First and foremost...drumroll please...across the little blog hop giveaway, we had quite a few entries. I want to thank all of you for sharing your stories. They meant a lot to me. But, there can be only...uh, two...winners, and random.org helped me out a little here. Congratulations to Becky Hancock (from Bea's Book Nook post) and Sarah (from the post at Katie Reus's blog). I'll be tracking the two of you down to send you your copies of Badlands.
Thank you again to everyone who commented and tweeted!
I'll be honest, I wrote this piece a bit off the cuff because of a conversation with my daughter today. It features Elle and Cass, the foster sisters from Pretty Souls (my new YA release under the name Julie Particka).
There's No Such Thing
Things had been quiet in Portage this summer. Cass and I got in the habit of patrolling, but after the first few nights, everyone seemed to get in line. Which was great, except no supernatural issues meant our lives had fallen into a pattern of TV, pretend to sleep, patrol, sleep, wake up, eat, run, screw around, eat...and do it all over again.
We'd run through our Supernatural DVDs and had moved on to a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Cass hated the similarities: blonde, cheerleader...vampires. I tried to get her over it by reminding her that Buffy was human, but she wasn't biting. (In case I haven't mentioned it, it was also the summer I developed a love of bad puns.) We'd made it to season four and were settled in, watching the Halloween episode.
Everything was going fine and we were sharing quite a few laughs. Then...Anya, the re-habilitated demon, showed up in a bunny suit. Cass grabbed the remote and pushed pause. "She's afraid of...bunnies? What the hell. That's the stupidest thing ever."
"Oh, come on. It isn't like the show is exactly realistic. I mean you don't get funny ridges on your face when you vamp out either. The bunnies are a joke, just take it that way." I reached for the remote, but she snatched it away.
"Even if it's a joke, it should make sense, which means bunnies would have to be scary on some level." She jumped off the couch and held her hands up in front of her, hopping around the living room. "Tell me. How is this scary?"
I can't help it, she looks so ridiculous, I burst out laughing. "Fine. Fine. But you'd make a cute little bunny. Imagine if some huge, evil, muscle-bound demon turned into a rabbit. Like John Cena turning into a wererabbit with giant bloody teeth and claws. That'd be kind of scary."
Cass planted her hands on her hips and made a face at me. "Maybe, but there's no such thing as a wererabbit. As one of the things that stalk the night, it's kind of hard to be afraid of a figment of my imagination."
Looked like TV time was over. Once Cass gets on a roll, it doesn't stop until she's done. I stood and went into the kitchen to hunt up some food. "How do you know there's no such thing?" I stuck my head in the fridge and pulled out an apple.
"Because it's moronic."
Her voice was so close behind me, I jumped and hit my head on a shelf. Rubbing it with one hand and polishing the apple on my shirt with the other, I kicked the door closed. "No. What's moronic is this discussion. It's a TV show."
"Maybe, but couldn't they at least pretend to have it make sense?" Her lips quirked to the side. "I am sorry about your head though."
A headache was building, but I shrugged it off. "It's okay." The doorbell chose that moment to ring, the chimes resonating through the house. "I mean, I wouldn't be afraid of a giant bunny either."
She followed me to the door, her "I told you so" trailing close behind. I rolled my eyes and jerked open the door, freezing as I stared at the biggest pair of buck teeth I'd ever seen. That they were on the face of a six foot tall old guy didn't escape my notice either. Cass stood right next to me, stock still, like she was frozen in place.
I swallowed hard and cleared my throat, the weight of the door growing heavier against my hand. "Can I help you?"
"I'm here to speak to Eric."
"He and Jennifer went out to dinner." I sized him up, just in case.
His nose twitched back and forth like he was sniffing for a lie. "I'll just give him a call later then. Thank you." He turned around, and I noticed a strange lump in the back of his pants. I tried not to stare, but I couldn't tear my eyes away until I'd shut and locked the door.
I shook my head and walked back into the living room. "It was just our minds playing tricks on us."
"How can you be so sure?"
Settling in on the couch, I set my jaw and hit the pause button again, Buffy the Vampire Slayer coming back to life. "Because there's no such thing as wererabbits--just like you said."
Too bad in my mind, I saw the old guy's buck teeth again, only this time, they were stained with blood.