by Janine McCaw
Fifteen year old Goth-chic Ellie has a lot of explaining to do. She’s just moved to the small town of Troy, fought with her uptight mother Helen, met the boy of her dreams and found a dead body on her sexy “new-age” grandmother Helena’s porch. All on the first night!
But Ellie’s not alone. Helen is hiding something. Helen knows all about the kind of eerie dreams her daughter is having — the dreams that show the whereabouts of the missing children of Troy — because she’s had them herself. But she’ll never admit it. Not while Ellie’s sex-crazed friend Ryan is safely behind bars for the murders. Helen knows what it’s like to be attracted to dangerous men.
Then there’s the little matter between Helena and Gaspar Bonvillaine, the teenaged vampire who is learning to feed on young prey. Now that he’s caught Ellie, he doesn’t know whether he wants to kill her or turn her to the dark side and keep her forever. Helena should have finished him off when she had the chance.
To survive the vampire feeding frenzy surrounding them, mom Helen needs to come to terms with her own insecurities and deal with the gifts she has. Helena must learn to ground herself for the good of mankind and more importantly her own family. And Ellie has the toughest choice of all. Ellie must decide whether its time to let her own childhood go and become the woman she is destined to be, one of the ageless and timeless “Helens of Troy”.
Author Website -www.helens-of-troy.com
Like most of you, I pledged allegiance to the flag of the New Year, vowing to dedicate a great part of my day to writing. I even joined a club, promising to scribe 500 words a day, a no-brainer for this finely tuned brain of mine. In the beginning, the brain co-operated, spewing forth words of wisdom at an incredible rate. But you know how the story goes. Life kicked in, worked kicked in, and I got kicked out of the club because I fell behind on my word count. Within two weeks! Not a great start to 2012 from that perspective.
“It makes finding the odd body on a porch swing seem like a walk in the park, doesn’t it?” Helena said sarcastically. “I’m sure our bad days don’t even compare to theirs. I have to clean up snot all the time when I’m teaching someone how to use a neti pot. They scrape brains off of windshields after a head on collision. Neither are pleasant, but really…”
“Okay. Don’t get so defensive. Or descriptive. I take back what I said about the police and the cereal box,” Helen said. “Neti pot?”
“Think nose bidet. And thank you. But it doesn’t get you off the hook. You still need to tell Ellie about Willie.”
“Who’s that plump, curly-haired woman who’s glaring at us?” Helen asked, in an attempt to distract her mother. “I’m not getting a love vibe from her.”
“You mean the one dressed in the neon pink tracksuit?”
“Yes. She’s got to be cold in that outfit. Not to mention embarrassed. Never wear neon after Labor Day. Or ever, really.”
“That’s Betty Lachey, Ryan and Stan’s mom and our illustrious neighbor. With any luck she’ll be hibernating soon and we won’t see her until spring.”
“That’s not very nice.”
“Nor is she,” Helena laughed. “She hates us.”
“Us? How can she hate me? She doesn’t even know me.”
“Hate by association,” Helena said, forcing a smile and giving her neighbor a wave. “There’s a small town attitude in Troy, I’m afraid. You’ll get used to it. I did.”
“Is there a Mr. Lachey?” Helen asked, nodding politely to the woman.
“That subject is strictly verboten if you happen to want to keep the peace. Betty got sick of him constantly hanging around the house and told him to get a hobby. Well he did. A five-foot-six Texan named Traci. She was a brassy woman with guns from the double D ranch, if you get my drift. He ran off with her two summers ago.”
“Well, that explains why she hates you.”
Helena looked at her daughter. “For the record, I never even looked at her husband.”
“Hate by association,” Helen answered.
“I was, yes.”
“And what did you decide?”
“I was thinking later would be good.”
“So, you’re going to let me go?” Ellie asked hopefully. “We can still be friends. Maybe even go to a movie sometime.”
“Go?” he laughed. “What ever gave you that stupid idea? I’m still going to kill you. Someday. We’re just going to take a little detour. I’m going to take you to hell and back, and then it’s off to grandmother’s house we go.”
He pulled a switchblade from his pocket.
“What are you doing?” she asked, terrified to hear the answer.
“You’re too perfect, Ellie.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“They’d never believe it. The rest of them. They’d never believe that girl like you would want a boy like me.”
“Then they’d be right.”
He grabbed her arm and pushed up her sleeve. The edge of the knife was cold as he very lightly drew the blade across her wrist. No blood flowed, but it scared the shit out of her, he could tell.
“There’s this thing that happens,” he began to explain, “when one of us wants one of you. Forever. We make a nice little slice in an artery, like this vein hidden so delicately under your skin. Then we suck the consciousness from you, almost to the bitter end. But just before you take your last breath, we give you back one.”
He saw the the terror in her eyes.
“Which means?” she asked, her voice barely audible.
“Which means I bring you back to life. And then you are my slave.”
He took the edge of the knife and gave her skin a poke. Droplets of ruby red blood rose to the surface. He raised her arm to his lips, his tongue darting to the blood in a slow, deliberate lick.
She felt a warm uneasiness run through her. The initial unpleasantness was replaced by something she could only describe as anesthetic-like. She felt euphoric. Her senses were going into hyperdrive. She could see the miniscule pores on his skin. She could smell his perspiration. She could hear his heartbeat. She found none of it unpleasant.
“Does that give you some idea, Ellie?” he asked. “Of how magical it could all be?”