I follow Isis around curves and floral pieces without word. Finally, we reach a small clearing in the middle of the garden maze. A small gazebo covers a table and two chairs. An ancient looking tea kettle sits alongside two glasses in front of Isis when I catch up to her. I take a seat and she fills both glasses with tea, offering me sugar cubes without saying anything. She notices I’m hesitant to drink and drinks her tea first. I’ve never been a fan of tea so I grab four sugar cubes and stir them in before taking a sip. It’s not terrible, but the only hot drinks that should be served hot are spiced apple cider and hot chocolate. For now we sip silently staring at the shadows of flowers bouncing along the garden walls in the wind.

“Nice to meet you,” I break the silence.

“Is it,” she responds knowingly.

“I get the feeling you know something I don’t.”

“I’ve seen you reading the small journal. I’ve caught glimpses. I know it belongs to Destiny.”

“Does that concern you?”

“No. You wouldn’t be here if it did.”

“I’m sorry?”

“This spot, only Granny comes here and has tea with me.”

“Well, thank you for bringing me.”

“It wasn’t for a social call,” he demeanor shifts, back to the emotionless state she always has.

“Then what was the purpose.”

“Why are you here?”

“I’m not sure what you mean.”

“There is no reason for you to be here. You’re already Adze. We have nothing for you.”

“I didn’t ask for anything.”

“But there is something you want. You participate in trials for no reason. You continue to drink with us. You follow Granny’s rules to a T. You don’t socialize with the women as you were told and you don’t question the elders like your friend Isaac. You are treating this as a game you can win. Why?”

I don’t know what she’s talking about, but I have a feeling I can’t leave until I give her an answer. I don’t trust Granny and I’m trying to stay on her good side. I can’t tell her that, I’ve read Destiny’s diary. She mentions Isis buying into Granny’s stories and persona more than anyone else. If I say I don’t trust Granny, then I’m screwed.

“Destiny was my wife, and we were going to come here together,” I start.

“Stop,” she brings an end to my story. “I’ve heard this before, we all have. Why are you here.”

“I wanted to know her family.”

“You know us, why are you still here?”

“I don’t know what you’re asking me.”

“Are you trying to take control of our family? I won’t allow that to happen.”

“Where are you even getting that idea,” I’m annoyed by her questions now.

“Since you’ve come Isaac has stuck to you like a dog, Sampson is more rebellious, Michael seems to believe you’re good company and even Old Ben sees promise in you. The men seem to be taken by you, could be pledging allegiance to you in the shadows.”

“You forgot James, he threatens to kill me once a day.”

“Making jokes to divert from the actual conversation is a tactic that will work on those of lesser intelligence. It won’t work on me. Are you planning a coup?”

“I have no plans of a coup.”

I should plan a coup, this is really a cult. I’m being interrogated right now. I think I’m going to stick around until the trials are done, then I’m going to go home. There’s nothing here for me and nobody has come looking for me. This archaic idea of keeping the men and women separate for some reason is odd. I don’t even know if Adze can have kids so why are they separate. Does Granny think love will make people leave? Is this because of Destiny and Sampson.

“I will not let you break this family apart,” Isis crushes he tea glass in her hand.

She doesn’t wince in pain as she opens her hand and begins to pull bloody shards of glass free from her hand. This is the moment where a film makes some symbolic point, but I can’t find any in the shards she drops on the tray. I just finish my tea as she squeezes the last shard from her hand and licks the blood away from her hand.

“Are you okay,” I ask her.

“It’s nothing. I’m just clumsy, nothing that hasn’t happened before and nothing that won’t heal.”

“What happened to you,” I can’t help but ask.


“No, I’ve read what Destiny wrote about you. Something happened to you. You’re not the sister that she wrote about.”

“Your mind games mean nothing to me.”

“I’m just asking, I thought we were asking questions.”

“Have a good evening,” she stands and runs off at full speed.

She left me stranded in the middle of this garden maze as the sun is setting. I guess I can’t plan a coup if I’m lost in the maze. Then again, I think she’s just flustered. She knows I’m a vampire, I could probably jump my way out of here, I’m fast enough that I could just run and find a way out in ten minutes at the most. I could just smell her scent to find my way out; no, the flowers over power her scent. She’s smart, but she’s brainwashed and I’ve made her panic. She’ll tell granny what happened here tonight. Things may not be as easy for me from here on out.


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