I don't know just how, but it's not over till you've won..."
- The Secret Garden Musical, "Hold On"
Hey, this is Bree, yet again. My sisters figured I should be the one to finish the story, since I was the one who filled you in on the beginning and the middle. I'm glad to report, so you don't need to worry anymore - it had a happy ending! Kiwi is home safely.
After we got the last letter, all we could do was wait. I read a few blogs and commented on them, because I was trying to be as normal as possible, but it was never far from any of our minds where Kiwi was, and how much danger she was in.
As it got closer to nightfall, we started trying to prepare ourselves. At first, Blakeney said none of us kids could go, but then eventually she considered our chances and relented a little and said no one under age fifteen could. Inna sharpened some stakes, and the rest of us thought about how we could use our individual powers and skills to help Kiwi.
The plan went like this: Maia would change into cat form, and scout the area. Once she figured out they where they were holding Kiwi, the others would create a diversion and/or actually fight off the vampires if necessary, while I dashed in with my awesome speed (which is apparently my special gift,) grab Kiwi and run. Once I signaled that I had her, we'd all get out of there as fast as we could.
Of course, there was one obvious downside to that. The vampires would come back, eventually, and try again, even if we got away. I'm not big on killing people or anything, but I very cautiously asked about a more permanent solution.
Inna got a very steely look in her eyes, and said that once Kiwi was safe, she would go take care of it. I wasn't scared of her, because you know... it's Inna. She's basically my sister. At that moment, though? I was glad I wasn't on the other side.
As we got ready to go, we tried to work up our morale. Blakeney gave us all a pep talk. Then Kirsten started singing rousing songs from Les Miserables to try to get us in the mood... till I kind of put a damper on things by reminding her how that story turned out. Les Mis is not a plotline I hoped to emulate! Kirsten pouted a little, but she got the point and switched to The Scarlet Pimpernel, a much better example of heroism that actually paid off.
We got to the park as the sun was setting. Maia went behind a tree (the clothes thing) and turned into her cat form, then she came out and we all petted her for good luck. She took off into the night. Ten minutes passed. Then fifteen. Inna and Blakeney started to get ansty. The park isn't that big. Was something wrong? At the twenty minute mark, Maia came back. She turned back into human form, and told us the vampires were in the brick gazebo at the centre of the park.
This was not entirely surprising. If I was going to pick a place to defend in the park, it would be there. The shelter is solid, the sides are steep, and it's surrounded by a wide grassy space with no trees, so it would be difficult for us to sneak up. We were definitely going to need that diversion.
Luckily, three of my sisters have pretty flashy powers. Josefina lit a pile of leaves on fire. Molly started making sheets of ice, then Kirsten would concentrate and shatter them. I'm not sure what the vampires thought was going on, but from where I was standing, it sounded like a huge battle. I was sure they would go investigate.
I needed to wait till they were out of the way... but not too long, in case they came back. I counted to ten, then dashed in. The gazebo was mostly empty. There was one of those pet carriers, which I figured Kiwi must be in. Poor thing! Unfortunately, there was also a vampire still standing guard - and the difference between one vampire and none is fairly significant.
I took a deep breath and psyched myself up. Be brave, Bree. Be fast! Before I had time to think about how suicidally insane what I was about to do was, I took off at a run toward the gazebo and pounded up the steps, keeping my eyes on the the pet carrier. Luckily for me, the vampire was startled. I think he would have expected someone to run away from him, not toward him. He didn't react fast enough. I didn't stop running; I grabbed the carrier and vaulted over the low rear wall. I said a quick "Oof!" as I took the impact in my knees, but there was no time to stop, and thank goodness I didn't fall.
I ran all the way to the park entrance, still holding onto cat-form Kiwi in the carrier. Luckily she's the size of a normal cat. I didn't have time to stop and let her out, and I'm not sure she could have kept up with me. When I was close to the boundary of the park, I started whistling "Into the Fire," the song from The Scarlet Pimpernel that we'd used to psyche ourselves up. That was the signal.
It wasn't long before I heard running feet. The others looked pretty tense and exhausted, but they were all still okay. Inna and Clare were the last; they were holding off the vampires. Unfortunately, one of the vampires was still following them, and gaining on them.
At that moment, we discovered Felicity's power. She later told us she didn't know why, but she yelled, "Just settle down!" at the vampire... and he stopped, confused. So that is how she stops our arguments all the time! She knows how to make us calm down!
There was no time to stop and talk. We ran to Inna's station wagon, let Kiwi out of the carrier, and piled in. Inna drove like a crazy person - but she always does that, even when we aren't running from anything.
Once we were on our way, I turned to Felicity. "That's really cool!" I told her, still kind of panting from my run.
Felicity looked very proud of herself. "You guys helped me figure it out, with all your bickering," she joked.
"You're welcome!" I replied, and stuck out my tongue.
It didn't take us long to get home. Kiwi hadn't cried the whole time she was being held captive, but when she was safe she finally did. She was really really scared, both for herself and for Clare, and she was tired of being in a tiny cage. She's okay, though, and happy to be home.
So that was our "adventure." Everyone is safe. For now, at least...
School starts next week. It would be okay for life to be boring for awhile. :-)