Flowers In The Closet

I was drawn out of my remembering by my mother’s loud voice. It was like when you’ve been swimming or in the bath and your ears are full of water that drown everything out - then they pop and what sounded like whispering has suddenly become shouting and splashing. I hadn’t heard what she’d said, just registered the sound. I turned to face her, and she looked angry.

“Just go back to bed,” she snapped, holding her hair back with one hand. She looked suddenly very tired. “I’ll throw these out.”

Mixed up, I walked back out and went into my room. William was no longer there, but the two girls were sat on the windowsill.

“He’s gone for another patrol,” Willow said with a roll of her eyes. “What’s up with your mum?”

“Someone left flowers in her closet,” I said grimly. Meena burst out laughing, thinking my tone and expression were part of the joke. She soon stopped. I explained to them what my mother had said and about the note on the wreath. I expected them to frown and tell me they didn’t know what was up with that either but it was definitely suspicious. However, Meena’s face paled just like my mother’s when I told her the quote written on the parchment scrap.

“She got a Halo from the Valkyries,” she whispered in a shocked voice, eyes so wide I could see the whites all round. This was, again, one of those times when I should have been scared but had absolutely no clue what was being talked about.

“The ring of roses, it’s called a Halo. It’s like a kind of invite from the Valkyries, hence the note tied to it. It’s symbolic to them like Jesus’ crown of thorns in Christian religion. It’s like - well -”

“Okay, why don’t you start by telling me who the Valkyries are?”

“What. There is an organisation of vampires called the Valkyries. They are all descended from rich, well-bred mortal families before they were bitten. The Valkyries nickname them Purebloods, because they believe their blood is purer and more magical than lesser mortals. These ones are selected by the Valkyries. This is where they got their name.“ She allowed herself a little smile to show she appreciated their foundations, though she didn’t agree with their morals or the situation. “Valkyries were mythical kind of women who swooped over battlefields and selected the souls of the soldiers who they would take to Valhalla. A Valkyrie is literally a ‘’chooser of the slain’’. They don’t really have a religion as such, but they do have a shrine to a statue of a woman called the Princess. Apparently she was the founder of the Valkyries. The statue of her wears a crown of a rose wreath, and so they use this to send their invites.”

“Invites for what? What are they selected for?” I pressed, beginning to feel irritated. Also a bad feeling had settled somewhere in my gut at the ‘’chooser of the slain’’ part.

“That kind of spoke for itself,” Willow interrupted, as if she knew what I was thinking. “The Valkyries send invitations to the mortals with magical potential who they think have the purest bloodlines. They have obviously chosen your mother.”

“Why her, though? So what did the invite mean? ‘’May the moon befriend you, or else may you drown in the waters of darkness’’?” I asked with a slightly sceptical look on my face.

“The Valkyries always go for grandeur. They’re not approved by the Eternals but they do exchange information from time to time, because they can be useful allies and they‘re quite respected because of all the pureblood rubbish. It means, basically, come to see the Valkyries and therefore accept the invitation and accept an Immortal life as a vampire, or refuse and forever live your mortal life in fear of the night when they prowl, in case they seek revenge on the rejection.”

“How nice of them,” I commented, feeling my internal organs squeeze. Basically, a bunch of upper-class vampires had invited my mother to be bitten, or else they might send someone to come and kill her. Things just kept getting better. Now not only was I under threat from a half-breed and his army, but my mother faced dangers from an organisation of haughty vampires as well. I wondered if there was much of a choice in the invitations. Then I realised something.

The End

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