((OK, some OoC notes first: 1: This takes place right after the tree-buying with Leinad, Vivian and Yakumo.[played out in the chat yesterday night, GMT+1]
2: I fully know what I got myself into by playing a Nos. She smells like infected wounds and dirt. IS repugnant. Plain simply fugly, which I will elaborate more, IC-wise, if you can stomach it. And she KNOWS. So play on it. She's a member of the clan that's probably lowest on the Cainite social echelon. Insult her, try to hide your disgust if you're a polite one, tread her down. I won't be angry at you, I promise (My char at yours - yes, though). I can distinguish IT and OT quite well. And as a player, I'll be happy if you give me something to play with, that way. Shatter herself won't be too glad, of course. But I will. So go ahead, smack the Nos :D
3: The song I quote throughout this text is called "Rotting on the vine" by Kristeen Young. You can listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3E1KD80tKk&playnext=1&list=PLE246D4E58A7CD2C2&index=33
I do not claim any rights on anything. This song belongs to the artist(s)/the actual owners of said rights. I don't want to make any money or cookies with it or any part of the WoD whatsoever. I am not responsible for contents of any links posted on any part of this blog.
4: English is not my mother tongue and Shatter's English still isn't what it ought to be. Her mistakes: On purpose. Mine: Gomen nasai *bows*
5: As for most of this blog, warning: LANGUAGE. Mentioning of nudity, non-sexual. Also, description of yummy Nos disfigurement. Enjoy.))
Rotting On The Vine
Shatter enters a long code into the security system, then unlocks the door to her apartment. Upon opening, she is greeted by the hum of various electronic devices and a waft of cold smoke.
She carefully locks the door again, re-enables the alarm, then hangs up her coat and limps across the living room in order to open a window and empty the ashtrays. The tepid air of the room caresses her now-naked arms. She taps the touchpad of her notebook to wake it up and sets the media player to "random all". Haunting, almost dissonant piano chords fill the room and accompany her to the bathroom where she sheds the rest of her clothes.
Somehow, pine needles have found their way underneath, sticking to the partly crusty patches of raw flesh that are scattered across her entire body. She starts picking away at the unbandaged ones, hissing with pain whenever she encounters a particularly tedious needle or piece of fluff from her clothing.
How I loathe that. Every day it's the same torture - these wounds never seem to close, and if one does, it's only for a new one to open somewhere else.
The shower now runs warm enough for her to step in. The water is almost boiling hot to the seemingly scoured patches. She bites her lower lip, lifts her long hair up in the back and ties it into a loose knot that covers the nape of her neck.
"We have just a few years of juiced-plump skin", the singer states. Shatter hardly hears her. The initial scalding sensation has faded, the water now runs pleasantly warm over her face and body, softening the crusty wound discharge residues and soaking the pus-caked bandages that cover some of the larger ones. Soon she will be able to take them off relatively painlessly.
She sighs, rejoicing in the warmth. A rare sensation ...
Her thoughts start wandering, towards the last few days, the things that happened. The people she met.
The Cajun Primogena of her clan. Little one-eyed Aly, limping like Shatter herself. Andrea, the dancer in the club.
The wealthy-looking Briton that had insisted on kissing her hand. The cute woman who was with him at the tree sale. The weird Asian guy that had claimed that there was someone else in his head, knowing more than he did and therefore bossing him around ...
He hugged me. A silly grin slowly spreads across her face; she forces it off as soon as she notices it.
Twice, even. That British man treated me like a real lady - okay, I was covered, but he knew. And that weird detective knew, too. Even before I let him know. Asking me about my family crest - how nifty.
She takes off the wet bandages, drops them to the bottom of the tub she is standing in. Then she squeezes some antibacterial soap on a washcloth and, not too carefully, scrubs her entire body with it. Some of the wounds open, start oozing drops of vitae or a strange yellowish liquid. She ignores them.
We danced. We friggin' danced. Maybe it's because of the prince - but those Lamarians either have some really wicked scheme going on or are just out of their minds.
She smiles again, then shakes her head, quickly, as if to shoo away an all-too-persistent thought, and continues scrubbing the residue off her skin.
"We're not the living - ", the singer now really gets going, " - we're the dying - "
Maybe they were allowed to forget that. Lucky bastards.
"- getting sicker every day - "
She rubs her face violently with both hands, then looks upwards, holding her head directly under the stream of water.
A piece of skin is washed off, circling the drain among the lather and finally pulled down by the murky water. It must have been dislodged by her rubbing.
Huje. Fuuuck. Not again.
She runs her fingers across her face, trying to determine the location of the new sore in the only way possible.
There. Straight on the forehead, down to her right eyelid. A part of her brow now grows from raw flesh.
"Rotting on the vine", the singer wails. Shatter whispers along, smiling grimly.
People listen to me. I am convincing. I even could calm down that.. what was his name again? Yako.. Yakami? Yokume? The little guy.
But singing? No way in hell.
Not with that throat that seems to have been scoured with steel wool during my Embrace.
She steps out of the shower, patting herself down. Reaches for the medicine cabinet.
Bandages. Compresses. Rubbing alcohol. Paper towels.
The mirror in front of her stays empty, reflecting only the closed door behind her.
I still wonder if that's a curse or a blessing. Impractical, though. But would I even need it if it came back?
"It'll be contagious, I'll spoil the home - "
Staring at the blank mirror, Shatter thinks of the many occasions she had to find out what she looks like. Or at least, what effect her appearance has had until now.
She knows she has a nose shaped like a bird's beak, large and prominent; she knows her skin is grey and shiny and that those damn wounds just stay open once they appear, oozing strange stuff from time to time, sometimes becoming infected no matter what she does. But what she actually looks like? Right now? The colour of her eyes, even? No. Clue.
She only knows she has to look horrible.
People she just wanted to greet backing away in disgust. Those bravely forced Kindred smiles and all-too-quick handshakes, if her outstretched hand was even accepted. The whispers when they thought she wouldn't hear, the loud talking right in front of her when she had lured them into believing that she still, after all these years, didn't understand more than a scrap or two of English. The countless "poor girl"s, or even more numerous and direct: "ugly as hell, with a face like an acid attack and hands cold as a witch's tit".
That Goddamn art collector asking her sweetly how she worked up the courage to show up at an Elysium, and surely there could be done something for her. Maybe he could hook her up with someone? He knew this guy with a belt sander who could finish the job ...
Shatter grins. That cough attack back then was pure coincidence, of course. The sight of that man in his immaculate tailor-made suit as she collapsed on the rug, gasping for air - priceless. Him staring down with utter shock at the heaving, retching Cainite pile at his feet, while she after what must have seemed like forever finally regurgitated a few lumps that looked like chewed-up raw liver. Spattered all over his polished black leather shoes.
That someone soon after that found out that the art collection and the upright servant-of-the-Tower-facade was just that - a facade - well, how could that have been her doing? A poor little sewer rat? That girl with the scoured face? The one that drips and coughs like a Lovecraftian tuberculosis patient? Come on, she can't even follow a conversation without a dictionary, how should she have gotten her hands on sensitive information like that and understood what it meant?
The "rubbing alcohol" is a half-empty bottle of vodka. No time to get her hands on anything better yet.
Shatter, still grinning, soaks a handful of paper towels in the liquor and dabs her face with the wet tissues, then continues the disinfection in the rest of her body, clenching her teeth and secretly relishing the pain.
She finishes tending to the sores, treating some of the larger ones with salve, dresses and bandages those that absolutely have to be bandaged, and puts on new clothes.
Then Shatter sits down in front of the double computer screens - the pristine-looking notebook for surfing and other fun things, the old battered tower connected to a 1999 CRT monitor and surrounded by cables in all colors of the rainbow for doing the real work on - ever-present cigarette in hand. The black and gold of her lighter somehow remind her of Yakumo.
Shatter smiles to herself. Little crazy guy.
Sweet little crazy guy.
She logs on to a random IRC server, absent-mindedly tapping away on the keyboard of her notebook.
I can't even hide my face, other than behind my hair or a hat. I have no camouflage, the way the older ones seem to have. But at least I'm honest that way - no one can trap me by uncovering that I am someone else, something else than what I appear to be. That is your weakness, and yours alone.
She flips the power switch on the CRT monitor. A myriad of green symbols on a black background spring into existence. Shatter starts typing, pulling another keyboard closer to her.
I'm rotting on the vine. And it's just a question of time when even those friendly Lamarians will see. When they won't be able to ignore it any longer, and when even they won't be able to hide their disgust any more.
She is now typing like crazy, a cryptic and seemingly random combination of letters and numbers. A progress bar replaces the symbols. She waits for it to complete.
Better not let my hopes get too high. I don't think my face has changed all of a sudden. And the rest sure as hell hasn't. I'll be prepared for when they show their real faces. Their true reasons. When this too-good-to-be-true mirage will fall apart, the way it always does.
It's a pity, though...
Another cigarette. She crushes the butt of the first one like heroes crush their servants underfoot when they rise to undying fame.
A real pity.