When she was just small
Dawn awoke with a splitting headache to the sound of arguing coming from the next room. It seemed to the young girl that Mommy and Daddy were always fighting lately. She grabbed Cotton Tail, her stuffed white rabbit, from where he lay amongst the bedclothes, and tentatively ventured into her parent’s bedroom.
“Mommy... I’ve got a headache.”
Joyce turned sharply away from her husband to see their youngest daughter standing timidly in her pyjamas in the doorway, and then turned back to Hank. “Now see what you’ve done – you’ve given Dawn a headache.”
“I’ve given her a headache! That's right, it’s all my fault – it’s always my fault, isn’t it? Your shrieking for the last half hour wouldn’t have had anything at all to do with it, would it?”
“Of course it’s your fault. I’m not the one that’s been gallivanting off around the country on business trips with that cheap slut you call a secretary.”
“That’s it: I can’t talk to you when you’re like this.” Hank stormed out of the bedroom, past Dawn, and down the stairs.
Joyce ran out after him and lent over the banister yelling, “And don’t come back!” as the front door slammed. Calming down a little, Joyce looked down at her clearly frightened youngest daughter. “I’m sorry sweetie, let me get you something.” She went back into the bedroom, and removed some junior aspirin from the medicine cabinet in the en-suite bathroom. Twisting open the cap, she walked back across the bedroom, and handed two of the pills to Dawn. “Here, go downstairs and get yourself a glass of water to wash these down; I’ll be down in a minute.” She then went back into the bedroom and sat down on the bed, holding her head in her hands.
Unsure of what to say to her mother, Dawn turned and headed for the kitchen, clutching the pills in one hand and Cotton Tail in the other. On arrival, she grabbed one of the stools from the breakfast bar, and dragged it over to the worktop, then climbed onto it in order to reach the cupboard where the glasses were kept. As she opened the cupboard and reached for a glass, a wave of dizziness swept over her, and she overbalanced, falling backwards. She desperately reached out for something to hold onto to steady herself, knocking several glasses to the floor in the process, but failed to grab anything solid. She started to scream as she toppled back, only to feel a soft pair of hands catching her, and gently lowering her to the floor. “It’s okay, sweetie, mummy’s got you.”
The voice sent waves of fear through Dawn, and she slowly turned around and looked up into the eyes of Drusilla. “I know you: you can’t be here. That’s not right. W-W-What are you doing here?” She took a step away from the vampire, and trod on a small shard of broken glass. Feeling the sharp pain, she jumped back toward Drusilla, but her fear was such that she soon forgot the pain. She didn’t notice the portal slowly and silently opening behind her, above the point where the small pool of blood gathered below the shard of glass on the kitchen floor.
The Vampire on the other hand was not one to miss the smell of blood. “Careful now, we don’t wan’t to waste any of that special sauce, do we?” She reached out and pulled Dawn toward her, away from the glass and the portal. “Has little Dawnie got a headache? Here, give me those.” She grabbed the aspirin from Dawn’s hand. “They won’t do anything at all; take these instead.” She put two replacement pills into the little girl’s palm – one bright red and the other bright blue.
“Now, who’s this?” Drusilla picked up Cotton Tail from where Dawn had left him on the worktop.
“You leave Cotton Tail alone!” said Dawn, reaching up and trying to grab the toy from the Vampire. Drusilla simply raised it out of Dawn’s reach.
“Cotton Tail. You’re a cute one, aren’t you. Now promise me you’re going to guide Miss Dawn through her journey, like a good little rabbit.” She briefly held the rabbit up to her ear, then moved it in front of her, and looking it in the eyes, she said, “Okay then, off you go.” She then threw the stuffed toy through the swirling portal, which Dawn saw for the first time as she followed the arc of Cotton Tail’s flight with her eyes.
“No!” She turned back to the vampire, and started beating her hands against Drusilla’s chest. “What’s going on? Where did that portal come from? What have you done to my rabbit?”
Drusilla grabbed her wrists and spun her around. “She’s okay,” she whispered into the little girl’s ear, “she’s just going on a little journey; so are you!” Dawn barely had time to comprehend what was going on before she felt Drusilla push her toward the swirling green portal. She struggled, but had no chance of preventing the far stronger vampire from propelling her toward the event horizon.
“Why are you doing this?” Dawn yelled.
As she fell in, she heard the vampire behind her shout, “Go ask Alice...”