Monday, December 26, 2011

We Meet Again!

Hi, this is Bree again. I have some great news! :-)

Guess who's sitting here with me? Well, since I can't hear your guess, I'll just have to tell you. It's Cécile! She's safe and sound, and right beside me as I type. We're all very relieved.

So... what happened, right? We were all wondering. Just after sunset on Christmas Day, Cécile finally showed herself in person, and explained the situation. They had figured out The Elders were coming, so they managed to get out of the house before it burned. At that point they split up, but they stayed in communication with each other. Cécile shadowed me and Blakeney, for mutual safety and with the intention of contacting us when it was safe to do so, using the signal with the ballet slippers that she and Marie-Grace had agreed upon. Meanwhile, Marie-Grace is off doing some sort of mysterious research, but Cécile assures me that she's safe too.

When Cécile first showed up, she just kind of stood awkwardly in the doorway, like she expected me to be mad at her. I threw my arms around her and squeezed her tight, and told her I was so glad she was okay. That made her smile, but she said, "I just wanted to make sure you knew that we were alright, and to check that you girls are safe, too. We won't put you in danger with our presence."

"Are you crazy?" I asked. Then I realized that didn't sound very kind, so I clarified, "I mean, if we're all in danger, it's safer to be together. We can protect you." Then I further clarified, "We want to protect you and Marie-Grace, because you're our friends."

Cécile looked worried. "You understand the danger, Bree? The Elders are powerful, and they will not hesitate to harm you, neither because of your age nor because you've done nothing wrong."

I couldn't help laughing. "Yeah, I kinda got that impression when they burned your house down for no reason when they were feeling frustrated." Then, more seriously, I added, "It's worth it for our friends. We'd rather have you here, even if it's a risk."

She smiled, and squeezed my hand. I took that as a yes. :-)

So now Cécile and I are hanging out. She's a lot of fun! I'm introducing her to the wonderful world of television, and she's teaching me about classical music. What a trade-off for her, huh? ;-)

We can rest easy knowing Cécile is safe with us... well, at least with a couple of family members... and hopefully Marie-Grace will make it back safely, too. From the conversations I've been having with Cécile, I think they're open to being permanent additions to our family, which would be awesome.

I hope you had fun holidays, everyone! As a preview: Our next post will (probably...) be a guest post from Miss Cécile herself, filling you in on how their story began.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Hopeful Sign

Hi, this is Bree. Blakeney and I are in Western New York. We got here safe and sound (although I got separated from Blakeney for awhile in the Toronto airport, which was scary because that place is huge) and are having a good and relaxing time.

Sorry we haven't blogged at all in a week or so, but we've all been crazy busy with family and holiday stuff.

I don't have time for a long entry right now, since it's Christmas Eve and we're going to church, but I just wanted to fill our blog friends in on some good news. :-)

Today when I was getting my clothes out of my suitcase, I found a pair of ballet shoes in there under my favourite flannel shirt. I was surprised, because... well, I don't do ballet. I would have no reason to bring something like that. I packed my own bag, so I didn't see why that would be in there, or how it got there. I guess it could be the dog, but April doesn't usually leave stuff so neatly, and I've never seen her carry two shoes at once. But even if it was April, why wouldn't I have seen them before this? I've been living out of this suitcase for days, and it's not that big - and the dog is back home.

I figured there was more to this, so I decided to take a closer look. When I did, I realized the shoes weren't a pair after all. The right shoe was slightly smaller, and the left shoe was significantly more worn. I flipped the side down so I could see if anything was written there; Fiona and Kaya write their names in their slippers so they won't get mixed up with their classmates' shoes, because the shoes all look kind of alike. I figured it was worth a try to see who they belonged to. 

I gasped with surprise... because the right shoe was labeled "Cecile" and the left one was labeled "Marie-Grace"! Our missing vampire friends!

I think this was a message. I think it's still too dangerous for them to show themselves - if someone else saw the shoes, they wouldn't realize it was anything besides the clothing I packed for myself, so it's less dangerous - but I think they're telling us they're both alive and safe somewhere. If they could leave something in my suitcase, they must even be pretty nearby.

We're really, really relieved. I hope they get in touch in person soon. For now, I think this is good holiday news. The other girls were right; it worked out in perfect timing for Christmas, just like a holiday movie!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all our friends! *hugs from all The Greens and The Roses*


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shoot the Messenger

Hi, this is Kaya. I'm not sure how to preface this story, so I'm just going to jump right in.

We made a big mistake. And now we're trying to figure out how we can fix it... and if we can.

Okay, that's actually too far ahead of myself. I'm going to backtrack a little. As Fiona said in the last post, Nutcracker is over, and we're really happy with how it went. It was a lot of fun, but totally exhausting at the same time. We're ready for a vacation. Today in the late afternoon/evening, our dance school had our annual holiday party for everyone, whether or not they were in Nutcracker. Then very early tomorrow (like 4 a.m.) I'm headed to the airport to board a plane to start on my way to Idaho for Christmas, and some of the other girls are also headed different directions too.

We were anticipating a pretty crazy couple of days. We had no idea.

Fiona and I were worried today at the party because Marie-Grace and Cécile didn't show up. They'd said they were going to be late - they couldn't come till the sun set - but they planned to be there. We didn't hear anything to indicate that had changed, so it made us nervous when even by the end, they never made it.

I suggested that on our way home, Fiona and I could stop by their house and make sure they were okay. What we didn't bank on was that we haven't talked to them about the specifics of their living arrangements since we found out they're vampires... so before, they might not have told us the truth for the sake of safety. We walked up the driveway, and noticed that the abandoned house next door must have burned down recently. It still smelled like charring and smoke. I'm not sure why that made me feel nervous, but I couldn't help it. We knocked on the door - and a very polite woman told us that no one named Cécile or Marie-Grace lived there, and she didn't know them.

Fiona and I both glanced over at the burned shell of the abandoned house. I hastily thanked the woman, and we hurried away. I was starting to feel sick to my stomach, because I had a feeling I knew where the girls really live. Or lived... because there was hardly anything left. Just a bunch of debris on the ground, and a few charred standing beams.

I hoped that I was wrong. That I was just being dramatic. I mean, what were the chances we'd guessed right? Then I saw something purple and soft hooked on the back fence that was far enough away from the house that it was still standing. I carefully picked my way through the wreckage, and took it down. It was a lilac-coloured shawl, one we've seen Cécile and Marie-Grace both wear to ballet sometimes.

This burnt-out shell of a house was where they'd been living. And now they're gone.

I took the shawl with me, and we walked home in silence. When we got there, I told Inna what we had found. That's when, together, we realized our mistake.

When we got the warning about The Elders - the powerful old vampires who are making our lives difficult - we thought the danger was mainly to Tabitha, Clare, and Inna, so those were the people we were focused on protecting. We didn't even consider the fact that the Elders might shoot the messenger they'd used to deliver the warning.

We're pretty sure that's what happened, though. They haven't found Tabitha and Clare, and although they know where Inna is, in spite of their threats she's pretty well-guarded. They might manage to overpower our group, but it wouldn't be an easy job. They'd have a big fight on their hands.

But... they also couldn't go too long without doing anything at all, because it would make them look weak. So they went for the most exposed target, even if that target was peripheral at most to their goals.

We blame ourselves. It never even occurred to us that Cécile and Marie-Grace were in danger. If we had known, we would have insisted on bringing them here so we could protect them. We didn't realize they were living in some abandoned house, probably all by themselves. We would have helped. Now it's too late.

We don't know for sure that they're dead. They might be. I hate to say that, and the idea makes me sad and sick, but if they were in the house at the time of the fire, even a vampire wouldn't have survived. Especially if they'd already been staked or something. It's also possible... and I hope this is true... that the Elders took them away somewhere, or they managed to escape and run away.

The family members who are staying here are going to keep looking for them. Those of us who were supposed to leave are still going; we don't want to arouse more suspicion, and there's not much we can do at this point anyway.

I really hope we find out some good news. At the moment, all our hearts are pretty heavy.


Performance Notes

Hi, this is Fiona. We're really tired, so this is going to be short. We'll write a longer entry tomorrow.

Tonight was the last night of Nutcracker! It's been an awesome but busy couple of weeks. I'm sort of sad that it's over, but sort of happy, and I'm really proud of us. Kaya did a great job, and the teachers seem proud of me, too. It was fun to be Clara, and Kaya switched between all her roles like it was nothing. All in all, it went really well. The audiences seemed to enjoy it. People clapped. Our family came to see it a couple of times and brought us flowers.

On Friday, Bree's drama club had their final performance too. Bree had planned to be backstage, because she likes the tech stuff rather than acting on stage, and at the last minute she got pulled into being the replacement stage manager! She was really nervous, but it went great. The show was a variety of holiday songs, skits, and sketches, and it was really fun. Kaya didn't get to go because of Nutcracker, but my cast wasn't on stage that night, so I got to see it. All the kids did a great job, and Bree did really well organizing it all. She's been grinning ear to ear ever since, because she made it work.

Now we're off to get some sleep! ;-)

Just wanted to fill you in about how our stuff has been going - very well! Pretty soon people are leaving for their holiday trips. For now, we're basking in successful performances. :-)


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Connecting the Dots

Hi, this is Summer. After supper last night - we were getting ready to head from the Green house to the Rose house to get some sleep, actually - the doorbell rang. Cécile and Marie-Grace were standing on the front steps, looking worried. I would have been able to tell from their expressions alone that something was up. Plus the fact that it was so late at night. Plus the fact that they know that coming over might make Tabitha freak out, but they still came without warning. My immediate thought was that this was something bad.

They came inside. (Tabitha went down the the basement and killed a chair. Clare was mostly fine. Every now and then she'd start to crouch defensively like they were about to fight, but she'd catch herself and snap out of it. Ah, territorial young vampires...) After some basic hellos, they got down to business.

"We found out who killed those other vampires," Marie-Grace said. "They're a group of really old, powerful vampires who call themselves The Elders."

Inna dropped the mug she was holding, and it shattered against the tile floor. Her face was even paler than usual. She didn't say anything, though, so the girls went on explaining.

"They're looking for Clare and Tabitha," Cécile said, with obvious worry in her voice.

"Why?" I asked, although I hadn't meant to say it aloud.

It was Inna who answered me. "Vampire society isn't all that organized, in general, except at the family or local group level. But... there are a few groups who try to exert power over the others. Usually less out of the goodness of their hearts, and more because they need vampires to be a secret, so they can keep their own position of control. They enforce what has popularly come to be called 'the masquerade,' so I guess they're the vampire form of a penal system."

"Like the Mounties?" Kiwi asked innocently.

Inna shook her head. "The Mounties follow the law of the land, not just their own whims. Vampires have no official law that everyone recognizes. Also, the Mounties don't just murder people - that's the biggest difference."

"That's why they killed the vampires who turned me, I guess," Clare said. "They drew a lot of human attention. It was in the papers, and stuff, that people were being attacked and disappearing back in Denver. And that's why they're coming after us, too."

Marie-Grace nodded. "That's what they said."

"You talked to them?" I asked.

Cécile looked embarrassed. "Well, it's not like we invited them over for tea. They sought us out, not the other way around. We were just trying to stay out of their way."

Marie-Grace added quietly, "They found us because they wanted to warn us about who we make friends with here. We haven't made them angry. Not yet, anyway. But... they're upset about Tabitha and Clare. Both of those girls created a fair bit of chaos back in the United States." She added, "Sorry!" to Clare, but Clare shrugged and looked ashamed, because it was the truth.

"How do they know Clare and Tabs are here?" Kirsten asked. "They haven't caused any trouble in public here."

"Because of Kiwi's injuries," Cécile replied. "I guess they have people reporting back to them from all over the place, and... someone who read the medical reports didn't buy the 'dog attack' story. They snooped around, and figured it out."

"Do they know where the girls are?" Inna asked, sounding awfully calm under the circumstances.

Cécile shook her head. "Only that they're in this city. Nothing more specific. If they did... things would have gotten bad already. They said... to tell you that your days are numbered, too, Inna. I'm really sorry..."

"It's not your fault," Inna said rather blankly, and exchanged a glance with Maia.

This was all getting to be a bit much for me. These are people I care about!

"Why would they want to hurt Inna?" I asked somewhat angrily.

Inna answered before Cécile could. She said, "Because they tried before and I didn't die."

Suddenly all the pieces clicked into place. We weren't dealing with all kinds of different vampire groups trying to pick us off. It was all these Elders. They were the ones who tried to kill Inna, and then bound her as a servant. They're the ones who chased us here. They're the ones who have been threatening the Rose family all along. Now they're threatening Clare and Tabitha too - and this city probably drew their attention in the first place because Inna came here - they just don't realize we're all together. And from what Bree said about vampires and Fae, she and Fiona may be on the hit list too.

Not good!

Fortunately, at this point, Marie-Grace broke the silence by announcing, "There's a silver lining, though."

"Go on?" Maia encouraged her, although it was difficult to see the possibility of one.

"Well... they're gone." Marie-Grace was speaking hurriedly now, eager to get this out before the bad mood completely overtook us. "Not forever. They haven't given up. But... something happened. I don't know what. A message came while they were at our house, and they whispered about it, and then they all left. We followed them discreetly, and they boarded a ship at the harbour, and went away. We couldn't figure out where they were going - the ship's information was in Russian, I think - but they're not here anymore."

"They'll come back," Cécile cautioned us.

"Of course," Inna replied, and her smile had a sarcastic twist. "They've been playing cat-and-mouse with me for years. It's amusing to them to toy with the prey." Realizing this comment was potentially alarming, she added, "But don't forget, we have a major advantage now. We know what they're up to, and they don't know that we know. We can be prepared for them."

Clare looked pretty miserable, so I gave her a hug. "I'm sorry about all this..." she said.

"It's not your fault," I told her sincerely. "You didn't ask to become a vampire, and you didn't know how to control yourself at first. You didn't have anyone to help you like we're helping Tabitha. You aren't responsible for what happened."

"Thanks," Clare said softly. It's not like we haven't told her that before, but she obviously needed reassurance at that moment.

So now we have to come up with our next move. Our first thought was to cancel our various holiday trips instead of scattering all over the place for Christmas... safety in numbers, and all. Inna said she didn't think that was a good idea, though. They probably already have some suspicions about us, and if we suddenly had a big change of plans right after they gave Cécile and Marie-Grace a warning, it would be pretty obvious we had something to hide. Well, more like someone to hide - Clare and Tabitha. We're going to go ahead with what we intended to do for the holidays, and hope the vampire Elders stay gone for a good long time.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Fairy Lessons

Hi, this is Bree. It took me a few days to get over the shock of what Inna told me, and Inna was really nice about it. She was normal and friendly, but didn't bring it up. After I'd had some time to adjust, I went next door and asked her to tell me everything I would need to know about being one of the Fae, so I could tell Fiona too. Inna seemed relieved that I'd started to accept the news, and she told me some things we should be aware of. I took notes. I'm going to copy what she told me into the blog so our friends will know too. It's late, but I'm having trouble sleeping, so I may as well get this written down.


1.) There are lots of different kinds of fairies.

Big ones, small ones, tall ones, short ones... nice ones, and mean ones. Some look pretty much like humans, with just a certain "something" to distinguish them. Some look really different. Some have horns, or hooves, or odd coloured eyes, or skin and hair colours humans can't be born with, like green or purple. A few have wings, although that's less common that pop culture portrays. There are a lot of different kinds of talents, abilities, and magical powers. There isn't an easy way to define all of us.

2.) Not all fairies are nice.

This is important to remember. It's kind of like humans. Some are great, most are alright most of the time, and some are really horrible. You shouldn't automatically trust a fairy, any more than you should automatically take the word of a human stranger. Many groups of fairies value deception and illusion, so you need to be careful of that. Some fairies are malicious for fun, and some take "jokes" too far. Being one of the Fae doesn't mean you have to be a bad person, though. I'm still the same person I was all along.

3.) Different kinds have different cultures and customs.

Fairies are as diverse as... well, human cultures. Maybe more so, because all humans are humans, and different kinds of Fae can be totally different creatures. What is seen as a compliment to one group may be an insult to another, and vice versa. Some value secrecy, and some see how far they can push it without being discovered. Some live in big groups, and some live in families or completely alone.

If you don't know who you're dealing with, it's better to be as cautious and neutral as possible. If you do know who you're dealing with, you can score a lot of points by being aware of their ways, and can avoid their usual wiles.

4.) They don't all get along.

There's a lot of in-fighting among the Fae, both within groups and between groups. In fact, fairies can be quite horrible and cruel to each other, as well as to humans. It's important to remember that, and to avoid getting into the middle of arguments you don't understand.

5.) In many parts of the world, there are two main groups, the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court.

This is apparently one of the main rivalries in the fairy world. (But not the only rivalry... there are lots, probably more rivalries than there are Fae since many have more than one.) The Seelie Court are more concerned for appearances and custom, and the Unseelie are more wild and crazy.

Some people think that the Seelie are good and the Unseelie are bad, but... it's more complicated than that. The Seelie are more concerned about being thought to be good, but both can be really mean, and members of both can be really nice. It's more down to the individuals involved.

From a political standpoint, though, the two courts are important to know about.

6.) The fact someone doesn't look like a fairy doesn't mean they aren't.

I kind of knew this, because... well... me. Blakeney says my skin is hard to photograph right, but other than that - no difference from anyone else. If you passed me or Inna on the street, you wouldn't think we looked unusual.

Of course, some fairies can't pass for humans at all, because of size, or unusual features like horns or wings, or because their skin, hair, or eyes aren't possible for regular people.

However, the fact someone can pass for human doesn't mean they are.

7.) Fairies have powers. They don't always reveal those powers or their real plans. So don't underestimate them.

This one is kind of self-explanatory, and it makes sense. No one wants to put all their cards on the table in front of a potential enemy; according to Inna, in the world of the Fae, almost anyone is a potential enemy. It's smart to pretend to be weak. Most are not weak, so it's dangerous to believe them that they are.

8.) Not all vampires know about fairies, and not all fairies know about vampires - but when they do, they often don't get along.

This one makes sense in a way too, I guess. Supernatural immortals trying to live in the same territory are likely to get in each other's way. Inna thinks there's more to it than that, though. Something more fundamental to the cultures that makes them decide to be enemies.

I don't think it's something we're born with. I've never felt animosity to the vampires I live with, and they've never felt any toward the Fae members of the family. I think it's something learned and passed down. We can live in peace. We're doing it in this household. We just shouldn't count on others to abide by it.

Which of course means more potential danger. Since we have both fairies and vampires in our family, we'll likely have the displeasure of both sides if they find out about us. (This is probably also why those vampires Inna knew were so keen to kill her when she made the mad.) At least if we know the truth, we can be on our guard... but we really don't need more enemies to deal with. Hopefully they'll all just leave us alone.


For now, that's the basics. There are a lot of things to learn about different types, different groups, and different customs. If I'm every going to interact with other Fae, I'm going to have to learn about their traditions and talents. If I'm going to know all I should about myself, I'm going to need to research our background.

It's a lot to take in. But somehow I've started thinking in terms of "because I'm one of the Fae" rather than "if I'm one of the Fae." Odd.

In a weird way, I feel like I know myself better now. Like a big piece that was missing finally clicked into place. Unlike a few days ago, now I'm excited to learn more!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Performance Time

Hi, this is Kaya. It's late, and I'm wired... because tonight was the second day of Nutcracker! So far I've done three performances, and Fiona has done two because her role is double-cast. It's going really well. We've had good crowds every time, and got a lot of applause. Our family came to opening night and brought us both roses, and they're going to come to the final performance too.


I should backtrack a little, though. Before Nutcracker, there was a difficult conversation to be had. A few days ago, Clare told us that our new friends are vampires. Obviously, we needed to bring up the subject with Cécile and Marie-Grace. What was less obvious was how. The girls all thought I should be the one to talk to them, because Fiona and I know them best from being in ballet together, and I'm more diplomatic than Fiona is.

Um... yay? Lucky me? I win the prize and get the bad job? ;-)

I couldn't exactly say no, though. I wasn't looking forward to the chat, but there were valid reasons for it. During the time between when we decided and when I saw Marie-Grace and Cécile, I practiced what I was going to say. I was trying to come up with something more eloquent than, "We know you're vampires, but it's all good." The others didn't have any brilliant ideas either.

On Thursday, on the way to final dress rehearsal, I crossed paths with Cécile and Marie-Grace as I walked from my school to the theatre. I think the two girls could tell that I had something on my mind, because they followed me as I went into a side-street where we wouldn't be overheard. I took a deep breath and said...

"We know you're vampires, but it's all good!" (I told you I couldn't think of anything better! :-P)

Cécile and Marie-Grace exchanged a worried look.

"Sorry we didn't tell you," Marie-Grace said sheepishly. "We didn't know how to."

"Didn't you realize we had a vampire in the basement?" I asked. "She could tell you were upstairs."

Cécile replied, "We could tell there was a vampire, but we thought she lived with your random neighbours rather than your family, and either way, we didn't know why she was there. If she was a family member, or a prisoner, or if someone was about to stake her and set her corpse on fire, or... what."

Yeah, it might have been a good idea to mention to them at some point that the Roses live in a separate house. Oops! They've only ever seen Summer and Kiwi either at the Green house or out and about somewhere else. No wonder Cécile and Marie-Grace were confused.

"She's a family member," I quickly clarified. "Not the other stuff."

"We wanted to find out more," Cécile explained. "So we stayed nearby to try to find out."

Hastily, Marie-Grace added, "But we did really want to be your friends too. We like you."

"I know," I replied. We've had a lot of fun together, so I wasn't really worried about that. "Are you... really old vampires?"

Cécile nodded. "Yes. We're really from New Orleans, but it was... a long time ago. We were turned during a Yellow Fever epidemic. With so many deaths, no one saw anything amiss in two girls suddenly disappearing."

Marie-Grace nervously asked, "So what happens now?"

I shrugged. "Nothing changes. I just wanted you to know we knew, so you don't have to worry about keeping it a secret."

"You girls still want to be our friends?"

"Of course we do," I assured them with a grin.

"There's danger," Cécile told me bluntly. Then she clarified, "Not from us. We wouldn't hurt you. We're old vampires, and we've been working on self-control for a long time. But... others. There are dangerous vampires in this town, much older and more powerful than we are - and they're trying to 'cleanse' the city of those they consider a threat to their way of life. Which very well may include the two of us."

"Do you know who? Or why?" I asked, with a sinking feeling. If there was risk of these ancient vampires going after our friends, Tabitha and Clare are probably in danger too.

They both shook their heads, and Cécile said, "We've been trying to stay out of their way. It's dangerous enough to keep going to ballet, but... we have to keep living our lives. We can't figure out a way to snoop around without drawing their attention. And their fire."

I knew this 'fire' could be literal. Of the 'set on fire' kind, like the bad vampires who were killed. Typical of the vampire legends, too.

"We'll help you," I promised. Then I linked arms with each of the girls, and we walked to ballet rehearsal. I let myself sense their feelings... and sensed relief and friendliness.

Good. That's what we like.


Life goes on, and we're dancing in Nutcracker now. People clap, and dangerous things seem far away. I hope it stays that way for awhile. Either way, though, family protects each other... and new friends protect each other, now, too.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not Human

Hi, this is Bree again. I had two conversations today that are kind of... blowing my mind. I'm going to share them with you, so you can help me think them through.

The first conversation was with Clare. She came to my room to bring back a book I lent her, and before she left, she said casually, "By the way, you know your new friends are vampires too, right?"

I'm pretty sure my jaw literally dropped. No, I did not know that, and I'm fairly sure Kaya and Fiona didn't either. "You mean Cécile and Marie-Grace?" I asked stupidly, although I'm not sure who else could fit the title of 'new friends' at this point.

"Yeah." Clare raised an eyebrow. "You can't tell?"

I shook my head, still trying to take in this information. I was about to ask her why she hadn't said something before, and then I realized she hadn't actually met them before last night. The first time Marie-Grace and Cécile came to our house, Clare was out hunting. Then the day they went sledding with the younger girls, Clare had gone to the snowball fight with the rest of us older ones. The tree lighting at the park was the first time Clare had been introduced to them in person, so she hadn't really been holding out.

If it was a vampires-recognize-vampires thing, why hadn't Tabitha...? Oh, wait. Tabitha totally freaked out when they were over here. At the time, we thought it was the strangers with unfamiliar human blood issue. But what if it was really some kind of territorial thing, or something? Tabitha still hasn't talked about that night. Maybe she assumed we already knew.

We didn't, though. All of us were totally surprised. I mean, we haven't seen them during the daytime... but in Newfoundland in the winter, "daytime" is over by around the end of the school day. There are a lot of regular people we haven't seen in daytime either. Plus there's the way they dress. We figured it was just personal taste - but what if they dress in older styles because they really are old? Which they must be, because they have no reaction to being around humans at all, even at ballet where the occasional bleeding injury is inevitable. They must have been practicing self-control for a long time to get that good.

I talked it over with my sisters, to decide what to do, and we decided... we're not really going to do anything. They aren't a danger to us. Kaya and Fiona are going to tell them we know, just so they won't have to worry about it anymore, but there's no reason for it to affect our friendship.

This new news was something to get used to. Mainly just because it was weird that we didn't figure it out on our own, and Clare had to tell us. Vampires aren't really very surprising to us anymore, which is an odd thing to realize.

Then came... the other thing. Which for me was even more mind blowing.

I decided to talk to Inna about the possible fairy incident over the weekend. I figured if she knew about vampires, maybe she knew about fairies too. Worth a try, right?

It may seem like a weird thing to have a conversation about, but talking about fairies was in some ways easier than vampires. Here in Newfoundland, a lot of people believe in fairies. For some people, it's even seen as sort of... disloyal... to say you don't, because it's part of the local culture. I'm not originally from here, and neither is Inna, but somehow it makes a difference.

When I asked Inna about fairies, she kind of sighed, and leaned on the kitchen counter. "I thought you might ask," she said, and she sounded kind of tired. "Bree, there's something I think you should know. I don't think you're entirely human."

I just kind of blinked. Of course I am! What else would I be?

Inna went on, "I think the reason they showed themselves to you is that you have fairy blood, yourself. I've wondered about it since I met you and Fiona, but I wasn't sure till now."

I suddenly flashed back to the earlier conversation. (Now you see why I wrote all that down for you? It was so you could follow my flashback. :-P) Clare had said she could just tell Marie-Grace and Cécile are vampires because she's a vampire herself. And that might mean...

"You know because you're one too?" I suggested tentatively.

Inna smiled, and said, "Yes. Very good, Bree."

Tomorrow, Inna is going to tell me some things I need to know about fairies. I just couldn't handle more information today. I'm still kind of in shock. Cécile and Marie-Grace aren't human. Inna isn't human. And if she's right, my little sister isn't human... and I'm not human either.

I might not be human.

This is crazy.

But it feels...



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dancing in the Woods

Hi, this is Bree. The past weekend was a fun one for me. The highlight was that we went to the park on Saturday for a Christmas tree lighting. That's an annual tradition here, I guess - although this is my first winter holiday season here, so I haven't been to one before. There are choirs and bands who perform carols, and some sing along songs, and then at the end someone lights the main tree, and all the trees around the pond light up too. It was very pretty. Chilly, of course, since it's December, but the snow was only in patches, and the event gave out free hot chocolate, which helped us stay warm.

We got there early, shortly before dark, so mid-afternoon. While we were waiting, several of us wandered off to "explore" the park. It's pretty safe there, and it gave us something to do... plus walking around doesn't make it feel as cold as just standing there does.

Fiona and I went exploring together. I've known her longer than anyone else in the family because she's my biological sister (even though we didn't really live together very much before we moved here,) and we haven't spent much time just the two of us lately. It's fun to spend time with our new sisters, too, but this felt like old times, which is nice every once in awhile.

We went across the bridge and took the path that leads into the woods. No one else was really around, because most people had gathered for the tree lighting. Suddenly, Fiona pointed deeper into the woods, and said, "Hey, look at that!"

We saw lights through the woods, and shadows moving back and forth, so we got curious, and we left the path - following the sounds of laughter and singing - and found a ring of white stones. To my surprise, there were people gathered there, although it was hard to see them clearly because it was starting to get dark. They didn't look like they were dressed for the cold, but they seemed happy. I guess they were warm because most of them were dancing.

One of them grabbed my hand, and one grabbed Fiona's, and they pulled us into dancing with them. Now, normally I'm not much of a dancer. I'm pretty coordinated, but I'm just not graceful about it. I'm better at stuff like running, rather than artistic movement. Somehow I was able to keep up, though, and Fiona, the actual dancer, was in her element. I was totally breathless and couldn't stop smiling.

Finally, I said, "We should go get the rest of the family! They'd love this!" Fiona agreed, and we went to find our other sisters - and as it turned out, also Cécile and Marie-Grace, who had found them by the pond. It was getting pretty dark when we all met up. They followed us back to the clearing where we danced, and...


No music. No dancing. No one there, and no sign anyone had been there. Not even the ring of rocks. I couldn't believe it.

Kirsten said she thought we were lying, and was very irritated to have walked all that way. Kaya was more reasonable, and said we'd probably just gotten confused about where we were because it had gotten darker, and the dancing had probably really happened somewhere else in the woods. This seemed logical, since I obviously knew I wasn't lying, but it didn't seem quite right, either. There was a really recognizable double-bowed tree right by the path, so I had a landmark that I was in the right place. I just didn't know how else to explain it.

As we were walking back, Evelyn said, "Maybe it was the fairies!" Everyone kind of laughed, but... once she said that, I started thinking about it, and it made sense. What happened is just like some of the old fairy legends. Now I don't know what to think.

If vampires, shapeshifters, and strange powers exist... could fairies be real, too?


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Tagged

Not the kind on packages! ;-) Our friends at Bolton Girls Travel Journal tagged us, and this is our response. We don't all have the same answers, and we couldn't decide on one person to answer for all of us, so we're going to do this in sort of interview style. (The line spacing got a little messed up, and we can't figure out why, sorry!) Not everyone answered every question, because that would get pretty long, but all of us chimed in on a few.

1) What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

Evelyn: Presents!

Fiona: Caroling!

Josefina: Midnight Christmas Eve mass.

Bree: Spending time with family and friends.

Kirsten: Um... probably also presents.

Felicity: Wow, that's mature, Kir.

2) Who do you celebrate Christmas with?

Bree: Well, it's going to be different for some of us this year than last year. I'm still deciding if I'm going to New York State with Blakeney or staying here.

Josefina: Evelyn, Kaya, Kirsten, Felicity, Molly, Charissa, and I are each going to visit with some of our biological relatives in different parts of the United States.

Summer: The rest of us - me, Kiwi, Tabitha, Fiona, and Clare - will be here with Inna and Maia. We'll all have fun holiday stories to exchange when we're together again!

3) What is your favorite gift you have ever received?

Molly: Paints!

Kirsten: You get those every year.

Molly: So? It's still my favourite.

Felicity: I got a really lovely piece of heirloom china once. That was pretty neat.

Evelyn: My most favourite toy horse was a Christmas gift.

4) What are your favorite Christmas Carols?

Kaya: Silent Night.

Molly: Deck the Halls.

Tabitha: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen... it's a little creepy and dark, but I like it.

Evelyn: Jingle Bells.

Josefina: A La Ru... it reminds me of my mother and grandmother.

5) What is your favorite Christmas food?

Summer: Cranberry sauce.

Kirsten: Turkey.

Charissa: Sweet potatoes.

Clare: Blood. Sorry, sorry - but I'm still a vampire on holidays!

6) Can you sleep on Christmas Eve?

Evelyn: Not very well, and I wake up early.

Charissa: Yeah, but I lie awake for awhile first.

Molly: I could probably sleep through a train running over me, so yes, I sleep like a log, just like every night.

7) When do you wake up on Christmas morning?

Evelyn: When the sun comes up.

Fiona: Eight o'clock.

Felicity: That sounds early... I'll say nine o'clock.

Molly: Late. Long after everyone is waiting and has attempted to wake me up several times.

8) What is your most memorable memory?

Clare: One time I thought my grandmother forgot about Christmas, because we didn't really do much to get ready. I bought her a present, but I didn't think I was getting anything since we didn't have much money that year. When I woke up on Christmas morning, the whole house was decorated, and there were presents under the tree. She wanted to surprise me by doing it like they did when she was a little girl.

Summer: Last year in Ontario we had a Christmas parade thing with the horses at the stable, and we dressed the horses in things like antlers and wreaths, and wore Santa hats.

Kirsten: I was born on Christmas Day.

Felicity: That's not really a memory, since you don't remember it.

Kirsten: Whatever. It was a big deal for me, okay?

9) What are you Christmas traditions?

Kirsten: Going to church on Christmas Eve. Some of us go to the Anglican one.

Josefina: I go to Roman Catholic mass. Also I make fish soup for supper.

Kiwi: We open presents and then have pancakes for breakfast.

Kaya: Being in Nutcracker, and singing songs around the piano on Christmas.

Felicity: Baking Christmas cookies to take to friends.

Clare: Going caroling.

10) Do you have a real tree or an artificial tree?

Kaya: Real.

Bree: Artificial. Lots of people in my genetic family are allergic to evergreen.

Kiwi: Whatever our cat won't tear down, I guess?

So those are our answers. It's hard to know who to tag for this one, because we don't know who does celebrate Christmas and who doesn't... but if we tag you and no one in your household celebrates it, you can talk about your own favourite holiday instead. (Or just not answer.) Have fun!

Aurora and Friends
Rebecca, Summer, and Friends
Sarah Annaliese

Anyone else who wants to answer - consider yourself tagged too! :-)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Truth About Inna

Hi, this is Kiwi! Like Summer said in the last post, I'm feeling a lot better, so I'm going to be writing today's post because I found out something interesting about my big sister Inna.

It may seem weird that there's anything left to find out... but Inna hasn't been my sister for very long. Me and Summer used to live with just Maia. We met Inna in Toronto, where we were living at the time, a couple of months before we moved here. At first, me and Summer thought she was Maia's new girlfriend - but it turns out they were just friends. Inna didn't have a nice place to stay, and we had an extra bedroom, so Maia talked to us and asked if it was okay if Inna came and lived with us. Of course we said it was fine. So Inna became our second older sister, even though we didn't meet her till this year. When Inna was in some kind of danger in Toronto and decided to move here to try to be safe, we came with her, because we're family.

Inna has always been really nice to us, and really goes out of her way to take care of us and protect us. She's always been kind of secretive, though, and won't talk much about her background. Usually she says it doesn't matter - but sometimes she admits the real reason, which is because she thinks we wouldn't be safe if we knew. I get the feeling some parts of her past are pretty bad, because of that and because a lot of times she makes sarcastic little comments about herself that she's not a nice person... even though she really is.

The doctor said I can't go back to school till next week because I had surgery, so Maia took time off work to take care of me. While we were eating lunch today, and I asked her, "How come Inna knows so much about vampires?"

I didn't expect that she would answer me, because she usually doesn't talk about stuff people don't want her to talk about - but Maia surprised me. She said, looking at my still kind-of-bruised face, "We agreed to protect you from this... but I guess we can't." Then she told me the basics of the story.

A few years ago, Inna made some vampires mad - I don't know what she did, Maia didn't say. These were big bad scary vampires, not nice ones like Clare and Tabitha. And older, more powerful ones, like we were wondering about before. They decided to kill her, but not all of them agreed, and when some of them tried to murder her, the other ones secretly saved her life... but she didn't know at the time that there would be a catch. The ones who saved her bound her to them as their servant. 

Inna was with them for awhile, but she finally got away. She's been on the run ever since - from vampires who think she's dead, and from vampires who think she betrayed them by escaping instead of spending the rest of her life serving them. No wonder she's so scared! And no wonder she felt so sorry for Clare. Good thing Inna has us to protect her now!

I asked Maia if I was supposed to keep this a secret, and she said no. That it's better for everyone to know the truth now. I'm glad, because it would have been really hard to be the only kid who knows, and not be able to talk to my sisters.

When Inna got home, Maia told her that she'd told me. Inna didn't seem upset with Maia - but she was worried. She asked me if I still liked her. I said of course I do, I love her, because she's my sister! Then I gave her a big hug. Everything was alright after that.

I'm sure this isn't the whole truth about Inna. I typed up everything Maia told me so I won't forget, but it's just the bare bones of the story. Maybe in time, we'll learn more. For now, I feel like I know my big sister a little better.