Chapter 1.23 – Foil in the Microwave

April missed her reflection. She was hoping that she was putting lipstick on in the right place. Faith was beside her, trying to apply eyeliner.

“This is such a disaster,” April sighed.

Faith looked at April’s face. “Well, you have some on your fangs but otherwise it’s fine.”

April ran her tongue over her teeth. “I mean this whole situation. It isn’t what I had planned.”

“Oh? Which bit didn’t you plan?” Faith placed her pencil back into her case. “Melinda going insane? Throwing a dead man into a ravine? Random vampires turning up at the door?”

“I didn’t think there were any other vampires. I thought Caleb was the only one.” April’s eyelids fluttered as her mind drifted.

“Lilith doesn’t seem so bad…”

“I don’t trust her,” April hissed.

“Right,” Faith said, feeling defeated. She didn’t want to ask, but she had to know. “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to get what I’m owed.”



“Are you sure you’re not joining us?” Faith settled beside Melinda and reached for a hand that was promptly yanked away. “Please Mel, for me?”

Melinda turned her face away and humphed.

Faith sighed. “Fine. But just so you know, we’re not bringing anything back here. We’re planning to use and lose at the club so you won’t have the chance of leftovers.”

Melinda shook her head. “Leftovers? They’re people Faith.”

“That didn’t stop you savaging Paul, did it?”

“I didn’t! You don’t listen!”

Melinda pushed past Faith and stormed into the adjacent bathoom, locking the door behind her.

She could hear April coming down the stairs and a hushed exchange of words. Finally she heard the front door open and Faith call out. “Bye then, Mel.”

Melinda didn’t respond, waiting for the soft clunk as the door closed and the weighted silence that filled the house before she unlatched the bathroom door.

She looked around the living room wondering what to do with herself now. Maybe she should go and see Lilith. But what if her friends were right? What if she was some sort of smiling assassin?

Oh, how she craved normality. She thought about what she would usually be doing in the evening if she was at home.

She would finish up her college work and then head down to eat dinner with her mother. She’d fill herself with her mother’s experimental dish of the day and laugh at her funny little stories about the children in her class. Then they would settle down together to watch a movie, usually some sort of drama. When her father got up to go to work, she might lie out in the garden with him under the velvety sky.

She would let her father’s voice wash over her as he named every glistening dot. She was sure he made some up just to make her smile; she couldn’t imagine anyone would genuinely name their constellation find Space Blob.

She missed him so much that it hurt.

Melinda pulled her phone from her pocket. The girls had agreed not to contact their families for a while but, screw them. She must have been going through some sort of rebellious phase. She tapped the little image of her parents and waited for the call to connect.

Her father’s professional voice sounded from the speaker. “Good evening, Bucket residence. Chuck speaking.”

“Dad, it’s me.”

His voice melted and Melinda felt all her tension going with it. “Mellybean! How are you?”

“I’m OK. Are you?”

“Yes,” he lowered his voice, “other than the usual apprehension about what on the planet your mum might be making for dinner. It’s very orange… how’s the road trip?”

“Fine, Dad.”

“And how’s Faith? You girls keeping out of trouble?” he teased.

Melinda paused. “You know Faith, always dragging me into some sort of chaos.”

He chuckled. “It sounds like fun. I’ve got to admit, Melinda, when we got your message we were a bit surprised, but I’m so glad you decided to take some time out. I think it’ll be really character-building for you. I did it myself, in my youth… one sec.” The line became muffled as he clumsily tried to cover the receiver. “It’s Melinda… OK.” His voice was back with clarity. “Melinda, your mum wants to say hi.”

More muffled noises.

“Hi Mellie!” came the upbeat warmth of her mother’s voice.

“Hi Mum. How are you?”

“Keeping on.” Melinda could hear something change in her mother’s voice as she continued, “Are you OK? You’re not lost are you? I told you, you could have taken my car, you didn’t have to get a rental. If you’ve broken down in the middle of nowhere you just say the word and I’ll come get you.”

Melinda did feel very much like this was the case but smiled through the tears that should have started. “Everything’s going great, Mum. We’re… we’re having a real adventure.”

“Oh I’m so pleased, Mellie. Hey, what do you make of this Sandy Moss story?”

“Sandy Moss?” The name stuck in her throat.

“You haven’t heard? It’s all over the news.”

Melinda crossed the room and turned the TV on. It wasn’t even a news channel that sprung up yet the screen displayed the headline: Sandy Moss Dead at 48.

“Oh my gosh,” Melinda whispered.

“I know!” Babs exclaimed in her daughter’s ear, her words coming without breath, like always, “I can’t believe she was 48! There wasn’t a wrinkle on her! Inner beauty, that’s what that was. They’ve been showing her movies all day. Do you remember the last scene of A Kind Heart, where she’s sobbing at her son’s bedside, begging the reaper to take her instead? You know how much I cried the first time we watched that — I didn’t think I could ever cry any harder — but you should have seen me watching that today, I was an absolute wreck, wasn’t I, Chuck?” Melinda heard her father agree in the background, “A wreck, Mellie! Iconic. The woman was a legend. And they think her husband did it! What’s his name now? That lawyer… Thomas?”

“Travis,” Melinda choked around the growing lump in her throat.

“But personally I think it was the butler. It’s always the butler.”

Melinda couldn’t tear her eyes away from the rolling headlines: Concern grows for April Moss, 18.

“April is missing.”

“The daughter? Yes. They think she might have escaped when whoever killed Sandy went on his rampage at the mansion, but if you ask me I think she was bumped off with her mother and they just haven’t found her yet. Or maybe she was kidnapped, she was utterly gorgeous. Perhaps that was the butler’s motivation. That’s it! The dirty man. He’s probably got her locked up in a sex dungeon somewhere, or sold her to perverts. I bet Sandy died trying to defend her daughter! Oh, poor Sandy. They slashed her throat and stole her daughter.”

“Her throat?”

“Apparently. Isn’t that just horrific?” She took a rare breath. “You went to a party at her house once, do you remember? You were about eight?”

The lump in Melinda’s throat was so large now she was surprised any sound came out round it at all. “I remember.”

“Well, I know I was quite upset about it back then, but thank goodness you and April didn’t get along! Imagine… you could be embroiled in all this now. It could be you in the butler’s dungeon. It could be your face plastered all over the news. Oh, Mellie, it doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Melinda could not speak.

“Oh shoot – Mellie I have to go, I can’t leave your dad in charge of dinner, not after the last time. Chuck, here, let’s swap.” More fumbling, then her father’s voice once again filled her ears.

“I miss you, Mellybean. I haven’t had a moment of peace, what with all that wild speculation. Did you get the money I sent?”

Melinda found her voice. “Yes, thanks Dad. You didn’t have to.”

“Well, I can’t have my girls starving or squatting in squalor, can I?”

She looked around at the ramshackle house. “Dad?”

“That’s me.”

“Would you still love me if I was… if things were different?”

He laughed so loudly that she had to hold the phone away. “The existential teen road trip, hey? Been there.” He lowered his voice again to ask, “are you sure you’re alright?”

Melinda replied with what she hoped was a positive-sounding noise.

“OK,” he said. Melinda could tell that she hadn’t convinced him at all. “Do you want to share?”

He would encourage her to come home. She’d attack him…

“No. Not yet.”

“Alright. When you’re ready to tell me, I’m ready to listen. And know that yes, I’ll still love you.”

Melinda wiped the tears from her face. She didn’t know she could cry this much, especially as she was supposed to be undead now. The liquid was murky and seemed to get thicker the more she cried. She wondered if one day it would dry up completely.

She could hear beeping in the background. “Is that the smoke alarm?”

“Yes, it appears it is.” Chuck sounded distracted. She muted her mic so he couldn’t hear her crying. “OK. If you get the chance, make sure you’re looking up at the sky tomorrow night, about eleven. Should be a spectacular one, I’ll be there.”

Melinda could hear her mother’s frantic voice in the background.

“I forgot that you can’t put foil in the microwave! I’m sorry but I really need to go, Mellybean. Your mum’s on fire. I will call you. I love you.”

“Love you too,” she replied, not realising that her mic was still muted. By the time she had figured it out he had already gone.

25 thoughts on “Chapter 1.23 – Foil in the Microwave

  1. Oh yeah, I didn’t think about the predicament of applying makeup without a mirror. I guess they could do each others, but of course they won’t.

    Aww, Melinda calling her parents was heartbreaking. Poor thing.

    And of course the Sandy story is out by now. Did poor Travis have to “adjust” Sandy’s throat to make him being the culprit more believable? Poor Travis.

    Apparently I’m just feeling sorry for everyone today 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, at their core, they really just don’t care, do they? Neither Faith nor April. Poor Melinda. I hope she does go to Lilith. Even with her being practically a stranger, she’s been a better influence on her than April and Faith have been since the moment they turned into vampires. Probably even before that.

    The talk she had with her parents was so sad, too. They have no idea their daughter turned into a vampire. I wonder how they would take the news. Would they be shocked? Accept her as she is now? Try to find a cure? Would Melinda even want to go back, with the danger she poses to her own family? Would April and Faith let her?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Poor Melinda. I feel terribly sorry for her….
    Just her dad not sending a search going on …. it could be really dangerous!
    On the other hand, he does not seem to suspect her of being in real danger as he recalls the adventures of his own youth.
    I hope Melinda learns to trust her own intuitions and finds a solution.

    April and Faith? I wonder what they are messing up in the meantime?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly would be dangerous for Chuck to search for Melinda. Perhaps he’s safer not knowing… for now.

      Ha! You’ll find out next chapter. Um… I mean… they’re not messing anything up!

      Like

  4. Hi there, I’ve been silently following along and enjoying your story 🙂 Dropped in to say that although April does not seem to be very beautiful on the inside, I’m really loving her dark form look with the grey hair! Also the line ““I forgot that you can’t put foil in the microwave! I’m sorry but I really need to go, Mellybean. Your mum’s on fire” is GOLD 😀 Melinda’s parents are fantastic and I need them in my real life, haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Thanks for commenting. I like seeing who’s reading.

      Yeah, I like April her in dark form. Creepy-gorgeous, if that’s a thing.

      Ahh, the lengths Chuck will go to not to have to eat Babs’s ‘very orange’ cooking.

      Like

  5. D’awww I love this chapter. That opening dark humor, Mel standing her ground (yes! you go girl), but her parents are just the warmest and fuzziest people on earth. Btw, I did not miss the fact that this is a sad chapter. I’m feeling super sad for Mel. Definitely want her to leave them asap but she’s going to struggle with that for a bit.

    April my my my how you’ve grown. From that girl under Sandy’s thumb to this goth goddess. Her makeover suits her!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Melinda. You had such a lovely, relatively uncomplicated life before April went all goth goddess. Now it’s all dead guys and despair. I’m sure change is on the horizon… for better or worse.

      Like

  6. Whoa. Poor Melly. This is going to be crazy hard on her when she finally has to let go. I hope her dad meant what he said.

    And April said she wanted to get what she was owed? Dang, she’s really letting out the evil, or at least the menacing. Obviously not the dimwitted blonde who was always overshadowed by her mother. Nope, it would appear the apple doesn’t fall far from he tree (sorry for the clichés).

    I always wondered how they’d put on their makeup… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if her dad meant it, or can indeed cope with it. If he finds out at all, of course.

      April learned from watching Sandy so it’s inevitable she’s going to be hanging around her mother’s tree, so to speak. But unlike her mother, she’s not the adored woman with the world at her feet so… perhaps not for long.

      Badly, it would seem. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It isn’t what I had planned.

    REALLY? REALLY NOW?! The timing of the realization is great, too. She’s not gonna make that statement when she realizes how many sims she needs to feed from in order to survive. Nope. It’s when she’s having trouble touching up her lipstick.

    Digging Babs’s ability to just pull the “butler did it” theory out of her ass and then roll along with it like it’s absolute truth. If she ends up buying into more conspiracy theories and periodically calling Melinda to warn her about GMOs or tell her how to check whether the government put secret cameras in the HPV vaccine she received, I would not be disappointed. Quite the opposite.

    Digging Chuck’s shoes with the dad-length white socks pulled all the way up; that’s art. And no, I didn’t miss that his name is CHUCK BUCKET.

    Like

  8. “Inner beauty.” Sure.

    I liked seeing this side of Mel. April and Faith are both so miserable at home, but Mel really had something to lose.

    I find it interesting that Faith and April have teamed up together. Faith was real hard on April but they’ve got some similarities in personality…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My heart breaks for Mels. You give me all these feels. I laughed at the image of Sandy in a role of the perfect mother.
    And don’t get me started on Broof. The poor man is always someone’s suspect. Occupational hazard, I’m telling you! One of these days he might as well off someone to live up to the expectations.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. LOLOLO I love that the problem of applying make up makes an actual appearance 😁 I guess selfies won’t work either.
    Theoretically the girls could do each other’s make up. Not sure if I’d trust any of them, to not “mess up” though.

    Okay I have to ask, is April’s hair light grey or blonde or is it the game lighting 🤨

    Gahhhhh Mel’s family is so lovely, great now I’m sobbing again 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did I mention the allegory of the long spoons here previously? I can’t remember. But the idea is that the only difference between Heaven and Hell is co-operation.

      In human form; light blonde. In dark form, as she is here, silver-grey.

      Up and down and up and down… got to put the tragedy in the tragicomedy 💔

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, April come on. Lipstick, really? I can do my lipstick without a mirror and I don´t even /use/ makeup very often at all. Eyes are where the problem´s at, though, that´s for sure. XD

    *sigh* But of course the topic of the chapter is Melinda. And I do feel sorry for her… I just think that the main source of her misery right now is that she keeps thinking as a human. So therefore, it would help her to be helped to change that mindset, as opposed to being supported in clinging to it. So, I still think she shouldn´t go back to Lilith. And yes, I do realize I might sound completely heartless here. But… really now. How has trying to cling to the past ever helped anyone? If it´s gone as sure as Melinda´s human life state… the more you try to cling to it, the more you just hurt yourself. /And/ everyone around you. Nu-uh, gal. The two glowies have the right end of it here. ;D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. April spent a lot of her lifetime staring into mirrors; I’m surprised she can even brush her hair without one.

      Ouch, harsh. Poor Mel. She’s only been a vampire for 3 days and before that she didn’t even know vampires existed, so I think she can be forgiven for still thinking like a human.

      Like

      1. Ahhaha, true.

        Ah, no, I didn´t mean it like that. 😦 Of course poor Mel is fresh and her reaction is totally to be expected. All I´m trying to say is that I believe her best bet would be to stick with Faith because she does seems to both care about Melinda and to be taking to this whole thing like duck to water, is all. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, she is. And even now, that isn´t very surprising, either. From what we know, she´s very poor, with a disabled mom and a little sister to take care of. Teaches you to be very pragmatic and a survivor which sure does come in handy when the situation gets even worse, eh?

            Liked by 1 person

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