Tuesday, September 13, 2011

143/365 -- Playlist Story -- inspired by "Everyday" by Vetiver

Just FYI, this almost became a Voldemort/Bellatrix fanfic.

"Go away woman! Let me sleep!" Lord Avarice Smelting, fifth Baron of Castle Widowframmeling, deep in the mountains of the high country, pulled his black satin sheets up over his head and closed his eyes tightly, willing the last shards of evening twilight back.

"But master, it's time to go hunt the people in the village!" said his housekeeper, Miss Grimheidle Groaning, leaning in, and saturating the air above Lord Smelting's covered face with the rank odor of of wet ferret fur and dead stinkbugs.

Lord Smelting gagged. He threw the sheets back and sat up, distancing himself from the blackened and rotting orifice that was Miss Groaning's ancient mouth. She smiled a wide, dark smile, dotting with the odd yellow tooth canted at a dentally unfit bad angle, her eyes bloodshot and gleeful. She admired him deeply. She loved nothing more than to serve him faithfully, in all his bad, bad deeds. Had five hundred and twenty years not separated their horrible births, she would have pursued him as one of her husbands, but alas, the age difference was too great.

"It's night sir," said Miss Groaning, twitching her fingers. "I have a cup of warm blood for you, freshly drawn from the litter of kittens in the second cellar." She handed him a clattering teacup on a saucer.

"Baah!" bellowed Lord Smelting, swiping the back of his hand at the teacup, and throwing it out of Miss Groaning's hands, and into the stone wall of his bedroom. The contents dripped down thickly, and splotched the dense purple carpet.

"Are we going to throw a fit tonight, master?" she asked. Miss Groaning clasped her hands together and continued to smile at him.

He narrowed his eyes at her, then suddenly leapt out of bed, seemingly more lithe than his muscular bulk would suggest he was capable of. He snatched up his fur lined dressing gown and flung it over his shoulders as he strode to the wide window that looked down upon the village. He tied the sash of the gown, made of the tender hide of wolf cubs.

"This is such a burdensome obligation," he said, then sighed. He traced the outline of the village on the glass.

"Master?" prompted Miss Groaning, confused.

"I was born to this position, Grimheidle. I cannot escape it, even for a single night. Every night is the same. I go down to the village on my red-eyed steed, Hellsbane, with swords and maces, or whips and guns, and I terrorize the people down there, kidnap at least one, then come back here to commence torturing said individual in the dungeon, then drain their blood and burn their flesh, and eat their innards."

"Yes!" said Miss Groaning brightly, letting her inner eye drift off in lazy contentment.

"No!" exclaimed Lord Smelting, whipping around, and taking hold of her fragile, wiry shoulders. "Why should this be? Why should I do the same thing over and over again? For two long centuries now!" He released her, and slumped to his knees. He leaned his shoulder against the wall under the window.

"But master, it's your duty, to your departed father and mother, and all your ancestors!"

"No," whined Lord Smelting.

"Shhh!" said Miss groaning, holding a shaking finger up to her mouth, "they will hear you!"

"And what if they do!?" he bellowed. "Curse their disembodied souls!"

"Master! They will hear you and throw all the knives and skewers in the kitchen into disarray! The last time they got upset, I had to replace all the cupboard fronts. Of course, then I got to cook the carpenter and his apprentice, and they certainly made tender morsels--"

"Grimheidle!" screamed Lord Smelting.

"Yes, master," she said, bowing her head as the cartilage in her back produced a series of sickening cracking sounds.

"I want to go on vacation, at the very least," said Lord Smelting.

"Ah, you have sophisticated tastes master!"

"What do you mean?" asked Lord Smelting with suspicion.

"You want to try foreign food. Perhaps some hot-blooded Spaniards? Or maybe chilled Himalayans--or slow-moving scientists in Antarctica with a side of penguin guts!" Miss Groaning rubbed her hands together and visible salivated.

"No! Not at all Grimheidle! You don't understand--that is precisely what I want to get away from, the constant killing. The mess. The smell. The physical exertion." He sighed deeply and closed his eyes. "I want to sun myself on a beach in the Riviera. I want to stroll through museums. I want to smile at people without them running away in terror."

"Well, what about a nice war? There are always several going on, you could have your pick of geography. You could take Hellsbane with you, you know how he likes to graze, and have a right good time feasting on the fallen bodies of soldiers and civilians alike, without any of the effort of having to kill them yourself. Wouldn't that be nice?"

"No," said Lord Smelting, his voice cracking. "That's not what I want at all, Grimheidle." He looked at her sideways, deciding whether or not to speak further. "I...I want to have ice cream!" It came out in a rush, and he held his hands to his mouth immediately after he spoke.

"Ice--ice cream?" stuttered Miss Groaning. She stumble a few steps back, absolutely horrified. "Ice cream?" she repeated.

Lord Smelting nodded silently.

"Ice cream..." The color drained completely from Miss Groaning's face.

"I've always wanted to try it," said Lord Smelting. "Ever since I was a little boy, back when father showed me the proper way to gut an newborn baby. It was a tepid day in summer, and all the children were eating ice cream, when we swooped down to select our catch. Before we moved in, I saw the children laughing and cajoling and enjoying themselves...and I wanted to be like them."

"But you're not like them, not at all!" screeched Miss Groaning. "Ice cream won't change you into a simpering, weak human!" She spat out the last words, drenching Lord Smelting in thick droplets of rancid, yellow saliva.

"RAAAAAAAAGH!" snarled Lord Smelting baring his enormous teeth and jumping up to tower over Miss Groaning. She hissed at him and scratched the air between them with her long, tattered fingernails. "LEAVE ME!" he bellowed.

Miss Groaning shuffled out of the room, glancing back at Lord Smelting with acidic anger. When she slammed the door, and went off down the corridor muttering loud epithets, Lord Smelting returned to his massive bed. He slumped down into the soft center of the bed, pressed his lips together tightly. He wiped away a single tear with the thick collar of his dressing gown.

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