopt her," I said in one big quick rush.

"Me?" Eric truly looked startled, something he rarely did. "Why me?"

"Jure told her that you had an opening for a sibling ..."

"Jure!" Eric hissed. "He had no right disclosing my business ...."

I interrupted him. "He didn't tell her anything about You-Know-Who, he just suggested that you might have an opening for a sib."

"I do not have an opening," he said in his 'and that is that' tone of voice.

"I think that maybe it would be a good idea. She needs us to sponsor her here in this dimension. She loves her mother. She wants to be able to visit her."

"How is that my problem?" he asked, losing interest in the topic now that it was all resolved in his mind. He began to check his cell phone messages.

"It's your problem because of karma," I said.

"Karma?" he asked, looking up from his phone. "What do you mean by that?"

I had his interest. "We have daughters. If one of our daughters was begging someone to help her so she could see me, wouldn't you want her to be helped?" I asked.

"Of course," Eric said, frowning slightly. "What has that to do with me adopting a dragon?"

"Madge is a daughter and she misses her mother. If we help her then we build up some good karma. Maybe, if one of our girls ever needs help, a kind person will do something nice for her," I explained.

"And maybe the person our daughter turns to for help will take advantage of her weakness to exploit or kill her. Where is this 'good karma' you speak of written down. Who has the account books?" Eric strong Nordic jaw was raised and set. He just didn't see it.

He had put his finger right on the weak part of my karma/Golden Rule analogy. Who did keep track of these things?

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more to come .....(ky, Cindy, Gjers-1, Anonymous Z, Sally, Pat - Happy Saturday! Thanks for your visit, you are always welcome here! Bless your hearts for taking the time to leave a comment.)

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Friday, January 21, 2011

184 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Eighty Four

"Eric?" I asked, dumbfounded.

"Yes, Jure said he might have an opening for a supernatural sibling."

She raised her nostrils towards the sky and forcefully blew out a gusty stream of cold air and snow. It shot up into the sky and then floated down, a mini-snow storm of tiny ice crystals glittering in the morning sunlight.

Madge didn't breathe heat and fire, she breathed cold and ice. She could probably get a summer job at a ski resort, I thought, apropos of nothing. I needed a cup of coffee to get my mind in gear.

"Excuse me," she said. "I got clogged up from all the crying." She dabbed at her eyes daintily with one thick finger, a hooked claw curled under against her palm.

"No problem. You're saying you want Eric to adopt you as his supernatural sibling?" I asked in astonishment, making sure I had this right.

"Jure said Eric didn't have a sibling anymore, so it would be perfectly legal for him to adopt me," she said as if this should be glaringly obvious. She was getting livelier now that she was stating her case.

"Mom?" a tiny voice called from the kitchen doorway. The door opened a little and my daughter's concerned face peeked out. It was Adele.

I supposed it was all right to let them out of the safe room now. It looked like Madge wasn't going to harm us.

"It's okay, Adele," I called to her. "Your sisters can come out of the safe room now. But stay in the ..."

SLAM.

The door shut before I could finish my sentence. The sight of the dragon probably frightened her so badly she went back to the safe room to hide. I would need to reassure her when I got back in the house. My poor children, yet another terrifying thing for them to cope with.

Why would Jure tell Madge that Eric was a candidate to adopt her? Jure had seen the destruction of You-Know-Who in the woods that night. Maybe he knew that was Eric's supernatural brother scattered around on the ground like bloody confetti.

Was Jure just trying to do a good deed, or was he doing this to stick it to Eric? Adrijana was Jure's wayward Child, but I knew he was fed up to the fangs with her and her loony grabs for power. Maybe getting Eric to adopt Madge was Jure's way of sticking it to Adrijana.

For some reason I just didn't believe this was a pure act of benevolence on Jure's part. Maybe I was being too hard on him, judging him too harshly .

"Sookie, could you go get Eric so that I may speak with him?" she asked, her voice taking on the silky deep sultry tone of the persuasive siren. For an ice spewing dragon Madge was pretty hot.

"Madge, he's a vampire," I reminded her.

She looked at me blankly, blinking. Her natural coloration showed her eyelids were a neon iridescent pink, unless she wore make-up. The thought of her dabbing on pink eyeshadow almost made me laugh out loud.

"He's only up at night. During the day he's sound asleep," I reminded her.

"Oh, right," she said, disappointed. "I'll have to wait for him to get up then. He's my only chance."

Eric was her Obi-Wan Kenobi. I was just gearing up to tell her not to get her hopes too high, it was going to be tough to sell Eric on the idea of taking on another supernatural sibling, when the kitchen door burst open and my three daughters, still barefoot and in their nightgowns, ran out to see the dragon. Their wild long hair streamed out behind them as their feet flew through the dew damp grass towards Madge.

"Oh my gosh! She's beautiful!" Adele exclaimed, walking around Madge.

"Look at her scales, they look like they glow from within," Charlaine said in awe, running her hand over Madge's side. "They feel cool, like glass."

All the girls began petting Madge. I hoped dragons didn't take offense at being touched. Some supernaturals, like vampires, were not agreeable to anyone touching them without their permission. My girls weren't terrified of our early morning caller, they were enchanted. I made the introductions.

Soon all three girls were lavishing compliments and caresses on Madge and the big girlie dragon was eating it up with a spoon. Her shiny black lips curved in a tiny smile of pleasure. Here were people that appreciated her magnificence, her smug expression said.

Adele walked around to Madge's face, looking up. "Can we get you anything Miss Madge?" she asked politely.

My good Southern manners had abandoned me, but Adele, brought up properly, kept her hostess wits about her.

"Do you have any ice cream?" she asked, sweetly. All this praise had put her in a good mood.

"Sure, any particular flavor?" Adele asked.

"No, whatever you have will be fine," Madge said graciously.

"Will you be needing a spoon?" Charlaine asked, ever practical.

"No, I'll just use my tongue," Madge said, sticking out her split yellow tongue and making each side wiggle independently.

I thought it was disgusting, but the girls were impressed with her trick. They hadn't been licked with that tongue like I had. It was an experience I could live without repeating. Ick.

Charlaine and Adele went for the ice cream. Linda stayed with me, running her hands over Madge's neck, marveling at the tiny glowing jewel-like purple scales near her jawline.

"How long can you stay here?" Linda asked Madge.

Linda was asking because she wanted Madge to hang around here as long as possible. I was interested in the answer but for the opposite reason. I hoped she would have to leave before Eric got up.

If he declined her offer outright there was no telling what she might do. She was all sweetness and happy words now, but a rejection might send her into a rage. An enraged dragon was more than even a vampire could deal with, I suspected.

"Oh I can stay as long as I like providing I have a sibling here. That is why I have come here, to ask your dear kind father to adopt me. I have been cast out by my previous heartless sibling and now I have no one."

She gave a hiccup of sorrow, but whether it was real or faked just to wring Linda's heartstrings I didn't know. I suspected the latter, but then, I've gotten pretty cynical over the years.

"If he adopts you then we'll be sisters!" Linda concluded happily. She hugged Madge's neck as if she was already a member of our family.

Madge closed her eyes and sighed at the embrace. As suspicious as I was, it really did seem like Madge was in desperate need of a family here. Maybe it would all work out for the best.

Charlaine and Adele came back with my good turkey platter holding three gallons of ice cream. They had simple turned the containers upside down and let the entire frozen gallon slide out onto the platter. There was Swiss Mocha, Hunky Chunky White Chocolate, and Orange Swirl. I had a second freezer in the basement where I kept the things like ice cream we only had occasionally. This looked like our entire supply.

Madge thanked them politely then proceeded to lick up the frozen treat like a cat drinking cream. She was neat, tidy and it wasn't revolting to watch. The three gallons went down like nothing. I hoped she wasn't really hungry, I don't think there was enough food in the house to make a real meal for her.

When Madge was done I asked her, "So, you're just going to hang out here all day until Eric rises?"

She nodded, still licking her bifurcated tongue delicately over both corners of her lips at the same time to get any ice cream she might have missed. I had to give her points for tidiness.

I hoped she didn't need to leave a deposit before she departed, the girls and I would need shovels to clean it up. I thought Gordon made an impressive mound to clean up, but a two story tall dragon would be much more of a challenge.

"Well, I don't mean to be inhospitable, but that might not be such a good idea. We don't have a lot of people around here, but if anyone sees you you're going to be the news story of the century. Do you think you should go into the trees and hide until dark?" I said this in the gentlest way possible, not wanting to spoil her good mood.

I could picture the news helicopters swirling overhead like a cloud of angry hornets.

"I can do better than hide in the trees," she said smugly. "I can do this ...."

Then the enormous gleaming dragon went "POOF" and was gone in a dense cloud of purple smoke.


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more to come .....(Well Fanpires, we made it to another Friday. Hope you are making progress towards Wellville and peace. A big dragon sized thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.)

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

183 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

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Chapter One Hundred and Eighty Three

"Um, Madge, how am I going to ask Arvakur?" I said, not yelling anymore.

Arvakur was my supernatural sibling, a beautiful white unicorn from Somewhere Else.

She and her brother Alsvidur had been brought over at great expense as a wedding gift for the King. Of course they weren't his to keep, but King de Castro and his new wife got to ride the unicorns for a while after their wedding, something few people could claim.

"Look for a phantom telephone," she mumbled, not bothering to open her eyes.

I looked around the kitchen and, lo and behold!, there was a phantom telephone on the kitchen table. It was one of the squat, dull black, very heavy, old-fashioned kind with the white rotary dial from the 1930's. It was made of some ethereal transparent substance and reminded me of the things I had seen during an ectoplasmic reconstruction I witnessed some years ago.

I picked up the solid feeling handset and heard a dial tone. There was no cord coming from the "phone". I stood there with the handset in my hand and thought about the old movies I had seen with such phones. I dialed "O" for operator.

"Op-er-a-tor, how may I help you?" a nasal voice chanted in my ear.

"I want to speak to Arvakur?" I asked.

"Just a moment pul-heese."

I heard static, then the tinkling of tiny glass wind chimes. It was then that it occurred to me that I had called a being incapable of speech. Why hadn't I been sent a phantom smart phone? Then I could have texted the unicorn. But maybe she couldn't read writing, or at least, English. And she sure couldn't text back, even with her dainty hooves.

"Hi Arvakur, it's Sookie, your supernatural sister?" I said, unsure how to proceed. The static crackled like the sound of eggs frying in bacon grease on a hot griddle.

"Listen," I went on, when the earpiece just continued to tinkle and crackle, "I have Madge the dragon here. She said you could vouch for her intent, that she wasn't going to hurt me. If she's safe for me to approach, tap the mouthpiece once with your horn."

Tap.

"Do you know why she's here?"

Tap.

"Are you friends with her?"

TAP!

"Alrighty then, guess I'll go out and have a chat with her. Are things good where you are?" I asked.

Tap.

"Well, it's been real exciting talking with you, but I have my girls locked up in a safe room, so I better go sort things out. Love you!"

Light tap, louder tinkling.

"Okay then, bye bye." I said.

I heard more static, then a click. I wondered how she hung up the receiver. Maybe she used her mouth to replace the handset like a trick horse I once saw at a fair.

The horse at the county fair was able to hold an oversized paintbrush in its mouth by the thick wooden handle and paint on a big canvas. Some of those paintings sold for hundreds of dollars.

It could be that the phones were different Somewhere Else, made to suit the supernatural being that was using it. That would make more sense. Where magic was involved anything was possible.

I hoped that had been the real Arvakur I was just talking to, not a ruse, but I was going to take a chance. This was a big scaly daughter crying for her big scaly mother. I couldn't turn my back on a situation like that.

Before I went outside I went to the top of the steps that led down to the classroom. The girls had their big safe room under the floor there. I listened, both with my human hearing and my telepathic hearing, but aside from getting their mental outlines signifying they were there I didn't get any other messages. I was guessing they were staying put, especially after the whole traumatic were-tiger incident.

I went to the back door and opened it a crack, looking out. Madge hadn't moved, she lay completely still except for her stentorian breaths which came about once a minute. Her iridescent scales gleamed and flashed as her sides raised and lowered. Seeing this otherworldly being in my familiar backyard was surreal.

Slowly I took a few steps from the house, leaving the door open in case I changed my mind and wanted to dash back inside the house.

"Madge?" I called to her.

"What?" came her miserable reply. Her nose sounded like it was stuffed up from all the waterworks.

"I'm here now. Tell me what's wrong. You're scaring me and my girls to death," I told her.

She raised her big head. Her yellow eyes were rimmed with orange from crying.

"Adrijana has filed for divorce," Madge said.

"You two are married?" I asked, surprised.

Not because they were both female, that was common enough, but I never heard of a vampire marrying anything but another vampire or a human.

"No, divorce is how one gets rid of their supernatural sibling if the relationship isn't working out," she explained.

I wondered briefly why Eric didn't just divorce You-Know-Who, his own deceased supernatural sibling instead of letting things get to the point of mortal combat. I'd have to ask him.

"Can you contest it?" I asked, taking another little step forward.

"If I don't agree to the divorce she's going to send the kraken after my mother. My mother is a peaceful person, she would be no match for the kraken."

I didn't know what a kraken was exactly, but I thought I would skip that and find out more later. Obviously the kraken posed a real threat to Madge's mother.

"How can Adrijana command a kraken from her confinement in the Underworld?" I kept walking until I was right up to the enormous creature but Madge hardly noticed, she was so wrapped up in her tale of woe.

"She has many loyal followers and supporters. And suitors. The latest swain vying for her hand is Davy Jones." She made a face, her slick black lips curling in disgust.

"I take it you don't like him very much?" I asked, sitting down next to her horned head. For some reason I wasn't scared of her anymore.

"He's the Hades of the ocean, so to speak. But he doesn't just wait for the dead, he causes storms, ship-wrecks, and other disasters to hasten the demise of the unlucky. At least Hades has the decency to wait until the allotted days are over before staking his claim," she said heatedly.

All this was fascinating, but it didn't explain what she was doing here in my backyard.

"I'm sure all this is very distressing for you. It sounds awful. How were you thinking I could help you out with this?" I asked in a kind way.

"Oh it wasn't you I was going to ask for help, it was Eric. I want him to adopt me." She looked in my eyes, her vertical pupils black slits that expanded as she searched my face for my reaction.


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more to come ......(Greetings Fanpires! I really appreciate your encouragement and support. It's so good having you here with me each day.

Eminé - Golly, that is some bear of a cold you have there! Sending some healing pink and orange thoughts your way to banish those germs back to Hades where they belong!)

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