Sylvia did as instructed, taking one tiny nibble out of her cookie. She expected…well, she wasn’t sure what she expected. A sudden euphoric wave of superhuman strength and senses perhaps. Maybe even slight pain as her life slipped away. Vampires were basically dead, weren’t they? And if not, well then what in the world were they? The answer to this didn’t seem to matter much; whatever her sign of becoming a vampire happened to be, it surely wasn’t making itself known in that first nibble. Good cookie though.
“Take another bite, dear,” Gwendoloena encouraged before sipping her tea. “You have to eat the whole thing.”
“But”—Sylvia glanced down at the cookie clasped between her fingers and back at the vampire queen—“it’s just a cookie.”
Gwendoloena smiled, taking another sip of tea in response.
Sylvia sighed, chomping down the rest of her tiny dessert. It was a really, really good cookie. While swallowing down the last bite, she remembered how strange it should be for any regular food to actually taste good, let alone not make her want to vomit. And while sipping her own tea to wash down the impossibly delicious cookie, she realized something else different. Her teeth clanked unexpectedly against the cup’s rim. More specifically, her top canine teeth. Sylvia looked down, trying to catch a glimpse of the bizarre protrusions; instead, she nearly dropped her cup at seeing the hand holding it now void of its rotting flesh. Her skin was back to one color alright – a pasty whitish hue that nearly matched the cup itself.
“Looks like that first cookie is doing its duty fairly well.” Gwendoloena gave a single nod of approval while her guest continued gawking over their appearance. She held the dessert plate up again. “Now take this last one to complete the transformation.”
“Complete the transformation!” Sylvia slapped her cup down, not caring that some of the tea splashed out to stain Gwendoloena’s tablecloth. “But I didn’t even realize anything changed until just now!”
Gwendoloena smiled again, lowering the plate. “Not what you were expecting?”
“No, this isn’t how it’s supposed to work at all!” Sylvia flung a hand over her cup. “None of the stories I’ve heard about becoming a vampire ever involved having tea time! What about drinking blood? What about being bitten on the neck?”
Gwendoloena made a face. “Oh please, Sylvia. I suppose that would accomplish the same thing but it all sounds dreadfully gross and unsanitary. Very uncivilized as well.”
“But this isn’t how you and Deigen and everyone else turned into vampires!” insisted Sylvia. “Somehow I find it hard to believe the Keepers made you all a bunch of cookies!”
“You’re right.” Gwendoloena poured more tea into her empty cup. “They cast a spell on everyone in the castle. Blasted thing hit everyone quick like a bad stomach bug.”
Sylvia began to pout but quickly found doing so is a bad idea when you have a pair of fangs sticking out from your upper lip. “But you’re a magician, you said you were an apprentice of the Keepers. Why didn’t you just use magic to make me a vampire?”
“I did, dear.” Gwendoloena’s brow furrowed at the question. “The cookies, can’t you tell? They have magic in them.”
“But”—Sylvia shook her head at the dessert plate—“why cookies?”
“Because not everything involving monsters needs to be so overly dramatic and grim as it often is. And I like to bake. I think it helps keep me further removed from ever being like the Keepers.” Gwendoloena shrugged while taking another sip of tea. “Evil never bakes.”