By the tally marks written on the wall in purple crayon, Jenny and I had been trapped in the Edens' basement for ten days. Also on the walls were Jenny's crayon drawings. Neither Cedar nor Rhododendron seemed to care that their pristine white walls were being defaced by a one-year-old. She covered the parts she could reach in crude drawings of Nilly and flowers. They brought us a few more things as the days went by, like a Wii and a few games. Never having had a game system before, I started with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and caught onto the controls quickly. I spent the days sitting on the bed playing the game, teaching Jenny new words, watching her scribble on the walls, and drinking from the ten gallons of blood the two of us had been allotted. I had no idea how long they expected our supply to last, or how much I needed to drink as a brand new vampire, so I drank a bare minimum of what I craved each day, saving most of it for Jenny.
Our bodies had definitely gone through changes since the twins had turned us. We no longer had heartbeats or the need to breathe, and our core temperatures had dropped significantly. So much so, in fact, that we didn't even feel the cold of the basement we were trapped in. We'd also become much paler than we had been as humans. But the biggest change I noticed was the addition of fangs. Whenever I'd feed Jenny blood from her bottle, I watched her canine teeth elongate just before the nipple touched her tongue. She hadn't even gotten all her baby teeth in, yet, and yet her canines had become her prominent teeth. My own canines did the same each time I drank from the jugs. All I had to do was picture those little baby fangs sinking into Pa's jugular, and I felt much, much better.
When I wasn't playing the Wii or playing with Jenny, I lay on the mattress and stared at the ceiling, wondering what the hell my sister and I were even here for. If the twins wanted children, there was no reason to keep us locked in a basement. I had no intention of going anywhere, and Jenny was too little to go anywhere on her own. And now that she was a vampire, she'd be that way forever. Never growing older, never growing bigger. My sister was stuck at one year old, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
So, what did the twins want from us? They'd barely spoken to us since the night they'd brought us home, and each time I'd asked, I'd been ignored. They'd done a complete one-eighty from the people who'd offered us blood in fancy wine glasses the day we'd been brought here, and I had no idea why.
Cedar's words echoed in my head often; "We needed minions." I wasn't sure what that meant or what they needed us for. However, on the twelfth day of our captivity, I found out.
"You want us to what!?" I demanded, clutching Jenny to my chest. I stared across the couch at Cedar and Rhododendron; they'd finally unlocked the basement door on our twelfth day of captivity.
"Help us kill a fox. It's pretty simple. What part are you not understanding?" Cedar asked, again looking at me like I was an idiot.
"Fox!" Jenny echoed, grinning up at me.
"Good job, Jenny-girl. Good talking," I praised her in a low voice before turning my attention back to our master and mistress. "The part where you so desperately needed our help that you locked us in a basement for twelve days," I explained. "Don't think we haven't been counting."
"We had to get stuff sorted and didn't want you running off or getting underfoot," Cedar said. "You're children, you know how children are."
"I'm eleven. I'm a preteen," I argued.
"Then you should be smart enough to grasp the situation," Cedar said.
"We need numbers," Rhododendron explained gently, taking over for her arrogant brother. "We have an old rival, a shapeshifter who prefers the form of a silver fox. She's done some pretty fucked-up things to us, so we need your assistance in taking her out. And if you do that, we'll unlock the basement door and you can come and go as you please. We'll continue to support you and provide for you, as well."
"We won't be locked up anymore?" I questioned. They nodded. "We'll have freedom and shelter and a proper amount of blood?" They nodded again, grinning. "And you won't follow us when we go out to hunt?" I pressed. They nodded again, their grins widening. "Tell us what we have to do."
Training began that night, after Jenny and I drank all the blood we could drink. Pa's hunting knife was returned to me, and I used it while sparring both Cedar and Rhododendron. Their house was off in the woods somewhere; as long as Jenny and I had enough blood, I didn't give a shit where we were. In the short time we had been vampires, Jenny had gained enough muscle strength to not only walk, but to run, jump, and climb, as well. Taking after her late best friend, she decided she liked climbing trees and running barefoot on the branches, then dropping over an unsuspecting enemy. As long as she could get her giggling under control, she'd make an excellent hunter. She'd gone from developmentally delayed to a super-baby by human standards in a mere twelve days. She remained pretty quiet, though, preferring to point rather than say what she wanted. As long as she was healthy and not starving to death, that was fine by me.
While Jenny practiced climbing, running, and jumping, I sparred with the twins. The goal was the jugular; if I could sink my knife or teeth into that, I was golden. Along with sparring, they taught me to hunt prey, as our target was a silver fox. I shared my first kill, a rabbit, with Jenny, and she shared her mouse with me.
As the nights went by, the two of us learned fast, fortunately making our master and mistress proud enough to keep the basement door unlocked and even allow us out in the forest by ourselves after training. I brought Jenny on walks through the woods, armed with a fancy digital camera, a reward for doing so well in training. I'd capture pictures of animals so Jenny could practice drawing them later. There was no one but us for miles and miles, and I was just fine with that.
However, as the days ticked closer and closer to September, Cedar and Rhododendron's attitudes began to change.