Would You Like Brains With That?

Currently re-writing.

Portal Keepers Book 1.
A job at a café for the Undead, a ghost best friend, and an annoying handsome vampire protector. Danira has it all.

Danira isn't your average girl. For generations her family has looked after the portal that links the Realm of the Undead to the Realm of the Living, by running a cafe for the Undead that are travelling through the portal. Then news reaches Danira and her parents that the Vampire Lords want to take over control of the portal and wreak havock amoung the Realm of the Living.
An adventure of hot vampires, zombies, ghosts, mummies, and life-threatening danger is thrust upon Danira, and she must try her best to protect the Realm of the Living, by preventing the Vampire Lords from obtaining the Infinity Blade, which has the power to change the portal. As well as saving her world can Danira resist the dashing vampires that cross her path? Some are more dangerous than others.

Cover by Zillah Designs.


3. Bertie and a Trip to the Cinema


      The next evening when the sun had set, the café had taken on a dark hue despite the numerous persons inside. It was the busiest I had ever seen it, so I was rushing around non stop. I didn’t like the way the vampires kept glancing over at me. There were several groups of them congregated around the café, talking in hushed voices. One of them gestured for me to come over and I approached them warily.

      “Are you ready to order?” I asked my voice a squeak.

      The vampires looked at me smugly as if they knew something I didn’t.

      “Are you on the menu?” one asked licking his lips as he ran his eyes over my body.

      His companions laughed and I hid a flinch.

      “Three pints of blood.” another ordered, twirling his thick, black moustache as he leered at me.

      “Right away.” I mumbled practically running to the kitchen.

      Mum noticed my expression. “What’s the matter?”

      “Just some vampires.” my voice was barely audible and I automatically went to the fridge and pulled out three blood bags.

      Mum peered out into the café and scowled. “Do you want me to take their order out?” she asked, returning to chopping up some grey, foul looking ingredients.

      I poured each bag of blood into a separate glass. “No, its ok, I’ll do it.”

      “We could always get your father to do it.”

      I glanced at Mum to see that she was serious.

      With a small smile I replied. “No, I’ll do it. I won’t let them intimidate me.”

      I knew that the vampires could smell my fear as I gave them their order because they were all smirking sinisterly. One even bared his fangs, though that could have been because of the glasses of blood I was carrying. As soon as I had placed the glasses on the table I turned to leave but one of the vampires grabbed my wrist making me twist back to face him.

      “Would a smile kill you?” he asked his fangs gleaming.

      “Is there a problem here?”

      Relief flooded through me at Dad’s voice and the vampire immediately released me.

      “Not at all, Carlton. I was just thanking your beautiful daughter.”

      Dad grunted and slipped an arm through mine, herding me back to the kitchen. “Are you alright, Danira? He didn’t hurt you did he?” Dad sounded scared, and that scared me.

      “No he... he didn’t hurt me Dad.”

      Mum was watching us, looking worried. “Why don’t you go to bed now, sweetheart?” she suggested.

      I nodded mutely, unsure if I would be able to sleep.

      Dad placed a hand on my shoulder. “Remember to lock your window and door. Call me if you see anything. Call me even if you think you see something.”

      I said goodnight to them and went upstairs. Mum and Dad were acting suspiciously, not to mention the fact that the café had never been that popular before, not with vampires anyway. Something was up. But what?

      Absently I touched the ankh bracelet that the mummy had given me. I had looked up the meaning of the ankh online and it was the symbol of life. When worn as a charm, it represented health and strength. It was odd that the mummy had given it to me. Maybe he knew what was going on? Was I in danger?

      Once in my room I changed into my pyjamas, trying to forget about the vampires downstairs, like that was even possible. I checked that my window and door were locked and my thoughts went to Ridge who had left the day before without even leaving a thank you note, but that was vampires for you. Getting into bed I slipped a stake under my pillow.


      Switching my light on, I saw my ghost friend Bertie.

      “Bertie,” I sighed feeling relief that it wasn’t Ridge. That would be the last thing I needed after an evening of dealing with seriously arrogant vampires. “Where have you been? I haven’t seen you for nearly a week.”

      Bertie hovered in the air beside my bed, dressed in his usual stable boy outfit. He shrugged. “I’ve been exploring. How’s college?”

      “It’s ok. I’m going out with my friends on Saturday to see a movie.”

      Bertie looked shocked. “Your dad is letting you?”

      “I guess so. Mum said that she’s going to talk to him. Hopefully she can convince him.”

      He grinned suddenly excited. “Can I come? I haven’t been to the cinema in ages... well not for a week or two anyway.” at my quizzical expression, he added. “I like throwing popcorn at people and making their hats and scarves float.”

      I couldn’t help but smile. “You know I’ll be the only one that can see you, unless someone there is psychic.”

      “So? Can I?”

      “I suppose so, just as long as you don’t do any of those things.”

      Bertie looked at me, gathering from my tone that something was wrong. “What’s the matter?”

      “Something’s going on but Mum and Dad won’t tell me. All the vampires are being weird.”

      “Weirder than usual?” Bertie asked with a laugh. “I’m sure it’s nothing. Why don’t we go Zombie Bombing?”

      I grinned at that. Zombie Bombing was a game that we had come up with a few months previous, where we would get cauliflowers from the kitchen and throw them out of the living room window, because it backed onto the back garden, at any zombies below.    Seeing as zombies were so obsessed with brains, they would eat the cauliflowers because they slightly resembled brains.

      “Meet you in the living room.” I told him beaming.

      Bertie disappeared through the wall and I quietly crossed the hallway to the living room.  Mum and Dad hardly ever used the living room, and I only ever went in there to throw cauliflowers at zombies, so I guessed that was why we had never really bothered to decorate it that much. There were only two things in the room, a sofa and a coffee table. I slid the window up and peered outside into the night.

      “Here we are.” Bertie appeared beside me, a box of cauliflowers in his arms.

      “Mum didn’t see you, did she?” I asked weighing one of the cauliflowers in my hand.

      “Nope, I walked straight past her!”

      Bertie was such an old ghost that he could turn some objects invisible, as well as himself. He had tried to turn me invisible once but it hadn’t worked, though it had given me goose-bumps for over an hour. Bertie could also hold objects if he concentrated enough, otherwise they just slipped from his grasp.

      “Are there any zombies down there?” he asked, floating to my side and looking out the window.

      As luck would have it two zombies had just stumbled out of the portal. Bertie eagerly grabbed a cauliflower. Then we waited until the zombies were nearly underneath us before catapulting our cauliflowers out the window. Bertie’s cauliflower hit one zombie right on the head, but mine landed at the feet of the other zombie. I had to clamp a hand over my mouth to conceal my sniggers as the zombies devoured the cauliflowers, believing them to be brains.

      “Man I love this game.” sighing in content I launched another cauliflower at the zombies below.

      Soon the box was empty and I closed the window.

      Bertie looked pleased. “I knew that would cheer you up.”

      I laughed. “It definitely did thanks.”

      Going back to my room I hid the cauliflower box under my bed. “Wow, it’s getting late.” I yawned climbing into bed.

      Bertie nodded. “Listen don’t you worry about anything. I’ll go to the Realm of the Undead and see what I can find out from the ghost grapevine. See you on Saturday.” he gave me a wave and disappeared.


      The next day passed without incident, apart from the fact that I had come home from college to find that Dad had added six locks to my window, and four bolts and eight locks on my door.

      “Dad,” I groaned when I saw his handiwork. “Why’d you put all those on?”

      He tried to appear nonchalant but I saw straight through his act. “I just want to make sure that you’re safe, Danira.”

      I gave a frown but said nothing.

      “Carlton!” Mum called from downstairs. “There’s a man here to see you!”

      Intrigued I watched as Dad’s face lit up. “Who is it, Dad?” I asked.

      He simply smiled. “No one, don’t worry about it.”

      I watched as he went downstairs, mumbling about how no one would mess with any of us when he was finished. Feeling puzzled, I wondered why Dad was suddenly so worried about my safety.


      Saturday soon arrived and I dressed excited about going to the cinema with my college friends and Bertie.

      “You have to let her go Carlton.”

      I hovered outside the kitchen, hearing Mum’s harsh tone.

      “Henrietta,” I knew that Dad was irritated because he had used Mum’s real name, he usually called her Ria. “I won’t risk her getting hurt.”

      I burst into the kitchen and they jumped at my sudden appearance.

      “Why can’t I go?” I asked accusingly.

      Angry at my unannounced arrival, Dad narrowed his eyes at me. “Because I said so.”

      “But why not? Is there something you’re not telling me?”

      Mum was concentrating so much on cooking that it was obvious she wanted nothing to do with the conversation.

      Deciding to try another tact I said. “I promised them. When was the last time I went out with them anyway? You never let me do anything with my friends.” I was playing the guilt card, and tried to do puppy dog eyes.

      Dad was big on keeping promises and he glared at me in frustration.

      We were all silent for a moment until Dad growled. “Fine, but I’m walking you there and back.”

      “Daaad.” I moaned, but he silenced me with an austere look. 

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