Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hendricks Holiday Letter 2009: Twilight Edition

I’d never given much thought to how I would die-though I’d had reason enough in the last few months-but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.

I stared without breathing across the road, into the dark eyes of the hunter, and he looked pleasantly back at me.

Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.

I knew that if I’d never gone to Las Vegas, I wouldn’t be facing death now. But, terrified as I was, I couldn’t bring myself to regret the decision. When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it’s not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end.

The hunter smiled in a friendly way as he sauntered forward to kill me.

Maybe I should backtrack just a bit. You see, life wasn’t always this strange for me. I grew up as a nomad, moving like clockwork nearly every five years. New York, Arizona, Southern California. I’d seen a lot in my relatively short life on this planet but things didn’t get truly bizarre until I got to Provo, Utah. I’m not talking about going on ice blocking dates or tunnel singing, I’m talking about him. The one. My Stephen.

I knew immediately he wasn’t like other guys. I knew this because he had a wacky white patch of hair right there on his forehead. But there was something else. His skin was white. I mean, pasty white. Seriously, albino white. Times fourteen. Emo kid white. Sometimes, when I saw him on a sunny day, he would sparkle. I asked him about it. He said it was a reaction from the Proactiv solution he used for acne.

I was intoxicated by him.

When we started dating, things were great, except for the way he plugged his nose and turned away in disgust every time I got in the car with him. One night I asked him, “So, what’s up with the way I smell? You don’t like White Diamonds or something?” It was then that my life would transform forever.

“Rochelle, I have to tell you something, but after some of the stories you have told me about the guys you’ve dated, I hope this won’t be too big of a deal. You see, I’m a vampire, and the scent of your blood…well, let’s just say you are exactly my type. Plugging my nose and turning away is the only thing that keeps me from viciously attacking you and drinking every last bit of your precious life force.”

“Oh,” I said, “Does that mean I can still wear White Diamonds?”

We did what everyone in Provo did; dated for a few weeks, got engaged, then got married. Life was reasonably normal for a girl married to an albino vampire, except for the fact that he was always staring at me at night. Freak. We had two kids, which is super crazy with the whole human/vampire thing, but somehow, it worked out. James was a super brainy mini Steve, and Alora was a super girly yet somehow intimidating mini vamp made in my image.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll fast forward to 2009, the events of which led me to this particular predicament. It’s hard to summarize an entire year in just a couple of sentences, but needless to say, it involved James starting Kindergarten and trying to get him not to sparkle too much around his classmates, and Alora starting preschool, and trying to get her not to devour her entire class.

It was during our end of Summer trip to Southern California (a particularly tough vacation, considering we had one of the sunniest places on Earth and three super sparkly vampires in tow) that we found ourselves back in the predicament where we began this little story. As we were driving out of town, we were rear ended by a mysterious character. It sent us, vampire and non, into shock. After I realized what had happened, I jumped immediately to the conclusion that a vampire of an opposing clan had rear ended our van and was going to kill us all. I quickly jumped out of the van as my vamp fam was still stunned by the crash. While my little vampire family all had powers, my power, that of super human righteous indignation, fueled me as I exited the vehicle to somehow protect my loved ones. I saw the man, if you could call him that, exit his vehicle as he stared in my direction.

The hunter smiled in a friendly way as he sauntered forward to kill me.

Suddenly, with superhuman speed, Steve was right beside me.

“What’s up?” He asked.

“Well, this guy over here is obviously a member of the Volturi that’s angry that you have a human wife and half vampire kids. I think he rear ended us to stun us and then try to kill us all.”

“Or,” Steve said, “He’s some 57 year old dude who just had a little too much Jack Daniels to take his meds this morning.”

Steve was right, of course. He wasn’t sauntering at all. He was staggering. And his breath smelled like Listerine. Listerine mixed with rocket fuel. Boy, did I feel silly.

After North Las Vegas police came and hauled our friend off, we got back in our van and took off for vacation.

“So Steve,” I said, “Why didn’t you just hop out and use your super human strength to stop that truck from rear ending us. I’ve seen you do that before. That would have saved us a lot of trouble.”

“Well,” Steve replied, “I could have. But then, what on Earth would I have put in this year’s holiday letter?”


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