Just A Phase…

Karen waved to her parents as they pulled away and sighed. Five days alone with Andrew was going to be tough. He had been going through one of his phases again, this time he wanted to be a vampire. All she had to do was keep him away from the neighbors until her parents got back. Still, it would be a lot more fun if her best friend Sara hadn’t moved away two months ago. The house had been sold and the new family was settling in pretty well.

“I wish the new neighbors were vampires, but they’re just werewolves.”

“I know, Andrew, I know.” She sighed, pulling him inside by his arm. At least she could finally watch her favorite movie this week. She had just sent Andrew into the living room to watch T.V. when someone knocked on the door. It took her all of three hours to get rid of the new neighbor boy. He had convinced himself that she was his soul-mate and wouldn’t leave willingly. Andrew made kissie faces at her and ran up the stairs, screaming with laughter, when she lunged at him.

Two days had passed since their parents left and she had been interrupted every time her movie got to the best part. She had finally made a bowl of popcorn and settled down to watch the movie, no matter what, when Andrew came careening down the steps, howling about a bat.

“Andrew! I’m trying to watch a movie!”

“I got bit by a bat, it flew in my window!” He said gleefully. Karen pulled him down onto the couch beside her and checked his neck. There was a mosquito bite, but nothing else.

“You just got bit by a mosquito. Now go upstairs, shut your window, and go to sleep!”

“But…”

“No buts! Come on.” She started dragging him up toward the stairs, but Andrew latched onto the doorway to the living room.

“I’m telling the truth! A bat bit me!” Andrew howled, clinging to the doorway.

“That’s enough, Andrew. You were not bitten and you’re not going to turn into a vampire, now go to bed!” Karen pried his hands free and dragged him up the stairs into his bedroom. She shut his window and left, locking the door behind her. Downstairs, her favorite movie was still playing and her popcorn was getting cold and stale. The part she had been trying to see for a week now had just passed when she sat down.

“Give me a break…” She moaned. Their parents wouldn’t be back for two days and she was stuck babysitting her little brother, who was obsessed with becoming a vampire. She felt a sting on her neck and slapped a mosquito that had just landed, leaving its guts splattered on her hand and neck. “Oh gross!” She stood up again and walked into the kitchen to wash it off. She got a paper towel wet and wiped her neck, then her hands. She used another paper towel to dry and tossed them both out without looking at them. She didn’t feel the need to check and see if the mosquito parts were there. If she had looked she would have seen the splotch of blood from her neck.

The next morning she managed to get Andrew to eat his cereal with a spoon instead of slurping it, and sent him outside to play. When she sat down to start her movie again she could hear him screaming outside so she got up again and went to check on him. Outside he was running in circles and screaming gleefully at a perplexed looking man.

“Bite me! Bite me!” Andrew cried.

“Andrew, quit bothering Mr. Vlad!” Karen shouted at him. Andrew stopped running and looked at her with his puppy-dog face.

“But I want to be a vampire!” He whined.

“You know you aren’t allowed to be a vampire, Andrew. Mom and Dad don’t have enough money to get blood all the time.”

“Speaking of vampires, my son was out last night and he’s been a little… reckless, lately. I think he might have bitten someone because he refused to eat breakfast this morning. Did either of you notice anything strange?” Karen’s hand went instinctively to her neck as Mr. Vlad spoke. She also felt two other bumps that hurt when she touched them.

“Oh crud, I think he bit me at the same time as a mosquito so I didn’t notice. Thanks for warning us, I’ll go get something for this.”

“No problem, sorry about that. You do have garlic lotion, don’t you?”

“Yeah, we just restocked on cures last Wednesday. Come on, Andrew.” Andrew followed her, sulking, into the house as Mr. Vlad left through the back fence

When their parents returned the first thing they did was ask if anything happened.

“Just a close call with Dimeer Vlad. Andrew doesn’t want to be a vampire anymore either.” Karen didn’t look up from her movie.

“What is it this time?” Her father asked, hanging up his coat.

“Werewolves, the family that moved in down the block.”

“Oh dear… well at least the price of meat’s gone down.” Her mother said, glancing out the window.

“He’ll grow out of it someday, dear.” Her father glanced out the window too, “The grass needs to be mowed.”

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