Read an Excerpt
The Second Book in the Twishite Saga a Parody
By Stephfordy Mayo
Michael O'Mara Books Limited Copyright © 2011 Stephfordy Mayo
All rights reserved.
I pulled the duvet tighter round me and listened to the rain hammer on my window. It had been pouring down for a whole week now. And the week before that too. It had stopped for about eleven minutes last Tuesday, but otherwise Spatula was living up to the boast on the town sign: 'America's Rainin'-est City'. I'd gotten used to the damp in the year I'd been living here, and ordinarily I wouldn't have let a couple of feet of rain stop me from going about my important business. But since graduation at the start of the summer, life in Spatula had gotten quite sleepy, and I had dozed off with it.
Don't get me wrong – a bit of peace and quiet was a welcome change after all that had happened since I moved here. When I'd arrived, I'd been just another ordinary teenager. Sure, I might have been far more intelligent than my peers, although I wouldn't dream of bragging about it. And maybe I was rather more jaw-droppingly beautiful than the other girls, with my long dark hair, my unblemished complexion, and eyes as deep and rich as wells of emeralds. But I was modest enough to take that in my stride, just plain old Heffa Lump (not plain in that sense, though. I was gorgeous).
But then I'd met my one true love Teddy Kelledy. At first I'd thought that the pale, sinister, fanged fellow student was just another average kid like me, but after only a few short days, a lot of hints being dropped, and some blindingly obvious demonstrations of his spectacular non-ordinariness, I finally realized the truth. Teddy Kelledy was a vampire. Yes, a vampire. You've probably never read about anything like this before, a girl falling for a supernatural creature, but it's surprisingly common; there are support groups on the Internet and everything.
Anyway, Teddy and I soon realized that we were meant for each other, and nothing could ever keep us apart. Things that attempted to keep us apart included my father, my human friends, my werewolf best friend Joe Cahontas, a gang of murderous goths, an army of zombies and, most recently, our ongoing disagreement about whether or not Teddy was allowed to make me a vampire.
I won't recap all the details, as that would be a cheap way of padding out the chapter; just believe me when I say that you could have filled a book with all the wild things that had happened to me in the last twelve months! (Author's note: New Moan: The First Book in the Twishite Saga is available in all good bookstores now.)
So I was enjoying a bit of downtime at last, and life was sweet. My father Chump Lump had given up being a private detective. The mayor had been so grateful to Chump for his efforts in fighting off the massed ranks of the undead that he'd been reappointed to the town police force, and Dad was over the moon to have his old job back. In my experience, Chump couldn't crack an egg without help, let alone a case, but Spatula wasn't a crime hotspot like Port D'Angerous. Apart from the occasional blood-drained corpse turning up a couple of times a week, it was mostly routine community stuff. It was great to see him so happy – his good mood made him much easier to borrow money from.
Not that I wanted for much. Teddy's family was rolling in dough, and he just couldn't resist spoiling me. CDs by that hot new band that we both liked, romantic meals, and enough new outfits to make Kate Middleton turn attractive with jealousy ... my boyfriend was everything a girl could wish for. If only he wasn't so insistent on turning me into a vampire right away. He said 'it would bring us closer together' and that 'it might hurt at first but I'd soon enjoy it', but something was still holding me back. Maybe it was because I felt I was too young to make such a big commitment to a guy. I was still only eighteen, although I was very mature for my age. Or maybe it was because of how my werewolf best friend Joe felt about Teddy.
Their feud had started before I arrived: Joe resented the prices that Teddy's father charged in his butcher's shop, and Teddy was infuriated by the amount of hair that the werewolves shed. But I had given them something meaningful to fight over. Me. Could I ever be happy with Teddy if it meant losing Joe? Not that Joe and I were talking anyway; he was still angry that I'd chosen Teddy over him.
My serenity shattered by thoughts of my ongoing man trouble, I turned over in bed and saw the alarm clock on my nightstand. It was already 4:30 in the afternoon, nearly time to get up. I put the bag of tortilla chips that I'd been cradling on the nightstand and yawned wearily as I threw the covers off. School might be a thing of the past but I still had to keep house for my father, and he would be home from work soon. I brushed the crumbs off my pajamas and went downstairs to the kitchen to get started on a casserole for dinner.
Sometimes I resented having to do all the cooking, but the simple fact was that I was a culinary genius, so it was a burden I would have to bear. Besides, on the rare occasions when Chump had tried to cook something for me, it always led to painful and patronizing descriptions of 'burned noodles' or something similar, plus awkward attempts to make my father seem like a humorous character rather than just a dull cipher, and I couldn't face it anymore. Better that I quietly got on with it in my modest and understated manner.
The casserole was bubbling away very happily when Chump came through the door an hour or so later. 'Hey, Heff, how was your day?' he greeted me in his usual style. I sighed deeply and stopped stirring the pot.
'Oh, okay, I guess, Dad. I spent most of it pining for Teddy, and the rest of it worrying about Joe. Not that you would understand, because no one has ever loved like me before.'
He sat at the table and opened the paper. 'That's great, darling. What's for dinner?'
I turned back to the stove and continued stirring the pot. He knew the answer; it was casserole. It was always casserole. I didn't fully understand my fascination with the simple hearty magic of a well-prepared casserole, but I had cooked it for the last 278 days in a row, and I wasn't bored yet. It also made Stephfordy's life a lot easier as she didn't have to think of a new menu every day. She's a writer after all, not Gordon frickin' Ramsay.
'Oh hey, there was this note for you in the mailbox.' Dad waved a clumsily folded sheet of notepaper in my direction.
I snatched it from him gratefully. 'Why didn't you say so before? It could be urgent, Dad, honestly!' I unfolded it and gasped as I read the first line:
I'M GOING TO MURDER YOU AND DEFILE YOUR CORPSE!!!
Then I noticed that the words had been hastily crossed out by whoever wrote the note. Beneath that there was another line that read:
I hat you, Heffa Lump, I hope you and your stinking vampire drop dead.
Well, that was better than threatening murder ... though it had also been crossed out. Someone was clearly struggling to organize their thoughts. The childish looping handwriting was somewhat familiar to me. The third line, which wasn't crossed out, read:
Actually, I still like you lots, Heffa, but we can't be friends anymore because of Teddy. Vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies. In case you'd forgotten.
I realized the note was from Joe. He was obviously still hurting, just like I was. There was one final line:
P.S. My dad says I should have rewritten this note in neat, without all the death threats at the top, but I only had one sheet of paper so I just crossed 'em out. Please ignore the death threats and just read the third line, okay? Love, Joe Cahontas.
I was torn between being relieved that Joe wasn't going to murder me and sad that he had made me choose between him and Teddy. Why couldn't we just hang out and fix motorcycles like we had in the old days? I used to love sitting there in the darkness of his garage, watching him grappling with his huge wrench, tweaking his nuts and screwing my parts. My motorbike's parts, I mean. I dropped the note on the table and returned to stirring the casserole wistfully. After about ten minutes, during which I sighed with increasing frequency and volume, Dad looked up from the paper.
'Everything okay, kid?'
'That note was from Joe Cahontas. He just wanted to let me know that he still hates Teddy and still can't be my friend anymore.'
'That's a bit weird, isn't it? Does he think you've got amnesia?'
'It is chapter one, Dad, there's no harm in a thorough recap is there?'
'I guess not, darling. Come and sit down for a second, I want to talk to you.'
He folded the paper and set it down on the table. I drew up a chair and sat expectantly, licking the casserole spoon clean while he frowned quietly. I recognized that expression – Chump was about to stretch his limited conversational abilities with an extended passage of dialogue.
'You know I like Teddy, don't you, Heffa?'
'But, let's face it, Joe is much better. He's way taller and more athletic looking. Healthier looking all round, actually. And he likes sports. Teddy doesn't even know the difference between baseball and golf; it's embarrassing. If you want my advice, you should dump Teddy and go out with Joe.'
I was shocked, not only that Chump had managed to string so many words together coherently, but also by the very idea that I would ever give up Teddy. Since the first moment we had met, we had been destined to be together, and nothing could change that. He was my soulmate. Goths and zombies and whatnot had tried their best to separate us and failed. We certainly weren't going to be torn apart by the narrow-minded prejudices of some podunk sheriff. Before I could compose a suitably scathing answer, I heard the unmistakable roar of a sports car engine in the distance. Teddy was here!
I ran to the door and threw it open just as his car squealed to a stop outside. He didn't usually drive with such urgency – was something bothering him? The gull-wing door opened, and he swung out with balletic grace. I never failed to be amazed by the sight of him, and I never failed to use the fact of seeing him as an excuse to describe him all over again.
His perfect skin was always the first thing I noticed, so pale and flawless, and smooth like polished marble. His face was perfectly proportioned, and the sight of it was still overwhelming to me. Imagine that every artist there's ever been had taken all the works of art they'd made and smashed them all up and melted them down and combined them into one perfect object called Teddy Kelledy. You wouldn't even miss all that other junk if you could only look at him once. His forehead was as wide as the Mississippi and his cheeks were as angular as cut diamonds. The rain trickled between his neat blond eyebrows and ran down his elegant nose. His eyes were purple beneath his noble jutting brow, and as his gaze met mine he smiled, revealing a row of perfect white teeth, with just a hint of long sensuous fang at the corner of his mouth. My stomach flipped over, and I steadied myself against the doorframe. He jiggled his long, probing fingers in a cheery wave, then took a plastic bag from the car and held it above his head as a makeshift umbrella. Turning up the collar of his perfectly tailored raincoat, he ran to join me in the shelter of the veranda. When he wanted to, Teddy could use his vampire super-speed to run incredibly quickly, but for everyday activities like this he ran like the rest of us, only a thousand times more gracefully. He put his arm around me and led me back inside.
'My darling, I thought I would never see you again!' he exclaimed melodramatically. 'I felt sure that some awful fate must have befallen you since I left this morning. Perhaps a rogue vampire had murdered you, or your house might have been incinerated, or you might have slipped in the shower and fatally banged your head.'
Teddy was often like this; it was really moving that he was so worried about my safety. I reassured him: 'Don't worry, I haven't had a shower for days.'
He let go of me, and moved away slightly. My dad was looking at us with the frustrated expression he put on every evening at this time. I knew he liked Teddy, because he repeatedly told me so; he must have just been tired after a long day at work. Teddy greeted Dad warmly and joined him at the table. I busied myself in the kitchen while they chatted.
'Whatever you're cooking sure smells, Heffa, why don't you serve it up so we can eat? The game starts soon. Join us for some dinner, Teddy?'
'No thank you, sir. I already partook of my evening repast with my family.' Of course Teddy didn't want to eat with us, even the most brilliantly prepared casserole in the world, which I started to dish up, couldn't nourish him. He craved blood and blood alone. Sweet human blood, preferably.
Of course, the Kelledys didn't prey on humans. Teddy's father Joseph had brought them up to drink only blood that was willingly donated, so breaking into the local hospital once a month to steal the blood-drive donations kept the whole Kelledy clan from having to do anything evil.
Dad grunted. I knew that he thought Teddy was rude to refuse our hospitality every evening – and to be frank it (probably) wouldn't have killed him to taste the darn casserole after all the effort I had gone to.
I brought the plates of casserole to the table and Teddy cleared space for me to put them down, gathering the day's post and the paper into a neat pile. Suddenly he grabbed the newspaper with both hands and stood up. His mouth was open and his indigo eyes were wide with what, on anyone else's face, I would have taken to be fear. But Teddy wasn't afraid of anything, was he? I dropped the plates on the table and grabbed the paper from him. The front page read: 'Worrying Headline Points To Imminent Plot Development!' What on earth did that mean? Puzzled, I looked up, and saw Teddy and my father exchange concerned glances. With a feigned lack of interest, Teddy took the paper back from me, folded it several times, and put it in his coat pocket. He laughed half-heartedly, looking to Chump for support. 'The things they print these days, such nonsense.'
'Yeah, I know, I don't know why I bother to read it. Anyway, let's chow down before it gets cold.' Chump started to eat with his usual single-minded enthusiasm, and Teddy sat down again, idly tapping his fingers on the table and whistling a tune I recognized as one of his own classical piano compositions, 'Waltz for a Decapitated Girlfriend'. I couldn't help thinking there was more to that newspaper headline than they were telling me.
After shoveling the last of the casserole into his chasm-like mouth, Dad sat back in his chair and said, with studied nonchalance, 'By the way, Heffa, it might be best if you don't go to Port D'Angerous ever again.'
Before I could react, Teddy chipped in with, 'In fact, you should think deeply before going into Spatula as well.' Chump nodded enthusiastically and Teddy continued, 'Actually, on further consideration, it might be wise not to depart the safety of this abode at all.'
'Suits me,' I shrugged, wiping my mouth with my pajama sleeve. My father breathed a sigh of relief, and Teddy – who hadn't really needed to breathe since becoming undead – pretended to.
'Anyway, I'm going to watch the game,' Dad announced, grabbing a six-pack from the fridge and heading for the living room.
After we had washed up, Teddy and I sat at the kitchen table talking about nothing much. He seemed to have something on his mind, but I knew he'd tell me when he was ready; we had a very frank and honest relationship. In the meantime I was still thinking about the note I'd got from Joe. We had been so close before, and I hadn't realized until today just how much I missed having him around. Teddy put his hand on mine. It was ice-cold – as you'd expect from a walking corpse – and although I usually adored his frosty touch, I shivered, thinking about how warm Joe Cahontas was in comparison.
'You seem distracted, my darling. Is anything wrong?'
'Huh? Oh no, I was just thinking about ... a nature program I saw, about wolves and their, um, mating habits.'
Teddy frowned. 'You know I don't like you watching those programs. The content is so unseemly and graphic. You haven't heard a word I said about the new CD by that band we both like!'
Excerpted from Breaking Yawn by Stephfordy Mayo. Copyright © 2011 Stephfordy Mayo. Excerpted by permission of Michael O'Mara Books Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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