Duskish: a Biting Parody


Once upon a time, there were two teenagers.

They lived in the Pacific Northwest. We’ll call them Eddie and Izzie. Eddie and Izzie were madly in love, and knew they were meant to be together. They knew this because they found one another attractive and liked to kiss each other a lot. They would kiss each other at parties,  in front of family and friends , while camping, and in huge fields of pretty flowers. When they weren’t kissing each other, they would read one another poetry and talk about all the things they loved about one  another. They never talked about “liking” each other. Who needs to like someone when you’re so in love, anyway?  Everything was looking great for the teenagers. Those crazy kids.

Now, every relationship has its problems. And theirs was no exception. See, Izzie was a little young for Eddie. A few centuries her senior, Eddie ran into a spot of bother somewhere back in Victorian times. His blood was forcibly removed; leaving him a bit cold natured, nutrient deprived, and perpetually adolescent. Ever since then, he has had to roam the earth, replacing his blood supply every night by depriving other living things of theirs. It’s only fair.

Eddie had always been fashionable, and he kept with the times. So in Izzie’s  era, he looked like some kind of Nouveau Hipster. With bushy eyebrows and what can only be characterized as a severe Vitamin D deficiency. Sometimes he sparkled. We’ll attribute that to his charm, his compulsion to be honorable, and his love for Izzie, all of which also refused to die.

Izzie was an average high school girl: brooding, impulsive, and never without heavy makeup and  a closet full of American Apparel outfits. She was about to graduate high school, and had an endless number of possibilities before her after she received her diploma. So of course she planned to choose the most logical and liberating option: voluntarily becoming undead and having to separate herself from all her friends and family, and any semblance of  a normal life. She just loved that Eddie so much. Which she always told him. All the time. Like, seriously, she never talked about anything else but Eddie.

Her Concerned Over-Protective (COP) father was worried that Izzie’s obsession with Eddie was borderline clinical. So he suggested she spend time with other people. Enter Jake, Izzie’s best friend.  COP father was happy when Jake came around more often, since he was unaware that Jake had the power to turn into a freakishly large, flesh-eating wolf, an ability Jake happened to share with all his relatives. You know what they say: the family that morphs into gigantic nocturnal beasts together stays together. Coincidentally, so does the family that steals the lives of anything with a heartbeat; all of Eddie’s family happened to share his taste for plasma and platelets.

Jake never wore shirts, which was not at all hygienic; but it seemed to work fine for him, and it complimented his inexhaustible supply of jorts. He was not only incredibly jealous of Eddie and prone to uppity fights with him; he was also in love with Izzie. (I know, who saw that coming?) He spent half of his time bitter and whiny, and the other half hitting on Izzie and trying to convince her that Eddie was all wrong for her. But what do best friends know? Izzie wasn’t buying it.

It’s a good thing all these kids had their looks to console them, because love triangles are never any fun otherwise. For a while, Izzie decided to spend some time indulging her inner monologue, with each of the guys who fancied her competing for her attention with trinkets, shouting, and talking about how weird the other guy’s family was. Eddie had a little bit of an edge, not only because Izzie liked- I’m sorry, loved-  him best, but because he was good at mind games. Really good. He and his whole family had a way of reading people that you could only call visionary.

But all of their happy, drama-free, totally relatable lives came to a halt when a lady with interests similar to Eddie and his family decided she wanted to kill Izzie. She had some serious emotional baggage, and she figured that the best way to cope with the fact that Eddie happened to have killed her one true love was to go after his–with an army of ruthless, ravenous blood-sucking minions at her disposal.

What to do, what to do?

Eddie realized a time of uncertainty, fear, and emotional turmoil was the perfect time for a marriage proposal. Ever the clear head and rational thinker, Izzie accepted. Smart girl. No complication there.

In addition to relying on the strength of the Bonds of True Love, the boys decided to ally themselves with one another against the crazies, to save Izzie. And they graciously invited their families to join the fun. Jake, his impeccable abs, and the rest of his family were a little reluctant to participate. But in the end, they were all united by their love for Izzie, and their desire to rip apart some folks. They did some play fighting in the woods to get ready for the big day. And they come up with a totally original plan: form a trap using decoys, and lead the people they’re fighting against into it. It was mind-blowing. Everyone was immediately on board.

After everyone stood around in formations and gazed at one another for a while, the day of the showdown finally arrived. Eddie and Izzie stayed behind, hiding in their tent. Eddie probably would have been useful fighting for Izzie in a literal sense, but he decided it made much more practical sense to lurk around and dote on her. This was totally out of character for Eddie, but stories need to be a little unpredictable. After Jake stole a kiss from Izzie- which she gave him partly because she loved him, and partly as an alternative to his suicide- he charged into the fray on all fours.

The battle began. There was lots of leaping, lots of super fast running, and limbs and bodies were flying everywhere. Eddie and Izzie were having a lovely time at the campsite keeping the heck out of dodge. But wait, the leader of the enemy army figured out that Eddie and Izzie would probably be in the same place! She was just that intuitive. Her crony came with her. It was about to get real. Luckily, one of the wolves conveniently appeared out of nowhere and chomped down the crony. This made it much easier for Eddie to use his craft and cunning to exploit the deepest pain of Army Leader Lady and provoke her into fighting him to avenge her true love. They were neck and neck for a while, just long enough to give the irony of that phrase time to set in. Then Eddie, with the class and restraint he was so known for, broke the lady’s head clean off her body.

Some more of Eddie’s fold showed up: these cats were large and in charge, except for their leader, who was not large at all. She was a petite little blonde with a voice far too young for her regal airs, but that seemed intimidating enough for everyone. Besides,  she and everyone with her had cloaks and creepy red eyes, hallmarks of authority in circles like Eddie’s. They made foreboding remarks about some things, were generally mean and unhelpful, and left everyone in the clearing looking pensive and solemn.

The trap was successful. For whatever reason, the psycho-villains  hadn’t been expecting gargantuan mutant attack wolves to crush their brittle bodies. Go figure. But Eddie and Izzie weren’t out of the woods yet. In fact they were still in that very locale when they discovered Jake had sustained some bumps and bruises- and shattered bones- as a result of his valiant effort. Luckily, one of Eddie’s relatives had medical training, and agreed to help Jake on his way to recovery with an excruciating procedure. Problem solved.

With the battle over, Izzie  left Jake’s house bearing the knowledge of his denial-driven, clingy devotion. With Jake’s sweaty awkwardness out of the way, Izzie was already feeling much better.

As we all know, nothing cheers one up  after a terrifying face-off in the forest like a hokey graduation speech. Which was lucky, because- as soon as everyone changed out of battle gear and into robes and hats- it was time for Eddie and Izzie to finish high school and prepare for the time-honored rite of passage into adulthood: marriage and raising a family, in utter isolation and devoid of true life for all eternity. A little time smooching in their favorite field served to put things into proper perspective. Hearts bursting with love and all doubts assuaged, they strolled , full of romantic bliss, into the sunset.

Eddie and Izzie had but one more happy task between them and picking out floral arrangements. They had to tell Izzie’s hereto oblivious  COP father  the good news: his only daughter would be marrying that guy he had reservations about and going to live with him, never to see her dad- or anyone else she loved- ever again.  All seemed right, functional and relationally healthy.

And they Not-Quite-Lived happily ever after.

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