Author Topic: A Needed Conversation  (Read 810 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Black Philip

  • Moderator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 2391
  • A Goat Looking For Love
    • View Profile
A Needed Conversation
« on: January 03, 2020, 05:29:28 PM »
Solo story, no reply. Enjoy!

James had been losing time again, and now was sure he wasn't just blacking out. This last bout had felt like days, and when he checked the calendar he realized that it had been two in fact. Two whole days had been deleted from his memory, and he hadn't the slightest clue as to why. He'd thought he and the other had come to some kind of arrangement. James was in control during work hours and during the early part of each evening. The other was allowed to take control after midnight, the witching hour seeming to regulate the madness like the two sides of a coin. However, this block of time was far too long for Jame's comfort. The dark passenger was getting cocky. James only wished he had a better idea what his evil twin was up to, but the other had successfully blocked away his recent memories. James was often lucky to get flashes of the debauchery his dark half got up to, and lamented that he could not seal away his own thoughts.

Jimmy was mocking James now, and it was time for the two of them to speak face to face. James rose from his coffin, and pulled back the blackout curtains that he'd added for extra protection. He loved his loft, with it's large windows, and tons of moonlight. His eyes seemed to read better in moonlight than any artificial kind. Tonight the moon was full, and the place was filled with silver and white beams. The vampire went first to his fridge, and after emptying a blood bag into a wine glass, moved to the full length mirror placed in his bathroom. The blood hadn't been warmed, and so went down like a thick, cold soup. It reminded him vaguely of the gruel he'd been forced to eat at the parish poorhouse. Thinking of it made him feel a chill.

James placed the glass gently on the bathroom sink, and stared at it for several minutes. He studied every detail; the length of the stem, the omen painted by the blood splatter on the inside of the glass, and the way the bright lights of the bathroom shined of an untarnished edge. He knew he was avoiding looking at the mirror, but finally with a psychosomatic sigh, he stared at his reflection. James saw what all who look into a mirror see, a refracted and untrue image of himself. Jimmy stared back playfully. James swiped the glass and took another swig. The image in the mirror took the glass more gingerly, sloshing the blood around the inside of the bowl like he was judging it's quality.

"It's ghastly when it's this cold," he chastised. "Can't you throw it in the microwave? I gotta taste it too, love."

"I don't care what you taste," James spat. "You've been taking control too often. You need to stop and remember that I'm the one in charge here."

Jimmy laughed, and stretched his arms high above his head. The pair of them wore a white T-shirt, briefs and a wristwatch. James had been sure he was wearing his glasses, but Jimmy stared back sans spectacles. James flared his nostrils at Jimmy's lack of reply.

"Did I stammer," James barked rhetorically. He grabbed the glass again and tried to drink, but found it empty.

"Careful love," Jimmy hissed like a snake. "People will say we have a drinking problem. Wouldn't want that now would we?" He laughed again, and this time smacked his knee to show how funny he thought he was.

"Enough of your games," James insisted. "I have tried to repress you, ignore you, even accommodate you and it's never enough. I live in here too!" James was on the verge of begging, the force of his words not being supported by his tone of voice. He'd long wanted to purge himself of this odious disease, but had no luck. He was stuck with the fool. What technique had Jimmy learned that had escaped Jame's notice? He needed to know.

"You do know, " Jimmy said, seemingly reading his own mind. "You know the truth about us. You always have."

Jimmy scratched pale, supple flesh on his abdomen, slowly lifting his shirt and even adding a yawn. James looked to his own hand to find it scratching the same spot and yanked it away with disgust. He was glad no witnesses were here for this nonsense. "Stop speaking in riddles and half truths," James demanded. "The truth about us is that you're my curse. You were made when I was made into a vampire. You're a Malkavian flaw, nothing more!"

Jimmy's eyes narrowed, and his wicked smile spread ear to ear.  He kept his reply frustratingly simple and childlike. "No. I was first. You came later. It's you who are the flaw inside us, not me."

"Liar!"

"Am I? Think of our youth. Think of Cleveland street, and Daniel, and all the old boys. How many did we swindle and charm? How many did we use our gifts to play like fiddles?" Jimmy looked nostalgic, the time of their youth serving as his origin point within the mind they shared. "That wasn't the good doctor. That was good old Jimmy."

James was horrified at the times that were being referenced. He'd had so few options back then, and the alternative of starving hadn't seen promising. He's been a good looking boy, who was looked at by lustful old men. He'd done what he had to do in a time when the penalty was death. James never accepted what academically he knew had been the truth about his youth. He'd been taken advantage of, and his formative years had been spent pleasing people sexually, when he should've been learning who he was. His innocence had been taken at Cleveland street, and Jimmy's whorish ways were a permanent reminder. Daniel had died for it and James still missed him everyday.

On both James and Jimmy's finger was a ring made of pewter. The design was fairly simple, Claddagh in style. It was worthless and priceless, and it seldom left their hands. James couldn't fight away the burning building, his only home. He couldn't stop himself from seeing the old gentlemen arrested in their waistcoats and top hats. Then James realized something had happened to the room. He'd traveled through time. James became Jimmy again. At eighteen, that's all that existed.

Jimmy was there in 1889, and all around him the room was filled with fire.

"Daniel," he yelled, moving through the crowded sitting room where the old men came to pick which boy they wanted. Normally it was such a social place, but now it was chaos. He avoided a few of Scotland Yard's best, his small size and dexterity making him too slippery to catch and made for the stairs, thinking Daniel might still be in an upper room. Sure enough, Daniel was struggling with one of the officers. His strong, handsome figure was more than a match, and for a second Jimmy thought everything might work out if they could both escape. A life on the run together wouldn't be so bad, as long as they had one another. 

Then the officer and Daniel struggled down the stairs, fighting the whole way. For all his physic power, Jimmy didn't see what happened next. As they rolled down the staircase, the officer pushed Daniel back, and Jimmy watched as his love's body twisted. Daniel's head smacked down on the banister, and Jimmy heard the audible sound of a neck cracking. Daniel's body laid at Jimmy's feat, and he was now dead.

"Daniel!" Jimmy shook him, tears streaming down his face. All around the other boys were rounded up. They would come for him soon. Jimmy shook Daniel's body, clawing at his arm and looking into his lifeless blue eyes. "Daniel, no. Please. You said... you said we'd get through this life together.

Don't worry Jimmy. You'll always have me.

That painful memory passed through Jame's mind before the scene faded, and Jimmy once again stared back in the mirror. "Little did you know it," the mirror taunted. "But you were born on that day, when he died."

"You're lying," James said weakly, tears now matching the ones from his vision. "I-. I loved him as much as you do. You know that."

Jimmy laughed again, this time with a healthy degree of cruelty. "Aren't you getting it yet love," Jimmy mock asked. "Our mind made you, because I feel too much, and you're the bloody cure. You couldn't love him as much as I did, you're me with all the passion sucked out. You're me without the spark for life. You're me but boring."

"That's not true," James countered. "I've achieved more for us than you ever could. I have patience, discipline, and people need me. Nobody needs a sad drunk, and a whore."

Jimmy looked like he was losing ground, and he became even more childlike. "You're the reason we have no friends, no social life, and when you're leading, no sex life!"

James stood and smashed the glass on the sink, turning the stem into a sharp, improvised weapon. "If I let you control us we'd be dead in five minutes. You violate the masquerade. You tell humans their fortunes just to get kicks. You are not the solution to us. You're the problem!"

James held the piece of broken glass to his throat. Jimmy looked at him with horror. "You're not being serious," he said, fear in his voice. "That will hurt you too. We have only one body. You just accused me of being careless with it."

"How's it feel, love, James said, imitating Jimmy's stupid new catchphrase he'd shamefully stolen from Lazarus. He found it catchy. Jimmy suddenly seemed more measured, less spontaneous.

"James," he said. "Let's talk about this. Remember who you are."

Now it was James's turn to laugh, and it sounded like something far darker than Jimmy's mischievous chuckles. "Remember who I am? Who I am? Who am I? I am, therefore, you are too? Or, are we actually me? Are you me, and I'm you?"

"Seems that way currently," Jimmy conceded. He was unsure who was who anymore. James seemed stuck for a moment, but then drew the blade across his throat. The hot blood began to spill into the sink. He placed a hand over the wound instinctively to stop the bleeding, but that cut had been deep. Jimmy stared back from the mirror, throat uncut.

"Do you always have to cut our nose, to spite our face?" Then he faded away, and James once again felt in control. The Malkavian smashed the mirror, and the glass cut his arms and shred his white T-shirt. The bathroom was now covered in blood, his blood, and he could feel himself getting weak from the loss. James smiled with satisfaction at his momentary banishment of Jimmy. He'd proved that he was the dominant one, the one willing to take risks to be in control. James stumbled to his fridge, and grabbed a few blood packs, and then crossed back to where his coffin awaited. A trail of viate went back to the hazardous bathroom, the normally pristine apartment now filthy. James crawled inside the coffin, bringing the blood packs with him, and draining them as soon as he laid down. The initial intake scabbed the wound, and he could feel the tinniest amount of skin pulling back together.

James closed his eyes, and decided to sleep the night away and into the next day. He would heal faster that way, and he would dream of Daniel. He would dream of his strong embrace, and how comforting it was. He would see Daniel's winning smile, his propensity for being a showboat and mostly would hear the sound of his voice.

I love you, he said in the dream, his big strong arms pulling James close. He felt cold, like how a vampire would feel, But Jimmy thought it was still nice to be held again.

I love you too Daniel, he managed, before drifting away into a sea memories.
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.


Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Apep Ari Lacy Mithras