The Undead Life of Harlow Kaine · Writing

The Undead Life of Harlow Kaine (11)

“Dragon’s are hoarders, I’m a collector!” Winston Kirk was passionately declaring as he continued to show off his vast library. The coven’s resident best-selling novelist recently bought and moved into a new house after his latest book had hit #1 on the YA bestsellers list…again and had invited all his “brothers” and “sisters” to Minnesota for a housewarming party. Harlow and Roland looked at each other and chuckled behind their hands before escaping the increasingly claustrophobic space as everyone milled around.

“Aren’t dragon’s extinct?” he wondered quietly as he and Harlow found their way into what was obviously Winston’s work space, being examined closely in detail by Ferdinand Gonzales.

“They say they are but does anyone really know?” Ferdinand asked. The architect by trade was very intently examining everything in the room for potential flaws. “I wish Winston had asked me to design something for him,” he huffed.

“Oh Ferdie, you know it has nothing to do with wanting you or not, you’re always so busy,” Harlow pointed out as Roland, ever the detective started surreptitiously looking around Winston’s desk. “Roland stop snooping.”

The Irish seventh-son of a seventh-son merely smiled at her and then spoke in rapid Spanish to Ferdinand. Harlow threw her hands in the air and walked out of the room. “I know you called me old-fashioned!” she threw over her shoulder as she left.

“Oh hey, her listening is improving!” Ferdinand quipped before he and Roland roared with laughter.

Harlow rolled her eyes and made her way around to a different room. She wasn’t upset by any means, she was used to having older brother’s and it turns out it doesn’t matter if they were blood related or…”blood” related, they always treated their little sister’s the same way. When she opened the door to the next room she wasn’t surprised to see that it was a drawing room of some sort with lots of built in shelves and wood work. The room hadn’t been fully unpacked yet but she began admiring all the old typewriters that had been set up.

“I have a printing press in storage,” Winston said conversationally as he came in behind her as a few of the others walked past to explore other rooms. “But I’m not sure where or how I want to display it yet,” he continued. He pointed to one type writer in particular, old and well used. “This was the first typewriter I never had. Olivier bought it for me in 1873. I was so excited.”

Harlow listened intently and politely. Winston had been one of the first fledglings made by Olivier after the “Great Coven Rebellion” that had elevated him as their master. As much as she knew after all these years, the proud black man was a shapeshifter who now used his powers to create new identities for himself so that he could keep doing what he loved: writing. Winston and Harlow had never been “close” but she enjoyed his company when they were together, and she’d read almost all of his books.

“This one I bought myself after my stories became popular,” he pointed to another. “Of course after that I only bought these myself, I didn’t have to worry about money anymore!” he laughed. “When computer’s came out I was very skeptical and kept using a typewriter for a long time. I didn’t change over until the 90’s were almost over and my typewriter at the time finally gave out. Thankfully I’m a fast learner and the computers make things so convenient now-a-days. I can do several projects at once!”

“Some of these are very lovely and old, did you use all of them?” she asked pointing to a particularly well-kept typewriter sitting on a higher shelf.

“Not all of them, I did buy some that I really just liked the look of, which I think is where the hoarder comments start coming in.”

“Do you think dragons are extinct?” Harlow suddenly asked for the second time that day.

Winston seemed to give it a lot of thought. “There have been some strange sightings here and there but nothing I think that conclusively tells us yes or no. They’re always described as ridiculously powerful with a lot of magic. I have a hard time believing that they just died off like it was nothing. One time a fortune teller told Olivier that he’d been blessed by a dragon but Olivier said he thought he would remember something like that.”

“Didn’t he say though that once this old lady “blessed” him for returning her lost son? Something about “always being in the right place at the right time” type thing?” Harlow mused.

“I remember him saying that too once,” Ferdinand interjected as he and Roland entered the lounge. “He was telling me all about the vampire lifestyle after he…well you know he did save me, those white miners were probably going to kill me if he hadn’t shown up….”

“And I was almost killed by that Abomination we hunted down…” Roland added.

“He saved me from death’s door too after Henry stabbed me,” Harlow pointed out.

“I was about to be lynched when he chased everyone off and I think Phibe said he pulled her half-dead out of a river when she was trying to escape her plantation. Actually I think almost everyone met Olivier right as they were dying or in danger of dying…but not everyone obviously, just us…why?” Winston put a hand to his chin and Harlow discovered they all looked rather thoughtful.

“Does that make us his collection or hoard?” Roland pondered breaking the silence and causing good-natured laughter to fill the room.

“Probably both…” Ferdinand said as the four members filed out to join the others after their brief and philosophical conversation. It really didn’t matter what they were considered at the end of the day since they just called each other “family”.

Prompt generated from this list of 120 One Word Writing Prompts and the use of Google’s Random Number Generator. Number & Coordinated Theme Generated: 96 – Collect

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