The Vampires of the Paper Flower Consortium

PFC Bonus Episode 5: Transformative Holiday Traditions

December 17, 2020 Elizabeth Guizzetti Season 1
The Vampires of the Paper Flower Consortium
PFC Bonus Episode 5: Transformative Holiday Traditions
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Everyone wants to know how vampires celebrate Christmas! Loretta tells the story of the teenaged vampire, Norma.  In a series of small kindnesses, her vampire grandpa reachs her by celebrating "modern Christmas Merriments." CAST: Norma ... Stevie Rae Causey, Derrik  ... Evan Witt, Pascaline ... Gretchen SB, Agata ... Jennifer Brozek , Jeffery ... Ronnie Mason, Loretta ... Elizabeth Guizzetti, Sydella, Usher, & Operator... Nikki Burton
MUSIC: Intro/Outro: Loretta by Evan Witt.  www.wittynotes.com Background Music:  Waltz in AB "Farewell" & Rondo by Chopin| Deck the Halls,  Cole| 12 Days of Christmas, Holden|God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Robuck,  Lamburt| Christmas Waltz, Mcquillan| Ding Dong Merrily on High, Riley Other Sounds: Dark Ambient - 021, Jalastra| Antique Wall ClockStaget| Kitchen, Psykophobia| Sleighbells, SE2001| Pavement, JohnsonBrandEditing| Cars by Joanaa_00| Heart by frantramp| Shopping Street Ambiance by Sphion| Ho Ho Hooo & Merry Christmas &Happy New Year, Sovy| Horror Pulsating Drone Loop by Gerainsan

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Paper Flower Consortium Bonus Episode 5: Transformative Holiday Traditions

00:00 OPENING

MUSIC: LORETTA’S THEME 20 SEC

V.O: Paper Flower Consortium Bonus Episode 5: Transformative Holiday Traditions

 Recording by Loretta Fabron Onfoy, former lady of the Kingdom of France and current historian and librarian of the Paper Flower Consortium.

 

 

CHAPTER 1: Holiday Traditions Change

 

LORETTA

 

Welcome back, beloved initiates and other listeners,

 

Many initiates are fascinated by our holiday celebrations. The truth is like everything else we do, it changes generation to generation. As it is Christmas time, I shall inform my dear listeners, that before 1951, we never had a Christmas celebration in the modern sense of it. 

 

Perhaps this seems strange during this current age, when one think of how Christmas dominates American holidays. But in many places, historically, Christmas was a minor feast day compared to Easter and even Epiphany. And many current holiday traditions only became popular in America after the Victorian or Post World War II eras.

 

Prior to 1951, the Christians among us simply went into the chapel with our enthralled humans who were also Christian on Christmas Eve. We fasted for a night and day—though we ensured humans had water and young vampires had access to blood to protect the humans. And We prayed with word and sacred song. The last hour we performed a short service with Holy Communion. 

 

At midnight on Christmas, we joined Jakub and Xiao along with any enthralled humans who were not Christian for a lovely shared feast. Most people now call this a potluck. Though William was Catholic, he did not attend the services or feast as he spent Christmas with his human sons or hunting. 

 

There is a belief that Charles’ Second Born, Jeffery Paul Conway brought us into more modern celebrations as he modernized our church services. However, in truth, he still grieved as polio had devastated his family, taking his mother, pregnant wife and second child within her, and their first-born child. He was quite content to sit with Charles in devout worship. 

 

However, Jeffery advised us and gave Derrik the information he needed to help Norma fit into the sphere of vampires she had found herself. 

 

This story shows how altering holiday plus a few every night miracles would change Derrik and Norma’s relationship. 

 

And truthfully, these new traditions in turn changed the coven to make it more attractive to American initiates and young vampires.  

 

 



 

CHAPTER 2: Let us return to 1951

 

This story is a unification of Agata, Norma’s and Jeffery’s Diaries, plus my own records which included my sister’s and brother in law’s reports and dictations. Even Gaius had things to add to this story. If you have not listened to the previous lessons which tell Norma’s story, just know: Norma was fourteen when she was accidently created by the vampire William. Afterwards he claimed her as his daughter. William was executed for a hundred crimes to humanity and vampires. And William’s creator Derrik brought Norma into his home. For anyone who has forgotten both Norma and Derrik are telepaths.  

 

By the 1950’s, society knew of Gross Reactions due to Previous Trauma could be found in battered children. Later this would be called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder -- it was thought once the child was removed from the situation, the fear would fade. And Norma was safe with us.

 

However, Norma was not the only one who was afraid. And the elder vampires, myself included, really ought to have seen this coming.

 

In 1842, Derrik was offered the position of Jakub’s Second Born, he used this opportunity to become an attorney and a gentleman who married a noble-born lady, Pascaline. But haunted by his youth, Derrik always felt as if he had to be the best gentleman. And Derrik got it in his head that for Norma to survive, she must be the perfect young lady. 

 

As it was 1951, Derrik did not know how to guide her in this, much less how to deal with the panic attacks. He did not want Pascaline to travel. However, she had to finish coven business before the calendar turned to the next fiscal year. 

 

So let us Return to 1951:

 

BACKGROUND MUSIC: CHOPIN’S FAREWELL PIANO

DERRIK

 

Perhaps, my love, Norma needs a change of scenery. Lord knows she is not happy here when you’re gone.

 

PASCALINE

 

But who knows what might happen with vampires outside the coven if she has a gross reaction?

 

DERRIK

 

You promised you’d help, but all you do is lavish her with affection then leave me alone with her. When you leave she becomes insolent. 

 

Even when you’re here, you get her during the night hours when she is well-behaved. You’re protected by day-terrors by a front door.

 

PASCALINE

 

You must do more than simply ensure her physical needs are met if you expect her to trust you, mon cher. 

 

That she misses her mother doesn’t mean she rejects you. Certainly you know what it is to lose your beloved mother. 

 

DERRIK 

 

My mother was murdered, her mother is alive! It is not the same!

 

PASCALINE

 

Forgive me. No. It is not the same. 

 

DISTORTED: Norma was murdered by your lover and you did nothing.

 

LORETTA

 

Be clear, Pascaline did not say those words, but Derrik heard the accusation in her thoughts.

 

PASCALINE

 

You’ve both been through a pronounced trauma and need time to adjust.  

 

She is homesick and conflicted about being here. She will stop acting out once she trusts you.

 



 

DERRIK

 

And how shall I win this trust when she quarrels with every word I say?

 

PASCALINE

 

Speak to her on subjects other than her schoolwork, stop scolding her for every little thing, and when I’m away, spend time with her in an pleasurable activity.

 

DERRIK

 

Such as?

 

PASCALINE

 

Some of the radio programs she enjoys are amusing.

 

DERRIK 

 

They are low class.

 

PASCALINE

 

If you don’t wish to listen to the radio, then read to her. Or have her read to you. Or play Scrabble. 

 

It’s in my parlor. 

 

DERRIK 

 

I give her everything and you want me to play with her too? 

 

Do you know what I would’ve given to have some place safe when I was her age? To have enough food? 

 

 

LORETTA

 

Pascaline could see her husband’s old pain rising up. She regretted saying anything about his mother. And truthfully, she was annoyed as well. 

 

Or perhaps it is I who am annoyed by my brother-in-law as I tell this story. Our human mother also died in violence. Perhaps the circumstances are different, as our parents were causalities of religious persecution, but even three centuries later, I recall her and ache inside. 

 

But let us return to the story. 

 

DERRIK

 

All Norma must do is her lessons and be… 

 

PASCALINE

 

Be what, mon cher? 

 

DERRIK

 

Well behaved. Grateful.

 

PASCALINE

 

Norma ought to be more thankful? 

In what century were fourteen-year-olds known for gratitude?

 

DERRIK

 

What if she makes another mistake? 

 

PASCALINE

 

Let her make mistakes. She’ll be fine. 

 

DERRIK 

 

Last time she brought a GHOST home.

 

PASCALINE

 

And you handled it brilliantly. 

 

SOUND EFFECT: DOOR KNOCK

 

LORETTA

 

Pascaline’s enthralled human told her the car was ready. She got onto her toes to kiss her husband’s lips. Walking out the door, she kissed Norma’s cheek and left. 

 

I suppose I ought to report, They didn’t play scrabble or anything else that night. Norma had been eavesdropping or otherwise overheard their conversation. She went into her room and remained there. Derrik put on his hat and coat and went into the garden to sit with his mournful thoughts.

 

Now Derrik was not wrong. Norma tended to quarrel with him, and when Pascaline wasn’t around, Norma became even less compliant. Moreover, she did not sleep well. She certainly wasn’t sleeping the sleep of the dead.

 

Norma would nod off in her coffin, but habitually wake during the day. And Derrik found her either trying to find some place to hide or setting traps on the front door. Her heart racing. Bloody sweat staining her sleeping gown and her face discolored with bloody tears. And that day, December 14th was one of the worst. 

 

SOUND EFFECT: JANGLING OF UTENSILS

 

DERRIK

What are you doing? 

It’s way past our coffintime. 

 

LORETTA

 

Norma held one of the kitchen knives if she might stab herself, but she didn’t. 

 

Derrik realized she was trying to figure how deep the blade might cut if she plunged it into someone’s chest. 

 

He wasn’t exactly afraid of the girl. Obviously, he is stronger, taller, he could physically control her if need be, though he loathed to do so. Also, he didn’t want to be stabbed. Even though vampires heal quickly, it would hurt.

 

DERRIK

Norma!

 

LORETTA

 

She looked up. Her big hazel eyes, William’s eyes, stared at him. The girl was trying to dam up her pain, not allowing it to spill into the room where it might touch him. The way William used to before he completely lost his mind.  

 

NORMA 

 

We need to get the cutlery sharpened. 

 

LORETTA

 

Norma kneeled, still clutching at the knife. She crawled under the table and began taping it to the underside. It fell.

 

SOUND EFFECT: KNIFE FALLING

 

NORMA

 

Don’t worry. I won’t let them hurt you either. Or Mary. 

 

DERRIK

 

If you just slept the sleep of the dead, you wouldn’t be so fearful.

 

NORMA

 

Does Pascaline keep her sword sharp? Tell her to sharpen it next time she’s home.

 

 

LORETTA

 

Norma shook her head, her dark curls falling over her face. Derrik wondered if he should pat her shoulder, but she picked up the knife. 

 

He wished Pascaline was home. Pascaline knew how to disarm someone. He wanted to call Jakub or Charles, but then the coven might think the girl was deranged. 

 

Norma taped the knife again, adding another strip of tape to hold it more securely.

 

It fell again.

 

SOUND EFFECT: KNIFE FALLING

 

NORMA

 

Do we have better tape?

 

DERRIK 

 

Norma, a lady doesn’t tape knives to the table.

 

NORMA 

 

But I see them… 

 

DERRIK

 

Who?

 

NORMA

 

Charles skinning a bear. Since there isn’t blood all over the hall, that mustn’t been real, but then I saw… (pause) Bill in front of his apartment. 

 

And Bill said they are coming. And then he showed me.

 

I know he was dismembered and burned, but I thought maybe he’s not gone, because he’s a ghost like the dog was. 

 

Maybe he came back for us. 

 

Or maybe just you. He really loves you. 

 

DERRIK 

 

Bill loved you too. 

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik did not believe William was a ghost. Yet part of him hoped it was true, even though he knew William would most likely be a malicious ghost. 

 

NORMA

 

I won’t let him hurt you again.

 

DERRIK

 

Who? Bill? Bill never hurt me.

 

NORMA 

 

No. That man who did it before. I don’t think he lives here and I won’t let him get in.

 

LORETTA

 

Now Derrik wasn’t sure if Norma was seeing his father, former master at the tin factory or someone else who was cruel to the orphaned boy Derrik once had been, but Derrik did know his memories were now entwined with hers and in her present reality.

 

DERRIK

 

No one has hurt me in over a century. That man is long dead.

 

(DISTORTED) Why in damnation did Bill not teach you to control your telepathy?

 

NORMA

 

He didn’t want me to control it. 

 

I just wish it all wasn’t so jumbled. Are you sure he’s dead? What if he’s a vampire too? Or a ghost?

 

LORETTA

 

The idea that any of the cruel men had been resurrected terrified Derrik.  

 

But Derrik pushed those fears away before Norma expirenced them.

 

DERRIK

 

It’s not your fault you’re seeing these things, but you must return to your coffin. 

 

(DISTORTED) Maybe I should tell her about the models.

 

NORMA

 

Bill said it’s your art and I ought not to touch them because they can be fragile. I won’t. I’ll protect them if you want. 

 

No. Don’t be mad at me. I didn’t touch them.

 

DERRIK

 

Norma, I’m not mad at you. 

 

Listen to my words. Ignore any thoughts.

 

When I was first reborn, I saw and heard things too. I feared I was insane. Worse, I feared I could no longer practice law. 

 

As we had a supply of matchsticks, I began building models.  

 

It took practice to get my clumsy fingers nimble enough to not destroy what I built, but building models blocks everyone’s incessant mind babble.

 

NORMA

 

But you’re not clumsy, they are all perfect.

 

DERRIK

 

You only see what I can do after a hundred years. My first attempts became firewood. 

 

Perhaps, we might build something together tomorrow after I return home from the office. 

 

NORMA 

 

Really?

 

DERRIK

 

If you get some sleep, I’ll show you. You ought to be well rested.

 

LORETTA

 

Norma’s lips quivered and bloody tears slipped down her cheeks. Then she took a shaky breath and nodded. 

 

NORMA

 

Okay, but I gotta check the doors. Stay behind me, just in case.

 

LORETTA

 

Knife in hand, Norma peeked out of the peephole. It was the middle of the day, no one was in the hall. Norma went to her room, but instead of her coffin, she slipped into her closet. 

 

Rather than returning to his coffin, Derrik lay with his enthralled human, Mary. He tried to listen to her sweet regular heartbeat, but instead Norma’s broken heart pummeled against him. 

*

 

Thankfully, Night came as it always does. As Pascaline was gone, Norma had her lesson in the library where Laurence was in full view of myself, Jeffery, and Charles who were finishing up Jeffery’s last year as an initiate.

 

This is nothing against Laurence, but after all, Laurence is the one who introduced William to us, and he still hunted humans. Moreover, he only became Norma’s tutor to pay back a loan he owed the coven. Still he was diligent about the job.

 

And Norma seemed to be in better than usual spirits. They discussed the book they were reading together. It was A Christmas Carol due to the season. When they stopped for lunch, I heard Norma tell him how Derrik was going to teach her how to build with matchsticks to help her quiet her telepathy. I remember hearing youthful excitement in her voice, the first time I ever heard it. After lunch, they moved on to mathematics. Laurence left around 3 AM and Norma spent the pre-dawn as she often did. 

 

And Derrik had every intention of coming home at 6 am per usual, but he received a phonecall: a troll was stuck in holding at the Port of Seattle. The only holding cell big enough for him had a window and, of course, the sun would be rising in a few hours.

 

When Derrik didn’t return home, Norma felt her chest constrict in fury. She had done everything he always scolded about: she finished her homework, turned off the radio, cleaned up her art supplies, and dressed for dinner.  

 

Then she started watching the clock. By seven, worries began. 

 

SOUND EFFECT CLOCK

 

SOUND EFFECT HEARTBEAT

 

 

LORETTA Cont.

 

She heard Mary’s heartbeat, she felt her fangs expand. But she denied her hunger. 

 

By sunrise, Mary informed us Norma began whispering to herself and rubbing her arms. 

 

NORMA

 

Bill’s dead, he’s not here. 

 

No, I won’t do it, Dad. I won’t. Not ever. You aren’t here.

 

Mary, do you think Derrik will be mad if I called the office? I’m getting really hungry.  

 

LORETTA

 

Mary told her she should call, because she had plans to go shopping that morning and Derrik was being inconsiderate to make them wait without calling.

 

Norma who already started to blame herself, did not notice Mary’s annoyance was directed at Derrik. She only felt Mary was annoyed.  

 

PAPER FLOWER CONSORTIUM SWITCHBOARD

 

Good Morning, Paper Flower Consortium Operator

 

NORMA 

 

Hello, this is Norma. Would you connect me with the Law Office of Derrik Miller, please?

 

PAPER FLOWER CONSORTIUM SWITCHBOARD

 

Of course, Miss.

 

LORETTA

 

Norma scrunched her toes. Pain grew as the heartbeats around the coven grew louder. 

 

PAPER FLOWER CONSORTIUM SWITCHBOARD

 

The line is busy, dear. 

 

NORMA

 

I’m not feeling well. And I really need my grandpa. Please. 

 

PAPER FLOWER CONSORTIUM SWITCHBOARD

 

I’ll try his direct line …

 

LORETTA

 

As the operator tried to ring through, William’s voice pounded in Norma’s ears. His furious rage grew within her because she refused to kill. 

 

NORMA

 

DISTORT No I won’t do it, Dad

 

LORETTA

 

She smelled the iron tinge in the air as Mary opened the bottle of cow blood. Cow’s blood would soothe her hunger, but Mary’s blood would be delicious.

 

Finally she was connected. Norma wanted to be relieved, but Derrik said:

 

DERRIK 

 

I can’t talk to you right now.

 

NORMA 

 

When are you coming home? 

 

DERRIK

 

I don’t know. 

 

NORMA

 

But I’m hungry.

 

DERRIK

 

Then eat dinner and remember to finish your lessons.

 

NORMA 

 

I already finished my lessons. I’m …

 

DERRIK

 

Norma, I have to go. Be good and mind Pascaline.

 

NORMA

 

Pascaline’s gone, it’s Friday, remember?

 

DERRIK

 

Yes. Of Course. That’s actually part of the problem. Tomorrow, the offices will be closed.

 

NORMA

 

I …

 

DERRIK

 

You’re old enough to behave like a young lady ought for a few hours. Good Bye.

 

NORMA

 

DISTORTED I will not hurt anyone. No matter what happens I will not hurt anyone. I won’t. Not ever again.

 

 

SOUND EFFECT: STACKED HEARTBEAT, GROWING LOUDER

 

LORETTA

 

Norma heard our enthralled human’s heartbeats across the hall. Then other heartbeats. There was so many people to eat. In her rising panic, a terrible fear filled her. What if this was one of Bill’s tests? What if Derrik believed in Bill’s experiments? What if William wasn’t a ghost at all.

 

SOUND EFFECT NORMA SCREAM IN PAIN

 

LORETTA

 

Norma screamed in agony, but she only realized she screamed when Mary called out, “Norma, What’s wrong?”

 

 

NORMA 

 

Mary, get out of here. 

 

 

 

 

LORETTA

 

By now, William filled Norma’s vision, the pain pounded through her eyes. Refusing to approach the enthralled human, she fell to her knees and covered her head. 

 

NORMA

 

I’ll make my own dinner and wash the dishes, just go. Please go. Derrik will be mad I ordered you around, but I said please. I said please! 

 

LORETTA

 

Now for Mary’s part, though she had never seen Derrik in such a state, she was an experienced enough enthralled human to realize Norma was losing control. Mary backed out the front door and hurried to the infirmary.

 

When Lady Agata arrived, she discovered Norma under the table clutching a knife in one hand and tearing at a raw steak like a ravenous animal. 

 

AGATA

 

Norma?

 

NORMA

 

Get away from me!

 

AGATA

 

You ought not to order elder vampires around, young lady. What in the world are you doing under the table?

 

NORMA

 

No bodies to hide under.

 

Bill can’t make me anymore. He wants to hurt me or warn me maybe, it’s all so jumbled.

 

AGATA

 

Eat your steak. I shall bring you a cup of blood.

 

LORETTA

 

Though it was not proper for a vampire to invite oneself in, much less stay for dinner, Agata decided to stay.

 

BACKGROUND MUSIC: CHOPIN’S RONDO FOR PIANO

 

The girl bit into the meat ripping with her teeth as she had done so many times with William. 

 

Once Norma finished her steak and cows blood, they spoke. Agata discovered though Norma was upset about Derrik’s broken promise, however she was also sure that Norma wasn’t just trying to get attention. 

 

In five hundred years, Agata had seen several ravenous young vampires, in agonizing pain of bloodlust. She had heard the ramblings of uncontrolled telepathy twice, after Derrik was first transformed and later William.

 

Once Norma was calm enough to leave her hiding spot, Agata mixed her a sweet anise flavored sleeping draft and mesmerized her to help her continued sleep. 

 

When Derrik returned home a little after 9, tired from a late day, he was surprised to see Agata sitting on his couch, reading a small leather book: Norma’s diary

 

AGATA

Good morning, Derrik.

 

LORETTA

 

An icy coldness leeched from Agata as she snapped the diary shut. He wanted to run, but as it would be futile and terribly rude, he did not. 

 

DERRIK

 

Good morning. Where is Norma?

 

AGATA

 

Asleep. I gave her a draft, as after this day, Norma shall never suffer again. One way or the other. 

 

DERRIK

 

She is not suffering any worse than I. 

 

BACKGROUND MUSIC: CHOPIN’S RONDO FOR PIANO and SOUND EFFECT: DRONE

 

AGATA 

 

If you want to make it a contest, I shall ensure you win. 

 

Norma shall meet her final death, drugged, but you shall not be if we must prune the family tree.

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik felt stinging rain across his body as Agata’s mesmerism slid over him. He knew he should have ran.

 

AGATA

 

Tell me, was she truly an accident?

 

DERRIK

 

I believe so. 

 

AGATA

 

You reported the child had occasional day terrors featuring William, but not ongoing waking dreams, remembering and remembering violent beatings that broke her bones. 

 

Did you know?

 

DERRIK

 

Yes. She was hiding injuries when we brought her home which is why Xiao and I offered our blood. We were connected when her bones shifted back into place.

 

AGATA

 

Why does Norma’s diary assert over and over that you hate her? Have you hurt her?

 

DERRIK 

 

I-I would never lay a hand on a child. She is simply hysterical. 

 

AGATA

 

Though some of her words are no doubt exaggerated by Norma’s inexperience, if this is even half correct, 

 

I am very disappointed in you.

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik did not know how to answer, but it didn’t matter, Lady Agata was not finished. And no one interrupts the mother of our bloodline. 

 

You see, Agata may be kind hearted, but one ought to never forget, she also destroyed the ancient vampire who created her and helped overthrow Gaius when she was only eight nights old. 

 

AGATA 

 

How dare you claim she is here by your charity? 

 

DERRIK

 

I was just trying to make her listen. She quarrels all the time. 

 

AGATA

 

We NEVER said such a thing to you. 

 

Did Jakub or I judge you for what you were, what you did to survive before you found us? Never. 

 

DERRIK 

 

I was employed by Jakub. 

 

AGATA

 

And I made you his son. And we allowed you to marry my First Born!

 

In her diary, Norma claims she has no friends, no family. Why would a girl living with her grandfather claim that?

 

DERRIK

She’s broken.

 

AGATA

 

As are many who have lived with monsters. 

 

Tell me the truth now, did you claim Norma as your progeny so Pascaline wouldn’t leave you? 

 

DERRIK

 

How do you know that?

 

AGATA

 

It is in your granddaughter’s diary! Should I read you her sorrow?

 

DERRIK

 

I never wanted her to know. I told her not to read minds.

 

AGATA

 

It took you and William years to completely control your telepathy, why do you think your granddaughter can magically she controls hers after mere months? 

 

DERRIK

 

Please stop calling her that.

 

AGATA

 

Fine. Do you care about your progeny at all?

 

DERRIK

 

I gave up my study. I bought her an expensive coffin that she rarely sleeps in. My food and blood costs have doubled. 

 

Pascaline buys Norma clothes constantly, and 

 

I have to see Laurence Roch every damn night, with the knowledge my wife…. 

 

AGATA 

 

I would not blame Norma for that if I were you. You and Pascaline opened that can of worms on your own.

 

DERRIK

 

I don’t blame Norma for any of it.

 

But I haven’t gotten a full day’s sleep in the month Norma has been here. She cries constantly. She sets traps around the house. She hides in closets. 

 

Last night she was playing with the knives! 

 

AGATA

 

Strange you left Mary alone with her if you believe her dangerous.

 

DERRIK

 

No not dangerous, just argumentative. I dare not speak of her hysteria, because I fear the others might think she is deranged. 

 

Oh and she think Bill is a ghost.

 

AGATA

She told me. 

 

Perhaps it was wrong of us to assume you wanted to know the joys of parenting.

 

DERRIK

 

If there is joy, I haven’t witnessed it yet. All I do is worry. 

 

AGATA

 

What worries you?

 

DERRIK

 

Someone might destroy her. But no matter how much I warn her, she refuses to act like a lady.

 

AGATA 

 

Oh, Derrik, do you actually believe that? 

 

Jakub will raise his sword if Norma becomes a danger to the coven, not for quarrelsome behavior. 

 

LORETTA

 

I’ve said before Derrik was too strict, but now Agata could see why. She recommended similar advice to that which Pascaline gave. And Derrik promised Agata he would get through one night without scolding Norma or quarreling with her.

 

However, when Norma woke up in the evening, she was even less compliant. And she knew exactly how to how to annoy him. 

 

Norma did not dress before coming to breakfast or even brush her hair so her curls were wild and frizzy. She did not say good evening to him. 

 

Even so, she was polite to Mary and handed her a letter of apology for falling into bloodlust.

 

DERRIK

 

I apologize I came home late last morning. I ought to have had Mrs. Torez call for me, before she left. 

 

LORETTA

 

Norma didn’t answer. She sipped the bowl of blood which Mary put in front of her. Though Derrik did not like her  attitude, he refused to take the bait. 

 

DERRIK

 

A client’s existence was in peril. They put him in a cell with windows. I can’t tell you more than that without mentioning privileged information.

 

LORETTA

 

Norma still didn’t answer.

 

DERRIK

 

You’re feeling better now?

 

LORETTA

 

Norma nodded, but still didn’t speak. 

 

DERRIK

 

And I spoke to Pascaline last morning. She found a new Christmas dress she wants to buy you. 

 

NORMA 

 

But you would rather me wear my church dress?

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik hated how Norma sometimes put a statement in the form of a question, but he said: 

 

DERRIK

 

We thought you might like to wear something new for the Christmas worship and feast.

 

NORMA 

 

But YOU want me to wear my church dress, because it is only a month old and you hate how much I cost.

 

DERRIK

 

I don’t hate how much you cost.

 

NORMA

 

Then why do you constantly complain about it? 

 

DERRIK

 

I may’ve been surprised at how much girls’ things cost, but I haven’t complained about it.

 

NORMA

 

(DISTORT) Yes, Derrik.

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik felt the distance and distrust grow between them. But he couldn’t think of another happy topic, so he stuck with Christmas.

 

Derrik explained how the coven celebrated; he loved the Christmas fast and feast. He loved the feeling of contentment that he felt with the coven and his creator in the warmth of our quiet chapel. 

 

He expected her to somewhat excited. 

 

Yet her eyes exposed she was on the edge of crying. He saw a series of images in her mind. Most of them featured her mother or friends from her church or school. Or that boy she had once kissed. 

 

DERRIK

 

Please speak. It is not polite for me to guess what is on your mind.

 

NORMA 

 

What’s special about Christmas—except that it’s a really long church service?

 

DERRIK

 

There’s not an organized service. It’s more of a personal worship.

 

NORMA 

 

And we have to do this all day?

 

DERRIK

Yes.

 

NORMA

 

Does Xiao have to go? 

 

DERRIK

 

Of course not.

 

NORMA 

 

Then why do I?

 

DERRIK 

 

Norma, you are a vampire and a Christian.

 

NORMA 

 

And I must behave like one, I heard you the first hundred times.

 

DERRIK 

 

If that’s your attitude about it, then you don’t need a new dress.

 

NORMA 

 

Good. Then I don’t have to hear how you’re “surprised’ by the cost.

 

LORETTA

 

Norma put her fingers as quote marks around the word “surprised.” 

 

DERRIK 

 

Don’t quote at me, young lady!

 

(DISTORTED) Damn it!

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik was annoyed with himself as he, a century old vampire, had been baited again by a fourteen year old girl. 

 

 

NORMA

 

I’ll be cold, but the icy water won’t kill me. I might make it.

 

LORETTA

 

Norma was correct, she could make it to Issaquah, we never doubted that. But to get there she must have blood.

 

DERRIK

 

Even if somehow you made it home, you might destroy her in your bloodlust.

 

NORMA

 

I know. Why do you think I stay here? (Sniff)

 

NORMA SOUND EFFECT: SNIFF

 

LORETTA

 

Her grief was raw and tainted with guilt of regular childish mistakes and the guilt she felt for the part she played in William’s crimes. And his execution. 

 

Derrik removed his handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to her. 

 

DERRIK

 

Because I told you a hundred times?

 

LORETTA

 

Her mind raced through images, mostly picture shows trying to figure out how to behave in this instant. 

 

DERRIK

 

As for Christmas, I want you to show your gratitude to God for all He has given us as vampires and you personally. 

 

If you need to sleep, return to your room. Or if you need more blood, you may ask Mary or Aldo. They will be there.

 

NORMA

 

Is anybody going to do anything scary?

 

DERRIK

Scary?

 

NORMA

Medieval.

 

LORETTA

 

He caught a violent image cross her mind that didn’t seem to have a place there. It must be from another picture show. She really had seen way too many films. 

 

DERRIK

 

Well, sometimes, Agata sings her old medieval songs.

 

NORMA 

 

Songs? Like carols? 

NORMA SOUND EFFECT: SNIFF

 

 

DERRIK

 

They are improvised.

 

NORMA

 

If they are improvised, how can they be old?

 

DERRIK

 

I would do a poor job of explaining, but we could ask the ladies to enlighten you.

 

NORMA

 

Will anyone sing newer carols? The ones I would know? I know some old ones too — as old as you at least. They are churchy.

 

DERRIK

 

While most of the women’s carols are in French, I’m sure you’ll know some of them, and if you give Pascaline and Loretta enough time to learn the melodies, they might accompany you in any song you like.

 

Your mind moves very quickly. Why are you thinking about Charles Dickens? 

 

NORMA

 

I was just curious if before you were a vampire, was Christmas church all day too?

 

DERRIK

 

I didn’t celebrate Christmas when I was a boy.

 

NORMA

 

But in A Christmas Carol… 

 

DERRIK

 

No matter what Dickens wrote, no one I knew celebrated Christmas. If it happened to be Sunday, I had the night off as the factory was closed.

 

People sometimes said Happy Christmas in greeting, but that was about it. Most people couldn’t even afford to celebrate Easter. 

 

LORETTA

I am going to pause for a moment, you see what is about to happen is just a little thing. So small that non-vampires and even initiates might not understand. 

 

In that moment, Norma looked down at her bowl of blood and Derrik worried that she was about to skitter away to her room, or start quarreling or call him a hypocrite. But she didn’t do any of those things. Instead there was the first of many small wonders between them: She just asked:

 

NORMA

 

So I guess Santa didn’t visit you?

 

DERRIK

 

It was Father Christmas in England, but he only visited the wealthy, never anyone I knew. 

 

NORMA

 

My mom used to put an orange in my sock and said it was from Santa. 

 

DERRIK

 

It is genuinely amazing how inexpensive produce is in America. 

 

LORETTA

 

Norma twisted her fingers around the handkerchief in a girlish way. She often did this when she got nervous. 

 

Derrik knew he would not like where this conversation was headed, but as Agata and Pascaline instructed him, he needed to listen to Norma.

 

NORMA

 

Lots of stores hire extra help this time of year and since the sun goes down early, I could help with expenses. 

 

DERRIK

 

Focus on your studies. And I believe I told you not to read minds.

 

NORMA

 

I don’t need to read your mind to know you worry about money all the time. 

 

Whenever Pascaline wants to buy me anything, you have the same look on your face that my mom had when I grew out of my clothes.

 

DERRIK

 

There is an eternity to find meaningful gainful employment.

 

NORMA

 

Are you sure? I used to feed the sheep before school, muck out the stable after and I was a babysitter.

 

DERRIK

 

A babysitter means minding an infant?

 

NORMA

 

Yes. But nobody needs a babysitter here. Or has any sheep. 

 

DERRIK

 

No, we don’t. 

 

NORMA

 

And I helped Bill with his experiments. 

 

Maybe I could help you in your office or take a shift on the switchboard. Then I won’t be a charity case and you needn’t worry about money.

 

DERRIK

 

Perhaps my old worries spill into you, but I can afford everything in our existence. 

 

Other than occasional days of physical work with Jakub, my initiation years were spent learning to read and write followed by my apprenticeships in business and law. 

 

Though you are already a vampire, we might consider these years your initiation period. 

 

LORETTA

 

When Norma didn’t immediately argue with him, Derrik kept talking.

 

DERRIK

 

I never have had to provide for anyone, but I want to provide for you so you may have whatever childhood is left to you, my lamb. 

 

LORETTA

 

Norma smiled for a moment and suddenly Norma didn’t resemble William quite so much. 

 

Now understand, beloveds, if you look at portraits of William and Norma, they look very much alike, but William’s expressions had slipped away from her face when he called her: my lamb.

 

And in an instant, it returned and Derrik heard her think:

 

NORMA 

 

Wait. Was that another dig at my mom’s farm? How can I tell? I wish Pascaline was here. It’s so easy to read them when they are together.

 

DERRIK

 

No, it wasn’t an insult. 

 

When I was a lad, I was afraid of the vampires I found myself with, actually I was afraid of everyone.  

 

But Agata was kind to me and she used to call me that, but if you don’t like it, I won’t say it.   

 

LORETTA

 

Norma didn’t answer. He could feel her trying to decide what to say, her ache for her mother.

 

But he felt something else. She wanted to trust Derrik and the rest of the vampires, but she didn’t know if she could. To trust us meant she needed to have faith that trust was even possible. 

 

Trying to think of some way to make her happy, Derrik said: 

 

DERRIK

 

Now, if you please, tell me about your favorite modern Christmas merriments. Perhaps, we might enjoy some of them.

 

NORMA

 

My mom and I always made candy and gave it to all our neighbors. 

 

DERRIK

 

I’m not really a good cook, what else?

 

NORMA

 

Well, we decorated the house. When are we decorating your house?

 

DERRIK

 

This is your home too. I suppose...whenever you want. Christmas is only ten nights away now.

 

LORETTA

 

And there is the second miracle. Nothing is more important than home to a vampire. And Derrik just told her she had a home. 

 

But as I’ve said this is a story of transformations and even more happened!

 

NORMA

 

Can we afford a Christmas Tree?

 

DERRIK

 

A Christmas Tree?

 

(DISTORTED) Isn’t that… Needles. Bugs. And you’re scared of fire so candles…

 

NORMA

 

Please, I’ll keep it watered and vacuum up the needles. And most people use electric lights now, not candles. 

 

DERRIK

 

Oh, I suppose, but don’t cause more work for Mary.

 

NORMA

 

I won’t. Thank you. 

May we get it tonight?

 

DERRIK

 

If you finish your breakfast and get dressed. 

 

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik was startled to feel her real appreciation. It felt so different from the pretend gratitude, founded in anxiety, which he normally sensed coming from her. It was warm and soft as if she touched his hand. 

 

38:09: A Christmas Tree

 

Now Christmas trees are an old tradition and while we were aware of them, it does not mean we understand the ins and outs of getting one.

 

BACKGROUND MUSIC: DECK THE HALLS

 

So while Norma was dressing, Derrik, holding a stack of catalogues and the day’s newspaper in his arms, ran across the hall and up the stairs to Jeffery’s condominium. 

 

 

DERRIK

 

Jeffery, if you please, I must speak with you about a matter of some urgency. I only have a half hour. 

 

JEFFERY

Yes? 

 

DERRIK 

 

I need to know about Christmas. 

 

JEFFERY

 

Is this a trick question?

 

DERRIK

 

Modern Christmas.

 

I-I am taking Norma to buy a Christmas Tree. 

 

JEFFERY

 

That’s wonderful

 

DERRIK

 

We only have so many nighttime shopping hours and tomorrow everything is closed. I don’t want to bother Mrs. Torez at home, and embarrassed to admit my ignorance to Laurence. 

 

Moreover, modern Christmas seems quite acquisitive in nature and many activities are geared toward younger children but Norma loved decorating a tree with her mother. She also loved making candy, but I don’t cook so I’m getting her a tree. 

 

Please tell me what else to buy: there are so many products now. It’s befuddling.

 

LORETTA

 

Jeffery quickly explained the post war traditions of Christmas which were common all over America, specifically decorating Christmas trees, followed by Santa Claus, stockings, and presents. 

 

DERRIK

 

May I ask if you have any gift ideas for Norma?

 

JEFFERY

 

You know, you and Lady Pascaline ought to take Norma to a film. She talks about movies all the time. 

 

DERRIK

 

Yes, but she … has strange ideas because of low-class films.

 

JEFFERY

 

There are family films too. 

 

In fact, there is a new version of A Christmas Carol in theaters this year. Didn’t she and Laurence just read the book?

 

DERRIK

 

Yes, they did. In your opinion, would this please her?

 

JEFFERY

 

As long as you don’t say, you consider the film low class, my brother.

 

*

BACKGROUND MUSIC: TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

 

LORETTA

 

People might not remember this, or you might not have been alive, but the late fall and winter of 1951 was very cold for the normally mild Seattle. The temperature had dropped under 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and Derrik knew the roads, especially near the harbor, would be icy. The steep hills might be worse.

 

If he had not disappointed her the day prior, he might tell Norma another night. However, though Derrik might not have wanted to go, he admitted he was happy he went. 

 

First of all, he was amazed how Seattle had changed since the last time he was downtown which I believe was in the Great Depression. And even then, he had only went to the court house, not as far north as the shopping district. 

 

SOUND EFFECT: CROWDED STREETS, INTERLACING JINGLEBELLS, SANTA, AND NORMA SAYING MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS 

 

LORETTA CONT.

 

Even though it was chilly, downtown was full of people. The shopping district covered by several department stores all which encompassed a large city block each. In front of every store and on every corner there were Santa Clauses collecting money for the Salvation Army. Carolers sang and buskers performed for change. And a assemblage of nuns held a collections box for children of Europe who was still reeling from the last war. Derrik gave Norma a few bills to slip in their box.

 

What truly caught his attention was the lavish window displays especially the motorized train at the Bon Marche which led the passerby to the next window. He almost wished Norma was a little younger so he might spoil her with toys he never had. There were so many new colors: a spectacular array of dyes and paints. And he understood Pascaline’s desire to buy her clothing a little better. 

 

In the traditional sense of the word, he was awestruck by the light displays. They were eerie beautiful, and bright, but terrifying. His pocket watch told him it was early evening, yet he feared the dawn might come and he would not be able to tell the difference. But Norma was born into a world of electric light, she did not fear it. 

 

Out of the coven surrounded by life, Norma was transformed. Though this was a different, kinder age, Derrik feared Vampire hunters, or simply the type who were once cruel to him were there in the crowd. After all if vampires go Christmas Shopping, then it is logical vampire hunters go as well. And Norma had just lost control the night before, what if she attacked someone, but she was still full from breakfast. 

 

And eventually, he took her hand to keep her close. He worried she might pull away, but she didn’t. She smiled him and gripped his hand tightly as she dragged him from one spectacle to the next. 

 

For someone who suffered from day terrors and Gross Reactions, she had a surprising sense of adventure. Indeed, Norma hardly seemed the girl he had known for a month.

 

Though Norma had never been shopping in the city, Norma seemed to know who to talk to and where they were going. And Norma said Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to everyone they met: the nuns, 

 

NORMA

 

Merry Christmas!

 

LORETTA

 

Doormen, elevator attendants, clerks, and the occasional young person. 

 

NORMA

 

Happy Holidays!

 

LORETTA

 

     random Santa Clauses

NORMA

 

Merry Christmas!

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik wondered if this adventureous girl was the one who survived the rite The one Bill had loved and claimed as his daughter. Yet, every once in awhile, he would look her in the face and Bill was there perched in her smile. This disappointed him somehow. 

 

They picked out a gift for Pascaline and found a tree stand, a tree skirt, electric lights, baubles of the branches, and a star for the top of their tree. 

 

The Christmas tree lot stayed open later than the stores so there was no rush there. Derrik told Norma to pick out whatever tree she wanted. She didn’t pick out the biggest fir, thank goodness, as our condos are generous, but they are still condos. 

 

The man at the lot asked Norma if she was too old for a candy cane. 

 

She was not. 

 

Then the lot attendant sawed off the bottom off her chosen tree and tied it to the top of Derrik’s car. 

Norma snapped the candy cane in two and handed him half while they waited. He was quite touched by her gesture.

 

NORMA

 

You know, this is what I dreamed living in Seattle would be like. I wish we went out more often. 

 

DERRIK

 

You do? I feel nervous.

 

NORMA

 

Pascaline leaves the coven all the time. Why don’t you worry about her?

 

DERRIK

 

Who says I don’t worry? 

 

LORETTA

 

And Norma nodded, suddenly looking older than her fourteen years. Yet, even with Derrik’s apprehension, Norma got her wish.

 

But before I go on, I must say something. After a century of marriage, its hard to surprise another vampire, but she was amazed at seeing Derrik’s parlor dressed for Christmas and she was touched to see a wrapped presnt for her under the tree. 

 

I suppose, I should admit this twinkling manifestation of Derrik changing attitudes for his responsibility for Norma astonished us all. Now let me get back to the story.

 

On Jeffery’s advice, Derrik and Pascaline took Norma to the movies on the night of December 23rd. 

 



 

CHAPTER 4: December 23, 1951 at the Colosseum

 

When they returned, Norma and Pascaline both spoke of the beauty of the ornate Greek Revival interior of The Colosseum Theater, which was an old movie palace originally built in 1916, but Derrik didn’t like the crowd of well-dressed humans moving into the theater as if they were cattle.

 

When Derrik told Mrs. Torez about the movies, his assistant reserved them a box so they had first class service and most importantly not to be so close to humans, that Norma might hurt someone if she got peckish.

 

The young usher her face covered in a film of sweat, found them quickly. 

 

USHER

 

Mr. and Mrs. Miller?

 

 

LORETTA

 

The nervous girl led them to their private seats in the balcony where three glass wine glasses set on a little table. She wasn’t much older than Norma, but Derrik saw something in her face. 

 

He recognized that expression, the hidden worry. Seating vampires were the least of it. A quick glance into her mind exposed she left school and provided for her mother and younger siblings. 

 

DERRIK

 

Thank you, Miss. I should have no calls tonight. 

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik passed the young usher a corking fee for the management and tipped the girl a twenty. 

Looking at the bill, the girl paused. 

 

DERRIK

Merry Christmas. 

 

USHER

 

Can I bring you anything else?

 

DERRIK

 

Just do not disturb us during the film, if you please.

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik wanted to help the girl with her mother’s rent, but he also was anxious about Norma being too close to the girl. 

 

She had fed on Aldo and they had a bottle of human blood on them which is why management left them the glasses, but even in their private box they  were surrounded by humans and the theater was an enclosed space. 

 

And Norma sat between Derrik and Pascaline without complaint as Derrik’s fears dictated. 

 

And He peeked into Norma’s thoughts. She was excited for the movie and to share this with her mentors, she wasn’t attracted to the humans at all.

 

She looked up at him. 

 

NORMA

 

(DISTORTED) Drink your blood if you’re worried about the humans.

 

DERRIK 

 

(DISTORTED) Drink yours so I don’t have to worry.

 

LORETTA

 

She dutifully took a sip and leaned towards Pascaline with an eye roll.

 

DERRIK

 

(DISTORTED) I say these things, because I don’t want anything bad to happen.

LORETTA

 

She took another sip. 

 

NORMA

(DISTORTED) I know. 

 

LORETTA

 

The theater darkened as the newsreel began. More bad news about Korea and polio.

 

There was a strange short movie about animated ducks. Norma laughed at their antics as did the crowd below, but Derrik and Pascaline did not understand the thoroughly modern ducks other than they used the telephone and didn’t seem to get along with each other.

 

Then the theater was bathed in a slightly golden hue as the film, originally entitled, Scrooge, began. 

 

 

BACKGROUND MUSIC: GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN

 

LORETTA

 

This world was softer than reality. 

 

Victorian London was much cleaner than Derrik and Pascaline remembered. There was horses on screen, but not excrement everywhere. The low repetitive music heightened the tension. The golden light caressed the green and burgundy fabrics most of the characters wore and smoothed their complexions. Humans and ghosts alike were kind. Well Except Scrooge played by Alastair Sim who threatened debtor’s prison and the treadmill to a delinquent tenant.

 

Derrik shivered at the callousness.

 

And she must have felt it, because Norma leaned over and squeezed his hand. 

 

NORMA 

 

(DISTORTED) It’s just a movie. Don’t worry.

 

LORETTA

 

But in the end of the first act, when Scrooge’s cold sneer is removed from his face by the sight of his beloved sister, Derrik sensed something stirring beside him. At first he worried it was Norma’s bloodlust. But it wasn’t.

 

At this point in the narrative, the film made it very clear Ebenezer was a lonely boy whose father despised him and it might have been that Norma was simply relating to the character’s isolation. 

 

But when Derrik turned to Norma, William was gone and he remembered how she looked sitting at his table trying to decide if she could trust him. 

 

And that’s when he knew: William’s expressions were a shield. She had learned to mimic her creator. In order to survive, she became the child William had wanted. By reflex or strategy, now she played the girl she thought the coven wanted. But there had been moments when Derrik, and all of us for that matter, had seen the person Norma actually is. 

 

And Derrik suddenly regretted how on the night he took her in he shut down her questions, because he worried what the other vampires thought…

 

Derrik made a promise to himself, he wouldn’t turn away from that person anymore.   

 

Insertion: Though this is a story of many small miracles,  there is no climatic Christmas miracle, where Norma is restored because Derrik had an epiphany. It took years for Norma to surmount her anxieties. 

 

All right back to the story. What’s that modern term, oh yes: Spoiler alert: Scrooge ends with Scrooge’s redemption. And the lights of the theater rose.

 

Derrik and Pascaline wrapped their coats tighter around them as they left the theater, but Norma seemed  immuned to the cold.

 

NORMA

 

Can we go down to the waterfront and look at the ships all lit up in Christmas lights? 

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik and Pascaline agreed to it as long as she buttoned her coat. 

 

NORMA 


Going to the movies at night is so much fancier than during the day. 

 

The Colosseum is pretty fantastic. So different than the tiny Issaquah theater I used to go to. Our old theater had removable seats so it could be a dance hall. 

 

You know what going to a movie palace is like? 

 

PASCALINE

What, ma chèri? 

 

NORMA 

 

It’s like how when people in the movies go to movies!

 

DERRIK

 

Did you have any trouble around the humans?

 

NORMA

 

No.

Did you like the movie?

 

DERRIK

 

Yes. 

 

How did you enjoy the film?

 

NORMA

 

Oh, I loved it. Isn’t it interesting how they showed the lamentations of the spirts. I liked how they layered the film in that scene. At least I think they must have layered the film.

 

I think Scrooge was more evil in this version, compared to the 1938 version. This version felt closer to the book in someways, but further in others.

 

I wonder if they used painted cornflakes or foamite for the snow.

 

DERRIK

What’s foamite?

 

PASCALINE

 

For that matter, what’s a cornflake?

 

NORMA

 

Cornflakes are corn smashed in a paste and baked into a crunchy breakfast.

 

PASCALINE

 

That sounds disgusting.

 

NORMA

 

It isn’t for vampires, but it’s just bland. 

 

Foamite is a movie secret, but I read it’s the stuff in fire extinguishers and soap. They used foamite in It’s a Wonderful Life and it worked so well, it’s still used.

 

LORETTA

 

Now Derrik and Pascaline had no idea what she was talking about except in context that there were other movies and one of them was called It’s a Wonderful Life. But she was so talkative and happy and most important to Derrik, he saw her real smile. So he asked:

 

DERRIK

 

Why wouldn’t they film in snow?

 

NORMA

 

Sometimes movies are filmed in snow, but movie lights are really hot so they tried different things. Back in the 20’s, they used sugar and painted sawdust, but that could catch fire too easily. 

 

But they could put the foamite wherever they wanted and can film whenever the schedule dictated.

 

PASCALINE

 

Do all young people of this age know film tricks?

 

NORMA 

 

Some do, I guess. I used to study books on movies at the public library.

 

PASCALINE

 

And why is that?

 

NORMA

 

I think it’s interesting.

 

LORETTA

 

Norma smothered another thought. Derrik almost said something but fortunately Pascaline had seen the facial expression, so she corrected her. Actually, if there is any Christmas miracle in this story, it is Pascaline corrected Norma even in the smallest measure.

 

PASCALINE

 

Please, Norma, don’t stifle your thoughts like that. 

 

Remember, Derrik can hear you and he worries... 

 

NORMA

 

I used to want to go to Hollywood and do special effects, but Bill changed all that. 

 

Now I’m a vampire. 

 

Maybe it was a stupid dream anyway. It’s likely I’d have just worked on my mom’s farm.

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik and Pascaline exchanged glances. They wanted to tell her no dream is a stupid dream, but actually since there was no way Norma could go to Hollywood, they didn’t want to encourage her either. 

SOUND EFFECT: DRONE

 

Norma suddenly stopped talking. She clutched at her head and wobbled. Pascaline caught her by the waist before she fell onto the icy sidewalk.

 

DERRIK

 

I knew I should have made you drink another cup of blood.

 

NORMA

 

Someone is here! Insects are all over me. Get ‘em off. Get em off! I won’t go! 

 

LORETTA

 

And that’s when Pascaline and Derrik felt something ancient watching them. Something older than even Agata and Jakub. 

 

NORMA

 

I’m not lying! 

 

DERRIK

 

We know. Stay next to Pascaline.

 

NORMA

 

He’s blocking his thoughts from me, but I know it’s him. There’s secrets he doesn’t want me to know. 

 

LORETTA

 

Pascaline clutched Norma to her chest tightly. 

 

Sydella, the current Third Born of Gaius came out of the shadows. And Pascaline would inform us later that she was sure Sydella had carefully picked where to meet them so as not to scare the trio. The street was well lit, there were people around, cars going by.  

 

Now Derrik is untrained in all matial arts and in general he is useless in such situations. But Derrik’s bravery is a miracle. He has always been brave, one must never forget it was Derrik who stopped that vampire hunter from hurting Alice in the 1890s and in 1951, he stood toe to toe with an elder vampire. Knowing full well, if Sydella wanted to cut him down she would have. 

 

 

Sydella met eyes with my sister. Derrik could sense he was nothing to the solider which is accurate enough. Gaius only ever had eyes for warriors. Or future warriors in Norma’s case. 

 

Also, Sydella is not an ancient, in fact, she is only a century older than Pascaline, Charles, and I, which is why Norma was sure Gaius watched from the shadows. Derrik and Pascaline agree with her theory.

 

SYDELLA

 

Lady Aubinet, I have an invitation for you and your husband’s lover’s child to come to Duechland. It is time you reconsider entering our progenitor’s legion.

 

PASCALINE

 

Why would I do that?

 

SYDELLA

 

Why would you not?

 

Your sister is a grown woman and happily married. And the council is coming for the girl. We can protect her.

 

NORMA

 

I don’t need your legion. I have Derrik and Pascaline.

 

SYDELLA 

 

(laugh)

I have always enjoyed the innocent words of the young. Derrik cannot protect you, Norma, may I call you Norma?

 

Our progenitor hasn’t seen such a powerful telepath since he and Phillipa, parted ways. Even stranger, her telepathy has not smothered her innate clairvoyance as it does in most vampires.

 

Gaius offers his protection. As we knew you would be absurdly attached to the girl, Lady Aubinet, he re-offers you a place in the Legion.

 

We have a castle with many underground rooms, dug so deep that we were not touched in the last war’s bombing. 

 

The council will never find you. 

 

Moreover, we have many sick and starving in Europe. There is plenty to eat.

 

NORMA

 

So there are actually vampires who act like Dracula?

 

SYDELLA

 

There are many. You’re fortunate that most ancient vampires still don’t travel during the winter or you would already have met final death or worse. 

 

NORMA

 

And you want me to hide in your castle?

 

(DISTORTED)Want me to go?

 

DERRIK

 

(DISTORTED) No!

SYDELLA

 

Listen, now, Julia is hidden and safe, but they killed David.

 

DERRIK

 

Maybe you should. She is right, I can’t protect you from the council. 

 

 

LORETTA

 

But, of course, those thoughts didn’t matter. Derrik had taken her to the movies and shopping in the city. And she was young and didn’t want to be stuck in a dingy castle in a country shattered by war when the United States was in a period of growth.

 

 

As Sydella talked, Norma felt Gaius grow closer, he didn’t want to be seen or he would be. He wasn’t afraid. He simply wanted plausible deniability that he was in the city. 

 

Norma felt his secrets push towards her again, but Norma could not spare her energy to read the ancient’s mind when she must understand Sydella’s words. 

 

 

NORMA

 

I’m not going anywhere with you, Sydella. 

 

I want to stay here with Derrik and Pascaline. 

 

SYDELLA

 

Very well, Lady Aubinet, bring your husband along. The girl is attached to him, so he has his uses, but your lover is too weak to be an asset. 

 

NORMA 

 

I don’t want to leave Seattle. And I don’t want to hide. You can’t make me leave, none of you can.

 

PASCALINE

 

Norma has been quite clear in her desire to remain with our coven. 

 

SYDELLA

 

You know, frauline, your so-called protectors discussed whether or not to kill you. More than once. 

 

NORMA 

 

I know.

 

SYDELLA

 

If you won’t come, then listen. 

 

They may try to trick you. They test with silver, sun, earth. Or perhaps, if they are clever, they will only test you once with silver, claim you died, and keep you. 

 

A telepath is a valuable commodity. 

 

And Agata and Jakub dismembered a powerful telepath due to a little excessive hunting. Such a waste.

 

NORMA 

 

I’ll think on all you said, but I’m staying in Seattle. I don’t want to hide in a moldy old castle. 

 

SYDELLA

 

They’ll come after the frost, but before Spring lengthens the days in the old New Year.

 

LORETTA

 

Sydella disappeared into the darkness, faster than they could see where she went. Derrik tried to hide his tremble, but couldn’t. 

 

Norma slipped under his arm.

 

NORMA

 

You didn’t need to worry, I wasn’t gonna go anywhere with those creeps.

 

DERRIK

 

You shouldn’t call powerful vampires creeps.

 

NORMA 

 

But she is a creep.

 

PASCALINE

 

Sydella is lecherous. She is undoubtedly a creep.

 

NORMA

 

See?!

 

DERRIK

 

Fine, she’s a creep, but calling powerful vampires derogatory names is a bad habit.

 

NORMA

 

Okay.

 

NORMA SOUND EFFECT: SIGH

 

Why’d Sydella have to ruin Christmas, we were having so much fun.

 

Do we have to go home now?

 

PASCALINE

 

The hour is not late and we are presently safe. Enjoy the moment, Derrik.

 

DERRIK

 

I suppose if you still want to go look at the ships we can. 

 

(Pause)

 

SOUND EFFECT FOOTSTEPS

 

You are taking this news very well, Norma.

 

NORMA

 

But we already knew, Bill’s ghost told me. I just didn’t know when. Unless Sydella was lying, they won’t be here till spring. 

 

So now I have time to plan.

 

LORETTA

 

But Derrik’s mind spinning, trying to decide what he would tell Agata and Jakub. Was it possible that William was a ghost? A ghost who came back to warn them? 

 

PASCALINE

 

Well, It seemed implausible. I have seen much in these centuries. 

 

She took her husband’s arm as they walked westward. As Norma used the hills to slide on ice with ever increasing speed, Derrik bit his tongue instead of telling her to be careful. 

 

It is possible that Norma knew they were still being watched. Or it is possible that she is simply foolhardy because she was so young. And maybe she even knew that if she fell, Derrik and Pascaline would pick her up again. 

 

Norma doesn’t remember.  

 

What she does remember about that night is how they stood on the waterfront at Alaska Way, the newly constructed viaduct and its never ending low roar of trucks and cars rising above the sound of lapping water. And she remembers how, she Pascaline and Derrik choose which were their favorite light displays on the ferries, cranes, fireboats, and freight barges which lined Elliot Bay that night.

 

Norma picked out a fireboat as her favorite. I remember it well, because it was the first matchstick miniature that she and Derrik created together.  

 

As the clock edged towards midnight on Christmas Eve, Derrik and Pascaline told her it was time to go home and drink some blood before their fast.  

 

BACKGROUND MUSIC: CHRISTMAS WALTZ

 

Now Norma did come into the chapel without complaint, but after the second hour she began whispering to Derrik, interrupting his prayers.

 

So I slipped over to my sister and brother-in-law and whispered: 

 

Norma, have you prayed for everything you want to pray for? 

 

NORMA

Yes.

 

LORETTA

 

Then you ought to see Jakub.

 

And Derrik opened his mouth, but I looked at his face and tried to think at him:

 

(DISTORTED) Just let her go. There is a surprise upstairs for her.

 

DERRIK

 

Very well, you can go, but don’t be quarrelsome. 

 

LORETTA

 

I remember after awhile how pleasant the smell of candied oranges and chocolate drifting down toward us was.

 

Because there is a benefit of a coven which is predominantly a family unit. And that is everyone knows everyone else’s business. Of course, sometimes this also is a liability, but on this night, it was a benefit.

 

You may remember how Derrik told Agata he was worried Jakub might destroy Norma and 

 

 

And Agata told all of her offspring that Derrik needed our support. I believe her exact words were: 

 

AGATA

 

He is more distressed than a first-time mother with a fussy infant. And this distress echoes into Norma and intensifies her anguish which adds to his.

 

LORETTA

 

And you may remember how Derrik told Jeffery how Norma loved making candy with her mother. And Jeffery mentioned the candy-making to Jakub and Xiao. 

 

After Norma left the chapel, she ran upstairs where she found two vampires and a couple humans who were more than happy to listen to radio plays and secular music, make chocolate fudge with ribbons of orange marmalade, wrap said candy in pretty paper and set them in front of occupied apartments and deliver them to staff. They even went over to the Night Owl and visited a few lonely vampires and the troll who was stuck in Seattle. 

 

Moreover, this was a gift to Derrik and Pascaline as well. They could continue their fast and worship without concern over Norma’s well-being or fear that she might harm someone. 

 

Though to be clear: Norma did not cause any difficulty, she was polite and pleasant company all night. 

 

And of course, now-a-nights, the eldest vampires still fast and complete a personal worship, but most of my children even of the Christian faith, come to the personal worship for an hour or two and celebrate the American version of Christmas with Norma and Jakub and Xiao. 

 

While these traditions are sometimes new to elder vampires, they are still older than the youngest vampires’ years of life and undeath. One more thing: Even after all these years, Derrik and Norma still go Christmas Shopping together and decorate their apartments for the holidays.

 

 

And I shall return in the new year as we have three more lessons and I shall tell the story of Norma’s examinations with the council after the old New Year. So have a good day, beloved initiates, and sleep the sleep of the dead.

 

 



 

OUTRO MUSIC: LORETTA’S THEME

 

VOICE OVER:

 

Tonight’s amazing cast include

Stevie Rae Causey as Norma Rollins

Evan Witt as Derrik Miller

Gretchen SB as Lady Pascaline 

Ronnie Mason as Jeffery Conway 

Jennifer Brozek as Lady Agata 

Elizabeth Guizzetti as Lady Loretta

And Nikki Burton as Switchboard Operator, Nervous Usher and Sydella

 

For more information about the show, please visit: www.patreon.com/paperflowerconsortium.

And while you are there, If you have a question for Lady Loretta send her a message, or email her at info@paperflowerconsortium.com  If you want to support the show, please like and share this episode. Or consider donating either one time or through the patreon. 

 

Royalty Free Versions of the Background music was purchased at Pond 5 or Storyblocks. Sound Effects were created by Elizabeth Guizzetti or found at the Free Sound Project. Full credits in the show notes below.

 

The intro and outro music was written by Evan Witt. You can learn more about his music at www.wittynotes.com

 

Thank you for Listening and Happy Holidays!

 

 

END

Openning
Transformative Holiday Traditions
Let Us Return To 1951
The Day Terror of Dec 14th
A Broken Promise
A Tiny Miracle
A Night at the Colosseum
Christmas Eve Surprise
Closing Credits