[font "Times New Roman" [center [size18 "You know... you are so cute! I could just eat you up."]]]
[font "Times New Roman" [b The first date.] You like your date. [b A] is charming, funny, and downright sexy. They don't pressure you to do anything you don't want to do, but you are beyond captivated, so you decide you'd like to [i do the do] on the first date. The next day, you wake up, and hardly remember the night before. There are bruises all over you, scratches, marks. "I have a thing for blood," [b A] had said. Teeth. You remember the teeth.]
[font "Times New Roman" [b The second.] [b A] apologizes for all their marks. They say it won't be so messy next time and grin--you get a look at their teeth. Those canines are uncomfortably sharp. When [b A] kisses you, they draw blood, and apologize. That grin is unapologetic.]
[font "Times New Roman" [b The sixth.] [b A] has been courting you lately to apologize. When you have sex again, those teeth draw blood more than once.]
[font "Times New Roman" You're tired all the time. You feel... dead.]
[font "Times New Roman" You demand [b A] tells you what they're doing to you. You accuse them of being a vampire. They laugh in your face.]
[font "Times New Roman" [center [size20 "Vampire? Rudimentary. I am a god."]]]
[font "Times New Roman" [b The first date.] Your date is so cute! They brought you flowers, opened the doors for you, paid for your dinner. Although... they don't eat much. That's a bit weird, isn't it? ]
[font "Times New Roman" [b The twelfth date.] You think it's about time you showed some skin. So you do. It's weird that [b A] bites you and leaves bruises and everything, but you could get into it... In fact, you kinda like it! And they're so cute about it, so what's the matter with it if you're both cool?]
[font "Times New Roman" [b The fourteenth date.] You wonder why it is that [b A] can kiss you and cut your lips every time.]
[font "Times New Roman" [b The eighteenth date.] You've started to feel rather sick... You tell [b A] about it. You aren't sure of their profession, but you think you saw them in a hospital once? Or something like that. They tell you it's going to be okay. [b A] snaps your neck while you are undressing for them.]
[font "Times New Roman" You think [b A] is to die for. And that is just what you will do.]
[font "Times New Roman" i. Yes, [b A] fancies themselves a cannibal for the ultimate conclusion of becoming a god. Is this far-out hope going to lead to anything? That'd be fun to figure out.]
[font "Times New Roman" ii. Is your character going to die? Maybe. We can talk about that, I suppose. Even so, does it look like [b A] is going to jump out of the dating pool any time soon?]
[font "Times New Roman" iii. I have no set ideas for your character's gender, sexuality, personality, or otherwise, nor do I for mine. I also do not have a preference for either the victim or [b A]. That is entirely up to you.]
[font "Times New Roman" iv. Please be literate. I'm laid back, but will not under any circumstances accept anyone who writes under 1000 characters for any reason. My bad. I'll probs stalk your profile.]
[font "Times New Roman" v. I'm pretty sure you can guess other rules? Don't ditch, contribute to the plot, don't GM unless we're too fuckin' cool to care, don't be a piece of shit?]
[font "Times New Roman" vi. [b A] IS NOT A VAMPIRE. They just have some unusually sharp canine teeth; who gives a shit. There'll probably be nothing supernatural going on here. Probably.]
[font "Times New Roman" vii. If you are interested in joining!!! Send me a PM with the title being your character's name, and the following things: Name: // Age: // Gender: // Sexuality: // 3 Interesting Personality Traits: // [b A] or Nah?: [i Are you the victim or [b A]]?// One Way You'd Like to See This Go: [i Meaning are there any plot deviations you want to see happen?] // Picture: [i Real or Realistic Illustrations, homie.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center [size20 Aight, bye. Holla if you wanna roleplay, buddy.]]]
You don't have permission to post in this thread.
[font "Times New Roman" There is a jigsaw piece in the palm of their hand. It is permanent, everpresent, omniscient. It is a part of the concept of LaFontaine. [i What does it mean to you? What does it represent?]]
[font "Times New Roman" [b I really like puzzles is all.]]
[font "Times New Roman" It is much more complex than that.]
[font "Times New Roman" They don't even know her name, but there is something about her that is ancient. There is something about the sullen woman that LaFontaine finds unmistakably dangerous - something attractive. It is like she could be the perfect offering to propel them into everlasting life... or the one that gets them caught.]
[font "Times New Roman" They said if you believed in God, you would die and find everlasting life somewhere. Your body was supposed to disappear and give back to the earth it has so taken from and your spirit would live on.]
[font "Times New Roman" Childish.]
[font "Times New Roman" Religion was just a coping mechanism. Then you had someone to blame.]
[font "Times New Roman" [+crimson "Insatiable?"] They let the word travel around their mouth, tasting it for a moment. It tastes slightly sweet, but also like some kind of lie, the sheep in wolf's skin. They don't say anything for a long, stretched moment before relenting and omitting: [+crimson "It's subjective."]]
[font "Times New Roman" They let themselves sink into memory for a moment: how, during their first visit to Australia, they could feel someone reach into their pocket and take their wallet. They let it go. Maybe that other person needed it more. Maybe it was purely selfish. LaFontaine had held their head up and didn't even blink, completely indifferent to the situation. They just let it go.]
[font "Times New Roman" Looking at this woman gives them that same feeling. It is unexplainable. It is something straight out of a romantic comedy, or maybe some terrific thriller; except there is no context, no timeline, no scene cuts -- there is just LaFontaine looking in the mirror at her, Mel looking in disapproval at them, and she looking at her own glass. A perfect triangle. It makes the edge of their lips curl up a bit.]
[font "Times New Roman" When the woman rises, sweeping both gazes with her as if captivated by an actress or a dancer or a lioness going in for the kill, LaFontaine doesn't move at first.]
[font "Times New Roman" The way she says their name--]
[font "Times New Roman" Breath catches]
[font "Times New Roman" infinite]
[font "Times New Roman" temporary]
[font "Times New Roman" asking for more of the same,]
[font "Times New Roman" like the addict with the needle.]
[font "Times New Roman" LaFontaine knows suddenly and without question that she is the one.]
[font "Times New Roman" It makes their own words feel harsh and clipped when they respond to her. [+crimson "I would be honored."]]
[font "Times New Roman" [i I don't even know her name.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [i I'll learn it.]]
[font "Times New Roman" They take the last ice cube from the glass and rise from their seat at the bar, turning to face the woman, crushing it in their teeth and swallowing it not completely in pieces. A flower not completely dead.]
[font "Times New Roman" It amazes them the kinds of situations people can put themselves in. What proof does the individual have that this woman will not kill them? What proof does she have? Why does Mel watch her like that?]
[font "Times New Roman" He is either entranced or he knows her personally, perhaps intimately. LaFontaine fishes twenty dollars from the bottom of their wallet and sets it gently on the bartop and doesn't demand any change. Putting their bag over their shoulder and moving their now-damp hair again, when they look back, they can see the last assumption is true. Mel wears his emotions right on his face. He has nothing to hide.]
[font "Times New Roman" They cannot remember a time they were that free. Is there a such thing...?]
[font "Times New Roman" [+crimson "You're too kind,"] they say again to her, standing beside her at the door. They will not say she doesn't have to do it; surely she knows. She is not an idiot.]
[font "Times New Roman" LaFontaine finds it hard not to let their eyes look over her face in such close proximity now. There is no more shyness and bravery that comes with observing from a distance. This feeling, so close and so tangible, is honesty.]
[font "Times New Roman" Squinting, the young individual manages to avert their gaze out into the rain. [+crimson "You didn't tell me your name, miss,"] pale lips finally manage to spit into the world. [+crimson "I use my imagination to assume it's something lovely."]]
[font "Times New Roman" Their voice catches and they clear it, absently fingering the clasps on their messenger bag.]
[font "Times New Roman" [+crimson "Like a flower."]]
[font "Times New Roman" Not completely dead.]
[font "Times New Roman" [+crimson "But not soft... More like a venus fly trap."]]
[font "Times New Roman" LaFontaine licks their lips, an eyebrow quirked as if in afterthought to something introverted. Half of them anticipates her answer; the other part goes over all the flowers they know.]
[font "Times New Roman" [+crimson "You know, some people don't think the venus is a flower. They consider it an... animal."] A pause to glance at her profile. [+crimson "A predator."]]
[font "Times New Roman" They roll their shoulders back and forth, rocking on their heels for just a moment. [+crimson "Like 'insatiable', I think it's subjective. Anyhow--"] their pale hands gesture into the rain [+crimson "I'd brave it first, but it's your car. Which I [i graciously] thank you for once again."]]
Even in the overcast light streaming through the single, grimy window, and the dim atmosphere of the flickering interior tea-lighting, peripheral vision can still distinguish the texture of sleeves like the sails of ships from the slip and creep of shadows. Mel’s eyes drift from the motion of snapping a fresh leaf from its stalk, almost mechanical as it draws first, from androgynous Euro features to the stoic disquiet of the Orient. An open sentiment closest to uncertainty crosses his face, and she can see him as a boy, with his big doe eyes filled up with wonder.
“I’ll be honest,” and the first notes of her tenor already has the warmth in her limbs diverting, “I’m more of a coffee person.”
A thinly formed curve of lip produces a derisive smile. It is all curved moon in her bone white face; in reflection, the coif she fashioned her hair into has fallen from its barrette, frizzle and tangled, a complete transformation from its silken polish. The rim of her glass was marred by the dark imprint of her lips, which when she peered into the mirror, could see her eyes sink further and further until they were moon craters.
There is not always comfort to be found in the silence. The smooth after taste of honey still coats her tongue and she is reminded of why she seeks harbor in the tawny waters of bourbon. An appreciation for candor has long since been forgotten in convenience of a lie. Any number of replies, both inimical and neutral have risen to mind, but the unequivocal certainty that colors the directness of the conversation has her turning to study the sharp profile of the unsolicited companion.
[b “Warmth for your bones,”] she remarks, as if the storm were the sole reason for her indulgence. Drinking was for remembering the memory, a potable novacane that promises no feeling. Caffeine doesn’t do that. It is as fleeting as the satisfaction from the first cigarette’s drag.
The pause, and though tactfully after disturbing the condensation on the counter, there is no insult to be gained. “I don’t think I could drink as many.”
To this, Savannah waits until Mel garnishes the perspiring drink with the mint frond, and sips. [b “I’m insatiable,”] said without haughtiness or pleasure. A simple statement that required no infliction to serve its purpose. But, almost as if in response to the suggestive grin still tugging at the corner of LaFontaine’s mouth, a tongue darts out to savor the bourbon still wetting her lip.
A hawkish gaze finds the delicate curve of brow bone satisfying, the hair raised like fine, flaxen parentheses. The face has great context, a thousand stories to be interpreted behind those artic glaciers. And she can imagine, very well, how many photographers have fawned over even the fineness of alabasters hands- but no, Savannah has the eyes that intend to look and see the matter of things, and can see, the tendency to touch as LaFontaine’s way of exploring the world. Determined to bring sensory awareness with every stroke of the wood and coolness of beaded water, the ridges of fingertips knowing everything but where they wish to go.
Plucking the mint from the transparent ice cube it clings to, she finds herself twirling its tiny shoot between forefinger and thumb. The drink disappears in two measured swallows before fingers dig through pockets for the relieving coolness of keys. Chewing on the mint thoughtfully, she samples the balance of citrus and sweetness, and settles her tab.
He sees how LaFontaine watches her in the mirror, like a predator, and begins to ask Savannah if she’ll come by for dinner – tonight is steak with mashed potatoes and string beans, a dish she likes and eats seldom– but the art-dealer is nothing, if not practical, and so he trusts that she’ll knock on his door at eight o clock because it is a Wednesday and this is ritual.
Mel doesn’t protest as he watches her saunter towards the door, a tranquil tempo in comparison to her strident routine. Up to his arms in tepid water, he feigns interests in the suds when she begins humming in the back of her throat. He thinks about her collarbone, the indent like a finger-how erotic it is, against her shell-white throat, and he thinks of what she must be like all careless from the drinking. Lose limbs like waves, engulfing.
The door opens and sheets of rain drum a rhythm of watersong. Of cycles of human life, born and cleansed and washed away. Savannah lingers, perching between the last indents of warmth from the bar and the wet, angry downpour. Dark figures gamboled in the fog, floodlit briefly by the wave and fall of headlights. The world have become a mass of grey, and for it, there isn’t a single illuminated roof of a taxi.
[b “LaFontaine,”] she calls, though even if she is intimate with English, she will never shed the delicate accent that makes her words as soft and lost as water and so it makes the name sound strange. [b “If you are in a hurry, I can take you as far as 47th and Roosevelt.”] Where the subway meets a flock of taxis.
[font "Times New Roman" LaFontaine tries to throw back the alcohol at first, but the shocking cold of ice cubes on teeth forces them to slow down on consumption. They move wet hair from tickling their nose, instead slicking it back with a sigh. Instinct told them today that it would rain.]
[font "Times New Roman" They keep a stray ear on the conversation between the bartender and other guest--he seems as if he is genuinely concerned, and with good cause; it, again, is much too early for this kind of alcohol. But they don't say anything; it isn't their place; this isn't the time. So they keep their eyes on the mirror running the length of the bar, but half their attention is elsewhere.]
[font "Times New Roman" Long, slender fingers feel around the contents of their messenger bag, eventually pulling out a blue folder and opening it, producing a series of papers and setting them neatly on the bartop. Next to come out is their phone, a number quickly dialed and the device put to their ear as they kick back more of the alcohol, the contrast of cold and burning not escaping them.]
[font "Times New Roman" The line rings for a few moments before a gruff male voice answers, [i "Just where are you?"]]
[font "Times New Roman" The individual doesn't respond immediately, instead looking down at the papers before them. [+crimson "I got sidetracked by the rain. I'll be a little late."]]
[font "Times New Roman" [i "Oy, this storm's not lookin' to blow over anytime soon."]]
[font "Times New Roman" [+crimson "Then give me a rain check. I can pitch tomorrow."]]
[font "Times New Roman" [i "You better get yer ass in a cab and haul it down here."]]
[font "Times New Roman" They don't say anything for a long time. It's silent except for when LaFontaine raises the glass to their lips again and finishes the liquid off, taking an ice cube into their mouth. [+crimson "I'll let you know when I get there."]]
[font "Times New Roman" [i "You do that."]]
[font "Times New Roman" The call ends on a note as bitter as the taste left in their mouth. They have no intention on rushing--for what purpose? A person could drown out in that weather. Their gaze travels back to the mirror, accidentally landing on the other patron's. They don't look away and neither does she, their jaw crushing an ice cube between their teeth.]
[font "Times New Roman" LaFontaine runs a hand through their now damp hair, brushing it off to the side rather than straight back. The woman breaks the eye contact and they don't object to it, returning to the papers in front of them. A few notes on one page, a paragraph on another, a caption here under this picture. Then they put the papers away, raising their glass to the bartender who has devoted all of his attention to the woman. He holds her glass in one hand, turning a slightly defeated look on LaFontaine before taking their glass, too.]
[font "Times New Roman" He's the only bartender the blonde individual has met that insists on stopping the consumption of liquid courage at this hour. Anyone else would just serve it up and mind their own business. LaFontaine eyes the steam rising from a cup beside her; it is undisturbed, but there are the marks of several cold rings on the bartop.]
[font "Times New Roman" LaFontaine eyes the female, noting the high cheekbones, the generous lips, the long neck. She is truly an exotic creature, someone who belongs in a fantasy movie world instead of a bar with a leaky ceiling run by a man who contradicts his business. They wonder what brought her here, other than the obvious rain. She reminds them of someone they knew: the first sacrifice. She was a very charming girl, captivating, interesting. LaFontaine would've liked not to offer her in exchange for immortality, but there were rules, and second-best wouldn't cut it.]
[font "Times New Roman" They turn their mind from that. This woman is...]
[font "Times New Roman" Perfect.]
[font "Times New Roman" Wouldn't it be a shame to waste it?]
[font "Times New Roman" They pack their belongings back into their bag, picking up the glass the male sets in front of them and moving closer to the woman. Staring from afar is not only a turn-off, but will also do nothing to get the job done. They reposition themselves two seats away from where she sits, the bag hanging off their shoulder, blue-grey eyes trained on the mirror before them. This is a spot where the ceiling is leaking, but they pretend not to notice.]
[font "Times New Roman" [+crimson "I'll be honest,"] they start after a moment, their voice a bit husky and lower than initially intended. They raise the glass to their lips and let it run down their throat, eyebrows arching at the taste and burn. [+crimson "I'm more of a coffee person."] Their fingers gesture at the rings of melted water that litter the bartop in front of the woman nonchalantly, a suggestive grin on their lips.[+crimson "I don't think I could drink as many."]]
Intermittent raindrops patter, its poignant sound playing a musical scale when it ripples against the metallic sides of the pot. The handle is broken and must be dumped into the sink behind the bar once it is too full. The waterlogged portion of the roof is a yawning hole; part of the drywall and insulation float like flotsam on the disturbed surface. Savannah chews on an ice cube – thoughtless, the interior of her mouth suffering from the shock of cold in its bed of warmth – dutifully ignoring the crackle of thunder, the flash of lightning that heralded the newcomer’s arrival.
“What can I get you today, stranger?” His high cheekbones are unblemished, though his nose is encompassed by blackheads. In the low light, it is a greasy bulb from the midst of a charismatic mouthpiece.
“I’ll have what she’s having.”
“Bourbon on the rocks.”
“Ah…excuse me?” Mel takes to wiping non-existent dirt from the counter.
“That’s my name. Thank you. It’s sort of London on the rocks outside, isn’t it? When you think about it.”
A drop of water rolls from a strand of hair stuck at Savannah’s mouth; she devours another ice cube, savoring the dilution of the bourbon. Barrel-aged for nearly twenty years in white-oak, the woody notes are impossible to miss by inexperienced tastes. Hers is accustomed to the burn, to its honeyed over note, to its blossoming embrace, to the dreams halted mid-gestation. She is familiar with the oblivion, wishes for the quiet.
On the torn-seat beside her, a newspaper peeks out from between the mouth of her leather carrycase. Crafted by Albert Bellucci, the ‘Capri’ is an Italian calf-skin triple gusset flap the color of caramel. A stray droplet, carried by the fan set on low, bleeds the ink. Russet eyes, framed by dark kohl and fanning lashes, turns to witness this phenomenon before placing it just out of reach on the counter, where it will be exempt from the drainage.
The mug is undisturbed at her side, steam wafting warmly. The exotic curvature of cheekbones are ruddy and almost erotic when she dips her head and gives the softest of moans. The glass curled in her hand is empty, save for half a cube that’s escaped her mindless gnash. It moves amongst the liquid like a ballerina across the stage, clinks at the side of its cage when she raises expected eyes to Mel.
“Listen,” he begins lowly, leaning across the bar between she and the newcomer, an air of camaraderie about him. The length of distressed jeans encased long, lean legs. A black T-shirt hugs his muscles and complements the chocolate shade of skin. Along his left arm is a tribal band tattoo. “I think you’ve had enough. It’s clear you’ve got somewhere to be.”
She looks to him – impassive, the generous plump of her lips falling towards a scowl, the strand of damp hair remains at its corner, undisturbed – before glaring forward. A mirror runs the length of the bar, accentuating the plethora of liquors, its curvy or tall or stout bottles reflecting in the spectrum of dark and light. The tranquil blonde perches on the seat, elbows resting on the bar as the rim of glass is lifted to lips. A keen eyes appraises the lean stature, the boyish crop. Androgynous features makes it rather difficult to determine the sex, though the sensual curve of lips and the slightest camber of collarbone suggests female – and Savannah is well-acquaintance with which vulnerable curves sends the blood aflame.
Tangled in sheets – the color of lavender, to compliment the shade of eyes, the paleness of skin and hair – her arms raised and her throat arched in ecstasy, this is the image that is conjured when she strokes her frame as readily as charcoal silhouettes canvas.
Their eyes meet. There is a charge in the atmosphere and a tuning rod seated between the spaces of her ribs –and she trusts this sensation and allows the LaFontaine to imprint on senses. A drop of water in a well, resonates to hidden places. So does this chance encounter, lingering in the lemon-disinfectant air like miasma. When she leaves this interior, she would think no more of this moment, of this pity, of this stranger and bow to the winds of fate –but she is aware that the European and Western egos were two different things, that the insertion of an introduction can alter the intersection of destinies.
When she peers into the bottom of her glass, the ice has melted and there is only a centimeter of water, mutable to her vexed sways. [b “I’m exactly where I need to be,”] she responds and presses the empty glass into his hand.
[font "Times New Roman" Nice weather in London doesn't usually last for long. It's bright and happy and everyone decides to wear sundresses and shorts--until it isn't anymore. Like an old grudge suddenly brought back to the immediate consciousness, it changes. It warps and then it's raining and you're running, desperately hoping no water is leaking onto the papers you have to present at a meeting.]
[font "Times New Roman" LaFontaine is stalking through the rain with hands up as if to shield themselves from the onslaught, with little to show for it. Their hair is stuck from forehead to nose, dripping over lips that are sputtering out water. It much resembles bailing water out of a sinking ship.]
[font "Times New Roman" They've a meeting to go to regarding an article LaFontaine is pitching to the magazine company she works for. The rain has caught them by surprise--no umbrella, no car, and no way they were going to make it in this weather.]
[font "Times New Roman" LaFontaine decides to make a stop at McBride's--they've never seen this place before. It has always seemed so invisible; the kind of place you neglect without really realizing what you're doing.]
[font "Times New Roman" The blonde individual throws the door open harder than intended, a relieved sigh falling from their lips as a reckless grin graces their features. They trek over to the bar, setting their bag on the chair next to them. There's no need to flag down the bartender; there's only one other barfly at this time of day.]
[font "Times New Roman" She looks just as wet, considerably more miserable. LaFontaine wonders if the drink is meant for something.]
[font "Times New Roman" "What can I get you today, stranger?"]
[font "Times New Roman" They look at the man, offering him a grin like one would hold up hands in surrender to a charging animal. LaFontaine's mouth opens, but no sound comes out for another five seconds before they declare, [+crimson "I'll have what she's having,"] and slides their gaze to the mysterious, wet woman who hasn't said anything in greeting so far. She seems peaceful; LaFontaine considers leaving her alone and asking for something else.]
[font "Times New Roman" But they don't. The bartender nods like he's approving the request, turning to prepare the drink. LaFontaine slicks back white-blonde hair and cracks their knuckles, tugging on the tie that is strangling them. They have not quite mastered the art of doing it yet. It is frustrating, to say the least.]
[font "Times New Roman" The young man with the dreads returns to LaFontaine, a small grin on his features. He looks like he knows a secret. The writer figures they have interrupted something by walking in.]
[font "Times New Roman" "Bourbon on the rocks," the man tells them after a moment. LaFontaine gives them a smile before turning it onto the other woman, raising the glass and tilting their head in a sort of off-kilter tribute. It's a little early for alcohol like this, but it's too late anyway.]
[font "Times New Roman" [+crimson "LaFontaine."]]
[font "Times New Roman" "Ah... excuse me?"]
[font "Times New Roman" [+crimson "That's my name. Thank you."] They trace the rim of the cup for a long, stretched moment before bring it to their lips, the liquid snaking its way down their throat. [+crimson "It's sort of London on the rocks outside, isn't it? When you think about it."]]
[font "Times New Roman" It reminds LaFontaine of the ocean. It reminds them of home, of being rough--]
[font "Times New Roman" Hands that can't get enough of skin, eyes that don't get tired of seeing red, blue, black. The colors of pain and bruising and [i pleasure] on a level unknown to most. It reminds them of being alive, really, truly, entirely alive.]
[font "Times New Roman" It sends the mind into a frenzy. It sends the body into a fit of lust, of longing, of [i wanting] something so badly it shakes.]
[font "Times New Roman" London is shaking. The thunder awakens something terrible and desirable in the ground.]
[font "Times New Roman" LaFontaine sighs into their glass, watching breath show up on the side of it. It disappears as soon as it shows its face.]
[font "Times New Roman" Yes, it is much too early for alcohol like this.]
The bar is named McBride’s and is unoriginal in both architect and service. Situated at an awkward angle on the corner of Fifth and Wabash, the window display announcing its presence is readily overlooked by the worn, overhead sign for the Fashion Boutique next door. The mistake is much easier to make in the mornings, when blurry-eyed interns stumble into the atrium, peeking around the corner like a deer in headlights when the barkeep gives them a lackluster greeting. Inside, there is poor lighting, casting the interior into a perpetual dusk that even the single window is unable to dispel and smells of lemon disinfectant. The hardwood flooring is horrifically defaced in some sections and is hidden beneath the bases of jukebox machines and tables.
Outside was an abnormally bright Wednesday, uncelebrated by the millions scuttling the steel and brick monuments, before the skies erupted in torrents of rain. The damp strands of her hair brushes intimately with the corner of her mouth.
This particular morning, finds the singular patron giving a protracted sigh, a manicured index finger circling the mouth of the whiskey glass. Upon closer study, the middle finger is adorned by the tattoo of a bird with embellished wings and this is in juxtapose to the brush strokes of the dragon face, drawing with Oriental influence that rests on the skin between thumb and forefinger.
The keep, is the son of the owner, and in the two minutes of pleasant exchange between the two, has gone from Melvin to Mel. His skin is the color of coffee and his hair hangs in long dreads. “A bit early to be drinking,” he is all white, straight teeth when he says this, his almond shaped eyes peering down in concern, “bourbon on the rocks.”
It is half past nine, a cube of ice is nearly melted. Two greedy gulps later and the gilded spirit is suckered down, the spring of mint requested, crushed between her teeth. She puckers and inhales, relishing the sensation of being cleansed, before clucking her tongue. [b “Not in China.”]
“Oh, yeah, what’s it like there?”
Her gaze falls to the polish counter, listening to the maelstrom outside.
[tab][tab] Jianying appears delicate: her rose lips pressed into a delicate line, slanted gaze almost whimsical, watching the slow descend of rain, the sudden spray of salt-water against the sidescuttle. She recalls Captain Hartman asking her once if she missed home, if the rain fell different in China; unusually quick in conversation, instead, the woman found herself churning the questions with an intensity reserved for private moments—she suspects the Captain understood the internal struggle this represented, and so, quietly overlooked the frothing waves along the starboard.
[tab][tab] Chinese, among other European nations, believed there were celestial beings that guarded and effected the heavenly, earthly, divine and hidden—dragons, which protected the place where the Gods rested. When she first immigrated to the States, moved into an apartment no more larger than the storage room of the Xu manor, her stomach could not withstand, first the sharp rocking of the sea, and secondly, the smell of “Chinatown”—putrid bait, the putrefaction of geoducks left to the sun, the nauseating smell of fish intestines thrown unceremoniously upon broken ground. It did not help that she came like a fleeing child of summer—and while she worked in restaurants cleaning the messes of others, worked in homes of those who regarded her race with a hard, dubious gaze— she could not help wonder if the drought did not portend the dishonor she had given her father. For some time, while she stood barefoot on her balcony, extracting laundry from the thin line, her eyes would plead for the skies to open and bring fresh rains. In six months, she bared not feeling a drop against her skin and her stomach still had not settled; everything of Jianying was a [i sau bar sing], a jinx.
[tab][tab] Soon, she would take to wearing dragon charms. The Americans, the Irish, the Italians—it did not matter the race—they would see it dangling against her tiny wrists, the ones more befitting a child than an eighteen year old Chinese woman, and begrudged the guffaw at such a show of ridiculous belief. They were Catholic and Baptist and Presbytrian here; she went to church with the Wilson one Sunday, and found herself soon weeping, understanding the depths of betrayal. [i Lianying] lit incense, prayed to her ancestors, prayed to her parents, that they might forgive her; she wrote a letter to them all night long and went to work with puffy, red eyes. The Wilson family accused her of frequenting an opium den and fired her. On the walk home, rain came. It fell in heavy sheets, so the shudders of homes slammed hard, so that some flew off; she herself, being a pile of delicate bones, nearly flew away with no traction against the bottom of her shiny, Penelope heels. But there was no remorse.
[tab][tab] Finally, she told him: [b “The rain falls harder here.”]
[b “It rains a lot,”] she comments, peering from beneath lashes as she rattles the ice. The voiceless demand is met with a fresh drink being prepared. Mel leans against the counter, his gaze traveling over the morose settling of her mouth in an otherwise stoic façade.
He whistles softly, running a threadbare towel across the circled perspiration left behind by her glass. In Italian, they called this “culaccino” and is untranslatable to English.
“No different from the UK, no?”
[b “No different,”] she replies succinctly, coating the visceral of her throat in the slow, seductive burn of the alcohol. It is her third glass within two hours; she has ceased sipping conservatively by the end of the second. If she stands now, her dimpled knees would invert strangely. She determines to wait out the rain by drowning in the tang of oak and cinnamon. Flush with heat, she tuts and presses cool knuckles against the curve of cheek.
This time, when her gaze swims up to him, it is glossy and bright like children’s marbles. Her voice is much smoother, husky even, when she quirks her lips and determines to speak. She requests a mug of tepid water, and steeps a bag of tea while she stares sleepily out into the overcast morning, the insistent rhythm of drops from her hair reminding of the last time she say the coastline and the majestic mountains of her homeland.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.