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novem- thrityfour"Gale, Berlin? I'm home "
"And look what the cat dragged in!" Talyn passed by carrying a glass of blood from the garage.
"I knew I smelled something " Harper was tossing a ball into the air and catching it from the couch.
"Hello again," Owen's voice was soft but clearly not friendly- he sat in the easy chair guzzling a pouch of blood.
Chrysanthe came down the stairs, "Oh " she cringed audibly.
She turned and went back up the stairs. Annabelle sighed tirelessly but went to the kitchen nonetheless. She retrieved a glass from a cabinet and went out to the garage. December followed. He recognized the Gatorade cooler sitting atop stacked boxes inside the meat cooler. Placing the glass beneath the nozzle Annabelle pressed the open button. A slow stream of viscous red-black fluid tumbled into the glass. Annabelle's eyes dilated once more. She held the glass to her lips.
"Sorry," she said to December before drinking.
He shrugged. She tilted her head back and threw the liquid int
novem- thirtythreeThey reached the house in good time. Carol had just picked up the phone to call December when he walked in the door.
"Oh there you are. Where'd you go?"
"Just around. Annabelle's here."
"Oh cool, do you guys want anything to eat or drink?" Carol tried to appear completely comfortable with saying "drink" to a once mythical creature.
"We're good. We're going to carve a pumpkin on the kitchen table."
"Carve a pumpkin? O- okay lay out some newspaper and save the seeds in a bowl. I'll roast them in the oven later."
December and Annabelle laid newspaper out over the table and took out a few knives. She set her rabbit up in a chair nearby. December stabbed the knife through the top of the gourd, working to cut off a lid like top. Annabelle watched his struggle. The top finally came off with one final tug.
"Awesome," Annabelle pulled the spider web of seeds off and tossed them into a clear plastic bowl, "I haven't carved a pumpkin since I was like ten," she laughed, ---"Then ag
novem- thirtytwoHalloween: The sun rose casting small rays of light through the thick, billowing clouds. December's alarm clock went off, as it would have on a school day. He beat the "OFF" switch till the clock was silent. His eyes adjusted to the shallow morning light as he stretched. In Jan's room the alarm still buzzed. He heard the sound of her trying to silence it by continuously bashing it with some sort of stuffed animal. He went in and pushed it off for her. She snored in thanks letting the polar bear toy fall out of her hand.
Down stairs all appeared to be quiet to the human ear. Escaping it were the hum of electric appliances, the noise of morning doves cooing outside, and the sound of the cold chilling the glass windows. December turned on the coffee pot on and started the day. After making himself breakfast he dressed himself. In red pen he left a note saying he'd gone out for the day and to call him when they woke up. He needed a walk to clear his mind of the strangest dream.
novem- thirtyoneJan stalked down the stairs dragging the bat behind her. It beat the stairs in rhythm- step, thud, step, thud, step, thud
Annabelle and December looked to Jan.
"Hey " Annabelle Lee answered.
December hugged her closer. She could smell his blood bouncing back and forth from every corner of his body. It was an intoxicating aroma. She fought the urge to bite him.
"What do you want?" December growled.
"To apologize "
"Don't worry about it. You were just trying to protect your brother "
"I can't believe you can forgive me after what I did to you "
"You actually aren't the first "
Jan sat in the easy chair fiddling with her fingers. The wooden bat rested against the fireplace, in reach for Jan to take.
"Why are you still carrying that around?" asked December.
"I'm still sort of untrusting and I know that wood and sunlight do the most damage to her kind."
"I understand your hesitation; I'm not sorry but I am what I am didn't choose to be
novem- thirtyAndromeda waved to the car as it drove away. December relaxed.
"I can't believe Alex doesn't notice that Andromeda is a vampire."
"Me either. She's been dating him for like a month now."
"Wow a- are we dating?" December asked.
Annabelle grinned, "Do you want to be?"
"Only if you want to be."
"Then yes, we're dating."
"So technically you're my girlfriend."
"More then technically. I am."
"I'm glad you are," December felt warmth rise inside him.
"Me too. So you're not bothered by it?"
"That you're a vampire? No, not at all. You're you and that's all that I could ever care about. See I really thought you didn't like me or something "
"Thanks that means a lot to me," Annabelle wiped her eye.
"So what's it like? Being a vampire I mean " he hoped that the question wasn't too pressing or upsetting.
"It's not too different. As a female teenager you never get your period and never get a pimple. You become extremely beautiful. You never break a nail y
novem- twentynineAnnabelle Lee and December sat close on the couch in the living room.
"Where're Alex and Andy?" Brielle questioned.
"Making out in our room. Hey, Bri do we still have that gift set the realtor gave us when we moved here?"
"Yeah I think it's in the cupboard, why?"
"Pop up the popcorn in there, I'm going to put on a movie."
"I'll help you pop the popcorn Brielle," December stood up from the couch after Annabelle did.
The kitchen matched the study behind it. There was no microwave or a dishwasher. There was, however, a stovetop and oven and a refrigerator. Brielle was opening cabinets reveling books, papers, goblets and wine glasses, board games, and finally a gift basket wrapped in blue cellophane. Inside were stovetop popcorn pans, two movies, a card, gift certificates and coupons for future in home services.
"Found it!" Brielle exclaimed.
"Cool," December said coming around the bar.
Brielle pulled off the ribbon and tore apart the cellophane. She set the two movies aside:
novem- twentyeightDecember went around the side of the truck and helped Annabelle Lee from her seat like a gentleman. She held his hand with care and walked with him into the house.
"There you are," Alex said, "We were wondering what was taking you so long."
"Alex, don't be nosey," Andromeda pulled him into the living room by his back pocket.
The entrance was incredibly tall, a balcony over looked from the second floor to the door. The living room was well decorated with dark furniture, long drapes, and warm woods.
"Welcome home my dears," a soothing voice came from the balcony, "Who is this I sense?"
"Gale, this is December. He's heard all about us "
Gale descended the stairs to the right. He was a tall man with long black hair. He wore a black suit and matching tie.
"Hello Sir, pleasure to meet you," December extended his hand.
Gale took it firmly, "So it is you who's been causing all this trouble. Nice to meet you finally December," he laughed.
Gale released his hand and December took up Annabel
novem- twentysevenAnnabelle Lee walked in front of them out to the truck. It was still raining. Everyone jumped in the back as they talked. December opened Annabelle's door.
"Is this why you were trying to avoid me?"
"I don't want to hurt you it's a difficult thing to understand I can't even believe you took it so well " she hummed.
"You won't hurt me"
"I might " she got in the driver's seat and turned on the engine.
December went around the other side of the truck and got in.
"But you wouldn't."
"I don't know if I can continue to hold back "
"Why is that? You've done fine," he clicked the seat belt into place.
"Already human blood is delicious your smell happens to be one I am straining to avoid "
"So I smell like a pastry or hot cocoa to you?"
"Even better I would love to kill you and ruin your scent but "
"You won't. You're a good person Annabelle " he swallowed his worries confused as to how he could be so calm.
"I'm not a person," she smirked in
Teenage TaoismGiving birth is the closest I’d ever felt to dying.
Before that, my near death experiences had consisted only of my silent announcement of pregnancy—silent, being that my social media accounts were all deleted almost simultaneously and I never returned to school in the fall, saying without really saying that I had caught the malicious disease of “teenage pregnancy”. I’m sure the whisper spread in the hallways like the Bubonic Plague. That September, sitting at home on what would have been the first day of my senior year, I imagined friends I’d never talk to again saying “she was only seventeen, and so full of life!” at my absence in the cafeteria tables, as if they were attending my funeral instead of talking about me behind my back.
"Full of life," I had snorted then, folding a never ending stream of what had once been my own baby clothes. "Literally."
I walked around like a zombie for the months of my pregnancy, deciding t
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