ALL IT TAKES ARE FOUR CAKES
Some time has passed since the moment when Kate, David and little Elisabeth moved in this house. Over the years, the family was able to furnish their home nicely. Quite recently, they managed to buy a car and the internal part of the stables was finally finished.
When the warmer days came along, it was the time to celebrate Elisabeth’s, Zac’s and Finn’s birthday. All three of them were born in spring – so convenient for throwing a single party.
Kate and David slept well this night. The sun was already high in the sky, when Kate heard Elisabeth giggle in the crib. David was still sleeping tight, so Kate left him to sleep a little more.
“Good morning, princess,” she said as Elisabeth stretched her hands to reach her mother.
Kate picked her in the arms and hugged her. I wish you could never grow up, Kate thought to herself as she snuggled her little daughter.
It was Friday. Neither Kate or David were working today, so they had plenty of time to organize the party.
“I was thinking we could make the party outside, on the terrace. What do you think, David?”
“I don’t know, sweetie, what if it rains later in the afternoon?”
“You’re right. After all, there is much more space in the living room.”
“And there is the TV,” smiled David.
“Oh, come on, David! You’re not going to turn that thing on during the party, are you?”
“Well… Only if someone asks,” he smiled innocently.
“I don’t think the guests will be watching the TV, it’s the party! Everyone wants to have fun, talk and dance and so on…”
“Eat and… drink… oh, now that you make me think about it, did the bakery call if the cakes are done?”
“No, not yet,” worried Kate a little. “Do you think that they forgot?”
“I hope not, but I’ll call them.”
“Fine, so you take care of the cakes and I’ll go and find some balloons… I hope everything will be ok, it’s the first birthday party in this house. I’m so excited,” smiled Kate.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart, it will be fun!”said David and tickled Lizzie. “Is it fun already, Liz? What do you say?” Elisabeth just giggled happily as David tossed her in the air.
Kate went to search for the party balloons, but as she walked towards the bookcase, she stepped in a pool of pee. “Dammit, Snowball! Argh!” She went to pick the mop and cleaned the floor.
“Bad boy!” Kate scolded Snowball, who was visibly feeling bad about what he’s done.
He walked towards Lizzie hoping she would play with him, but when she started pulling his ears he quickly run away from her.
However, Elisabeth was anyway more interested in the doll, that was given to her by one of Kate’s friends on the day she was born.
David picked his cellphone.
“What was the number again, Kate?” he called.
“25… 29… 42… 69,” repeated David as he entered the number in the phone.
“Maria’s Cake Shop, how can I help you?” asked a pleasant voice.
“Hello, this is David Loewe calling. I wanted to ask when I could come to pick the birthday cakes my wife ordered on Wednesday.”
“Just a moment, Mr. Loewe,” said the woman.
“So, the cakes are being finished right now, they’ll be ready for you in less than 20 minutes.”
“Oh, great. I’ll be there in half an hour then, thank you.”
“Very well, see you later, Mr. Loewe!” said the woman and hung up.
Five minutes after David came back home with the cakes, the school bus arrived.
Finn went to do his homework while Zac sat on the couch and cuddled with Snowball.
When Finn finished his homework, he asked Kate if he could go outside to search for bugs for a secret project. In fact his secret project was nothing else than a small collection of beetles and butterflies. Kate smiled and let him go. He took his bike and rode to the hills close to the stadium. A week ago, he found there three different types of bugs, so he hoped he’d get lucky this time as well. As he’s put the bike on the ground, he was instantly attracted to a group of green butterflies.
“Wow, these must be the Green Swallowtails,” he said as one of them sat on the tip of his nose. Finn carefully wrapped the butterfly in his hands, placed him in a little jar and put him in a pocket of his backpack.
Then he saw something moving on the ground just a few steps from where he was standing. Finn approached silently and picked one of the beetles in his hand.
“Ouch!” he screamed as the beetle bit his finger.
Finn looked around for more beetles, but didn’t see any. He walked towards the stadium, when suddenly he saw something small running in the the grass in front of him. Finn ran after it and when he saw it, he recognized it was the Texas Horned lizard. Biology was his favorite subject at school so he had no problems in recognizing the species.
“Look at you,” Finn smiled as he observed the lizard eating one of the bugs he tried to catch before. At first, he was afraid that if he tried to catch it, it could run away, so he just kept on observing. When the lizard finished eating the bug, it slowly walked towards him. Finn has put his hand on the ground and to his surprise, the lizard walked on it.
“You must be lost, little guy. Did someone leave you here?” Finn asked aloud. “If you want I can take you home with me, but you have to promise, that you’ll not eat my beetles,” whispered Finn to the lizard as he caressed him. “I’ll name you after my little sister.”
Finn went back to his bike, put Lizzy in his backpack and headed home. When he came back, the first guests have already arrived.
“Hi, dad!” he said as he went up the stairs.
“Hey, kiddo! Look what I’ve got!” smiled David at him as the pizza boy passed him the pizza.
“Wow! We’re having pizza? Yay!” screamed Finn as he ran inside the house.
After a while, George has arrived. He brought a loaf of bread he baked himself. Kate went to welcome him.
“I know it’s just a bread, but it’s really tasty, I baked it myself,” he smiled as he passed her the plate.
“Oh, thank you, that’s very nice of you,” said Kate.
“I’ve put inside many olives, I know you like them a lot.”
“The black ones?” asked him Kate.
“Well, actually I have put both, the black ones and the green ones.”
“Perfect,” smiled Kate and placed the bread on the table.
“Kate, I’m really happy I can be here today,” said George.
“Yes, I’m really happy too. You’re like a grandfather to the kids. They really love you,” smiled Kate.
“I know…,” said George and looked at the ground.
“What’s wrong, George?” asked him Kate.
“I don’t know how to tell you this, Kate…”
“What is it? Please, tell me,” Kate insisted.
“I’m getting old, Kate. It’s been already two years since the last time I rode Freya or Orion… I’ve been having the backache since I can remember, but in these last few years it really worsened…”
“I’m really sorry, George, is there a way I could help you?”
“Well… I was thinking, if you… if you could… well, if you could take care of Freya and Orion…”
“What do you mean?” worried Kate.
“You have a big garden and plenty of space in the stables… and you love horses the way I do.”
“I still don’t understand, George… Oh my god, I hope you’re not saying…,” Kate suddenly understood.
“I am moving in with my daughter, Kate. I am sorry…”
“Oh no… I mean, yes it’s good, it’s good, but… but we’ll not see… so often,” said sadly Kate.
“I’ll come to visit sometime… and… we can talk on the phone,” George tried to cheer her up.
“Yeah…,” Kate was shocked. She didn’t know what to say. George was her best friend. Without him, she’d have never been where she’s now.
“Come on, Kate, everything will be fine,” smiled George. “After all, Hidden Springs is not so far from here. Have you ever been there?”
“No, I haven’t been to Hidden Springs.”
“My daughter told me, they have a wellness center there, so hopefully, they could do something about my back,” said George happily.
“Really? Well, I guess then that it’s the right place to go!” Kate felt a little relieved.
“Maybe you could come to visit me sometime! All of you! I’d be really happy.”
“Well, we certainly could,” smiled Kate. “Excuse me now, I have to go and welcome everybody. If you want something to drink, ask David, he’ll take care of you,” said Kate and went to welcome the guests.
“Thanks, Kate,” said George and went to search for David.
“Hey Kate!” called Marley Williams, the father of Finn’s friend, Malika.
“Hi Marley, how are you doing?” asked Kate.
“I’m great! Thanks! But what about you? You don’t look so happy… did something happen?” asked her Marley when he saw the sad expression on her face.
“No, no… don’t worry. Everything is ok,” said Kate. “I saw Malika doing her homework, I think you should tell her to have some fun instead,” she smiled.
“I tried, but she wants to do it now… I know she should rather go and play with the twins, but recently she’s doing so well at school, so I will not force her.”
“Well, I guess that you must be proud,” told him Kate and looked at Malika sitting at the table.
“Yes, I am. Although, I’m getting a little worried about her. Yesterday, she told me that the teachers should give them more homework for the weekend… I don’t get it. When I was a kid, I hated doing homework,” smiled Marley.
“I know, I hated it too,” whispered Kate. “But don’t tell my kids.”
“Don’t worry,” assured her Marley.
“I haven’t seen Aimee around, she’s not coming?”
“Oh, no, she’s not. She’s working.”
“Ah, that’s a shame,” said Kate.
“Well, actually, today they have a birthday party at the restaurant. I think it’s the chef’s birthday so I guess she’s having fun too.”
“Well, in that case I think she certainly is,” smiled Kate.
When Kate welcomed most of the guests she looked around for David. He was talking to his friend, Jayden. Oh no, what is he doing here, Kate thought to herself.
In all this time, she hasn’t become a close friend with Jayden, they actually never spoke much. However, that V-shaped tatoo on Jayden’s neck still interested her, so one day she asked David about it and that was the moment when Kate learned that Jayden was a vampire. Since then, she started reading vampirism related literature and when the image of her kids turning into vampires became so real that sometimes she was woken up by it during her sleep, she decided to do someting about it. She asked David if he could stop bringing Jayden near the kids, but David kept on assuring her, that Jayden doesn’t drink from people, but only from those of his kind. Kate didn’t believed him. Never trust a vampire they say…
“So, have you found a girlfriend yet?” asked him David.
“Well, not exactly. It’s quite hard, you know, because all the vampires have the same abilities.”
“And that’s bad because…?”
“Imagine this. You see a beautiful woman. You know you want her, but for the sake of being the nice guy, you try to hide your primitive instincts. With the normal girls it’s really easy, because they can’t read your mind. With the vampires, it’s really a hard time. There are two possible scenarios. The first one is, she wants you as bad as you want her, so she doesn’t really care whether you read her mind or not and you both just go for it…”
“Well, that sounds cool, actually.”
“Yeah, but there’s a catch. She’s never going to become ‘the girlfriend’.”
“Oh come on, Dave! Have you ever heard that the true love was born from a one night stand?”
“The second scenario is this one – she starts hating you for reading her mind and before you know it, she spills a drink on your expensive white shirt. This always happens with the ones that could actually care about you, but because your brain makes you think about slowly undressing her, gently caressing her pale neck and biting it to taste her bittersweet blood, it never works out. So yeah, I guess you get it.”
“Wow. So basically you have a 100% chanche of not getting a girlfriend ever,” laughed David. “Although I don’t understand, why she should hate you for sucking her blood… Isn’t it what vampires do instead of some hot make out?”
“No, Dave. Vampires don’t feed on other vampires. They do it on the prey.”
“Oh, I thought you didn’t feed on humans,” David started to worry.
“Well, it’s not that I would bite my friends, unless they offered to,” told him Jayden with slightly lower voice.
“Come on, Dave! Nobody told you what they say about trusting a vampire?” smiled Jayden.
“What the hell, Jay?”
“Chill out, man, I’m just kidding!”
“Well, I really hope, man!”
“I should rather go and drink a can of plasma juice… or maybe rather two… the party is gonna be long I suppose…”
“WHAT?” David said with a very high pitched voice.
“Don’t worry, Dave! I have everything under control,” said Jayden and went to his car to pick his drink.
Suddenly, David felt a little uncomfortable about having Jayden around. However, it was his friend so he trusted him. When Jayden left the house, David went to talk to Marley. It seemed like all the guests were having fun.
It didn’t take long and the sun started setting down. Kate picked up Lizzie.
“Come on, everyone! It’s time to blow the candles!” she called as she walked towards the counter. George lit the candles on Lizzie’s cake.
All the guests who were impatiently waiting for this moment started singing the birthday song. When they stopped singing, they clapped their hands and Kate helped Lizzie blow out the candles.
One of the guests brought the camera. Bright light flashed everybody’s eyes as he pressed the shutter button.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the camera’s flash, but the burning cake!
“FIRE!!!” called George. Everybody panicked.
Only Kate kept her cool mind and took her daughter to safety.
“Come on! Somebody do something!” called Zac as he watched the cake burn.
“Oh no! THE CAKE!” screamed Finn.
“FIRE! FIRE!” screamed Zac’s friend as he ran away from the kitchen.
“The fire is growing!” called George as he protected his face from the heat. “DAVID! Where do you keep the extinguisher?!?!”
“I don’t know! In the basement?” screamed David.
“I’ll go and get it!” said one of the guests and ran away.
“Come on, Finn! Do something! Anything!” panicked Zac.
“Like what?!?!” Finn said, but then he suddenly got an idea. He took his cellphone. Ok, ok, I can do this… It’s like in the TV… You call and the firemen come…
Finn managed to dial the number although his hand were shaking.
“There is a fire!” screamed Finn to the phone. “Come fast!”
“Calm down, boy,” said a voice. “Tell me your name and your address, please.”
“Finn Loewe, 35 Verona Way, Monte Vista!”
“Thank you. Stay away from the fire, the fireman is on the way.”
As Finn put his cellphone in his pocket, he saw everybody jumping and screaming close to the fire.
“Go away! The fireman is coming! Move away from the fire!!!” he screamed, but nobody listened, only Snowball followed his animal instincts and ran outside.
The guest who went searching for the extinguisher managed to find it. “Stay away, everyone! I’ll put an end to this!” he called.
After few minutes, the fire was successfully put down.
“Geez, look at the cake, it’s all spoiled,” said David as he looked around. Jayden was standing near him, trying to read the guests minds.
Where is the fireman? Finn asked himself. The woman told me, he was on the way ten minutes ago.
The next moment, Finn heard the siren from the firetruck. When the fireman, actually woman, arrived, there was no fire to extinguish.
“Did you call the fireman?” David asked his son.
“Yes, I did, but she came late. Why?”
“I don’t know, Finn. Ask her,” David encouraged him.
Kate came back from the bedroom. As she passed along the burnt furniture, the acrid smoke hit he nose.
However, Lizzie was starving, so Kate placed her in the high chair and gave her the baby food. Finn was already discussing with the fireman.
“Are you always late?”
“No, of course not, boy,” said the fireman.
“But I got lost on the way,” excused herself the fireman.
“Right,” Finn didn’t believe.
“Well, I guess we’ll have to pay you anyway, right?” Finn pulled out a manly voice. “Listen to this: It is my sister’s birthday today, my brother’s and of course, mine too.”
“Oh, really? Well, then happy birthday to you all!” smiled the fireman.
“BUT!” continued Finn. “Now we have just two cakes left.”
“Oh, I’m sorry about that. Is there something I can do?”
“Yes, there is,” smiled Finn. “Get us another cake and we’ll not tell anyone you were late.”
“Deal,” said the fireman and left.
It’s still a mystery to everyone, but the fireman was somehow able to get the cake in the middle of the night. At 2 AM, Elisabeth blew out the candles for the second time. However, there were no more guests to sing her the birthday song.
“Happy birthday, Lizzie!” everybody called.
The next in line was Finn, he was already in his pajamas, but nobody minded.
“Don’t forget to make a wish, Finn!” told him David. Finn took a deep breath and blew all candles at once.
The last one to blow the candles was Zac. He took a while to think about the best wish. Then he blew out the candles as his brother and sister did before him.
Now, all excited, the kids were ready to jump in the next stage of their lives.
*Warning: This page contains spoilers. Clicking the link above will take you to the up-to-date version of The Family Album.