It started one fine morning. A pod of garlic changed my life.
“Come here and chop the garlic for me!” my mom roared from the kitchen. Grumbling, I shouted back, “Why don’t YOU chop it?” No response, she’d been doing that a lot lately. I shuffled to the kitchen and began peeling the goddamn garlic. I threw the first pod at her... When I replayed this scene in my head in the dark times to follow, I kept wondering what I could have done differently. The pod landed with a soft plop on her hand, and then all hell broke loose. An unearthly howling ripped through the air. My smart-ass-teenager comment stuck in my throat, I backed into the wall.
“I’m melting!” mum screeched (Wicked Witch of the West style). I had no clue what to do to help and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to either. Then she turned into a wisp and vanished. “Oops” I thought. What was I supposed to tell dad? And wait, what was I supposed to have for lunch now?
Right, it’s been ages. When is mythical mum going to return? I seriously hope she doesn’t cancel my allowance, or the promise of a laptop. How was I supposed to know she was so allergic to garlic? Doesn’t she have it with dad and in our food all the time? Oh....she always has salad doesn’t she? I always thought it was inhuman to subject oneself to eating rabbit-food day-in and day-out. Come to think of it, she’s never been into garlic bread, garlic pickle, garlic breath...
I have got to reign in my overactive imagination. Just ‘cause she went all will o’wisp on me, doesn’t mean she’s some sort of mythical creature. Plenty of people have spontaneously combusted before (at least according to this gross documentary I saw). I think I’ll Google it.
Yup. People have turned into wisps. Just one problem, they weren’t people. I am so dead (undead?) I wish dad would come home already.
*Sigh* No mum, no dad, no lunch. Oh and the fact that according to VampireWeekly.com, my mum’s a vampire. Great, super! How am I supposed to tell dad this? He won’t believe me anyway. Stupid World Wide Web, preying on my insecurities. According to Dr. Raven Madd’s ‘well-researched’ article- Vampires: A Threat to Democracy and World Peace, the distinguishing characteristics of a vampire are-
1. Fangs- Way obvious, right? I never noticed till today.
2. Garlic aversion- I rest my case.
3. Sunlight allergy- Mum does slather herself in sunscreen all the time. And she wears her shades even when she goes to fetch veggies.
4. Strength- Check. Muscle mum and her gym obsession.
The list goes on with mum fulfilling every criterion.
Okay, I’m officially freaked. The phone’s not working and the door’s jammed. My mythical muscle-mum must have left her phone somewhere in her hurry to vapourise...
Found it! Should I call my grandma? I mean, I doubt I’ll get a favourable response if I accuse her child of being a devil’s spawn/ undead being.
Nooooo. Either I’m delusional or the world’s gone mad. That call was not a good idea.
Me: hello Nani, it’s me.
Nani: HELLO?? Oh, how are you dear?
Me: *whispering* Um, is mom a vampire?
Meanwhile I check the phone display. Yes, it’s still connected.
Nani: How much do you know, child? Is your mother there?
Me: No, I have no IDEA where she is. Why are you getting so worked up?
Nani: If she gets back, whatever you do, DON’T COMMENT ON HER AGE.
What is that supposed to mean?
Mum has looked pretty much the same over the last 20 or so years. Everyone says we look like sisters (which gets on my nerves).
Guess who finally showed up? She strolled in like nothing happened. “Where were you?? What was with that Houdini act?” I demanded. “Houdini act? Whatever in the world are you talking about?” Mum dodged. I gave her my best I’ve-got-my-eyes-on-you look.
“Where’s dad?” No response. She’d been doing that a lot lately.
Then I did exactly what grandma told me not to. But seriously, everyone knows that you should never forbid something. God told Eve not to eat The Apple, Zeus told Pandora not to open the box, and that worked out well, didn’t it?
“Hey mum, what do you wanna do for your 42nd Birthday?”
Suddenly, she was way close. I could see each one of her teeth glinting at me. And I swear I saw her eyes flash red.
“Never, never say that. I am a PYT and will be a PYT FOREVER!” her maniacal laughter echoed through the empty house......
And me, I’d had enough of this freakiness.