“Attention!” Jett ordered as she nudged my arm, which I had cradled under my pillow.
“Not now!” I groaned as I tried to push her away. I knew that she could probably sense that I was still awake, but I still had hope that by keeping my eyes closed I could relax enough to fall asleep. I hadn’t been successful so far, but if I pet my cat and increased my activity, I probably would have struggled to slumber for even longer! “If you keep bugging me, you’re getting kicked out of the room for the night!” She may have had the ability to speak, but it didn’t seem like she had the capacity to negotiate. I gave it a shot anyhow and crossed my fingers for the best.
If she did have the potential to understand the words I conveyed to her, she ignored my message as she insisted, “Attention!”
I ordered her, “Out!”
“Rude!” she responded while not making a move in the directive I gave her.
“That’s it!” I picked her up and begrudgingly rose out of my bed to bring her into the hallway.
With her lids remaining unopened, Phoebe reminded me, “Mom and Blaise will let her back in when they use the bathroom.”
I knew she was right, but I refused to change my intentions now that they were already set in motion! “Yeah, well, a few minutes of sleep is better than nothing!”
After I set Jett down on the carpet, I expected her to call me rude again and walk away in a huff, but instead, she stayed rooted to the spot and requested, “Inside!”
“No!” I subduedly declined her. I glanced over at the guest bedroom, and I could hear Blaise’s snores had a lower volume in this instance. I worried that without his raucous roar that he may not snooze so soundly, and I didn’t want to do anything that may abruptly rouse him! Not that anyone extended that same courtesy to us, but I certainly wanted to avoid being disrespectful if at all possible! Besides, Blaise was pretty grouchy under normal circumstances, and I dreaded to see what he might act like without a full eight hours!
“Inside!” Jett repeated.
In a hushed tone, I commanded, “Be quiet! You’re gonna wake everyone up!” Blaise then proceeded to mumble something inaudible, but I breathed a sigh of relief when I got the impression that he was still conked out. I knocked on wood that Jett would lose interest and leave!
Jett again echoed, “Inside!”
“Nooooo!” Blaise moaned in the same manner that he did previously. I became filled with dread at the worry that he had gained consciousness after all, but then I felt sure he was dreaming when he added, “No, Master! Don’t do it!” I found his sentence choice odd, but I was glad he was in the midst of a nightly vision and that I did not have to interact with him in a mood more foul than usual!
“Jett, go lay down!” I whispered to her. I nearly shut the door to cement her punishment, but then I froze in my tracks when I heard…
Blaise more distinctly pled, “No, Master! Don’t hurt them! … Let me do it!” The fact that he had uttered that phrasing subconsciously didn’t really comfort me in that moment! It seemed very revealing to me that he was willing to harm another soul to spare the trouble from someone who sounded like an evil mastermind, and if his dream-self had the readiness to do such a horrible atrocity, would his actual self have the same disposition? It truly startled me, and I almost locked the bedroom door out of fear of this potential! I mean, if he did end up having to use the bathroom, he could go outside and use a bush for all I cared! But I recalled that Miriam would get screwed if I did that, so I refrained from that temptation. I didn’t like how vulnerable it made Phoebe and me as we dozed off (or at least tried to) in our bed, and I contemplated having us spend the rest of the evening securely sealed in my car…
Interrupting my trance, Jett unexpectedly stated, “Bad man!” before scampering off! She may have expressed that as a resentment of my chastisement, but I remembered that she had the good sense to steal the key from Damon at the onset of this journey, so maybe her instincts pulled her in a similar direction for him. I opted not to shut the door in case she needed to come back in to give me some sort of warning.
As I crawled back into my bed, Phoebe suggested, “We should look up a way to reverse that spell!”
“Yeah, totally!” I concurred. I knew that there was no chance of me catching forty winks that night, and after a couple of minutes where I just laid there restlessly staring at the ceiling, I decided to do something more productive. I took out the spoon from beneath my pillow and strove to break it with my bare hands. It wouldn’t budge, so I changed my goal to bending it in a fashion that would render it useless, but even though I used all of my strength, it wouldn’t twist an inch!
“Babe, if you’re gonna do that, go into the bathroom in case somebody walks in,” Phoebe recommended obviously misinterpreting my cause for grunting as something salacious.
I assured her, “I’m not doing that! I was trying to break the spoon! If we could just destroy this damn key, we would have one last thing to worry about! We might even get a bit of rest! I’m so tired of having this hanging over our hands!”
Phoebe turned towards me and conversed, “It’s too bad Richard wasn’t home when we went to his house today!” She caught sight of my alarm clock and corrected herself, “Well, technically, it happened yesterday now!”
“What if he’s just another dead end?” I pondered. “What if this shit never ends for us?”
“It will!” Phoebe ensured me. “We’ll figure something out eventually! We always do! Don’t get all doom and gloom on me!”
Her encouragement was definitely what I needed to hear at this juncture! She was completely right- I had lost my competitive edge, and I shouldn’t have entertained my doubts for so long! I glowed with appreciation for her, and I stroked her side appreciatively. This gesture stirred up some other emotions in me too… “I won’t get my doom and gloom on you, but can I get something else on you?”
A mischievous smile dawned on her face, which made me swell with an auspicious desire, but before I could even kiss her, she pointed out, “We can’t do it now! What if Mom or Blaise walked in?”
I had temporarily forgotten about Blaise, and a part of me felt tempted to spend the night in the car again! The seclusion that my vehicle offered was very alluring, but so was Phoebe, and the connection between the two concepts provided me with another idea. “You know, we have a perfectly private spot to use parked in our driveway…”
“Well, that would help us avoid getting caught by our houseguests, but then we might get seen by our neighbors…” Phoebe brought up.
“What neighbors would see us?” I argued. “Rowan doesn’t get up ‘til he can do his sunrise yoga, and obviously Richard isn’t home. No one would be out there but us!”
She contemplated this consideration for a beat, and then she slyly acquiesced, “Okay! Let’s do it!”
As soon as she consented, I surged with a titillating zest that I hadn’t experienced since my college days! With the energy of a much younger man, I grabbed her hand and sprinted to the front door! Blaise and Miriam had resided with us for a mere week, but since Phoebe moved in months ago, I got spoiled with regular loving sessions. Going without was a fairly typical standard with my ex-wife, but now that I could have intimacy on a routine basis, this stretch with none was harder than any length of abstinence I endured previously! It was absolutely thrilling to break that chain of withdrawal, and I thanked the heavens for this bout of good luck!
I had no clue that I’d have to shortly rescind that gratitude! Initially, I had a one-track mindset, and I couldn’t get that car door open fast enough! Phoebe hopped in immediately, and the instant I stepped into the vehicle, I saw some eyes on the windshield! Not literally, as I later worked out, but they were creepy enough that I had actually forgotten where I was for a flash! Phoebe laid in the backseat with a confused expression, so I apologized to her, “Sorry! I gotta get that flyer! It’s distracting!”
“What the hell!” Phoebe exclaimed as she espied what I had referred to. “Do they think that’ll sell their product? It’s not Halloween!”
“You know, with all the research we’ve been doing on ghosts and magic, I forgot it wasn’t that time of year for a sec!” I admitted as I circled to the hood. I lifted up the wiper blade the advertisement got pinned under, and I began to get nervous! What if this wasn’t just a promo for some local business? What if it was something more sinister? Oh sure, Babelsama’s ghostly minion and that witchy governess who associated with him dabbled with the dark arts, but they really hadn’t issued a bona fide threat to our safety yet! Well, when Damon was still a vampire, he did attempt to have me killed, but as a phantom, he hadn’t given off any lethal vibes! Did that suddenly change? My anxiety heightened further as I flipped the page over to inspect it more closely… And the reality of this scenario made me roll my eyes and gripe, “Oh, for Pete’s sake!”
Phoebe inquired, “What is it?”
I handed it to her and explained, “It’s the FAUK club! Apparently, they’re having a rally on Wednesday at Rosemary King! Wait, Manuel seriously authorized this crap?”
“Wow! This is disturbing!” Phoebe remarked. “They’re having an appreciation for the underworld and the undead! I can’t believe how much this has taken over our school!”
“Between these FAUK-ers and the fear mongers that’ll inevitably plague our school before then, who knows how many more kids will drop out this week!” I lamentably commented. “Man, this is so depressing!”
Phoebe sagely concluded, “We’ve gotta discover a solution to prevent this from happening!” I nodded in agreement, and we both dejectedly pictured all of the children who already threw their futures away as well as the exuberant amount that could potentially get scared out of making it to graduation! After this grim possibility haunted our faculties profusely for a spell, Phoebe posed to me, “Do you still wanna have sex?”
I sighed, “It seems a little wrong now. And not the sexy kind of wrong either! Ugh! Let’s go back inside and-.” As I dispiritedly swiveled around towards the porch to surrender to the fate of a maddeningly sleepless evening, Jett bounded into my pathway! “Jeez-us! Jett, don’t do that!” I assumed she would rebut that with some sassy, one or two word retort, but clammed up instead! “Why couldn’t you be this tight-lipped in the hall?”
“We could put a bell on her so she won’t sneak up on you again!” Phoebe propositioned. “I doubt a small one would interfere with her collar for that kitty door sensor thingy!”
“Maybe! Wait, what are you doing, cat?” I watched her swiftly commence in wildly digging into the soil near the plants that I would frequently forget to water, and I noted, “Since when do you dig before you go potty?” She plopped something shiny into the hole that she created, and I rapidly recognized the rationale behind her behavior. I snatched up the spoon and queried, “So, you’re back to burying the key again, huh?”
Jett gazed at me with wide eyes and asserted, “Bad thing!”
In my frenzy to act out my passionate whims, I neglected my duty to protect that object! I hadn’t deserted it for an expansive stint, but if I had carried out my original plan with Phoebe, I may have kept it in a compromised position for a lofty duration! Other than Babelsama’s portrait in the guest bathroom, there hadn’t been any indications that our adversaries could obtain access to our abode, but I didn’t like to take any risks when it came to something this important! I gratefully pat Jett and commended her, “Good kitty!”
“What’s going on out there?” Miriam poked her visage out of the mudroom and stared at us in concern. “I went to the bathroom, and I saw that your bed was empty! Is everything alright?”
“No, not at all! But nobody’s life is in peril, so I’m gonna go start the coffee,” I quipped to her. As we trudged back into our dwelling, I was alleviated that Phoebe and I ultimately elected not to have a romp in my car- we spared her mother from the pangs of having to see her daughter in an obscene condition! As I set my car keys and that leaflet on the small table at the end of the entryway, I caught a glimpse of a familiar name listed as the host, and I muttered, “Oh great! Now I’m gonna have to have a chat with her!”