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Creature Comforts

#1
Clemence Offline
Their last meeting hadn't exactly been the homecoming she'd desired from her children.

She'd raised them. She'd grown them, for heaven’s sake. They had once known her heartbeat, the rhythm of her step, before they had known anything at all. She'd fed them, coddled them, tended to their cuts, scrapes, and endlessly growling stomachs -- all as best she could, which was saying a lot given the circumstances of their upbringing.

Circumstances that Calvin, clearly, hadn't bothered removing himself from.

Oh, Calvin. Honey.

Tugging the collar of her pale pink woolen coat a little more tightly around her neck, Clemence stared, lips parted, aghast. Before her, hardly still standing, was a-a…

Well, it certainly wasn't a house.

Yes, it had walls, certainly. Hidden as they were behind the mountains of molded wood and jagged sheet metal decorating the porch. It had a roof too -- rusted and patched (and perhaps more patch than roof), but a covering nonetheless. Yet even the tree clinging resolutely to the front yard’s near-inhospitable muck seemed to be leaning as far away as its spindly trunk could get it.

Steeling herself with one deep, gulping, wholly unnecessary breath, Clemence stepped up onto the porch.

"Baby?" She called out. Softly at first, then more loudly. She needed to be heard over the creaking of the bowing wood, after all.  

"Sweetheart, you home?"
Revenant

Played by: Meg

Age: 369

Species: Vampire

Posts: 10
#2
Laura Offline
She had one end of the tourniquet clamped between her blunt and human teeth, keeping it tight as she watched the needle closely, made sure she didn't overdo it. Nothing was free - if someone had slipped into necrophage blood, they didn't need any help signing up for an addiction. She'd filled two other vials so far, slowly building up her reserves in preparation for the coming weekend where she would be back in Southside to peddle what she had amassed through her own body and that useless shit for brains Mackenzie Tanner.

Baby was hardly an uncommon endearment to be heard through the thin walls, but she visibly flinched at the voice behind it. It wasn't deep enough, lacked the twang or the warmth. The gasp made her snap the band against the soft skin of the inside of her elbow, standing at once as she quickly capped the vial of blood and silently tossed everything into the duffel under her bed before she used her foot to push it out of sight under her bed. It probably wasn't the most sanitary thing, but desperate times called for ... hiding your drug business from your grandmama.

Gone was the pretense of the porch reunion, barefoot, the soles of her feet dirty from the residual outside that clung to the creaking and warped hardwood of the floors. The knees of her jeans were frayed and for the most part nowhere to be seen, her t-shirt was nearly two sizes too big and she kept her hair piled on top of her head while she worked. All the same, she peered around the corner, just her head before she stepped out properly into the largest space of their little slice of solitude.

"Grandma! Did daddy know you were comin'? He didn't tell me anythin' or I would have ..." She trailed off, wordlessly accepted that tidying up to the standards of the present company would take a full demolition and rebuild - somewhere far from the swamps of Galeville, probably,
Necrophage

Played by: Vos

Age: 319

Species: Vampire

Posts: 26
#3
Clemence Offline
Laura Bates had been on God's green earth for over three hundred years, yet it remained impossible to think of her as anything but a child -- Calvin's daughter. Her grandbaby. And to see her alone, ragged, and surrounded by garbage that Clemence and Edmund had once spent their mortal years trying so desperately to move away from... It was heartbreaking.
 
Or, it would be. If Clemence Bates had a heart to break.
 
"Laura, sugar," she marveled, staring at her granddaughter in a way that revealed her suspicion (and doubt) that an (arguably) living thing could emerge from such a hovel.
 
"Would've what? Combed your hair, found a pair of trousers that... weren't those?" Her upper lip curled in distaste; so distracted was she by Laura’s appearance, she failed to pick up on the girl’s inability to properly speak. Just like her father.
 
Sighing, utterly overwhelmed by it all, Clemence began to wilt. Clutching her collar with one hand, she reached for some sort of stabilizing object with the other: a nearby wall, a banister, an oddly placed chest of drawers. But given that the only option within reach was a cracked leather armchair that appeared to have some sort of shrub growing out of its drooping seat, Clemence settled for merely wavering in the nonexistent wind instead.
 
So weak, so delicate -- as though one well-aimed sneeze on Laura's part could take her out entirely.
 
"Laura," Clemence snapped, the iron in her voice betraying the show of fragility. "Help your grandmother inside -- or have you inherited your daddy's complete lack of regard for me as well?”
Revenant

Played by: Meg

Age: 369

Species: Vampire

Posts: 10
#4
Laura Offline
All different types of cages and one of hers was completely intangible. One of the babies of the family, old enough to be a treasured painting on a mantle of an old dead relative that no one alive knew personally - but a child all the same. If Clemence was a chicken, she would have been clucking and ruffling her feathers, but she supposed that was a default for grandma, really.

"I got pants that have knees in 'em, people don't really wear that stuff as much anymore." And for the record, sometimes she showed her calves too. Prepared to made that joke if it were literally any other living relative standing at the doorway of their very humble abode and looking stricken with horror and grief.

She moved to the side but tensed first, quietly bristled at the mention of her father, the implication that he was in some way a villain. She supposed he wasn't the best in character - but neither was she, and neither was Clemence with her dramatics, not that anyone had the balls to say it in so many words. "Don't be like that, you know he loves you - he just wants to make you proud - that's the only reason we've been quiet." It wasn't it sounded good as she reached out as if her grandmother were a shoddy preservation job on a priceless painting, approached with caution as she helped her inside.

"Cupboards are pretty barren considerin' ... but can I get you anything?"

Necrophage

Played by: Vos

Age: 319

Species: Vampire

Posts: 26
#5
Clemence Offline
Crossing the threshold into her son's home was taking a trip back more than three centuries.. Floors warped, softened, and sunken with termites and rot. Holes in the roof, buckets to catch leaks. Wallpaper peeling, chipped paint and stark plywood showing through. And patches -- patches everywhere. Not necessarily to fix a problem, but to extend it. To tide over. To float, to exist, to pretend that all anything needing was a kiss, a bandage, and an extra touch of attention.

Weren't they ashamed of what they had? Didn't they want to change?

But Clemence half expected it’d done on purpose: a carefully crafted mockery of what she’d come from, a cruel reminder of her bleak beginnings. See, It had become a sneaking suspicion over the years that her children’s distancing was purposeful, that it was all payback for what they were raised in and what Clemence and Edmund had allowed happen to them all those years ago...

'He loves you - he just wants to make you proud.'

Excuses. Lies.

"You haven't just been quiet, Laura, dear." Clemence reminded her -- gently, as though she were bringing to light a forgotten task: a lunchbox left on the counter, a sweater skipped over on a cloud morning, an umbrella against rain. A casual correction for a common mistake.

"You've been entirely absent for decades. You, your father, and the rest."

Sweet Laura, raised in her father's shadow to be as deceitful and cunning as him. It was only now with Edmund gone -- only now that their family was being picked off like flies and she was the only one left standing between them and the only Bates fortune worth a damn…

Lowering herself into the nearest chair (and doing her blessed best to ignore the stains embedded in the fraying upholstery), Clemence primly shook her head at Laura's offer.

"I doubt you have what I require, but... A cup of tea would be nice. Presentation, Laura, doesn't go out of style -- not like you may think." Cue another disapproving stare at her grandbaby's bare knees. "Besides, I enjoy the warmth."
Revenant

Played by: Meg

Age: 369

Species: Vampire

Posts: 10
#6
Laura Offline
Her gift, (and also, her curse) was that she saw every little movement in magnification. And while she tried to keep it from her face, she noted that southward glance to her kneecaps and immediately wanted to smear. Instead, she thought of other things, pleasant and beloved - all of which were ironically well removed from Grandmama and the rest of the ragtag island of misfit toys that were their bloodline. It wasn't that she had ill will towards them, it was just that she had no will at all.

"I don't have a problem with presentation, grandma." And while she knew the good girl thing to do would have been to make the fucking tea and serve it, she paused enough to take the bait. "I just don't know why we gotta smoke up the room when we're family." She didn't wait, turned from her and retreated like an animal that had bared its teeth and then thought better of the bite. Heading for the kitchen and rummaging through a cabinet until she found a beat-up box of some herbal blend of another, wiping the dust from the top of the box on the inside of her shirt.
Necrophage

Played by: Vos

Age: 319

Species: Vampire

Posts: 26
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