Armand was acting strangely the last few months. Daniel and I both knew something was up when he kept sneaking out and vanishing for hours. Daniel was terrified that Marius was involved but Lestat and David both said they had not picked up on any sign that Marius was around.
It started small with him demanding “cuddles and kisses” and almost throwing a tantrum the few times we refused. Then he started making jewelry with pasta, he painted rock pets and he made an imaginary friend called Petey who kept making a mess in the house and hiding Daniels left shoes.
Two weeks ago we woke up to Armand laying on his belly by the fire colouring in a children’s activity book with a box of crayons. He had his tongue sticking out and scribbled furiously, if this wasn’t strange enough he went over the lines a few times; just like a mortal child might. When asked about it he shrugged and said he wanted to try it.
The next occurrence happened a week later when he came home with a gigantic unicorn teddy bear, it was bigger than him. When we asked him why he had bought such a monster teddy he said it was cute and fluffy and he wanted it. He proceeded to sit with it in his arms and watch a tv show called The Rugrats.
The unicorn was soon joined by equally large friends, namely an elephant, a rhino, a dinosaur, a dog, a parrot and most unusual was a giant avocado half with a smiley face. They all naturally took up residence on our bed, at which point Daniel put his foot down and negotiated that the teddies live on the sofa and armchairs of our bedroom.
This was very odd indeed but Daniel and I tried to brush it off as a new quirk. However, yesterday things escalated, and we knew we would have to step in soon. Armand came downstairs in torn jeans, a tank top and scuffed sneakers. On his wrist and neck he wore two leather bands and his face was covered in gothic makeup.
‘Boss?’ Daniel hinged carefully. ‘What are you wearing?’
Armand turned slowly and gave Daniel the most disparaging expression I had ever seen. ‘Clothes…..duh…’
My mouth dropped open; Armand had his rude days but this was a little worse than usual.
‘Excuse me?’ The small voice that came out of Daniels mouth made me smile, he was so innocent.
I stood up and tried to hug our small lover. ‘Now Armand you can’t be rude to Daniel, he was only asking a quest-’
‘Leave me alone!’ Armand shrugged me off. ‘Why do you both have to be so clingy, God! Let me live my life!’
‘Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.’ David commented.
Armand glared at him. ‘Yea, your mom!’
Lestat started to laugh and Daniel had to clap a hand over his mouth to hide his amusement. David surprised us all with his patient smile.
‘Armand I would be quite concerned if my dead mother were to have woken up at all tonight.’
‘Schf. What-eveer!’ Armand stalked into the tv room and started playing loud, angsty music.
‘I’m just a kid, and life is a nightmare! I’m just a kid, I know that it’s not fair!’
I watched him flop face first onto the couch and lay there in an apparent slump. ‘Should we talk to him?’
Daniel guided me to sit with the other two again. ‘Nah let him be in his mood, he’ll snap out of it.’
He had snapped out of it by the time we went to bed. He washed his face clean, put on a pair of pyjamas and crawled into bed between me and Daniel. It was as if he hadn’t spent the night in a strop downstairs. He playfully kissed us both goodnight and snuggled as close as he could. Daniel smiled at me over his head and I lightly shrugged to show I was equally confused.
Waking up tonight we found Armand downstairs with Dr Ellis, who was now a vampire thanks to- ehrm….someone we definitely don’t know the identity of.
‘So has the regression therapy helped you? Do you think living phases of life over has given you some closure to what you’ve been through?’
Armand didn’t answer because he saw us walking in.
‘Oh Louis, Daniel! How are you?’ Dr Ellis stood to shake our hands.
‘Fine but….what is regression therapy?’ Daniel had no tact as usual.
Armand blushed and stared at his hands in his lap. Dr Ellis pet his shoulder and replied.
‘It’s a process of putting yourself into situations or clothing or places that fit into childhood and adolescence. I recommended Armand try it as a way of having a childhood, or rather making childhood-like memories to go alongside his real memories of childhood.’
Daniel was the first to speak. ‘You know. Not ALL teenagers are grouchy scumbags! You didn’t need to be so rude!’
Armand cackled and Daniel took it as a challenge, he tackled Armand who began to screech when fingers pressed into his sensitive sides. Dr Ellis tipped his head at me and left quietly. I broke Daniel and Armand up and they sat breathless beside each other.
Daniel threw his arm around his makers neck and tugged him close for a kiss on the forehead. ‘You know if you ever want to do childish shit you just have to tell us.’
‘We’ve got you.’ I added helpfully and plopped on Armands other side.