Special Interests

June 22, 2013
New York, New York
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Dearest Raven,

Sharing the blood of wannabe murderous psychopaths has eerie effects on the psyche. I spent most of the morning helping Sweet Darn sort severed extremities for her father’s home clinic, hoping the busy work would distract my anxiety. I had sent an urgent letter to Great-Grand-Papa and received no reply. Then I telephoned and no one answered.

“Give him time”, Sweet Darn said to me, placing an arm with big hands and long fingers in a drawer labeled Possibly a Pianist.

I levitated an arm with a pirate hook in the end, dropped it in a huge Special Interests box, and said nothing.

Sweet Darn smiled, mayhap to comfort me.

I trembled, wondering if she knew that no one could be reassured of anything, while watching her grin stretch the sutures crisscrossing the skin of her cheeks. I opened my mouth to ask her, but the sound of approaching steps and Mama’s words hushed me.

Mama was telling Sweet Darn’s father that she knew what was best for me. Since I did not wish to tell Mama exactly what I thought about her knowledge, I urged Sweet Darn to hide with me behind the Special Interests box. For a moment, I worried Mama would smell our scents, then I remembered that her daily perfumed bath blinded her senses.

“We can’t truly know our children if we don’t talk to them, Ms. Tepes.” Sweet Darn’s father pulled a folder out of a filing cabinet set against the wall opposite to where we hid. “Limb transplants involved complex surgery. I rather the three of us discussed—”

Mama silenced Sweet Darn’s father with a raised hand. She told him that I was a minor and she the parent, then ordered him to sedate me before I went to bed, and to perform the transplant while I slumbered. “My Drusilla will awaken whole and happy. She will think her perfect new body was a gift from The Stitcher herself.”

It was the ill-informed joy I heard in Mama’s voice that made me lose control, Raven. Screaming a “No!” that was the raw rage of a hurt beast, I slammed my will into the steel box that hid me, lifted it three feet, and pushed it forward until its bulk trapped my mother against the wall. When my mother tried to speak, the arm with the pirate hook rose out of the box to level itself with her neck, its tip just centimeters from her jugular.

Sweet Darn called my name in that soft, frightened voice reserved for talking to rabid animals and to people in deathbeds… The sort of voice that says the speaker wants to give no offense, since it cannot tell if the listener is going to attack or just die.

“Drusilla Amarantha Tepes, control yourself.” The new voice knew neither softness nor fright. The force that fed its tone gripped my bones and blood and will, made the hook twitch in midair. “Control yourself, or this fury will control you, Great-Granddaughter.”

My rage felt good, Raven. I wanted to keep it. But I did not. I would not give anyone or anything that much control over me.

I pulled the steel box away from my mother, let the hook fall to the floor, and hovered out of the room without saying a word or looking at anyone.

Sweet Darn and her father are proper behavior connoisseurs. They stayed put. But my mother and Great-Grand-Papa never heard of the respect one should pay to a dramatic exit. If I had feet, my mother and Great-Grand-Papa would have stepped right on my heels. They followed me to the Darn’s library and closed the door behind them.

“Drusilla, I need to talk to you”, my mother said.

“No, Llanelli,” Great-Grand-Papa told her, “you need to listen.”

“She is my daughter, Father.”

“And you are mine, child.” Great-Grand-Papa walked closer to my mother, and told her that if she did not tell me why she was behaving half insane, then he would tell me.

Raven, you will not believe it. My mother wants to get me armed and legged because she believes that if I look like everyone else, then my life in society will be easier than hers has been. You see, my parents did not wed for love, money or any other traditional motive. They chose each other because of their surnames. My mother thought marrying a Bethory would give her a grander and gorier status. My father believed marrying a Tepes would mean sharing his life with a ruthless, imaginative murderess, who would protect him from stronger predators and assist him in the bullying of weaker ones.

My father ran off after learning that neither Great-Grand-Papa nor my mother killed for sport—the Tepes family rejected games like Two Legs and a Bloodied Stump Races and Stick the Stiletto in the Urbanite’s Eyeball generations ago, that sort of screaming is unhealthy for the ear. My mother was shocked to discover that my father was a bloody coward, but not enough to stop pretending that she had not attempted to deceived him.

I am staying at Sweet Darn’s house for a few days. Great-Grand-Papa is taking me home, to Wildwoods, to gather my things. He lives too far away from any school that can teach our kind. But he spoke to Mistress Claudia, and she said that Camp Cute, Creepy and (quite conveniently) Remote would be thrilled to have me as a permanent resident, while I complete my schooling.

My new living arrangements hurt my mother’s feelings. I am sorry she still fails to see. I wish she could understand that people must grow up, before they can be parents.

Missing you terribly,
Drusilla Amarantha Tepes, the Only

P.S. Sweet Darn’s father has bleached skulls and small bones looking for a good home. Would you please ask Roseblood if her dolly could use any new teeth?

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the wee notes…
– The 5th letter: Four Sutural Enhancements and a Velvet Cape.
– I’m not sure when the 7th of Drusilla’s letters will be published. Maybe in 3 months, for May Monster Madness. Or sooner… if her constant whispering turns into shouts. 😉
– Linked to Holly’s Vampire’s Day Soirée. Fly over to her blog, and see what wonders others have written, painted, photographed, brewed, bled… *cough, cough, cough*.

Drusilla, in front of the portraits of two of her ancestors,
Elizabeth Báthory (the Blood Countess) and Vlad III (the Impaler)
by Emma Yardis, mistress of Groovy Gothic

35 thoughts on “Special Interests

  1. Well, it didn’t take long for me to start laughing out loud…

    ““Give him time”, Sweet Darn said to me, placing an arm with big hands and long fingers in a drawer labeled Possibly a Pianist.”

    What can I say? I’ve loved all of Drusilla’s letters, and I’ll be whispering with her for that 7th installment to be published! ♥ ♥ ♥

  2. It seems we both have “big hands” on our minds lol…though I doubt the ones I see play much piano 😀
    Loved this revelation about Llanelli’s past mistakes…and that others were wise enough to see she should not use them to shape others XXX

  3. I loved it of course, but the line that really made the story for me was this one: “My rage felt good, Raven. I wanted to keep it. But I did not. I would not give anyone or anything that much control over me.”

    I can relate to the heady cocktail rage can be, and yes it can feel quite good to drink it in. But like all strong drinks, you can’t let it go to your head or allow it to rule you. Drusilla is quite wise.

  4. Oh you must publish the seventh installment soon!❤️💙💛 I just loved the way you described how one should accept their children the way they are 🙂 and how people must grow up, before they can be parents.” Sigh.. a most thrilling write!❤️💙💛

  5. Loud Howling for Drusilla’s courage! The labeled drawers for appendages cracked me up, and that the arm with the hook that Drusilla put in a drawer, she so perfectly used it against her mother…I guess an old pirate arm can be used for threat with or without the pirate. And the underlying use of the boxes, labeled drawers, steel box all around Drusilla just as she finds her mother planning on making her fit into a socially acceptable box. Great letter to Raven and I hope we hear more about Drusilla’s new friend in upcoming letters/stories??? Excited to hear the stories of her new life at Camp Cute, Creepy and (Quite Conveniently) remote!

    • “an old pirate arm can be used for threat with or without the pirate.” This made me laugh sooo hard (I think I scared a few nurses, but they will recover, lol).

      I love Drusilla’s letters very much. I am also curious about the other campers and their families. I suspect that if the letters get enough love, I might try to make it a weekly thing. She makes me laugh. She seems to make many of us laugh… and think. And that makes me happy. So we’ll see, about more tales…

  6. Love that Great-Grand- Papa arrived on time saving Drusilla from imported limbs :- She is a sweet little thing the way she is – looking forward to more of her adventures 🙂

  7. I’m so happy that Drusilla got to remain her true self. Grandfathers can be so important in a girls life, passing on wisdom from another time. I’m happy that he has the confidence in his granddaughter ability to navigate life as she is, something that her mother sadly lacks currently. I’m sure Camp Cute, Creepy and (quite conveniently) Remote will provide a good rather of further education options in a range of curious subjects.

  8. I finally got around to reading all the letters as I wait for kids to get out of school. I love that Drusilla is related to Vladimir thats my husbands name but with a B. We often joke with the kids no wonder they are slightly mad with a witch for a mother and vampire for a father. Hope all goes creeply as planned for Drusillas stay at camp.

  9. I’m sure Raven was happy, and relieved, to know that Drusilla was still her perfect limbless self. I know I certainly was! Although I had absolutely no doubt that she would stand her ground. And I’m certainly looking forward to many creepily cute and gleeful days of the girls together at camp. Oh the stories they’ll have! I can’t wait!!!

  10. I say my middle initial B is for Bathory, so now I can say I’m related to darling Dru too! I’d love to be a permanent resident at Camp Cute, Creepy and (quite conveniently) Remote with her. Thanks for attending the Soiree again!

  11. Love, Love, Love!!!!
    “placing an arm with big hands and long fingers in a drawer labeled Possibly a Pianist”! LOL! You are adorable Magaly!
    This letter had so much meaning!!! Really touched me! Thank you! I love Drusilla!!
    Big Hugs 🙂

  12. I was rereading the letters again, there are so many little pieces that I usually miss on a first read.
    Like “the Tepes family rejected games like Two Legs and a Bloodied Stump Races and Stick the Stiletto in the Urbanite’s Eyeball”…I sat here cracking up, once again! “Stick the Stiletto in the Urbanite’s Eyeball”…I guess I was stuck on the pirate’s arm last read. Thanks for another good laugh. I hope Drusilla writes from camp soon.

    • I do a lot of rereading–of my own work and of the works I love. I find that I always discover new things when I revisit a story, or see something in a new way…

      You know, I’ve been thinking about creating descriptions (maybe rules) for the games and the lessons in the stories.

      I suspect they will be a laugh. 😀

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