Saturday, October 25, 2008

Blood is Thicker than Water: Bailing Out Forte

Father Stewart had revived me, and I wanted to go home. It was nearly one a.m. However, he suggested that I would be more needed at the jail to help him bail out Forte. I could see how the presence of a woman could indeed gain sympathy. I knew I was no seductress, but perhaps I would remind Forte of his mother. We hurried to the jail, hoping to avoid any more night encounters. Father Stewart thought one would be unlikely. We had just defeated two of the best the vampires had to offer. If this was the case, I felt our chances for survival had increased markedly.

When Forte was presented to us by the constable, he looked the worse for wear. Broadstead had connected with Forte’s right eye, and Forte’s jacket was torn at the shoulder. He was muttering something about a man named LaVerne, and he looked surprised to see us.

“Do I know you?” he asked.

“No,” said Father Stewart.

Forte laughed nervously. “Do I owe you money?”

“No.” I smiled as warmly as I could at him, given the night’s events. “Mr. Forte, we’re here to offer you employment.”

“Oh. Well, as you can see, I’m going to be busy for a couple of days—”

“Father Stewart and I have taken care of that.”

Forte ran his hands through his disheveled hair. “Who are you people?”

“Why, don’t you remember me, Samuel? I’m your dear, sweet Aunt Polly!”

Forte leaned towards us, still separated by wire mesh. “Oh. Well, it’s been a long time, Auntie. Say,” he added, “can you get my machine unimpounded?”

“We’re counting on it,” said Father Stewart.

Father Stewart proceeded to take care of all the details and even posted bail for Broadstead, whom he thought was a victim of unfortunate circumstance. Forte and Father Stewart escorted me home, and I ran in to check on Abigail. She wasn’t in her bed. Neither was she on the balcony. I was about to panic when I found the note on her dressing table.

“Auntie, poor Juliet needed cheering after the lecture. I took her to the late night vaudeville. Please do not wait up.”

I was beside myself. Those monsters were out there, waiting for us if we ventured out. And Abby was out there, yet I was too afraid to find her. I hated myself for that. I could hear Melrose telling me I was a true role model for his daughter. Indeed I was. Had I not just shown my niece how to gallivant to all hours of the morning, and place myself in mortal danger? She was only following my lead. I sank onto the tuffet of her dressing table, wondering what to do next.

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