[LAM Session 1] Lali 5

With Mandi dealt with, you head out into the evening towards "home". Do you usually walk home? Take transit? Drive? Or are you picked up? You have the odd sensation of feeling watched as you leave the building, but you don't spot anyone. The feeling follows you all the way home, and doesn't leave you until you cross the threshold into your Aunt and Uncle's home.

What does their place look like, by the way? What do your aunt and uncle do during the day?


  • image

    I drive a white MX-5 Miata convertible.

    Lali's Car

    This sensation of being watched, I keep turning around at lights, expecting to see Seth behind me. But he isn't, or I don't see him, at least. When I get to the house, I park in my usual spot along the circular drive and crunch across the gravel to the door.

    The house? A big (for the area) hacienda-style home with an open courtyard, numerous big palm trees, and a swimming pool in the back. Of course, it's nothing like what I grew up in, but it's pleasant enough.

    My aunt is probably in her own workroom, doing research for her next book, a biography of Helena Blavatsky. Once inside, though, I find my uncle first. He is still in his study in front of five monitors, four of which display financial news and various data feeds. On the fifth are three trading windows. "Buenas tardes, Tio," I say and give him a peck on the cheek. He works from this dark room most days.
  • Your "Uncle" is lounging in his chair, his index finger laying gently on his chin in feigned contemplation of the data before him. He leans his cheek up for you to kiss, and responds in a gravelly tenor, "Buenas tardes, Lali. You're late. Tia Constance was disappointed you were not here for your lessons. I trust you have a good reason?"
  • image

    "Si, tio. My feed, you remember? She came back. As a ghost." I have no idea how Tio Alberto will react to that.
  • Alberto looks up from his feeds to meet your gaze, he looks mildly surprised — in the way a man who has seen everything can be surprised. It only takes him a moment to regain his composure. "Is that a fact? How do you plan to banish her?"
  • image

    I swallow and nervously touch my ear. "I had not planned on banishing her, Tio. I thought she might be useful."
  • He looks severely disappointed in that answer, "Lali, dear — did you not call that number I programmed into your phone? You call that number to dispose of the evidence that might destroy your lineage. In her return, your feed threatens your entire family!" He turns back to his news feeds, his interest shifting elsewhere. "You can tempt the living with pleasures of the flesh, but the dead... We are slaves to our own whims. You would do better to simply banish her, Lali. Speak to Tia Constance about what must be done."

    He waves a hand, signaling he's done discussing the matter.
  • image

    That is not what I expected, but I know it's useless to argue, at least for now. I nod and leave to find Tia Constance. Her workroom is more a library with a desk. Floor to ceiling bookshelves cover every available bit of wall. This, of course, is where the books I shouldn't have told Eventide about are.

    "Tia, I am sorry to be late."
  • Constance is mid-paragraph in an old book when you arrive in her study. She's got candles and incense lit in almost every corner of the room. She fancies herself an old fashioned wicca, but the magic just doesn't flow through her — not like Eventide, anyway. At the very least, she's educated. She holds up a finger to pause you, finishes her paragraph, then gently places a bookmark in her spot, and closes the book.

    "Lali. Come, sit with me." What's your relationship with Tia Constance like?
  • image

    Tia Constance is the one that really tries to act like a parent, mostly. She asks about the day-to-day things, speculates about boys. For the most part, she is the one that concerns herself with my "integration," for whatever that's worth. She's also the disciplinarian, though. I sit, of course. I do what Tia Constance tells me.
  • She places the book on the side-table next to her, and sits back in her chair, crossing her legs. "Your tardiness today will cost you a night's feeding. I do not ask much of your time, Lali — and you should know better than to get attached to that which you will one day eat. See that it does not happen again."

    She checks your reaction, waiting and expecting you to fall in line.
  • image

    I nod. "Si, Tia. But... my last feed, the girl? She is back. A ghost, it seems. I think she might be a useful ally."
  • edited February 2015
    Constance's eyes narrow into thin slits. You can see her skepticism, even in your obedience. "And why do you think that?"
  • image

    "Tia, you tell me to play the game for advantage. The ajedrez. Mandi... Amandine, is a piece that needs not follow the rules, and she feels indebted to me, I think. Si? I eased her first death... I do not feel she poses a threat to the lineage, and may be an asset."
  • She shakes her head, "A creature who escapes death once is not a force to be trifled with, Lali. You may have gained her trust once, but without strings to tug at, your puppet will soon turn on you, and possibly this family. You who have only just been awakened to this new world, do you honestly think you can claim to know what a threat might be to your lineage? To you? I do not know what game you are playing, attempting to keep a tame spirit in your servitude, but it is a very long, and dangerous game indeed."

    She pauses, but there's a hint of something in her eyes that goes beyond just a lesson here. There's something personal behind it. She brushes her perpetually perfect hair back, and looks you square in the eye. "Have you told Tio Alberto yet?"
  • image

    "Si, Tia." I give her a rare defiant look. "I will not banish her, Tia. It is not right, and it is not... practical. I can play the long game. You are here to teach me this, yes?"
  • She chuckles, "I am not here to teach you how to keep pets, Lali. The spirit world is not my domain — and you will quickly learn it is not yours, either. Keep your pet — but don't expect mercy, or sympathy, when Tio Alberto finds it."

    She sizes you up a moment, her eyes narrow again, "do you love this feed, Lali?"
  • edited February 2015

    "When she was alive? No. She was a mouse, hiding in plain sight. But her taste... There was pepper in her blood, Tia. Strength hidden away within her little-girl, home-schooled, home-spun self. There was something there, I think. She would have been a worthy second-line, if I was not too young to make... one of us."
  • Constance gets up from her chair and paces over to the bookshelf, looking over her vast collection. She looks like a teacher, about to give a lecture. "You will find that is rarely a decision placed in your hands, Lali — and the people you turn will never likely be the people you would like to turn." She turns back to you, "You will turn someone soon enough, dearest. Those wheels are already in motion. Siring a child is a very draining process, and it can be a burden at times. We are fortunate to have such vast resources at hand."

    She comes back over, picking up a glass of red wine from the table, probably spiked with some beef blood. "If you are so eager to find a companion, I would advise you first find something that makes this long life you have inherited worth while — and that you hide it well, young lady. Your lineage does not look kindly on those who forge their own path."
  • image

    This conversation took an unexpected turn. I hadn't been thinking about Amandine as a "companion", just as someone I had a connection with, that I would regret "banishing".

    "Yes, Tia. So, what am I to do now? If nothing else, I don't think Amandine poses a threat." Eventide, on the other hand... but I will cross that bridge when it comes to me, or however that is said.
  • Constance shakes her head disappointed, "no one stays loyal forever Lali, and you and this Amandine are set to live a long, long life indeed." She paces behind you, and places a pale, cold hand on your shoulder, "you find something to distract Tio Alberto from your precious Amandine — and nothing distracts Tio Alberto like fresh blood." You can feel her smiling behind you, "take a servant."
  • image

    I nod. A servant is responsibility, and it would distract Alberto. "I will do that, Tia. Thank you."
  • She nods knowingly, and takes a seat in front of you. "Now... Let us talk about the process of obtaining a servant..."

    == END SCENE ==
Sign In or Register to comment.