The horror . . . the horror!
Olivia stood in the doorway of her vampire twin’s bedroom staring at one of the scariest sights she’d ever seen. Black v-necks, skinny jeans and trendy boots were strewn over the plush red carpeting of Ivy’s room. None of them was even remotely close to a suitcase.
‘Ivy Vega!’ Olivia exclaimed, smacking her forehead. ‘We leave for Transylvania tomorrow ! As in twenty-four hours from now.’
Ivy was sitting cross-legged on the floor. She glanced up from her laptop where she was busy browsing the Vorld Vide Veb, the vampire version of the internet. ‘Oops.’ She shrugged. ‘I got a little distracted.’ She held her finger and thumb a couple of centimetres apart.
‘Oops’ is right, thought Olivia. How is Ivy possibly going to be ready in time? She hasn’t even begun packing! The two of them had received personal invitations to Tessa and Prince Alex’s royal wedding. There were outfit choices to be made and shoe decisions and . . . Olivia shook herself. This wasn’t the time to panic; this was the time for action.
She scooped up two limp T-shirts. ‘In case you’ve forgotten, you have a very important interview coming up at a certain fancy finishing school for vampires.’ Olivia frowned down at her twin, mock stern. As part of the vampire elite, Ivy’s vampire powers were getting stronger by the day now that she was getting older. Their grandparents, the Count and Countess, had come over to Franklin Grove especially to persuade Ivy that she should learn to control her powers at Wallachia Academy – Transylvania’s most exclusive vampire school.
‘Chill, my ultra-organised twin.’ Ivy rolled her heavily kohled eyes. ‘I’ve started packing.’
‘Taking your clothes out of your closet and dropping them on the floor does not equal packing.’ Olivia held up Ivy’s rumpled T-shirts as evidence. ‘It equals a mess.’ She started folding the T-shirts into neat squares. She couldn’t help herself; the chaos was beginning to stress her out. ‘Right,’ she said. ‘I’m going to have to take over this whole operation. Suitcase?’ she asked, as if she were a surgeon requesting her scalpel.
Ivy pointed at a turned-over suitcase jutting halfway out of the closet. ‘See? At least I got it half-out.’
Olivia picked her way through her sister’s scattered belongings, trying not to step on the clothes – she certainly didn’t want to have to iron too! In moments, she was creating a neat stack of jeans and tops inside Ivy’s bag just as she had done with her own not so darkly coloured clothes yesterday. She looked over her shoulder at Ivy, who had returned to her computer. On-screen, Olivia spotted the Wallachia Academy crest with its two bats on either side of a blood-red shield. Very vampire-esque.
Olivia was half aware that she was folding clothes increasingly slowly – she just couldn’t help staring at the screen, even though she knew it was rude to watch over someone’s shoulder. The pictures of Wallachia Academy showed happy-looking teenagers tossing Frisbees on perfectly manicured lawns. Girls sat beneath trees to read in the shade. And the boys, Olivia had to admit, looked completely drop dead. Wallachia Academy seemed more like a teenage resort than the stuffy private school that her twin sister was dreading so much.
Ivy must have sensed her looking because she glanced up from the screen.
‘Socks!’ Olivia blurted to cover up her snooping. ‘You can’t go to Wallachia Academy without socks!’ She frowned. ‘In fact, I’m not sure many of these clothes are suitable. You’re going to be mixing with Transylvanian high society.’ Olivia held up a black T-shirt with the words ‘Silent Night, Scary Night’ printed in a spooky white font. ‘I mean, seriously ?’
Ivy snatched the T-shirt from Olivia’s grasp. ‘I sleep in that!’
Olivia crinkled her nose. ‘Even so.’ She flung wide the doors to Ivy’s closet. ‘You need to wear your best stuff if you’re going to impress at your interview.’ She started flipping through the hangers. ‘A nice dress – black, obviously – will do the trick.’ Olivia pulled out a simple shift and another long-sleeved wrap dress. Ivy’s fashion sense leaned a bit darker than Olivia’s preferred parade of pink, but her sister still always managed to look completely vampire-vogue. So what’s she doing packing a bunch of uncoordinated outfits?
‘These are old, though,’ Olivia continued. ‘What we need is an emergency shopping trip. I know! I’ll call Sophia. She can meet us at the mall. And –’
Olivia slumped on to the bed, scattered with goth band T-shirts. ‘I’m overdoing it, aren’t I?’
Ivy nodded, a sympathetic smile on her face.
‘I just want you to make the most of this awesome opportunity and I don’t want you to think I’m going to be upset at the thought of not having you around for a while.’ Olivia stretched the corners of her mouth into the widest grin possible. ‘See? I’m totally OK with it all.’
Ivy giggled. ‘OK? You’re zipping around like a bumble bee who’s had too much sugar. Plus,’ Ivy went on, leaning forwards, ‘I haven’t decided I’m going. I’m checking it out. That’s all.’
Olivia lifted an eyebrow. ‘Now don’t make me go super-bossy for real. This is the kind of thing other vamp kids would eat a vegetarian sandwich for. If you really do want to go to Wallachia, then nothing in Franklin Grove should stop you.’