Clearing Up The Mess

As I had thought, there was a bit of mess around upstairs. The bathroom had been untouched aside from the shower curtain being ripped down, and I balanced magnificently with my new agility on the edge of the bath to hang it back up. In my mother’s bedroom the closet door was open and the bedcovers pulled back, but those were soon righted. The intruder had not even been down the stairs, it seemed. They must have been finishing the search of upstairs when they heard the dying screech of their brethren and ran to join the fight. That was the one whom William’s sword sliced into two.

William had deigned to sit on the front doorstep and patrol the outside of the house in case any more came. Meena and Willow silently helped me to restore my bedroom to its prior state. Not everything could be fixed. After the clothes had been put back in the wardrobe, the books on the shelf, the bed made and the trinkets that could be salvaged had been put back in their positions, I had to go downstairs and get things to clean up the shattered remnants of some snow globes and the glittery fluid from inside them. After I had got rid of the mess and disposed of the cleaning implements, I sank onto the end of my bed. There was a silence.

Meena sighed heavily and opened her mouth, but there wasn’t really anything to say. She shut it again, and the snap was audible in the dense quiet of the room.

“Let’s go downstairs,” I said as I sprang up with much more bounce than I thought I had in me. Of course, though I felt drained of energy like I should be dropping off to sleep, it was impossible for vampires to get tired. The excess of magical blood in their bodies rejuvenated them so sleep wasn’t needed. In fact, although my mind was exhausted, my body was restless and didn’t want to sit there. After the heart-pounding thrill of the fights I was still winding down.

I skipped every other step and went into the living room, drawing the curtains shut before putting on the lights. However as I was pulling them closed a set of headlights swept the front of the house as a car drove past. I didn’t know if it was out of fear or relief, but my lungs seemed to constrict as the angle of the lights showed that the car was turning in to my driveway.

In an instant William was in the room. We listened as the door opened and closed with a hollow clunk, then footsteps crunched across the gravel pathway to the door. A zipping noise and rattling, as if the person were fumbling for a key.

“It’s okay,” I whispered to the others. “That’s my mother.”

“I know,” Willow replied quietly. “We can smell her, remember?”

Nobody needed to say anything else. They slipped away into the hall and up the stairs as the door opened.

“Why is the door unlocked?” I heard my mother’s voice mutter. She sounded weary, not strained with worry or anything. Experimentally, I inhaled through my nose. The others had been right. The scent exploded in my head. There was a mix of the personal scent, which seemed to be sweet like coconut and raspberries, and then something else to make it hot and delicious. I knew it was the human blood. To my surprise, and perhaps even a little bit, horror, my mouth started to water. Like a human’s after they smell food, my body was reacting by producing saliva after I smelled blood. Well, that was my food now. But I would not feed on my own mother. I could control myself.

She walked into the house slowly and peered into the room before walking in, and flicked the light switch, dropping her handbag onto the arm of the sofa. Stupidly, I realised I had been standing there in the dark. She saw me and let out a scream of shock.

The End

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