Fire flickered over the tinted glasses of the gentleman sitting in the arm chair, he was swirling a glass of wine in one hand and for the first time in a long time could let go and frown. His life was full of fake smiles, promises of redemption but nothing that would bring her back, nothing would ever bring his sister back. Instead he’d sit at night in his appartment that he recently aquired with the passing of family friends. He did like the new place but he didn’t like it at the same time. His last place had less space, but this place was seemingly haunted by old memories. He took a sip of his wine and got up, placing the now empty glass on the table next to him. He walked over the tiles infront of the marble fireplace and onto the cream carpet, his square tipped shoes clicked slightly as he walked. He undid his collar and took off his cravat before loosening his vest. He continued to walk over towards the small hallway which had two doors attached, the first door was the bathroom and the second was holding a guest. It was time to smile again, he didn’t feel like it tonight not after he had felt so much pain from old memories.
He looked at his fog watch, it never displayed the time, it had six hands so it couldn’t possible do so. Instead it would display the PIN for the door’s security system. He entered the code and walked in then closed the door again behind him. A single Candle burnt in this room, he walked passed it to the man still sitting in the chair. He pressed a finger to his neck, no pulse yet still it was writhing. He stuck another needle in it’s arm and blood started to pump out furiously. He would keep it in there until he gave another name. When this creature finally betrayed it’s prince then and only then would he let it go. It was the way things worked, it betrays the night and get’s to live another day. That was what Joseph Cherry called Justice, the second chance but not the third.
He wandered back into the main room of his appartment, it was a nice sized appartment. The walls were painted Crimson Red and hard Oak wood pannels rose to waist height around the walls. Behind him as he stepped out of his ‘Suite’ was a door that lead out onto the terrace, he walked out into the night. He moved towards balcony and leant over it, inside he was sure that his Ward was sleeping so he could take this moment to no longer be a good role model and took out a cigarette to smoke. I voice whispered in his ear that sounded like a chittering at first but to Cherry he understood the message and responded. “I know, but she doesn’t have to know.” Trixi appeared infront of him, a midnight blue Pixie with four wings on either side. Part of what made up Cherry as a whole was that he was of Demon birth, one of the Seventh Generation, the Lucifuge. Trixi saw this and latched onto him to help him, he had no idea why but she was fighting the good fight and dispite the fact that she became jealous of any woman he ever tried to court Cherry enjoyed her company.
For a moment the Melbourne city lights were once again something to be adored, he looked across the road at Paraliment steps, down the street to the theatre and along the road at the few taxi’s that still prowled the streets for drunkards with a big wallet to empty. Melbourne was a city of shadows, nobody knows really what happens here, nobody knows what they are doing. They know that if you stumble into the right bar you might meet the right people. They know there are more Café’s filled with weirdos then any other place in Australia, DeGraves prooved that for a fact. But what they didn’t know was about the Hunters in the night, those who have taken the Vigil to hunt the darkness and even less those who let the Wax Drip. Cherry was the only Lucifuge within a hundred miles, he ruled over Melbourne reluctantly but decided the fight wasn’t one to have alone. Since the passing of his dear friend Dr. Thyme at Null Mysteriis he found himself wanting company of the same. He found a girl by the name of Charlotte Hilt who was bitter and skeptical about everything, she witnessed Cherry throw Hell’s on fire from his hands and remained steadfast in her belief that it was not anything abnormal. Nor did she believe a Vampire when she saw one, like Vane. Vane was a mere rumor on the street until Cherry got a solid lead, a Vampire who hunts his own kind. Stubbled and prefering simple clothes to anything extravigant Vane lives in a beach Penthouse. He seems to have taken an interest in Cherry after he started giving names and places of key Vampire officials. One thing Cherry found amusing though was that he lived in his house with a male Ghoul but maintained strict hetrosexuality.
He drew in the last breath as he threw the cigarette down to the street below. He turned to Trixi, “So where do we go from here?”
There was a brief amount of chittering.
“Yeah, wine is good.”
There was a certain level of attractiveness in Charlotte even when she did dress down, her manners though left much to be desired, aswell as her temper. Ever since she was robbed of both her girlfriend and research grant by the same person she had never been that incredibly happy with her life. Recent bouts of Insomnia had meant she was running on very little except caffine tablets. But now she had made a pledge to herself to get better, to stand up and do something. She had found a grant that she could get that was funded by Null Mysteriis, it would give her a large amount of money that would keep coming in provided she could give a proper explanation as to why she needed it. She threw back her hair and tapped her pencil on the notepad trying to figure out the first question to ask. “S-s-so you b-believe you’re a v-vampire?”
Vane cringed as he turned away from the looks of the tranquil sea to look at the girl sitting on his couch, glasses, mottled hazel like hair and freckles. Her mere present irratated Vane entirely, he wondered how she’d gotten in. Alex had just gotten home and collapsed on the bed yet she didn’t remember willingly letting the girl in. Vane had a feeling Cherry had something to do with it, “What?” he remarked with a bitter tone in his voice.
“Y-you believe y-you’re a vampire? W-w-what br-brings you to th-this conclu-clusion?” Her stutter had always been a bit of an in hibiter when it comes to social situations. It wasn’t even that she was scared, she had seen this guy run away from a building collapse, flinch at fire and act up himself on many occasions.
“I just am, what evidence do you need? Why are you even here?” Vane grew tired very quickly of the conversation, he never would have needed to deal with these things in the past, before his fellow friends had turned on him and locked him away so many years ago.
“W-well, do you drink b-b-blood?”
“Yes, my assistant mostly but I need other sources aswell.” Hanging his head in reluctance he answered.
“A-and how often d-do you have t-t-to do this?”
“Once a day atleast,” Vane sat down opposite the young girl and started to give in to the questions.
“Alright… wh-what happens if you d-d-don’t?” Charlotte asked, Vane sat there for a moment. This moment dregged on. Vane wasn’t going to reply but Charlotte sat there as if it were a staring contest. “Any s-side eff-effects of your condit-tion?”
“I cannot go into daylight, I must sleep every dawn to every dusk.” Vane replied getting more irratated by the second.”
“Could I get a sample of your bl-blood?” Charlotte asked. Vane glared back at him.
It was the dawning of a new day and Cherry was making himself breakfast, toast and butter with a side of scrambled eggs. The door near his single bookcase creaked upon behind it a little girl sat in a wheel chair. She had her hair done up nicely in a bow and wore a frock similar to that of a dolls, the girl was incredibly weak, her nerves had decayed and her manners were shy. She wheeled her way out and towards the kitchen bench before her light frame seemingly lifted itself onto a chair. “I hope you’re not doing any of that at school.”
“No big brother,” she responded politely whilst picking up a knife and fork normally and starting to eat the basic breakfast infront of her.
“How did you sleep?” Cherry asked, Rose-mary didn’t responde but instead sat there eating the toast. Cherry managed a weak grin knowing that she had once again been plagued with nightmares then poured her an orange juice and produced the fake smile he always did to try and cheer people up. “Has Trixi given you any strife recently?”
“No big brother,” she said quietly. Cherry persed his lips then smiled,
“I’m going to be having some friends over tonight, you remember Ms. Hilt don’t you?” A look of hatred went through her eyes, it was no secret she hated Charlotte. Ever since she showed disrepect to her doll, Mewt.
“Will Bigger Brother be coming too?” The little girl asked with a look of hope in her eyes, Cherry wandered through his mind then came the conclusion of who she meant.
“You mean Mr… Um… Vane?”
“Yes, Bigger Brother,”
“No but I’m sure I could invite him. Is it alright if Ms. Hilt asked you some questions?” The look that inspired horror went through her eyes again, “We’ll play it by ear I guess.”
Vane stood at the door and pressed the door bell. Alex stood at his side scratching his head, he crossed his arms impatiently waiting for the door to open. Vane had a small idea about what was going to happen tonight. But when the door opened and the creepy looking smile of Joseph Cherry appeared on the other side he started to realise that it wasn’t a hunt. “Greetings and salutations, come in I have some wine you might find to your taste…”
“I don’t drink anything but-”
“I know,” Cherry said waving the two men in, “Please make yourself at home, Alex there is a cheese platter. Charlotte is in with Rose-mary at the moment but she’ll be out soon. She’s trying to get a grant or something.”
“Ah…” Vane’s eye twitched slightly.
Vane entered the room, the familiar red walls and cream coloured carpet lined the appartment. As he entered the main room Cherry handed him a glass of wine he had mixed with blood per request, strangly enough though Vane noted that Cherry was drinking the same. Alex made himself at home, eating cheese of a platter Cherry had laid out on the table as the sounds of Charlotte’s voice echoed out of Rose-mary’s room.
“And how did you get these p-p-powers,” Charlottes voice asked, she had horrible manners but was determined to get this grant. Vane watched as Rose-mary simply glared at her. He laughed under his breath whilst standing in the doorway, Charlotte glared a look at Vane who’s only response afterwards was a humble shrug and smirk. Vane had noticed something in the air, his Auspex had always been twitching when he entered Cherry’s appartment but something wasn’t right now something. There was a flood of colours that glanced over his eyes, he stumbled back slightly and then saw Charlotte lying unconscious on the floor. A small pixie sat on top of her head looking very joyous at her achievement, it suddenly vanished in an instant after noticing it had been spoted.
“Cherry?” Vane called out,
“What?” Cherry responded from his place near the fire. Vane looked at Rosemary for a minute, she placed her finger to her lips and made a hush sound. Vane smirked and closed the door.
“Nothing Joseph, just wondering if you had more wine.
Charlotte awoke sitting at the table staring into a mirror, there was make-up smudged over her face and her clothes had dissappeared only to be replaced with a Victorian era frock. The first thought that should’ve crossed her mind should’ve been something along the lines of “Why is there a Victorian era frock in Cherry’s appartment when the only person who lives here is a young girl who it wouldn’t fit and a full grown man.” Instead though her first thought was, “Where was I?”
She turned back to Rose-mary who was smiling very much, “D-Do you like d-dolls?”
“Yes,” Rose-mary nodded,
“Is that why you have so many of them?”
“Yes,” Rose-mary nodded and then looked over at Trixi who was giggling in hysterics, “Would you like some tea?”
“Yes please,” Charlotte held out an empty glass which was then filled with imaginary tea from Rose-mary’s tea pot. It was at this moment that Cherry walked in looking at his watch and not what Charlotte was wearing.
“Alright Rose-mary has to go to bed now so you’ll have to be off but you can come by tomorrow to meet someone I think you’d be interested to talk with, Mario’s at four in the afternoon? Excellent look best be off, see you.” Cherry walked out again without saying a single word about the dress. Vane laughed under his breath and pointed it to Alex through the doorway. They both chuckled and then left themselves, their meeting with Cherry had apparently only been a social visit to organise an other meeting with someone called Thegs tomorrow. Neither of them knew anything about her and after a few glasses of Cherry’s wine they didn’t care.
Cherry showed them out and then as he shut the door turned around and looked at Trixi who was smiling very innocently at him, “Yes yes very funny. But you do realise if Evon ever does come back she will want that dress and I’ll have to give her something.” Trixi glowered at him.
They sat in the cafe waiting for Thegs to show up as Charlotte hurridly wrote down notes and made drafts for her thesis. Alex was talking casually with Cherry leaving Rose-mary feeling alone. She sat there playing with Mewt, her doll, and thought of the man in her dream who had no jaw, tongue and had tried to stitched fabric to his face to make it seem normal. He scarred her slightly, he couldn’t speak but her Grandfather could. But why was her Grandfather in this dream, her Grandfather hadn’t been alive in the time with the scary man. But they called him that, they called him Dr. Cornelius Thyme.
At this point a woman walked in wearing ragged clothes, she took one look at Rose-mary and flinched before running off. Cherry got up, “Thegs what’s wrong?” Cherry was about to run off to try and catch her but someone quickly grabbed up Rose-mary causing her to scream and flail. Another man came up behind Alex and attempted to choke him, Charlotte thinking quickly grabbed him and pulled him across the table to punch him in the nose. Cherry Elbowed him in the back as he flew across the table. Alex had been shocked for the first few seconds then realised that the people attacking didn’t appear to be conscious of it. They seemed to be controlled by something or someone. He quickly noticed Rose-mary being dragged off kicking and screaming and dove for the mans legs trying not to hurt him but it was too late. Nobody in the group appart from Cherry had seen Rose-mary’s powers in full action before, but at this moment they flared. The mixture of emotional build up and stress from being ignored snowballed. The man that was holding her flew backwards into the glass window behind them, several others flew across the room as if being whacked around by an invisible force. Finally a man landed on the table which splintered into a thousand pieces.
In the short few seconds that chaos had rained down on the cafe someone had called the police. Alex grabbed up Rose-mary and ran whilst dialling with his other hand to try and find somewhere to hide out nearby in the university. Cherry and Charlotte quickly worked to get the security footage from the cafe and snuck out the back. Joseph and Charlotte soon found themselves sitting on a bench together, Trixi hovered and then landed on Cherry’s shoulder. “You can keep this,” Cherry said passing the tape to Charlotte, “It’ll probably count as evidence for your report. Study it and you know, get that grant.”
“Thanks Joseph,” Charlotte said surprizingly without a stutter, “It m-means a lot.”
“That’s okay,” He replied panting still over the short dash, “I need to find Rose-mary, she might be hurt.” He got up from the seat and wandered off, Charlotte noticed that there was blood on his hands.
“Are you alright?” She blurted getting up and grabbing his hand.
“Um…” He he looked at it for a while, “I’m fine yeah. That’s not mine… I picked it up on the way out.”
It had been a week since Charlotte had sent out her Thesis on Indigo Children, she now had studied the phenomina in every aspect of it including several follow up interviews with Rose-mary who was starting to like her. Charlotte opened the mail up, on top there was a letter that wasn’t a bill. She nervously opened it up, the first words she read were ‘Grant Accepted’, a little smirk went across her face. She reached for her phone to tell Cherry, then started to dream of stepping outside again and facing the day.