Forever a Family
by Tammy Lees
Danny was so excited he could hardly sit still. At any moment the bell would ring, and the giant, heavy oak door of the secluded orphanage would open. The Moores, his new parents, would be standing there waiting to take him home. Danny was seven, and he had always lived in the orphanage. He thought he would never leave! No one ever came to visit, and the last orphan adopted left five years ago. But, it was just yesterday when Miriam, the short, chubby woman who ran the orphanage, called Danny into her office. Her brown eyes sparkled as she explained that a couple, Arthur and Delia Moore, wanted to adopt him. They would be coming the next day to take him to his new home. Finally, he would be out of this eerie place!
The door bell rang, and just as he anticipated the heavy door to the puny, two bedroom house opened. There they stood, Arthur and Delia Moore. They were not what he expected at all. Arthur stood six feet, five inches tall. He wore a smile but his long, thin face made it look like a straight line. He was a rather pale man with coal black hair, and dark brooding eyes. Danny could not tell what color they actually were. They looked black, but when Arthur turned his angular body to face his wife, they looked almost violet. Danny's gaze shifted to Delia. Vermillion spirals traced with trapped sunlight cascaded down her back. Her creamy white skin looked almost transparent against her royal blue coat. Her bright, blue eyes seemed to turn violet as her ruby, heart shaped lips curved into a sinister smile. "Are you ready to go Danny?," she asked. "Danny?" "Yes, ma'am," he answered quickly. He couldn't shake the idea that he had seen them somewhere before.
The Moores took Danny by the hand and led him outside. He took his place in the back seat of the long, black limousine. They had only driven a short distance when they reached the immense house. It was bigger than any house Danny had ever seen, it was certainly bigger than the orphanage. It was red brick, trimmed with giant bay windows, its seven gables lighted with gaslight lamps. But, there was a coldness about this house. It didn't quite feel like a home, more like a museum. The house was even more awe inspiring on the inside. Everything was adorned with black satin. There were antique paintings on the walls and bear skin rugs on the floor. Danny was pleasantly surprised when Delia led him to his room. It was a boy's paradise. The walls were blue. Blue often gave Danny a sense of comfort. It was definitely a good change from the white walls of the tiny house that served as the orphanage. The walls there tended to make him feel as though he was in a padded cell. But, here he had video games, legos, books, nerf balls, and even a bed with the outside shape of a Porshe. "Miriam said you liked blue," Delia purred, "I hope this is okay." It was more than okay! Blue walls were better than white! "Thank you!" he cried, "this is great!" It had been a long day and Danny was exhausted. Arthur and Delia tucked him into bed with a kiss. "We are glad you are staying with us Danny," his new parents said in unison, "we know you are going to like it here so much, you will want to stay forever." With that they turned off the light and closed the door behind them.
A few days had passed and Danny noticed that living with the Moore's was getting stranger and stranger. He never saw them during the day, and he never saw them eat. He spent most of his time in his room, or out in the yard playing with Memnoch, the Moore's Great Dane. He would be served his favorite dishes by Ralph, the butler. At first he thought it was because the house was so big, but Ralph soon answered his questions. He assured Danny that the Moores were simply very busy people, and that is why they did not spend a lot of time with him.
One night Danny had awakened very late. He was thirsty and wanted to go downstairs for a drink of water. He crept over to the door and turned the knob, but nothing happened! It was locked! What was going on?
"Hey! Let me out!," Danny yelled. He pounded on the door until the Moores came up and opened it. "Why was the door locked?," Danny asked, his bright green eyes filled with tears. "Danny, dear, we just wanted to keep you from hurting yourself. It is very dark in the hallways. We wouldn't want you falling down any stairs," they said in perfect unison once again. "Now," asked Delia, "What is it you wanted?" "Just a glass of water," he said, his boyish voice shaking. "We will bring it right up," Arthur replied. A minute later Arthur brought Danny the glass of water, closed the door and locked it once more. Danny did not like this. He got out of bed and looked out of the lock of the door. Arthur and Delia were standing right outside. He heard them whispering to each other, but he only caught a few words. "What are we going to do?.....soon, very soon before he.....," then the words faded away. He tried to pump Ralph for information about the Moores the next day, but he wouldn't say a thing. Ralph hardly ever said anything.
It was late the next night when Arthur and Delia stole into Danny's room. They leaned over and looked down on his innocent, sleeping face. "It's time,"Arthur said. Delia sat on the edge of the bed. She ran her long, slender fingers over Danny's fire red hair, and down his soft, pale throat. She leaned over and placed a soft kiss on Danny's neck. She parted her velvet lips, ever so slightly, revealing two long, sharp incisors. Just as they touched his skin, Danny awoke; but he couldn't move. A scream was muffled in his throat as the pearly needles dove into his tender skin. Dizziness swept over him. The last image in his mind was years ago when his big brother was being driven away by his new parents in a shiny, new, black limousine.
One year later....
"Hello?...Yes, hello Arthur!..I'm fine, and yourself?..Good...I'd be happy to help you...Well, the pickings are pretty scarce, we haven't received any new orphans for over seven years now...The place just isn't going to be around much longer...The girl?,...about five...Now, who else would I trust to take care of her?...Great!...She'll be ready tomorrow...Yes, the usual price...See you soon!" Miriam smiled as she placed the receiver on the cradle. One more off to live with the Moores, that leaves just one more orphan to place. Perhaps he will have a home ... in another year or so.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: I would like to thank Terry Heller, again, for reminding me that monsters are Fantasy (I loved the seminar, Terry.)! I would like to thank Anne Rice for feeding my fixation on vampires, and inspiring me to always write about them. Brenda Muench, thanks for all of your advice on the ending. It helped a lot! Keri Badding and Leah, thanks for giving your input and approving my changes! Jeremy, thank you for giving me the courage to kill my character (good luck in Montana)! I would also like to thank Melon, Oakley, Erin, and Melba for letting me read and reread this story to them to see what they thought. Of course, I can't forget to thank the entire class for all of their wonderful suggestions! I want to thank my parents for supporting and encouraging my writing.
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