Author's note: The following stories are part of a chat-based online role-playing game. Events from the game chat have not been written into story form but the reader needs to know what happened there to trigger the stories you are about to read. Dee and Alic's relationship remained unstable and ultimately Dee caught Alic cheating on her at the Church with the ancient and lovely Gangrel Primogen, Lyness. Broken-hearted and enraged, her trust and hope shattered, Dee began a downward spiral into a new phase of her life as a monster.
In the darkness of the warehouse, deeper shadows stirred. Damienne awoke
to the call of the night. She pulled the bloodstained old comforter around her
shoulders and settled into its embrace. Something skittered nearby, but she
ignored it as it went about its tiny life. Within her something stirred angrily
as it remembered life. Memories of fire and blood reminded her that such life
was no longer hers. Accepting only the embrace of the blanket, she searched for
contentment in being alone.
The stiffness of her cheeks and the smell of old
blood spoke to her of the value of solitude. She shook her head and fought down
bitterness like the taste of disease-tainted blood. Used as a mortal, she
wondered if she had doomed herself to be used for eternity. Thoughts of death
blossomed in her mind like tiny flowers on a grave. A grim smile cracked the
gruesome coating on her face as she visualized her hands around Alic's throat,
fingernails sinking into the soft pale skin she had tasted with her own lips,
wounds oozing blood she had sipped. As if brought to the present by her
thoughts, she tasted blood on her lips and realized she was weeping again. 'F**k
this!' she thought angrily as she thrust herself to her feet.
Rummaging for a moment in her saddlebags, she pulled out a faded red bandana and scrubbed roughly at the tear stains on her face. As she crammed it back into the bag, her hand met something odd and she pulled it out. Frowning, she took a seat on her Harley and examined her find. 'A basket...where...oh, Claudius...' She had forgotten about the Toreador's gift in her rage. Easter, resurrection...the bitterness returned to her face. For love a Man had died and risen again. She had believed in love. For it she had let herself die and rise again in darkness. Yet there was no love, it had died in flames. Even the dim shadow of it she had found in Alic was only ashes. There would be no more love for her, ever. Seven centuries Claudius had seen. Dee wondered what he thought of love, and did he miss it. Still a mere childe in years compared to him, Dee considered the possibility of existing so long alone. She found herself gasping for air she didn't need as the sheer awe of eternity choked her. It was too much. No matter how many taverns she went to, how many Brujah raves, it would never fill the emptiness she glimpsed as she tried to accept this truth. All the Brujah bluster, Ventrue arrogance, Toreador pastimes and Tremere plotting were just diversions against succumbing to this fact. There was no trust, no love, no loyalty that could stand against the Beast. There was only will and endurance. Cold comforts, Damienne thought, to a heart that had danced like a flame in a world of sunlight.
The moon caressed the tombstones with silver fingers.
Colorless flowers slept in the shadows, ignoring the dim light of night.
Damienne sat among them, stroking their silky petals and remembering...
The sun was warm on her face. She couldn't see how its
bright beams made her hair shine like gold. Emerald eyes rivaled the spring
leaves as she stared past the trees overhead and let her mind find pictures in
the clouds. Rolling over, the young girl found herself face to face with the trumpet of a daffodil. The rich scents
of grass and earth shouted the arrival of spring. Full of the simple joy of the
sun, Damienne stroked the flower and laughed...
plucked one of the blossoms and stood, taking the fragile bloom with her.
Dripping moisture like blood from its broken stem, it hung between her fingers
awaiting its death. She held it up, trying to see its true colors. Gray was all
she could see. Frowning absently, she strolled among the dead and wondered if
they had found peace.
Row after row the vampire walked. She looked at names and
dates and a wry smile twisted her mouth. She knew Kindred who were old before
the oldest of these dead were even born. Ancient,
yet they had not found peace. She dropped the gray flower on a weathered marble
slab. The name was no longer legible through wear and moss, but her demon eyes
could still make out the picture at the top of the stone. Carved beams shed
graven sunlight over a cross. She ran her fingers over the image and went on.
Her path was slowly but steadily taking her toward a break in
the shrubbery that surrounded the cemetery. Beyond the leafy wall stood a gate
so bound with vines that had the lock not been rusted fast from years of disuse,
still the iron door would not have opened. Dee grasped one of the bars and
vaulted lightly over the top of the gate. Standing like a pool of congealed
moonlight, her Harley Davidson Springer waited on the other side. Unwilling to
break the stillness, she pushed the motorcycle away from the graveyard's shadow
before kicking it into throaty life. She rode lightening, leaving thunder in her
wake as she sped toward the freeway.
Gradually the stink of dirty concrete gave way to the dusty
smell of desert roads. Tall dark buildings became suburban homes which melted
away to open plains. Still Damienne rode on. Her keen senses took note of the
flutter of nightbirds against the silhouettes of cactus. The shifting moonlight
as it played among floating clouds seemed to make the shadows dance to a tune
even her senses couldn't hear. The distinct heartbeat cadence of the engine
below her soothed her with its own highway song. With that she was content. The
chill desert air blew by her and she ignored it. Unable to feel it, it had no
power over her. East she rode, reaching like a flower for what her damned soul
craved. Faster she went, trying to outrun the silent shouts of the beast in her
head, drowning them in the scream of the engine. There were no houses now,
no-one but the desert animals could observe the traveler in her flight. A fox
ran across her path and she slowed, cautiously veering off the highway to follow
it. The scorched earth was packed hard and supported the Harley easily. Dee rode
until she was just out of sight of the concrete ribbon of highway then stopped,
parking her bike near a small hardy bush.
Rummaging in her saddlebags, Damienne pulled out a small
notepad and portable boombox. A little more searching produced a few CD's and a
dull stubby pencil. With Deep Purple playing softly beside her, Dee settled
herself against the front tire of the motorcycle and began to sketch. In leaden
chiaroscuro, the desert night took shape on the paper. Black shadows danced with
moonlight glow like an echo of the dance of angel and demon, dark and light,
that paced across the vampire's gas tank, the mirror of her soul. She laid the
pencil down as a shift in melody caught her attention. Child in Time called its
ethereal strains across the desert and Dee stood to answer. Like a leather-clad
moonbeam flitting through the night, she paced and spun, rose and fell in a tide
of music. Faces out of her past seemed to smile out of her memory at her as she
danced. Her mother, her husband, her sire, even Alic visited her thoughts as she
reached with open arms and flying feet for the lessons each had taught her. To
see beauty, to love, to hate, to hope, to grieve...and in a flash of cold green
eyes, Ryk's voice seemed to say To survive. Suddenly motionless, Dee
dropped to the ground, head in her hands. To exist, her mind howled. To
wander, and lust, crave and kill. To rage. Forever. Sobs shook her shoulders
as loneliness and grief gripped her in their bitter embrace. At the vision of
her sire she hurled curses. It wasn't supposed to be like this! The
memory of his haunted blue eyes told her that he had always known it would be.
Still he had reached for her, taking her hope into his hopelessness, giving her
a companion equal to her loneliness. Vivid memories of flames jerked her
bloodstained face toward the sky. Her senses perceived its delicate brightening
and she shuddered. Too far, she had come too far...Deliberately turning her back
to the sky, she changed the music.
Away from the blight and pollution of the city, the desert
was alive with scents and sounds. Curious, Dee wandered about, sniffing and
touching, memorizing each detail around her. Irritated by the stiffness of the
drying tears on her cheeks, she pulled a canteen from her bags and scrubbed her
face with a bandana. Resuming her seat by the motorcycle, Dee leaned back and
closed her eyes, letting the music fill her thoughts. She remembered the first
time she had heard the Animals. Her parents had hated them. 'Oh mother, tell
your children not to do what I have done...' The words had been in his eyes when
first they'd seen each other across the smoky bar. She had answered and followed
him to death and beyond. She could never have known how far the music would take
her. 'Spend your life in sin and misery in the House of the Rising Sun.'
Comfortably weary, Damienne relaxed and smiled. The sun was warm on her face.
She couldn't see how its bright beams made her hair shine like gold. Emerald
eyes rivaled spring leaves as she
stared... It had been 20 years since she had seen a sunrise.