In your mind’s eye, you see a scene from when you were six years old and your father, Menno Carrington, was teaching you how to ride a bike. You’re at Millennium Park, closer to the southern part near the museums. And you’re doing it. Wheels turn and you are moving forward, wind in your meticulously brushed hair. In a moment of awe, you take your hands off the handles. Tumbling to the ground, you feel a sharp pain. You get up, your rushing father to your side, and notice that your finger is bleeding.
You move to put your finger in your mouth, by instinct, but stop short. You remind yourself that you’re not a baby anymore. You don’t suck your thumb or just stick things in your mouth.
Menno: It’s okay, honey. Your body has everything it needs to heal you. When you’re hurt, you can lick your wounds.
As this memory receded from the forefront of your mind, you open your eyes. You are in an empty space, totally dark except for some shifting shades of reds and purples. Much like when you close your eyes.
Your dead father is standing in front of you.
Menno: Seems like a lifetime long ago, doesn’t it. Now look at you, all adult-like. And dead. But, you know, mostly adult.
Evelyn is in disbelief but, after everything she’s seen, she tries to adjust her mind as quickly as possible. She decides accept that this is definitely somehow her father and not a trick.
Evelyn: Dad?! I miss you… I’m scared but I don’t know what to do.
Speaking quickly, she gives a very short explanation of waking up at the hospital and hanging out with Maui Pete and Jane. There’re people who want to kill us and I don’t think I can hide from them.
Menno walks closer to Evelyn as she recounts her troubles and gently hugs her as she finishes talking.
Menno: It’s okay, sweetie. I know it’s bad and you gotta survive. But I don’t think you understand the real danger of your situation.
He looks away slightly as what he is about to say is painful for him to make vocal
Menno: I know it’s been busy since your mother and I died. And you haven’t had time to mourn or even think of what’s happened to you.
He sobs quietly and only once before regaining his composure.
Menno: My daughter, you don’t have a soul anymore.
Evelyn is silent for a few moments. She knows that what her father says is bad, but she feels nothing. Her only concern is to comfort him, to see him stop crying. She shakes her head, a thin, tight smile on her lips. His eyes meet hers and she recognizes his confusion at her expression.
Evelyn: Dad… I don’t care about that… at this point, I don’t think there’s anything I can do but try to stay alive. Please don’t be mad at me. I don’t want to live like this… but these people… they are the only ones I think I can trust right now. I want to stay alive. I don’t want you feel sad. I’ll be ok. You and mom, you raised me well, you know?
Menno’s face goes white and he get a serious look on his face as he looks Evelyn straight in the eyes.
Menno: We did raise you well. Which is why I want you to care. Even if it gets hard. Even when it gets scary. And believe me, Evey… it’s about to get very scary.
He smiles slightly.
Menno: A monster is coming after you. It looks human but it is a monster on the inside. I do not want you to end up like that.
He pauses for a moment.
Menno: And that goes for the other you too. Both you and Carnifex already have everything you need to save your souls.
Evelyn frowns. Other you?, she thinks… but the word ‘monster’ snaps her attention back to her father’s face.
Evelyn: A human monster? Ok, Dad, I promise I’ll be careful, but- wait, did you say I can save my soul? Does that mean there’s a way I can… be with you and mom someday? And what do you mean, ‘the other you’?
She takes a few steps toward her father. She doesn’t recognize the place they’re in as anywhere and is starting to feel fear. Is this really Dad?, she wonders as she scrutinizes his face. She see the tears still staining his cheeks, the crow’s feet wrinkles at the corners of his eyes, and general look of tiredness on his face. She reaches out to hold his hand, and believes that it is truly him.
Menno reaches out and takes his daughter hand. As he does so, a glowing sigil appears as they meet.
(Evelyn gains five dots in the discipline Bardo)
He slowly starts stepping forward, wanting to walk a bit with his daughter in this elsewhere dream land.
Menno: When the first vampire was cursed, he was told that he could escape his fate by taming the Beast inside him. He failed but, you know…
Evelyn’s father smiles widely.
Menno: He wasn’t raised as well as you.
Evelyn looks up at her father, wanting to ask a hundred questions but not knowing where to begin. She savors the sensation of holding his hand- it does not feel cold and dead, yet it does not feel as warm and soft as if he were real…
Evelyn: What do I have to do, Dad? Besides run away, or… fight something? Am I supposed to find someone, or can I trust the people I’m living with? I haven’t known them that long… but I like them. I would like to help them too. Is that ok?
Menno: Pete’s okay. He still mourns for the life he lost. now Jane… she’s a monster. But a monster you should keep close. A monster that can protect you.
He sighs loudly and slowly.
Menno: As for meeting me and your mother… your soul. That you’re going to have to figure out on your own, Evey. It’s different for everyone. Heck, it took me and your mother hundreds of years to figure it out for ourselves.
Evelyn unconsciously stops walking as she hears her father’s words. She does not look at him, instead she stares at her feet that feel nothing below, and considers his statement.Evelyn: How have.. you and mom had hundreds of years for… Dad, are you like me? Are we humans? She feels fear and confusion cloud her mind. What else don’t I know? How could her father not tell her something like this when he was alive? Certainly she was old enough. Certainly her parents were good people, they had to have been, but they’d never kept secrets from her. No matter which way she considered her situation, she was damned. She could give up, surrender herself to this imminent monster… or she could make her father proud and fight to the death if need be. The harder choice. If there’s even a small chance I can fix things for myself, I have to try. If mom and dad are somehow still watching me… there’s more to our lives than I thought. It’s worth it to try. I have to try… even if I come from something… unnatural.
She meets her father’s eyes, exhaling as she wonders what else she doesn’t know.
Menno turns around and faces his daughter.
Menno: Oh, you were most certainly human. To have a child like you, that’s what drove us to regain our souls and become human again for a short while. To give you a normal, wonderful life.
He laughs slightly.
Menno: Though, apparently the universe isn’t that kind. Or maybe it just has an odd sense of humor.
As Menno finishes his comment, the air seems to fill with smoke.
Menno: For a little more time… I think you’re going to have to wake up soon, sweet pea. And you’re going to have to start running.
Evelyn reaches for Menno, but realizes he can no longer see her. She watches his image dissipate, feeling the urge to cry. No tears come, only the sensation of a vast emptiness inside her. She watches color swirl around her as the name Carnifex echoes in her mind.