Monday, May 18, 2009

Blood is Thicker than Water: Dalia and Abby Part 1

Chapter 8: In Which Several Events Occur Unexpectedly

Dalia combed a lock of perfectly curled hair into place on Abby’s head. Abby stared, still as a marble goddess. “Perfect.” Abby wore an elaborate frilly gown, much like Dalia’s own. Both matched the elegant décor of the hotel that Dalia had found for them. Dalia smiled at Abby. The perfect doll for her to play with, she thought. Yes, someone she could mold in her own image, like Shalimar had attempted to mold Dalia some time ago. Abby looked the role of Dalia’s personal protégée, and if Dalia ever hoped to replace Shalimar, she would need a protégée.

Over time, Dalia felt she had become more than a match for Shalimar. If Shalimar’s serving wench could strike out on her own and become successful, so could Dalia. Besides, Dalia was much prettier than Shalimar. And more merciful, so better liked by the other vampires in general. It would hardly be a challenge to get them to follow her.

Fine, so Abby wouldn’t have Shalimar’s special blood in her. Abby would only rise at night. Nevertheless, Abby would still be beneficial to Dalia. And there would be benefits to Abby being a night rise. No one would notice or think how pretty Abby was and compare her to Dalia. Dalia would not make the same mistakes that Shalimar made with her. Abby would never rival Dalia if Dalia played her cards correctly.

Now was the time to wake Abby up and introduce her to her destiny, whether she liked it or not. Dalia prepared herself by smiling dazzlingly. Then she snapped her fingers. Abby’s eyelids fluttered. “What? Where am I?” Abby’s eyes darted around the room.

“Oh, Abby dear! I’m so glad you’re yourself again. All of us have been so worried about you.”

Abby’s brain was foggy. “I don’t understand.”

“It was terrible!” Dalia patted Abby’s hand. “I understand how you feel. Your poor aunt!”

Suddenly memory popped into Abby’s head. She snapped up. “Oh! Aunt Polly!”

“Yes. Your aunt is fiendish undead. I hope Mr. Forte has put her out of her misery, like he said he would.”

“Then you’re no friend of mine!” Abby shot out. “That’s my aunt out there! I have to go to her!”

Dalia was puzzled. Abby should not be this concerned about her aunt, especially when she was under Dalia’s control. Could the little chit’s will possibly be stronger than her own? “Abby,” Dalia soothed, “leave it for now. You’re upset, I know. But what could you do? The best thing for you and Aunt Polly—”

“—is that I go to her! This is all my fault! I shouldn’t have let her leave. Then I shouldn’t have let her stay lost as long as I did. I’ve got to make amends with her! I’ve got to do something!”

Dalia reached out for Abby. “Abby, look at me.”

Abby brushed past Dalia. “I’m going. If you’re afraid, don’t come with me.”

Dalia grabbed Abby’s arm with surprising strength. “No. I won’t let you go. It’s not safe.”

“Let go of me!”

“Absolutely not!”

Abby tried to brush off Dalia’s arm. It wouldn’t budge. “Dalia, you are trying my patience.”

“Me? You’re not being very cooperative. I intend to keep you safe.”

“I’m going!”

“You are not!”

Since Abby couldn’t wrench her arm free, she decided on another course of action. She kicked Dalia in the shin. Dalia hissed at Abby in anger. Abby, astonished she hadn’t noticed them before, stared as she saw Dalia’s pointed white canines. Dalia let Abby go, shocked at her own social faux pas, and Abby jerked her arm away.

“You’re a vampire!” Abby said.

“Well,” Dalia said, “don’t act shocked or anything. Look at all the pinheads you’ve been running around with. Why should a vampire shock you?”

“But this is during the day!”

“Not again. Everyone’s been confused about the day issue this whole encounter. Just let me tell you that not all vampires are confined to the night, and let’s leave it at that.”
“You’re one of the people that did something evil to Aunt Polly! Stay away from me! I can’t abide you!”

Dalia giggled. “How very brave of you to argue with me. But I beg to differ. You yourself said you were responsible for what happened to your aunt. And I agree with you.”

Abby shook her head, her ringlets tossing. “No, you can’t blame me for that. It’s your fault. Or your society’s. You used me. Pretending to be my friend!”

“You drove her out by being a spoiled brat. There. That’s the truth right in front of you.” Dalia menaced toward Abby. “Perhaps I’ll be doing dear Aunt Polly a favor by making you my own. She might appreciate the revenge.”

Abby backed away. “Stay away from me!”

“No. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Besides, doesn’t living forever have an attractive ring to it?”

“I warn you, Dalia, stay away from me! I’ll hurt you if you don’t.”

Dalia grabbed Abby’s shoulders. “You silly chit! You have no idea how to hurt me. So you might as well give up now. Being undead has its rewards. Think of all the centuries you can live. We can be the best of friends, you and I. Doesn’t that sound exciting?”

Abby struggled to free herself. “No! I want to have a life! I don’t want to be like you! You’re totally spoiled and want everything your own way!”

Dalia sighed. “Now isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? I know why you came to Miss Pettijohn’s, Abigail. You want everything your own way as well. How can you fault me for that?”

“This is the one thing you aren’t going to get your own way in!” Abby pulled away.

“Come back this instant!”

No comments: