Friday, July 29, 2011

Chapter 11: Clementine

Clementine stared at the naked man sprawled on the bed in front of her. This was not what she'd expected when she'd decided to explore the castle.

Thank God he's asleep, thought Clementine as her eyes wandered over his supine form. She'd never seen a naked man before, and this one appeared to be a prime specimen.

Suddenly he stirred. His eyes flew open and landed on Clementine.

"Mon Dieu..." he exclaimed in a voice that tugged at Clementine's memory.

She backed away towards the door. Before she could escape, the man was standing in front of her. She hadn't seen him move.

 Clementine gasped when she saw his face. "Alucard!"

His name seemed to give him pause. He gave her a puzzled look as he examined her. Finally comprehension dawned.

"C'est un rève," he said softly to himself.

"No, Alucard..." Clementine protested, catching the French word for dream. But it was too late. Apparently being deemed a figment of his imagination made her fair game to the vampire.

Before she could make another sound, he'd sunk his fangs into the flesh of her neck.

Clementine gasped as endorphins from his bite flooded her system. She felt so warm and at peace. When Alucard finally pulled away she made a small sound of protest.

"Shh, mon ange," he whispered as he stroked her hair.

 Clementine's mind was fuzzy. She'd never been held like this before. All she could think of was how right it felt. She struggled to remember why she'd thought this was wrong.

Her eyes flew open. Her mother!

But just then Alucard's mouth descended upon hers and all rational thoughts fled. As Clementine's mind clouded again, she lost herself to the deluge of sensations.


Clementine snuggled into the strong arms that surrounded her. Then realization dawned and her eyes snapped open.

"Mother fucker!" she swore as she scrambled out of bed and grabbed her underwear.

Alucard's eyes fluttered as he regained consciousness. "Mon ange!" he called after her as she fled in nothing but her bra and panties.

And ran right into her three younger sisters who stood looking at her with their mouths hanging open.

"What are you three doing here?!" Clementine yelled at them.

"We thought something went wrong with the time machine and followed you to make sure you were okay," Eliana explained.

Clementine ground her teeth. This was just what she didn't need. She paused as she noticed the look of shock on her sisters' faces.

Alucard stood behind her in all his glory, not embarrassed in the least.

She turned to her sisters. "You three dowstairs!" she ordered. "Now!" she added when they still stood rooted to the floor. "And stay put! I'll deal with you in a minute," she told their retreating backs.

"And you," she said looking at Alucard. "Put some clothes on."


Clementine refused to talk to Alucard half-naked, and there was no way she was going back into his room to get her clothes. So, she'd scoured the other bedrooms and had found a beautiful gown she'd immediately fallen in love with.

No longer feeling quite as vulnerable, she knocked on Alucard's door.

"Entrez," came a muffled voice from inside.

Upon seeing him, Clementine rolled her eyes. While he had finally put on some clothes, the way he was sprawled on the bed brought to mind the cover of a cheesy romance novel.

He seemed to be waiting for her to make the first move.

"So..." she said eloquently. Clementine didn't know where to start.

When it was apparent she wasn't sure what to say, Alucard spoke, "I enjoyed your company last night, mon ange, but perhaps you would like to explain what you and les jeunes demoiselles are doing in my home?" he quirked an eyebrow at her as he slid off the bed.

This comment irritated Clementine. "Enjoyed my company?!" She had given him her virginity. Not only that, but before last night, she hadn't even been sure how she felt about the male species. Faye had been the only person she'd ever been romantically involved with.

Alucard, sensing he'd said the wrong thing, tried to calm her.

But Clementine would have none of it. "You bit me against me will! And you took my virginity!"

Alucard tried to say something, but Clementine was on a roll. "Not to mention the fact that you're my mother's former lover!" she accused him.

"Your mother?" he asked.

"Of course she hasn't even been born yet..." Clementine continued. 

Alucard just looked puzzled.

Suddenly Clementine broke into sobs. "I'm such a horrible person. My parents just died and my sisters traveled back in time because they were worried about me and here I am fucking my mother's ex."

Although clearly confused, Alucard nevertheless wrapped her in his arms, allowing her to cry on his shoulder.

"Why are you being nice to me?" Clementine asked once her sobs had been reduced to hiccoughs.

Alucard sighed. "You are right, I should not have bitten you."

"Why did you?" she asked.

"Clearly this is not the first time you have encountered a vampire."

"No, my brother's a vampire." She didn't mention the fact that Devon was also his son, it was just too weird.

"Then you know we must feed regularly. When we do not...our control becomes weaker," he paused. "It has been much too long since I have sought a willing donor. When you came upon me, I was in a state of near delirium."

"You thought I was a hallucination," Clementine said slowly.

Alucard nodded. "You were dressed strangely and seemed to know me. I took you for an angel come to save me."

Clementine wasn't sure what to say. This Alucard seemed much less self-assured than the one she remembered meeting as a child. Much more vulnerable.

"Why did you go so long without feeding?" she asked after a moment.

Alucard made a face. "Unlike some of my brethren, I do not wish to feed from unwilling victims." He sighed. "And yet, it is forbidden to reveal our nature to anyone. The threat of discovery is simply to great."

"So you shut yourself in your castle and starve," she guessed.


Clementine hadn't thought about how hard it must have been for vampires before their existence was widely known and the option of drinking plasma was made available to them.

"You still have not answered my question regarding your presence though," said Alucard, changing topics.

"I'm from the twenty-first century. My parents were killed in a fire so I used a time-machine my sister built to travel back in time and try and prevent the fire from happening." Clementine paused. "Something's obviously gone wrong though." She sighed, "And the three girls you encountered earlier are my sisters. Apparently they decided I needed rescuing and followed me through time."

"And you cannot go back to your time?" asked Alucard.

"No, I tried. I'm not a genius like my sister, but I managed to figure out the time machine only works when travelling to the past," Clementine explained. Why hadn't Alucard accused her of being insane yet? She was used to it, and in this case he would have been justified.

"So you are stranded here?" he asked.

Clementine could have sworn he was fighting to hide a smile, though she couldn't imagine why. "I guess so," she said slowly. "Until Leila manages to fix the time machine at least."

"Then I insist you and your sisters stay with me."

Clementine was saved having to answer by a knock on the door.

It was Dawn.

"I'm sorry for interrupting, but a messenger brought this letter for you," she said, handing Alucard a piece of paper. "He said it was urgent."

Upon reading the letter, Alucard frowned. He looked up at Clementine. "I am sorry, mon ange, but this is indeed urgent. I must leave at once." He didn't look too pleased about it. "I will return as soon as possible," he continued, "but you are welcome to stay here in my absence."

"But—" Clementine started.

Alucard cut her off, "If you need anything in town, simply mention my name and you will be taken care of." Upon seeing her look of confusion, Alucard sighed. "I will explain everything when I return."

Before Clementine could utter another word, he planted a quick kiss on her lips and disppeared in a blur of speed.


After Alucard's sudden departure, Clementine had had a talk with her sisters. As mad as she was at their disobedience, she had to admit she was glad she wasn't stranded in the past alone.

"Don't worry," Leila had told her. "I'll have the time machine working properly in no time."

While her sisters continued their exploration of the castle, Clementine had decided to go into town to survey the lay of the land, so to speak. She'd always been fascinated by the Middle Ages, and now that she had a chance to experience them first hand, she wasn't going to remain cooped up in a castle.

On her way into town, Clementine noticed a large tavern. Figuring a stiff drink couldn't hurt, she wandered inside.

"Oh, thank God!" a man exclaimed as soon as she entered.

He rushed over to her and introduced himself. "My name is William," he said as he shook Clementine's hand. "You must be here to apply for the job."

"Job?" Clementine was confused.

"I'm sure your cooking skills are just fine. You'll start immediately!"

Clementine just nodded mutely. Her dream of becoming a chef had finally come true. Sort of...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chapter 10: Leila

Leila watched helplessly as her home went up in flames. She, Dawn, and Eliana had been at a sleepover when they'd gotten a call about the fire. Upon arriving at the scene, her two sisters behaved exactly as she'd expected them to.

Eliana had started crying and freaking out.

And Dawn immediately began harassing the emergency personnel for information about what was going on.

Leila heard her questioning a hapless fireman. "Where are my parents? Why haven't they been rescued yet?" Dawn punctuated each question by jabbing her finger at the poor man.

"I'm sorry ma'am, we're doing the best we can. If your parents are in there, we'll get them," he tried to assure her.

Leila was so distracted by Dawn's antics that she failed to notice her eldest sister had arrived on the scene.

"Are you insane?" she heard a fireman yell at Clementine as he pulled her back from rushing into the burning building.

"That's the general consensus," Clementine replied which seemed to take the man aback.

"You can't just go barging into a fire," he finally said.

"But my parents—" Clementine started.

"We've already been informed about them. I have men checking the house as we speak."

"Chief," called another man as he approached. "Can we speak privately," he asked, casting a meaningful glance at Clementine.

"Oh no, you don't," Dawn said as she stepped into the conversation. "You will tell us what is happening."

The man looked at the chief who nodded.

"I'm sorry, your parents... We weren't able to get to them in time," he told the girls gently. "The bedroom's completely collapsed, we'll have to dig through the rubble to be sure, but if they were in there... There's no way anyone could have survived," he continued, looking pained.

Upon hearing this, Eliana immediately collapsed into wracking sobs. Dawn tried to comfort her sister, the blank expression on her face making it evident she was in shock. 

Clementine turned to watch the house burn, but not before Leila had seen the tears streaming down her face.

Leila stood, lost in the sea of misery and chaos, wondering if she might have been able to prevent all this if she hadn't given in to her sisters and agreed to go to their dumb slumber party.

Then an idea struck her.


Leila looked at her newest invention. Luckily the fire had almost entirely bypassed the garage which was empty except for Leila's workbench and a washer and drier. The fire chief explained that's probably what had saved it.

"Why did you have to drag us in here?" came Dawn's voice from behind her.

Leila gestured towards the machine. "I think that can help us save Mom and Dad."

"Can it bring them back to life?" Eliana asked hopefully.

"It's a time machine," Clementine replied.

Leila's eyes widened. She wasn't sure how her eldest sister had known that. She was always full of surprises.

"That's right," Leila finally admitted. "I thought I could go back in time and try and prevent the fire from happening. I haven't had time to test it yet, but I'm seventy-eight percent positive it should work."

"That's not going to happen," Clementine told her in no uncertain terms.

"What? Why won't you let me try to save them?" Leila was upset.

"You're my responsibility now," Clementine said. "It's too risky. I'll do it myself."

"But, what if something goes wrong? You don't know how the machine works." Leila protested.

"If you think something's gone wrong, go tell Devon what happened. He'll take care of you," she replied, matter-of-factly.

Leila sighed, she wasn't going to win this one.

After she calibrated the machine, Leila and her sisters watched wide-eyed as Clementine stepped inside and disappeared.


"I'm telling you something's wrong!" Eliana insisted after several hours had passed and there was no sign of Clementine nor any noticeable changes in the space-time continuum.

"I think we should go tell Devon like Clementine wanted," Dawn insisted.

"You're right," Leila said. "You two go tell Devon and I'll see if I can find Clementine," she continued as she stepped towards the time machine.

"You mean you're going to...?" Eliana's eyes widened.

"No, no, no!" Dawn practically yelled as she blocked Leila's path. "We are not splitting up. If you go, we all go."

Eliana nodded.

Leila shrugged. If her crazy sisters wanted to join her in facing who knows what, who was she to stop them?

She showed them what combination of buttons to press before stepping into the machine herself. The moment it started humming, she felt an unbearable pressure against her skin before the whole world exploded in a burst of color.


Uh oh was Leila's reaction once the world had finally stopped spinning. She was standing in front of what appeared to be a medieval castle.

"Where are we?" asked Eliana who had appeared behind her.

"More like when," Dawn answered looking at Leila questioningly.

"Based on the architecture of the castle, and assuming it was constructed in the past fifty years, I would estimate the year to be around the turn of the thirteenth century," Leila replied.

"Shit," Dawn said eloquently. "What went wrong?"

"I'm not sure, I'll have to take a look at the time machine. First, I suggest we try and find Clementine."

"Alright," Dawn agreed. "But we're sticking together."

They headed towards the castle which seemed like the most logical place to start their search. Dawn knocked on the huge wooden doors, but there was no answer.

"Let's see if it's open," she said as she pushed on the doors.

"Wait!" pleaded Eliana. "We don't know who's in there."

But Dawn was already through the doors. Leila and Eliana looked at each other before following her inside.


Leila looked around. Torches flickered, casting eerie shadows against the stone walls.

"Which way do we go?" asked Eliana looking at the three doorways before them.

"Straight," Dawn replied without hesitation.

The girls followed her, stepping into a small courtyard.

"Look!" squealed Eliana as a butterfly landed on her hand.

Dawn just rolled her eyes and continued through the courtyard into what appeared to be a chapel.

Leila was impressed. Although the chapel was small, it was clear that it was well maintained. Her sisters didn't seem to care.

"Moving on," Eliana said once she joined them.

They had to backtrack to the entrance hall. After taking a right turn, they ended up in what was obviously the library.

Leila stood in awe at all the scrolls and books. She couldn't imagine the wealth of knowledge to be found in this place.

Dawn and Eliana had to physically drag her out of there in order to continue the search.

Going through the last remaining doorway brought them through the great hall to the kitchen.

"Eww, is that a dead duck?" exclaimed Eliana as she looked around.

Leila ignored her and continued into the next room which appeared to be a secondary hall.

"I guess it's time to check out the upstairs," said Dawn.

The three girls had barely finished climbing the stairs when a half-naked woman came barreling out of one of the nearby rooms.

It was Clementine.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chapter 9: Clementine

Anyone who knew Clementine would tell you she wasn't exactly normal. She never had been, not even as a toddler. Clementine's love of fairytales was nothing unusual, but the hours she would spend staring at the castle mural in the nursery did worry her parents.

As a child, her differences became more pronounced. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that her parents missed her birthday again due to the disappearance of her big brother, Devon. 

Clementine hadn't exactly been thrilled at celebrating another birthday alone, but if it meant getting her big brother back, she supposed it was okay. And she had gotten a new a new toy oven.

Clementine was just worried about the fact that the prepackaged baking mixes required water. She hated water, even if it was necessary to her survival. She'd been told the correct term was hydrophobia, but Clementine thought of it as simply being smart. After all, who knew what was in the stuff? They got it from lakes for crying out loud. Lakes had fish. And if an organization or a government wanted to get to everyone, what would be a better way to do so than through the water supply? After all people used it for everything. They even bathed in it. 

Clementine shuddered. Baths and showers were definitely not her favorite things.


Clementine didn't exactly have the easiest time in school. While the other kids didn't outright ostracize her, they kept their distance. After all, she wore formal dresses to school everyday and preached about the dangers of water. So when Faye Roth had asked Clementine to come over to her house after school one day, Clementine had been understandably excited.

Even though they had already met, Clementine felt the need to reintroduce herself to Faye.

"Hello, Faye Roth. My name is Clementine Catherine Dawson," she said, formally introducing herself.

"You're funny," Faye giggled as she shook her hand. "Oh, and you're it!" she tagged Clementine as she ran away.

Clementine pursued her, thinking how happy she was to have met Faye in detention earlier. She'd gotten in trouble because she'd sabotaged yet another water fountain. Clementine simply couldn't come to terms with the fact that her school actually promoted drinking water. Faye had been in detention because she'd punched a boy who'd been teasing a first-grader. She had something of a temper. 

Soon the two girls became tired of tag and decided they had better do their homework. Both their parents were strict about that sort of thing. 

Afterwards, Clementine confided in Faye how her mom and dad hadn't been spending much time with her lately.

"Mom's always been pretty busy, but ever since the triplets were born, all she does is work," Clementine told her.

"What about your dad?" asked Faye.

"He's always taking care of the triplets. They're always crying about something. It's so annoying, I'm glad their birthday's tomorrow," Clementine replied. 

She looked at the clock and sighed. "Well, I guess I should go now since I still have my chores to do," Clementine grimaced. "You're so lucky you have a maid."

They said their farewells and Faye informed her that she'd love to have her over again.


The next day brought with it the triplets' birthday. Clementine's parents were so worn out from work and taking care of the girls, that they'd decided to forego a party and simply celebrate in the nursery. Dawn, as the eldest, had been first.

Next was Eliana.

Followed by Leila.

Clementine noticed that the two eldest triplets seemed to be closer. Dawn and Eliana were always together, sharing their toys.

They even played with their dolls at the same time.

Leila was different. 

She was more serious and spent most of her time lost in thought or reading books. The peg box and xylophone were too simple to catch her interest.

Clementine knew she shouldn't pick favorites, but she liked Leila best. She saw a bit of her own eccentricity in the girl and couldn't help but feel like she understood her.


A few days later, it was Clementine's birthday. She was unsurprised when a crisis with the triplets meant her birthday party was cancelled. Still, she forgot all about it when she saw her room. 

Ever since her brother had moved out, she'd been staying in his old room, but it wasn't to her taste. It had turtles on the wallpaper. Turtles, in Clementine's opinion, were almost as bad as fish. In fact, they were just below frogs on the list of animals she disliked. So she was understandably ecstatic when Adrian had had her room completely redone in violet, her favorite color. He even made sure to include a castle mural similar to the one in the nursery.

Once she got over how awesome her room was, she decided that if her parents wouldn't be providing her with a cake, she'd bake one herself.

Clementine had taken quite a liking to her toy oven. She spent most of her free time baking muffins, cookies, and brownies. Lately she'd been learning how to make cakes and pies.

After she ate her cake, Clementine's birthday was officially over and she became a teenager.

Violet was still her favorite color.


"I can't believe Winston asked you to the prom!" Faye giggled. She and Clementine were having a sleepover, which had almost immediately devolved into a gossip fest.

"I know, right? He's not too bad looking but he's on the swim team," Clementine made a face.

Faye rolled her eyes. "You and your weird water phobia."

Clementine's response was to whack her friend with a pillow.

Once the pillow fight finally ended, the topic of prom came up again.

"Clem..." Faye started.


"Why-don't-we-go-to-prom-together?" She said it so fast it sounded more like one word than a complete sentence.

"Sure," Clementine replied, not missing a beat.

Faye just looked at her. "Clem, I know sometimes you don't see things the way everyone else does...You get this would be like a date, right?"

"Yep," Clementine nodded.

"People could talk about us. Say nasty things," Faye continued.

Clementine just shrugged. "So? I've never cared what others think," she paused. "Besides, they're all a bunch of sheep anyways. How much do you want to bet that next year there'll be dozens of BFFs going to prom together? I mean, look at how many girls started wearing their sweats to school after I'd been doing it for weeks."

Faye groaned. "I should have figured you'd react like this. Here I've been nervous for weeks about asking you..."

Clementine just laughed as she gave her friend a hug.


As Clementine prepared dinner a couple of nights later, she thought about what an amazing time she'd had at prom. Sure there'd been a few whispers when she and Faye and walked in together, but once the novelty died down no one seemed to mind. In fact, a few of her fellow classmates had even told her how much they admired her for going to prom with someone of the same sex since it was something they hadn't had the courage to do. 

As she stirred the Stu Surprise, Clementine thought her prediction about the increase of same-sex couples at next year's prom wouldn't be far off.

With all the excitement of prom Clementine had forgotten all about her sisters' birthday. After dinner, everyone gathered in the dinning room to celebrate.

Dawn looked pensive as she aged into a child. No doubt she was worrying about all the trouble her sisters would now be getting into. Clementine knew she wished they could be more responsible sometimes.

Eliana looked as though she didn't have a care in the world as she made her transition. She wore the same small smile she always did.

Leila wasn't quite as pleased. 

Clementine had interrupted the ceremony in order to change into her swimsuit which she felt was better suited the occasion. Knowing how much her eldest sister hated water, Leila wasn't sure this wasn't some subtle statement that reflected Clementine's attitude about the triplets. Then again maybe she was reading too much into it. Even she knew her sister could be a bit weird at times.

Like when she swore her hands would attack her after having a shower.


Life continued normally in the Dawson household. Well, as normally as it ever did. 

Clementine wasn't surprised when she learned that Leila would be homeschooled.

Her sister was way ahead of all the other kids in her grade, and she preferred to spend her time working in the garage on her latest inventions.

Even when they didn't exactly turn out as planned...

Clementine was spending most of her time with Faye, who was now her girlfriend. After the kiss they'd shared at prom, Clementine had found she was amenable to the idea. 

No one was shocked when she invited Faye to the next family celebration. 

The days had flown by so fast it was already time for the triplets to have another birthday. Eliana and Dawn both invited some of their friends as well.

When the time came to blow out the candles, Dawn turned into quite the stunner. 

She didn't seem to care though, she was just excited to celebrate her sisters' birthdays.

Eliana was happy. Clementine was sure she was thinking of all the boys she'd now be allowed to date.

And Leila... Well, she was her same old, serious self.

And she was not pleased about her sisters' crazy cheering antics.


Clementine's birthday followed short on the heels of the triplets'. Faye had insisted that they go to Cathedral in order to celebrate. 

"Can you believe how fast high school went by?" Faye asked her, as they sipped their drinks.

"No, I can't. I swear, it feels like just yesterday we met in detention," Clementine mused.

"Best thing to ever happen to me," Faye replied, smiling.

Clementine responded by giving her a quick kiss...

...That soon turned into something more intense.

"So," said Faye when they came up for air, "have you figured out yet what you want to do once you graduate?"

"I'm not sure, but I think I'd like to be a chef," Clementine told her.

"You'd be great, Clem. You're such a good cook," Faye said. "And, I'm sure you could think of some very creative uses for certain food items." She raised her eyebrows suggestively.

Clementine chuckled. "You're such a letch, Faye," she teased.

"And you love me for it."

"Yes, I do," Clementine laughed.

"Clem, do you'd think maybe you'd want to get a place together after graduation?" Faye asked after a moment.

"And leave behind all the drama and bathroom hogging I get to put up with every day?" Clementine joked. "Of course I would," she continued.

Soon it was time for the two to say goodbye. Clementine gave Faye a kiss and promised to call her the next day.


As Clementine rode home in the limo Faye had rented for her, she thought about her future. She wasn't sure where exactly things between her and Faye were headed. She knew she loved her. How could she not? Faye was the only one who had ever truly accepted Clementine with all her quirks and craziness, even if she didn't completely understand her. Clementine just wasn't sure she was ready to jump into marriage if that's what Faye wanted.

The moment the limo turned down her street all thoughts of marriage fled from Clementine's mind. Her house was surrounded by emergency vehicles.

Clementine jumped from the limo.

Her house was on fire.