Chapter 1.50 – Monumental Fuck-Up

It had been a gruelling day with the police and the journalists and it was gone midnight when Chuck finally opened the door to their home. Babs had made a beeline for the television leaving Chuck to his thoughts.

Melinda was eighteen, an adult who had left by her own volition. There was only so much the police were willing to do to find her. The journalist had lost interest quickly when he had admitted that he’d never even met April Moss, let alone known that his daughter was her friend. He’d had to face a harsh reality; there was a reason the media’s interest in his daughter only went so far.

The garish colours of the room seemed to burn his eyes. Too sunny and too bright. Too Mellybean.

So while Babs sat in stunned silence, watching the news channel, Chuck had settled in the garden, looking up at the cloudy sky. His domain, his sanctuary. Even that was obscured and unwelcoming tonight.

Melinda still wasn’t answering her phone. Chuck thought she always told him everything. Settled back under the stars, she would pour her heart out; every sorrow, every joy, every twist and turn of being an awkward teenage girl. Seeking his guidance, his comfort for every problem she encountered. And yet he didn’t even know that she’d wanted to leave or that she was friends with the daughter of that overrated actress.

What else had he missed?

When she had asked if he’d still love her if she was different, he had assumed it was going to be her admission of something he’d long suspected. She would surely know that he’d accept that, no problem. What else could she have been trying to say?

He couldn’t bear to think of them out there alone, scared? Running from… whatever they were running from. Faith had run away a few times over the years. He had always managed to find her, to bring her back with little more than a listening ear.

As they grew up, Melinda had become Faith’s main confidant. Did Faith simply decide she’d had enough and Melinda had gone along for the ride? Mellybean could never turn her back on someone who needed her, this scenario was the most likely. But then how did April fit?

A reflection of his mood, the rain had started to fall. Chuck slid the heavy door closed and looked at the stricken face of his wife. His heart sank. Babs was always so lively, so chatty. He could barely ever get a word in edgeways. He’d secretly wished for a bit more peace and quiet, but now that he had it, he never wanted to experience a beat of silence again.

He had to do something.

“Where are you going?” Babs asked as Chuck picked up his keys.

“I’m going to find them.”

Babs was beside him in an instant. “I’m coming too.”

Chuck pulled her into his embrace, felt her wilt in his arms. “No. One of us should stay here, in case she comes back.” He hesitated before he continued. “Perhaps visit Adina.”

He felt his wife stiffen against him. “It’s been too long.”

“More reason to try. Joy will need you. Your schoolchildren need you. I’ll find her,” he kissed her forehead, “I promise.”

Babs nodded. His warm voice always soothed her. “Where will you start?”

In the background, the overly chipper reporter chimed in. The three girls were last seen together outside Joe’s Bar in Forgotten Hollow.

“I guess I’ll start at that bar. Forgotten Hollow sounds delightful.”

Babs looked up at him in horror. “Forgotten Hollow was featured in a show I watched recently about serial killers! Apparently lots of hitchhikers and curb-crawlers go missing in that area. And that bar has beer branding in the window! It’ll be full of unsavoury characters such as lumberjacks! Please be careful. I don’t want to hear about you on the news getting a pool cue shattered over your head. Or that you got killed by a lunatic. Or eaten by wolves. Or attacked with an axe. Or fell in a ravine!”

Chuck smiled. There she was, his whirlwind chatterbox. “I’ll be fine. You look exhausted; get yourself to bed, you’re not usually awake at this time.”

“I couldn’t possibly sleep now. At least let me make you some food to take with you; I have a new recipe to try Banana Sausage Surprise.”

He didn’t know which part of that sounded worse, but…

“Thank you. That sounds lovely.”



Faith turned in a circle. She was sure she’d already been here. Already passed this rock a dozen times, that tree stump. Last time she took that path, so this time she’d take this one. Or is that what she did last time? Why did every path in this forest look the same?

Seth could’ve at least offered to walk her home, instead of leaving her to make her own way back from his camp. She thought she’d have ended up back at the main path by now but she only seemed to be getting deeper and deeper into the trees.

She gazed up at the sky. Melinda’s dad could navigate using the stars, but Faith had no idea what she was looking at. Ugh. She knew she should’ve joined the scouts rather than drama club. What good was the ability to cry on demand if she couldn’t navigate her way out of a paper bag?

A mysterious black breeze blew past Faith. It felt oddly familiar.

“Fringey? Is that you?”

The black blur doubled back and stopped. “Not Caleb, just me. Hey. I must have run past you five times tonight. You’re proper lost, aren’t you?”

“Yeah. I have no fucking clue where I am. But check you out! I haven’t seen Caleb run past here, so either he’s way faster than you, or you’re winning. Tell me you’re winning.”

“Um. We’re not racing. I’m just running about.”

“Right,” Faith said. “So where’s Caleb?”

“I don’t know.” Melinda looked at her shoes. “Hopefully miles away.”

“I thought you two were buddies. What happened?”

Melinda bit her lip. “We were buddies… until I tried to kiss him.”

“Wow. OK. That surprises me.”

Melinda groaned. “It surprised me. I really don’t know what came over me. He called me Mellybean, we hugged and he was being so sweet. It reminded me of April. Sweet April, you know before all the vampire crazy, and I just… kissed him. A bit. Barely at all.”

“I see.”

“He backed away so fast and then told me that he didn’t fancy me. Oh, but I’m not hideous, apparently. Oh my gosh, it was awkward. I handled it in a super mature way that probably hasn’t confused him at all; I squeaked and legged it. I’ve been running around for ages now trying not to think about it.”

“Hmm.”

“Say something,” Melinda pleaded.

“You know what I’m going to say. You never had a chance, Mellybean. It is what it is.”

Melinda nodded. “So where have you been? I didn’t buy this whole ‘going for a walk’ thing. You never do that. I assume you went to see Seth, right? And judging by the fact that you left the house with both lipstick and tights on and now you have neither, I guess you found him.”

Faith smiled. “I’m sure your birth parents were bloodhounds.”

“Faith, sweetie. You really don’t waste time, do you?”

“Hey, that was our second meeting and he wants to see me again, I call that progress. Besides, I’m not the one trying to eat face with my friend’s boyfriend the first chance I get.”

“I didn’t try to eat his… never mind. So, Seth. Did you go back to his house or…?”

Faith spotted a fine opportunity to break through Melinda’s pout. “Nah, we just did it on the forest floor like animals. I lost a few hair extensions in the brambles and I’m sure there was something with too many legs on me at one point. But bloody hell, Mellybean he really knew what he was doing. It’s taken me ages to get here, wherever I am; I can barely walk.”

“Too much information.” Melinda tutted but finally smiled. “Why did you lie to me?”

Faith pouted. “I wasn’t sure if you’d like him, if I told you about him. Thought you’d talk me out of going to see him.”

“In that case yes, I probably would. Explain.”

“He’s not a bad guy! I think. He’s got mad mind-bending skills and this swagger. OK, his sense of humour is a bit twisted and his hunting methods are, well…” Was there any good way to put this? “Fatal.”

“So he’s smarmy, manipulative and excessively violent?”

“The sex was gentle,” Faith added, pointlessly.

“Was it? Well that certainly redeems him of all the murder,” Melinda said sarcastically as she pulled her phone out of her pocket; it vibrated in her hand, pinging continuously, the screen alight. “Wow, what? I didn’t even know the missed call counter went that high. How did I not get all these until now? How fast was I running?”

“Who is it?” Faith asked, grateful for the change in conversation.

Melinda tried not to cry as she scrolled down the list. “My mum, my dad… even my grandma! Something must be really wrong. Oh gosh, I hope it’s not grandpa.” She tapped to open a text.

“Oh, Mellybean. It’s OK. He was really old.”

“No, it’s not grandpa. We’re all over the news. They’re looking for us, Faith. They know we’re friends with April.”

“We’re not her secret friends anymore? Well it’s about bloody time. But it’s fine, relax, they don’t know where we are—“

“But they do know where we are!” Melinda cried. She turned her phone off and threw it as hard as she could over the treetops.



Lilith had been quiet for far too long. It didn’t take an emotional genius to tell that she was annoyed. Caleb tried not to look at her.

“You drank her dry.”

“Yes,” he admitted quickly.

“And then turned her,” Lilith stated, too calmly. “Even though you knew not to do that.”

Caleb nodded, frantically. If he agreed with everything she said, she would calm down, it would be over sooner.

Lilith was seething. “You monumental fuck-up. You’ve bound her to you.”

“What does that mean? Bound her?”

“Think of it as a vampire marriage…” Lilith started.

“A marriage? That doesn’t sound so bad—“

“…where the bride loses all her autonomy to her groom.”

“Her autonomy. So he controls her? What? Does that mean… me and April?”

“She won’t leave your bed because you told her not to,” Lilith hissed.

“I didn’t know! Why didn’t you tell me what that kind of turning would do?”

Lilith almost laughed. “Oh my! I didn’t think of that! I should have told you all about it! I’m sure that if I’d told you there was a way to create a completely submissive partner, an unbreakable doll, you wouldn’t have gone right out and created an army of them, would you?”

Definitely would have, back in the day, Caleb thought to himself. “I wouldn’t have,” he said.

I’m still in your head, moron.

Caleb groaned and threw his head back, banging it repeatedly against the wall as if he could dislodge her.

“Are you sure she’s not just manifesting?” he asked. “She can project her thoughts now…”

“No, she can’t. You can hear them now because you own her bloody mind.”

“No… I don’t. I can’t! She has been making loads of her own decisions since then. Even tonight, she left here by herself, she went to Marjorie’s…”

“So it all started tonight.” Lilith asked in a way that wasn’t really a question. “What else happened tonight, Caleb?”

He thought for a while.

Lilith was right in his face. He imagined that this is what being in the electric chair felt like. There was so much charge in the air that his hair was standing on end.

“How do you complete a marriage?” Lilith asked with faux innocence. “I know you know the answer to this one.” Her voice now dripping with sarcasm, “I see you made the consummation a romantic, soul-affirming affair for your beloved bride.”

Darn, his walls were still down. “It’s a mind thing, right? Can Seth fix it?”

“Aww, poor little Caleb. Is married life not for you?” Her voice had softened but it was in no way soothing or encouraging. “I’m afraid there’s no amount of encephalon encroachment that can put an end to this, dear brother. A wife is for life.”

“For life?”

“Eternity. That’s what you told her, right? You should be delighted.”

“So there’s no way out? She’s stuck with me forever?”

“There’s one way out,” Lilith purred.

Caleb didn’t like that tone. “Whatever it is, I’ll do it. She deserves to be free.”

Lilith grinned maniacally and began twisting his head, like the cap from a bottle, making a ‘pop’ sound with her mouth.

He understood. “Will it hurt her?”

“No, it won’t hurt her.”

Lilith was stroking his hair in an almost comforting way. He weighed up his options. This would certainly be less dramatic than lying inside Marjorie’s burning house and would attract far less attention. He wondered how long it would take. Would it be a swift break? Would she chew his head off? Pick him apart slowly? He didn’t really want to think about it.

With an image of April held firmly in his mind, he focussed directly on where Lilith’s eyes should be.

“Do it.”

21 thoughts on “Chapter 1.50 – Monumental Fuck-Up

  1. This is a nightmare! 😱

    Will Lilith really kill Caleb?
    Will Melinda’s father survive?

    I do not see much hope but hope for a miracle 😰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Blah, I refuse to like this chapter.

    Right, so the beginning with Mel’s parents was just so sad, it reminded me of my parents and I feel like I’ll ball my eyes out with where this is going. Melinda why wouldn’t you pick up the phone, damn it? If you don’t want them looking for you, just tell them you’re fine. But I see you’re adamant to make sure Melinda gets broken too, can’t have someone with her integirty in AE land, right?

    No comment on fucking Lilith. No point venting now, we’re way past that stage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally get it and totally fine. I don’t like this one either.

      You don’t know where this is going. I don’t know whether that gives you hope or not. Probably not.

      I didn’t think this would redeem Lilith in your eyes, no. 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Banana sausage surprise. Yuck… I mean lovely, Babs. She does some very weird things in the kitchen. xD Dear lord I hope he runs into either Faith or Melinda, and not Seth.

    Suuuuure, he’s not a bad guy, Faith. Confidence and treating you like you’re special and gentle love-making excuses all the deranged crazy and murder after all. Argh, Melinda, just send a text that you’re handling things but doing okay, that’s probably all they need to not go looking for you with a rescue party 0.o Does Melinda throwing her phone away mean that her parents could track her through it? Or is it a metaphorical thing, that she’s trying to cut ties with the people she loves before they follow her here? Or both? Hm.

    Ah… so Lilith blames all of it on Caleb, and even justifies her keeping vital information from him as the right thing to do. It probably was at the time, but not anymore. I wonder if her eye-less eye sockets even see Caleb at this point in her anger. Maybe all they see is her “father” and Straud. They’re all so thoroughly messed up. Would Lilith really be able to kill him, though? I guess we’ll find out really soon. Or not. You might leave us on a giant cliffhanger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’ll run into someone, I can tell you that.

      I’m glad that you agree with Faith and are finally coming round to Seth. No text would keep Chuck away now. He knows something isn’t right. If only he knew that that something had a whole load of teeth.

      It’s always Caleb’s fault. He’s the broken one, the rogue. Always was and always will be…

      No one is messed up. Everything is fine.

      Cliff-hanger? Moi?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh nooo! I’m really afraid that something bad is going to happen to Chuck. I want to put him in a protective bubble with Babs and they can eat blue lasagna and banana sausage surprise and live a happy life together. Okay, that probably won’t happen, lol. If Seth does something to Chuck, I will condemn him to the wrath of Lilith. The two of them can spat it out, maybe take each other out in a vampire deathmatch.

    At this point, I don’t really care if Caleb dies. He’s miserable, Lilith is angry, and April is a mindless robot. I know he didn’t know what he was doing (so that makes me feel some pity for him) and is like a deranged child running around with way too much power. But he even admitted that if he had known, he would have used that power on other women in the past. Plus, there is no way I want him around April or any of the girls knowing what he is capable of. What if something happened to Lilith? Caleb would be completely lost, he’s so dependent on her, and I’m not sure he would know how to survive without her. He’d turn to Seth and become even more of a monster, or maybe he would just sulk and wither away into a hopeless pit of despair.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh now you’ve got me wondering who would win in a vampire death match between Lilith and Seth. I want to say Seth because Lilith lost a lot of her power but… there’s life in that old dog. Hmm…..

      Look at you willing all my characters dead. It’s going to be an empty banner for season 2 at this rate. Just Melinda and Faith looking at each other.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A death match between Seth and Lilith would be entertaining, to say the least. 🙂

        I’ve turned into a complete pessimist regarding the old vampires. I’m guessing they won’t die because they still have to torment and corrupt everyone around them, while also living in complete denial about their own shortcomings *cough* Lilith. 😆

        Liked by 1 person

  5. *raises eyebrow* Those headlines are getting worse and worse. I don´t know why this is the channel playing everywhere. XD

    The worry for Chuck is interrupted somewhat by Babs´ tirade. Oh my, if she only know how right she were about the dangers of Forgotten Hollow.

    At least Mel didn´t have the chance to grill Faith too much. No time to argue, it´s time to bail, girls.

    *facepalms again* No, Lilith. If you were so concerned about his behavior, you shouldn´t have told Caleb /anything/ about it. Not a single word. And if you loathe that practice so much, you should certainly not have ever considered doing it yourself, you hypocrite. You also completely missed the point where Caleb got from “back in the day” to now, haven´t you, that ain´t giving you no brownie points, either. So why don´t you just take your rotten potato of a face away from my camera and go take a cold shower, ech?

    Phew, why does she make me just so mad. :/ Anyway, I wonder if it really wouldn´t hurt April. It doesn´t sound very likely, that. Caleb is basically the only reason why she isn´t dead yet… unless it wouldn´t hurt her but would outright kill her along with him. That´s definitely one way to understand those words.

    Also, amazing job at those empty eyes. How hard was it to make sure they wouldn´t be visible at all? Now while most dark forms and their meanings are still a mystery to me, everything about Lilith screams “blind” so that one seems pretty literal. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Sims News 24: When there’s only one news channel, there’s only one choice’

      It’s a dangerous place. All those ravines to fall in.

      Yes, now is not the time to debate Seth’s credentials. Run!

      I imagined that when Lilith walked back into the cottage to find her childhood sweetheart, Nathaniel dead on the floor and Caleb begging her to save him, that logic may have slipped her slightly in that moment. But it certainly begs the question why she didn’t erase that information from Caleb when she had chance, doesn’t it? Hmm… 😉 I do love when my characters invoke such emotion in my readers, so you rant away!

      “Caleb is basically the only reason why she isn´t dead yet” and yet he’s also the reason that she did die and now she might be about to die again. And the poor girl just wanted to *live forever*. Sigh.

      Ah, so create Lilith’s lack of eyes I followed a complicated process of lighting, shading and careful positioning. I’m joking, I simply coloured them in using MS Paint. 🤣 Blind is a good interpretation of her true form based on the evidence you have, so maybe I’m taking a break from the cloak and dagger act here, and it is literal.

      Like

      1. Ugh, someone should totally try to air some proper journalism over there. :p

        Heh, yeah. There might be a reason why she didn´t make him forget, and I can see how she´d just been shellshocked when that happened but… well. Lilith really isn´t the sort that knows when to hold her tongue now, is she? Anyway, I wrote that and then realized I just literally acted on a whim here and it read “insult Lilith´s face.” ha. XD

        DX Yeah, it´s such a tangled up mess. But Lils better not actually do it, especially if it would kill April, because does she really want to do that to Mel and Faith? Especially Faith, right now?

        XD Probably should have guessed. April´s bruises looked a bit too finicky for Paint, though…
        Heh, blind like a bat. Maybe it´s not literal literal, but she sure is blind to her own flaws so there´s that.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey, if you just wanna insult a character’s face, I won’t stop you. 😆

          April’s bruises were also done in Paint. Leftover skills from my pixel art days. 😂🤣

          Like

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