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May 27, 2024

The Adventures of Snow and Rose

By Lydia Manx

Snow yanked open the front door and tried to sneak inside before her mom saw her. She didn't realize that her dear sister Rose was skipping up the path behind her until she cheerfully shouted, "Snow, wait up for me!" There went that plan. A little alone time would have been nice. Sighing, she went with the flow again. Being part of a close-knit family did have its drawbacks.

"Is that you Snow, honey? Come help me move this pot." Her mom was frail and sometimes was barely able to lift the wooden spoon she used for stirring much less the vat on the stovetop. Why she wouldn't wait to begin her cooking until they got home defied logic but it was her mom so she didn't argue.

So instead of fleeing into her bedroom, she impatiently waited for Rose to join her in the hallway. Once Rose was next to her she grinned, saying, "That's it, you're helping me."

Laughing aloud, she yanked on Rose's soft hand, and together they arrived in the kitchen amidst giggles and grins. Rose always cheered her up. Her need to hide disappeared just like that.

"Darlings! Just look how beautiful my flowers are! Can you pour this into the vessel?" They looked at the small jar on the counter top and the large pot. Bewildered they turned back to their mom and waited for something. It didn't happen. The silence stretched and the sisters looked to each other and shrugged.

"Mom, you forgot an important step!" Rose laughed, and snatched up her wand. She muttered in ornate Latin and her verbal incantation was quick and the jar grew in size. Now they could easily put the liquid into the vessel without anything going awry. Their mom forgot stuff at times, and the sisters were well aware of that.

Once the funnel was in place, together they poured in the potion into the anointed vessel and then returned the pot to the stove. The happy hiss of steam from the vessel let them know all was well. A newly carved cork with protective signs was pushed into the neck of the container, sealing in the potent liquid. Their mom smiled and thanked them for the help. She made her way to the counter and muttered her more fluent Latin, returning the enchanted bottle to the natural smaller size and condensing the liquid with the spell.

There was a heavy-handed thump on the front door. The three witches looked at each other, disturbed by the knock. Snow and Rose were more than a bit worried given they'd just broken another set of laws. Witches weren't allowed to gather in more than twos because of the whole fiasco last year with bodies and various parts savagely ripped off healthy bodies that were seen jumping over the harvest moon. Like anyone knew that three witches pissed off at their ex-hubbies could do that sort of damage? They certainly did now, and down came the decree about congregation of witches, warlocks, and magical creatures. Hard to enforce, but it didn't do to be discovered breaking the law.

Their mother took a deep breath and then laughing, said, "Open the door, it's just a weary trekker." She called from the kitchen; even though Snow and Rose had cleaned up, their mom felt compelled to go after them chanting and tossing salt. Rose grinned at Snow and said, "Mom's so predictable." They laughed.

Another knock and mom yelled, "Girls!" Sheepishly, they went side by side to the threshold, feeling stupid and awkward. Their mom could easily invoke those feelings. Together they pulled open the door while trying to stifle their fears.

To their dismay on the other side of the door was a huge creature of the night. Both of them jumped back in unison and their mom, the elder witch of the coven, called out a polite invitation while still in the kitchen and naturally the two girls drew back horrified as the beast entered. They were helpless to stop the entry.

"Rose, offer our guest something to drink." Their mom called out from her safe haven. Eyes wide she silently shook her head negatively at her sister. Snow bravely stepped forward. The large shaped creature really scared her, but her mom scared her even more. Basic manners created the desire to please an invited guest but her self-protection warred with the impulse. Her mother's command won out.

She cautiously tilted her neck upwards and the vampire leaned down meeting flesh with fangs and sipped delicately. Her eyes fluttered and she looked ecstatic when he removed his incisors. Seeing her sister relatively unharmed and looking pretty pink and happy, Rose saucily winked at Snow and offered the opposing side of her very own throat. Their guest first licked his fangs then pulled her to him and slid into her vein with sharp teeth. Both of their eyes glowed with the contact.

Swaying, Snow watched them. All Snow could hear was the slurping of her sister's blood down the stranger's fangs. She felt a pull from the tableau and wanted his teeth back in her neck and wanted to feel that sexual aura he washed over her while he feasted. She knew how sweet the bite was. Rose was moaning softly with pleasure.

"Oh, my! Girls, I didn't mean that." There was a long pause as the visitor let Rose free from his embrace. Sheepishly he ducked his eyes, while Rose staggered over to the couch, joining Snow. Their mom stood in the doorway with a tray of biscuits and some tea.

"Never mind, it's done." The elder witch was somewhat heart-warmed at how well her daughters had entertained the invited guest. She set down the pretty much useless treats onto a coffee table and nodded to the guest. It was always important to keep one's manners when everyone all around forgot theirs. The vampire sat down, saying, "Mother-of-the-woods. I am Casey VonBare. Your welcome was most unexpected." His tones were rich in culture even while his appearance was lowly. The witch nodded simply. It may not have been the guest she'd sensed, but he was something special she knew. The Fates were always interesting in their choices.

The vampire was a huge creature with shaggy brow and deeply-set dark brown eyes; his dark black coat fell nearly to his ankles and he looked uncomfortable at being inside the ladies home. The mud-caked shoes were rugged and the type usually found on enthusiastic hikers. His sheer maleness was unusual in their home. No matter, since the two younger witches were slumped on the couch looking boneless and quite satisfied. His voice was cultured and he spoke carefully, as if words were precious.

While their mom chatted up the stranger, the two younger women slowly returned to earth. That night set the pattern for that cold frozen winter. Every few evenings Casey would visit and the young witches would serve him and entertain him. Their male visitor enhanced that winter and their conversations were enjoyable as they shared various fireside tales. The deep, dark, ice storm filled winter passed quickly and they all grew to care for one another. All too soon spring came, and the nights grew shorter. They knew Casey wouldn't be able to stay, and their fears were met late spring when dawn approached he announced, "I won't be able to see you all tomorrow night. I cannot be with you anymore for the sunlight is too hard on me. I will treasure our nights in my heart."

And with that he fled just before dawn and Snow sobbed the loudest. She'd grown addicted to the vampire during the long winter nights. The witches felt the loss immediately from their hearth.

Later that afternoon, they were out in the woods picking herbs and wild mushrooms when they found a nasty old man. He was underneath a bramble of blackberries, completely tangled up. His long gray mane was entwined and he screamed out for help.

Cautiously the girls approached the man.

"What the hell are you doing just standing there with your thumbs up your asses? Can't you see I am in pain?" Normally this was where they turned the jerk into a frog or something repulsive, but having met Casey, they'd enjoyed their winter so much that they cut the asshole a break.

Shrugging, they tried to gently pull the hair from the thorns. All they got for their efforts was more swearing and cursing directed at them. The hunched over troll wasn't getting any nicer, so finally Rose said, "Only one choice." She whipped out her blade and whacked off the bits they couldn't free.

"Damn bitches! You cut my lovely locks. Curse you both!" He stumbled to his feet but not before he grabbed up a cloth bag that had been just out of reach from the thorny bush. The girls saw a glimpse of gold before he tucked the bag away in his clothes. He spit at the two witches and was gone.

Summer began her journey across the woods, and the young witches found themselves missing their vampire, but there wasn't much they could do. They didn't know where he lived. Rose and Snow kept doing their chores and playing in the woods. One afternoon their mom wanted some succulent blackberries found best along the river. So they ventured back to the woods and gathered up buckets of the treats. Once they had their fill they were cooling their feet in the water when they heard a loud splash.

A large carp was flipping along the river with something in tow. A curse-laden set of words rushed to assault their ears. They knew that voice. It was that horrid small troll they'd rescued from the berry brambles a few months prior.

"Argh, don't just gawk! Rescue me, you stupid cows." The words were punctuated with curses and coughing up of some brackish river water.

Yes, it was that miserable creature. Quickly they tossed their thin arms around the mean little man and pulled him to the side of the river. A line of nylon was tangled up around the man and it looked like the fish was winning in that tug-of-war.

The carp danced and yanked the man free from the girls.

He screamed with a high-pitched string of swear words.

"Save me! Or you will die a painful death." He was sputtering in and out of the water and his words came out, "Gargle * Save * damn you * blurp * me!" and so on.

Nevertheless, they were good girls and valiantly pulled him ashore.

The fishing line was wound around him tightly while also being braided over his body and through his hair. They tried to gently untangle the mess but for every twist, another turn was found. All the while the carp was still dancing on the water sparkling and pulling the troll back into the river. He naturally didn't want to go.

The thin fishing line cut their hands but they still couldn't free him.

"You both are total fools! Cut me free already. What imbecile raised you?" Rose shrugged and pulled free her blade. She cut the nylon line and some of his hair.

"Damn the both of you!" He was untangled and ungrateful. He stood and slapped some slime off his clothing. He grinned and reached into the rocks beneath where they had been dangling and splashing their feet and pulled out another cloth bag. "Right beneath you fools! You are cursed and stupid." They both noticed that this time there seemed to be a glint of gemstones. Then still laughing, he dove into the river and was gone.

The summer continued to push the coven along; all the while they missed their friend. The girls grew long of limb and more sensual in nature. They didn't know what they craved, but their vampire haunted their dreams. The afternoon came when their mother had enough of their drifting around the caldron and casting half-ass spells. She sent them into town to pick up some new jars and kettles. They both knew it was a needless errand, but they went anyway. The twilight was making the sky purple and fireflies were flitting along the hedges.

A crow swooped at them as they walked and then an eagle. The eagle danced along the wind and the bird transfixed them. A shadow joined the eagle after a very full dip and they saw the troll was in the claws of the bird. His small feet drummed the air in front of them and they jumped up and caught the troll. Once he landed, he cursed them because more of his thick mane was gone. Bald patches littered his skull but Rose and White didn't much care. He hadn't gone out of his way to thank them. In fact he screamed saying, "Did you have to pull me so?'

Rose snarled, "Want to go back to the eagles nest?"

Once he was free of them, he ran to an outcrop and laughed, yanking up a cloth bag. The last glint from the setting sun allowed the girls to guess it was another sack of precious stones or gems. Shrugging, they went towards their home. The sun finally set and the moon lit the path. In the meadow before their home they were surprised to see the evil little creature dumping the bag into a depression in the ground. Fireflies seemed to be showing them the way and they drew closer. The rainbow hues of stones and gems drew them even closer still. But snarling just beyond the meadow caused them to stop.

"You witches! Come here and protect me!" His squeal was loud and pain-filled. They could see nothing near enough to bother him much less anything he needed protection from in the meadow. Then Casey ambled into the field.

"It's him! Kill him. Use a stake!" The little man jumped up and down and screamed.

Looking at the creature they said as one, "He is our friend."

Casey laughed, "This is the troll that sold me down the river. He gave me to the vampires." As he drew closer to the creature, he stepped across the buried treasure. A burst of light seemed to spring from the dirt and a rainbow of sparkles. The treasure seemed to restore something in Casey.

With that he pulled back the troll's neck and fanged in. Casey didn't stop with a sip, but drank deeply. The troll drummed his heels and protested with fists and grunts. It didn't sway the two girls. They were content to watch Casey. Once he'd drained the creature dry he stood tall.

His dingy clothing fell away. And he was no longer some hunched creature but a strong vampire. The treasure was in the heart of the vampire now.

"Ah, now I am free." With that he put his hands out to the two women, "My darlings, come. We have much to do."

The vampire fledglings laughed and joined their prince of darkness.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2008-05-26
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