I didn’t really understand what was going on. I squinted up through the bright glass and my mouth fell open. But not in a bad way. A huge private jet was flying down. I could see inside, and it had a mini fridge, a fountain machine, a snack bar, a Jacuzzi…B.F started drooling when he saw a huge pile of books titled “How to Get a Date-Dealing With The Other Species.” Probably the most self-obsessed book name ever. SD started looking a little bit jealous. I had to laugh. Come on, it didn’t really take a genius to figure out they liked each other, but why didn’t they just come out and say it? A guy in the jet waved to all of us and gestured for us to follow him. We did. He landed outside of the castle. The guy got out of the jet, and SD’s mouth fell open. “KIRK?!” she said. She ran over to hug him. B.F looked ready to do a certain hand gesture when we heard him say, “Nice to see you too, sis.” It was our turn to be dumbfound. “Sis?” I demanded. She looked at me. “We’re not really related, but when I ran away I was really young, so Kirk’s parents-my NEW parents-took me in. And Kirk accepted me as a sister.”
We looked at Kirk, who was currently being egged on by Speedy to chug three cans of soda without burping.
“Boys,” SD said as she rolled her eyes. But I saw her look at B.F with a small look of exception, even though he too was also egging Kirk on, and Bard. Sooo sophisticated.
SD dropped her voice to a whisper, so I could barely hear her. “Slip…we need to talk.” I sighed. “About my brother? You’re wondering if he likes you? Well, the fact that he put his arm around you might help. Or that he-” She cut me off. “It’s not about that.” Oops. “Well, what’s it about, then?” I asked. “We were sitting near each other the other night. While I was talking to you. You were-excuse me-not noticing, and Bard and Speedy were talking to each other. I have to train my ears to hear a lot for zombies sneaking up on me. He kept repeating the same words in Latin-Et draconi qui est in te.” I racked my brain for my brief Latin lessons. “I don’t know much about Latin,” I said cautiously, “but I do know that part of that means ‘monster.'” She looked fearful. “That’s what I’m worried about. The translation is ‘You are a monster.'” I gulped. “But…it fixed the hole in his chest. That’s gotta be good, right?” I asked desperately. She teetered on her feet a little bit. “Maybe. I don’t know, Slip.” she admitted.
Our conversation was interrupted as Kirk finished half of his third can and let out a huge, long burp. The guys started laughing hysterically.
Funny. Real funny.
“Zeus fixed up Super Villain Island. Then he destroyed it. It’s the same concept, you never know what’s gonna happen,” she finished. I shrugged. “We’ll see.” And we called the guys all over for dinner.
As we devoured the pork chops that Bard had snagged us from the kitchen, I thought about how awful our situation was. I’d lost my parents, my best friend, and now my brother was starting to drift away, in his own little bubble with SD. I started realizing that this was how he felt-when he saw me kissing Speedy, or even just holding his hand, he tried to break it up a little bit. Maybe he’s more alone than I thought. Despite all the fights we had been through, we were actually really close compared to some siblings. We had always been there for the other if one of us got beat up at school, or a pet or friend died, something like that. I had waited forever to turn thirteen, but I realized I was growing up too fast and there was no way to turn back the clock. I finally understood that saying of Dad’s-“Friends come and go, but family is forever.” But was it really? Look at SD, whose parents hated her and she ran away. Look at Speedy, never to see his parents since the great flame. Look at us, who were drifting further and further apart every day. Soon, we wouldn’t even recognize each other if we bumped in the street. Despite our past problems, I actually felt sorry for him.
“-take shifts, it’s the only way. Have you noticed we always get attacked when we’re sleeping?” Speedy asked everyone else. They all nodded gravely. They noticed me sitting there and B.F said, “I’ll take first shift,” he said. “You guys get some sleep.” I thanked B.F and put my head on my hands. All the guys clapped him on the back, and so did SD, as they walked to the new sleeping bags we got. I was soon asleep.
I dreamed of the time I had spent with B.F over the years. There was one time, when I was 5, when we went to a carnival and when I was finished with seven pieces of cotton candy, I went off running. I noticed a tickle on my face, so I went up to scratch it, and accidentally squashed the killer bee that had been licking powdered sugar off of my face.
You haven’t experienced pain until that’s happened. The venom was so strong that I passed out. Fortunately, B.F noticed me and he carried (well, dragged) me over to my parents. They drove to the emergency room. I wouldn’t have lived if he hadn’t had his first aid kit with him, and let the doctors use it. My parents called it a miracle. So I managed to live. I started dreaming of other times…and something strange happened.
B.F woke us all up with a look of fear on his face. His whole shape was twitching. I tried to get him into the jet, but even when all of us tried, he was too strong. Then the change began. His body began to glow. His eyes turned red. His skin turned whiter than anything. Wings-big, black, leathery wings-sprouted from his shoulder blades. Fangs protruded from his lips.
And the vampire stood tall over us all.