The Order of St. Olaf

Dorothy stood at her kitchen window watching the last of the Miami sunshine sinking below the horizon. She had been dreading this moment since she received the life shattering news earlier in the day. Dorothy knew this would probably be the last sunset she would ever see. It didn't matter now. Nothing really mattered now. She would help her friend if she could, and that would be it.

"Damn it, Rose," Dorothy muttered as she went to her room to get her equipment.

Things hadn't always been so dark the wicker-laden Miami home Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia shared. As Dorothy put on her armor and packed her supplies, she couldn't help but think of the easier times the four of them had shared. Trips to the beach, cruises with their lovers, exchanging gifts on Christmas eve…all of that was long gone, but how Dorothy yearned for that life. But that was before Rose shared her secret. A secret that changed their lives forever, and the secret that brought Dorothy to this moment.

Dorothy reflected on the night Rose shared her secret. It had been six months ago and the girls had just returned home after attending Posey McGlinn's annual pool party. They had all been dieting for weeks and couldn't wait to break into the cheesecake they had been saving for the time the swimsuits could be put away. As Rose took the cheesecake out of the refrigerator, she faced the other three with an uncharacteristically serious look on her face.

"I need to tell you girls something," Rose said. "I think you're ready to hear it now."

"Oh God," Blanche said in her sexy southern drawl. "I can't handle anymore St. Olaf stories today Rose. You practically put Mel Bushman to sleep at the pool party chattering on about Helga and Franz and all those other St. Olaf morons."

"No," said Rose. "This is different. This is a St. Olaf story that you need to hear. It's one that could save your lives someday. It's one that could save everyone's life someday."

"Okay, I'll bite," said Sophia. "What's your story Rose? But I'll warn you, if it involves a cow I'm calling in a favor with the Bruglio family."

"Will you all just listen," Rose said. "Then you can make your choice." Rose gave a deep sigh and continued. "This isn't a regular cheesecake in your box. This cheesecake has been blessed by the Order of St. Olaf. If you eat this it will change you. You'll feel younger, stronger, faster…it will turn you into almost a superhero. You'll look the same on the outside-that's important to keep your cover-but you'll be able to do almost anything physically."

"Rose, shut up and just cut the cheesecake, we're hungry and…" But Dorothy didn't get to finish. Rose had picked up a knife off the kitchen counter and threw it at Dorothy, sinking into the table dangerously close to Dorothy's right hand.

"Will you listen now," Rose said. Dorothy just stared at her unable to speak. "As I was saying, this cheesecake will transform you. It's what we use at the Order of St. Olaf to fight the vampires. It's a war that has been waging for thousands of years. Now that war is in Miami. The master vampire is in the city. I need to find her, but I can't do it alone. I need help. Nobody else in the Order of St. Olaf is good enough to help me, but I believe you three girls can. We have a connection like nothing I've ever felt before. We could be a team. Together we could kill the master vampire. I want you all to help me. I know it's a lot to ask, but this world will either go to the humans or the vampires. As long as I'm living I will fight them. That's the choice I've made. Now it's the choice you need to make for yourselves. I know you probably don't believe me about all of this now, but you will"

The other girls didn't know what to say. It sounded preposterous, but over the next few weeks Rose showed them an entirely different world than the one they all knew. They saw her weapons, her secret training room at the counseling center, they even went out with her one night and saw her stake a vampire through the heart. They were all terrified, but eventually knew what their decisions would have to be.

"We're in," they all said as they dug in to the most important cheesecake of their lives.

The next six months were a blur of fighting, hunting, and training. The four women made the most incredible vampire hunting team the Order of St. Olaf ever saw. They went from hive to hive, getting closer and closer to finding out where the master vampire lived.

Then Rose was taken. It was supposed to be a routine fight, but there was an unexpected number of vampires that swarmed the hive. They were overpowered, and when they tried to retreat Rose was snatched up by a gang of vampires. The next night they had received a message, written in blood, from the master vampire, telling them where they could find Rose.

Dorothy knew it was a trap, but she didn't care. She would do what she could to help Rose. Or she would die. They all would.

"Damn it Rose," Dorothy said again, grabbing her duffel bag of stakes and crossbows as she stepped out into the night.