torsdag 19 april 2007

Talulah Jezebel: Malmoe/ The Ball


She'd been watching. They didn't know it, but she'd been watching.

They got back from Malmoe, and though Theo had died in front of her, it was massive scenes of slaughter that burned so deep in her mind now. Seeing the souls go out one after one. Sometimes sudden, and at other times fading slowly, like embers in a dying fire. And she had touched the monster with her own claws, the creature from hell. A moment of ice cold horror. And then Basha shoving her aside and putting the nozzle down the hole and firering.

But they did get back to Gothenburg.
Elysium was even more confusing than battle. She got to meet the prince and smoke those fat cigarrs which she hadn't touched since she sold them herself. On the balcony her eyes darted back and forth from the prince to Kiralý. But still...she was not presented. She was not presented but got invited to a ball. A toreador ball.

Why was she thinking about him? He needed noone, no help from her.

The ball 

Nervousness. Nervousness and hunger. There was a church not far from the ball, Hagakyrkan. Had she still had her heart it would have been ticking at the speed of light. She was uncertain how she looked. The toreadors would laugh at her, in her old dress. But the toreadors always laughed att her, even when they didn't show it. Oh, oh. Talulah braced herself. He is inside....he will be. He had an invitation.

She had hoped to bring someone. Someone who owed her and would dance with her and tell her what to do. But now she was alone. She was here and she was the only gangrel she knew except for Kiralý, the newly appointed Archon, who was so high above her. And his lady was.... Skuld. Upon seeing this Talulah felt a strange feeling inside that she didn't was hard to stand...and she could do absolutley nothing about it. Nothing.

There was a table with drinks, and to her great relief, some other single ladies. She thought about Reverend Hosaias advice and approached them.
Be nice, be courteous, ask them questions about themselves.
Point out your own good sides but be humble.
Identify the harpies. Stay clear of the ones you can't handle. Talk about your achievents to those you can. You are doing the will of The Lord and all should know the power of that.
Be proud of your clan.

And she did not expect to dance. But then came a man, a handsome man hidden behind the biggest mask of the ball. It was a funny mask that Jezebel liked. It was like a human, but twisted face with a great big mouth with enormous teeth. She remembered the monster from a painting of Hieronymus Bosch that the Reverend had showed her. Then the monster had been eating people. She thougth that was fitting.

Once more she was invited to dance. He was covered in bandages, but she noticed that they were new, fresh for the ball. This time, dancing went better but something he said went like a nail through her heart.

"I'm not very good at this"
"You glide..."

Did she? Did she glide? He said it with his voice completley broken, a man who choked to death. She lost track and concentration. He felt damp to her touch, the smell cool earth, dark places and despair went through her. It was like starting to offer your hand to someone who is drowning but then retracting it because you´re not sure if they will drag you under instead. She left the dancefloor dizzy.

And that is why she couldn't remember if that dance was before or after they called some of those who were in Malmoe up on stage and had some sort of a speech. Because he was there...and behind her, the elder Skuld. The crowds of people fell away. Everything became silent and dark inside her head, with three lights flickering....her own....his.....and his lady for the evening. And she...turned look at her...

The shimmer is always there for Talulah. But what she is looking at right now is so much older than most. Maybe that is normal here, as far as vampires go, but to Talulah it is ancient. The physical table that occupies the space between herself and the elder woman first elongates, becomes a road into infinity, and then vanishes. It is just them now. It is crystal-clear, an amazing floating egg. The crystal is tinted with gold, pink and silver which swirls hypnoticly on the surface of the egg. It really is beautifull. But what lies within is not. For Skuld has company within her egg. Talulah can not hold the gasp from slipping out between her lips.
The...creatures rage insanely in their captivity, always almost on the verge of breaking through. It is to much, too strong, and she cannot bear it. Skulds eyelids start to move, she's about to look up from her folded hands on the table. A chill runs from Talulahs head to her toes and she is forced to look away.

They are let down from the stage. Talulah waits for the others, and him to walk down the short stair before she looks back at the struggling beasts once more and hides herself in the shimmering sea of souls that is covering the ballroom floor.
There is the host of the ball, the tremere that fought with them i Malmoe. He's wearing his hair tied back and a has a giant red tie. His cold mistress, leader of the clan sits stiffly against the left wall. The angel and the warrior woman from the brujah clan are waltzing as Talulah passes them by. Hadn't it been for their signature spirits, Talulah would never had know it was them. They look so different in their masks and formal wear.
How scared the human guard gets when she passes by to close for his tastes, and then she finds a chair to hang on to. Then time speeds up, like it had to catch up from falling behind when she was caught up on stage. People whirr past, dancing, dancing. Their voices rumble in unintelligble swedish.

Then everyone stops and look to the stage again and even though she does not understand what the skinny man that almost definetnly i Af Wissen (although he seems different) is saying, it seemes like everything will be over very soon.

And she is sad. She is so very sad that he didn't ask, And something she doesn't understand burns inside as she looks up to get a last look at the woman on the stage from afar, through all the people who've begun to dance once more.

And this is when it happens. That the couple dance right, and left, and leaves a passage in the middle. They divide like the red sea, not even noticing, and they let him through in his white uniform, with the gold and the red. A gloved hand is extended.

She doesn't even hear him ask. She hardly hears the music.
She gets her dance. The one that mattered.

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