Sunday, 1 October 2006

Musing: A Much Better Story Part 1

or, A Twilight Dream of My Very Own. Inspired by a dream I had that was fueled by my subconscious' preoccupation with the Twilight saga, I've here written my own vampire story.

“Christ this is a steep hill,” I gasped.
“Never stop on an incline,” Jonah said. He passed me by, huffing and puffing his way up the hill.
“Who lives at the top of a fucking steep hill?”
“The private. The paranoid.”
“The Andrews.”
We shared a wheezing laugh. It was an old joke. The Andrews had always lived at the top of the hill. Every morning a convoy of cars would wind its way down the hillside, like a colourful metallic snake. And every night each section of the snake would slowly make its way home; Dr. Andrews was the great black head, Gordon and Amy were the middle, red and blue, and Martin was the shiny silver tail.
“Remind me why we’re doing this,” I said.
Jonah sighed, then took a deep breath. “Because,” he managed to say. “We were invited.”

Technically, I was the one with the invitation. It was all very sudden. Gordon Andrews found me at my locker between classes and asked me, point blank and right in front of my best friend Kellie, if I would like come over to study. “Bring Jonah, too,” he said and then turned around and walked away. I stood there speechless, slack-jawed, until Kellie shook me.
“Holy crap,” said Kellie.
Holy crap indeed.


Jonah and I are twins. He’s older by three minutes and he lords it over me whenever he can. But the truth is that we are exactly the same in almost every way. We like the same music, the same foods, hate the same people, and do well in the same subjects at school. We also take great pleasure in freaking everyone out with our weird twin powers—finishing each others sentences, speaking the other’s thoughts, and talking in our own made-up language. So when Gordon asked me to his house, it was only natural that I would want Jonah to share in the experience.

But for the first time in my life I didn’t want Jonah to be there. I wanted the Andrews experience—and Gordon’s company—all to myself. I’m sure Jonah knew this, but neither he nor I said anything. And in spite of my selfishness, there was really no way I could deny him a chance at glimpsing the inside of the Andrews’ fortress of solitude.


The road flattened out and stopped to catch our breath. We didn’t drive because our parents had, unfairly, gone out for dinner.
“Look at it this way,” Jonah had reasoned, “we’ll get to ride home in one of their cars. I hope it’s Martin’s.”
We walked along the road a bit and came upon a large gate. It completely blocked the road ahead and we guessed we’d reached the Andrews’ property line. The thing was very tall and made of wood and steel. We stood there a moment and then looked at each other. What now?

“Welcome.” The voice made us jump. It came from somewhere off the road, in the trees to our left. And then the gate slowly swung open and we stepped into a place no one we know had ever been.
The road curved around to the right. Just before rounding the corner, we turned to look back at the gate. As it swung shut I saw a man standing on the other side, smiling and waving. The gate closed and he was gone.
“Did you?” I asked Jonah.

We came round the bend and there the woods opened up to reveal the Andrews’ magnificent home. The place was a stone fortress, all gothic arches and mullioned windows. I loved it. Jonah, too.
I turned. Gordon was standing nearby.
“I saw you coming up the hill,” he said. “No car?”
“Our parents went out,” I explained. I wanted to ask, how could he possibly see us from up here? The hill was wooded and the house didn’t look out over the road.
“Okay, well I can drive you home.”
I felt Jonah deflate just a little bit. No rides in Martin’s flashy car tonight. Gordon led us inside.

We were sitting in what he called the reading room, our books piled on a large table. The room was lined with bookshelves and some very comfortable looking chairs were placed here and there. The house was like an old museum, full of antiques and curiosities. One room had a display of stone busts, carved from colourful rock. Another was full of old and peculiar doctors’ instruments. In contrast to the richly furnished living and dining rooms, the kitchen was all modern stainless steel appliances and white marble countertops. Gordon explained to us where some of the things came from, family heirlooms and trips to Europe, but other questions he left unanswered. Like about a collection of butterflies on one wall, and what’s in the basement.

As we arranged our things on the table, I finally asked one last question about the house. “Where is everyone?”
“Around. Upstairs, I guess.”
Gordon hadn’t shown us the upstairs.
We did our math homework and made up some flashcards for history. It was all very normal. I didn’t know what I was expecting to happen. I guess I just thought a night at the Andrews’ would be more interesting than memorizing names and dates. Kellie would be disappointed. We had worked hard on my outfit.

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