Chapter two: Welcome To The Family
Back to: Chapter One: Things That Go Bump...
The bright sunlight made Moonlight Falls glow as the sun stood high up in the sky. The soft breeze made trees sway gently, birds sang and sims everywhere in Moonlight Falls could find the time to take in a deep breath and say 'what a lovely day'... except the vampires of course. And Mia.
Her head was pounding as she woke up. Sunlight streamed in through the window as she tried to find acceptable answers to all the questions people ask themselves when they wake up.
Answers where found. Memories tagged along with them.
She sat bolt upright, franticly looking around the room for any trace of the apparitions she had seen yesterday.
'Nothing.' she sighed in relief. Maybe it had been a bad dream? She glanced at the clock mounted on the wall, it was well past noon.
'Darn it! Way to go, I wanted to get up early...' she said to no one in particular as she got up and started to dress for the day.
Once she was done she moved towards the door... and stopped dead in her tracks. She carefully pushed the handle down, trying not to make a noise, and gently pushed to door open ever so slightly. She peeked out.
There where no ghosts, nor any skeletal maids outside. She stepped out.
The first thing she thought was how big the house was. The day before she hadn't really gotten a chance to look around, but now she took her time. There where four floors, with her room on the third, and from the hallway you could look down the stairs all the way to the first floor. She was about to explore further when she heard a noise from downstairs.
Still slightly shaken about last nights discoveries she cautiously followed the noise all the way down the stairs and into the kitchen.


A woman stood by a kitchen counter, preparing food in a blender. She was not transparent. She was not a skeleton. So far so good. A toddler sat in a high-chair beside the woman. The kid was equally solid and fleshy.


'Are you the new girl?' the woman called out over her shoulder, without turning to look at Mia. Mia was standing half-hidden behind a wall.
'Er..'
'You can come out, I promise I won't bite you.' the woman turned around 'But I can't make any promises about Michelle, she's that age where everything goes in her mouth.' she smiled. She had a nice smile and a deep voice, Mia felt herself relax.
'What's you name, sweetie?'
'Mia Gilson, and you are..?'
'Shae Marquez, nice to meet you.' Shae extended her hand, a friendly enough gesture. Mia stepped forward and shook it. 'I'm Micelle's mom, and I'm generally the one to take care of Audry as well.' Shae continued.
'Who's Audry?'
'She's outside.' Shae jerked her thumb towards the window. Outside in the yard, unnervingly close to a treehouse, was a large cowplant. Mia had only heard about these carnivorous creatures before. It was much larger than she thought it would be.
'Don't try the cake. It's a lie and it'll be the last thing you'll try to eat.' Shae said as she turned back to the counter, pouring baby-food from the blender into a bowl.


'I heard your first night here gave you quite a scare.' she added pleasantly. Mia felt herself blush.
'Oh, you heard me scream?'
'Sweetie, I think the whole neighbourhood heard you.' Shae placed the bowl in front of the toddler. 'I got up and found Hilda, our maid, standing outside your door. She seemed quite worried, said “the lady in the room seems distraught about something”. You met her? She wears a maid's outfit, quite thin, good at staring contests.'
'I met her.' Mia sighed. 'And... someone else, I think. We didn't really hit it off.'
'One of the ghosts?'
'One?'
'We got seven. They're nothing to worry about, though they sometimes enter one of the bathrooms through the walls, and they don't knock.' Shae explained, fussing over Michelle. 'I take it Gregory didn't give you a proper tour?' she said with a slight frown. Mia shook her head.
'Okay then, I'll show you around in a bit.' Shae smiled as Michelle wolfed down her food.


**

'So, what brings you to our little slice of heavenly hell?' Shae asked as the two women ascended the stairs to the second floor. Mia felt herself smile at the description of Moonlight Falls, it was quite similar to how she had felt about it in the stories.
'My father lived here, he wanted me to learn how to be a witch here.' she replied.
'Oh? Why isn't he here with you then?'
'He's dead.' Shae paused for just a moment.
'That's quite a good excuse I guess... Most of the time. I take it he didn't live here at the end of his life?'
'We lived in Sunset Valley.' Mia said, wondering if death was treated more like an inconvenience in Moonlight Falls.
'Huh, that explains it then. Few people try to do anything with their afterlife there. This is the hobby room.' Shae opened a door, revealing a room that was mostly occupied by a large table filled with miniature houses, roads, train-rails and a train. It was very well made. Shae proceeded towards the next room. 'And this is Micelle's room, mine is just next to it, right here.' Mia peeked in.
'It's bigger than my room.' she said, more to converse than to complain. Shae just laughed.
'Well, I probably shouldn't show you Hilda's quarters then. Moving on.' Shae motioned for Mia to follow her. They moved up to the third floor.
'There's your room, as you know. There's a bathroom next to it. This is where Henry stays.'
'Who's Henry?' Mia asked.
'Hery is--' A soft boom interrupted them, followed by a soft curse from the room beside them. Shae smiled. 'Why don't I just introduce you to him?' She opened the door to the room, letting out a small cloud of smoke in the process. 'Oh Henry, I'd like you to meet someone.'
Mia stepped inside. It might have been a large study, but it was so cramped it was difficult to tell. The walls where obstructed by bookcases and posters detailing the anatomy of plants or constellations of stars, the floors where covered by a few rugs and many, many books that couldn't fit onto the shelves. A large fireplace was there too, the mantle was also used for storage of miscellaneous items. At the back of the room was a bookstand and a cauldron. And Henry.


Henry was a young man, probably not much older than Mia. He stood bent over a book, his hands stained by whatever it was bubbling in the cauldron.
'Henry!' Shae shouted, making the young man jump. 'The new girl is here, say “Hi”.' she instructed.
'Hey.' he greeted, tossing one worried glance at the bubbling... whatever it was before looking at Mia. 'Hey.' he repeated. There was an awkward silence.
'He's not really shy, he's just very focused when he works.' Shae said when the lack of interaction went on for a bit too long. This seemed to motivate the young man into speaking.
'Err...' was all he managed to say before a glooping sound came from the cauldron. 'Ah, bugger.' he swore as he turned back to his work.
'Sorry about this,' he called out over his shoulder 'but this elixir is extremely volatile at this stage. Gregory doesn't like having the fire department come over, so I'd like to be careful.'
'O-kay...' Mia took a few steps back. She looked at the cauldron and the bookstand again and saw a wand lying next to the open book. 'Are you a wizard?' she asked, half to make small talk, half out of curiosity.
'I am.' was the short reply as Henry produced some sort of herb from a bag and dropped it into the bubbling mess. Another soft boom came from the cauldron accompanied by a fizzling noise as the concoction subsisted. Henry beamed.


'There,' he announced 'it's done. Nice to meet you, by the way, miss..? '
'Gilson. Mia Gilson.'
'Nice to meet you Mia.' Henry smiled. He had a very comforting smile. 'I hope you've been able to settle in nice-' He was interrupted by the honking of a vehicle outside. The sound of a bus-door opening and children's shouts and laughter made his face fall like a stone. 'I hope you like kids.' he said in a tone that suggested it would take something big to cheer him up again, like a flame-thrower and diplomatic immunity. The sound of children's laughter took over as the bus drove away. Shae stood by the window, beckoning for Mia to join her in her observation.
A child was walking towards the hose, laughing to himself and making all sorts of gestures in the air as he spoke. The child was blue.


'That's Jeane'. said Shae as he watched the boy. 'He's a genie.'
A white globe was hovering around him, following his movements, leaving a glittering trail behind it.
'And that's Fa.' Shae added. 'A faire.'


As Mia watched the globe grew, taking a humanoid shape and size until it was as big as Jeane. The faire was as white as snow, apart from her wings that had a pinkish hue to them. She laughed along with the genie, clearly occupied with their own world as children of all species are.
'Be careful, they're cute from afar' Henry said from the back of the study 'but they are horrible little monsters up close.'
'You just don't share their sense of humour.'
'Neither do you Shae, you just scare them so that they won't bother you.'
Mia listed with half an ear as her new housemates argued. Moonlight Falls might not be quite as she had envisioned it, but she was certain there was going to be quite an adventure to live here.
She smiled.
Back to: Chapter One: Things That Go Bump...
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