[community profile] mini_nanowrimo: week 1

Nov. 1st, 2008 06:06 pm
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In the morning, he cooks himself breakfast: pancakes and eggs and bacon and toast and fried potatoes; so much food, so little space in that tiny apartment, the smells filling every breath, warming every corner.

She sits at the table and watches him. She thinks he looks like a picture of domesticity, still in pajama bottoms, dark hair falling across his forehead, messy from sleep, grabbing a dishtowel in lieu of oven mitts. He is focused, focused, focused on cooking; she is focused on him.

I think I love you, she says.

He doesn't answer.

(She sits at the table and eats cold cereal dry, because she's forgotten to buy milk again.)

In the afternoon, he goes for a walk. Grabs his jacket and is out the door, expression relaxing as he steps out of the building and into the cool smoky New York air.

She watches him leave and thinks that the picture has changed, from domesticity to a model with a killer smile, brown eyes gleaming with mischief and laughter, designer jeans and a silk shirt and that red leather jacket he loves so well. All he thinks about is how much he's going to enjoy the change of scenery. All she thinks about is him.

Stay safe, she says as he walks out.

He doesn't answer.

(She used to try to join him on his walks, but it always started and ended the same way: he cuts through the crowds effortlessly, long legs covering ground quickly, while she struggles against the current to keep up. And then one moment he's there and the next – blink! – he's gone.

Now she stays home and waits.)

In the evenings, he climbs out on the fire escape and smokes. He hand-rolls his cigarettes, carefully, lovingly, although he's not very good at it and tobacco falls out and litters the rusty stairs. He lights up with a sulfur match, takes a deep breath, and just...is.

Even with the window closed, she can smell the match and the cigarettes, acrid, smoky, sharp in the back of her throat. She sits on the couch with a blanket and a book but doesn't read; he looks like a vintage rock star, hair falling carelessly in every direction, rebel-without-a-cause look on his face, cigarette dangling from his mouth as he scrawls in an old notebook words he'll never let her see. The story and the smoke are all he knows; and all she knows is him.

Come inside, she says.

He doesn't answer.

(She can see sodium-yellow streetlights shining from the street below, distorting her view of him, making him almost solid. In a moment he'll be gone again.)

(Sometimes she wonders which of them is the ghost.)


"I've never done this before," Emma admitted, twisting her hands in her shirt and looking anywhere but at the bed.

The vampire sat down and pursed her lips. "With a vampire or with a woman?"

"With...with either. With anyone." She stared at the opposite wall and tried not to watch the vampire out of the corner of her eye.

The vampire was beautiful, which was about par for the course with vampires, but Emma still couldn't quite get over it. She had long red hair and full red lips and the prettiest eyes Emma had ever seen, long fingers and painted nails and a perfect body. Emma tugged at her shirt a little more, acutely aware of her own failings in those areas.

"I kissed a girl once," Emma said. "When I was still in school. Her name was Sarah. ...that was a long time ago."

"Was she pretty?"

Emma said, "You're making fun of me."

The vampire smiled. "I'm not, I promise." She studied Emma. "You're very beautiful."

"No, I'm not," Emma said automatically.

"Yes, you are. That's why I approached you." The vampire stretched out, crossed her legs elegantly, and Emma chanced a glance over, at the flushed ruddy skin the vampire clearly enjoyed displaying. "You were looking for me."

"I – "

"You wouldn't have been in that club if you weren't," the vampire observed. "Or someone like me, at least."

Emma picked some lint off her jeans. "I've never done this before," she said apologetically.

"You said that already."


The vampire studied her, and then said, "I can leave if that's what you want."

Emma bit her lip, looked up at the ceiling. "I just...have you ever felt like there's a whole different life you're supposed to be living?" she asked finally. "And this is just...someone else's life. A smaller life. Not yours."

"I'm dead, remember?" the vampire said patiently.

"Oh. Right."

There was an awkward silence. Emma was good at those. Finally, though, she said, "So if we...if we...do this...will that make me, you know, like you?"

"A vampire?"


The vampire shook her head, hair falling in her eyes. She didn't push it away. "I've fed recently," she explained.

"That's why you're not, you know, pale."

"Yes. But even if that weren't the case, I wouldn't take enough from you to kill you, that's unnecessary – and contrary to what some would tell you, you do have to die to become a vampire."

"Oh." Emma felt a little disappointed about that, which surprised her. "My mother said sleeping with a vampire would turn me into one."

"That's because your mother didn't want you sleeping with vampires."

"Yeah. I guess."

"I can go," the vampire said again. "Maybe your first time really should be with someone you care about. Or at least someone with a pulse."

"I don't care about anyone," Emma said.

"That's very sad."

"Yes, it is."

The vampire stood up, unfolding herself from the bed, and crossed over to Emma. She kissed her, firmly, on the mouth, and Emma tasted blood faintly. "I'm going to leave," the vampire said, "Because you really don't seem comfortable with this. If you change your mind, you know where to find me."

"What's your name?" Emma asked.

"Does it matter?"

It didn't, really. Emma shook her head.

The vampire left.

Emma sat down on the bed and thought about Sarah.


She excuses herself. Goes to wash her hands again.

No one's said anything. Not to her face, anyway. But surely they all know. Surely they can see it…

She scrubs a little harder, but the reddish-black stain won't come off.

It's blood, all right. Couldn't be mistaken for anything else. Not that color, not that texture. Blood dried on her nails like so much cheap polish, refusing to come off.

She gives up, goes back to the party. Is it her imagination or do they hush a little as she enters? She imagines what they might have been saying about her behind her back. What they might have thought of the dried blood on her hands, of his conspicuous absence from her side. But she smiles and chatters about the latest big thing and says nothing.

Before dinner, she excuses herself.

Goes to wash her hands again.


Michael used to daydream about what it would be like kissing Liam Donnelly, see.

What it would be like varied depending on his mood at the time. Sometimes he felt romantic, sentimental; he imagined that it would be something soft and careful, and Liam would taste like sugar and creamy ice cream, and when the kiss broke neither of them would say anything. Sometimes he felt more playful, and imagined that Liam would kiss like he talked, enthusiastically and carelessly, and he would taste like glitter and cheap lipstick (what glitter and cheap lipstick actually tasted like wasn't something Michael spent time thinking about), and when the kiss broke Liam would laugh, and touch his lips like he wasn't sure that had just happened. Sometimes Michael felt cynical, and then he daydreamed that Liam's kiss would be bruising and demanding, and he would taste like cocaine (whatever cocaine actually tasted like), and when it broke Liam would just...leave.

So when the time came and Liam Donnelly actually did kiss him, Michael thought he was prepared for whatever it would be like.

He wasn't.

Liam tangled himself up in Michael, hands in Michael's hair, long legs wrapped around Michael's own, and kissed like he was scared about what would happen if he didn't, and what would happen now that he was doing it was an even scarier thought. He didn't taste like sugar, or glitter, or cocaine (whatever cocaine actually tasted like), despite the fact that he'd been sucking down Tootsie Roll pops all evening, and he wore enough body glitter to keep Vegas in business, and there was still dried blood under his nose from his last fix; the inside of Liam's mouth tasted like, well, like the inside of someone's mouth, a lot like Michael's own; the only real difference was that the glam boy's lips tasted faintly of cherry-flavored Chapstick.

And when the kiss broke, Liam stared at him with kohl-smudged green eyes, looking half-terrified of his reaction.

Michael touched Liam's lips gently, like he wasn't sure that had really just happened, and said, "I'm sorry I love you," and left.

Liam stayed where he was for a long time.


Prompt: Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. ~ Susan Ertz, Anger in the Sky

Sean wasn't doing much of anything.

He was sitting on the floor because the couch was taken up by someone from last night's party, still passed out. He thought he should probably get up, throw whoever it was out. Take a shower. Get dressed. Maybe even eat something.

It all sounded like too much work.

Someone's number was scrawled on his hand in smeared black Sharpie. He stared at it blankly for a moment, remembered someone from last night's party – someone drunk – giggling and laughing and kissing him and writing their number on his hand.

He could go wash it off. It wasn't like he was ever going to call whoever had left the number.

He didn't get up.

It was Sunday.

Sundays were the worst.

Sundays meant that one more endless week was over, and far too many – innumerably many – still stretched in front of him.

Sean was still sitting on the floor doing nothing when his current roommate – fuck, what was the guy's name? – Patrick – when Patrick staggered in from the general direction of the bedroom.

"Why are you sitting on the floor?" Patrick wondered, staggering in the general direction of the coffeemaker and ignoring the guy asleep on their couch.

Sean didn't answer. After a moment he said, "Do you ever wonder what it would be like to die?"

"Hell, no, I'm gonna live forever."

For the life of him, Patrick couldn't understand why Sean started laughing brokenly at that. Or why the young man looked up at him from the floor and said, "Hell, so am I. That's the problem."


This is the effect that she has on the world.

She writes names in the sand, names of people she once knew, names of people she's never met, names of people who've never existed.

She watches the tide wash those names away and doesn't understand why she feels sad.

She reads Behan and Joyce and Beckett when the sun rises and builds sandcastles when it sets.

She goes swimming, and she collects seashells.

They watch her, and she knows this, but she doesn't know why. Her life is serenity, and repetition, and nothing to anyone (but everything to her).

But they watch her. They make notes. They share her quiet meaningless life.

She changes the world.


He's asleep in their bed, buried in blankets and pillows, and she's writing again, curled up on the couch with a half-empty mug of hot chocolate on the floor beside her, and outside their windows and doors the world is ending.

Before she fixed her cocoa, she made sure all the windows and doors were closed tightly and locked. She turned the TV to face the wall, unplugged the radio, made sure her computer was off, hid his laptop under the window seat.

Something explodes less than a block away. She can hear screams.

He doesn't wake up.

She keeps writing.

There is screaming outside, and if she would just look up, she knows what she would see – blood, and pain, and terror; the gods finding their revenge for being forgotten, the dead rising to wreak havoc, people shooting and killing each other for no rational reason (except fear and no, fear is never rational) – and so she doesn't look up.

By the time he stirs and wakes and emerges from his cocoon of blankets and pillows, her cocoa is cold and congealed and she's on her third notebook and the room is lit by firelight from outside.

He yawns and asks, jokingly, "What did I miss?"

"The world ended," she says. "I'm sure we'll die soon...could you make me another cup of chocolate?"
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