Eventually the other girls returned, each dragging several tied-up vampires behind them. Ulla had two vampires over her shoulders, both of whom were loudly complaining.
"Got to sort the leaves," groaned the one.
"Count the leaves," moaned the other as Sharon giggled.
"Seems like we had the same idea."
"Wait, you did that as well?" laughed Alicia.
"Yeah, it’s how I got rid of the original Thirteen," replied Sharon as she started to tie the hostile vampires up. Once everyone was sat down or tied up, Sharon and Alicia walked to the front of the room.
As they did, the room went quiet. Even the hostile vampires stopped struggling, obviously realizing that they had lost. Without the Queen or the Courtesan to boss them around, they were at a loss of what to do.
"Right," sighed Sharon. "Now we're going to try and clear up a little bit," she said as her eyes started to glow silver. "Alicia or me, just look into our eyes, let the soft glow whisk you off," she started, only for the sound of a car door to interrupt her.
"What was that?" asked Alicia.
"What time is it?" asked Mara in return. Alicia pulled out her phone and turned it on.
"Six AM," said Alicia.
"Oh dear," whispered Mara.
"What?" asked Alicia and Sharon.
"The press is turning up to do the interviews at six-thirty. I guess they've arrived early," explained Ulla. "This is not good, the place is a mess."
"Crap," shouted Alicia. "We can't hide everyone!" The girls looked around the room. However, Mesmera's eyes quickly locked onto the Courtesan's outfit.
"Mara, the Courtesan is about your size. Right?"
"She looks close? Why?" asked Mara.
"Take it. Put it on. I need you to go out there and give the press the cheesiest. Dumbest. Most terribly cliche Halloween spiel you can think of. Make the place sound so crap no one ever wants to come here or even consider coming here! Bore until they're begging to leave!"
Mara's eyes lit up as she ran over to the Courtesan. "I love it!" she squealed. "I'm thinking Sandra Phillips in Bride Of Blood Coven!"
"Steady on!" gasped Mesmera. "I said bore them, not kill them!"
"Oh!" giggled Mara as she started to remove the sleeping Courtesan's clothes. "Night Of The Lady Vampires?"
"Much better!" chuckled Sharon as Mara turned to Ulla.
"Find an outfit, I'm going to need an Igor!" grinned Mara.
"Really? I'm not good at that kind of thing," mumbled Ulla.
"Well, today is your lucky day. We want this to be crap!" Mara replied as Ulla sighed and started to look for an outfit. Mara quickly got the Courtesan out of her clothes and then ran into another room to change. Ulla quickly cobbled together an outfit and followed Mara into the other room.
A few minutes later the pair came out of the other room. Despite being put together in a few minutes, both Ulla and Mara looked really different. Mara looked like the Courtesan's identical twin, only slightly less pale, and Ulla looked like a very messy slave girl, the bruises from her fall only making the costume look more authentic.
"Okay!" said Mara, "Time to go ruin some Halloween fantasies!"
"Go get them! We'll handle it here!" cheered Alicia as she watched Mara and Ulla walk out of the castle and into the parking lot. Once they were gone, Alicia looked at Sharon.
"Shall we?" Asked Alicia.
"Oh yes, back onto topic!" chuckled Mesmera as her eyes started to glow silver again. "Please focus on my eyes. Either because you realize this is what is best for you, or because you understand that I am the authority figure now. I am in charge. You must obey my commands."
"Yes, feel our gaze filling you, washing over you in big waves of silver. Like the ocean gently moving sand on the beach, ordering it, and carrying away things you don't need. Like tension and worry," cooed Alicia as she looked over the crowd of people.
"So heavy, so easily sinking down into your chair. Willingly embracing my words and letting them into your mind. Letting yourself sink deeper and deeper," continued Sharon as everyone slowly grew limp. Alicia had never seen this amount of people slipping under hypnosis before. It was oddly fascinating, watching everyone react slightly differently.
Some eyes rolled up, some eyelids started to sag, but everyone seemed to grow heavy and slump down as their eyes started to glow silver. Alicia did her best to focus on anyone who couldn't get a good look at her mother's eyes.
"Yes, just let it happen. You're warm and you're safe. You can trust me. You should trust me. It has been a long night. You're so tired and so very heavy. It is easy to just relax for a while, to allow a deep silver sleep envelop you. Let it drag you down deeply and easily as you stare and slip simply into sleep," continued Sharon before letting out a yawn. "Oh gosh. See? Even I'm feeling it, so you should sleep because even I can't keep my eyes open, I just want to snuggle up in a warm snuggly sleepy heap. Just want to snuggle and sleep. So heavy and deep, and when you feel yourself, right on the edge of a deep, obedient sleep, you can just let yourself go. You can just let yourself fall," droned Mesmera. As she did, people starting to slump over or crumple to the floor. It was like dominos. When one fell, the others quickly followed until the whole room was in a deep sleep.
"Now," said Mesmera softly, "We're going to have a talk about tonight. About what you remember. You've been so excited and muddled tonight, you might have gotten fantasy and reality mixed."
Alicia walked over to Mesmera and whispered into her ear. "May I deal with Beth and Katie?"
"Of course," smiled Mesmera. "Let me know if you need any help."
"I will," replied Alicia as she walked over to the girls as Mesmera continued her speech. "You two can just listen to me, block out anything else, just my words," said Alicia. "You two were fantastic, tonight. Brilliant. Exceptional, even. But, now it is time to listen."