Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bella Cinderella by Summer Day (My vampire rules) #five

My vampire rules
     As usual, Jewel had to rush home to the house (or ‘the fortress’, as Jewel referred to the Bella-Minchin mansion). She was expected in the kitchen, which looked like a dungeon with loads of extra appliances for plasma mixing and storage. Jewel had agreed to help only to keep the peace until her dad returned and because she enjoyed cooking. There was an extra television on the wall in the breakfast nook playing the Food Chanel relentlessly. Jewel ate breakfast (alone) – her stepfamily dined in the dining room. Since all of their food choices were blood red, plasma, protein or iron, Jewel liked to eat alone.
    The cook had walked out and the maid had resigned that morning. Only the housekeeper remained. Jacinta occasionally dusted with her feet up on the coffee table as she played the afternoon soap operas and entertainment news on television. She regularly threatened to quit but had been with the family so long they had grown quite attached to her and upped her salary. Jacinta did not allow the family to intimidate her into working very often. Besides, she had extra powers that made her indispensable.      
    In the kitchen Jewel sorted through the acceptances. The invitations had been sent a week ago. Jewel couldn’t believe so many people were actually showing up. Then she remembered, in and around Venice Beach, the vamp families were freaks. Just about every O generic (most people) would kill for a ticket. Only a few hundred got them.
      Jewel tossed the acceptances aside and tied her apron over her jeans, pulled her hair up in a ponytail, took a sip of a big glass of water, and referred to the recipes in front of her. She started peeling some carrots and pulling the string off the celery to prepare crudités for the dip while her sisters lay sleeping.
     As you probably know, vamps hate the sun. In the olden days it used to fry their skin but in the modern day (like today) the Minchin girls wore protective jewelry and took their formula (readily available from the pharmacy) every morning. It made them less sun sensitive.
   On warmer days, they tended to sleep all afternoon. The school itself was light protected. Jewel was thinking about all of these things as she opened the blackout curtains in the kitchen. She liked to see the sky while she worked.
     As the sun began to set outside and enormous platters of crudités were prepared, Jewel’s stepsisters came and went. Hairdressers arrived, manicurists and even personal trainers walked through the Bella-Minchin hallway.
     By early evening, Jewel had finished all of the canapés: tiny quiches, miniature cheeseburgers and sushi; even Jewel was impressed with the end result. Then she created a tray of frozen blood cocktails, she even put imitation sugar on the edges of each tiny glass. Her entrée selection was quite an achievement.
      By six that night, the creepy mansion was lit up with colored lights to resemble an enormous haunted house. There was a butler hired just for the evening (to formally invite all of the vampire guests inside) after they’d buzzed the intercom. The ‘normals’ only needed to knock and present their invitations.
      More guests started to press the buzzer.  
      Miranda entered the kitchen. She seemed remarkably scary although she thought she looked beautiful. Her hair was newly streaked in front with blue-grey foils resembling the mane of a skunk. Her lips, recently filled, were overly-inflated and her cheeks had not seen the sun for two hundred years. They were in need of some serious blusher.   
    “How do I look?”
    “Great,” Jewel lied. She knew not to bother telling the truth. Her stepmother never believed her anyway.
     “Ah, you’ve finished, finally,” Miranda said, “now off you go to get changed for the party, dear.”
    ‘Thanks’ might have been nice, but it was not expected. Jewel sped up the stairs to check that Marco was coming. Sure enough, there was a text from him on her cell, just waiting: See you tonight.
    Jewel felt giddy with excitement. Then, as she entered her room, she heard a loud thump on the door. When she turned on the light in her closet, Jewel realized her entire wardrobe had been ransacked. Most of her clothes were shredded including the party dress she intended to wear. As she turned there was a loud, forceful shudder. She heard the keys clank, the lock turn and the unmistakable buzz of vampires giggling on the other side.
    “Let me out!” Jewel screamed. Her stepsisters just laughed in reply. Jewel’s screams couldn’t be heard above the sound of the DJ who had just put on a Vampires Greatest Hits remix.   
    Exasperated, Jewel threw a shoe at the wall and considered climbing out of the window.
    Her stepsisters whispered outside her room, “We’ll let you out when it’s over. Don’t worry, we’ll save you some piggy human food.”
    “Oh, and guess what, Jewel?” Patience added, “Marco might be a prince, a real prince. He’s coming tonight and you’re not going to get with him!”
    Earlier, Vanity had found the text on Jewel’s phone.  The sisters knew they were beautiful and no one could compare with them, but even so, they made sure any possible competition was safely locked away.
     Patience, Charity and Vanity were wild with excitement as they bolted the outside lock firmly and sipped their miniature frozen plasma smoothies.
     “Imagine a prince coming to party!” Vanity said as they skipped down the stairs.
     “I’m dancing with him first,” Patience added.
     “I hope he brought some lavish gifts for us. I’m so over all the cheap, boring things normals give…” Charity whispered.
       Meanwhile, Jewel was trapped in her bedroom, far from the party guests and no one could hear her banging on the walls. After a while, Jewel threw herself on her bed. Her cell had been stolen; the window was too high to crawl out.
     She heard a voice say, “Look on the bright side.”
     On the bright side there was at least water in the basin and candy in a jar hidden under her bed. This wasn’t the way she envisaged spending Saturday night. Mortified, Jewel ignored the voice, threw herself on her pillow and cried.
     “You shouldn’t ignore the voice,” Jacinta said.
     The housekeeper walked out of Jewel’s closet.
    “I was next door, checking on your little brother; and I remembered the secret passageway that connects these rooms. Wipe away your tears, girl.”
    “I’m no expert fairy Godmother but your dad did ask me to keep an eye on you. I’ve been known to conjure up some real magic in my spare time. How else do you think I stand working for these Minchin freaks? Although Max does grow on you…”
    “Huh? What’s the point of going to this party anyway? They don’t even want me to be there.”
    “Now you dry your eyes. I’m here to tell you to get yourself ready. You are destined to meet the love of your life tonight.
     “Sure… he might even be a prince.”
     “Are you serious?”
     “Kind of. Now, show some fight woman. It’s a masked ball. They won’t even realize it’s you at first.”  
     There was a growl in the dark and Jewel noticed Max crawling out of her closet.  He left a trail of cookie crumbs. Max had been banned from the party and wanted to go exploring. Jewel reached down to pick him up but he nuzzled and bit her on the wrist. Thankfully it took more than one bite to become a bloodsucker.  
    “Jewel,” he said in his baby voice, “Ju Ju. I missed you.”
    “Aww,” Jacinta said, “see, he means well.”
    Jewel let her chubby little half-brother hug her.  He blew raspberries with his mouth and laughed then reached up to squeeze Jewel’s cheeks. He laughed naughtily and ran off.
     “I’m going after him,” Jacinta said, “and you need to have a bubble bath.”
     Sometimes something amazing comes from something awful. While Jewel was luxuriating in bubbles, Jacinta conjured an exquisite designer dress. She placed the gown alongside a pair of glass slippers on the chair near Jewel’s bed, then quietly left the room.