Endings & Beginnings [Star] Mar 7, 2018 5:30:41 GMT -5
Post by Ollie Riddel on Mar 7, 2018 5:30:41 GMT -5
Joint post between Ollie & Star
Ollie:I woke up tonight with the courage to do something that’s been on my mind for months. I don’t know where the courage came from, I don’t particularly consider myself a courageous person—but there it is.
It’s not an easy decision. That’s what people should say when faced with decisions like this one. I think I expected to feel more conflicted than I do right now. Frankly I feel nothing. I haven’t felt anything for ages.
Betrayed. Abandoned. Furious about it.
Sure, maybe I felt all that once. But now? What’s the point?
What was ever the point?
Walrus and 40th.
I’ve seen the place a time or two since I woke up in this god-forsaken city. Never been in it though. I somehow expected it to be different than it is. It’s so clean, businesslike. Why was I expecting a funeral home?
The price of severance is re-freaking-diculous, by the way. I’ve learned it’s free the other way ‘round. Free for a sire to cast off their childer like dirty underwear. What the hell is that all about? They’re just as responsible for the bond as the childe… why does she get away scott-free?
This vampire business is so messed up.
Anyway it’s done now. No more Lena. No more Ankh. No more anything.
I need a drink.
Star:Lifting the box up, I drop it onto the bar. “Hey, Carl. Got a delivery for ya.” I push the box towards him.
“No Nik today?” He leans his elbows onto the box with a friendly smile.
I smile back, “nah, he’s back at the Ankh asleep. I tried waking him, but he just mumbled some nonsense and turned over.”
Carl laughs and starts unloading the box. “Well that’s quite alright. It’s better doing business when you have a prettier view anyway.”
Laughing, I brush off the compliment, “oh stop it.”
“He still making this stuff down in his basement?” he teases with a smirk.
I give him a playful eye roll, “No, he doesn’t brew on the Ankh’s property.”
He continues to unload the box and puts the bottles up on the shelf. When he gets to the last bottle he cracks it open and announces to those nearest to us that they get a free round. “That’s some damn good moonshine!” he says.
“Of course it is. Nothing but the best from the hubby.”
Ollie:There’s a bar not far away from the Halls. Whoever decided that was a good idea was right. People need a place to celebrate… or in my case a place to get so drunk they forget the night entirely.
I don’t even know what to order. It doesn’t matter.
I’m 3 glasses deep of some brown liquid that feels hot in my throat, even though there’s ice cubes in the glass when someone steps up beside me and plonks a huge crate down on the bar. She makes nicey-nice with the bartender, doesn’t even glance my way. Which is perfect because I’m trying very hard not to be nosey and failing miserably.
I gather pretty quickly, even through the haze of my buzz, that someone the woman knows is the one who made whatever’s in those bottles. But it’s not until she comments about where he brews the stuff that my head snaps up involuntarily.
“HAH! You’re Ankh? How ironic. You guys are everywhere but where I need you to be.” I can’t help the word vomit as it falls out of my mouth. I immediately regret saying anything at all. I’m sure I’ve offended her. So I quickly try to drown my words with whatever the bartender just poured in my glass—
I get two large gulps in before I can feel my earwax melting. I don’t know what holy water feels like… but I can’t imagine drinking it could hurt any worse in the moment. Gulping gives way to coughing and hacking and I’m making even more of a scene now than before.
When I’m finally able to suck in air again, I glance back up at the two through tear-blurred eyes, “Forget…what I said about the a-…Ankh” I wheeze, “just…take…whatever that is away from me!”
Star:I turn at the voice of the woman next to me. She’s obviously has had some kind of encounter with the Ankh. It’s not surprising, the family is huge and there are people in the city that have had problems with us. She clearly didn’t have a positive experience. Whatever her deal is I plan to find out.
Before I can inquire she immediately downs the moonshine and starts coughing. I smirk a little. The stuff’s strong.
Once her coughing fit is over she tries to take back her words. If it weren’t for her comment about the Ankh I would have laughed at what she said about taking the drink away from her.
I put my hand on my hip, “oh no, no, please.” I wave my other hand for her to continue. “What was that supposed to mean?”
Ollie:I push the half-empty glass faaaaar away from me and climb back on to the stool I hadn’t realized I’d fallen off of. My head is spinning now and it’s difficult to think straight. Whatever I just drank, I’m sure it’s poison and I’m going to die.
This is shaping up to be a fantastic night!
The woman replies to me, hand on hip—invites me to expand upon what I blurted out in a way that doesn’t sound very inviting at all. The bartender takes his cue, purses his lips below his mustache, corks the bottle of poison and scuttles to the far end of the bar, content to pretend that the two of us no longer exist. Traitor.
“I uh… it’s nothing, really. I didn’t mean to offend you…” How am I supposed to explain myself after all that? She doesn’t look impressed so I take a deep breath and, “Look I’m sorry, I just was part of you guys for a while but then my sire disappeared like 2 years ago and I dunno where she went and didn’t have any way to contact her and so I finally decided it was probably best to sever her and so I did just like an hour ago and I thought it was all over but now you’re here being all Ankhy and talking about Ankh stuff and I just had to go and open my big mouth about it and it’s not your fault I mean I don’t even know you so I’m sorry.”
The words flood out of me 90 miles a minute. I babble when I’m not drunk, when I am… well. I suck in air and squeeze my eyes shut, desperately trying to regain some semblance of sobriety.
Star:I continue to wait for her response as she picks herself back up after falling over. Out of the corner of my eye I notice the bartender making himself scarce. Good.
When she tries to brush off the comment I cross my hands over my chest and narrow my eyes at her.
She finally starts to speak, and I’m surprised to find out she was part of the Ankh. I don’t recognize her…she doesn’t even seem familiar which is strange. There is always a little get together when someone joins the family or at least an announcement.
My expression softens as she continues speaking at a fast pace. And I mean fast!
I sigh and take a seat on the stool next to her. “Well that doesn’t sound like a very good sire.” I’ve had my fair share of sires until I finally met Elisha. No wonder she sees us in a bad light. She’s been abandoned. “I’m sorry that happened to you. Who was your sire?”
Ollie:For a minute, I think I might get slapped, or holy watered. Or something. But then the woman takes a seat on the stool next to me and says that the sire I had doesn’t sound like a good one. I wouldn’t know, honestly.
“I dunno what makes a good sire. I’ve only ever had Lena. And I’ve only ever known one other vampire to be a sire and she abandoned her childe too.” I shrug. It’s the God’s honest truth—there’s no bitterness in my voice.
“It’s probably my fault too, not making friends with any of you. I didn’t exactly know how, though. Lena never really introduced me around.” More truth. I could probably have made more of an effort. It’s true I know a few of the Ankh people—Nexia is my boss, after all. But that’s different, somehow.
“Lena was there in the beginning. After my partner died and I had no-one, she took me in. I figured maybe sire’s aren’t meant to be friendly or involved. But it’s been years now with no word from her. I didn’t see a point anymore.” Another shrug. It is what it is.
The bleary haze is beginning to wear off and I find myself smiling again—there’s no point in crying over something that quit being a thing ages ago. “Anyway, it’s just funny I don’t see or hear from anyone in the Ankh for ages, then the night I cut ties one walks up right next to me in a bar.”
Star:Oh. Lena. She’s right. I haven’t seen her around in ages. The woman talks about how she doesn’t know what a good sire is. “I can tell you that that is not a good one.” I shake my head a little as she continues to speak her thoughts out loud.
When she starts to blame herself I give her a little shake of my head, “No, It doesn’t hurt to make an effort, but Lena should have been the one to introduce you to us. There a lot of us, I get how you didn’t know how intermingle,” I give her a soft smile, “I would have been the same way. I can be extremely shy, but she should have helped you to transition not just sire you, be there for a bit and then leave you to fend for yourself.”
My face saddens when she tells me her partner died. It sounds like she’s had a hard time. “Sires are meant to be friendly and definitely involved. They’re supposed to be like family.” Family. It’s something that’s always been important to me. It’s such a shame we didn’t meet sooner. She seems like nice woman just having a rough time.
“It is funny isn’t it,” I smile a bit. “I’m Star. What’s your name?”
Ollie:“Family, huh? Lena never really expressed any inclination towards family with me. We were friends, of a sort. I think she liked to pretend I was a helpless child or a charity case rather than a grown woman.” And in the beginning, when we first met, I suppose I had needed it. I was a mess. I’m still a mess—just a different kind of mess.
The woman introduces herself as Star. Nope. The name isn’t familiar in the slightest. She’d mentioned Elisha before—and that was a name I did remember… Lena’s sire was called Elisha. Which would make Star Lena’s…sister, for all intents and purposes. I draw a mental map of the relations in my mind. “Everyone calls me Ollie. Or they would, there was an everyone,” I say, and grin a little.
“Listen, I didn’t mean to dump my sob story on you,” I’m smiling for real now, because I’m done talking about things that are in the past. “Let me make it up to you!”
I hail the bartender by slapping my hand against the worn wooden counter top. “I’m gonna buy us a round of drinks—anything but that awful demon juice you brought with you—I owe you that much for not clawing my face off for insulting your…family.”