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Felled By You, Held By You

#1
Caddoc Offline

Caddoc arrived far too early, a side-effect of having little else to fill his time and lighter than usual traffic on the highway. Parked on the side of the street, he leaned against his car, roasting in the early afternoon sun. The coffee in his hand was hot, as was the one for her that he’d carefully perched on the roof of his car -- black as sin and enough sugar to rot a tooth, he remembered. As a man of habit and simple taste, he did not condone deviations from his usual purchase, even in hundred degree weather. So, he allowed himself to bake.

He’d picked the city, she’d picked the neighborhood. It was all frightfully suburban. Landscapers flitted around yards like bees, mowers buzzing, leaving each flat plane of grass as pristine as the one beside it. The incessant looped tune of an ice-cream truck sounded in the distance, making the kids playing in the street stop and turn, little minds whirring as they attempted to predict its time of arrival compared to the time it would take them to run back home for coins. 

Gazing from behind his sunglasses he watched the brood return, their pockets jangling as they pelted headlong towards the approaching truck. Most people, he found, existed only in relation to those around them. A societal trick learned from an early age -- laughing even when a joke wasn’t understood, showing fear when others began to appear alarmed. It was an animalistic rippling. 

Etain existed only in relation to herself. She smiled for no one, felt fear for no one, and did only as she pleased. There was value behind every word or amused expression because he knew it had been honestly earned. He didn’t have to hear or see her to know she was there. Swinging round, he held the coffee out to her as she sidled up beside him. They didn’t regard each other long, turning instead to stare at the house that could very well be their home. “We’d have to paint it. And the driveway would need to be redone.” 

He sipped his drink. “You look good, Lottie.”

Etain
Witch

Played by: Lyss

Age: 45

Species: Witch

Power: Necromancy

Posts: 21
#2
Etain Offline
Just like she had promised, she bought her plane tickets as soon as she had ended the interaction with Caddoc officially. She would show up, he would show up - that much she trusted, even with the ashes of the world still slowly drifting down around them. He at least was a consistent, a reliable source for everything and anything, so set in his ways that it seemed like he'd wear down a solid brick wall before he'd stray a few steps one way or the other. In a time and a place for people pleasing and pandering, it was a pleasure.

On the ride from the air port she'd looked up properties, texted him the specifics of where to meet up. She had not yet bothered with a hotel, pulling her suitcase along the pavement and picking it up to keep quiet as she turned the corner and caught sight of him. Time trailed as it had a tendency to do, but from, what she could make out he was doing well enough. All the same she approached like a threat, quiet and cautious as she wondered closer and didn't announce herself properly. He turned round, she didn't crack a smile. Instead, she started at his shoes and took her time working up, dissecting clothing and posture, considering the fine muscles of his face and how they were set. 

Wordlessly she took the cup from him, muttered against the lid as she stared up at the house and looked it over with the same eye for detail. Everything was property really, things to claim and take. People, places, possessions that could be coveted or destroyed. "If there's wood paneling in there I'm afraid we'll need to keep looking." She took a sip, the first hint of a grin when he seemed to have gotten her order right on the nose, dependable as ever. 

"You as well." Lottie. Charlotte's Web, little taunting nicknames between people who lived in different paragraphs of the same page. "She was a barn spider, for the last time. We'll need a new mailbox, that thing is rusted through."
Witch

Played by: Vos

Age: 29

Species: Witch

Power: Necromancy

Posts: 27
#3
Caddoc Offline

Ultimately, the house was no competition for the woman on his right. “A barn spider is still a spider.” He said, turning towards her now and staring. The sun caught her hair and it flamed brilliantly, the blazing locks framing her face. Her Chicago web was gone, a leg or two severed, but she continued to look in every direction, not for the threats that loomed overhead but for the players they would mercilessly snare and devour.

“Tell me, what made you tire of city living enough to choose...this?” It wasn’t the house -- they shared an affinity for designated spaces, pockets and rooms with a singular purpose. It was the neighborhood that threw him. Jamesville was notoriously anti-vampire and they were just one unfortunate news story away from being slotted with the rest of the undesirables.

A weaker part of him wanted to touch her, so he didn’t. 

Walking up the steps to the front porch, he held the door open for her on their way in, voice edging towards sarcasm. “Are we going to add ourselves to the neighborhood watch? Or perhaps the home owners association?” 

Witch

Played by: Lyss

Age: 45

Species: Witch

Power: Necromancy

Posts: 21
#4
Etain Offline
She took her time on the walk up, a casual stride as she nodded her head towards him when he had the decency to grab the door. "We will join the Homeowner's Association. Yes, we'll attend neighborhood watch meetings. If the little boy next door comes and he wants to sell you a book of coupons, Caddoc you best take out your wallet and do it." And while the words themselves read like a command, she kept herself good and pleasant. Waiting until the door shut behind him, she turned round in the foyer, expression grim as she tried to keep his eyes on hers. There was space between them, but no an abundance of it .If he had the nerve to comment on it, it wasn't intentional. "The safest place to be right now is hidden in plain sight .We've come before the frenzy, so when everyone picks up their torch and pitchfork, we will be doing the same." 

"The problem is being considered a public menace, is that people know rats flee a sinking ship." Her shoulders rose and then fell almost as quickly, just as easily as she had turned towards him, she twisted away. "So instead of cowering in some crack den in Southside, or living off of canned preservatives and the newest hellhole of a swamp, we're going to stay right under their noses." She walked further into the home, noted how the floorboards close to the staircase creaked and bowed the slightest bit.

"And yes Doc, she was a spider - but not my kind."
Witch

Played by: Vos

Age: 29

Species: Witch

Power: Necromancy

Posts: 27
#5
Caddoc Offline

He listened with silent dignity, allowing her to lay out the foundations of her plan. They were going to play at being human. Caddoc pressed his lips together until his mouth formed a muted line. Well, alright then.

Probably the worst thing about this house was that it tried.

The walls were newly painted, an area rug in the living room still curled at the edges from being recently unrolled and flattened. Caddoc stopped to look at the pictures on the mantel. A woman and two boys. The mother was blonde, but with help. She looked sickly. Her eyes held the knowing sadness of decay working from the inside out. The boys appeared unknowing, jovial even.

“I assume you’d prefer for me to call you what then? ‘Widow’ does not have a ring and ‘Blackie’ is just a bit too racist.”

They came around from opposite sides of the house and met in the kitchen.

“It has a basement.” His way of saying ‘I missed you’.
Witch

Played by: Lyss

Age: 45

Species: Witch

Power: Necromancy

Posts: 21
#6
Etain Offline
She pressed the toe of one boot against a spot in the floorboards, a little dip in the artificial wood that made her nose wrinkle. It was the usual tripe, a cookie cutter image of what home was supposed to be - open and welcoming.

"Lottie is fine, I've come to find your ignorance endearing." She glanced back, a faint smile as she brushed past him to wander into the living room. More or less she'd already decided the property was garbage, but still it made sense to take her time. Considering the space, she ambled to the mantle, stopped in front of the fireplace and picked up the photo curiously. Turned away from him, her eyes rolled back at his mock suggestion for names. She did not afford him a response as she carefully turned each of the four prongs that held the back of the frame in place, peeled the cardboard back and used her nail to pry the photo off the glass. It was a thin stock, papery and devoid of the texture one would expect of a proper photo. She considered the woman and the children that flanked her, the idea of spawning more horrible people that would install cheap flooring and hang maps on their living room walls for places they had never and would never visit.

Tragic.

Either way, it struck her that there was a chance that this was a stock photo, the sort that came with the frame from some slim pickings clearance shelf at one bargain store or the next. Smoke and mirrors, look how happy you could be. This could be you.

Not today, Satan.

The mention of a basement had her calmly reassembling the frame, turning about completely and folding her arms as she watched him. "A basement is a must in any home we might entertain." Some equally subtle way of acknowledging that sacred time and the possibility of it's continuation. "For them," Those to come, the end game that would serve to benefit everyone. "And for us, unless you've become boring and now you're the sort of person who likes subway tile for a kitchen backsplash." A different way of saying 'I missed you too', but a way all the same.

Witch

Played by: Vos

Age: 29

Species: Witch

Power: Necromancy

Posts: 27
#7
Caddoc Offline
I don’t see how a proclivity for styled tiling relates to the agreeable way in which I see you and your habits.”

He descended into the cellar, each creaking wooden step marking a year of tense and heated friendship. Her presence triggered a clawing, violent sort of nostalgia. It dug, talons extended, rummaging through their shared experiences. Memories were raked and uncovered like truffles, basking, still dirty from their home of soil and worms.

So many beautiful nights were buried in the ground.

Yanking on a low-hanging string attached to a bare light bulb, he set the basement ablaze with light so bright and foreign to the dank-looking hole it seemed offended. Jagged shadows lurched out at them as the bulb swung, making and killing monsters with every sway. The dying mother’s kids must have been frightened. Perhaps she’d been frightened too.

Caddoc stepped closer to her, rather at home.

How long do you think we have until the curtain falls?” The attack, as leveling as it had been, felt unfinished. The reveal -- that was the second punch.
Witch

Played by: Lyss

Age: 45

Species: Witch

Power: Necromancy

Posts: 21
#8
Etain Offline
"People that find passion in tiling rarely overlap the sort of people who appreciate my work or my habits." Just as a vegetarian typically wouldn't be inclined to a trip to the slaughterhouse, a man passionate about living spaces rarely found pleasure in the people who extinguished the living.

Even as he came to her side, she didn't bother masking her disdain, kept her body still as her eyes roamed around the illuminated space. The stale air and the dank smell of outdated plumbing, hardly a retreat or a place suitable for proper business. Her hands stayed at ease at her sides, but she lifted her index finger alone, brushed just barely against the back of his hand without moving her arm properly.

"Not very long, not if they're smart." And that was an assumption shie was comfortable in making, that whoever had seemingly pulled this off had some modicum of sense. "This is a waste of time." She ran the toe of her boot against a stain in the hard stone underfoot. "What's that? Oil? Paint? If that stains ..." A complete waste.
Witch

Played by: Vos

Age: 29

Species: Witch

Power: Necromancy

Posts: 27
#9
Caddoc Offline
They could have decimated us and exposed us at at the same time. Instead, they took great care in making the world believe this was just some everyday act of heinous violence. Perhaps they have little faith in the world’s ability to handle another supernatural species. Regardless, their actions show only how frightened they are, how vulnerable.”

With a sigh, he turned and walked back up the steps to the kitchen, swift as he exited the house. Waiting for her on the sidewalk outside, he stared down gently curved street, the lots fixed like carefully constructed models, just pretty cardboard, a panorama of domesticity.

We’ll keep looking. But should our search prove fruitless, they are other ways to acquire a home.”
Witch

Played by: Lyss

Age: 45

Species: Witch

Power: Necromancy

Posts: 21
#10
Etain Offline
Few words strummed the right notes to make her relax like frightened and vulnerable, spoke as a gentle reminder of what she already knew: They were down, perhaps - but they were far from out. She took her time leaving, considered taking one of those group photo's from the fireplace if only to make the absence felt, resisted as she went to meet him and considered the dreadfully perfect view in front of them.

"Don't get my hopes up, Doc."
Witch

Played by: Vos

Age: 29

Species: Witch

Power: Necromancy

Posts: 27
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