Vachon left his church before it was really safe to do so,
shielding himself with his coat from the sun's dying rays as he made his way to the address Tracy had given.
Her phone call had been frantic-- he could hear sirens blaring in the background, and the cries of a small child, over which Tracy fairly screamed that she was in way over her head. She'd asked him to come as soon as it was safe for him to travel, but the urgency in her voice told him it might not wait that long.
He landed on the front stoop of the well-kept Georgian and,
fearing the worst, flung the door open without knocking.
SPLAT! A pink plastic sandpail full of chocolate pudding landed on his head! The child he'd heard wailing over the phone was now giggling at his predicament.
"Kelsey!" Tracy admonished. "Is that how you treat guests in this house?"
Tracy rushed over, uttering a nonstop stream of apologies as she removed the pail from Vachon's head.
"Baby-sitting," the vampire said, trying not to sound as
agitated as he really was. "You dragged me all the way out here-- in
the sun, no less-- to help baby-sit? Look, I agreed to carry around
this cell phone you gave me so you could call me quick in an emergency,
not when you just can't control some kid!"
"Hey, I told you to come when it was safe. It was you who decided to come out early."
"I heard sirens and screaming; I thought it was an emergency!"
"Oh, it is!" she protested. "I'm stuck here alone, baby-
sitting my dad's friend's hyperactive kid while they go see some stodgy opera. I tell you, Vachon, this kid is kicking my ass!"
Tracy gestured around the room, that Vachon might witness the
destruction for himself and take pity. All the cushions had been
pulled off the sofa and used to build some kind of fort in the corner.
Two burst pillows lay nearby, their feathers now strewn randomly about the room. There were juice stains on the expensive carpet and toys scattered all around. A big-screen television was tuned to some cop show, where a crowd of people gathered in the snow to watch homicide detectives work a multiple shooting. Not a very kid-friendly sight-
Tracy should've known better, Vachon thought-- but at least it might explain the sirens he'd heard on the phone.
Tracy suddenly grabbed the lapels of his jacket, looking at him with eyes full of fear and desperation,
"This is not a little girl, Vachon," she whispered harshly,
"this is the spawn of Satan!"
Vachon looked at the girl. She was cute, maybe four years old,
with giant green eyes and curly blonde pigtails. At the moment she was innocently playing with a doll.
"She can't be that bad," he said confidently. "You just gotta know how to handle kids. Now, if you'll just show me where I can clean up before this pudding dries. . ."
Tracy put his clothes in the wash while he showered, leaving him only his underwear and a blue robe he found hanging on the washroom door.
"You know that's my mommy's?" the little girl said when he reluctantly came out.
"Yeah, well, I wouldn't have to borrow it if 'somebody' hadn't booby-trapped the door, now, would I?" he said. "Now, it's time to put your toys up, put the cushions back on the sofa, and watch Elmo for a while, so Tracy and me can try and get up all these feathers and hope the stains come out before your mom and dad get home."
It was probably one of the longest and most sensible statements
the normally lazy vampire had ever uttered. The significance of this,
however, was totally lost on the child, who just continued drawing a flower on Tracy's arm with red marker.
"Not now-- Tracy and me are playing tattoo shop!"
"You know what, Kelsey? I think we've played enough tattoos for one night," Tracy said helpfully.
"Okay, we can play something else," she agreed, eyes scanning
the room like radar for mischief she hadn't yet caused, "like maybe,
Vachon blinked as Kelsey's eyes settled on his scantily-clad form.
"Take off your clothes!" the little girl ordered, suddenly tugging at the robe.
"Take off my-- For what?" Vachon demanded, holding for dear life to what little cover he had.
"You gotta wear a towel for a massage, silly! That's how it works on the TV!" Kelsey protested, pulling harder. "Tracy, can you reach me the baby oil? Mommy keeps it up high so I can't get into it."
Tracy, who had been sitting there, stunned, through the entire exchange, suddenly sprang into action. She grabbed the little girl around the waist and tugged, scolding, "That's not the way good little girls behave! Now, let go and help clean up, or I'm reporting this all to your father!"
Kelsey let out a scream as the robe's fabric ripped. The momentum of the contest sent everyone flying, which in turn stirred up clouds of feathers that floated down lazily over their heads.
"All right, that's it!" Tracy growled, in a voice that made Vachon want to check her for fangs. "You are going to pick up every last toy and every last feather on this floor right now! No more games, no more pranks, not even one more word out of that little mouth until I tuck you in bed and you tell me good night! Is that clear?"
The little girl cowered before Tracy's wrath-- and in truth,
Vachon did, as well-- but one penetrating glare got them both to their feet. Kelsey ran for the nearest pile of toys, while Vachon, seeing Tracy had the situation in hand, edged towards the nearest open window.
"Oh, no you don't!" Tracy barked, stopping him cold in mid-creep. "You're gonna look for something that can take grape juice out of this beige pile carpet. And, failing that, you'll be the one rearranging all the furniture to try and hide it!"
"All right, all right," Vachon grumbled as he moved to comply.
"I'll see if they got any seltzer or something."
Oh yeah, that cell phone was definitely gonna have to go.
?005 Naia Zifu, all rights reserved.
Vachon and Tracy are FK characters I don't own the rights to, but that evil little Kelsey is mine. . . as if anyone else is gonna try to claim her :-P . . . As always, I'm not trying to make money off others'
This fic was written in answer to a challenge on the Vaqdreams list.
It was plotted and written almost exclusively late at night while tired and loopy, which may explain a lot! Now we just have to hope for more challenges to see what I put our poor, dear Vachon through next. . .