Sunday, December 11, 2011
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.