Author Topic: A Rat and a Viper Walk Into a Lighthouse  (Read 110 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline sully

  • Wordsmith
  • ***
  • Posts: 18
  • Unemployed Psychopomp
    • View Profile
A Rat and a Viper Walk Into a Lighthouse
« on: May 11, 2019, 08:34:03 AM »
An arc of lightening cut across the pitch black sky with a deafening boom of thunder arriving in its wake. The sea far below churned and rose with terrifying might, constantly sending wave after wave to beat against the impassive black stone of the cliffs. The lighthouse, though appearing feeble and derelict during the day, stood as an impassive observer of the battle between land and sea raging beyond it. Through the wind and rain, a minuscule light could be seen at the top of the lighthouse, trying desperately to stay alive through the apocalyptic weather.

Eva finished lighting her Marlboro Black, tucking her black zippo lighter deep into the folds of her black cloak, and continued staring out at the water as she smoked. The rain pelted her face and drenched her clothing, while the wind ripped at her cloak and threatened to send her flying off the lighthouse and into the sea she was transfixed by. In her head, Eva scoffed at this idea. While this storm was a mighty one, she had seen worse in her many years traveling the globe.

Absentmindedly, Eva thought of Ireland and the Cliffs of Moher. She could remember neither the assignment nor the year, but she remembered the storm clear as day. She had been hiding in a small cave near the cliffs, waiting for someone or something to happen, when she had been blinded by a flash of light outside and soon after felt the cave shake so violently she assumed the Earth itself was breaking apart. When her sight returned and the cave resumed its stillness, she peeked outside toward the water and became dumbstruck. A mile or so off the cliffs, a huge funnel of water had arisen all the way to the sky as lightening shot around it. Eva swore she could see the waves from below licking the tops of the cliffs, seemingly teasing the land of the immediate attack from the sea. She had tried to run from the cave, but the wind that night truly lifted her up and threw her back into the cave. As if the invisible hand of God were telling her to stay put. The land, the sea, and the sky were fighting and no creature, supernatural or otherwise, had any right to interfere. For the first time in a long time Eva thought she would die there, either killed by the storm or trapped until the sun rose and burned her alive.

Another booming of thunder snapped Eva out of her trance and her attention turned to the movement under her clothes. She sighed and made her way back into the lighthouse. She sat at the wooden table and placed her right hand gingerly on the table. “It’s ok. You can come out now.” A small black snake slithered out from the sleeve of Eva’s coat and curled itself in front of her. It’s blood red eyes stared at her blankly, occasionally flicking its tongue out at her in a questioning manner. “He’ll be here soon Balthazar. He’s a rat, but a reliable one. He wouldn’t have set up this meeting if he wasn’t going to be here.” With that, Eva leaned back in her chair and listened to the symphony of the storm as she waited.
“Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.” American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

The Viper - The Watch Maker

Offline Billiam

  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 1457
  • Anarch
    • View Profile
Re: A Rat and a Viper Walk Into a Lighthouse
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2019, 02:02:26 PM »
A sinister laugh created an echo in the old lighthouse, complementing the harsh storm and chorus of thunder echoing outside. It started as nothing more than a hiss, a tire letting out air, but it grew into a wheezy and pained belly laugh. The ventriloquist had obviously been a lifetime smoker as a human, the damage to the throat and lungs clearly being heard in the tambour, and the many coughs that accompanied it. This was a tactic the viper's contact was well known for, and while she also possessed the power of the dim, the talent to throw one's voice belonged only to the rodent. He'd entered while she was watching the storm, silent as death, and invisible to all but those with the sight.

He'd enjoyed watching her, studying the position of her body, the way she smoked. It was data, and data was always good. The rodent spent plenty of time studying his enemies, but it was a novice's mistakes not to study your friends. He assumed she would've done the same to him had he arrived first and been uncloaked. He'd seen her get lost in some kind of thought. That was new. His ocular device had captured the moment. He'd code the data for themes later.

As Eva snapped to attention, Benjamin Stanislavsky moved back, mirroring her walk, enjoying the game only he knew they were playing. Nosferatu so loved the game, their own kind of hunt. It was the hunt for secrets, and Benny suspected it was one reason they got along with the wolves. They were both predictors on the prowl. When he saw the snake, he smiled approvingly, but of course nobody saw him. His pets were all at home, but he was glad to see Eva participated in the old traditions. The laugh now shook the room. A voice emerged from nowhere and everywhere, carpeting the room in a rough but intelligible Russian accent.

"Your mistake was ever assuming you were alone." The laugh took over for a moment. "I would expect more from someone with your reputation. You are right though. I am a reliable rat."

He didn't come out. He was enjoying the game, and wondered what Eva's next move would be.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Leader(Jake)~ Seneschal(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Saint(Tyler)~ Lillith(Thesdea)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Golconda(Flick)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~ Comrade(Benny)~

Offline sully

  • Wordsmith
  • ***
  • Posts: 18
  • Unemployed Psychopomp
    • View Profile
Re: A Rat and a Viper Walk Into a Lighthouse
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2019, 11:24:17 AM »
"сын Вентру!"1  Eva cursed as the laugh reverberated throughout the lighthouse, briefly drowning out the storm beyond the brick walls. Balthazar nervously flicked out his tongue before slithering back into the folds of Eva's cloak. Her eyes scanned the room, unable to find the smallest clue to her confidante's location. She tried to remember the last time someone had gotten the drop on her, opening the filing cabinet of her mind, holding the fragmented memories of all the jobs she'd worked over the years.

A moment past before Eva snapped to attention again. "You're getting old. And it's showing." she thought to herself. Maybe Bogrov had been right. Maybe she was getting too old for field work. But now wasn't the time to dwell on that. Eva scanned the room again before briefly muttering into the folds of her cloak. As she turned back to the empty room, her face began to change drastically. Her dark black hair seemed to fall from her head, leaving behind a round, bald head. The whites of her eyes expanded, covering them entirely in a milky white sheen, as her eyelids seemed to retract into her skin. Her nose grew 3 times longer and hooked at the end, and her mouth shrank until it became a disgusting sucker like orifice, giving her the appearance of a bird who'd had the bottom half of it's beak ripped off. She raised a gnarled claw-like hand to her mouth, wrapping her non-existent lips around the end of the cigarette, and slowly blowing the smoke from her nostrils. 

"Добрый вечер, друг"2 Eva said to the seemingly empty room.




Translation:
1) "Son of a Ventrue"
2) "Good evening, friend"
“Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.” American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

The Viper - The Watch Maker

Offline Billiam

  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 1457
  • Anarch
    • View Profile
Re: A Rat and a Viper Walk Into a Lighthouse
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 12:51:48 AM »
"Это хорошая змея у тебя там," the voice hissed, the harshness of it sounding like a cold wind on human bone. Benny would never presume to take control of another's familiar, but that didn't mean they couldn't have a chat. He hissed and clicked, speaking directly to Balthazar. While not an exact translation, he more or less said, "Greetings comrade." He looked over Eva again, noting how distracted she seemed, even now. He wasn't sure what to make of it, and ended up rationalizing that it must be her concern for her sire. Benny had never given a damn about his. Carlock was a means to an end, and while they were friendly they weren't friends.

His guess about Eva's mood was mostly because her sire was the reason this meeting was taking place. He had information, and he wondered what Eva would be willing to give him in order to get it. She had to have known Benny wouldn't just provide it out of the kindness of his rotten heart. That was not their clan's way. Knowledge was power, and nobody gave away power without an equal trade. As it happened, he had a trade in mind, something he thought was more than fair.

"Скажи мне, как сегодня родина? Все еще полно путинских крыс?"

He moved around the room, standing behind her now, but threw his voice to sound like he was directly in front of her. Maybe she'd swipe at the air! That would be amusing. 

Translation:
1) "That's a nice looking snake you got there."
2) "Tell me, how is the mother country these days? Still full of Putin's rats?"
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Leader(Jake)~ Seneschal(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Saint(Tyler)~ Lillith(Thesdea)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Golconda(Flick)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~ Comrade(Benny)~

Offline sully

  • Wordsmith
  • ***
  • Posts: 18
  • Unemployed Psychopomp
    • View Profile
Re: A Rat and a Viper Walk Into a Lighthouse
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 05:33:39 AM »
Eva rolled her eyes, or as much as her milky eyes could, as Benny's voice bounced around the room. "The rat enjoys his games, that's for certain." A few decades ago she might have felt inclined to join him; two invisible predators stalking one another through the derelict lighthouse, trading barbs until one was able to strike and claim victory. But she was tired. Not her body, for only a month ago she'd taken down twenty men to get to the kingpin of small drug operation in Dallas. It was her mind and soul that were the most weighed down by the past decade. Ten whole years of searching for her sire with nothing to show for it. For a moment the Thought entered her mind, but she quickly pushed it away. Now was not the time. Eva grumbled with annoyance and sat back further in her chair. If the rat wanted to play his game, then he could play it alone.

"Положительно роится с ними." Eva replied to the voice in front of her. "Что касается метрополии, то так было всегда. Богатые и могущественные процветают, а массы страдают от своей глупости." She snubbed out her cigarette on the table, slightly more aggressive than required, and lit another. Eva had always had a love for her country, finding it's history fascinating and it's people strong and brave. But the last few decades had not been kind to the country she loved so dearly. It'd been over a decade since Eva had spent any considerable time there, only making occasional stops for information or management of the local sects. She just could not bear to see how the government treated it's own people. Despite all that, nearly every night before she went to ground, Eva would wonder if Saint Petersburg still looked as beautiful as she remembered.

"Итак, ты действительно хотел что-то сказать мне, маленькая крыса? Или ты привел меня в этот зародившийся город просто для дешевого смеха?"



1)Positively swarming with them.
2)As for the mother country, it's how it's always been. The rich and powerful prosper while the masses suffer their folly.
3)So, did you really have something to tell me little rat? Or did you bring me to this begotten city just for a cheap laugh?
“Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.” American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

The Viper - The Watch Maker

Offline Billiam

  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 1457
  • Anarch
    • View Profile
Re: A Rat and a Viper Walk Into a Lighthouse
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2019, 04:54:31 AM »
The laugh echoed once again, although this time from behind the Viper. "Tisk, tisk, tisk," the tongue of Benny clicked, hinting at his amused form of displeasure. "Тебе совсем не весело," he mocked, annoyed that Eva didn't want to play his game. Games were what kept the clan sharp, and just like a knife Eva looked a little dull. It's not that she couldn't be sharpened again, but in her current state Benny wasn't surprised she hadn't found her sire. He'd found the older vampire though. What would she make of it? He moved from behind her, and sat gingerly as not to break his silence of death. He picked his teeth with his right claw, and threw his voice to a back corner.

"Я могу быть крысой, но я грызун своего слова. Я не позвонил бы вам сюда, если бы мне нечего было показать. Брось мне сигарету, чтобы заработать мне одолжение, маленькая змея."

With that, he shimmered into view, his bat like teeth being the first visible feature. Next came his yellow eyes and bat ears. While Eva's mouth was small, Benny's was overly large, and it was hard to know which of his razor sharp teeth were actually his fangs. He threw his arms behind his back like a homemade pillow.



Translation
1) You're no fun at all.
2) I may be a rat, but I am a rodent of my word. I would not call you here if I had nothing to show. Drop me a cigarette to earn me a favor, little snake.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Leader(Jake)~ Seneschal(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Saint(Tyler)~ Lillith(Thesdea)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Golconda(Flick)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~ Comrade(Benny)~

Offline sully

  • Wordsmith
  • ***
  • Posts: 18
  • Unemployed Psychopomp
    • View Profile
Re: A Rat and a Viper Walk Into a Lighthouse
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 09:45:07 AM »
Eva took a deep drag of her cigarette, and slowly let the smoke cascade from her large nostrils like a dragon preparing to release a bout of fire. “Всегда легче выиграть игру, если вы убедите другого игрока бросить игру.” She dryly replied, her voice carrying the smallest hint of a joke she could muster. Eva pulled out her half empty pack and lighter and placed them gingerly in the center of the table, gesturing to Benny to take as much as he pleased.

After she took another drag of her cigarette, Eva stared directly into Benny’s yellow eyes and bluntly stated; “Я не хочу показаться грубой крысой.  Не то чтобы я сомневался в твоих требованиях.  Но я провел последние десять лет в погоне за шепотом и ложными обещаниями.” She leaned in closely, her milky eyes locked on to Benny’s, “И, как я уверен, вы заметили, это начало давить на меня.  так что если у вас действительно есть знания о Богрове, докажите это, и я заплачу любую цену.” For a brief moment, Eva’s disfigured face twisted into a mask of pain and sorrow, of desperation for anything that might grant her even the smallest piece of mind. Balthazar slithered slowly from the confines of Eva’s cloak near her neck and began tenderly flicking her face.








1. Always easier to win the game if you convince the other player to quit playing
2. I do not mean to appear rude Rat. It is not that I doubt your claim specifically. But I have spent the past ten years chasing whispers and false promises. And as I’m sure you’ve noticed, it has begun to weigh on me. so if you truly have knowledge of Bogrov, prove it, and I will pay any price.


“Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.” American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

The Viper - The Watch Maker

Offline Billiam

  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 1457
  • Anarch
    • View Profile
Re: A Rat and a Viper Walk Into a Lighthouse
« Reply #7 on: Today at 04:54:10 AM »
Benny's razor like mouth formed into what could be generously called a pout. It was hard to tell of course, as the razors only dipped slightly and corners went downward about a quarter of an inch. He didn't like the implication that she'd outsmarted him. It was true of course, her words. He doubted that's what she'd had in mind only because of the rain cloud above her. That was not faked, and he considered that he shouldn't have set her up for a witty reply. She knew how to play the game after all, even if she was a grump about it.

He laughed as she talked about rudeness. Manners were for the pretties. Toreadors liked to feel as wholesome and unoffensive as they looked, and so they'd made up all these rules of how people were supposed to talk. Meanwhile they were just as depraved, disgusting an immoral as everyone else. Benny had confirmed this. Cameras were so helpful, and looking through their garbage of course. He like the second half of her statement better. She knew what she wanted. That he could respect. He reached into his pocket and tossed a small item across the table. He made sure it was out of arms reach, and heard it clang on the table as it slid the rest of the way.

As Eva examined the item she'd see it was a ring she knew all too well. It double functioned as a wax seal, with a boar's head done ornately. Obtaining this hadn't been easy, and it told Eva nothing of real value expect Benny had more to share. "That enough proof for you," he said in a rough English. "Я люблю удовлетворять желания женщины." He snickered at the taunt, and waited for the viper's reaction.

Translation:
1) I love to satisfy a woman's desires.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Leader(Jake)~ Seneschal(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Saint(Tyler)~ Lillith(Thesdea)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Golconda(Flick)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~ Comrade(Benny)~

Offline sully

  • Wordsmith
  • ***
  • Posts: 18
  • Unemployed Psychopomp
    • View Profile
Re: A Rat and a Viper Walk Into a Lighthouse
« Reply #8 on: Today at 05:22:50 AM »
If Eva heard Benny's taunt, she showed no reaction to it. Her eyes were transfixed by the ring placed before her. Emotion welled up inside her to the point that she felt as though she might burst. In the two centuries Eva had known Bogrov, she had not once seen him without the ring on his hand. It was his symbol, known by all members of the Khodoki Teney as the sigil of their order. Most mortals and supernatural creatures alike had probably passed by this symbol at some point in their lives, not knowing that it meant a Khodoki Teney safe house resided nearby. Bogrov had often joked to her that the ring would be her burden to bear once he met his True Death, but Eva would always laugh it off saying that her scrawny form could in no way handle such a weight. And if the past ten years were anything to go by, she was truly not ready for the weight of responsibility Bogrov had left on her shoulders. A part of her yearned to reach out and grab the ring from the table, but stopped herself, not knowing if it was because she knew Benny would stop her or because she still did not feel she had the right to hold it.

After a moment, Eva broke eye contact with the ring and turned her gaze back to Benny's smiling face. "More than enough." She replied in slightly better, but still fairly rough, English. "Я твоя команда. Как я могу заработать эту информацию?"


1) I am your's to command. How may I earn this information?
“Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.” American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

The Viper - The Watch Maker

Offline Billiam

  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 1457
  • Anarch
    • View Profile
Re: A Rat and a Viper Walk Into a Lighthouse
« Reply #9 on: Today at 11:41:49 AM »
Benny wheezed through more difficult laughing as Eva responded. He recognized the obedience. He'd once been that obedient to the KGB and he'd swore never to be a brainwashed yes man ever again. The image of his handler stared him in the face, and the rat was glad he'd tracked him down and killed before he had a chance for a mortal death.

Fucking piece of dog shit. 


"Yes, yes, yes, you'll earn the information comrade," he assured in English, finding their mother tongue was making them decidedly too Soviet. "But you're not mine to command. You will work for me, like with a salary and days off. It's an open case and I need your skills to solve it. How much do you know about the falls of the Camarilla in London and Berlin?"

He wanted to talk shop now, and hoped it was rouse Eva out of memory lane and onto how she could help her sire.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Leader(Jake)~ Seneschal(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Saint(Tyler)~ Lillith(Thesdea)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Golconda(Flick)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~ Comrade(Benny)~