A Little Blood (Part 3)

bat-1798029_1920

The next morning, whilst I was sorting Grace out who seemed determined to bring the roof down with her crying, Harry popped up at my elbow. I glanced at him and realised he was dressed in the vampire costume. Though he hadn’t gotten it on right. The waist coat was the wrong way and not buttoned, the cape was lopsided over one shoulder.

‘Harry! Those weren’t the clothes I left out for you,’ I said angrily as I struggled to get Grace into a clean nappy.

‘I am a vampire,’ he replied, ‘and this is what they wear.’

I opened my mouth, words tumbling in my head but then I decided it wasn’t worth it. Grace was going to be too much of  handful today and I could do without Harry being the same way. Taking a few deep breaths, I decided what did it matter? I could wash the costume next week and beside going to the library and the park if the weather held, I had no other plans for the day.

Wrestling, Grace into some pink pants and a long sleeve matching top, I wrapped her in a blanket and scooped her up. She cried down my ear and no soft patting or soothing sounds seemed to work. She couldn’t be that hungry as my husband had feed her around 4 or 5 am.

I turned to the leave the room and spotted Harry playing with some wooden number blocks that had originally been his. I so needed to fix his costume but Grace had no plans to let me.

‘Let’s go get some breakfast,’ I said above the wailing baby.

In the kitchen, I put Grace in the supported high chair and made her some milk. Harry hovered about then took Grace’s hand and tried to quiet her down. Normally, he was really good with her and she did stop crying, but not today.

I hurried through making us all breakfast and making sure we’d all eaten. Grace finally silent for awhile but as I looked at her flush cheeks and felt her hot skin, I began to think she wasn’t well.

‘Harry, let me fix your costume,’ I said as he tried to pull his cape about him.

‘It’s stuck,’ he uttered.

I got up and took the cape and waist coat off. I tucked the shirt into the trousers then put the waist coat on better and the cape properly.

‘There you go. So much better. Now let’s tidy up. Can you help with that?’

Harry scrunched up his face but helped anyway. Grace watched us but soon reached out for me and I had to pick her up. Once the dishwasher was empty and filled with the breakfast things. I put a clothes wash on then had to go and change Grace again.

She fussed and cried a lot again, but at least it was quieter then this morning. I placed her back into the cot afterwards and asked Harry to read to her. He picked up a story book about monsters and read in a loud voice. I tided her room then got Harry to help me tidy his.

‘Do you want to go to the library now?’ I asked him.

‘Only if I can get a vampire book!’ he replied.

‘We’ll have to see what they have.’

We got ready then bundled into the car and I drove off. A drizzle which threatened to turn into rain added to the gloom of the overcast day and there was a sharp cold wind too. I remembered hearing something about a storm coming. Perhaps, we’d skip the park today, maybe we could do some painting or make something?

The library was busy as they had a story time session on. I let Harry join in though he did get some looks from the children and adults but then they acted like it was normal to see a boy dressed in a vampire costume.  After, we found some children’s books about vampires and also some baby books for Grace.

Down in the adult section, I breathed in that lovely smell of old paper and polished wood. The library wasn’t old but they had re-used books and bookcases from a much older one that had closed years ago. I found some books to read and we checked them all out.

The rain was heavier when we left and I drove straight home. The wind was turning into gale force and blowing everything around. The children were quiet, thankfully watching the weather or else Harry was flipping through his books and sometimes showing Grace a picture.

When we got back we had lunch. Harry was too hungry to complain about cup a soups and ham sandwiches. Grace only had half her milk though. I put her down for a nap, my thoughts of her being ill stronger then before. Hopefully it was only a cold.

Harry wanted to read one of his books. So we did that whilst his sister slept.

‘I’m like this vampire,’ Harry pointed out, ‘I like blood too.’

‘But can you turn into a bat?’ I asked teasingly.

Harry stopped up, shut his eyes and wrapped his cape about him. Then he unfurled it and flapped it. He made little squeaking sounds then ran about the room. The cape flapped and flew, almost as if it was flying.

‘Oh! A bat!’ I gasped and put my hands to my face.

Harry came and flapped in my face. I faked panic, though I had no fear of real bats. I grab Harry and tickled him. He burst into laughter and we tumbled on the floor together. Grace’s crying next door cut through out moment and I had to get up to see her to her.

Harry trailed after me. I picked Grace up and felt her head. She was so hot! I took her into the bathroom, cradling her tightly. I wet a cloth and pressed it to her hand. Grace cried on crying.

‘What’s wrong, Mummy?’ Harry’s voice called out.

‘Your sister isn’t well. She’s got a fever,’ I explained.

Harry came closer and took her hand, though Grace was wiggling around.

‘She’ll be okay.’

‘I could give her some of my blood. Vampire blood heals everything,’ Harry spoke up.

I paused, wondering how he knew that then I shook my head, ‘no, no. She just needs some water and some rest. Why don’t you get a book and read to her? She always likes that.’

As Harry hurried off, I damped the cloth again and eased it around Grace’s face and neck. She had stopped crying as much. I heard Harry getting a book and coming back. I told myself, if Grace got worse I’d take her to the doctors, but for now, if the I could get the fever down she’s be okay.

Harry came back into the bathroom and sat down before me. He opened the book and began reading. I couldn’t help but smile, he looked so good in that costume and it was fitting he’d picked a vampire story. He struggled over some of the words, but he seemed to be doing okay.

Grace was listening too, though she was still being fussy. I wet the cloth again and that was how we spent some of the afternoon. We all had a nap afterwards and when my husband came home. I took Grace to the doctors. Her fever had come down but she was still ill.

Thankfully, it was only a bad cold and we were home quick enough. After talking to my husband, I sorted Grace out and put her to bed. We had pizzas for tea then my husband had to persuade Harry out of the vampire outfit and into PJs.

‘I thought you said you’d put it away?’ my husband asked when he came back down.

I was dozing off in front of the TV and I had come back too, ‘huh?’

‘The Halloween costume. I thought…’

I waved my husband away, ‘Grace was ill, I didn’t want to add a five year old to that battle too, so I just let him wear it. I’ll go put it in our wardrobe before we go to bed. He won’t be able to get it in there.’

There was a slight frown on my husband’s face then he came to me and we snuggled on the sofa. I fell asleep in his arms, my dreams full of children vampires turning into bats and drinking strawberry milkshake.

Advertisements

A Little Blood (Part 2)

bat-1798029_1920

As soon as we got home Harry wanted to put his vampire costume on. I frowned about it but decided he had to as if it didn’t fit I didn’t want him to be disappointed.

‘Let’s put the shopping away and then we can,’ I told him.

After that though, Grace needed changing and feeding. Harry bounced around, unable to settle before the cartoons I’d put on for him.

‘Now? Now!’ Harry said loudly.

‘In a minute. Let me put Grace down.’

She was dozing off, lulled by the warm milk. Settling her on the sofa next to me, I turned to Harry and nodded.

He grab the costume and I helped him into it. Luckily, it fitted him really well. He spun around then gathered the cape together. He started making swishing sounds to match the noise of cape.

I shook my head, trying not to laugh, ‘okay. It fits. Time to take it off now,’ I said.

‘No!’ Harry shouted.

‘Shh! Grace is sleeping,’ I whispered.

‘I’m a vampire now,’ Harry responded, quieter, ‘hiss hiss hiss.’

He flapped out the cape and walked around the room with his head held high. He looked like a snobby aristocrat. It reminded me Dracula actually. Where Harry had learn to act like that?

‘All right my little vampire, what would you like to do now?’ I asked.

Harry turned to me, cape raised and his mouth opening wide, ‘I want blood!’

‘Blood?’

‘That’s what vampires like! And I’m a vampire now, so that’s what I want!’

‘Okay,’ I said slowly and fell to thinking.

Harry crept over and appeared at me knee. He pressed his face to my leg and made a muffled nom nom sound. I didn’t feel anything, the jeans I had on were thick. I patted his head and recalled something for a new cartoon we had been watching recently.

‘I don’t think you’re the blood drinking kind of vampire, Harry,’ I said.

He looked up, his mouth wet and red. He wiped at it before I could.

‘I think your the colour red drinking kind of vampire. Let’s go see what red foods we can find for you to eat.’

Harry thought, ‘I guess we could try that. But Mummy, I am a blood drinking vampire. I’m sure of it!’

‘Well, let’s see.’

I scooped up Grace and carried her with me into the kitchen. Harry ran ahead and he was opening cupboards and looking inside as I arrived. Grace stirred on my shoulder, getting comfy before continuing sleeping.

There was no where to put her down, so I had to one hand everything. Spotting, a blush red apple in the fruit bowl I picked it up and offered it out to Harry.

‘How about this?’ I said.

He glanced over his shoulder then shook his head, ‘vampires don’t eat fruit.’

‘I bet some do. Let’s try and it and see.’

Harry came over, took the apple and bit into it. He chewed then pulled a face and give it back to me. Swallowing he said, ‘no.’

I sighed and took a bite myself. This wasn’t how I’d planned the rest of the afternoon to go. There was a load of chores to be done for starters. Surly, Harry would get bored of this soon and want to watch a movie or play with his Lego.

Coming over to join him, I watched him pull out a tin of tomato soup and look at it. Shaking his head, he put it back and selected a tin of spaghetti hoops.

‘Nothing take your fancy?’ I asked.

‘No. Only real blood will do!’ Harry moaned.

‘Let’s check the fridge!’ I cried, suddenly remembering something.

Moving Grace further up my shoulder, I opened the fridge and took out a bottle of strawberry milkshake. I give it to Harry, a large smile of my face, ‘chilled blood, just for you, vampire.’

‘Yes!’ Harry said, clapping his hands.

He took the milkshake and opened it. Drinking some, he seemed happy.

‘Let’s go watch cartoons now. I’ve got ironing and tidying to do.’

Even though Harry spent the rest of the afternoon dressed up a vampire, I found it easy to distract him with TV, toys, games and books. When his dad came home, Harry showed off his costume proudly but then it took us a little while to get him to eat his dinner.

‘Vampires don’t like fish fingers!’ Harry said, crossing his arms and swinging his legs.

‘Well, put ketchup on them,’ I suggested, handing my husband the bottle.

He pulled a face but he did eat after that.

I put Grace to bed early then after we’d watched some more cartoons, it was Harry’s turn. I let my husband put him to bed and I didn’t feel guilty as I listened to him trying to get Harry to take the vampire costume off.

‘But I want to wear the cape!’ Harry was saying, ‘Vampires sleep upside in it!’

‘It’s time not to be vampire now. It’s time to be a good little boy,’ my husband answered.

Harry made hissing noises and the conversation carried on. Finally though, he was in bed and my husband came back to join me on the sofa.

‘Why did you buy him that?’ my husband asked.

‘It’s Halloween next week and he wanted a vampire costume. I let him try it on to make sure he could fit in it but then he wouldn’t take it off. I’ve had to other things today and I decided it wasn’t worth arguing over it,’ I spilled to my husband.

‘He seems really attached to it!’

‘I know. I’ll put it away and get it next week only now,’ I spoke.

I wish it had been as easy as that!

 

To Be Continued…

A Little Blood (Part 1)

bat-1798029_1920

It was a week to go and the shops were packed with Halloween stuff. I breathed in deeply trying to keep my excitement down. This was my Heaven! I pushed the trolley over to the shelves, a small smile creeping on my face. I reached out for the first thing; a gold pot pumpkin then a little gasp stopped my hand.

I looked down at my five month old daughter, Grace, who was still in her car seat in the special holder on top of the trolley. She was asleep, bundled in a pink blanket with a unicorn at one corner. The lullaby of the drive here had caused her to doze off. I glanced to my right side and saw my five year old son, Harry, dashing away.

He went over to the children’s costumes a bit further down and came to a stop. He slowly reached upwards with both hands then turned to me. My love for Halloween and Gothic things was rubbing off on him.

‘Mummy! I want to be a vampire!’ he shouted.

‘A vampire?’ I muttered as I re-collected myself.

‘Yep! That one!’ he added.

I looked to where he was pointing at and saw a full vampire costume hung up opposite him. There was a pair of black trousers, a white shirt, a white ruffle tie, a dark red waist coat with brass buttons, a pointy cross medallion on bright red ribbon and a huge black cape lined the same dusky red as the waist coat.

Harry reached up for it but couldn’t get it down. I moved the trolley around him and pulled the costume down. I  checked the price tag; twenty pounds then looked at the clothes in detail as Harry jumped up and down.

‘Please, Mummy! I really want it!’ he gush.

‘This one won’t fit you. It’s too small,’ I pointed at the age on the hanger.

Though it said four to five year olds, Harry was tall for his age and filling out fast. He was easily a size or two up.

He pulled a face and made his hands into fists. He looked like he was about to throw a tantrum but he was just angry. He turned away, his longish, black hair swinging and looked at all the other costumes. His eyes moved from the zombie, skeleton and pirate to the girls selection; witches, female vampires and bat.

I slipped the vampire costume back and looked through the other sizes. I selected the seven to eight age and pulled it off, I showed it him, pressing it against me as if I was trying it on.

‘This one?’ I asked to get his attention.

He turned his head then his body and let out a happy cry, ‘yes! Mummy!’

‘Okay,’ I added with a smile and put it in the trolley, ‘now what can your sister be?’

Harry hurried to the baby and toddler section and began looking through the clothes. I joined him, avoiding a younger man and his trolley who was speeding past. There were less costumes to pick from and more actual baby clothes decorated with Halloween themes.

‘These are so cute,’ I spoke out.

I reached for a little grey t-shirt that had a imagine of a bat on it with and block letters that read Let’s hang out! I picked the right size for her and put it in the trolley. Next there was a white baby gro with a cream coloured ghost and the word Boo on the front. I put that one in too.

‘A pumpkin!’ Harry cried and pulled a bright orange body suit with a green leaf shape topped hat off the rack.

I pushed the trolley forward and out, giving us some more space. Harry raised the suit to me and I took it off him. There was a Jack O’ Lantern face on the front which looked more friendly then scary. I checked the size; six to eight months.

‘Yeah, this looks good. Nice choice!’ I praised him and put the outfit in the trolley.

We looked at the rest of the Halloween things and got Harry some glow in the dark fangs and a makeup kit to turn him into a full vampire. Some packets of sweets and a few decorative pieces then we carried on shopping.

 

To Be Continued…

Geeky (Part 1)

Plush Toys, Comiccon, Dortmund, Fair, Comic, Fig

Everything felt too surreal as Millie darted into a corner of the large venue’s main hall and tried to catch her breath. All around her, people in costumes flowed together like a happy, slow moving river. She saw some characters she recognized; Star Wars, Disney, Star Trek and was that a demon? Everyone else though, she had no idea, but it felt strange seeing such a mix of anime, manga, movies, games and TV series character brought to life.

Stalls and stands stretched out as far as Millie could see. The tables were full of so many things that it was hard to put them all into one category, yet they all connected to being geeky or nerdy. There was memorabilia, books, toys, games, posters, clothes and people sighing things. There was also so much noise that the sound blurred into one and it was hard to pick anything out from it.

‘Hey, are you okay?’ a soft, young man’s voice asked to her right.

Millie nodded, not daring herself to speak. He was cute with a soft round, friendly face and flushed pink cheeks. His eyes were very blue and his multi-coloured hair was long. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt that read Minecraft, with a creeper bursting out of a grey brick wall. There was foam sword danging with a belt around his hips and he had a green plastic backpack on.

‘Bit crazy, isn’t it?’ he added.

‘Yes,’ Millie answered.

She looked down at what she was wearing, once again feeling so out of place. This morning she had gone with white trainers, light blue jeans and a tie-dye blue and white t-shirt with a large butterfly on it and a little white cotton jacket.

‘Here, so you want some water? Always useful to carry some.’

She glanced up shyly and accept the bottle from him. She took a few mouthfuls of warmish water, but she did feel better.

‘I’m Ben by the way. What are you cosplaying as?’

‘I’m Millie, erm, I’m not…I’ve never been to one of these things before. I came with some friends, but I’ve lost them.’

‘Ah. We are in the same boat then! I’ve lost my friends too,’ Ben laughed, ‘it’s fine. To be honest, I’m glad to escape from them.’

‘Why? oh, thanks,’ Millie added and tried to hand the water bottle back to him.

He waved it away, ‘keep it. Why? because, they are all couples and I feel like a third wheel.’

‘I see…’ Millie trailed off her attention drawn away.

A huge bright yellow Pikachu bopped by, his lightening shaped tail wiggling wildly. The three main human characters from Pokemon trailed behind him, the girl laughing loudly and covering her mouth at some joke or story told by the boy wearing the red baseball cap. They all walked passed and faded into the crowd again.

Ben laughed, ‘only at a convention. Hey, are you hungry?’

Millie frowned, ‘sort of, but I should look for my friends.’

‘Okay. I’ll take you to the nearest meeting point then….Did you arrange to meet them anywhere?’

‘No. I don’t think we did,’ Millie replied slowly.

Ben shrugged his shoulders, ‘Let’s go see if they’re there. What are they cosplaying as?’

‘They’re not,’ Millie answered.

‘Guess that makes them easier to spot. Come on,’ Ben said.

They walked back into the crowd together avoiding someone fully dressed as a wolf wearing dungarees.

To Be Continued…

Doll

Kinsey admired herself in the long mirror. Her Halloween costume was perfect, even if she did say so herself. Gently, she rearranged the tight blond curls over her shoulders and realized for the first time that for once she was happy with her hair. All the wigs she had looked at had been nice and suitable enough, but she just hadn’t found the right one. Instead, she had decided to style her own hair and the hours of curling had paid off.

The days practising her makeup had also come full circle and now the cracked face of a porcelain doll reflected back to her. Kinsey pouted her full and heavily redden lips as she posed. I so need a pic of that! Right now! She thought. Gripping her IPhone, she took a few snaps then flipped through them. It could almost be a real doll’s face. Smiling, she selected the best one and Tweeted it.

Bouncing back in front of the mirror, she fiddled with the large blue bows on the end of the skirt. The actual dress has been an afterthought, which was strange for conscious fashion Kinsey. However, a month of searching the internet and shops had proven fruitless for anything close to what she had wanted. Luckily, she had talked a dress maker into designing and creating her idea. Now the blue and white pinafore dress, with a large, but short puffed up skirt, really brought her doll face to life.

She took a few fuller pics to show off the dress, before going over to her bed. A pair of white leather boots, a blue sun hat and a blue velvet pouch bag was lying together near a pile of scatter cushions. Sliding the phone into the bag, Kinsey squeezed into the boots and balanced the hat on her head. Now her costume was really complete.

The doorbell ring, dimly echoing through the massive house and Kinsey heard Mrs Buzan answering it. The grandfather clock struck up the hour chime and with another quick check in the mirror, Kinsey picked up her pouch bag and hurried down the stairs. The hall and porch lights were on and she came to the bottom of the stairs she could see her best friends shadowed in the front door frame.

Thanking, Buzan, she stepped outside. Warm October air trailed across her makeup plastered skin and her nose flared at the autumn scents. Two Jack o’ Lanterns sat in pools of light flanking the porch steps and a bowl of candy on a stand stood to the side of the door. Kinsey twirled for her friends, who laughed and applauded, before they inspected each other’s’ costumes, causing more giggling and posing from the four teenagers. Abbey was dressed as a Playboy Bunny, Alicia as a sexy Snow White and Destiny as a corpse bride.

Chatting away, they climbed into Abbey’s car and drove to the party. Kinsey kept glancing out of the window on the way. The houses all seemed dimly light and heavily decorated with Halloween props. Kids and adults all dressed up roamed the streets, becoming to the unknowing eye as the gates of Heaven and Hell had let loose the supernatural.

The party was well underway when they arrived and it was easy to blend in. Loud music rocked the house, mingled with the shouts and laughter of the teenagers. Alcohol flowed, the sticky scent mixing with wafts of hot food, sugary treats and perfume. Kinsey’s costume was admired greatly and her throat grew raw with thanking people. Finally though, she found her boyfriend amongst a tangle of zombie football players.

She spent the rest of the night dancing and drinking with him. She couldn’t remember leaving the party or saying goodbye to her friends as the sudden night chilling air blasted through her. Kinsey stopped and glanced around the empty street. Her arm slipped from her boyfriend’s, but he quickly grabbed her shoulders. Faintly, she could hear him asking if she was okay. He reminded her, that they were walking back to her house and they were nearly there. Kinsey felt nauseas and dizzy. She wanted to sit down, but she tried to do so, her boyfriend hauled her up and supported her fully. They carried on walking down the street, her feet dragging.

Finally, she was lowered on to a bed and Kinsey flopped out. Her limbs felt numb and heavy. Her head was still spinning and though the need to throw up was burning her throat, sleep had taken her hard. Nightmares clawed through her, but somehow she couldn’t wake up. She called for her boyfriend, who she thought was asleep beside her, but he didn’t help. Twice she thought she had fallen on the floor and once she thought she was on fire. Then she finally managed to open her eyes.

A dark ceiling filled her vision, though it appeared fuzzy and she couldn’t focus on anything. Her arms felt hefty and seemed to be dragging her down. She tried to raise one hand and heard a clinking and creaking sound. Reaching up, she aimed to touch her hair but couldn’t feel anything. Panicking, she slide off the bed and went towards the full length mirror.

The reflection of a porcelain doll stared back at her.