The latest assignment from my writers’ group involved writing a letter from a fictional character to its creator. There were several letters to God, and (amazingly) only one letter from Elizabeth Bennet to Jane Austen. There was also a letter from Sleeping Beauty to A.N. Roquelaure – a.k.a. Anne Rice; was never inclined to read those books, and certainly am not now.
When my children were about 7 and 9 years old, they wrote a story about a small vampire bat who can’t eat properly because she keeps crashing into the animals instead of sneaking up on them. Vampire bats pee while they eat, so they don’t have to carry the extra weight. This is a letter from the bat to my kids:
From the desk of
The Crashing Vampire Bat
Dear Peter and Helen,
How are you? I am fine.
I peed! I peed! It was, like, so much fun! There is nothing better than licking blood and peeing; so much better than munching on furry cat butts.
I think my brother should be more proud of me, and not make so many comments about brain damage. After all, he was born first, so he got Mum and Dad to teach him everything. It’s not my fault I was born second, and that I get everything “second” – second hand, second rate, etc., etc. I’m just a victim of circumstance, like Helen. But now that Dad taught me how to hunt, I’m as good as anyone else. ‘Cepting, I wouldn’t have thought walking was so difficult. To be quite honest, I prefer crashing into my food to sneaking up on it. The cloak-and-dagger stuff is okay if you’re Dracula, but I prefer to make an entrance.
So, now we have to, like, talk about changing the title of the story ‘cause, as you say at the end, I don’t crash unless I’m playing football. Maybe we could have Petra the Formerly Crashing Vampire Bat, or… no, wait… better yet: Petra the Paragon Vampire Bat. Yeah, I like that one. Petra the Paragon Vampire Bat: a Study of the World’s Consummate Vampire. Okay, there we go. Now I’m happy. I can’t wait to show it to my brother. He’s going to FREAK!
I haz qweschun fer u. You didn’t show this story to anyone, didja? I’m, like, kinda concerned that PETA is going to get hold of me. You gotta admit, I was pretty rough on all those animals I was crashing into. I mean, the owl we can pass off as self-defence but what about that cow? And the cat? Then, if they find out about the biting and the blood-sucking, well… I’m not gonna end up with a whole lot of naked chicks on my lawn, am I? (Although, if you can make sure they’re of the poultry variety, I might reconsider ‘cause they’re really scrumptious.) It’s kinda hard to talk to some people about that whole nature-vs.-nurture thing. So, if you can keep a lid on it, I’d appreciate it.
Right, so, now that you two have written the World’s Best Story, you won’t need to write anymore, so don’t even consider writing a story about my stupid brother.
So long, dudes, and thanks for all the blood,