I have been after my husband for years now to get a family portrait. We have taken a lot them ourselves using a tripod and a timer. Some have been very sweet. Some of them are just hysterical. (Example being the one where we are all dressed to the nines and sporting wax handlebar mustaches!) But I always wanted a professional portrait. I envisioned it hanging over the mantle, our smiling faces warmly greeting all who entered the room. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not a fan of getting my picture taken. I dread it. I need to get a new driver’s license right now and the thought of it is overwhelming. Fortunately it snowed today so I could put it off yet again. But a portrait would be different. I could make that poor photographer work for hours until we could all agree that my part of the portrait would not be used to scare off small rodents. Alas, my husband was never keen on the idea. He is incredibly photogenic but doesn’t believe it. So, no portrait.
Fast forward to Christmas this year: under the tree was a Sodastream Home Seltzer Maker (I imagine that a hundred little old men from NYC and I were the only ones excited to see this gift), books, movies, slippers, a calendar with photos of my daughter (my favorite present every year!), and…a large gift…felt like something framed…could it be…?
Yes! My wonderful husband had taken one of our homemade family portraits and had it enlarged. Then he matted and framed it and present it to be hung (not over a mantle, there isn’t one in the new house) in a place of honor in our new library. It was lovely…except whose old lady hands are those?
Seriously, who do those hands belong to? I mean, I am not a tiny woman. When God handed out a taste for chocolate and a predisposition to gain pounds from mere ounces, I got in line twice. Okay. I may have jumped in a third time for good measure. So where did those hands come from? They look bony and bumpy and old. I mean really old.
Now they aren’t as bad as Cassandra’s hands. She is having a real problem. She started a dream curse. Everyone who had the dream would have to tell the dream to the person who was in it. If you didn’t tell, the nightmare would get worse until you either told or it drove you mad. The object was for the nightmare to get to Victoria who would share it with Barnabas who would die and become a vampire again. Ha. Cassandra wins! But she didn’t know that good Dr. Eric had put Barnabas’ essence in Adam, thereby protecting him from her dream curse.
So, Vicky grudgingly tells the dream. Barnabas is not afraid. Nothing will happen to him. Wait. Is someone at the door? Barnabas opens it and gets bitten by a bat (with the worst rubber prop…or maybe it was a shadow of a cutout bouncing up and down in the scene). Anyway, he dies. He is buried. He is dug back up (and if you saw how s-l-o-w-l-y they “rushed” to get him out of the grave, you would hope that neither the good doctor nor the professor ever work for a volunteer fire department).
Barnabas then sneaks away to Cassandra and taunts her that the curse didn’t work. Her “brother”, Nicholas, furious that Cassandra has botched things again, says he will destroy her in one hour if she cannot figure out how Barnabas has outsmarted them. Then, to prove his point, he tells her to look at her hand. When she does, she screams. Her hand is a bony, skeleton hand, complete with her gaudy ring (thank goodness the camera stayed high enough that you couldn’t actually see her holding the prop). Yes, looking down, terrified, she saw a dry, bony skeleton hand that caused her to scream again. Terrified, she couldn’t believe that thing belonged to her.
I know just how she feels.