"I heard she's actually a werewolf in disguise!"
"Nuh-uh, only boys can be werewolves, jeez Bradley, what are you stupid?"
"You guys are both stupid! She's just insane!"
"In…insane?" Vincent stuttered out.
"Yeah!" Neil confirmed, nodding "She completely cuckoo, a loony, totally crazy!" Vincent glanced up briefly at the dark house looming before him. Blocking out the light from the moon, he gulped.
"Allright, so, Brad ate the worm, I went into the junkyard by my self!" Neil grinned. "And Al here, lifted up Susie Thomas's skirt! For your dare Vincent, you have to go steal that girl's brush!"
"Her brush? B…but why?"
"That's all she ever does! The only time people see her is when she's sitting by her window, brushing her hair!" Brad burst out.
"Then, why steal it from her…?" Vincent mumbled quietly.
"Look, don't be such a chicken Vincent! Just go in there, get the brush, and get out, simple! Unless, you don't want to be our friend anymore" Neil shot out, eyes narrowed, the other boys nodded.
"Fine. I'll be right back!" Vincent called as he ran closer to the house, and the lit window. He crept closer and ducked into the rose bushes, as the window shot open suddenly. A pretty girl with long black hair peeked out fearfully.
"Who's there?" she called out. He lost all nerve suddenly and crawled out of his hiding place.
"Oh!" she gasped, as she tilted her head to the side. "And who are you? Not another one of them I hope."
"Um, them who?"
"Those boys from town" she muttered as she brushed some of her hair over her ear. Vincent fidgeted guiltily. "You are aren't you?" she sighed " I'm not crazy you know…" she said as she turned to leave.
"I know." She turned and looked at him.
"And what do you know?" she said, her eyes wet with tears.
"I know you lost your parents" he trailed off "But um I lost mine too, I mean they're not gone gone, just gone." He looked down helplessly.
"You mean dead?"
"No! They're not dead, just gone, they left me to go travel." He hadn't realized how close he was to her window, until he felt her hand on his face.
"That's horrible." She said quietly. "At least you have someone to keep you company, right?"
"Nope, I live by myself."
"Well, how old are you!?"
"Oh, I'm only eight…but ill be turning nine soon." She said brightening. "And now you do have somebody to keep you company!"
"Me silly!" she said as she giggled. He smiled up at her.
"My name's Vincent"
"That's a pretty name." he said as she blushed.
"Thank you, Vincent….Vincent? Vincent? Wake up Vincent!"
Vincent sat up quickly and rubbed his head, as the sudden rush of pain hit him. He groaned.
"What? Di?" she breathed a sigh of relief.
"Oh Vincent! I'm so happy your okay!" she said as she threw herself on him in ecstasy. That caught him off balance again and he fell back in a cloud of dust.
"Ouf, jeez Dinah. What's all the fuss about? Was I out for that long? Uh, wait. Why was I out in the first place?"
"When we were escaping from the maze a piece of stone hit you in the head. It's been hours Vincent! And you kept moaning and calling out!" He blushed.
"What exactly was I moaning?" he asked worriedly.
"Oh just Dinah's name over and over, jeez Hugo, ya gotta learn to keep your fantasies to yourself." Edaniel grinned as he sat by Dinah's side; Edrear was on the other side, shaking his head. Dinah looked away, crimson staining her face.
"You feel better?" Dinah inquired.
"Yeah, what time is it?" Vincent asked, also blushing a dark shade of red
"Sh-. Ah, crap…your aunt's probably flipping out right now."
"I already called."
"I called her, from Edrear's study."
"Well, what did you say?"
"That I was, umm staying at your house?" she said biting her lip nervously.
"And? She's letting you!?" he responded surprised.
"Well, she said she expects me to behave in a respectable manner" she grinned "besides were 16!"
"Yeah, I guess your right"
"Of course I am, now, let's go."
Dinah helped Vincent up and they left, tossing their farewells to the tower guardians over their shoulders. As they were walking in the pale light of the early morning Dinah stumbled. Vincent caught her just in time and helped her to her feet.
"Umm, thanks." She muttered, embarrassed.
"No problem" he smiled "Hey, Di?"
"Remember how you said I was moaning your name and stuff back there?"
"Y...yes" she stuttered, embarrassed again.
"Well, its cause I was just recalling the first time we met." He said shrugging.
"Oh! That's all?" she asked seemingly surprised.
"Well, yeah. What did you think I was…"
"Ah! Oh, n...nothing, nothing at all!" she said waving her arms frantically. In doing so she fell forward, this time however, Vincent didn't catch her, and ended being a crash mat. They both groaned as they hit dirt and Dinah seemed even more frantic then before. She tried to pull herself off of Vincent, but her hair was tangled in one of the buttons on his vest.
"Ow!" she yelled out as she started tugging. Vincent began to laugh.
"Dinah, don't move okay? Ill get it out for you, just hold on a minute." Dinah did as instructed and lay there, unmoving as Vincent worked furiously to untangle her hair. After a few minutes she shifted, uncomfortable and realized just how close she was to him. She stared down at him, watching the look of intense concentration grace his features. Finally he freed her hair.
"Voila!" he cried out, proudly. Dinah didn't budge. She stared down at him yet again and whispered.
"Is that really all it was?"
"Umm, ah, yes. I mean, meeting you was like, the best thing that's ever happened to me." He smiled, sheepishly looking up at her.
"Oh." She said quietly, turning her head.
"Well…" he started. "That and, and how much I wanted to…" he trailed off suddenly.
"To what?" she said moving closer.
"To kiss you." He finished as he gazed at her gauging her reaction.
"Then why didn't you?" she whispered as she moved even closer. They're lips were mere millimeters apart, almost touching when the earth shook.
"Damnit Paco! Watch out!" Edaniel yelled as he pushed Vincent out of the way.
"What the-" he muttered as he looked around at the crumbling walls. He finally snapped back to reality and tumbled out of the way of a falling stone.
"Master Vincent, please hurry to the exit." Edrear commanded as he grabbed hold of the two of them and fled towards the door. The three comrades made it out just in time as the room behind them crumbled.
"Damnit Dominic! Get your head out of the clouds." Edaniel yelled as he gave a withering glance at his newly bent tail.
"Jeez, I'm sorry guys…I was just, distracted."
"With what!?" he shrieked "what could possibly be so freaking absorbing as tha-"
"Dinah." Edaniel stopped his ranting and glanced down sadly.
"Master Vincent..." Edrear began choosing his words carefully. "It's been six years. Maybe it's time you, let go."
"Let go!?" he thundered. "She died! In m…my arms!" he started to sob quietly "she died, and there was nothing I could do to save her!" He wailed clutching his head.
"Vincent!" Edaniel morphed into his human form and shook his friend. "How were we supposed to know that Plague was so dangerous!? How could we have possibly known it would've stopped her heart like that!" he said shaking him angrily, though the anger was all directed inwardly, he also, blamed himself.
"Miss. Dinah must have been sick for quite awhile, Master Vincent. She deceived us all. Please, my friend, let it go." He touched Vincent's shoulder gently as he stopped sobbing.
All three stood in quiet mourning, they had bottled up their grief for six years too long. She had been special to all, in one way or another and on that cool morning in May when her heart had stopped, theirs had as well. Of course Vincent completed Dinah's contract for her, lest there be some horrid fate awaiting her in the afterlife, and now he stayed at the mausoleum as a worker. Edaniel and Edrear had treated him like a brother ever since he had stumbled into the mausoleum at twilight, holding a lifeless Dinah, blood pouring from her mouth. At that moment there were no words, just a bond, an unmistakable bound. They had all hoped, for awhile, that they would somehow see her again, they were among the dead after all, but days turned to weeks, then to months and finally years. They stood quietly together for a little longer.
"Allright, allright enough lollygagging" Edaniel yelled out suddenly "if we don't get rid if this pesky spirit soon Management's gonna be pissed!" The other two nodded as Edaniel transformed into his animal form once again as they continued deeper into the maze.
"So, what kind of spirit we dealing with?" Vincent asked after a considerably long stretch of silence.
"Pah, who knows, apparently some spirit's been lurking down here for years. She's quiet though so Management kinda, forgot about her."
"What are we talking about in terms of danger brother?" Edrear inquired.
"I'm not sure, they didn't give me squat on this dame!" Edrear wailed as he plopped on his fez "She better not be too much trouble, I want to catch the season finale of Desperate Housewives!" Vincent opened his mouth to comment of Edaniel's weird ways when he noticed something.
"This, looks vaguely familiar…" he muttered as he looked around.
"You've seen one recreated dream house, you've seen them all." Edaniel shrugged.
"No, no…I…I know this house. I know that door!" he cried out as he ran forward and pushed open the oak door.
She sat there quietly, clad in white nightclothes and brushing her long black hair. She didn't acknowledge the sound of the door opening but considered to stare dolefully out the window.
"Dinah?" he whispered so full of hope, yet so very afraid of disappointment. She turned slowly and her eyes lit up in sheer ecstasy. She ran forward and threw her arms around him. He didn't even hesitate as he bent low and kissed her.