The Vampires of the Paper Flower Consortium

PFC Bonus Episode 6: An Examination of old and new Or What would Dracula do?

April 01, 2021 Season 1
The Vampires of the Paper Flower Consortium
PFC Bonus Episode 6: An Examination of old and new Or What would Dracula do?
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Examination of the Old and New (Or What Would Dracula do?)

Fourteen-year-old Norma has found a home with her vampire grandpa, Derrik, his wife and their enthalled humans in the Paper Flower Consortium, yet as the old new year approaches, she faces an examination from ancient vampires to ascertain if she's worthy of eternal existence. Warning: Mild Gore and Violence

CAST: Norma ... Stevie Rae Causey
Derrik Miller  ... Evan Witt
Pascaline Fabron Aubinet Miller ... Gretchen SB
Loretta Fabron Onfoy ... Elizabeth Guizzetti
Mrs. Washington ... Jennifer Brozek
Ona...Nikki Burton
Augustus ... Ronnie Mason
Simon/Ezra... Dennis Roberts
Marcus / Oskar...Adam Watson


MUSIC: Intro/Outro: Loretta by Evan Witt.  www.wittynotes.com
Background Music: From Pond 5:
 Waltz in AB "Farewell"  Chopin | From Storyblocks: Breath, Eyes, Memory Meditation |Suspense HorrorSoft Horror Piano Drone, Cole | Daylight Savings Time | Ambient Ethereal Tension Riser, Hanley

 Other Sounds Effects: From Storyblocks



Support the show

Paper Flower Consortium Bonus Episode 6:

EXAMINATION OF THE OLD AND THE NEW OR WHAT WOULD DRACULA DO?

 

 

OPENING

MUSIC: LORETTA’S THEME 20 SEC

V.O: Paper Flower Consortium Bonus Episode 6: Examination of the old and the new or What Would Dracula Do?

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

Welcome back, beloved initiates and other listeners,

 

CHAPTER 1: Review of Norma's Expiriments

LORETTA

Tonight I shall tell the story of Norma’s council examination. I begin with a warning, my beloveds, Norma was physically harmed during the testing.

I left you at Christmas where we discovered the council observed the world had altered towards vampires, now we existed in the atomic age. 

The council began destroying vampires unable or unwilling to hide from or fit in to society as appropriate. This included vampires who were transformed too young, especially when they assisted their creator in murdering dozens of humans during the course of a summer. 

We also learned Norma’s telepathy had not repressed her clairvoyance. That meant not only could she read minds but could read minds over distance. Through Sydella, Gaius offered Norma protection — but likely his true objective was to gain another spy. We do not doubt Gaius’s proposal was genuine, but Norma rejected it. She wanted to enjoy the cinema and go shopping in prosperous post war America. Besides, she had gotten used to Pascaline and Derrik.   

 As I’ve said before, my sister did not hide her devotion to Norma. Now Pascaline was home for winter, she often chaperoned Norma’s lessons. Afterwards, they played games, listened to the radio, and other such amusements.  

 Derrik did not enjoy such amusements and primarily encouraged Norma’s education, however, they also shared creative pursuits such as building matchstick models. The coven paid for Laurence’s time as her private tutor, but Derrik additionally paid him to teach her drawing. Publicly, Derrik claimed an accomplished young woman knew how to draw and such activities helped her concentrate and control her gifts. Perhaps so. That didn’t explain why he tacked her best drawings on a corkboard in his office. Nor the small portrait that appeared beside Pascalines.

However, the warning about the council were never far from their minds. By February, Norma’s day terrors and other gross reactions worsened.

Norma practiced her vampiric gifts whenever she could. She also studied our gifts and kept detailed notes and diary entries. The coven wasn’t sure how strong Norma was becoming. Primarily, because public failures stand out more than hidden successes.

As anyone can see, there is a grassy hill behind the Night Owl. Some nights Norma could be seen jumping around the parking lot, flapping her arms or spinning. If she were a younger child, one might think she was playing or enjoyed making herself dizzy. 

But on February 19th, Norma ran down that hill to see if could garner enough speed and fly. Obviously, she couldn’t. 

She wrote in her diary how Oskar Luksen, the Norwegian Mountain Troll, who was quarantined in the hotel, had seen her take a tumble. Just to be clear, he was quarantined from the Pacific NW Sasquatches as they share several diseases, not vampires, werewolves, or ghosts. 

Oskar ambled outside to help her. He found her sitting, dusting off her scratched legs which healed in the supernatural manner, since now she was getting enough nourishment. And they kindly conversed until Pascaline called Norma in to dress for supper. 

There was another time, let’s see the diary says it was March 1st when Norma got lost in the astral plane after she witnessed a car accident. 

After Charles fetched her, he told us: Norma was like a kitten who had chased a bird up the tree, but now looking down, frozen and mesmerized by the blood and terror which William had taught her to relish. But she was not relishing it, she was horrified. 

I bring up this specific occasion because when they returned, Derrik was inspired to call in assistance. You see unlike vampires, werewolves produce immature offspring. And they are known for great gentleness in raising them. Derrik has been long respected among their congregation due to his legal advice and assistance. 

A caseworker, Mrs. Washington came to teach Norma self-soothing breathing techniques which are taught to young werewolves. Agata, Pascaline and Derrik were in attendance and clarified ways to help her when she had a gross reaction. After that night, Mrs. Washington came every two weeks to see how Norma was doing.  

Once Norma had such allies, she thought of others who might help her prove to the council, she was worthy to exist. Her plans fell into place.

We know she returned to the ghosts’ home where she found the dog. She properly introduced herself to Eliza and Ezra and made a deal to fix their front step if they attended the night of her testing. After all, by bringing the dog home, she learned most vampires feared ghosts. And she also learned she did not.

One evening, she knocked on our door with a proposal for Charles and I. She only asked us to execute small deeds which we were both delighted to perform. 

Yet, I dare not say too much: rather let me read from her diary.

 

Chapter 2: April 17th, 1952

 

LORETTA CONT.

April 17th, 1952

 

Dear Diary, 

 

I can’t believe everything that happened. My plans worked! Well, parts of each plan worked. 

 

As Derrik prearranged, his enthralled humans were welcomed into Xiao’s home for the evening of cards and music. 

 

I knew Derrik and Pascaline would forbid pants, so I ensured my embroidered rose skirt was poufy enough to hide my pedal pushers and Pascaline’s old scabbards underneath. Once dressed, I slipped my hands in my ripped pockets which lead to the scabbards, hidden on each of my legs. I felt the supplies I stashed there. I wanted to take strength from my preparedness, but my stomach twisted with nerves. 

 

I sipped my warmed breakfast blood, I stopped drinking completely when Derrik retied the ribbon on my ponytail since my bow was lopsided. 

 

NORMA

 It’d help if you stopped reminding me that I’m a defective vampire. 

DERRIK

 Everything must be impeccable.

PASCALINE

You aren’t defective, ma cheri. It takes years for vampires to do their grooming without a reflection …

 

LORETTA 

We heard the car pull into the parking lot. A single nondescript Buick. It was them. 

 

NORMA

I’ve a plan for tonight. I wasn’t gonna tell you, but Mrs. Washington said I must. 

  

PASCALINE

Is this plan of yours violent?

NORMA

No. I swear you’ll like it. Well 90 percent of it, 

DERRIK SOUND EFFECT: SIGH

NORMA
Okay, maybe 75 percent. Will you trust me? 

 

LORETTA

 Pascaline and Derrik met eachother’s eyes over my head. I hated when they did that.

 

NORMA

And when I ask for something, will you do it?

PASCALINE

We trust you. Most likely, yes, but it depends on the circumstances, we suppose. Finish your blood.

 NORMA

 My stomach hurts.

 DERRIK

 So does mine, but you aren’t doing yourself any favors by skipping breakfast. 

 Besides, the council ought not see dirty bowls in the sink.

 

LORETTA

 Pascaline kissed my cheeks before she left us to meet the council representatives in the lower parking lot and to check them into the Night Owl. I closed my mind so Derrik wouldn’t hear all the steps of my plan as I finished my breakfast. 

 

NORMA

(Thought) Would my allies come? Were they my allies? Would my tricks work?  What would Dracula Do? Not the dishes.

LORETTA 

I helped Derrik wash the bowls and spoons and when he called Xiao to ensure all the enthralled humans were safe, I set the clock ahead two hours. I hoped Derrik wouldn’t notice. I don’t like to hide things from him, but one, I didn’t want a lecture, and two, it’s obvious Derrik might outwardly be the perfect vampire, but he’s much too innocent for an attorney of a hundred and twenty-seven. He needs me.

 I thought I was ready but my heart sank as I heard in the hall: 

 

MARCUS

 Augustus don’t do this! Norma is just a kid.


AUGUSTUS

That’s precisely the point. Be glad we won’t feel it this time. 

 

LORETTA 

Though my heart pounded, I told myself to keep to my plans. I held my breath as Pascaline opened the door. And three ancient vampires entered.

Derrik offered a:


DERRIK

 Welcome, I am Derrik Miller. This is my unintentional progeny, Norma Mae Rollins. 

 

LORETTA

Though accurate, how painful and terrible those words were. 

 

NORMA

 How do you do?

 

LORETTA

 The primordial vampires did not acknowledge me, but immediately, I sensed the three were ancient, born long before the time of Christ, even older than Gaius. However, they wore what looked to be well made, current, dreary, black fashions, their haircuts were modern, nails manicured. Honestly they dressed a lot like Derrik.

As they came closer, I discerned blocked their thoughts from Derrik and Pascaline, but why weren’t they blocking me? Were they trying to frighten me? 

 The eldest, Ona, a third gender individual, had a lined brow which seemed to have a bluish stain or an old faded tattoo. Their eyes looked swollen, as if they did not sleep well on the long journey. That did not bode well. 

 The other two, Simon and Augustus, both men, were not seem distressed. Their far-seeing eyes reminded me of Jakub or Charles betrayed they had seen hundreds of battles. Or otherwise understood that children die. And I could not forget Augustus had killed his own progeny, David. 

 The pit of bodies in Issaquah justified everything.

I killed to survive, but I still killed. Memories of Bill’s vile games and his fists breaking my bones which would reset, only to rebroken the next time I angered him, overwhelmed my mind. 

 

NORMA

 No. Don’t think about Bill.  Focus on the plan. 

 

LORETTA

 

But all I could see was Bill. The ancients stole my thoughts, they wanted to know what I feared. They wanted to cow me. Looking into their uncaring eyes, I knew if I failed, I would disappear. They might consume my blood and throw me into the sun. Or as Sydella warned they might hide me away and consume my gifts without consideration to my person. My plan told me I must figure which and react accordingly. 

 

NORMA

Calm down! Do what Mrs. Washington said.

 

MRS. WASHINGTON SOUND EFFECT : (Calm) Breath in, Breath out. 

Norma Repeat

MRS. WASHINGTON

Follow the metronome.

 NORMA

Heart Calm

MRS. WASHINGTON

Power is useless without control over it. Breath in, Breath out.

 

NORMA

 Focus on the plan. 

 

LORETTA

 I calmed. Mrs. Washington’s breathing technique worked.

 

 

ONA

 Leave us, Lady Pascaline, Derrik. 

 

DERRIK

 I shan’t abandon my progeny. 

 

ONA

 The point of this investigation is to discover if she is a vampire and the likelihood of her survival straining the planet’s limited resources. 

That she cannot face us alone will be noted.

 

PASCALINE

According to the Council Guideline A, all vampires who survive the rite can pursue eternity. 

 

ONA

 So we ought to ignore the legal parameters? 

We must know if this creature can survive without assistance in eternity, not just tonight and tomorrow. 

 America may be currently strong; however, Europe and parts of Asia are reeling. Who knows where tomorrow’s wars will be fought? If the Bomb drops in America, Seattle will be disturbed. What then?  

 

 PASCALINE

 Norma was an accident, but according to your views, why should any fledgling survive? 

 Could any of us have foreseen this age when we were reborn?

 

LORETTA

 It was hard not to smile when Pascaline defended me, but I didn’t get the chance to finish Plan A, because Ona angered Derrik with his next question.

 

ONA

 Is that creature your mistress?

 

DERRIK

 Of course, not!

 

LORETTA

Derrik’s face grew red. I had to keep Derrik calm until it was time for the next step of my plan. The ancients being creeps changed nothing. Fortunatly I didn't have to figure out how to calm Derrik because Pascaline defended him.

 

ONA

 Come now. We’ve all had concubines no older than that creature. Did you not a sell yourself for favors when you were young?

 

PASCALINE
You’re here to assess Norma’s species. That topic is not germane to these proceedings. Please begin or leave us in peace.

 

 

LORETTA

Ona asked where I slept and we showed them my room. 

Ona opened my closet and pawed through my clothing. They confirmed I owned no toys.

Simon opened the coffin and shook out my quilt. Then unsealed my jars of Earth. I did not like how he pressed his fingers into them -- scrutinizing my memories. 

 Augustus searched my desk. I did not know what he was looking for, but the ancients discussed my reading list and geometry homework. They found the notebook marked mysteries. 


AUGUSTUS
What's this?

 

NORMA

 I write clues to mysteries on the radio and try to solve them before the detective.

It’s fun to match wits with Sherlock Holmes, Phillip Marlow, and other worthy opponents.

 

 SIMON

 You do not consider us worthy opponents?

  

NORMA

No one is.

  

ONA

  Someone ought to humble you.

 

 NORMA

 It won’t be you.

 

 AUGUSTUS

 Derrik Miller, if you have influence over this creature, secure her mouth before someone breaks her jaw. 

 

LORETTA

I wanted to hold Pascaline or Derrik’s hand, but I couldn’t act like a kid. I was a lady, just like one of the haughty ladies in the movies so I smiled and stared the examiners down until they turned and asked Pascaline about my piano lessons. They returned to the living room, discussing the end result of education for a creature such as I. 

I would have told them my plans for college if they asked, but the ancient still were not asking me many direct questions. Still, the ancients mostly looked to Pascaline for answers. After all, she was the coven liason and the eldest vampire of us three. Ona opened the refrigerator and clucked their tongue at the bottles of cow blood. 

 

ONA

 This is how do you feed her?

DERRIK

 I retain two enthralled humans. The male bleeds for her weekly. We drink the cow blood, also eat eggs and cow flesh.


LORETTA

 Ona signaled Simon who shoved a mirror in my face. My reflection only showed my clothing and the ribbon in my hair. Derrik really had made it perfect.

 
ONA

Speak your bloodline, creature.

 

NORMA

 I am the vampire, Norma Mae Rollins, created by William Thomas Caruso, created by Derrik Miller created by Sir Jakub Bankier, created by his wife, Lady Agata, who does not speak of her creator because he is a rapist then Gaius… 

 

LORETTA

I turned to Simon.

 

NORMA 

Simon, There are several people between you and Gaius in the bloodline, but I’m not seeing their names in your mind. Still, I know an ancestor when they walk among us. 

 

SIMON

I claim no progeny. 


NORMA

Yet you have them. 

 

 

LORETTA

I saw it. There was a subtle shift in Simon’ s expression or perhaps thoughts as he signaled the others.

 

NORMA

I see! You didn’t mean to make her. And she made the others.

 

 

SIMON

 You will answer our questions, nothing more. 

 

 

LORETTA

 The questioning went on and on. The ancients asked Pascaline of Bill’s human son who was lost in the Korean War, Bill’s state of mind, experiments, and how he claimed publicly he was a father again. 

I heard a commotion outside, since they were focused on Pascaline, I left my body briefly to peek. Trucks had pulled up and Rivera’s BBQ set up a tent. 

The werewolves had come! Was Plan C (aka Plan Cookout) actually working? I hurried back to my body when Ona asked: 

 

ONA

What am I thinking, creature?

 

NORMA

I have a name—which you already asked for. I am the vampire, Norma Mae Rollins.

 

ONA

 You are who we say you are.

 

 NORMA

  No matter what you call me: I am the vampire, Norma Mae Rollins.

 You’re thinking Abbie an Slats isn’t as good as it used to be back in the days of Elliot Caplin. But that’s a trick question. Al Capp was the original creator. 

 

LORETTA

Ona raised their hand as if they might hit me.

 I remained perfectly still, but I couldn’t stop talking. This was spiraling out of control. Plan C was starting, but the time for Plan B had past, Okay Plan D. Nope Plan E. I had to protect Derrik and Pascaline. I might meet final death, but I would not beg and I would not be the reason they lost their existence.

 

NORMA

 It’s the truth. 

 Why are any of you are more deserving of eternal existence than I? 

 You have skeletons in your pits too. You have killed thousands. I have only killed dozens.

 Or do you mean to keep me?

 

 

LORETTA

 I felt Derrik’s terror as the three ancients tried to stare me down, but I refused to budge. The longer this went on, the more likely Plan E wouldn’t work. I had to find a way to let Pascaline and Derrik know I was correct.

 Turning to Augustus I said, 

 

 

NORMA

 Did seeing one of your children effect you so? 

You loved Marcus once.

 

 LORETTA

 With those words, I felt the wall surrounding Augustus’s mind slip open. Derrik could see. 

 

 

DERRIK

 You guard your thoughts from me, but I can read fragments. So far, Norma hasn’t been wrong.

 I permitted you into my home for an impartial examination of my progeny. If this is not a fair test, leave.  

 

 

ONA

 Enough. The creature is right, that’s what I was thinking. 

 Derrik, would you care so much about the creature if she wasn’t your progeny?

 

 

DERRIK

 Norma is my progeny; I suffered her rebirth.

 

LORETTA

Augustus pulled a silver ring out of his pocket. It did not burn his fingers. 

 

ONA

 You’re allergic to silver? Derrik, your arm, please.

 

LORETTA

 Derrik removed his jacket and pushed up his shirt sleeve. Augustus pressed the silver into Derrik’s left wrist for a few seconds which rose a swollen hive. I jerked as if I was touched by fire. I wondered if Jakub and Agata were in pain.


NORMA SOUND EFFECT: WHIMPER THEN CRY OUT

 

LORETTA

Simon grabbed my wrist. I glanced at Derrik but didn’t fight as Augustus pressed the ring into my flesh. The searing pain stole my ability to think. I told myself it would be over in a moment. It wasn’t. 

 Augustus pressed the ring into my wrist, branding and blistering the skin. Sweat coated my skin, my fangs expanded. A wicked smile crossed Augustus’s face. He enjoyed my pain and did not care of the pain moving up my bloodline.


DERRIK SOUND EFFECT: SCREAM IN PAIN 

 

AUGUSTUS

 

It’s your choice. Come quietly with us or burn. 

 

PASCALINE

(Loud, angry) Let Norma go!

SIMON
Lady Pascaline, the test must go on as planned.

 

LORETTA

I felt the movement on the floorboards as Pascaline stalked across the room towards us, but Simon shoved her into a chair and held her down. Pascaline was a great warrior, but she was outmatched when it came to the ancients. 

 Derrik’s voice moved further away. I realized Ona had controlled Derrik as well. 

 

NORMA SOUND EFFECT: SCREAM IN PAIN, SHRIEK

 


LORETTA

 That was a mistake. When I screamed, Augustus pressed several small round things, beads?, into my open mouth. Then pressed his meaty hand to my face. 

 

AUGUSTUS

 We could have taken you easily. But you had to be smart. 

 

LORETTA

 My mouth was on fire. I had to prevent myself from coughing, though I could hear Derrik started to cough and choke between screams. From the parking lot, I heard Jakub and Agata screaming too. 

My tongue melted, but I forced myself to feel the little beads and push them into my right cheek. I would like to pretend I was rational enough to figure out how to go on to Plan F, no plan G, but I wasn’t, I was trying to master the pain enough for thought.

 I closed my eyes and forced myself to keep applying pressure to the pearls pushing through the muscles on my cheek. Tears of melted flesh dripped from my face and landed upon the floor.

 I tried to leave my body, but the pressure of Augustus’s hand shifted my jaw and the pain returned me to my corpse. I wanted to cry, but if I lost those little beads down my throat I would be consumed. 

 I was hurting Derrik, Jakub and Agata. And for that I’m sorry, but I couldn’t think what else to do.

 The werewolves stopped moving. Voices. But I couldn’t focus on them. 

There was a commotion I could not see but Pascaline was suddenly over me with her short sword on Augustus’s throat. 

 Augustus’s weight was no longer on me. I heard a plink plink plink and a weird slurping sound as I ripped my melted flesh from the wood floor leaving a pulpy mess. But I had to remain focused I only had one shot and I couldn’t leave it to percentages. 

 I slipped my hand in pocket and pulled out a small vial of Agata’s blood, I gulped it down and screamed as my wounds began to regenerate. 

 

NORMA

  Focus on Marcus. Find Marcus. Marcus.

The pain is nothing.

 

LORETTA

 I lied to myself until I was there, outside with Marcus. I searched his worried, but unshielded brain for weakness—and I knew. Or I hoped. 

 Then I grabbed a copper chain and an iron nail from the hidden scabbard. 

 I snatched up the silver beads which blistered my palm, I crawled to the table. Simon was right behind me. I threw the beads at his face. 

 He flinched. I knew he was my ancestor. And Augustus was Marcus’s and Marcus was allergic to copper. But Pascaline had him well in hand. I drank the second vial of Agata’s blood. I needed to speak though my mouth was in agony. 

 

NORMA

(thought) Please God, let me be right. 

 

LORETTA

I held out the iron nail at Ona.

 

NORMA

Let him go or so help me, I’ll stab you in the eye!

 

LORETTA

 I didn’t think it would work, but Ona stepped back from Derrik. Blood was smeared all over Derrik’s face, All I wanted to do was cry, but I couldn’t see an injury. Maybe it already healed.  

 

NORMA

 No crying. Start plan L. (L for Law)

 

 

LORETTA

 Insertion: Derrik told us there was nothing more terrifying than seeing Norma with a hole melted into the side of her face which was slowly knitting back together holding an ancient vampire off with a 3-inch iron nail. 

 He also told us, Ona was not scared. They looked amused. 

 

 

NORMA

 Leave my home! 

 

ONA

 This isn’t your home. You are…

 
 DERRIK

 How dare you claim this is not her home!

As directed under Council Guideline J, subset 3, you must leave once uninvited. 


LORETTA

 Plan L was working! I had speculated the ancient would say that, because Dracula never loved anyone. I deduced Derrik’s response, because he was the opposite. 

Still the ancients did not move. 

 

DERRIK

 As directed under Council Guideline H, it is illegal to commit an act of violence upon a coven member in good standing or anyone in their household. Touch my progeny again and I shall sue for council overreach and assault.

 

 PASCALINE

 Please request the minutes from the HOA meeting minutes of November 1951 and March and April of this year if you need more evidence that she is a member of this household. 

 

NORMA

 Plan L is working!

 

 

DERRIK

 I repeat, leave my home.

 

 

ONA

 You’re barely more than a fledgling yourself. You believe you can fight the council?

 

 

DERRIK

 No, but I expect the paperwork regarding Norma’s identity within 30 days. You’ve tested her reflection, Earth, her telepathy and allergy to silver, both known in my bloodline. 

 She is a vampire by every measure. 

 

 

ONA

 I could have you disbarred for this insolence.

 

 

DERRIK

You can try. 

 

 

LORETTA

 The council representatives took a step towards us. Pascaline held out her short sword and pulled me behind her. 

 Pascaline and Derrik had acted in the way I had assumed they would in my plans, but the ancients had ignored their own hospitaility laws. So plan L had failed. 

Though I knew it was not the time for emotions, I felt strangely relieved. I know it doesn’t matter, but I am glad Bill was right about Derrik. Even when threated with the loss of his law career, the thing which he loved best, Derrik didn’t hesitate. And I an just as glad Bill was wrong about Pascaline. There was never a false dilima in her mind about duty to me or duty to the coven.

 I knew I would have to skip ahead to Plan S. Derrik was going to hate plan S.

 The ancients stepped towards us. Our backs are to the east, so I pushed forward the clock a little more and raced to the east window and reached behind the curtains and held out the first string where I left it. 

 

NORMA

 Don’t come any closer!

 

 LORETTA

 Derrik’s clock started chiming. Keeping Marcus in my mind’s eye, I raced up his bloodline until I found Augustus. And said one word: 

 

NORMA

 (Loud) DAWN

 

(Urgent, but don’t shout) I’ll burn before you take me. 

 

Derrik, Pascaline, run!

 

LORETTA

 Of course no one ran. The council members were not afraid of me. All that I proved was I could keep going in pain. And Derrik and Pascaline would face their own deaths before they allowed me to face mine.

ONA

 You won’t burn that fast. We can offer you death if that’s what you wish … Or we could make a deal.

 

NORMA

 I don’t ask for death, but I’m already injured, maybe I can just burn my brain. 

 

LORETTA

 With my best practiced wicked smile, I pulled a long silver hat pin from my pocket. I touched my finger to the metal just to show the material. 

 

NORMA

 Or maybe I can use this to stab my brain. Then I’m useless to you.

 

 

PASCALINE

 Norma, don’t! 

 

LORETTA

 The ancients stepped back.

 

 

NORMA

 Get out! 

 I’ll open this window and shove this into my brain!

 

 

LORETTA

To Pascaline and Derrik, I cried

 

NORMA

Run! 

 I said Run!

 

DERRIK

  We won’t leave you. 

 

NORMA

Then duck.

 

LORETTA

As the first beam of light entered the apartment, Pascaline grabbed Derrik and threw him to the ground.  Warm brightness flooded the apartment, the council ran into the hallway in the only band of darkness left to them. Tears burned the open wound on my cheek. My body shuddered.   I saw the ghosts, Ezra and Eliza, rush them down the hall. My trick worked! 

 EZRA
WHOOOO

LORETTA

I threw the hatpin on the kitchen table and slammed the door shut and locket it. No longer able to pretend I was still in control of myself, I shoved the couch in front of the door so they couldn’t come back in. 

 

Insertion: Derrik realized he was not burning though the apartment was full of light. Norma had not stabbed herself with silver or anything else. 

 

 

PASCALINE

Norma, ma cheri, calm… Norma, stop.

 

NORMA

No. I’m still on Plan S.

  

LORETTA

Derrik rose, but looked away as I exposed my knee and slipped my hand up my skirt to the left scabbard where the third vial of Agata’s blood was hidden. 


Every word was sheer agony so I used my mind to speek knowing Derrik would repeat it to Pascaline

 

NORMA

(thought) No violence. No sun. Just a trick.

 

 

LORETTA

 Derrik repeated what I said and added

 

 

DERRIK

 

But the light?

 

LORETTA

 I opened the shutters the rest of the way. Then tore away a thick piece of paper, behind it was a small desk lamp with an exposed the lightbulb, reflected by a there was a thin sheet of metal reflecting the warm light at him in front of the window glass. 

 

NORMA

 

See. Still two hours before dawn.

 

PASCALINE

Amazing!


DERRIK

And if your trick didn’t work? 


 LORETTA
Sometimes I wonder if it is a lawyer thing to ask questions one already knows the answer to

NORMA

The council woulda taken me. Sydella was right. But I couldn’t have chanced them hurting you. 

 

I just needed them to believe I’d open the shutters which meant I needed you to believe it. I’m just glad I didn’t need to fake my final death.

 

 

LORETTA

 Derrik turned away from me.

 

 

NORMA

Don’t be mad!

 

 

DERRIK

  I’m not. 

I-I just need to sit down for a little while.  

 

 

NORMA

 But your blood pressure is really high. 

 

 

DERRIK

High blood pressure is an involuntary reaction to pain. And your blood pressure is higher than mine, lamb.

 

 

NORMA

 I’ll be okay. 

Pascaline, Ensure the council stays at the cookout and everyone stays calm. 

 Derrik and I’ll be out as soon as I can talk without pain. 


PASCALINE

 May I also suggest you change. There’s blood all over that dress.

 

LORETTA

 I nodded and slipped beside Derrik on the couch.

 I slipped my hand into the scabbard a final time to pull out the notepad with my plans on it. The first page was emblazoned with: 

NORMA
What would Dracula Do? It doesn’t matter because he always dies!

LORETTA
 
INSERTION: Norma’s handwriting was neat, but with all the strange arrows, logic puzzles, cross references, and random thoughts, Derrik didn’t know exactly what he was looking at, but one section had tape marking eight pages. And he guessed eight vampires. 

 Inside, she had written possible responses from the vampires on the coven. He didn’t want to look at what she had written about him, but turned to the 6th piece of tape. 

 

NORMA

ISSUE: Derrik won’t leave me.

 

Solution: 

D,1) Stay Close

 D, 2) Fake Death

Problem: If I faked my death, could I get Derrik to scream?

Problem: Is Derrik a good enough actor to fake my burning…Probably not. What if I faked the Dawn?


 They are all tricks. That’s why I hid this and my diary, but not my mysteries—just in case they caught a glimmer of it in my mind. See…

 LORETTA

I flipped to a Plan S (for Sun) and showed him “Fake the Dawn.” And then showed my diary when I thought of the idea when chatting with Oskar. 

I explained there were several windows around the coven with the same trick since I had no idea where the testing would take place. Then I showed him the guest list to the cookout: the werewolves of the Howling Moon, the ghosts Eliza and Ezera, Oskar, friendly vampires outside the coven, Marcus, Laurence...


NORMA

Are they really gonna disbar you?


DERRIK

 Don’t fret about such things. 

 Is your caper finished?

 

 NORMA

 No, but you’ll like the rest.

 

 DERRIK

 Shall I? I certainly did not like what has already happened.


NORMA

So you didn’t like the plan?


 DERRIK

 Your plan was a marvel, both in virtue and execution. I simply wish tonight’s events hadn’t necessitated the melting of your cheek. 


NORMA

It didn’t go perfectly, actually only three or four parts worked like I thought, but I’m here with you so we won. I didn’t even have to fake my final death or die a real heroic final death. 
The playing field keeps changing. 


LORETTA

 Derrik started the metronome and told me I ought to practice my breathing exercise. He stroked the back of my hand with his thumb for a little while. 

Then we got cleaned up and went down to the party. Everyone the werewolves, Oskar, Eliza and Ezera, the vampires of and not of the coven semed to have a pretty good time so I think the cookout was a great success! 

 And that’s where Norma’s journal ends, but the story doesn't end there:

 I hope my description of what happened gives you the full understanding. No one touched the council members. Obviously, they outstripped Eliza and Ezra who followed them downstairs, making ghostly cries. Ghosts just don’t move that fast. 

 

When they got down to the parlor, Mrs. Washington smiled at them and welcomed them to the Cookout.  

 

 

ONA

 

What are you doing on vampire ground?

 

 

MRS. WASHINGTON

 

Oh we were invited to share in a fellowship in celebration of Norma passing her species exam.

 

Obviously, the Congregation of the Howling Moon can see she is a vampire, but you’ve your own way of doing things.  

 

My fourth cousin is the pit master of Rivera’s BBQ and so happy to cater this event for Mr. Miller’s granddaughter. He just adores Mr. Miller. Such an efficient, yet caring attorney. 

 

Help yourself.

 

ONA

 

Get away from me! Or else.

 

 

MRS. WASHINGTON

 

Or else? Or else what? Tsk Tsk, hardly the path of the modern vampire to start trouble over BBQ. 

 

Oh, of course! I understand your concern, my friend. Fear not. There is a well-marked spicy bloodsauce on the counter.

 

As Norma said at out last meeting, the world is shrinking. Only good things can come if we open more lines of communication and trade between our two peoples. 

 

 

LORETTA

 

Once the council representatives were out, the werewolves gently got them out to the upper parking lot and into the party. 

 

Of course, now they could see the sun was no longer rising, the sky was still dark. 

 

Seeing Norma fooled them, Ona turned around. Oskar had stretched his legs across the door, drank a keg of dark beer and had a platter of Paul Rivera’s pulled pork. 

 

ONA

 

Step aside.

 

OSKAR

 

You’re going the wrong way. The barbecue is over there. And the Night Owl’s restroom is open to the partygoers if you need such facilities.

 

ONA

 

 How dare you entangle yourself in vampire matters, troll?

 

 

OSKAR

 

I’m just enjoying some barbeque and waiting to talk to my lawyer. Oh, look here is my landlady. 

 

 

LORETTA

 

As Norma requested, I brought out my travel harp and sat down on a bench near Oskar and began to play. You see I have always been gifted in mesmerism, but it’s far easier to captivate a group with my harp. 

 

 

PASCALINE

 

I suggest you stand down, Ona. 

 Come, let us get some wine and meat.

 Now, I’ve only heard positive evaluations about Riviera’s BBQ. Of course, Derrik never has a cross word to say about anything. That’s why I married him. 

 However, for a more objective view, there was an excellent write-up in the Times a year ago. And our dear friend, Mrs. Washington, said the blood sauce is worth dying for. OR dying again in our case.

 
SIMON
It's over, let's try this bloodsauce the ladies keep raving about.

 

LORETTA

 While the Fellowship Cookout was enjoyable, the werewolves were strangely intimidating. Remember as a species they love children—and though Norma was not a werewolf, she was the ward of the only attorney on the westcoast at that time who took on clients of all supernatural species, often on a sliding scale.

 

One of Derrik’s former immigration clients, Paul Rivera had set up a smoker and a large table of salads and desserts. Yet the werewolves ripped their barbequed delights from large hunting knives, baring their fangs and making eye contact with the ancients. Gently, pressing the ancients towards the Night Owl.

 

A few rouge vampires hung about chatting cups of blood in hand. Xiao, Jakub, and Charles also slowly put themselves between the council the building proper as they mingled. 

 

Ona was annoyed, but in truth, ancient vampires always seek a comprehensive understanding of the future. There was little doubt Norma could survive. Though she might’ve assisted William murder people, now she lived in the coven, she existed as Derrik did.

 

Thirty minutes later, Norma emerged, head held high, her cheek swollen but complete. If you didn’t know her, you might have thought her proud in her victory, she smiled brightly and was good company to all, but if one was looking, they might notice she remained pretty close to Pascaline or Derrik. I could not tell you if that was for his comfort or hers. Probably both. 

 

Then Ona cornered Norma. The party stopped, but no one moved. 

 

ONA

 

You hurt Lady Pascaline and Derrik by existing. Is the cage they offer more generous than mine?

 

NORMA

 

Theirs is temporary.

 

ONA

ONA SOUND EFFECT: CHUCKLE

 

And if you find it is not?

 

NORMA

 

The choice is mine.

 

ONA

 

I leave you in peace for now.

 

But you will be their Shame and ultimately will exist alone. When they fail you, contact the council and I shall fetch you. There’s nothing to fear. 

 

Your gift makes you valuable enough to survive. 

 

NORMA

 

A series of rules does not make a modern vampire. 

 

ONA

 

Perhaps not, but it is all we have.

 

LORETTA

 

That was the main test. The council thanked Agata and Jakub for their hospitality. They left the next evening after we discovered Augustus snuck into Norma’s room during the day. Of course, her coffin was empty with thumbtacks hidden in the blankets. She wasn’t in her closet either. Raging, he went into Derrik’s coffin-room. 

 

AUGUSTUS

  Get up! Where is she? 

 

DERRIK

 

 What? 

 I told you to leave my home!

 

 

AUGUSTUS

 

Where is that damned girl?

 

 

DERRIK

 

If you hurt her… Wait. What do you mean, where is she?

 

LORETTA

 

Derrik became mad with worry when he discovered Norma wasn’t home or over at Pascaline’s. Augustus and Derrik checked our house. Grumbling as he was awoken during unGodly day hours, Charles found her, safe and obviously prepared. 

Norma hid on the center of the roof, under layers of tarp, snuggled under her quilts reading All Quiet On the Western Front by Enrich Paul Remark. She also had her personalized stationery so she could start her thank you notes, diary, sketchbook, and the notebook full of plans, a gallon of blood, a few hard-boiled eggs, and a bucket. Lengths of chain made with several metals encircled her shelter. She smiled at Charles’s spirit in the bloodline and told him:

 

NORMA

Don’t worry. I left a note in Derrik’s robe pocket explaining everything.

 


AUGUSTUS 
SOUND EFFECT: DEEP LAUGH

 Norma was right, she’s a worthy opponent. I don’t envy you, Derrik. 

 

Ah bon diue. (Alternate: Good bye)

 

LORETTA

 

When the sun set, Jakub and Charles confirmed the ancients had left. Norma entered, cleaned up, accepted a hug from Derrik. She delivered thank you notes to those on site and mailed the others. 

 

This is the one she handed to me.  

 

April 18th, 1952

 

NORMA

 

Dear Loretta, 

 

Thank you for playing music at the cookout. You are so talented, and your music was beautiful and calming. 

 As for my part of the deal, enclosed is my journal for the library. There’s only a few blank pages left anyway. I like keeping a diary and Derrik doesn’t, so I’ll try to immortalize the existence which we share as requested. 

 I look forward to the day, you and Charles call me coven sister, Love Norma

 

LORETTA

 

I still sometimes think I ought to have told her the truth: The coven helped Norma because we could see by every measure, her presence salvaged the current existence of two of our bloodline founders.

 

William had to be destroyed, but if Derrik had not been allowed to take-in Norma, we believe he would have decided final death as Walter did. 

 

For awhile, he might have continued working, had drinks with Jakub, enjoyed his enthralled. He might have even kissed Pascaline a few more times. But he would have stopped existing. 

 

Remember, beloveds, Derrik had become a vampire to escape the cruelty and poverty of an unsustainable existence, in short to become a gentleman. In theory a gentleman has a moral obligation to care for those weaker than he. Failure in this obligation would have killed him.

 

And if Derrik had died, Pascaline would have followed, though not into final death. She would have left us and lost her benevolence. Hopefully in that order.

 

It is not fair to Norma that she held such a burden, but she did. And she does. She has never neglected her former guardians.  

 

Fortunately, the next three years was fairly uneventful, other than Norma’s gross reactions brought on by her previous trauma, Pascaline and Derrik remained devoted to her education and care. 

 

But Ona was wrong about Pascaline and Derrik. They did not try to keep her. In 1955, Norma earned her driver’s license and finished her high school education. Dressing more maturely, she started working in the credit union as a part time file clerk. She attended the University of Washington that fall, she graduated a year early in 1958. She also used this time to explore aspects of life, she missed due to turning so young.

 

She applied for the position as a credit union finance officer. She and Derrik exchanged Earth so she might move into her own apartment. It was hard for him to suddenly have an empty nest, but he was proud of her.

 

Two years later, she showed Jakub and Derrik the business plan for Norma’s Cleaning Service. She took their organizational and legal suggestions. Norma’s Cleaning Service became the most profitable subdivision of the Paper Flower Consortium and has remained so for decades. Moreover, she often brings business to the coven, because those who need a cleaning service also often need legal representation, financial advice, or medical assistance. 

 

It is my sadness to report Ona was correct about certain things: Norma makes most vampires uncomfortable. The younger vampires of this coven and other covens have called her The Shame. 

 

Worse, initiates rarely are interested in being a close relationship with the man who created the man who created her. 

 

In 1983: Ryan Jones, Doctor of Biology, didn’t care about Norma or more specifically desired Derrik’s telepathic gifts more that cared about the scandal, but no other initiate has asked for Derrik’s mentorship. 

 

And I suppose I should also inform you though Norma makes vampires uncomfortable, she does have a long-term friendship and business relationship with Carlos Fisher-Perez whom she found in a werewolf bar, under a pooltable as he transformed into a shade. But that is a story for another time.

 

So good day beloved initiates and sleep the sleep of the dead.

 

MUSIC: LORETTA’S THEME

 

VO

The Paper Flower Consortium was written by Elizabeth Guizzetti

 

If you love this podcast, like and share this episode. And please consider donating either one time or through the Patreon.  

 

If you want the whole story about Norma’s first year as a vampire, PreOrder the novel Accident Among Vampires Or what would Dracula Do? Tonight on Amazon. Pre Orders really help the author and the preorders for this book are going straight back into the podcast for next season. If you want to know what Norma is up to currently, check out the books in Norma’s Cleaning Service Mysteries, Death Takes a Stake Out, Death Hears a Siren, and Death Sticks a Pixie.  Between Season 1 and 2, I will be reading the first book I wrote in the Universe, Immortal House which is the story of the rouge vampire Laurence’s search for a forever home. 

 

If you like this podcast, please take the time to like, share or review this podcast.  

 

Tonight’s amazing cast include Stevie Rae Causey as Norma, Evan Witt as Derrik, Gretchen SB as Lady Pascaline, Jennifer Brozek as Mrs. Washington, Nikki Burton as Ona, Ronnie Mason as Augustus, Dennis Roberts as Simon and Ezra, Adam Watson as Marcus and Oskar and me, Elizabeth Guizzetti as Lady Loretta. I also write the podcast and all the books in the Paper Flower Consortium Universe. The amazing intro and outro music is created by Evan Witt. You can learn more about his music at www.wittynotes.com. Other music was found at Storyblocks and the information is in the show notes. 

 


 

Thank you so much for listening!


Thanks for listening.

 

Opener
Review of Norma's Experiments
The Council arrived on April 17, 1952
First Test
Test by Bloodline
Test by Silver
Plan L (L is for Law)
Plan S (S is for Sun)
The Diary Ends, but not the Story
Another Plan
In Closing