The trees shook their leaves silently as the wind greeted them. The sun shone down our backs, our black clothes absorbing the heat.
I wanted to go back inside, with the air conditioning, and I immediately started criticising myself. We were saying good-bye to a loved one! I think I can suffer outside for a little while.
Plus, I doubt my family would even let me go inside.
I glanced over at my older brother and sisters. They all had solemn faces and black clothes. When we came back from school for the summer holidays we expected to have the summer to ourselves, doing random stuff with grandma and grandpa. We didn’t expect mom to tell us to wear whatever black clothes we had one week into summer.
The death brought some far away family to come visit. Our Aunt, Mincia, whom I’d only ever heard about. Her and her husband came and brought our cousin, a teenager named Annabeth. She’s a werewolf like her mother.
My eyes drifted to my parent’s backs. Mom told us she also had a brother, but he didn’t show up. Kord wasn’t there either, actually he hadn’t been here since we’d come back from school. Mom said he just upped and left one day.
I sighed internally, once again feeling bad as I found myself to be a bit bored. Raphaele and Aliska had already cried. Nix acted tough, but I saw her go into a melancholy phase. My brothers are more silent than usual. I’m sad, of course I am, but not much else.
Even mom had cried! She was extremely distressed about the whole thing. Dad was there to hold her up, but I could tell he was sad too.
I’m sad, but I’m not sad enough to cry.
Grandpa muttered a final goodbye.
Sorry grandma, I wish I’d been a better grandson to you.
Later, once we’d all gone back inside, Raphaele placed an apple in front of me, and sat down.
“Here, a gift.” She stated, pushing the apple in my direction. I gave her a questioning look.
“Mom just gave it to me. Apparently, grandma wanted me to have it.”
I looked at the apple, and then back at my sister.
‘Then why are you giving it to me?’ I asked her.
“Don’t you recognise it? It’s a poisoned apple.”
I had to look at the apple again before I remembered mom had made us read about them.
“And a poisoned apple can only be recognized by supernaturals. You probably see a pink apple, while I see a completely normal apple. It wouldn’t be very useful, I might think it’s a real apple and eat it!” Raphaele joked, but the humor just wasn’t really in today.
“So I’m giving it to you, use it against people who annoy you.” Raph added, giving me a smile.
‘It’s a gift from grandma. Don’t give it to me.’ I signed to her. Her happy expression left.
“I know!” Raphaele exclaimed, getting up abruptly.
“But I don’t want it.” She finished in a sad tone. I looked away before nodding to her. I don’t mind taking a poisoned apple off my sister’s hands.
She smiled in relief. “Thanks James.” She said, ruffling my hair a bit before kissing the top of my head.
A year later, my grandfather followed my grandmother and succumbed to the same natural fate.
His last words were: “I’m lucky.”
Death confuses me sometimes.
It’s only a year after, during a clouded summer day to avoid any sunburns, that my parents finally decided to tie the knot.
They’d been engaged for a while now and they kept putting off the fateful day for reasons I don’t even know. Maybe they didn’t want to host a wedding so close to two funerals. Originally they were supposed to get married on the summer of the year grandpa died.
Or maybe it was just an excuse to keep up the tradition of having family over during the summer. They came for grandma’s funeral, and then for grandpa’s funeral, and now they’ve come for mom and dad’s wedding.
To be truthful, I’m not as quick to trust them as my older siblings are. Particularly Raphaele. My aunt Mincia seems a bit too intimidating, her boyfriend never dresses for an occasion, I’m pretty sure he wore that same jacket every time he’s come. My cousin, Annabeth, might be the only one who’s okay, but she’s a werewolf, and like her mom she intimidates me a bit. I don’t know, they both seem so up and about, athletic and stuff.
Nixanne and Alec pretty much don’t care about those three. Well okay, they probably do, but they treat them like they would treat their teachers or people they have to deal with for the time being.
Thing is, I’m watching a wedding right now, my parent’s wedding so I should really not let my mind wander. This is supposed to be an emotional moment.
I admire my parents. They rarely talk about their past, but when they do it sounds harsh.
Dad told us that his mom dropped him off at an orphanage when he was eight, and he stayed there until he was fourteen. At that point, he’d made a best friend and together they ran away from the orphanage and tried to live on the street. Stuff took turns for the worst and his friend died being robbed, of all things. Dad admitted he’d felt pretty weak because of that and he’d managed to find out about the royal vampire family and their given right to change others into vampires. He managed to get himself recruited and that’s how he met mom. Their relationship was pretty rocky at the start. They actually expect us to believe it was worst than it is now.
I mean, it’s obvious they love each other, but apart from Raph and Lance, I’ve never seen two people who could argue so much.
And then mom told us the whole shebackle with our grandpa and his wife, the almost war between the werewolves and the vampires , the unexpected victory against our grandpa, Velor, and in particular, my mom’s brother’s betrayal.
They went through all that, yet here they stand, smiling and in love, with another century at least in front of them. Already so much has happened in their lives, what are they going to do to fill up the remaining time?
What am I going to do? I have just as much time as they do!
What’s more, I’ll probably live long enough to see my siblings die and their children die as well. Dad and mom will live long enough to see Raph, Lance, Aliska and Nix die before them.
Right now I have stuff to do, I have school to go too and I have friends to hang out with. But there’s going to come a time when Joshua and Jamie will be old and I’ll still look like I’m in my twenties. And I’ll still have a nice century at least left to live. How do vampires do it? Live so long…maybe that’s why my great grandpa suicided. Velor’s father, Francon, decided to sit on a chair outside one day and he stayed there until he burned to ashes. I doubt there are any vampires that ever died of old age. That’s probably why only the royal family has the right to turn naturals into vampires. They’d be a little too many of them or else.
I nearly slapped myself on the head. There I go again. Can’t I keep a single thought for a few seconds?
My parents had already taken out their rings and there I was lost in my thoughts.
They exchanged vows and my family ‘awwed’ and ‘cooed’ with Raphaele looking especially envious.
That’s all it took. My parents were happily married.
“-secret weapon, the prohesized one. We just need to find Velor now. We could have used Kord as a lead, but you let him leave.” Mincia said to my mother.
“Secret weapon?” Dad asked.
“Don’t encourage her.” Mom said, trying to halt the conversation there.
“It’s worth listening to.” Michael, Mincia’s boyfriend cut in.
“Mary said a true werewolf would save our werewolf clan. We have that werewolf. We know Velor went to your kid’s school. Why won’t you tell us more? Or at least let us talk to your kids.” Mincia continued to pressure.
“This is hardly the time or place Mincia.” Mom snapped.
“He’s a bastard, wouldn’t you want us to kill him off?” Michael demanded.
“Guys, this is a happy day for us. Let’s not ruin it with pointless discussions.” Dad said in a cheerful tone.
“Oh by the way, I wanted to give this back to you.”
My brothers voice snapped me out of my eaves dropping. He was handing a golden amulet over to Aliska, but she wasn’t taking it.
“What do you mean?” She asked, a bit confused.
“Well, it worked once, but it doesn’t work anymore so here.” Lance said as he tried to give it to her again.
“What are you talking about?” Alec asked. I was curious as well, I’d seen the amulet around my brother’s neck once or twice, but I hadn’t realized Aliska had given it to him.
“I’d like to know too.” Aliska said.
“Same here!” Raphaele said, leaning a bit as if the conversation had just gotten interesting.
“Oh come on. Don’t tell me you forgot. You gave this to me when we were kids saying it would save me and it did.” Lance insisted.
“I don’t remember this.” Aliska frowned.
“You sure? It was the day I caught you coming out of the basement even though mom said-”
“You went in the basement!?” Alec and Nix simultaneously exclaimed.
“Shut up, I want to hear this.” Raphaele said, closing Alec’s mouth with her hand.
“You had the glowing eyes and all.” Lance finished. Aliska frowned even more confused.
“Oh yeah! That happened to me once at school! You really freaked me out, it’s like you were completely out of it.” Raphaele exclaimed.
‘Same’ I said, by closing my hand into a fist except for my pinkie and thumb and waving my hand at my siblings. I clearly remember that night she snuck out.
“I don’t remember any of this.”
“It’s probably some sort of premonition manifestation.” Nixanne said, sounding proud as she pronounced the large words. “Remember? Mom said you were probably a clair-voyant. Maybe you were having visions.”
That’s an interesting hypothesis. If that were true…what had Aliska said that night?
The vampire…he’s coming.
If it really was a premonition…could she have been talking about Velor? She saw Velor come before he did? That’s pretty useful.
“Maybe…” Aliska murmured.
My siblings fell silent as everyone played around with the idea that Aliska really did go into ‘trances’.
Raphaele was the one to break the silence.
“I want to be an actress.” She said.
“How is that even related to the topic?” Lance exclaimed as I tried to keep myself from laughing.
“You always have to bring the conversation back to you, don’t you?” Nixanne asked.
“Don’t worry, she’s not as egocentric as you are.” Alec teased.
“An actress…?” Aliska said, actually taking Raph’s comment seriously.
“You guys are mean! I’m being serious!” Raphaele complained.
And just like that, we’d switched back to a happy mood.
Just like with my sisters before me, Lance pulled me in for a tight hug, despite my protests.
“I’m gonna miss you James.” He said as he tried to squeeze the air out of my lungs. I tapped his back.
“You take care okay? Even if I’m not going to be there, Nix is more than enough to beat people up.” Lance said flashing me a smile.
As if I’d ask Nixanne for help.
Or wait, as if I even needed help! What? Did he take me for a weakling?
But I nodded anyway. I was really going to miss my big brother.
Lance was leaving. He was an adult now and he’d just graduated from highschool, but he wanted to be a police officer. So he was already leaving to go to a police academy in some other town.
“Speaking of! I think it’s my turn now!” Nixanne called from behind.
Lance wasn’t the only one leaving. Raphaele had decided it was high time she made her acting career take off as well, and she was heading for a very famous city to do just that.
“Stay in touch okay?” Raphaele commanded.
‘You won’t forget us when you’re famous?’ I joked. She gave me a look.
“Of course not idiot.” She said, ruffling my hair in that annoying way. I irritatingly swatted her hand away and she smiled.
After that, it was time for mom and dad’s heartfelt good byes. Especially mom. She was very reluctant at the idea of letting Raphaele out loose in the world.
Or maybe it was just the idea of those two being in the same taxi for a few hours until their paths separated.
I rubbed my eye, because there was literally something in it.
“Are you crying?” Alec teased.
I had to punch him on the arm for that one.
“Are you sure you’re going to be okay?” Mom asked as the taxi honked for the fifth time.
Lance draped his arm over his Raph’s shoulder. “We’ll be fine!” He reassured them.
Raph looked like all she wanted to do was punch him in the side.
They’re going to be fine, but I’m still going to wish them the best of luck.
This chapter was a lot more complicated than it should have been! (see what I mean in my next post)
So that was an ‘intermission’. Next up is going to be my second arc. Or I guess you could say act, or ‘chapter’ or whatever…It’s going to be a short one though.
What did Raph give James? A poisoned apple? Now where have I seen that EXACT apple before…
I had the nasty surprise of coming back to this household and having Sariel DEAD. And then when I was preparing the wedding Rex went and died too. They’d expired a while ago but it was still a shock!