This story is part 2 of a collaborate project with the Monthly SimFic Challenge. The task was to incorporate someone else’s character as an antagonist in my story. I chose Wendy Charring from Nocturne Mystique. You can read the story that introduced Wendy here and read Part 1 of Dawn’s story here!
Three years ago…
“Oh, dear,” said the old, bored voice of Vladislaus Straud. “Bludgeoned to death, was it? What a terrible situation.”
Grim mumbled under his breath.
“Pardon?” Vladislaus asked with faux shock. “Good sir, I am most sincere. I feel terrible for this poor human. If only I could save her…”
“What do I offer? How about a tantalizing Death Flower? You know you love them.”
Grim grumbled and reached out a scarred and battered hand. He did love them, after all.
Yesterday at a quaint Selvadoradan restaurant…
“I’m sorry. Repeat that one more time.”
The strange woman laid her purple-covered novel on the table. “I said, your aunt’s death was…merely temporary.” She extended a clawed hand. “Kat Cave, by the way. Nice to meet you.”
“Are you messing with me? I saw her body!” Wendy choked on the words.
“And the police escorted you outside, correct?” Kat grinned, flashing her fangs. “Then someone convinced the Grim Reaper to spare her.”
“And who, exactly, would be so kind?”
Kat waved her hand with a flourish. “That would be my gracious master, Vladislaus Straud.”
“Oh?” Wendy leaned forward, forcing a straight face. She wouldn’t let herself hope. Not yet. “I want to see her.”
“In due course. The trauma damaged her memories, you see. She doesn’t recall any past relationships. My master is tending to her, but these things take time.”
“Uh-huh. And is there anything I could do to…hurry your master along?”
Kat nodded, still grinning. “I’m thrilled you asked.”
Today…back in Dawn Roseworth’s head…at a Britechester abode…
“Why are we still holding our silly book club? I told you, we need to advance your vampire rank quickly to have any chance against Straud!” I throw my hands up to demonstrate how frustrated I am while Loren displays the first volume of vampiric lore in his defense.
I grit my teeth and leave him to it. Too slowly. This clan is forming far too slowly. It doesn’t help that Loren’s work as an Internet personality requires him to update his followers every twenty minutes.
Always in his human guise, I note. He’s joined me, true, but he’s not ready to broadcast it, either. Well, at least Ellie’s stopped moping. That’s progress.
“FYI,” says Loren, “it’s not just our club. I invited a friend. Wendy Charring. We met at Britechester, and she’s a book lover, too.”
“What? You’re not a book lover. You’re a music lover!”
Loren clasps the book to his chest to recite, “What are words but notes with more than seven possible letters?”
Ellie swoons at his nonsense, while I roll my eyes and review my latest Straud attack plans. At least I’m productive. There’s a knock at the door moments later, and Loren drops his book to answer it.
Wendy seems…nice, I suppose. Says hello. Acts polite. I could theoretically tolerate sharing space with her…
…until she picks up the tome Loren abandoned on the floor.
“A book of vampire lore?” she asks. “I thought only vampires could get these.”
“No. Anyone can.” I snatch the book and re-shelve it. “But we’re not reading those. We’re reading…” Plum. I don’t actually know what Loren’s reading, so I nab something random. “A World Without Magic.”
There’s an audible sigh from Loren and awkward fidgeting from Ellie. Ugh, I’m an idiot. Why remind him about his lost magic? He’s clearly not over it. Of course, he’d still have magic if I hadn’t– No. Bad guilty feelings. Stay in the back of my head where you belong! Or better yet, vanish altogether.
“Oo, sounds interesting!” Wendy exclaims.
As she flips through the pages, suspicion stews in my gut. “Yes, it is…interesting. We should all read and discuss it. Like book clubs do.”
Loren’s melancholy sighs grow louder.
The next hour is almost normal. Wendy makes no more comment about vampire tomes or magic. Maybe I can keep up our facade after all–
–if I can only stop hissing. Wendy ignores it once, but after my third slip-up, she watches more closely. My fangs flash. Loren points to his own to alert me, only for Wendy to notice both of us.
“You are vampires!” she exclaims. “I knew it! How big is your clan? How powerful are you? Is any of you a grand master like Straud, or–”
“Club meeting over!” I snap. Loren and Ellie look disappointed, but Ellie collects the books, and Loren volunteers to walk Wendy home. I turn into a bat to follow. Like I would really leave them alone.
They stroll in silence for a good long while. Then Wendy holds out World Without Magic again. “You seem down whenever Dawn mentions this book.”
Loren forces a smile. “Maybe. Too soon, I guess.”
“Too soon since what?”
“Well, since I stopped being a spellcaster. You can’t be a spellcaster and a vampire.”
“Right. Of course. I know that,” Wendy says nonchalantly. Liar. Her face screams of unknowing-ness. “But why do you sound so sad? Didn’t you want to turn?”
“Um…sorta?” Loren twists his wedding ring. “The thing is…Ellie was already a vampire…and Dawn said if I…if we both were–”
Wendy’s eyes widen as she pieces everything together. Loren realizes his mistake and spits out a quick, “Oh-look-there’s-your-house-nice-club-meeting-bye!” before he rushes away.
I resume normal form and growl in Wendy’s face to demonstrate my displeasure at her nosiness.
She doesn’t even flinch. “You pressured Loren to turn,” she says thoughtfully. “What’d you say? That Ellie wouldn’t love him otherwise?”
“Hmph,” I reply. It’s a horrible comeback, but there’s greater concerns. I point an accusing finger at Wendy. “And you’re a spy for Straud!”
She shrugs. Just…shrugs! The nerve! “Maybe. But you’re going to keep that between us.”
“Oh? And why would I?” I can’t believe her arrogance. Who’s the vampire here?
“Because if you don’t, I’m going to tell Ellie everything.”
“You can’t–” Still with my finger raised, I freeze. Plum. She’s got me.