From the ML Vault: Prexus Meets the Vampire

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From the ML Vault: Prexus Meets the Vampire

Post by Nymphetamine » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:42 am

Some people in the OOC tonight might have heard me go on and on about how amazing and awesome Lady Hatshepsut, from BDI days gone past, was. Hat was/is, hands down, my favourite RPer to watch. Hat was capable of expressing more and characterizing better in three lines, than I could do in vomiting up 4 paragraphs. She had an unmatched gift of expression and description, and was probably one of the most amazing writers BDI ever saw. I could probably sit here and gush on and on about how I adored Hat's ability, but that's not necessary.

I kept most of the stuff she wrote to the ML. I'm sad we never saw how her Visitors' plot finished. (I don't remember the chara I made of the race of visitors, but I remember they had clockworks under their robes.) Ah well.. Without much more ado:

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((NOTE: This story contains the mildest of violence, slightly disturbing imagery, and completely inappropriate use of rhyme. It should also be noted that in some dialects of Arangothian, the letter "X" is pronounced "sh."))

The scarecrow-like figure sat in his workshop late at night, his long, thin, bony hands working furiously beneath a lens. Around him, parts loomed in the candlelight. Headless bodies hung on hooks. Eyes sat, sorted by color and size, on shelves. Lustrous hair gleamed, cascading over featureless plaster busts. Tiny metal bits glittered
in their meticulously sorted trays. The air was full of strange, organic smells.

Toymakers' shops share a certain something with slaughterhouses. We do not like to see the making of the things we love. The spilled innards, the stains on the floor, the ripped skins of comfortable illusions peeled back.

The man giggled in a high voice, his peeling lips pulled back in a delighted grin that threatened to stretch his gray skin beyond the limits of reasonable biology. His eyes bulged above his long, hooked nose. As he worked, he crooned to the still-disemboweled thing on his workbench.

"Little boys and little girls
In all the nations of the world,
While you dream this lovely night,
Let your hearts brim with delight!

For Phillipe Prexus works and toils
With gears and woods and cloths and oils,
Making objects as he likes to,
To please and fright and quite entice you!"

He placed the final gear in its assigned spot, then carefully set the black metal lid onto the creature. With three twirls of his screwdriver and a flourish, he tightened the screws sealing it closed, then flipped it onto its stomach. He took a tiny silver key from a box beside him filled with nearly identical ones and began winding the toy, humming to himself, then breaking into speech again.

"Come to life, my legged beast!
Though you need not drink or feast,
By my hands you come alive
To emulate the mortal drive!"

Out of the man's hands crawled a tin cockroach, lovingly painted in shades of pyre black and charnel brown. It wandered across the wooden surface of the bench, nudging aside stray gears and bits of discarded metal. As it walked, its movements gradually slowed, until it stopped, one leg raised, unable to complete its final step.

There was a distant knock from outside the room.

"How lovely, bug!" Phillipe crooned. "A visitor!
Kindly knocking at my door!
And, of course, though it is late,
I am loath to let him wait!"

He carefully unfolded himself from his seat, lifting his gray-clad frame on long, spindly legs. He bent his back slightly to pass through the door to the display room of his shop, pulling the door closed behind him. Hanging on a hook in the center of the door was a sign carved from maple reading "PRIVATE." Above the word was the large fanciful face of a goblin, with an impish smile and a long, pointed nose. Phillipe gangled over to the front door and opened it a crack, peering out into the darkness.

"Hello, little boy! Come in!
Your visit here does make me grin.
I had thought I'd be alone tonight,
But patrons give me such delight!

Are you aware of what you seek,
Or shall I do my best to speak
What I know of heart's desires?
I have much you might admire."

The man outside stepped into the shop, his high-collared black cloak billowing behind him. His skin was even more colorless than Phillipe's own, but his hair was long, black, and glistening with perfumed oils. His eyes shone a strange red hue, and his long-nailed fingers were wrapped around a heavy wooden cane topped with the
snarling, cast-silver head of a wolf. "Yes..." he hissed, looking around at the toys and treasures filling the shelves of the shop.

"This will do nicely. I'm not here to buy, you see, but for another reason. I'm quite fond of children. So small, yet so... satisfying."

Phillipe moved back to the counter, one shoulder higher than the other. His hands twitched arrhythmically at his sides as he walked between the loaded shelves of the store.

"Why, I love little children too!
They make me giggle, yes they do!
With precious antics and cute games,
They have a charm that can't be tamed!"

The other man smiled darkly and walked slowly toward Phillipe, his cane clicking against the floor with every graceful step. "Oh, no, toymaker, I think you misunderstand me. I'm fond of children... for dinner." And he smirked, exposing vicious, sharp-tipped fangs.

Phillipe squealed in delight, clapping a hand to his mouth.

"Why, you have fangs, my little boy!
They fill me with both fright and joy!
But now a secret I will tell...
I am cursed with them as well!"

Phillipe withdrew his hand and grinned, revealing two long, curved fangs protruding from among his chipped, yellow teeth, nearly twice as long as the other man's and stained at the tips with dull brown. The toymaker lifted his hands in front of him in an imitation of claws and snarled.

The vampire grinned evilly. "I see... so you're a kindred of the night as well. Excellent. I must say, you had me fooled. Normally, I can smell these things."

Phillipe nodded emphatically.

"Yes, I am a creature dark!
These fangs are some of my best work!
They appear so very real,
And thirty quaspins? What a deal!"

He reached up and grasped one of the long fangs between long finger and thumb, and tugged. It came off with a soft pop, revealing the weathered canine beneath. Off came the other fang as well, and he held his hand out to the man, the false fangs gleaming in it like two horrible pearls.

The vampire stared at the fangs, wide-eyed. Slowly, a grin spread across his face. A rumble began deep in his throat and emerged from his cold lips as a laugh. "I like a lick with a sense of humor," he said menacingly. "I'll enjoy drinking you dry."

"So in-character, little child!" Phillipe giggled, reaching to pick up a tiny golden box from the counter beside him.
"You act so mean and dark and wild!
I have something here that may
Make your heart as light as day!"

The vampire looked at the box in confusion. Phillipe flipped it open, and a blinding beam of light shot out, directly into the vampire's face. He screamed, throwing up his hands in a desperate attempt to shield himself from the shining golden light.

Phillipe grinned at him, only a bit maniacally.

After a moment, the vampire lowered his hands and examined them, then peered into the box. "Oh," he said. "Alchemical?"

Phillipe nodded happily.

"How charming," the vampire sneered, and reached out to shut the box. "Now, listen carefully, you strange, annoying man. I am not here to shop. I am not here to find a toy. I am not here to play a game, or to listen to your insufferable rhymes!" His voice was growing increasingly loud and irate. "I am here to feast upon your
lifesblood, to discard your exsanguinated corpse in a midden, and to take your place so that I may feast upon the delicious blood of the foolish children who come to gawk at your inane amusements!"

Phillipe blinked slowly, first with one eye, then with the other. He shrugged one shoulder, turned, and opened the door to the workshop.

"Well, little boy, if you imply
You're here to browse and not to buy,
Then do feel free! Back here I'll be,
If you should have a need of me."

He stepped into the room, closing the door behind him.

The vampire stared, stunned, at the closed door. His right eye twitched. His shoulders trembled as if containing some inner tempest, and he let out a loud growl of fury. Claws sprung from his fingers, his eyes flashed with red light, and his legs coiled under him before he leaped with all of his strength over the counter and at the door,
to tear it down and then tear apart the grotesque toymaker. It was only in midair that he saw the sharp, upturned nose of the wooden goblin hanging on the door, smiling up at him.

Phillipe heard a loud thump on the door when he was halfway to his chair. He giggled to himself and turned, opening the door again, about to speak. He stopped, a puzzled expression on his face. He looked down.

"Why, I do think he must have left!" he cried.
"And the little scamp made quite a mess!
Oh, well! Such things cannot be helped!
Now, to occupy myself."

He took a broom and dustpan from beside the door and began sweeping up the pile of ashes behind the counter.

((-Hatshepsut))


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This was certainly my favourite of her ML offerings.

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Re: From the ML Vault: Prexus Meets the Vampire

Post by Obsidian » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:18 pm

That's the real fuckin' deal. Would have liked to see her play.

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Re: From the ML Vault: Prexus Meets the Vampire

Post by Karadhra » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:25 pm

Indeed. This is excellent.

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