The La-Iin Series
“Do You Have V-Puppetry?”
“He’s staring at me, La-Iin.”
“I think he’s just staring at the food,” La-Iin said. “Go away, Choungetsu!” She kicked at him. Choungetsu backed away before it made impact and began to whimper.
“La-Iin, I left you in charge of taking care of Choungetsu. Kicking at him isn’t care. You can’t do that.”
“You left me in charge of taking care of him, so I can kick at him. I don’t care if it’s not care! It’s discipline.”
Mit-Sun gave an exasperated sigh. “No, it really isn’t.”
“I think that dog may have a thing for V-Puppets. I am not a snack and I am certainly not a chew toy!”
“I wonder if he would like to chew on Tae-Kyok,” La-Iin said.
“MENTION THAT NAME AROUND ME AND DIE.”
“You can’t kill me. You can’t even slander me. I can always put you to sleep,” La-Iin said. She glared at Mit-Sun.
“It’s not fair.”
“What’s not fair now?” Mit-Sun sighed.
“That you don’t have a V-Puppet.”
“Well, sorry I’m a Normal,” Mit-Sun said sarcastically.
“You should be sorry. You’re powerless and then you went and passed some of that powerlessness onto me. If I can’t transform into a bat, I blame you!”
“You can already transform, so why be angry about not being able to do the bat one?”
“Because Ei-Tio can do it–”
“So you’re just spiteful.”
“You didn’t let me finish!” She snapped. “And it reminded me I really want to be able to do it. Dami can do it, can’t he? Dami gave me powers, so I want all the powers he has, and as strong as he has!”
“Why don’t you try transforming into a bat when you’re already transformed?” Mit-Sun said, rolling her eyes.
“Good idea, Mama! You almost never have those.” La-Iin crammed rice into her mouth. Mit-Sun gave her a quizzical stare.
“Why did you want that woman to have a V-Puppet anyway?”
“Because maybe then you’d have someone to talk to while I’m gone. I sort of feel sorry for you sometimes being so lonely, and you learn nothing new to tell me most of the time. If Mama had a V-Puppet maybe you’d have someone to talk to and more things to tell me.”
“That wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing. V-Puppets such as Eul-Bok exist in the world, and so long as ones such as him do, I can’t guarantee V-Puppets make good company. Also, I seriously doubt any V-Puppet brought to life by HER would have a good personality. V-Puppets seem to take on traits of their ‘parent’, like how I’m evil and Eul-Bok is annoying. That woman is intolerable, so I know that–“
“That’s enough,” Mit-Sun snapped.
“Instead of wishing a powerless like her had a V-Puppet, why not ask the man who might have in the past?”
“Exactly. As you know, Vampires can use V-Puppetry too.”
“Wouldn’t Dami have told me if he had a V-Puppet?” La-Iin asked.
“You can’t always trust him,” Mit-Sun said. La-Iin glared at her.
“He might not have. Remember, you brought me to life when you were a baby. That might have been the case for him as well, and babies can have penchants for destroying things. He may not remember he ever had a V-Puppet, and I don’t know his parents, so they may have never told him he did.”
“He might also have some sad story that he keeps from you. That’s a cliché possibility, but it’s a possibility anyway. Some people are like that. Also, I know Vampires are supposed to have good memories, but a lot of things can happen in sixty-some-odd years. He may have forgotten without being a baby; or maybe he just never found the time to tell you. I doubt he has a current V-Puppet regardless of whether he even had one in the first place.”
“I want to ask him.”
“His phone number is readily available, so call him. The worst possibility is only that he won’t pick up.”
“What about getting my permission?” Mit-Sun asked.
“She doesn’t need that. It’s corrupted.”
“I don’t need your permission,” La-Iin said. “I’m not asking him to come over or anything, I’m just going to call him and ask him a question. It probably won’t even be a very long call. Besides, if I got your permission, I might not even want to call him anymore.”
“…you know, it might be nice for you to ask your father a question,” Mit-Sun said, her mouth turning up in a twisted smile.
“It’s too late, Mama! I know that’s only an attempt to keep me from calling him! Also I have your permission now. You can’t take it back!” She flew over to the phone, checked Asul-Zenza’s phone number quickly, then started to dial it.
Asul-Zenza picked up fairly quickly.
“Is this who I think it is?”
“La-Iin! To what do I owe the call?”
“I wanted to ask you a question!”
“Whenever she talks to him she gets that innocent tone in her voice. I’d think it was cute if she wasn’t the one controlling me, maybe.”
“She never gets that tone when talking to me….”
“She has to deal with you every day, wench. And I think it’s obvious who she loves more.”
“Oh, shut up, Bes-Isa.”
“A question? Is this about talking to my Darseen and Floma? I mean, your grandparents?”
“No, but how is that going?”
“I can certainly set you up with their phone number, but I’m not going to do so until later on this year. They’re very busy right now so you probably wouldn’t be able to talk to them anyway. Once things clear up for them a bit, I will give you their phone number. They’re eager to talk to you soon. They’d love to meet you too.”
“I want to meet them too, but Mama might make that take a while…”
“Don’t worry, I’ll find something out soon…”
“Anyway, the question!”
“Were you ever able to use V-Puppetry, Dami?”
“V-Puppetry? …I don’t know.”
“How can you not know!?”
“Well….I might have, and my Darseen and Floma did try to encourage me to do so, saying it was a hallmark power of a young Vampire….but I never tried!”
“Why not? Couldn’t you find something to make into a V-Puppet?”
“I got scared.”
“I was little at the time. Older than you are now, but still little. A V-Puppet seemed like a lot of responsibility. It would be a living being bound to me. I would bring it to life and it could go nowhere without me–to other children that might have sounded fun, but it scared me. I didn’t want to make its life miserable. I didn’t want it to have no friends aside from me. I did technically have nothing to make into a V-Puppet, but my Floma always offered to make me a doll.”
“I can’t imagine anyone getting scared about making a V-Puppet.”
“Well….you’re used to Bes-Isa by now and you weren’t scared about it, probably because you were a baby when you brought her to life. But V-Puppetry….to me it seems like playing God, a little bit. I don’t know, it just scared me, so I decided against it. Since I never tried, I don’t know if I would have successfully pulled it off or not. So I don’t know if I ever had the power, or if I have it now. That you do would lead me to believe I did, but I know V-Puppetry varies for everyone…”
“Why don’t you try making one now?”
“I’d still be scared, La-Iin. And I don’t have anything to make into a V-Puppet, and, well, I just…I feel the same way I did as a little boy. A V-Puppet always needs that help, La-Iin….a V-Puppet isn’t like you. I helped bring you into the world, but you’re not completely reliant on me. You needing help as a baby is much different from now. You can go wherever you want, do as you please, but a V-Puppet cannot do that. Even if I do have that power, I could never bring myself to use it.”
“I’m sorry if I disappointed you, La-Iin.”
“You only did a little,” she said. “I really want to know if you had the power, or have it.”
“I wish I could find out too. But I still wouldn’t use it. But this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be happy you have Bes-Isa. I like Bes-Isa too. I’m glad she’s with you.”
“I wish she’d let me listen in on their conversation,” Bes-Isa grumbled.
“I wish she’d let me in on it too. How do I know she’s not–”
“Don’t talk to me, wench.”
“Anything else, La-Iin?”
“If you want to talk about anything else, Dami. But I don’t have anything else to talk about…”
“Alright then, I think I’ll get off. It was nice to talk to you even if it was short. Call again soon, okay?”
“Okay. Bye, Dami.”
“Good-bye, La-Iin. I love you! Have a good day!”
“Okay.” She hung up the phone and flew back to the table.
“You should put your bowl in the sink.”
Mit-Sun glared. “….sooo, what did he say?”
“I’d like to know too,” Bes-Isa said. When she heard her, La-Iin levitated her close.
“He doesn’t have one,” La-Iin said.
“Didn’t get the power?”
La-Iin fell silent for a few moments. “Mama, if you had the power to make a V-Puppet, would you?”
“Huh?” Mit-Sun was visibly confused. “Well….I don’t think I would nowadays, but maybe when I was younger.”
La-Iin stared down at the table.
“A V-Puppet can be kind of stressful for some people, I guess…”
“Is that a snide comment about me?” Bes-Isa asked. La-Iin ignored her and instead set her bowl down on the floor, where Choungetsu happily started to lick out of it.
“You know, Bes-Isa, I wonder if anyone else I know can use V-Puppetry.”
“Not him! I mean like San-Kyung or Dosa-Mina. I mean like Imagination. I’ve seen lots of non-Normals before; I wonder if any of them can use V-Puppetry too….”
“I seriously doubt San-Kyung is one of them.”
“Well, it would be cool if he was…”