Harvest Moon 3: Darkness Rising
Disclaimer: I don't own The Little Vampire.
"Looks like another one," Bob said, unfolding the paper to read the front page story.
"Another what?" Dottie asked, pouring tea.
"Another incident of mass insanity. There's some story in the paper about how people are seeing vampires all over." Tony's ears perked up. "I mean, I know vampires exist, but this is just nuts."
Dottie turned toward Tony. "Tony, what exactly has been happening lately?"
Tony shrugged. "Weird stuff."
"What kind of weird stuff?"
"Well, ever since Von came back, some pretty weird vampires have been showing up."
"Crazy, like psycho?" Bob asked.
Bob and Dottie looked at each other and then at Tony. "You stay away from them, okay?"
"Well, now that the matter is settled, how's school?" Dottie asked.
Gregory bounced the white ball against the living room floor, his foot tapping to the music in his head. Every now and again he glanced at his brother, lounging across an armchair with a book, as usual. He smiled.
Rudolph looked up at him, Gregory's cue that he'd been staring. He caught the ball and raised an eyebrow. Rudolph rolled his eyes and returned to his book. Again Gregory smiled to himself. Only he and his brother knew each other so well that they didn't even need to speak to each other sometimes. It reminded him of how close he was to Von.
How exactly did he feel about Von's return? True, he and Von had been close, but it had been three hundred years, and now Gregory was in this position with himself, Frederick, and Von all seemingly in some struggle, real or imagined, and it felt to Gregory that it was all going to hell and back.
He took a deep breath and pushed the thoughts from his mind, only to have them return almost immediately.
For starters, he figured he'd been more welcoming of Von than he expected, perhaps because he wanted that close relationship back.
His heart stung. He caught the ball and turned his face toward the sofa. He didn't want his relationship with Von, per se. It was just easier than trying to repair his relationship with his father.
"If you're being hard on yourself, stop it. It makes you look bad," Rudolph said, looking up from his book.
"I'm not being hard on myself. I'm thinking about the mess I'm in."
"It's my relationship with Von and my relationship with my father. I mean, I know I tried, like both of you said, but it's not like this can fix itself overnight."
"I know. I think you've made some major progress a couple nights ago, though I'm not entirely sure, since I wasn't there when it happened."
"It's still strange."
Rudolph shrugged and marked his page with a bookmark. Then he set the book on the coffee table and leaned back. "It's going to be that way for a while, until you get used to your new situation."
"Where did you get that? Some book?"
"And a little experience with other clan members."
"Alright, genius. How do we tell the others Von is still alive?"
Rudolph looked at the table and bit his lip. After a minute, he looked at his brother and said, "That's a very good question. Of course the easiest way would be to invite him to a family reunion." Gregory's eyes widened slightly, the indication to Rudolph that he'd been thinking that same thing at one point. "That's probably going to be our game plan." Gregory nodded and looked at the ball in his hands. "I'm not sure how, but everything will work out."
Gregory met his brother's gaze and whispered, "Thanks."
Rookery paced back and forth along the path leading to McAshton Castle, and his head turned at the sound of a car pulling up. A Sedan parked on the side of the path, and a girl with short, curly, red hair climbed out and walked up to him. "First thin's first, John. How many and are there any bitings?" she asked.
"Two or three dozen," Rookery replied, walking over to his truck. "As to the bitings, unknown." He grabbed a newspaper from the center console and handed it to her. She tucked it under her arm without looking at it.
"I see thae police haven't gotten tae yae yet."
"Well, with all this vampire mania floating around, I've been able to escape unnoticed."
The door to the castle opened, and out walked a heavyset man in a suit and kilt. His short red hair was neatly combed, yet something about his appearance made her guess that it was a facade. "Milord, my niece, Aila McTavish," Rookery said, gesturing to the woman. The man merely hummed and nodded.
"If yae don't want my help, yer gonnae get more of it," Aila said.
"What is she talking about?" the man asked, looking at Rookery.
"You see, I've called her in to help us deal with our newfound vampire problem."
"What vampire problem?"
"That's what we're trying to determine, milord."
"So why are you here?"
"We're here because in theory yae run this town," Aila said bitingly. "This should be a concern tae you, regardless of whether it's real or not."
The man looked at Rookery, who raised his eyebrows and tilted his head in Aila's direction. Aila folded her arms and raised an eyebrow; the corner of her mouth turned up slightly, and she tilted her chin downward a hair. The man narrowed his eyes, humphed, and walked past them. "Who's that?" She asked with a sneer as she followed him with her eyes.
"Lord Richard McAshton," Rookery replied.
"What relation to the late lord?"
"The alleged vampire?" Aila nodded. "Nephew." She nodded again and turned toward Rookery.
"A right snotty bastard, if yae ask me." Rookery shrugged, and Aila walked back to her car. "Let me know if anythin' changes."
"Where will you be?"
"At the motel."
Rookery nodded, and both he and Aila climbed into their cars.