Sunday, 26 January 2020

The Forgotten Hollow Tinies: Part Eleven - Fathers, Fangs and Fate Defiers

When Lincoln Broadsheet wakes up the next morning, he is a man on the warpath. Even the sight of his daughter tucked up safely in bed, fast asleep, does nothing to calm him down.

Wait... is that a love-bite on her neck? Or something else?

As he flips furiously through a telephone book (they're a bit retro in Oasis Springs), he spots the name "Livingstone", notes down the address, and jumps into a taxi heading full-speed for Forgotten Hollow.

At the Old Mausoleum, Amelia, also still in bed, is yanked out of Dreamland by a violent hammering upon the front door. Dressing quickly, she scurries through the kitchen - catching sight of a sheepish Jules en route as he hides in the bedroom corridor doorway - and steps out into the garden, coming face to face with a man with a temper as fiery as his hair. And it's a face that rings a bell.

"Livingstone, I presume?!" the man barks.

"How original."

"Look, does Jules live here or not? I want a word with him. Several, in fact. And mostly unpleasant ones."

"Sir, please - calm down. If Jules has done something wrong, you can discuss it with me. I'm his mother."

As he looks into the woman's shining gaze, Lincoln feels his heart skip a beat. Amelia's mother passed away when she was very young. He's been alone since then.... using his aspirations of a high-flying career in journalism to fill the void. And anyway, this lady seems kind, and willing to help. It would be wrong to upset her.

He doesn't want tears to fall out of those beautiful eyes.

Lincoln sighs, doing his best to control himself.

"I'm sorry, madam," he says, in softer tones. "I have no issue with you. But your son, Jules - I suspect he's dating my daughter, and some of his behaviour has been a little inappropriate. I just have some concerns, that's all. So, if you would allow me, madam - "



With a coquettish grin, Amelia poses in the sexiest way she can muster.

"My name is Amelia," she repeats. 

"What a coincidence."

"What? You're called "Amelia" too?"

"No, no!" comes the nervous response. "My daughter is. My name is Lincoln. Lincoln Broadsheet."

"Oh, Mr. Broadsheet!" Amelia giggles knowingly. "That Amelia's father! The renowned journalist! It's a pleasure to finally meet you, sir."

"Lincoln. Please."

"Well, Lincoln," Amelia continues, "If Jules has misbehaved, I'd be very happy to discuss the matter with you. Please... won't you come inside?"

It's like throwing a dog a bone. Within moments, Lincoln is inside the house, chatting away to Amelia on the sofa with a drink , as if they were old friends... suddenly a lot more understanding about the previous night's events.  

As Lincoln sips his coffee, Amelia rests her hand upon his thigh - and the journalist can't control himself anymore. He scrambles on top of her, kissing her frantically, as Amelia's deft fingers swiftly unbutton his shirt.

Some time later, as he lay beside Amelia in bed, the deed done, Lincoln's clearer head returns to the topic at hand.

"Tell Jules that if he wants to date my Amelia, then that's fine," he concedes. "Even if it smacks a little of an Oedipus complex. But next time, ask him to tell me beforehand that he's coming over, and to do so at a civilised hour. I'll even make dinner."

Amelia laughs.

"I'll let him know," she replies. "Is there anything more I can do for you, Lincoln?"

"Oh, you've done plenty already," Lincoln chuckles - exhaling deeply as he recalls the pleasures he has just experienced, scrambling around for his clothes. "I'll... I'll see myself out, shall I? Thanks again."

Once she hears the front door click shut, Amelia hurries to the bathroom, taking one of several collected pregnancy tests out of a cupboard, and does her thing.

"Such a shame Lincoln will never know about this child," Amelia thinks to herself.  "He seems like a great father."

However, this is no time to rest on her laurels. Not all suitors will just turn up at her door like a takeaway pizza. After a light meal, a shower, and gussying herself up, Amelia steps out into the night - heading up the long hillside walkway to the nearby Straud Manor. 

The gentleman who lives here, Amelia has heard, likes to get acquainted with young-bloods.

As the aged Count Vladislaus Straud IV greets her, Amelia offers him a rose, keen to make a good impression. As she is complimented by her host on her swan-like neck, she is quick to comment on Vlad's shining smile - a winning manoeuvre that leads to locked lips. Alas, for now, that is as far as things can go.

Even if Lincoln goes on to lose one daughter to the Livingstone clan, he has gained another by them, too. Some time later, Amelia delivers a baby girl: giving birth in the newly refurbished nursery, a childproof lock added to the door so the older siblings don't disturb the infants constantly.

P is for Paige - so stop all the presses!

(Baby 16 - Paige Broadsheet Livingstone)

Yes, the name is a pun. No, I'm not ashamed.

The new arrival leads to a full house - but the situation doesn't last for long. Whilst Kirsten, Miranda and Lucas work hard to get their grades up...

... Jules comes home with an A. 

The Reaper's powers are great. Even vampiric immortality can't stop Jules from ageing up into a young man.

As he sees the Reaper mark break forth upon his chest, Jules is certain of one thing. Destiny be damned - he is not going off with the hooded man in black just yet. There's something important he wants to do first. 

Before his new employer has a chance to turn up, Jules shoots off a text on his phone, kisses his mother goodbye, and slips out - his bat form flying away in the moonlight.


At the small botanical garden in Newcrest, Jules, clad in a fine tuxedo, waits anxiously - his mind buzzing with disturbing thoughts.

Did his dear Amelia get his message? Was she even going to turn up? And what about the Grim Reaper? Would he take revenge on him for what he was about to do? Or worse still - on Amelia?

Suddenly, a slim shadowy figure steps into view. Jules looks up, and smiles.

"Hello, Amelia. I'm so glad you came."

She's all grown up now, too, and she looks like a goddess - clad in a satin black dress, her make-up elegant, her jewellery shimmering. Exactly as he hoped she would look when he told her to dress up well. Taking her hands, he kisses them tenderly.

"Jules," Amelia says, "why did you ask me to come here? My father will be worried sick."

"Darling," Jules croaks, dreading the pending conversation. "There's something you need to know. I... I have to go away for a while. For... for work."

"What? When?"

"Soon. Very soon. But I - I don't want to go. It's not my choice."

"I don't understand."

"It's hard to explain. But, I need you to know that it's not because of you. I want to be with you more than anything. In fact... I want to be with you always."

Dropping down on one knee, he fishes a diamond ring out of his suit jacket pocket.

"Will you marry me, Amelia? Right here, right now?"

Overwrought with emotion, Amelia bursts into floods of happy tears - nodding her head frantically as Jules slips the ring onto her finger.

Mere moments later, the couple exchange heartfelt pledges of eternal love to one another - sealing their vow with the sweetest of kisses.

"Wife," Jules continues, "there is something else you need to know."

"That you're a vampire?" Amelia responds bluntly - giggling as she see the shock in her new husband's widened eyes. "I'm not a fool, Jules. I know that you used dark magic to put my father to sleep that time you came calling in the middle of the night. And that you used a kiss on my neck as an excuse to bite me and drink my blood."

Jules hangs his head, ashamed - but Amelia tucks her fingers under his chin, lifting it up to meet her gaze again. 

"But it's OK," she whispers. "I understand, and I still love you. I wouldn't have married you if I didn't. Actually... I have something to show you."

As Amelia throws back her head, tensing up, Jules stares, stunned, as her eyes begin to glow, claws slide out of her fingertips, and fangs break forth from her mouth.

"Your bite converted me," Amelia explains - delighted rather than horrified. "Now we will be together always."

The sight of his beloved's dark vampiric form makes Jules unable to conceal his own any longer. As he, too, transforms into his bloodsucking self, he kisses his bride's cheek in delight - embracing her tightly as they sit down together on the grassy lawn beneath them.

"Now we shall be king and queen of the night together," Jules purrs into Amelia's pointed ear. "Nothing and nobody, mortal or immortal, shall ever tear us apart."

Suddenly, Jules' own ears twitch as he hears the sound of gentle clapping. Looking up, he sees the Grim Reaper approaching them both - applauding slowly.

"Congratatulations, you two," his voice booms. "You make a fine couple. Although, I do believe you and I have some work to do, young man? Even your kind can face death when they are slain."

Instinctively, Jules stands in front of his bride, defending her.

"Don't you touch her!" he shrieks, flashing his fangs in a gesture of angry defiance.

"Calm yourself, Jules," the Reaper replies. "After all, you are my son-in-spirit... making this woman my daughter-in-law, of sorts. I would never harm either of you - we are like family. But, married or not, vampire or not, you are bound to your duty, and you must carry it out. After all, that is why you were born. To be a fellow Reaper."

"I... I don't want to leave Amelia."

"There is no need to. Since you have wed her in your deluded, albeit loving, attempt to defy your fate, she can dwell happily in my kingdom as my honoured guest - safe from vampire slayers, ready and waiting for you to return after each reap. Your union will be childless - at least, until your mother has fulfilled her duty to me - but it will be eternal. Does that appease you?"

"Jules?" Amelia asks, alarmed. "What the hell is going on?"

"Come," the Reaper responds - his hand curling in a gesture bidding the pair to follow. "I shall explain everything to you on the way to the Netherworld, before your husband starts his first shift."

"Hold on," Jules says. "I'm happy to do everything you've asked. It sounds great - thank you, my lord, for understanding. But, you know... Amelia and I did just get married. Is there any chance we could... you know... before you go? Do you know what I mean?"

"I do. It's the thing your mother is doing at this very moment. With a vampire, ironically enough. In a hot tub."

"I didn't need to know that."

"It was you who raised the subject."

"So... can we?"

"Oh, very well. I'll give you half an hour."

"Is that all?"

"Don't get cocky, boy. It's time enough. I shall return soon. In the meantime, I shall go and acquire a cake for you. I'm told it's a wedding tradition."

As a chilling breeze shook the trees of Newcrest, only a few locals were able to hear the frantic flapping of bat's wings - the two creatures tumbling over one another in a fit of passion.


Amelia's night-time activities bring about the desires result yet again - as proven by a very nasty bout of morning sickness.

And as for Vlad? He doesn't take the news too well.

Amelia resumes her now-standard tactic of continuing to seduce any man she comes across despite her condition - offering honeyed words and sweet smooches to all and sundry until she's ready to pop.

Her own dark union produces another vampire son.

Q is for Quade - prince of the night.

(Baby 17 - Quade Straud Livingstone)

Another round of birthdays swiftly follows. Firstly, little Nero becomes a toddler. And from the glare he's giving his mother here, he's certainly seems to have inherited the attitude of an emperor.

Little Oscar isn't far behind.

As for the older trio, their grades go up, and soon, they are all ready to enter their teenage years. Kirsten is first...

Followed by Lucas...

...and lastly, Miranda.

Once again, we're playing with a full house - so for now, it's farewell to the Livingstone family!

Oh... and as a parting gift, here's a couple of bonus shots of the newlyweds: