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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Creativity Forum --> Personal Creations --> The Sharpeness of Smoke
Parent thread: Witchcraft rpg
Related thread: Witchcraft: Stare into the Night
GM for this game: Merideth
Players for this game: Eol Fefalas, Reralae
Jump to:    1 2 [Next] [Last Page]
    Messages in The Sharpeness of Smoke
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Merideth
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3127 Posts


The Sharpeness of Smoke

Eol and I are working up our character's backgrounds for Vesper's Witchcraft RPG. Since our character's have known each other for some time before the game begins we figured we would write some scenes involving their interaction.
What follows is our creative musings on the couple.
We shall begin with our two characters meeting...



Posted on 2008-09-29 at 18:06:15.

Merideth
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Karma: 177/13
3127 Posts


Setting the Scene

Rain.

It had been drizzling constantly for days now, she hated the rain. In the cemetery it made things seem even drearier than usual. The grey sky reaching down to meet the grey headstones, water falling through the naked branches and into puddles of mud atop the fresh graves or turning the ground beneath the brown grass spongy. When it had started Ellgawen had leapt over an old wrought iron fence and wormed her way through a small hole at the cracked base in a mausoleum. Inside she found the tomb to be dusty, but at least it was dry. Two coffins carved of marble rested inside, one on the east wall and one on the west, soft colored light floated to the floor in an image of Jesus from the stained glass window opposite the heavy iron door. The image on the floor was a bit disturbing; she remembered the images of him crucified, those who had worn them, and what they had done. However there seemed to be no magic set upon the image, nor did it appear to be malicious in context. Besides the dead that surrounded her were comforting, she had always felt comfortable around the dead.

She shook out her soft fur and then curled up atop one of the caskets, grooming herself before falling asleep. For over a day now she had taken refuge in the tomb, but now her stomach grumbled. Carefully she poked her nose out of the hole she had slipped in through, and sneezed as a drop of water hit it, pulling back in and licking her nose she stared out at the rain. Another grumble from her stomach made up her mind, and she slipped outside. A puddle greeted her almost immediately and she bounced out of it, shaking off her paws as best she could, licking her nose and puffing up her tail in annoyance.

Slitting her golden eyes she peered out over the sodden cemetery, searching for any movement. To the left she caught sight of something small moving among the headstones, a mouse she was pretty certain. Crouching low to the ground and muttering to herself about how dirty her belly was getting she headed toward the movement, stalking her dinner hungrily. As she moved across the ground she could feel those below her now and then, a faint whisper of a past life. They were all faint though and did not distract her from her goal.

She stopped and scanned the horizon again, and there it was, only a few rows over a nice fat mouse twitching his own nose at the rain and holding a small acorn in his tiny paws. Ellgawen wiggled her haunches in anticipation, her tail waving eagerly behind her, ears flattening slightly. Gauging the distance carefully she started to run in long strides toward the unaware creature, prepared to pounce upon it if he dared to try and run away. Lips curled back to reveal her long teeth, eyes flashed, claws extended from the pads of her paws, she was a predator on the hunt and rarely did she feel this alive.

In an instant it hit her, the power from it so overwhelming and surprising that she lost her footing in the mud and went sprawling out on all fours across the wet ground and ran her shoulder into the thick stone of a gravestone. The mouse went scurrying off toward a bush at the noise. Instinctively she let out a ‘mew’, pulled herself up off the ground, and turned toward where she had felt IT, puffed up her tail, stood every hair on her spine straight up, pulled back her teeth and hissed.

No one was there, just another of the many graves. Well tended, made of pure white marble with delicate engravings on it. Yet something was very different about it. It shone, the magic someone had placed on it radiated off the ground and out into the air around it. Her hiss died off and slowly she ventured a paw forward, sensing out with her own essence just in front of her paw to make sure all was alright. Nothing terrible happened. It was a ward, a protection ward. She touched it with her essence and then her paw and at once felt safer in its circle. Her fur fell back down, her pulse slowed to normal and she sat down next to the glowing grave staring at it thoughtfully.

Someone had put this here, someone with some talent, some real talent. If anything she was curious, it was in her nature. She was also lonely. Since she had come to awareness again she had spent her time wandering. Those with the Gift had to still exist, the world had changed much since her last awareness, but the Gifted could not have been purged by the Inquisitors, they simply couldn’t have been, she would not believe it. But they were hard to find, real ones at least, she had found a few pretending to be Gifted, and a few with small amounts of the Gift, but nothing that stood out like beacon, and she was afraid the Inquisitors had won. Now she stood in front of proof that they had not. Her eyes lit up, she would wait and see who came to visit this grave. Surely if they cared for the departed enough to set up this ward they would come and visit.

Nearby was a heavy square rock base with a large obelisk rising out of the middle, there was enough room on the edges though for her to perch. Leaping up to the ledge she did just that. Ignoring the rain that pelted her soft grey fur to her skin, making the normally gorgeous cat look like a thin bedraggled rat. Every now and then she’d shake a paw, lick her nose or twitch her head to shake off drops of water, but it did little good.

She did not have to wait very long, less than an hour had passed before a figure slowly approached from out of the gloom of the day.


Posted on 2008-09-29 at 19:49:53.
Edited on 2016-09-30 at 07:25:09 by Eol Fefalas

Eol Fefalas
Turning Capashanese
RDI Staff
Karma: 448/28
7299 Posts


The Anniversary

Clancy’s Bar 2:35 p.m.

The clinking of ice cubes in an all but empty glass, followed by the faint clunk of that glass being resigned to the countertop, drew John Clancy’s attention to the solitary patron who had seen fit to while away the past hour and a half, somber and silent, at the end of his bar. Three years ago, Alex Sharpe had been a Detective Sergeant with the local police force and, even then, he wasn’t what Clancy would have called a regular. Sure, Sharpe showed up from time to time for a drink – all the cops in the precinct did – but, three years ago, Sharpe had a wife to go home to and better things to do with his off hours than spending it here, pickling his liver with Johnny Walker. In those days, Clancy could only ever recall seeing the man walk through his door when someone on the force had gotten a promotion, or was celebrating the closing of a case, or when one of the city’s boys-in-blue had made that ultimate sacrifice and his brethren filed somberly into the place to have one last drink for their fallen comrade. Hell, in those days, Clancy couldn’t have even told you the man’s first name for as often as he frequented the place.

“Need another one, Alex?”

He was answered, first, by the distinctive sound of a Zippo lighter being opened and struck, then by the dancing of the lighter’s flame and the flaring end of the sixth cigarette that Sharpe had lit since coming in today. Clancy had just slung the bar towel over his shoulder and was reaching for the bottle of scotch when he heard the man’s feet hit the floor.

“Not today, Clancy,” Alex said, the words carried to the air on another exhaled lungful of smoke, “Got a date.”

“Christ,” the bartender replied regretfully as Sharpe clipped down the length of the bar and drew to a stop directly across the counter, “is that today?”

“Yeah,” Alex nodded, tucking the cigarette into the corner of his mouth as he fished a crumpled twenty from the pocket of his leather jacket and tossed it on the bar between them, “three years ago today. Thanks, Clancy. Keep the change, huh?”

Clancy was busy cursing himself for not paying attention to the date and, at first, only nodded and offered a faint smile in response. Sheepishly, the bartender met the ex-cop’s gaze and struggled to come up with an apology that wouldn’t sound as clumsy as the original offense had been. Looking at the man, now, though, it was hard to say anything other than ‘I’m sorry’ because, compared to what Alex Sharpe looked like, to what he was three years ago ‘sorry’ was about the only word that fit. The once close-cropped and neatly combed brown hair had become a tousled if not unkempt mop; several days growth of beard now regularly covered the angular jaw that Detective Sharpe had always kept clean-shaven; instead of the crisp shirt and tie that he’d always worn all those years ago, the man’s choice of clothing bent towards Levi’s, whatever shirt may have been handy (ironed or not), and a somewhat battered leather coat; and the once alert and bright gray eyes… Well, Clancy decided when he realized that Sharpe was still looking at him, that’s about the only thing that hasn’t changed


“Thanks,” he said, dropping his eyes and sweeping the twenty off the counter before wandering towards the register, “I appreciate it.”

“Yup,” Sharpe said while dragging on the smoke, “have a good one.” With that, the man that was once Detective Alex Sharpe turned and strode for the door.

“Alex,” Clancy called just before the man reached for the doorknob.

“Yeah?”

“I’m… uh… y’know… sorry.”

Sharpe stopped, one hand resting on the doorknob, but didn’t look back. “What for, Clanc,” he asked following another long drag on his cigarette, “Wasn’t you that killed her.” The smoke he exhaled was quickly dissipated by the sudden rush of mist-laden air when he opened the door and disappeared into the rain-soaked streets.

Willow Grove Cemetery 3:00 p.m.

Alex had sat in the car for a long moment, his grey eyes focused on the necropolis beyond the wrought iron fence and a knot tied in his stomach that two cigarettes or even a rather guilty swallow from his flask hadn’t been able to loosen. It hadn’t gotten any easier to come here in the past three years; the guilt he felt over Emily’s death wracked him just as hard now as it had on that hateful night when Azazel’s minions had overrun the coven and slaughtered all thirteen members… bound them and flayed them alive…

If I’d have just listened to her, he thought, shuddering at the memory of finding them… finding her, joined their circle like she’d asked me to…

What?
He argued with himself, You could’ve been hung upside down and gutted right along with them? Or maybe you think your being there would’ve made a difference in the outcome? You did everything you could to avoid the Craft, then… what were you going to do? Hell, even when you did get there you proved to be real useful didn’t you? Those freaks damn near killed you, too!

Shut up!
He took one final drag on his smoke before stabbing it out in the already full ashtray; “Just… shut up.” Scowling at himself and finally breaking his entranced gaze from the rain-veiled cemetery beyond the windshield, Alex grabbed the bouquet of roses from the passenger’s seat and stepped out, slamming the primer-grey door closed behind him.

Clutching the roses in one hand, the other stuffed into the pocket of his coat, Alex let his feet carry him past the slowly rusting gate and along the puddle-pocked flagstone path that wound its way between the headstones, monuments, and mausoleums towards the cemetery’s heart. He also allowed his guilt to swell as he was reminded, once again, that even after she’d died, Alex had done her the dishonor of burying her here among these mundanes when, by rights, he should have sent Emily’s body back to her mother and father in Vermont to be buried with her ancestors at the family home. Selfishness (or maybe even self-punishment if he’d cared to admit it) had caused Alex to inter her remains in this place so he could keep her close. Of course, he didn’t visit as often as he probably should have… it hadn’t gotten any easier to come here in the past three years… and that, too, compounded his guilt all the more.

He veered from the cobbled path after a while, turning to the east past a mausoleum in the early stages of decay, and moved silently between the surrounding graves towards the glowing, white marble headstone a couple dozen yards off the path. The ward he’d placed on the monument – a symbol of protection he hoped would guard her in death the way he hadn’t been able to in life – still shone brightly. It had been the first thing he’d done after taking up the Craft again - even before he began hunting down the members of the dark coven and exacted a modicum of vengeance from them – but the ward, too, did little more than cause his own guilt to grow all the more. Couldn’t be bothered to so much as attend a single sabbat when it really mattered but I can sure as hell protect a hunk of carved rock, now, can’t I?

A forlorn sigh escaped his lips as he came to a stop at her grave and, after shoving a hand through his rain-soaked hair, peeling the water plastered strands of it from his face, and regarded the headstone solemnly. The expression on his face was a strange mix of love, misery, longing, and guilt.

Emily Francesca Sharpe
1975 – 2005

Beloved Wife and Daughter

“…Heed ye flower bush and tree,
by the Lady Blessed Be...”


“Hi, baby,” he said after a long moment crouching before the stone and reaching out a hand to brush the litter of dirt, leaves, and debris from the base of the thing before laying the roses there, “It’s me again… still here…” His fingertips touched the engraved letters of her name as he swallowed the lump in his throat. “…I still miss you, Em… still love you…”




Posted on 2008-09-30 at 16:19:36.
Edited on 2016-09-30 at 07:30:46 by Eol Fefalas

Merideth
Muse-i-licious
RDI Staff
Karma: 177/13
3127 Posts


Meeting Up

Ellgawen sat on her perch nearby the grave and watched the figure approach out of the rain, like her he seemed not to notice the rain pelting down on him, soaking him slowly. As he tended the grave and spoke softly to the woman buried beneath it she could feel the sadness pouring off of him. Then again even an ungifted could feel it, it was so strong. Gingerly, not wanting to scare him off she stretched out some of her essence to touch him, to find out more about the man.

There weren’t any guards that stood in her way and she found her way easily. She closed her eyes as a series of images, feelings, and sounds floated through her consciousness like a kaleidoscope. Most involved a woman, beautiful and in the images somewhat hazy around the edges as if a bright light were always behind her. They were flashes of his wife she realized, and he loved her. But she was beneath the ground. Ellgawen saw her dead, mainly an image of blood, and anger and grief. From there on she felt the man alone, she felt his gut wrenching depression, his hate for those that did this to his dear wife, but most of all the hate he had for himself. The soft happy images of his past were replaced by dark images of scotch.

Her whiskers twitched and she opened her eyes slowly. So the Gifted had survived despite the Inquisitors, she was pleased to know this for certain. Although it seemed that even after all these years their lives hadn’t become any easier. As much as the Gift was just that, a gift, it also was equally a Curse, especially for humans.

Her mind had been fully made before the question had fully formed.

Leaping off her perch she landed near the man’s feet. Those big golden eyes looked up at him and she let out a small pitiful ‘meow’ and then rubbed her head against the white stone of his wife’s grave. Wet as she was she appeared nearly black except for her pale nose.


Posted on 2008-09-30 at 18:08:38.
Edited on 2016-09-30 at 07:35:58 by Eol Fefalas

Eol Fefalas
Turning Capashanese
RDI Staff
Karma: 448/28
7299 Posts


Homecoming

Alex had said all he could manage to Emily, this time, and was rising to his feet after having adjusted the roses once more when a sopping wet mass of dark fur plopped silently down at his feet. He blinked, snapped back to the here-and-now from that lonely nether-place of memory by the sudden appearance of the cat and, at first, was a bit annoyed at having his time with Emily interrupted.

His first instinct was to shoo the creature away and the muscles in his leg were already starting the motion that would culminate in gently but firmly nudging the cat away with the toe of his shoe just as the words ‘Go on, get outta here’ crossed his lips. That motion didn’t make it anywhere close to Alex even lifting his foot, though; just as the muscles in his thigh tensed the cat – not much more than a kitten really – looked up at him with large, golden eyes and mewed pitifully.

I’m wet and hungry, Alex imagined was the translation for that particular meow, help me?

He blinked again, a sympathetic smile starting to tug at one corner of his mouth, and glanced around the graveyard as if he expected to catch sight the cat’s owner nearby. It had been a reflex, really, he knew better than to think that if the pathetic little thing had an owner it wouldn’t be out in this kind of weather at all. Alex’s eyes returned from their quick surveillance of the cemetery and fell once more to the waterlogged feline that, as if to clench the deal, rubbed its head against Emily’s marker.

Em loved cats, he reminded himself then, the smile no longer just a hint on his lips as he crouched slowly so as not to startle the creature, never did have any as pets, though. Always said that people didn’t pick cats for pets, cats picked people who they wanted to live with. Alex stopped and closed his eyes. He’d seen Emily’s face just then, looking up at him and smiling that beautiful smile of hers when she first spoke those words to him. She had taken a can of tuna out into the alley behind her bookshop to feed an old alleycat who patrolled the place, when he offered to buy her a cat that she could actually keep inside, she giggled and enlightened him as to the human-feline dynamic. When his eyes opened they danced disbelievingly between the cat and Emily’s headstone for a moment – Emily’s cat-wisdom and numerous Wicce tenets on reincarnation flooded through his mind all at once – and covered his mouth with his hands as he struggled with the very real possibility that this poor kitten being here now was no mere coincidence or random happening…

“No way,” he laughed at himself for even entertaining for an instant that this cat was his wife returned to him, “no way.” He wasn’t so quick to dismiss the notion that maybe Emily was somehow responsible for the little thing being here, though. What the hell am I gonna do with a cat?

“All right, sweetheart,” Alex conceded, still chuckling incredulously as he reached out and scooped up the sopping little cat, “you win. I guess the place is too big for just me, anyway.” Rising to his feet, he tucked the critter under the protective leather shell of his coat and, after cradling the cat securely with one hand, he reached out the other and let his fingertips linger on the cool, wet marble of the tombstone. “I suppose I should get me and the fuzzball outta the rain, baby. I don’t suppose this means I get to stop feeding the ones in the alley, huh? I love you, Emily… I’ll see you soon.”

It took him a moment longer to finally pull his fingers from the marble and longer still to turn around and face the direction he was walking. When he finally managed to tear his longing gaze from Emily’s name, though, and found himself back on the cobbled path that led to the cemetery’s gate he nearly tripped over his own feet when a voice, as clear as if someone had been standing in front of him, spoke in his mind…

Thank you.

Quickly regaining his step, Alex Sharpe’s eyes darted around the grounds, desperately searching for a human form to which he would be able to tie the voice… there was nothing. His lips moved in silent incantation as he re-scanned the area in search of anything that wasn’t human… again, nothing. “Huh… Just hearing things, I guess,” he murmured, muscles and mind relaxing again and his free hand slipping inside his coat to absently pet the cat sheltered inside, “Rain’s picking up again. Let’s get us somewhere dry. Whaddya say? ”

The cat, of course, didn’t answer other than to nestle into him a bit more. He smiled faintly and turned to follow the pathway to the gate. He didn’t hurry. By the time he got to the gate the day’s steady drizzle had whipped up into a full on downpour and, while he was already soaked to the bone, Alex hunched over and jogged the last several yards to the black and primer gray ‘66 Chevelle in hopes that the cat wouldn’t get any wetter.

“Here we go, kitty cat,” he sniffed as he slid behind the wheel and slammed the weather outside the door, “your chariot awaits.” Before he extricated the cat from his coat, he reached into the backseat and hooked a heavy, cable-knit sweater from where he had tossed it a week ago, dragged it to the front, and arranged it into a makeshift bed atop the leather of the passenger’s seat.

“It ain’t the Ritz, sweetheart,” he said, gently tugging the cat from where it was nestled in his coat and setting it down in the middle of the sweater-bed, “but it’ll have to do for now.” He fished in his pocket for the keys as he wiped trickles of rainwater from his own face, then, and, after shoving the clinging tendrils of hair away from his face and shaking the excess water from his hand, he slipped the key into the ignition and brought the engine to rumbling life. “Hope you don’t hate tuna and milk,” he continued, turning on the stereo and pressing a button to cycle through the CDs loaded in the thing, “I don’t think I’ll be stoppin’ for Meow Mix in this crap.”

The CD changer whirred and clicked as Alex put the car into gear and pulled onto the street and, when the disc he had selected began to play, he quickly cycled through the tracks, not bothering to look at the stereo as he did so. When his finger came away from the seek button the haunting, lonely strains of Enya’s If I Could Be Where You Are began to flow from the speakers. “Played this song at Em’s funeral,” he told the cat before taking a hand from the wheel to brush away a raindrop (or was it a tear?) from his cheek, “Kind of a tradition to play it after I visit…” He fell silent then and remained so for the duration of the song and afterwards (when he had turned the stereo off all together and seemed content driving to the rhythm of the pouring rain and the staccato slapping of the windshield wipers.

Twenty minutes later, the Chevelle rolled to a stop outside of one of the city’s older buildings. It was a three-story brick affair, likely built sometime in the 1800’s, and had at different times since then served as a doctors office, a neighborhood grocery, and a tailor’s shop among other things. Up until three years ago it had been the culmination of Emily’s dream. The people who didn’t know better would have called it an ‘occult bookstore and/or giftshop.’ Emily had always liked to refer to it as a Wiccan library and outreach project. She had set up shop on the first floor, of course, stocking the place with volumes and volumes of texts that surely must have covered the entire encyclopedia of arcane and all the sundries that any Wicce, Gifted or otherwise, could possibly make use of. These days, though, the sign on the door displayed an image of a magnifying glass with the Eye of Ra centered in its lens. The text that followed around the curve of the lens read ‘A Sharpe Eye… A.C. Sharpe: Private Investigator.’

Alex shut off the engine and scooped the cat, sweater and all, off of the passenger’s seat and, tucking the drying bundle back under his coat, made a dash from the car to the shallow overhang above the front door. Keys jingled into and out of a series of locks and then he shoved the door open, the tinkling of a string of tin bells greeted them and sounded once more as he toed the door shut again. He pulled the cat/sweater wad out of his coat, then, and set it gingerly on the floor. “Make yourself at home,” he said, gesturing at the large front room that, for the most part, looked exactly as it did the last day Emily had been there, as the cat wriggled free of the sweater, “Kitchen’s in the back. I’ll see what I can do about some chow for you.”

He watched the cat sniff the air and start to explore the place for a moment before tugging a cigarette from his pocket and poking it into the corner of his mouth. As the nearly dry cat began inspecting the antique wingback chair that Em always liked to sit in when she read, he strode towards the hallway, smiling even as he murmured another incantation and his fingers subtly traced the sigils that went along with the words. As he reached the door to the kitchen, the as yet unlit cigarette flared to life and several candles ignited in the shop.




Posted on 2008-10-01 at 00:41:41.
Edited on 2016-09-30 at 07:44:21 by Eol Fefalas

Merideth
Muse-i-licious
RDI Staff
Karma: 177/13
3127 Posts


Settling In

Em loved cats, he reminded himself then, the smile no longer just a hint on his lips as he crouched slowly so as not to startle the creature, never did have any as pets, though. Always said that people didn’t pick cats for pets, cats picked people who they wanted to live with. Alex stopped and closed his eyes. He’d seen Emily’s face just then, looking up at him and smiling that beautiful smile of hers when she first spoke those words to him. She had taken a can of tuna out into the alley behind her bookshop to feed an old alleycat who patrolled the place, when he offered to buy her a cat that she could actually keep inside, she giggled and enlightened him as to the human-feline dynamic. When his eyes opened they danced disbelievingly between the cat and Emily’s headstone for a moment – Emily’s cat-wisdom and numerous Wicce tenets on reincarnation flooded through his mind all at once – and covered his mouth with his hands as he struggled with the very real possibility that this poor kitten being here now was no mere coincidence or random happening…

“No way,” he laughed at himself for even entertaining for an instant that this cat was his wife returned to him, “no way.” He wasn’t so quick to dismiss the notion that maybe Emily was somehow responsible for the little thing being here, though. What the hell am I gonna do with a cat?


Ellgawen turned her head slightly at the man as he spoke to her, and blinked those big eyes. Leaving the headstone she took a step toward him and rubbed his leg with the length of her wet body, his pants not really noticing the water she added to his damp jeans, and let out another tiny ‘Meow’.


“All right, sweetheart,” Alex conceded, still chuckling incredulously as he reached out and scooped up the sopping little cat, “you win. I guess the place is too big for just me, anyway.” Rising to his feet, he tucked the critter under the protective leather shell of his coat and, after cradling the cat securely with one hand, he reached out the other and let his fingertips linger on the cool, wet marble of the tombstone. “I suppose I should get me and the fuzzball outta the rain, baby. I don’t suppose this means I get to stop feeding the ones in the alley, huh? I love you, Emily… I’ll see you soon.”

Happily she snuggled into his coat, and against his warm body, glad to be out of the rain, but more than that she felt comfortable with him already, the warm fuzziness of his aura wrapped around her just like the coat, and she actually started to purr softly as she burrowed into his arms.

It took him a moment longer to finally pull his fingers from the marble and longer still to turn around and face the direction he was walking. When he finally managed to tear his longing gaze from Emily’s name, though, and found himself back on the cobbled path that led to the cemetery’s gate he nearly tripped over his own feet when a voice, as clear as if someone had been standing in front of him, spoke in his mind…

Thank you.


It had been such a long time since she had tried to communicate with a human in this manner, and she partly sent him the thanks in order to make sure it still worked, and also to mess with him a little. To see if he caught on, or was simply baffled beyond belief.


Quickly regaining his step, Alex Sharpe’s eyes darted around the grounds, desperately searching for a human form to which he would be able to tie the voice… there was nothing. His lips moved in silent incantation as he re-scanned the area in search of anything that wasn’t human… again, nothing. “Huh… Just hearing things, I guess,” he murmured, muscles and mind relaxing again and his free hand slipping inside his coat to absently pet the cat sheltered inside, “Rain’s picking up again. Let’s get us somewhere dry. Whaddya say? ”

Inside she laughed to herself. Baffled. Ellgawen wondered how long she could keep up the appearance of a normal pet, how long before she would either have to say something to him, or when he would figure out what she was on his own. All in all it was another example of how kitties were better than humans, she had figured him out rather quickly, but he was still greatly underestimating her. It amused her, so she kept up the act and stayed silent, snuggling up close to him and purring louder.

The cat, of course, didn’t answer other than to nestle into him a bit more. He smiled faintly and turned to follow the pathway to the gate. He didn’t hurry. By the time he got to the gate the day’s steady drizzle had whipped up into a full on downpour and, while he was already soaked to the bone, Alex hunched over and jogged the last several yards to the black and primer gray ‘66 Chevelle in hopes that the cat wouldn’t get any wetter.

“Here we go, kitty cat,” he sniffed as he slid behind the wheel and slammed the weather outside the door, “your chariot awaits.” Before he extricated the cat from his coat, he reached into the backseat and hooked a heavy, cable-knit sweater from where he had tossed it a week ago and dragged it into the front of the car and arranged it into a makeshift bed atop the leather of the passenger’s seat.

“It ain’t the Ritz, sweetheart,” he said, gently tugging the cat from where it was nestled in his coat and setting it down in the middle of the sweater-bed, “but it’ll have to do for now.” He fished in his pocket for the keys as he wiped trickles of rainwater from his own face, then, and, after shoving the clinging tendrils of hair away from his face and shaking the excess water from his hand, he turned slipped the key into the ignition and brought the engine to rumbling life. “Hope you don’t hate tuna and milk,” he continued, turning on the stereo and pressing a button to cycle through the CDs loaded in the thing, “I don’t think I’ll be stoppin’ for Meow Mix in this crap.”


No it wasn’t the Ritz, but even more than his coat it was dry. As he set her down on the sweater she started sniffing around. It smelled like smoke, but she supposed there were many worse things it could smell like, her last life was spent on a farm in the middle ages, smoke wasn’t really that bad at all. Pleasantly she settled into the sweater and started immediately to groom herself. *Lick, lick, lick* starting with her delicate little paws and the moving to her face. Tuna? Milk? Not the Ritz he says! Ha! Although he had better rethink that Meow Mix thing, they had tried to stuff that down her a few times at the pet store before she escaped. Hard cat food was not something she ever wanted to grow accustomed to.


The CD changer whirred and clicked as Alex put the car into gear and pulled onto the street and, when the disc he had selected began to play, he quickly cycled through the tracks, not bothering to look at the stereo as he did so. When his finger came away from the seek button the haunting, lonely strains of Enya’s If I Could Be Where You Are began to flow from the speakers. “Played this song at Em’s funeral,” he told the cat before taking a hand from the wheel to brush away a raindrop (or was it a tear?) from his cheek, “Kind of a tradition to play it after I visit…” He fell silent then and remained so for the duration of the song and afterwards (when he had turned the stereo off all together and seemed content driving to the rhythm of the pouring rain and the staccato slapping of the windshield wipers.

The words from the song drifted over to her as they started to drive, and she heard his explanation of it, pretending non-interest she rolled onto her back and started to lick her belly, smoothing out the soft fur that was so light grey it was nearly white, with darker grey spots speckling it here and there. No wonder he was so depressed, just listen to that music, if Ellgawen had not been so wet and so determined to make herself appear to be at least slightly cuter than a drowned rat she probably would have howled the whole way home in despair. Once the song was over she curled back up in a more modest pose and worked on her back feet and tail for the rest of the ride home.


Twenty minutes later, the Chevelle rolled to a stop outside of one of the city’s older buildings. It was a three-story brick affair, likely built sometime in the 1800’s, and had at different times since then served as a doctors office, a neighborhood grocery, and a tailor’s shop among other things. Up until three years ago it had been the culmination of Emily’s dream. The people who didn’t know better would have called it an ‘occult bookstore and/or giftshop.’ Emily had always liked to refer to it as a Wiccan library and outreach project. She had set up shop on the first floor, of course, stocking the place with volumes and volumes of texts that surely must have covered the entire encyclopedia of arcane and all the sundries that any Wicce, Gifted or otherwise, could possibly make use of. These days, though, the sign on the door displayed an image of a magnifying glass with the Eye of Ra centered in its lens. The text that followed around the curve of the lens read ‘A Sharpe Eye… A.C. Sharpe: Private Investigator.’

Alex shut off the engine and scooped the cat, sweater and all, off of the passenger’s seat and, tucking the drying bundle back under his coat, made a dash from the car to the shallow overhang above the front door. Keys jingled into and out of a series of locks and then he shoved the door open, the tinkling of a string of tin bells greeted them and sounded once more as he toed the door shut again. He pulled the cat/sweater wad out of his coat, then, and set it gingerly on the floor. “Make yourself at home,” he said, gesturing at the large front room that, for the most part, looked exactly as it did the last day Emily had been there, as the cat wriggled free of the sweater, “Kitchen’s in the back. I’ll see what I can do about some chow for you.”

He watched the cat sniff the air and start to explore the place for a moment before tugging a cigarette from his pocket and poking it into the corner of his mouth. As the nearly dry cat began inspecting the antique wingback chair that Em always liked to sit in when she read, he strode towards the hallway, smiling even as he murmured another incantation and his fingers subtly traced the sigils that went along with the words. As he reached the door to the kitchen, the as yet unlit cigarette flared to life and several candles ignited in the shop.


The Eye of Ra had certainly caught her attention as he carried her inside, and once inside she had been almost surprised at the little bookstore. He was so obvious about his practice, the symbol out front, the books on the walls with such obvious symbols on their bindings. Her yellow eyes went nervously toward the front window, to see if anyone was looming outside with a torch. But there was only the rain, someone did pass by but they kept their eyes to themselves and hurried on down the street with their umbrella held close to them. They did not seem to notice the sign, or the books. Strange. For her though it was nice, she started investigating the place immediately. Keeping one ear stained toward the door, listening to make sure no one was going to come in and make trouble for her new friend, while poking her nose and whiskers into everything else. A lamp with beads hanging from the lampshade caught her attention and she sauntered over to it, batting at the beads when she got there and watching as they danced in the muted light. Rolling onto her back again to expose that soft underbelly she batted at the beads some more, then lost interest and moved on. The place was fascinating, if a little dusty, full of things to bat at, curl up under, or pounce on. As the man went into the kitchen she noticed the candles suddenly flicker on by themselves and again she chuckled inside, show off. Well eventually she’d have a few things to show him… but not yet.

Instead she settled down into the comfy arm chair for a little nap while he fixed her dinner, all that exploring had worn her out.




Posted on 2008-10-01 at 18:12:46.
Edited on 2016-09-30 at 07:51:51 by Eol Fefalas

Eol Fefalas
Turning Capashanese
RDI Staff
Karma: 448/28
7299 Posts


Dinner and Drinks

Show off.
Alex, in the midst of shrugging out of his coat, stopped and turned to look back down the corridor behind him. It was the same voice hed heard in the cemetery, he was almost sure of it, and this time, he couldnt blame it on the rain or wind What the hell?... His mind chased around the notion that, since it was the third anniversary of Emilys death and that the number three had some power, maybe the voice was the result of that somehow. Between the increased Essence that was the norm in places like consecrated burial grounds, the protective rites hed performed on her grave, and, of course, the fact that Em had been a witch of no small power herself, was it so hard to believe that she had somehow managed to contact him this year?

His heart fluttered for an instant and the hairs on the back of his neck prickled a bit at that thought Thing is, it aint Ems voice, he told himself as he tossed his coat over the back of one of the chairs at the small kitchen table, his gaze finally unlocking from the empty hallway. Maybe its the cat, he smirked, clipping across the kitchen to open the fridge, still not even bothering to think that that might actually be the case. Alex knew, of course, that there were creatures known as basts that spent most of their existence in the bodies of cats but, at the moment, it just hadnt registered in his mind that the pitiful little gray kitty hed just hauled out of the cemetery might actually be one of them. As it was, by the time he had opened the refrigerator door, Alex had once again dismissed the voice in his head as nothing more than the side effects of an emotional day, too little sleep, and too much scotch at Clancys.

Yeah, he chuckled a little as he pulled a jug of milk and a carton of leftover Chinese take-out from the fridge, talkin cats, flyin monkeys, next thing you know Ill get a case tailin some oompa-loompas on a white buffalo.

After nudging the door shut with his knee, Alex turned and, squinting against the smoke from his cigarette, crossed the short span between the fridge and sink. He set the milk and the leftover take-out on the counter and, after another deep drag, laid his smoke on the edge of the sink before reaching into the cupboard for one of the three remaining cans of tuna there. Setting this aside, he retrieved a saucer, a fork, and a tumbler from the draining rack beside the sink and, after setting these with the rest of dinner-in-the-works, took another drag of the cigarette before crushing it out in the drain. He peeled back the lid on the tuna and drained off the excess water before forking the contents of the can onto the saucer, then, with a practiced squeeze of the take-out carton, popped its lid open and relegated the fork to whatever remained inside.

Almost chow-time, cat, Alex called down the hallway to his guest as he found a bowl into which he could pour out some milk, just gettin some beverages ordered up. He filled the bowl half full with milk and set the saucer of tuna on top like a lid, then, tugged a flask from the back pocket of his jeans, unscrewed the cap, and poured the tumbler three-quarters full of scotch. He then put the flask to his lips and drained whatever was left. Then, after returning the flask to his pocket and the milk carton to the fridge, he stacked the take-out carton atop the glass of scotch, and returned to the shop, his dinner carried in one hand and the cats in the other.

Looks like you found yourself a spot, Alex said, smiling a little when he found the cat curled up in the armchair, comfy, huh? He set the tumbler and leftovers down on the sidetable next to the chair and then arranged the cats dinner dishes on the floor not far away. Cmon, he said, reaching out a hand to scratch the snoozing kitty on the top of its head, coaxing one of those yellow eyes open, soups on.

The cat blinked at him and, after taking time to enjoy a leisurely stretch, slinked off the chair and towards the meal he had set out for it. Alex was about to take the cats place in the chair and dig into his own meal when he realized that his jeans were still pretty much soaked. No sense in soakin it into Ems chair, he shrugged, grabbing the carton of Chinese food before sitting on the floor in front of the chair. Settling his back against the chair and stirring the cold remains of a dinner hed brought home a day or two ago, Alex watched the cat for a long moment before finally lifting a forkful of the bean curd and veggies and poking it into his mouth.

His nose wrinkled as he chewed that first bite and, taking his eyes off the cat who apparently had found the presentation of the tuna and milk satisfactory enough to taste he peered curiously into the carton, then lifted it to his nose and sniffed it. Huh, he said, swallowing that first bite and holding the container out in the cats direction, that smell funny to you?

The cat glanced back, maybe looking a bit miffed at having had its dinner interrupted by his yakking, but returned to the tuna without a second look at the proffered leftovers.

Alex shrugged and withdrew the container, spearing another gelatinous glob of its contents with the fork, daring to risk another taste he chased this one with scotch it wasnt so bad. Whatever dont kill me and all that s#!^, right?




Posted on 2008-10-02 at 22:43:52.

Merideth
Muse-i-licious
RDI Staff
Karma: 177/13
3127 Posts


Scaredy Cat

After smelling the Chinese food Ellgawen was glad that the man had decided to give her the tuna and milk and not make her try to eat whatever was growing in that paper box. The milk was great and she heartily lapped it all up with her cute rough little pink tongue and then attacked the tuna with equal fervor. Every drop of milk and every bit of the tuna was gone before she stopped and sat down next to the empty bowls licking her paws gently. Poised on the side table looking down at Alex on the floor eating his own dinner she let out a few satisfied meows at him. He looked up at her with a raised brow for a moment, and then raised up slightly to see over the edge of the table and smiled.

All done I see. Guess you were hungry. Well let me finish up my meal and then weve got some work to do. He looked back down into the container, a few bits of rice and soggy vegetables floated in a thick sauce at the bottom, he made a slight face at what had consisted of his dinner for the past three years, sighed and dropped his fork into the sauce. Em hadnt been a cook, for as brilliant and talented as she was she couldnt figure out how to turn a recipe in a cook book into something anyone would want to eat. But he could, he used to whip up these wonderful meals that would have Em melting just at the smells coming from the kitchen. Now that it was just him though, he didnt see the point, dinners consisted of take out Chinese, pizza, and hot wings down at the bar.

Ellgawen watched as he rose up off the floor, apparently having decided that the dinner wasnt worth finishing after all, good choice, she thought to herself. When he reached out to pet her head she leaned her face up and licked his finger with her tongue. He laughed slightly.

Yeah, your welcome he said gathering up her dishes, stacking his empty Chinese container atop them he walked off into the kitchen. She could hear him from the front room, but it was all typical kitchen noises so she decided to do some more exploring while he cleaned up dinner. Having a second look at the room she realized it was perfect for a cat, and in a smooth graceful movement she was up one the top of one of the bookshelves. Dusty up here too, she sneezed softly from the dust she disturbed when she leapt up, shed have to get him to clean that up eventually, but for the moment shed take the dust in order to keep the view. From that particular bookshelf she had visibility of the whole library and, more importantly, the front door. After a few minutes the man walked back in, and stopped at the door way looking around.

Well where did you go? Ate and left, is that how this goes? He sounded slightly miffed at the thought, and took a few more moments to look around the room for her, but never raised his eyes high enough to catch sight of her. With another sigh he sat down at the desk, the leather chair creaking beneath him as he sat and started to riffle through the papers spread across the desk. She watched for a few more moments. She enjoyed toying with humans, even the human she had chosen as hers, they were so easily confused. However the kitty instinct soon won out, the pile of papers he was going through was simply too tempting to pass up, and she leapt down from the bookshelf and landed on the floor by his chair.

He jumped as he heard her land next to him and turned in the chair, one hand gripping the chair and the other hand fumbling on the desk as if looking for something, eyes slightly wide, until they rested on the kitty on the floor stretching out her back casually, as if she had no idea she had scared him.

Jumpy aint you? she thought out loud with a small snicker. And without waiting for him to respond or completely calm back down she jumped up to the desk and plopped herself down on the pile of papers he was riffling through and started to bat at a pen that was laying atop them.

Out of the corner of her eye she caught him blinking, and looking around again, sparing a slight look to the spot where she had jumped from, the plumb of dust coming off of it a sure sign that that was where she had been hiding. Slowing his heart back down he turned back to the desk.

You scared the lights out of me. Dont do that he started and then seemed to think of the voice again, he leaned in and squinted his eyes staring at the little grey fluff ball, That wasnt you?

Kitty simply grabbed the pen in her paws and started to gnaw on the tip of it. No He ran his hands threw his hair and rubbed at his temples. God Alex, its just been a long day, a long day, your jumping at shadows and imagining things He looked over at the glass of scotch, nodded slightly to himself and slouched back in the chair.

Ring!


Posted on 2008-10-03 at 16:41:38.

Eol Fefalas
Turning Capashanese
RDI Staff
Karma: 448/28
7299 Posts


Business Hours - The Phone Call

Thank you Show off Jumpy, arent you?
The longer he looked at the cat, the more conflicted he was as to whether or not the voice that hed begun hearing at the cemetery might have actually belonged to the smoke-grey feline or, as he was more inclined to believe at the moment, it was all a hallucination driven by sleeplessness, emotion, and too much hooch. Why he was so ready to dismiss one possibility over the other, though, was easy enough to fathom it had been a long day and, especially where work was concerned, a damned unproductive one he just didnt have the time, at the moment, to believe that a stray cat hed picked up in a graveyard couldve been anymore than just that. Besides, he mused, pressing the heels of his hands into his eye-sockets, what self-respecting bast would associate with a Wicce whod always gone out of his way to avoid the Craft until his life went to absolute crap, anyway? An exasperated sigh escaped him then. Wish you were here, Em, he murmured, and could tell me what to think

RING!
The ringing of the telephone at that precise moment caused the private investigator to flinch a bit. His hands fell away from his eyes and he glanced curiously at the cat still amusing herself with the chaotic spread of mail, case files, and miscellaneous papers atop the desk before reaching for the receiver.

Bonsoir, Alexander, a velvet-smooth voice said even before Alex had the phone to fully his ear.

Lucius, Alex replied, pretending that he wasnt surprised to hear the aristocratic patois issuing from the handset, Its been a while.

Has it?

Coupla years, anyway, Alex confirmed as he pinned the phone between his shoulder and ear, freeing his hands to retrieve his pen from the cats grip and shoo her off the desk before she made a bigger mess of the already untidy desktop.

Hmm, Lucius droned as the cat, having had her fun interrupted, plopped off the desk and into Alexs lap, I suppose it has, then. Although, it seems to me that it was just yesterday. The blink of an eye, as it were.

I guess it would, Alex smirked, wondering whether all Vampyres had such a foreshortened perception of time or if that was a trait that only those as old as Lucius had acquired, What can I do for you?

The cat turned a couple of circles, kneaded his thigh, and situated herself comfortably across Alexs legs. He hadnt realized that after hed secured the pen and pulled a nearly blank piece of paper closer to him in order to take notes on the call if necessary his free hand had dropped to stroke the now dry fur of the animal until her purring grew slightly louder.

Actually, mon ami, the voice on the other end chuckled cryptically, it is that which I might be able to do for you that has precipitated this communiqu.

Alex spiked a brow and, intrigued, leaned forward a bit. His hand had stopped stroking the cat, too, but still rested on the soft fur of her back. Yeah?

Quite, Lucius affirmed, I believe, Alexander, that I may have recently had the distinct displeasure of happening across one of those dreadful Azazelites whom you so fervently seek.

Alex already had the pen point to the paper in anticipation Where? When? He didnt realize that he was impatiently stippling one corner of the page as he awaited the answers, though, until Lucius throaty laughter spilled through the receiver.

Mon dieu, Alexander, the Vampyre sniggered, If I didnt think more of you, I might be inclined to accuse you of actually drooling.

Good thing you have such a high opinion, then, Alex retorted, forcibly putting an end to the tap-tap-tapping by lifting the hand to his mouth and dragging it, somewhat apprehensively across his lips no drool. Now, if you dont mind, spill it. Whered you run into this one?

Oh, some pretentious little venue on the edge of Lincoln Park, Lucius sighed, Vain, I think it was called or perhaps it was Conceit Something similarly as hollow, nonetheless. Youll find it on Clybourne, either way.

Good, Alex nodded, quickly scribbling some notes on the paper, got a description for me?

Mmm, I do. Very tall, very blonde, very pretty, and, as such, very, very confident. At first glance, which is how I noticed him, a very attractive and alluring. I had originally thought to feed on him a bit, of course, but, the closer I got to him, the more obviously tainted his essence was and, you know, Alexander, how tainted essence so turns my stomach

Mmhm, Alex said, mine too. Tall, blonde, and pretty doesnt really give me much, Lucius. That typically describes half the clientele of places like that. Got anything else?

Must you ask for the obvious? As I mentioned, monsieur, this one is distinctly identifiable as an Azazelite to those who know what to look for a penchant for ornate jewelry, the promising smile, the haughty attitude youll know him when you see him, Im sure. You may even recognize him yourself. He was after all, one of the ones that lingered longer than the rest that night.

In the midst of scribbling out notes on Lucius description of the man the pen snapped in two in Alexs hand. That last comment by the Vampyre on the other end of the line had sent a surge of both anger and excitement through the private eye and, before he could stop it, it manifested itself in enough physical pressure to have broken the pen. Of all the Azazelites upon whom Alex had exacted some retribution in these last years, only one of them bore a face that he actually recalled. There had been four of them left when he had arrived at the scene of the massacre and hed managed to shoot one of them before they overpowered him and began their torture and taunting none of those four had been there when he awoke, Lucius standing over him hed found one of them six months later and paid him back three-fold Youre sure?

Would I have rang you otherwise?

No, Alex muttered apologetically as he tossed the pen into the wastebasket and wiped a small spattering of ink from his fingers onto his jeans, I dont guess you would. And hes a regular at this place, you think?

Quite the regular, Lucius answered, in fact, hes taken to reserving the VIP lounge on Friday nights for his little soirees of late. His guests usually arrive before he does, of course. Hes fond of a grand entrance and like to keep up the fashionably late bit a rather tired routine, if you ask me, but then Ive had centuries of seeing it. I suppose it can still be considered charming by you mortals. Anyway, mon ami, youll certainly find him there after nine in the evening.

Thanks, Lucius, Alex nodded, leaning back in the chair and scooping the cat from his lap, I owe you one.

No, Alexander, the Vampyre laughed, I believe this one makes us even. Do take care, my friend; hes a much bigger fish than he was three years ago. Not as Gifted as yourself or your dear Emily, Im sure, but enough so that he could give you a bit of a challenge if youre not prepared.

Appreciate the concern, Alex said, cradling the cat under one arm as he rose from the chair, good night, Lucius.

Bonne nuit, Alex.

The line went silent and Alex hung up the phone. Happy anniversary, baby, Alex murmured under his breath, still cradling the cat in his arms as he headed for the stairs, found another one.

He set the cat down as he reached the staircase that climbed to the second floor of the place and offered her a smile. Not exactly what Id had planned for the night, kitty cat, he smiled faintly, a hint of both excitement and possibly maliciousness coloring the expression, but, with these sons-of-bitches, Ive learned its best to take em as they come.

You go ahead and hang out here, if you want, he continued, stooping a bit to pat the cats head, Ive gotta go out for a while.

With that, Alex bounded up the steps to change into some dry clothes and, since he had a few hours before Lucius Azazelite was due at the club, to perform a ritual that would allow him to summon and store a bit of additional Essence.



Posted on 2008-10-06 at 17:32:36.

Merideth
Muse-i-licious
RDI Staff
Karma: 177/13
3127 Posts


*twitchy*

Ellgawen had sat and listened intently to the conversation Alex had on the phone. She could only occasionally hear the callers words, but from what she could hear and what she heard Alex say in response it seemed the caller had found one of those responsible for his wifes death. And Alex was going after them. Humans were so often motivated by their emotions, which more often than not got them in trouble.

The line went silent and Alex hung up the phone. Happy anniversary, baby, Alex murmured under his breath, still cradling the cat in his arms as he headed for the stairs, found another one.

He set the cat down as he reached the staircase that climbed to the second floor of the place and offered her a smile. Not exactly what Id had planned for the night, kitty cat, he smiled faintly, a hint of both excitement and possibly maliciousness coloring the expression, but, with these sons-of-bitches, Ive learned its best to take em as they come.

You go ahead and hang out here, if you want, he continued, stooping a bit to pat the cats head, Ive gotta go out for a while.

With that, Alex bounded up the steps to change into some dry clothes and, since he had a few hours before Lucius Azazelite was due at the club, to perform a ritual that would allow him to summon and store a bit of additional Essence.

She wondered what he had planned for the night, besides the obvious drinking. At the bottom of the stairs she sat for a moment, twitching her whiskers and tail in angst. He should not go alone, she knew this, felt it at the very bottom of her tail, was it premonition? Probably not, she did not have the Sight, she had other talents, it was more likely just all those past experiences boiling up to the surface. Practicing the Craft in public was dangerous. Humans forgot that, or never had the memory in the first place, but she remembered. However no man, even a slightly drunk man who thought he was hearing voices, would take an ordinary cat with him into a night club, to fight a follower of a demon. Stupid demons, power was not in destruction despite all their propaganda to the contrary. But she was digressing If she wanted Alex to take her along with him she would have to convince him that she was something other than a cute little grey fluff ball. There were two issues with that. One, she was having a good time pretending to be that cute little harmless grey fluff ball. Two, if she startled him with that at the moment he might completely distracted by what was actually keeping him motivated, and partially sober, at the moment and might miss his chance to battle with the demon-follower murderer man, and in the end that would be her fault and he might blame her for it and shed be back on the streets trying to catch mice. Tuna was much better, she didnt know Alex well enough to know exactly how he would react to learning that she was a bit more than a typical kitty.
*twitch*
A plaintive meow slid over her tongue and she stretched out her body before mounting the stairs after Alex. With each stair she muttered to herself in her head about how stupid humans were and how much easier things were before Chelmsford, and how she couldnt just sit around while he tried to be stupid and how much he reminded her of Chet, and on and on

At the top of the stairs she sniffed around, bouncing around from spot to spot and finally came upon Alex starting up his ritual to get more Essence. One step into the room and she set her rump down by the doorway and watched him. If possible she lets him borrow some of her own Essence when he starts the ritual, if she feels she can do so without him noticing, no sense shocking the hell out of him while hes in the middle of ritual, bad things happen when that happens. But if she can she will let him take some, not like she is going to need it while she sits and paces back and forth in his home waiting for the orbs of his headlights to light up the front window saying he was still alive.



Posted on 2008-10-07 at 20:42:14.

Reralae
Dire Dust Bunny
Karma: 121/12
1953 Posts


Returning from Practise

Janelle's eyes nervously glance at the large clock in the fencing hall. 8:30pm. She had less than 5 minutes to finish this last round, and then it'd be quite the run to her appartment...

That's too bad; there is no time to play with her self-appointed rival.

"Rosetta! Are you paying attention?" The other fencer calls through his mask as he thrusts forward.

Janelle smiles; too rash. Barely sidestepping to the left, she flips her foil up and parries the thrust. In less than a blink of an eye, Janelle counters, bringing her foil forward in a feint. Falling for it, the other one sidesteps and brings their foil over to defend as Janelle lowers her blade in a semi-circle, avoiding their foil, bringing it up to where they sidestepped to. With a final thrust, the point is scored.

"Do you mind if we end it there, Ken?" Janelle asks.

Turning to look at the clock, Ken shakes his head, "You're so weird, Rosetta. I guess so, but you owe me another couple of rounds next time."

"Sure." Janelle replies, already done taking off her mask and rushing to put her gear away.

With the padding put away into her duffel bag, Janelle wears a slightly formal attire consisting of a dress pant, shirt, and a pretty shawl with a flower design. Her long black hair is braided down her back, and at the bottom is a band that appears to be a ring of roses. With a fluid motion, she takes the protector off of the tip of her fencing foil and sheathes it at her hip.

"I still can't believe you wear that to practise." Ken murmurs, "You're more formal than our team manager, and that's just odd."

"I'll see you next practise, Ken." Janelle says firmly.

"Alright, later!"

* * *

As though she were running from a forest fire, Janelle rushes down the street, doing her best not to run into anyone. She steals a glance at her digital wristwatch as she runs. 8:36. Only 6 minutes to go, and there was almost always someone nearby with those watches... A shortcut is the only option.

She preferred not to cut through Lincoln Park, since that almost always made her want to pull out her sketchbook, but tonight she would have to make an exception. Running through the park, she barely looks left or right, focused on getting home in time. Finally, she reaches the apartment building, and dashes up the stairs rather than taking the elevator; the elevator would take too long. Reaching her room, keys already in hand, she quickly opens the door, enters, and shuts the door.

Janelle looks at her watch. 8:41. She just made it. Her heart pounding, Janelle puts her equipment away, with one hand feeling the perspiration around her forehead. Time for a shower...


Posted on 2008-10-08 at 19:02:43.

Eol Fefalas
Turning Capashanese
RDI Staff
Karma: 448/28
7299 Posts


All in a night's work (part 1)

7:15 p.m. Sharpe Eye Investigations as I will it, so mote it be, the final words of the invocation whispered past his lips as Alex walked the edge of the Circle he had cast, adding his Spirit to the gathering power within the salt-scribed sigil on the floor. When those last words had dissipated into the still air of the room, Alex stopped between his wedding ring (which had been placed on the Eastern side of the Circle) and the pentacle amulet (placed in the West) that Emily had always worn. He could already feel the Essence welling in the confines of the ritual and, at his direction, seeping into him and those objects he had placed in the Four Quarters. Arms outstretched and eyes closed, he sank to a seated position on the Circles edge and continued the soft chant that would gather and store this summoned Essence, being mindful to impart respect to the Lord, and the Lady, and the Spirits he had called. Hed performed this ritual before, of course, and had become fairly adept at its workings though the first time hed attempted it, he had almost lost focus and found himself teetering on the brink of overloading not just himself but the entire house, as well but it was never a thing that he would have called easy. Tonight, though, it seemed different somehow. The Essence flowed like water, pure and clean and sparkling, and its conscious direction seemed almost unnecessary, at this point almost like another had joined his solitary Circle and was lending aid that he, otherwise, might have been to stubborn to ask for from anyone else. As odd as it was, though, Alex didnt question it not now in the midst of the Summoning and Focusing, anyway.

Following the completion of the thing, though, and after Alex had dismissed the forces he had summoned always take down what you put up he noticed that the cat was sitting just inside the doorway of the room, watching him intently. Miss me, did you, he grinned, plucking his ring from its spot on the floor and slipping it back on his finger, or are you hungry again, maybe? He retrieved Emilys amulet next, then raised it to his lips and kissed it before pulling it over his head and tucking it under his shirt. Finally, he snatched up the last object placed outside the Circle at the beginning of the ritual a brushed nickel Zippo lighter with a pentacle engraved on one side and stuffed it in the pocket of his jeans before getting to his feet and sweeping away the Circle itself.

This done, he turned for the door and, as he passed, reached down and pet the cat on its head. I think theres only a couple of cans of tuna left, sweetheart, he said as he padded across the hall and into his bedroom, and maybe another bowlful of milk. Probably get you through the next day or so but, if youre gonna stick around, I suppose I can stop and pick up some stuff for you on my way back home. Sitting on the edge of the unmade bed, Alex reached for a half empty pack of cigarettes on the nightstand, shook one directly from the pack to his lips, and lit up before tugging open the nightstand drawer and retrieving a pistol from its interior. Need to remember a litter box and crap, too, I guess, he muttered, realizing that he didnt know what the cat might do if it had to relieve itself while he was out. He popped the clip, gave the load a cursory glance, and slapped it back into place before snugging the weapon away in the waistband of his pants. So, he chuckled, getting to his feet again and heading for stairs, any special requests or anything? Might as well ask, right? No sense in blowing a chunk of change on stuff that you wont use because it offends your sensibilities or somethin

God, Alex! Are you really talking to a cat like its gonna talk back? Maybe Kellys right maybe you are going off the deep end
He dragged deeply on his smoke and clumped down the staircase; Em wouldnt think so, would she? Shed like you, though probably giggling herself silly right now listening to me yak at you, too dont know if shed be happy if you crapped all over her house because I left you here with nowhere else to go. Alex stopped before he reached the bottom of the steps and turned to regard the pretty grey cat curiously; Wouldnt have any interest in coming along for the ride, would you?

Meow, the cat answered.

8:22 p.m. Clybourne Ave, Lincoln Park, Chicago
Somethin I can do fer you, sir?

Alex sighed, exhaling a jet of cigarette smoke before lifting his grey eyes from where the doorman/bouncers beefy hand to meet the large mans hooded gaze. Thought Id get a drink, he replied nodding towards the clubs doorway.

The doormans eyes flicked quickly over him, appraising Alexs bedraggled appearance and obvious lack of insight as to the current fashion trends. I dont think this is yer kinda place, guy, he said matter-of-factly, squinting at him in what Alex figured was meant to be an intimidating manner, The kinda drinkin you wanna do can be done at another bar, aright?

Alex held the mans gaze for a moment longer, then ticked a glance toward the door as a pair of giggling young ladies, dressed in glitzy if entirely too reveling outfits, sauntered past them and entered the club. Got ya, Alex smirked, taking a drag from his cigarette as his eyes returned to the bouncer, Dont want some scraggly old guy creepin out the teeny-boppers, right?

Yeah, the bouncer nodded as his hand finally withdrew from Alexs chest, somethin like that.

Alex nodded and turned to go. Your music sucks, anyway, he grinned, strolling northwards towards Fullerton, have fun babysittin. Between his initial circuit around the entirety of the place and the glimpse he got when the hoochy-girls entered, he had seen what he needed to, anyway. The large nightclub was the only building on the triangular shaped block carved out by Clybourn, Fullerton, and Ashland, and Alex was sure, now, that whatever might happen here tonight, hed be afforded a decent view from where he had parked his car. Lucius Azazelite wouldnt go unnoticed whenever the little bastard decided to show up or leave.

A short walk west on Fullerton brought him to the end of his cigarette and the spot where he had parked the car. Now for the boring part, he grumbled as he climbed back into the drivers seat, just gotta sit here and wait him out. He pulled his flask from the inside pocket of his coat and indulged in a tiny slug before reaching over to scratch the cat who was snoozing on the passengers seat behind the ears. This is my life, cat, he chuckled mirthlessly, welcome to it, I guess.

8:37 p.m.
He had been watching the traffic around the nightclub for only a short time, making note of any and all patrons and personnel with even the slightest hint of the Gift who mightve passed through the doors of the place. He hadnt noticed many at all, really. Two or three who had auras hinting at a small amount of power and another one who shone with essence enough to indicate that she possibly actually practiced the craft to some small degree but, otherwise, the people filing into the lounge were largely mundanes. Shifting in his seat, Alex took his eyes from the place long enough to fish another cigarette out of the pack. Told ya it was a sleeper, he muttered to the cat as he struck his lighter he had been expecting a quick flash and flicker from the thing, of course, but, for some reason, the light that accompanied the ignition of the lighter seemed extraordinarily bright bright enough that Alex blinked and closed the lighter without even getting the flame near the cigarette. What the

He blinked rapidly a few more times trying to clear the afterglow from his eyes before he realized that the brilliant flash hadnt come from the lighter but, instead from outside the car. Almost in disbelief, Alexs eyes fixed on a young Asian-looking woman who had just run in front of his car and across Fullerton towards an apartment building on the other side of the street. He didnt get a good look at her she was running like the Devil was chasing her but whoever she was, Essence shone from her like a lighthouse beacon. His mouth fell open as he watched the girl disappear between the buildings and the unlit cigarette fell from his lips and into his lap. Holy sh!^!

((OOC: Okay, stopping there for the moment, ladies got much more coming on this one, of course, but figured Id get at least this much tacked up for your viewing pleasure and allow for any input that Smoke might have so far More later...))



Posted on 2008-10-10 at 17:35:14.

Merideth
Muse-i-licious
RDI Staff
Karma: 177/13
3127 Posts


Kitty's Awake!

He blinked rapidly a few more times trying to clear the afterglow from his eyes before he realized that the brilliant flash hadnt come from the lighter but, instead from outside the car. Almost in disbelief, Alexs eyes fixed on a young Asian-looking woman who had just run in front of his car and across Fullerton towards an apartment building on the other side of the street. He didnt get a good look at her she was running like the Devil was chasing her but whoever she was, Essence shone from her like a lighthouse beacon. His mouth fell open as he watched the girl disappear between the buildings and the unlit cigarette fell from his lips and into his lap. Holy sh!^!
Things had been going well. Although she was beginning to think Alex suspected her. As much fun as it was to pretend to be the fluff ball it wasnt easy, not around the one she would like to be Her Human at least. So perhaps it wasnt such a bad thing after all that he was getting suspicious. The car ride had been nice, she had always enjoyed rides, and cars (it turned out) were much better than wagons or even carriages, much smoother, and faster. And then the wait, just sitting peacefully in the car, listening to the sounds outside, being petted ah perfect.

And then the flash. A sudden bright light so bright she could see it through her closed eyelids. Memory surged back at her fire-!
In an instant she was up on all fours on the dashboard, back arched, fur puffed up all around her, teeth exposed, and as the last reflex flared out her essence and shot a protective field around her and Alex she watched the young girl run across the street and into a building.

Immediately she began cursing in her head to herself.
Blubbering fool! Now hell know for certain, throwing around what little essence you have left so carelessly, you have to think before you do things like that. And look at you, all hopped up and puffed out over some girl running across a parking lot. This isnt like before, remember the world has changed, a lot. Although
She stole a glance over at Alex who also seemed to have noticed what was going on and looked almost as shocked himself.

Although maybe there is more to this than we had thought if hes freaking out. Of course he also freaked out at me jumping off the bookshelf earlier, so whose to say how frazzled his nerves really are on a general basis?
She slunk back down to her normal size, though she stayed on the dashboard, tense and ready, leaving the shield up for now, something still was not right with the air, and waited to see what Alex would do now.



Posted on 2008-10-11 at 02:49:36.

Eol Fefalas
Turning Capashanese
RDI Staff
Karma: 448/28
7299 Posts


This day just gets weirder and weirder...

8:44 p.m.
Did you see that, Alex mumbled, disbelieving, as he rubbed at his eyes as if convinced that what hed just seen was a hallucination, Did I see that? His mind surged, suddenly, down a thousand different paths from what kind of power causes a signature like that to thank the Mother that aint who Im lookin to find when he realized that the napping cat had sprung to the dashboard and was in the midst of a full-tilt hissy. The cat had seen what he had seen, and that meant that the cat was somewhat more than just a cat.

Okay, Alex breathed, reaching out a hand to stroke the cat the bast reassuringly before finally tearing his eyes away from where the glowing girl had disappeared from his sight, okay. So it wasnt just me, then. He blinked again, retrieved the cigarette from his lap, and nestled it in the corner of his mouth before offering the little grey fluffball a rather uneasy grin. He had felt his hand pass through the shield that she had thrown up when he reached out to pet her and he realized, then, what the source of the added essence during his ritual had been.

You can take that down, he said softly, finally relaxing a bit himself, youll be alright. I dont think we need to worry about her at least, I hope not wouldnt hurt to check her out later, though damn, that was crazy. He scratched the cat under her chin and offered a quick wink before lighting his cigarette. Shaking his head slowly, still trying to sort out what had just happened hell, what had been happening all day Alex turned his eyes back towards the apartment building into which the glowing girl had vanished, blew a lungful of smoke out the window, and, having screwed the cap off of his flask, spilled a swallow past his lips.

Not my concern, tonight, he whispered, more to himself than to the cat, as his attentions turned to the nightclub up the street, again. He slumped back into his seat and watched the place for a moment, then took another small sip from the flask and let his eyes drift back to the cat. Wanna knock to smooth out your nerves, too, he chuckled, tilting the flask in her direction.

The cat flicked an ear and blinked at him in reply.

He screwed the cap back in place and returned the flask to his pocket. I had started thinking, Alex said, his grey eyes sliding back to their surveillance of Club Vain, that, if you stayed around, Id call you Smoke. He took another pull on his cigarette, glanced at her again, and grinned a little; Probably already got a name, though, dont you? Well, I cant keep on calling you cat forever and, if you dont like Smoke, you need to tell me, sweetheart, or youre gonna be stuck with it.

Ellgawen, the cat replied, My name is Ellgawen, human, but you may call me Smoke if you like. It is somehow appropriate, I think.

Im Alex.

I know.



Posted on 2008-10-11 at 18:37:46.

Merideth
Muse-i-licious
RDI Staff
Karma: 177/13
3127 Posts


Well Hello Human

Kitty smoothed out her fur slowly with a ripple of her back muscles and looked straight at Alex. That hadn't gone as she had intended at all, so much for pretending to be a cute little fluff ball and just live on tuna her whole life.
She took a whiff of the scotch as he wagged at her.
"Chet used to drink that stuff. I think I'll leave that liquor to you. You actually remind me alot of Chet, was thinking of him back in your place, but Chet was happy... you on the other hand..."
She let her eyes move back to where the lighthouse had dissapeared into a building.
"Didn't you used to be a cop? There was a nice picture of you in a blue uniform back at your place. Some girl, with essence oozing out of her very pores goes running like mad across the parking lot and its not your concern? Alright, I get it... those guys really got you all twisted up huh? But hey I'm just a cat, and your My Human, and because of you I'm rather drained on essence myself at the moment, so... I guess we'll just sit here and either wait for the jewrely man show up so you can have a little fun tonight or wait for the girl to start screaming."
And with that she stretches languidly on the dash board and stares out the windsheild.

((Note: Her accent... she's had a rather varied history, so her speech does not take a up any one accent but rather has bits of several. The strongest would be southern, but she also has influences of english and swedish. And then there is the issue that she's a kitty... so she has a tendency to roll her rrr's like she's purring, which gets worse when she is actually pleased with something.))


Posted on 2008-10-12 at 23:54:36.

   
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