Winner of Tales From the Funhouse Contest #4

February 07, 2005

There was a time, I'm sure, where we'd wondered more about Marta than we do
now. Momma, known as "Sea Bess" to those outside the family who knew her well,
would have to be the most pious and devoted mother of a vampire the world will
ever see.

When Marta was just an infant, when her startling glares and tiny fangs had
yet to define her, awareness of her steady descent into darkness was almost
undetectable. The day I'd worn my knee-high leather moccasins after the storm -
and the water climbed up the suede past my ankles to mid-calf during a
half-day of walking-- I'd hardly noticed until I was almost home. That was Marta
going from odd little baby to full-fledged vampire. We all didn't know and then we
all did, and we weren't that surprised.

Margoleen, ever the model of Momma in her acceptance of Marta's oddness, hid
her fear of her vampire sister well, if there was any fear at all. She treated
Marta as she treated most everyone else in her quiet little life. Defiantly
accepting. She went about so lightly in peculiarity's midst, challenging God to
throttle-up the cliched sort of irritants that buckled most.

Margoleen had never fought with her sister, nor her mother. No, her feud was
always with whatever had created the strangeness around her. She fought this
feud with a jutted chin and a calm, like a seat-buckled little sister in the
back of the family station wagon.

Margoleen thought her mother looked a little like Charles Durning, but she
never said a thing about Marta. The three together against the world with the
smallish Margoleen playing point guard? Perhaps. More likely it was Margoleen
against the world, with Charles Durning resigned to her fate, and Marta
celebrating her every vile, bloodcurdling whim.

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