November 7, 2008

Drug Addiction

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:57 am by serefina

In a room totally at odds with her–especially when compared to the colors she dresses in–Mairead was mumbling in her sleep. The room, with the walls painted in dark purple, was dark, despite the bright sunny skies outside; it was noon. Sandhu wanted to get a four poster bed with a canopy and bed curtains for Mairead, but she refused, hating the drapes. And she was sure that Rosario would get too angry with her with not tying up the drapes back to the columns. After a long argument–with Nicholai just rolling his eyes in the corner–all of them concluded that the best thing for Mairead’s room would be getting the thickest material for her curtains, and dark paint on her walls so the sunlight that manages to come through won’t bother her too much.

Not that it helped in the initial periods of Rosario being their housekeeper. She strongly believed that sunlight could only do good to everyone–humans and vampires alike. When she wakes up every morning, after freshening up, the first thing she would do was to open all the curtains, Mairead’s room included.

Sandhu and Nicholai were usually on their way to their work place by that time.

It took quite some time before Rosario finally stopped opening Mairead’s curtains, during which period people had problems distinguishing Mairead’s hair and skin; both having a bright red hue. It took the vampires threatening to drain Rosario’s blood and Nicholai throwing lightning bolts at her before she stopped.  She looked similar to Einstein during that period. Nonetheless, there were still some lapse is her memory; she was, after all, aging, being mortal (though she was used to the ways of her employer and was forced to sign a spellbound contract by Nicholai that she wouldn’t tell a soul).

However, the lapse of memory worked to Mairead’s advantage, even though it caused her some sufferings.

Mairead has an addiction; blood.

Blood to a vampire is like drugs to a human; it would heal you, but at the same time could dictate your life, turning it for the worse.

Nonetheless, blood is the source of their energies. Regardless of the fact that vampires continue eating human food for nutrients, they do not absorb carbohydrate and only absorbs fat only at the required amount to digest fat soluble nutrients, making it impossible for a vampire to have weight problems.

Like all drug addict, Mairead has managed to hide this fact from people around her, despite her stupidity. No one knows the extent of her addiction.

After tossing and turning, Mairead reluctantly woke up at half past one. Sitting up on her bed, she looks around miserably. She got off the bed and made her way to the one door fridge that Sandhu put in her room so that she wouldn’t need to get out of the room during the day if she’s hungry.

Opening the fridge, she looks at the arrays of delectable desserts (Rosario’s speciality, which is the only type of food–apart from blood–that she keeps in the fridge) that would even make the Pope decide the sin committed by consuming it would be worthwhile. In spite of that, desserts weren’t what Mairead was craving.

It was blood. And she has run out of her supply.

Here is where Rosario’s habit come in handy.

Like a shadow, Mairead opens her violet curtains and rushed back under her quilt.

Taking a deep breath, she shouted “Róisííííííííííííííííín!!!!!!!!!!” Heavy footsteps followed and a matronly lady burst opened the door to the room. Seeing how bright the room was, she rushed to the window, drawing back the curtains.

“Oh, duck,” Rosario said apologetically, “I’m sorry!! I must have forgotten. Oh dearie,” she rushed to Mairead. “Are you quite alright? Do you want more black pudding?”

Still under her quilt, refusing to come out, Mairead mumbled “no; I want fresh blood. I am out of any and Nicky decided to charm his blood vials so that I wouldn’t be able to finish them when he’s not around.”

Worried now, Rosario tried to sooth Mairead, though she knows that lullabies wouldn’t make any difference to Mairead’s skin. Reluctantly, she said , “would you be strong enough to go hunting or what not?”

This was exactly what Mairead wanted to hear. Smiling like a Cheshire cat underneath her duvet, she said slowly “I… I think so…” When she got up, she made sure she looked sad and timid.

“You wouldn’t tell Nicky or Sandy, would you?” she asked in a panicked tone.

Cupping her face and looking deep into her eyes, Rosario promised “I won’t tell either of them. Have I told them the other times you’ve gone hunting when they’re away?”

After giving Rosario a great big hug and counting her lucky stars that her room is too dark for Rosario to see that she didn’t actually have rashes, Mairead made her way to her walk-in wardrobe. Nicholai, fed up with her clothes–which range from the Tudor era–being strewn all over her room, decided to enlarge her wardrobe when he did his own walk-in wardrobe (a necessity, considering what a clotheswhore he was). She went straight to the black-colored modern clothes. Another of Nicholai’s insistence, for Mairead’s clothes to be arranged according to era and color.

Mairead never cared for fashion, and being a pennypincher, she refused throw any of her clothes, regardless whether she could fit into it or not. On the other hand, Nicholai, who works with a fashion magazine as something Mairead could never remember, gets easily embarrassed with Mairead’s “fashion crimes”, as he calls it. Thus, he insists that if Mairead decides to leave the house when he’s not around, she should wear black as not to draw attention to them.

Nevertheless, her choosing black wasn’t due to Nicholai’s urging. There were so many people dressed oddly around London anyway, and she never actually listened to what Nicholai said. Despite her immaturity, she wouldn’t hesitate using her real age to assert her authority. She chose black as she did not want to draw attention to herself; her pale skin and wild bright red hair was always enough to draw attention to her.

Of course, it slipped her mind that people of the 21st century hardly ever wear cloaks. However, it was the only outerwear Mairead had that was black in color, and with a hood low enough to be able to hide her skin from the glaring sun.

Putting on the selected clothing (a pair of dark denim jeans and a black kimono top),after smearing sunblock all over herself, of course, she belatedly realize that she did not check whether Sandhu and Nicholai were still at home. Rushing to the kitchen and finding Rosario making yet another sinful dessert (Rosario’s revenge on Nicholai’s abuses), Mairead jumps about asking with an almost hysterical tone “is Sandy and Nicky still home? Omigod omigod omigod! They’re going to know!”

Rosario was starting to panic herself; Mairead’s jumping was causing the flour to form mushroom clouds and getting splattered all around the kitchen. “No, no! They’re at their offices already. It is Monday after all,” she pointed out, hoping against hope that Mairead would stop jumping.

Her wish wasn’t fulfilled.

Mairead did her final jump with such energy that all the flour rise to form a mushroom cloud and quickly settled all over the kitchen.

Rosario mutters to herself that she would need to ask her employer–forcefully this time, she vowed–to put a spell on the kitchen as to not allow Mairead entering it (which she think would be a pity since she loves the kid) or at least make the things not move when she jumps so as to make a horrible mess in the kitchen.

Hopping back to her room, with Rosario following her to make sure she didn’t hurt herself, she went straight to her wardrobe to get her bags of supplies she hid there. Rosario has always wondered what it was, and found it odd that Mairead needed any aid since she knew that the girl could kill a dragon with her bare hands if she wanted. Still, used to her employers’ weird habits, she just let it pass.

She went to the window and opened the curtains and let the air in.

Mairead will be jumping out of the window; she hates the stairs. She would never fail to trip down. “Why should I subject myself to pain when I could avoid it?” she would always say.

With the hood of the cloak barely showing her face, Mairead made her way to the window and prepared to jump.

She didn’t see one of her plushies near the window, however, and ended up falling out of the window.

It often happened that way; nonetheless, the probability of her tumbling  out of the window was slimmer than her crashing down the stairs. That was a guarantee. Mairead was absolutely careless and have absolute disregard to the changes around her. Nonetheless, like all vampires, she could be graceful. If she put her mind to it.

Landing hard on the grown (a shiitake mushroom cloud forming above her), she stayed that way for a while, until Rosario shouted “are you quite alright down there, girl?”

Rising up quickly, afraid that Rosario might come down to get her, she gives a thumbs up and made her way north-east, to Hackney.


November 1, 2008

The Sorcerer

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:32 pm by incroyables

“I knew I should have gotten around to getting my licence…” Nicholai grumbled, as he teetered and tottered on the tiny dustbuster in mid-air.

Mairead whipped her head round, as she maneuvered around a bend, laughing hysterically as she caught sight of Nicholai awkwardly trying to maintain his balance on the undersized contraption. No easy feat, considering that Nicholai was aiming to fit his 6’2 build on a 20-inch machine.

“See, if you didn’t have this compulsive need to always be on the latest fad, you’d be perfectly happy on a broom. But nooo, you just had to have a flying licence for a vacuum!” she yelled over the wind.

“Oh pipe down Mairead… It took you long enough to learn how to ride that broom, don’t get all cocky now.” Nicholai sniped.

Nicholai Kittyhausen was not in a good mood. Not only was he thinking about his shattered crystal vase, his navy blue velvet Alexander McQueen coat with the feathered collar trim was absolutely rain-sodden and completely ruined, and he was pretty sure he left his cauldron bubbling over before he left.

“That damn Rosario better have the good sense to put the fire out. God knows what would happen if the dragon heart is overheated…”

Nicholai shuddered at the thought of his precious Belgravia townhouse being splattered with dragon offal. Knowing Rosario, she would probably be dozing off in a corner if something like that happened.

Nessie, gracefully maneuvering her flying Dyson vacuum, shook her head in amusement as she caught sight of Nicholai’s infuriated expression, as he veered wildly from left to right.

“Remind me to up your coverage of flying skills in the next lesson…” she commented as the four of them, Mairead, Nicholas, Sandhu and her, came down for a perfect landing on a moor, 2 miles from Braemar, Mairead’s hometown.

Well, almost a perfect landing. Nicholai crashed noisily into some crowberry shrubbery, accompanied by a string of expletives.

“Damn dustbuster…” he muttered, brushing off remnants of coarse grasses still stuck to his coat.

“I don’t understand why you can’t just use a normal, everyday coat from, I don’t know, Next or something, when you know we’re going to be coming up to rather remote areas.” Mairead shook her head, as she placed her favourite broom in a group of bushes and made her way downhill.

Nicholai snorted, “Yeah, like I’m going to be caught dead in something high street…”

“Alright, alright settle down you two. Honestly, it’s like living with a cat and mouse with these two…” Sandhu muttered, keeping one eye fixed on Mairead as he waited for Nessie and Nicholai to catch up.

“Speaking of cat… Mairead, will you please keep that thing away from my Furfal! She’s a pedigree cat, and doesn’t take well to nocturnal visits from your over-horny bunny.” Nicholai exclaimed as he caught up with her.

“It’s Beep, Nicky. Not a bunny, not a sheep, but a beep! And don’t mind him, he’s harmless…” Mairead shrugged as they walked along the trodden path towards Braemar.

“Pftt, harmless my arse! He tried to mate with her! Just because he was a product of inter-species relations, doesn’t mean I want my darling giving birth to beep-kittens.”

“Oh my God! They could have a bitty! Or a keep! Or a bitten! Ooh, bitten, imagine the irony.” Mairead jumped up and down excitedly, her flame-coloured locks blowing in the wind, her captivating emerald green eyes shining.

“I’m trying my best not to…” Nicholai answered.


They arrived at Braemar a few minutes later. Sandhu, Mairead and Nessie made their way to the Cochrane House of Scottish Delights down the road to stock up on their supply of black pudding.  Nicholai found the dish foul and revolting, and instead chose to take a stroll through the town alone while the three of them oohed and ahhed over a dish that he simply couldn’t comprehend being palatable. He had gotten used to Mairead’s specialised requirements, but although he wasn’t bothered by fresh blood, (“it’s a little like a fine Bordeaux, isn’t it?” he once said), the sight of cooked blood made him sick to his stomach. The Cochrane’s had perfected their recipe of black pudding, which was the signature dish of their store, alongside other classic Scottish dishes like haggis, red and white pudding, as well as shortbread, one of Nicholai’s favourite cookies. So, whenever Mairead went in to get her black pudding, she would get Nicholai a pack of shortbread as well, knowing that he wouldn’t go into the store because of all the congealed blood in the store.

Mairead happily entered the store with Nessie and Sandhu. The store was relatively well-sized and clean, with a big glass display cabinet for the customers to peruse their selection of Scottish foodstuffs. However, with Mairead’s extremely keen vampiric senses, especially her sense of smell, which was just as powerful as a shark in the sea, if not more, she was overwhelmed by the smell of blood that wafted through the nostrils of her pert nose.

She closed her eyes and let the smell wash over her, savouring the metallic notes and the tang of the blood swimming around her olfactory senses as it was being prepared in the back of the kitchen of the Cochrane’s store.

“Can I help you dearie?” said a sweet copper-and-grey-haired woman of 50, looking at Mairead standing in front of the counter who had her eyes closed and a blissful expression plastered on her face.

Mairead snapped back to reality. She saw Sandhu and Nessie being attended to by other workers, and it was time for her to focus.

“Yes please. I’d like twelve boxes of the black pudding in large, four boxes for the white pudding in large, three boxes of the red pudding, medium, and two servings of haggis please.” Mairead replied.

“Oh, and can I have two packets of the butter shortbread as well? Thank you.” she added.

“Wow, that’s quite a large appetite for a wee girl like yourself!” the lady exclaimed.

“It’s… for a… party. A slumber party. Yes, a slumber party! My friends are all coming over for a gold old taste of home-cooked Scotland,” Mairead stumbled, trying to come up with a plausible explanation.

The woman nodded, bemused, and went about preparing Mairead’s order.

Sandhu sidled up to Mairead, and whispered under his breath, “What kind of slumber party serves black pudding? What kind of girls are these?”

“It’s a slumber party for girls with big, unusual appetites. Now mind your own beeswax!” she snapped.

“Alright, alright, don’t get testy…”

“Oh my goodness Sandy, this store is incredible!” Nessie exclaimed.

“I have never tasted black pudding this good in my life… I am soo coming with you the next time round.” she added, adding more things to her order list, which was growing by the minute.

Meanwhile, as he walked through the village, Nicholai knew that he always turned a few heads. Not surprisingly, as he was a handsome youth. With gold-flecked moonlight grey eyes, a sculpted nose and rosebud lips, coupled with his incandescent fair complexion and wavy medium-length ash blond hair, and a swimmer’s build, he wasn’t what one saw everyday. But this was just the tip of the iceberg.

He was an immortal, though not a vampire like Mairead was. He was the product of elven ancestors interbred with Russian and French royalty, and as the purity of the bloodlines mixed and interacted, they formed something completely unique. Although he looked 22, Nicholai was in fact, 160 years old.

He wasn’t as old as Mairead, who had been on the earth for 523 years, although because he hadn’t been affected by any form of vampire venom, his mental acuity was uncompromised.

Not only was he immortal, but he was gifted with the power of sorcery. This, however, had to be learned and cultivated, and Nicholai was still in the midst of exercising control over his power. Nessie, a Scottish witch of advanced years beyond that of Nicholai, although she didn’t look a day over 27, was his sorcery tutor, and although he was a promising student, he was sometimes lazy, and found Nessie’s thick Scottish brogue to be utterly incomprehensible at times, especially when it came to incantations.

Nicholai had met Mairead in the grounds of Trinity College, of the University of Cambridge. Nicholai was reading Law at the time, and Mairead was under the care of Sandhu as he pursued a Mathematics degree. Mairead was on her night prowls, and had bumped into Nicholai who had just returned from a late-night library session. Somehow, they instantly clicked, despite the age difference and began having an extremely long conversation into the night. Thus began their friendship. Although they disagreed on an immense number of issues, and were constantly teasing and arguing with each other, the foundation of an incredibly strong bond had formed, which had lasted till the present.

After he completed his Law degree, Nicholai had invited Mairead to come live with him as his housemate in his capacious 12-room Eaton Square townhouse in Belgravia, London. Sandhu, having become a successful accountant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, lived at the Kittyhausen residence as well, as Mairead’s guardian. Nessie was a regular visitor as she tutored Nicholai in sorcery every other evening.

To keep himself busy, despite having a magnificent inheritance and several trust funds courtesy of his paternal royal Russian family, who had now controlled most of the oil fields in Russia under various corporate guises, as well as his maternal noble house of Rochebaron, which was the manufacturer of one of the most prized wines in the world, the Chateau Laplume de Rochebaron, Nicholai had joined a fashion magazine, Dernier Cri, which had become Vogue’s closest competitor, soon after he graduated. He quickly rose through the ranks to be the Creative Director of Dernier Cri. Nicholai got on very little sleep, around an hour a day, and couldn’t understand Mairead’s love of it. He found himself experimenting and honing his skills in Potions, developing new formulations over his prized palladium cauldron whenever he wasn’t at the magazine.

As Nicholai circled around the entire town, he started to head back in the direction of the Cochranes’ store. As he made his way back, he felt in his coat for his wand. One never knew whether trouble could be near, and Nicholai wanted to make sure he was prepared for anything.

Having a natural gift for sorcery, Nicholai, theoretically could cast spells without the use of a wand, but as he was still a student, he required the wand to focus his magical energy, and cast spells more effectively. The only spell that he had mastered without the use of a wand was shooting lightning bolts from his hands, and there was only so much use one had from that, apart from the one failed attempt he had trying to give Mairead a perm.

As he approached, he saw his three friends emerge from the store, with boxes full of what could only be black pudding.

Nicholai rolled his eyes, “Great… More cabinet space being taken up in my kitchen,” he thought.

But even as he thought this, he smiled as he looked upon Mairead’s happy face. She was always visibly cheered whenever she got a chance to see her family again, even though they wouldn’t remember her the next time she visited.

Sandhu nodded to Nicholai to indicate they were ready. It was time for Nicholai to cast the memory spell as he did every time they went up to the Cochrane’s store.

Nicholai went into the store, where he saw Mairead’s descendants, busy stacking boxes, slicing sausages and stirring stews. The smell of the various puddings wafted across, nearly forcing him to vomit.

Holding his breath, he drew out his wand, and gently waved it across.

Obliviate…” he cast the memory spell, a blast of purple light emanating from his wand into the eyes of the Cochranes. Nicholai quickly left the store, leaving it as it were, before any of them had gone in.

He quickly made his way out and rejoined his party. Nessie already had her face in one of the boxes.

“Oh for the love of God, Nessie!” he exclaimed, as they walked back towards the moors. “Couldn’t you possibly eat that with a little more grace…” he asked, raising a perfectly arched eyebrow.

“Then again, it’s black pudding, nothing graceful there,” he added.

“Nicholai, you have no idea what you’re missing!” Nessie replied, taking a final bite before mounting her vacuum, which had been strapped with what seemed like dozens of boxes.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever, I’ve got bigger problems to deal with.” Nicholai answered, trying in vain to maintain some semblance of dignity as he tried to balance his tushie on the Dustbuster for take-off. It was going to be a long journey back…

The Vampire

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:30 am by serefina

A sulky 13-year-old girl sits in front of the television next to a lithe ash blond youth of 22, who was petting a lilac-point Siamese cat on his lap.

They were watching the first appearance of Count Von Count on Sesame Street; counting cookies while the Cookie Monster ate them.

“Nyah hahahahahahaha,” the Count laughs, with cracks of thunder interspersed in the background.

“I hate Count Von Count. He is a misrepresentation of us vampires. No sane vampire loves to count!!” the teenager, Mairead Cochrane, exclaimed, her temper matching her fiery red hair. She looked around, as if searching for something.

“Don’t you dare throw something at the telly again!! I’m sure Nessie is quite fed up with coming here just to  repair it,” exclaimed the youth, Nicholai Kittyhausen.

Another man appeared at the door of the living room. “Hey! I’m an accountant by profession! We count a lot of things,” he said.

Mairead turned around and gave him a look that could kill someone in an instant; if you’re a mortal, that is. “Sandy, you yourself said that ‘I must be insane to be taking care of this nutcase for four hundred and eighty three years!’ And that was in 1985. I don’t think things has changed since then; you’re still nuts.” She even added finger quotes when she said “nutcase”.

The man frowns. “Could you please please stop calling me Sandy, Mairead. My name is Sandhu. Sandhu Gundusamy. And you’re the only one who hates counting, because you absolutely refuse to try and learn.” Sandhu continued under his breath, “not that teaching you anything is easy!”

“I heard that!!” Mairead grabbed the heavy crystal vase with seemingly no effort, and threw it at the general direction of Sandhu. However, it missed him and hit the wall instead. The impact not only broke the vase but also almost made a hole on the wall. Like all vampires, Mairead had supernatural strength.

“Mairead! Just because I told you not to hit the telly, that doesn’t mean it is alright for you to go smashing my vases and make holes on my wall!” Nicholai rose and walked towards the wall. He waved his hand, mumbling something underneath his breath and watched as the wall returned to its original state. The vase refused to reassemble though, and Nicholai realised that it was his favorite one that Mairead threw; a blue Bohemian crystal with fine cuts. He mused, “I wonder if Nessie will be able to fix this without any cracks.”

Mairead hopped over to Nicholai, and said “if you weren’t so deaf and daft, you would be able to do it yourself. Her accent is not that difficult to understand; you can understand me!”

Snorting, he replied, “Nessie McLochlan makes understanding Rab C Nesbitt simple!”

“Oh, please,” Mairead rolled her eyes. “You can’t understand Nesbitt at all!”

Carefully avoiding the glass, Nicholai stood in front of Mairead, forcing her to look up. Being 4’5, she had to strain her neck to look at Nicholai properly, standing at 6’2.

“You Scots! Can’t you learn to speak like the English do? After all, it is English…” Nicholai threw up his hands in frustration and walked away.

Mairead followed him. “You know, you have yet to hear Scouse!” She looked around to Sandhu and said, “I know! Let’s go to Liverpool!” and runs off to find her broom.

Sandhu rushed after her and tugged her by her collar. “Not so fast, young lady. We’re going up to Scotland today. Black pudding, remember?”

Nicholai stopped on his tracks and turned around. “You guys are going to Scotland today? Are you nuts? It’s freaking raining outside!” Walking to the nearest window, he opened it and motioned with a dramatic gesture to the heavy rain pouring through London.

Now lifting her–still by the collar–Sandhu made for the stairs. “We’re out of black pudding. You know how this girl can get when she doesn’t have her blood,” motioning at Mairead, who was struggling and yelling “I want fresh blood!! Not curdled and mixed with other crap. And I want human blood this time too!! We haven’t had that since forever!” A curious looking rabbit follows them; a black and white lop that had wool like a sheep’s. “Beeeeeeeeeppp!!!” Mairead called, and squirmed her way out of her T-shirt, falling down gracefully and picked up the beep; a cross between a sheep and a rabbit, or bunny, as she called them.

Clucking his teeth, Sandhu motioned to Mairead to quicken. “We need to leave soon. It’s getting late and they might close before we arrive if you don’t get ready soon. You’ll need to slather yourself up with sunblock.”

Despite the myth going around that vampires die in sunlight, they actually don’t. They just get very uncomfortable, often breaking into hives, just like when humans get an allergic reaction. However, it now could be prevented with sunblocks with high SPFs. Mairead was extraordinarily sensitive to it, being a redhead; she sometimes got itchy even with SPF50+ in London, so she slept during the day most of the time.

Afraid that she would get Sandhu angry, Mairead ran up the stairs with Beep and slammed the door of her room. Dropping Beep on the bed and snatching her sunblock, she quickly strips and slather the whole bottle on her body. Even then, Sandhu would insist they bring two bottles along every time they leave the house. Wearing a bright purple shirt with a lime green jumper with jeans, she ran off to find her very old broom; one which their housekeeper tried to throw all the time as she considered it a dust collector, what with only having a few bristles left. Mairead, who took 20 years to finally learn how to fly a broom, and another 50 before she could do it without getting herself tangled in between branches, managed to convince Nessie McLochlan, Nicholai’s Scottish sorcery tutor, to charm the broom so Rosario Aladar the housekeeper wouldn’t be able to throw it away.

The doorbell rang, and Sandhu opened the door to see a slim auburn haired lady. “Hello, Nessie. I thought Nicholai didn’t have classes today,” he said to the lady, letting her in.

She entered excitedly and said, “I know, but I heard you’re going to go up to Scotland to get blood pudding!! I just have to know where you get those yummy ones!!”

Puzzled, Sandhu asked her how did she know, to which she replied smugly “I left a spying fly in your house the last time I was here, so that I’ll know when you guys will be going so I can tag along.”

“Well,” Sandhu said, sighing, “at least you won’t be committing theft much in the future.” He went to find the nearest broom. Nessie went to the cleaner’s storeroom to get the vacuum; she was a modern flyer. Nicholai, always wanting to be fashionable, was still trying to learn how to maneuver with the vacuum and hadn’t sat for the license; so he was stuck with his Dustmaster.

All four of them came back with their respective vehicles, with Mairead looking like a neonsign with her colorful outfit (she took her turquoise coat this time) and wild red hair. Yelling that they were leaving for Scotland to Rosario, they took off to their normal source of their black pudding; Mairead’s family’s shop, who just thought that it was coincidental that their normal customer had the same family name. Little did they know she was one of their ancestors who was turned into a vampire at the age of 5.

Always have been on the stupid side, Mairead was hiding near the woods near her home in Scotland despite her parents warning her and her older siblings not to. They were playing hide and seek. Little did the kids know that an ostracized vampire lived in the wood and have been surviving on animal blood and raw meat for the last 300 years. The last human whose blood he drank was his parents’, and he vowed that he would not drink another human’s blood. However, when he caught Mairead’s smell, he was overcome by the bloodlust and searched for the little girl. Nonetheless, he came to his senses before he drained the girl’s blood completely and left her there.

When her siblings found her, Mairead was waking up, feeling confused and her temperature soared. Coming from a poor family–their parents were farmers–they were afraid that they would lose their youngest sister to fever since they couldn’t afford a physician.  They brought her home and nursed her for several days. On the 4th day, her mother accidentally cut herself when making Mairead’s porridge, and a few drops of her blood was mixed into the porridge. When fed to Mairead, she became better, but deteriorated again when they fed her “normal” food. One day, she felt utterly weak, and her family thought she would die soon, and finally allowed her to have anything she wanted. She asked for black pudding. Her parents made as much as they possibly could for what they thought might be the last family meal with their youngest daughter. She consumed more than half of the black pudding and nothing else and steadily got better. Even though vampires required blood–cooked or otherwise–to stay healthy and strong, she didn’t really need it.  They continued consuming “human” food for nutrients.

Though they did not know the reason why Mairead got better, they continued feeding her black pudding since it was what that made her better. And since they were Scottish, it wasn’t hard getting them. With the constant need to feed her that, they got better at it and opened the family shop, selling black pudding.

Sandhu came into the picture when she was 10, though she remained physically and emotionally at 5 years of age. On a holiday from London, he saw Mairead and her 3 siblings, a sister and two brothers, tending their animals. He recognized Mairead for who she really was, and went to see her family. He offered to be her mentor and guardian. However, he would have to take her away from her family to protect them; there was still a possibility of Mairead attacking them like her attacker did to his own parents. The reason why she hadn’t was likely due to their feeding her black pudding constantly.

Refusing to let her go, her family said that they would take turns in feeding her their blood. Before Sandhu left, he said that when she turned 12, she would start turning others into vampires if she doesn’t kill them, and left his contact particulars with them.

The family continued to feed Mairead with blood pudding and occassionally their own blood. However, after one year of that, they couldn’t take it, and reluctantly contacted Sandhu; they didn’t want to turn into vampires. Having lived for 200 years, he had somewhat established himself in the society and would be able to take care of Mairead. He promised the family that she would be taken care of. He also explained why Mairead remained physically and emotionally at 5 years old; the time she was transformed. The vampire venom would slow down and eventually stop someone from aging. However, when done to a child, it will stunt her growth somewhat, making it slow for the child to develop usually, which was why they are not supposed to feed on children. It would be almost impossible for the child to survive on its own once the parents of the child dies, and there would be high chances of the child attacking their family unintentionally for their blood. And since Mairead was already slow while she was human, it will be tougher to teach her; which was why it took her 70 years to master flying, which usually would have only taken 3 years. A vampire ages as their knowledge grew. Nonetheless, it stopped when the vampire has aged to the amount a 35 year old human would have.

The family continued with their black pudding shop, which was how Mairead still kept in contact with her family, albeit with them not knowing who she is. When Nicholai started having lessons with Nessie on sorcery, the first thing he asked her to teach him was a memory-loss spell; to enable Mairead to see her family herself instead from afar, like she used to do before; various maids going in her place to buy the black pudding.