|I Believe the Children Are Our Future
Author: Lia Jenson PM
In order to be a real creature of the night, a true monster, you must be under 18 and willingly give up your humanity. Rated for gore and the misuse of pre-adolescent children.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Suspense - Chapters: 4 - Words: 5,127 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 03-01-13 - Published: 02-17-13 - id: 3101977
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Our success was mainly due to the fact that we stimulated the nerves of animals that easily stood on their own feet and were not subjected to any painful stimulus either during or immediately before stimulation of their nerves."
-Ivan Pavlov about his experiments.
"Um..." Amanda mumbled.
The Witch could tell just from that one syllable that Amanda was going to bitch about something. Well, not bitching exactly, since she knew how much the Witch hated complaining, but close enough.
"Yes?" The Witch set down her coffee and looked down at the little girl.
Today the woman that leaned against the kitchen counter was a red-head with peachy skin and freckles scattered just about everywhere, a bit taller and leaner than the last form. She wore a simple tank top and black pajama pants with red sandals.
But as always, her mouth was wide and given to frowning, hiding the strangely rounded doll-like teeth underneath and her eyes, well, they were just about orange.
These same eyes usually intimidated the children, so almost no one looked her in the eye. Even now Amanda kept her own eyes on what she held, the small box that was supposed to be full of markers for her scribbles and sketches.
"All my crayons and markers and stuff are gone," Amanda said, and tried to look the red-head in the eye. She couldn't, and settled, as usual, for staring at the Witch's nose.
The Witch liked to think it was out of respect, though she knew it was fear. She began to smile a toothy smile devoid of any actual warmth.
"No, they're not," she replied genially in a sing-song voice, trying hard not show her frustration. "Look at all these lo-o-vely shades of red, Mandy!"
She took the near-empty box of markers from Amanda's hands and dumped the remaining markers into her palm. Five shades of red ranging from almost pink to the darkening red of drying blood. The Witch stifled a giggle. Drying blood.
But sweet, smart, evil little Amanda was afraid of blood.
Something about watching her parents and her brother die, the Witch guessed.
She first saw it when Amanda was "play-fighting" with the rest of the younger children. Of course, Amanda was always very aggressive. Amanda even threw things and struck the others. But when she threw something, she threw to miss. Even when she had punched Hanno, there was the restrained movement of her tiny fist. She really did want to make others hurt, and it would not be like watching her family hurt, because she truly did not care for the other children except Cain...and even then she only enjoyed annoying the hot-headed boy.
But that damned fear of blood, of drawing it out and being stained by it. Under different circumstances, this impediment of her vicious nature would've been good.
It might've lessened to a general, unspecific hate of violence.
She might have eventually come to like red even, but...
"I don't like those colors," Amanda said, shifting weight from foot to foot. "I want the other ones. Can I have the rest back, please? Pretty please?"
The little bitch. She was so scared of blood, she wouldn't even touch the red markers.
Nothing the Witch had tried worked. At all.
Amanda would not have anything to do with blood.
How the hell could she go about wanting to be an Imp and yet shake at the mere sight of blood? It would not do if she was to become one of the gore-mongering flesh eaters.
She might even refuse the Change; and demand to be released. Then she would be released...to whatever wanted her.
She'd be eaten by the very same monsters that demanded she become one of them.
Or the vampires, if she were lucky, would have her raised as blood cattle.
Worst of all, it was most likely that she'd be taken by the other Witches...then like all the evidence that she had been born in the human world, she would be gone forever.
"You need to try and work with red for me, okay?" The Witch said gently.
She almost touched the girl's cheek, but Amanda flinched back.
"B-But, I...I'm going to draw the ocean! A forest!" Amanda sputtered after two obvious seconds of mental flailing. "I need blue and green and stuff!"
The Witch sighed and said, "Fine." She began to wonder if maybe a gentler, more low-key approach was needed to fix the girl's phobia. "Frankie, get her the other markers from that drawer there."
Frankie obeyed, walking stiffly, still in his pajamas. The Witch handed him the box and he wordlessly refilled it. She pitied him and yet laughed inwardly at his passive-aggressive little protest. What you did to me was wrong, his silence said.
Too bad. If wrong was helping him stop a self-destructive behavior, then she didn't want to be right. In the end, all she thought about was how to keep them alive and well.
"This isn't over. You will not avoid dealing with this," she said simply to Amanda, who nodded and slowly backed away as the Witch patted the top of Frankie's head. "Thank you, Frankie. Go finish your breakfast."
The wider part of the kitchen held three tables: a round one for the younger kids, and a triangular one for the kids over thirteen, where Eilean now sat alone. The third was enormous, rectangular under it's dust-cover, and pushed far into the corner, only pulled back when the Investors came or if one of the Witch's few friends were visiting.
Frankie walked past it back to his part of the round table and just sat there, watching everyone else eat, his own bowl of Ultra-Grain cereal soggy and half-empty.
Directly across from him sat little Hapilyn.
Having not eaten it when she got it yesterday, Happy now munched on a candy cane, a reward for her good behavior.
Happy stood out like a ghost among the living, very pale and still a bit gaunt, despite her better diet. Her white hair was short and stuck up one side, the side she'd been sleeping on. The Witch felt the slightest twinge of affection for her. She was adorable, in her own way.
Everyone except for Happy herself knew that Frankie disliked her, mostly because if the girl simply asked, the Witch would give her what she denied to the boy.
But only because Happy needed plumping, unlike him. She needed far more care than anyone else.
Plus, Happy was the best behaved out of all of them. The favorite children earned their right to be the favorites.
If they disobeyed, they were punished and shunned accordingly, simple as that.
If only Cain were here, she could have made an example of him.
"Frankie," She heard Happy trill.
And there it was.
Happy had finally noticed Frankie acting unnaturally miserable and quiet.
The Witch had to cover her mouth to hide the grin stretching there.
With a twinkle in her pink eye, Happy broke off a piece of the candy cane and held it out to Frankie with her bandaged hand.
Though she said nothing, her sweet face asked, "Do you want some?"
A second passed that felt like a millennium due to the sudden silence in the kitchen.
The nutrition allotted to each of them was for their needs only, the kids had been told.
No one was supposed to share.
Perhaps Happy had noticed Frankie hated her. Showing she was willing to disobey just to make him happy, that was how she'd make him like her.
That much the Witch would forgive.
But Frankie turned green and shook his head, caught the Witch's eye, and went back to eating. Happy's face fell...Then she stuck the piece of candy into her mouth and seemed to forget about it immediately. She always forgot about sad things.
Over at the triangle table, Eilean's eyes were back on her own food again.
Her face worked, her lips pressed tightly together.
The Witch snorted and went back to her coffee, almost forgotten and now lukewarm.
It was quiet except for the scrape of forks across plates and the creaking of their chairs.
Even Amanda was quiet, drinking apple juice with the box of markers set next to her empty bowl. A soon-to-be vampire boy fatter than greed itself and a Imp-to-be afraid of blood. She groaned inwardly. This is without doubt the worst batch I've ever had.
As the Witch gulped the last of her coffee and bit into a bagel, she glanced from Happy (still eating the candy cane) to Amanda, Amanda to Happy.
An idea came to her as her orange eyes settled once more on the candy cane.
Just in time, the Witch thought. Red markers are going to be the least of your problems, Mandy.
Then her mind was elsewhere, in her private office, staring down at the faxed file with Amanda's name on it. The document that dictated she be turned the very next year.
And suddenly, I got it in my head to update regularly.
WHAT NONSENSE IS THIS? But I'll try consistency for once. Anyone up for it?