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Act III: Scene II

Marceline was gone the next morning, but the pillow and covers still held her smell. A part of her wished night would hurry and come again. She lay in bed, relaxing, and planning a painting of Marceline. Perhaps she could get Marceline to sit for a painting. Something regal? Something relaxed? She had plenty of time to think.

“Chantelle!” Her mother’s shout was just as annoying as always. However, this time she came in, marching over to the bed. “Why aren’t you up?” She glared at Chantelle, eyeing every inch of the bed.

“I was planning a painting.”

Her mother shook her head, eyeing her suspiciously. Her eyes fixed on a spot on the bed. She reached out pulling a strand of hair from the sheets. A red strand. “Was that girl here?”

Chantelle’s heart sunk. “It probably fell off of the things I brought back.”

“Get dressed. Then come downstairs.”

Chantelle knew that would not be good. She dresses in a long sundress, which her mother had bought for her, then went to the green room. Her mother sat stiffly in a chair, while Chantelle got the couch.

“I need you to understand dear, that you can’t see her again.”

“Why not?”

Her mother sighed, shaking her head. “The family is odd, unusual. Rumors are they’re witches.”

“I know mother. But why would that matter? There isn’t any proof.”

“Then how was she in your room last night?”

“I told you she wasn’t.”

Her mother eyed her suspiciously, looking her over. “Come over here.” When Chantelle did her mother pulled her down to peer at her neck. She could see the heat rising in her mother’s cheeks. “So they are Vampires! I thought that rumor was sillier than the other, but there’s the proof!” She shouted, pushing Chantelle back and glaring at her.

Chantelle searched hurriedly for an excuse. “It’s a bee sting.”

“And it left two marks?”

Chantelle shrugged. She didn’t have another excuse. “What does it matter if they’re Vampires?”

“They’re monsters Chantelle. They’ll drink you dry before you know it.”

“No they won’t. Arthur has been with Liem for years now and hasn’t done that. Marceline loves me.” There it was. She couldn’t hide it now.

“Loves you?”

“Yes. And I love her.” At her mother’s uncertain gaze she added, “I want to stay with her forever.”

Her mother’s eyes narrowed. “Where did I mess up raising you? In love with a female Vampire.” She snorted.

“It hardly matters. No one you would approve of would want to marry me anyways. A Cyborg with wires in her head and no guarantee of producing children.” That was no guarantee either, but Chantelle knew it was her mother’s secret fear.

Her mother’s mouth flattened in a thin line and Chantelle knew she didn’t have an argument. “You still can’t see her. You won’t leave the house. I’ll figure out a way to fix this.”

“Fix this?”

“Yes. Somehow we’ll get rid of this girl and you’ll forget about her in no time.”

Her mother never did elaborate on what something was. And even days later she hadn’t made a move. Chantelle had warned Marceline, had even insisted that she didn’t come over again, but still nothing happened.

Tonight she woke in the middle of the night, having gone to bed early - only an hour after dinner - and now it was close to midnight. She climbed from bed, no longer tired, and wandered over to the balcony. She peered over the edge, to find lights in the yard. Dozens of people crowded below with torches.

She looked around and noticed her mother at the front of the crowd, talking to them, arms waving wildly. “What is she doing?” The crowd began to slowly dissipate, moving down the road, towards.... Towards Marceline. Where else would they be going?

Chantelle searched everywhere for her phone, but couldn’t find it. Had her mother run off with it? She shook her head, then plopped onto the bed. She hated doing this, she hated having the words relay directly into her head. She closed her eyes, calling to mind her contact list, selecting Marceline and then called her.

“Yes?” The words rang in her head, awkward and uncomfortable.

“My mother has a group of people on the way to your house. She knows you’re a Vampire.” She spoke out loud, even if it didn’t really matter.

“I can see them from here. We’ll handle this, okay? Don’t worry.” She sent a kiss and Chantelle could feel the kiss on her neck. “I love you. I’ll call when I’m done.”

“I love you too.” She hung up, wringing her hands together. What could she do now? For now she would find her phone.

Marceline peered from her bedroom window, watching the flames in the distance. She could have gone back to bed. She knew they wouldn’t get far, but instead she pulled over a chair go watch. A few more days and this should all be over.

As the flames headed to town many began to spring up within the town itself. Within minutes of the sight of those distant torches the town streets were filled as men, women, children, and others headed to the town edge to meet the oncoming mob. They outnumbered those brought by Chantelle’s mother at least two to one.

Marceline could make out Chantelle’s mother at the head of the group. She shouted at the townspeople to let them through, but they would not budge. Why would they? The Harris family had been living in that house for decades and on the land itself for centuries. The people all knew that the family was unusual, that Eliza and Arthur were both nearly seventy by now, but they hardly cared. The Harris name provided them with protection and any time one of them was desperate they could trust the Harris’ to come to their aid.

Marceline watched Chantelle’s mother try for half an hour, but with little effect. Eventually the woman turned to the house, looking up at Marceline’s window with enough hate that Marceline could feel it from this distance, then she turned and left.

Marceline turned to her bed. She would give her time to return home, then she would call Chantelle.

Chantelle heard her mother’s return. Her mother’s voice was filled with rage and rang throughout the entire house. “Why are those fools protecting those monsters? Can’t they see what they really are?” Chantelle peered from her room to find her mother pacing the halls. “There has to be some way to get to them.” She turned to look towards Chantelle’s door.

Chantelle hurried back inside, snatching up her phone. She called Marceline, relief flooding through her at the sound of her voice. “Are you okay?”

“Fine. The town wouldn’t let them through. I’m sure your mother is raging.”

“Oh she is.” Chantelle ran a hand through her hair. “So you’re OK?”

“Fine. How about you?”

Chantelle bit her lip. She was fine, but... “I can’t stay here. Please come get me.”

“Just give me a moment.” Chantelle could almost hear the smile in Marceline’s voice. “Close your eyes.” Chantelle did so. She felt arms wrap around her waist, then Marceline whispered in her ear, sending chills down her spine. “Keep them closed.” For a brief moment she felt lighter than air, but it faded quickly. She felt a kiss brush her ear. “You can open them now.”

She did. And now she found herself standing in Marceline’s room. “How?”

“I am a rumored witch, remember?”

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