Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Bad Idea

Hello everyone, this is Marie-Grace, in my first ever blog post! I hope I'm doing it correctly. The topic of today's writing is... well... a bad idea I had. Unfortunately when it comes to ideas, when no one has a better one, sometimes you have to use any idea that seems like it might suffice, no matter how terrible it is.

The problem: What do you do when a group of powerful vampires with a major superiority complex seems determined to meddle in your lives and cause you (potentially lethal) trouble?

The most obvious solution, of course, is strength in numbers. The Elders may be powerful because of sheer force, but they've made a lot of enemies over the years, because they've bullied a lot of other vampires, and because they're so petty and territorial. They may be feared, but they aren't particularly liked. If we could get enough vampires to gather here, we would have pretty good odds of prevailing in a fight. (Kirsten thinks we should hold this fight at the local stadium and sell tickets.) All we would really need to do is arrange the meeting, and make sure we've stacked the deck with enough vampires who share the mutual enemy.

There is a major obstacle involved in this solution, though. We're fairly sure we could get enough vampires here, and that they'd be willing to help - if only out of dislike for The Elders, rather than out of any particular fondness for us. We're fairly sure that our side would win; there are enough disgruntled vampires for that, if they could just be organized in an effort. Unfortunately, we're also fairly sure that we would not be able to control our own "side" once they were here.

Not all vampires are content to live on rats and pigeons. Not all vampires are nice. Not all vampires care about human life at all.

Introducing a large number of new vampires - many of whom would have no moral dietary constraints at all - into our local area would be unimaginably irresponsible. We would have no way of preventing them from feeding on the human inhabitants. Any vampire alone is potentially dangerous, but congregating many of them in the same place would be a disaster. People would die.

So... saving our own lives in that way is not an option.

We've been pondering, for the last few weeks, what we could do instead. That was the purpose of my library trip - trying to find out the details of how The Elders lost fights in the past, and what the other side did to win. The information was sketchy; The Elders are too proud to keep much record of their few defeats. One theme did come up several times, though. Even as I was dropping out a window and fleeing for my life, a plan was starting to form in my mind.

The only problem is, it's an admittedly terrible idea!

I decided to suggest it to Bree, first, since I would need her help if it was going to work. Casually, I mentioned my research, and then said, "I think I know where we could get another ally."

"Vampire allies?" Bree asked.

I shook my head. "No. Someone from nearby." I took a deep breath, and then said my bad idea. "The fairies could help us."

Bree blinked a few times. Finally, she said carefully, as though afraid of hurting my feelings in spite of my life-threatening stupidity, "Yeah, I'm sure they could help... but what makes you think they would?"

I was prepared for this question, because I'd thought through it myself a hundred times. "I do have my reasons to think so. As Inna told us, fairies and vampires often don't get along. The fair folk don't seem to mind a few of us being here, as long as we don't bother them... but what would they think of The Elders, storming into their territory, bothering the inhabitants, fighting with other vampires, and acting like they own the place? The Elders seem to be trying to establish a foothold of control here, maybe permanently. I don't think the fair folk will be pleased about it. I think they'll want to protect their own land, even if they don't care at all what happens to our family."

"You realize that some fairies do also eat people?" Bree pointed out.

I nodded. "I realize that. Although fewer of them do, and less frequently. Also, though, they're already here. Whatever they've been doing in this place over the centuries, humans have found a way to adapt and thrive anyway. We wouldn't be introducing a new menace into the local environment, or changing the balance."

"That's great," Bree said. "But how will you contact them? They don't show themselves to just anyone. What if you can't find them?"

I'd thought through that part, too. "I'm not going to be the one finding them, Bree," I said quietly. "I already know they wouldn't help me. I don't think they'd even let a vampire see them. I think they'd talk to you, though, if you sought them out. You and Fiona and Inna. You three have fairy blood. I think that would matter to them. I think they'd at least listen to what you have to say."

Bree thought for a moment. The expression on her face was one I recognized... stage fright. She didn't disagree, or think I was an idiot. She was just afraid she wouldn't be able to pull off her own part in it. Somehow, that was comforting - maybe because I knew she really could.

"Okay," Bree finally said. "I'll try. I think Inna and Fiona would be willing to try, too. We should seek them out as soon as we can, I think. We don't know when The Elders are going to be back, and this may take some negotiation. The fair folk may not agree right away. We'll need all the time we can get to talk it over with them." With that, I was in absolutely agreement.

When I presented my idea to the rest of the family, there were the same predictable objections. (And Molly accused me of being a "stereotypical suicidal vampire.") It was easier, though, because Bree was already on my side, so I knew it wasn't absolute insanity. Partial insanity, maybe... but it was insanity without a totally sane option we could have chosen instead. Eventually, we all came to an agreement.

Now, we'll just have to see if it works...


Friday, January 13, 2012

What We Did for the Holidays

Hi, this is Josefina. We're doing this kind of belatedly - and because of that, we decided to combine it into one post rather than everyone writing separately - but since we didn't get much chance to blog over the holidays, we're going to fill you in now about what we all did.

I (Josefina) went to New Mexico to stay with my aunt and uncle, and my two younger cousins. We celebrated Las Posadas, which is a nine-day celebration that finishes on Christmas Eve, or what we call la Nochebuena, or translated, "the Good night." During each Posada, we would go to a neighbour's house in a procession singing a traditional song. There's a Nativity scene there, sometimes a piñata, and food of course. This celebration reenacts the journey of Mary and Joseph in Christian tradition. It was a lot of fun, and doing it again this year made me think of my mother and grandmother who died; I miss them a lot, but these were happy memories.

Kaya went to Idaho to visit her grandparents and her younger sister Rosa. They were happy to see each other, and had a really good time. They celebrated Christmas and New Years - carols around the piano were the highlight of their Christmas Day - and Kaya was also able to participate in a traditional dance event, which she really enjoys, and attended a tribal winter ceremony. I think she was happy to be there, but she seemed a little sad when she got back. I think she misses her other family when she's here - but I think she misses us when she's there, too. It wasn't long before she was cheerful again, though. Nothing keeps Kaya down for long.

Kirsten, Felicity, Molly, and Charissa visited their mom and dad for the holidays. Their parents are living in Maryland at the moment, but they move a lot. I don't think the visit went all that well. They were pretty tense when they got back, and didn't say a lot. I think their parents are pretty... um... chaotic, so holidays with them can be kind of unpredictable. They seemed just plain glad to be back.

Evelyn had a lot of fun in Quebec, though. She stayed with her aunt, and got to visit her parents and her two sisters, Aisha (who is older than her) and Jasmine (who is younger.) Ev says they had a "really huge" Christmas tree, went to midnight mass, and ate 
tourtière, which is a kind of pork pie. And of course, they opened presents, and she got a new toy horse she's thrilled with. Evelyn was pretty excited to go on the plane all alone for the first time; she wasn't scared at all. She's only eight - she's so brave! :-)

Inna, Maia, Summer, Clare, Fiona, Kiwi, and Tabitha celebrated Christmas here in Newfoundland. It was pretty low-key because they didn't want Tabitha to get overly excited, but Kiwi and Fiona went mummering with some of their friends. Mummering means dressing up in costume and going to visit the neighbours, and if they get invited in, they sing and dance and do little comedy routines. The hosts offer them food and drinks, and try to guess who they are. Kiwi and Fiona were proud of themselves because no one guessed who they were. A perfect performance for our two actresses! 

They also celebrated the Russian new year and Russian Christmas (on January 7th) with Inna, who cooked traditional food for them, and taught them some songs. She'd brought us all little gifts, too, even those of us who were away at the time... so we started calling her Snow Maiden, like the woman who helps Ded Moroz, which means Father Frost (the Russian version of Santa,) to deliver people's gifts. That made her laugh, but I think it made her feel good that we remembered what she'd told us about her holiday.

And of course, Bree went to Western New York with Blakeney, and met up with Cécile and Marie-Grace, as she wrote about before.

In other news, Maia went out on a date! It was with a lady she met through her work. She says she had a good time and they're going to go out again, but it was "not serious, just one date." Famous last words. I think she knows that she will be taking that back someday, because she added, "At least so far..."

So that was the holidays for all of us! :-)

We missed our blog friends, and it's good to catch back up again.

Love and belated good holiday wishes,
Josefina and the girls

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

All Together

Hi everyone! Good news! :-)

Wait, I'm not going to tell you. I'm going to show you. Here goes:

That's right. Cécile and Marie-Grace are here! Yay!

When last we blogged, Cécile and Marie-Grace had left us a coded message, then Cécile met me and Blakeney in Upstate New York. Now, we're all back in Newfoundland, but up till the last minute we weren't sure Marie-Grace was going to make it back with us. Here's how it happened...

When Cécile came to meet us, the two of them had decided that her job was to make sure we were okay and help protect us if needed - and Marie-Grace's job was to do "research." When it's put in those terms, Marie-Grace's job sounded safer, so I wasn't all that worried about her. I should have been. Because it turns out "research" meant sneaking into the private library kept by the evil vampires called The Elders to look at their most secret texts, to find out their hidden history and look for ways to defeat them.

Yeah, it's probably best that I didn't know that at the time, because I would have been a basket case worrying about her. :-P

We did get concerned, anyway, when Marie-Grace didn't contact us as expected. As it turns out, she got caught by The Elders. Fortunately (I guess?) they decided to make an example of her rather than just killing her outright, so they locked her in an empty room of their library while they decided the details of what to do with her. Even more fortunately, she got away. Although she'd been injured in the initial scuffle with them, Marie-Grace managed to climb a bookshelf, break a window, and squeeze herself out of it before they noticed anything amiss. When she showed up, she was pretty banged up and sore from the fight and the fall from the window to the ground, but she was alive, and we were thrilled.

Marie-Grace made it back in time to travel home with us. We took the bus from Buffalo to Toronto - during the day, which posed a problem for our two vampires. So... we had to pack them in suitcases. Poor girls. They didn't seem worse for the wear afterward, though, and they got to have normal seats on the plane from Toronto to home because the flight was after dark.

The Elders are totally going to try to get revenge for Marie-Grace's escape, as well as their laundry list of other issues with our family. We're trying to prepare ourselves as best we can. For now, though, we're just really glad our friends are safe.

There's another thing to be glad about, too. Marie-Grace and Cécile are at our house, staying with us. We're not going to risk them being attacked again while all alone. Luckily (and probably partly because where they were living before got burned down) they agreed with us about the safety in numbers thing, even though they're still worried about putting us in more danger. We'd rather be in more danger together, though, than risk losing them again.

Sorry we haven't been very good at staying up to date with the blog lately. We've been kind of distracted with life stuff and travel. Pretty soon, though, we're hoping to do posts on: our various holiday trips, the holidays for the girls who stayed here in Newfoundland, Cécile and Marie-Grace's history before we met them, and my research into fairy lore and my own background.

For now, though, Happy New Year! It's good to have our household together again... and I include Marie-Grace and Cécile in that, whether they know it yet or not. ;-)