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Countdown Classics

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Countdown Classics

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 4th 2010, 1:11 am

Some of those countdown classics are going to have to be rewritten for obvious reasons, but I thought I would put a few of our faves here.

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Re: Countdown Classics

Post  Butter2 on March 8th 2010, 8:35 pm

I really like that idea Aslinn i love the old countdown.

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Re: Countdown Classics

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 8th 2010, 8:38 pm

Gotta do some editing though if you know what I mean Wink

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Re: Countdown Classics

Post  Butter2 on March 8th 2010, 8:42 pm

yep i understand. You can use there names now, i love that we can do that here. It makes it feel more real when we you use there names.

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Re: Countdown Classics

Post  raki on March 8th 2010, 10:14 pm

Can't wait to reread some of the classics study cheers

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Yule at the Myrtles Part One

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 13th 2010, 12:06 am

Yule at the Myrtles

We arrived at the beautiful plantation at eight in the morning. It figures the counselors would select a haunted plantation to host a Yule celebration. It was said to be haunted by a young black woman who had been a slave at the plantation. She, according to legend, was the mistress to the master and when she thought she was losing favor with him, she planned to poison his wife and children and bring them back to health. The wife and children died and she was killed on the spot. I was excited as I got out of my car. I had dressed in jeans and my Tru:Blood tee shirt and tennis shoes to travel in, but I had packed nicer clothes to wear to supper and party clothes for the little all girl outing the lady counselors had arranged for the second night. I assumed that the male counselors had planned something similar for the men.

Scarlett got out of the passenger side and stretched, her fall of wine colored hair swinging over her shoulders. Vi and Minnie climbed out of the back seat of my car and stretched themselves, feeling every mile of the road on their bodies. Fairy and Renee pulled up. I walked up to the dusty car.

“Well, we made it,” said Renee. I opened her door and she climbed out, sliding her sunglasses over her forehead and settling them on her head. Fairy got out next, shading her eyes with her hand, looking at the gracious elegance of the plantation.
“Are we all staying in the main house?” she asked.

“No, but we have to check in to find out where we belong,” I said. “My counselor said that everything was ready for us, that we are the only ones here.”

“Just how much money do they have?” asked Vi.

“I haven’t the foggiest notion,” I said. “Enough to treat us to three days at the plantation."

“God Speed should be showing up pretty soon,” said Liz.

“Yeah, if he hasn’t stopped alongside the road to get rid of the body,” said Scarlett. We laughed. We had dubious feelings about the possibility that GS could travel in the same car as Hoyt. We were prepared to thank Jesus, Hare Krishna, and Santa Claus if they all made it in one piece.

“I wonder if they are here yet?” asked Renee. I nodded.

“Yeah, they are here, the lead counselor said they would join us when the sun went down,” I said. “They arrived last night.”

About that time, GS, Dude, Hoyt and Mrs. GS arrived. We all gave Hoyt the hairy eyeball to see if he had a fat lip or black eyes or if he walked funny and were relieved to see he was unmarked. I knew who to thank in this instance: The Missus. Dude was all smiles. He came over and hugged me.

“Hey Gorgeous,” he said
“Hey Handsome,” I said back. “Everything calm in there with the two combatants?”
“They hissed and spat a bit but not much,” he said. I watched the two being stiffly friendly to one another.
“Ashes and switches to the both of them if they don’t behave,” I said. “Shall we wait for the others?”
“Yeah, we better,” said God Speed. I went and opened the trunk of my car. Inside were suit cases, gift bags and hanging suit bags lying carefully on top.

“Gee whiz, Aslinn, did you think of moving in?” said Hoyt.
“What did you pack? A pair of socks and your toothbrush?” I asked. The rest were opening their trucks and hatches to reveal bags and luggage. We had all agreed to forego gifts for each other to buy gifts for the counselors. Some of us were planning an excursion for the little town of St. Francisville for that afternoon to finish off any shopping we might need to do in the charming shops I had discovered in the quaint little parish website. Linzy, Val, Lina and Blue Belle finally pulled in and got out to join us. Westexan pulled up right behind them.

“Well, let’s go check in so we can unload and go to town,” said Liz.
We all filed in, the seventeen of us, and stood around the counter to check in. It is a beautiful and fascinating place. Over 200 years old, it was built by General David Bradford. Like all southern homes, there was the long veranda in front festooned with flowers and graced with rocking chairs and tea tables ready for iced tea and mint juleps in the afternoon. There were eleven guestrooms open to the public (though I wondered about our counselor’s accommodations) and two guest houses.

“We are sorry honey,” said a pleasant looking woman. “We are all booked up,”
“Yes, we are your guests,” I said.
“Ah, the Shreveport Yule party,” she said. “Of course,” she opened her registration book for all of us to sign.
“Are our hosts here?” asked GS.
“Yes, they are resting in our special accommodations rooms in the upstairs portion of the gift shop, what used to be the carriage house. Those are rooms we usually reserve for dignitaries, it is a suite apartment,” she explained.
“And their special needs?” I asked, looking at GS.
“All of their special requirements are cared for,” she assured me. “Okay, we have the downstairs suite reserved for Ms. Westexan, as she is in a delicate condition. “ “Thank the Lord,” she said. “The kid is busy today.” She rubbed the lump I nicknamed the Kaiser roll.

I looked around at the reception area. It was obvious that we were standing in the grand foyer but I could see into the main and side parlors and see them decorated with Christmas trees and poinsettia plants and fresh roses and lilies. There were comfortable couches and chairs all around and fire places in both parlors. There were lovely aubusson rugs on the floors and bright tapestries and portraits I supposed were pictures of the former owners. Some were oil paintings but others were deurrograph pictures. The main parlor was dressed in light colors but the side parlor was dressed in darker colors.

Behind the reception area was a beautiful dining room with round tables around the room and a huge fire place topped with a painting of the man who built the house. The tables were covered in red and green and gold linen and the place setting were exquisite Dresden china and Waterford crystal goblets and heavy silver flatware.

“Here you are. Miz Aslinn, you and your friend will be staying together in the Judge Clark Woodruff suite, it is on the second floor and opens to the main staircase,” she said, handing us keys to the suite. “You and your wife will be in the John W. Suite,” she said to the God Speeds, handing them keys to the suite.
“Mr. Hoyt, you and your friend will be staying in the William Winters Suite,” she said, handing them keys. “Miz Fairy, you and your friend will be in the Fanny Williams Suite,” she continued. “Miz Vi, you and your companion will be sharing the Ruffin Sterling Suite.”

She looked over her roster and an email. Apparently our counselors had chosen our rooms for us. “Miz Renee, you and your friend will be staying in the Oleander Garden Room, “she said. “And finally, Miz Linzy, you and your three friends will be put up in the Caretaker’s Cottage,” she said. Keys having been distributed, she picked up the house phone and ordered up what sounded like help to come and help us unload our cars. Three big fellahs came, each pulling a luggage cart and followed us out to our cars. The notion that the counselors would spring for such a lovely trip for us was beyond me.

“Where abouts are you’uns from?” asked one the men helping us.
“We’re from all over,” I said.
“Are you all like family?” he asked. We looked nothing like one another but I could not imagine being closer to any other group of people.
“Yeah, we are family in a way, we certainly have a true blood link among us,” I said. GS stifled a snicker and I grinned at Scarlett. “How far away is town?” I asked.
“Not far,” said one of the men, hefting out my suit case. “About twenty minutes from downtown.”
“Great,” I said. “We were hoping to get in a bit of shopping.”
“Oh they got some nice things in town. You ever been to Louisiana before?” he asked.
I smiled a smile that spoke silently of secrets and places we have been only we knew of and people that could only be imagined.
“We have, many times,” I said. “Mostly to Shreveport and environs.” This time God Speed laughed out loud.
“Good one Aslinn,” he said.

When we each opened the doors of our suites, we were greeted by fresh flowers and a note from the lead counselor.

Our Friends,
I am so happy you have all arrived safely. Please help yourself to all of the amenities. Do not hesitate to ask for anything by the way of creature comforts. I understand an afternoon of shopping is planned. I have taken the liberty of making reservations for you at the Wine Parlor for lunch. Please go there and leave your money in your pockets. Everything has been taken care of. Enjoy the wine and food they will have waiting for you.

Be back at the plantation in time for supper, at 7:00 pm. We will meet you then.

E.

Enclosed was a map of the town and a large X marking the place he spoke of. Eric Lover was looking over my shoulder.

“My goodness,” said Scarlett. “They are pulling out the stops.”
“Who knew they would be so excited about Yule?” I said.

After a quick mulling over, I decided to change into a light sweater the color of my counselor’s eyes and Scarlett did the same, a pale grey silk blouse. We grabbed our jackets and went downstairs where the others were waiting for us. They had changed as well too and the drivers were holding their maps in their hands. After a short conference, we departed for our cars and headed out to town.

St. Francisville, located near Baton Rouge, was a town in the midst of renewal. The streets were neat and clean and the shops had a fresh look about them. Garlands of evergreens were strung between the ornamental lamp posts with large wreaths hanging from the poles themselves, graced with large red velvet bows. It was cool, just cool enough for jackets and the town, while not bustling, was busy enough to add to the excitement. The wide main street was a mcadams road, paved with heavy red bricks. We parked in a parking lot situated behind town hall on Ferdinand Street and stepped out into the town. We looked at our street maps and saw likely places we would want to visit and made our meeting place the Wine Parlor at twelve noon.

Renee, Scarlett, Blue Belle and I went down the street to St. Francis Arts and Antiques. The shop was straight out of a story of the south, with its red brick façade and oak double doors with brass fixtures, dressed up properly for the season. We stepped in and was met with a “Why hello there,” as friendly a greeting by a little man who could well have passed for the jolly old elf himself.

“Hello,” we chimed. “How are you?” I said.
“Oh, I can’t complain too terrible much,” he said in a pleasantly thick southern accent. “You folks visitin’?” he asked.
“Yeah, we are at the Myrtles for the three day weekend,” I said.
“Well, Emma Jean did mention that she was havin’ Cox’s army out at her place for the weekend. Would you ladies mind to sign our guest book?” he asked. We nodded our assent and walked to the small podium where there was a book and ornate feathered pen in a holder. We all took turns signing the book.
“Well, now, are you ladies shopping for anything in particular or are you just lookin’ around?” I had bought the gifts I had planned to give to the counselors, but I had an open enough mind to keep an eye out for any other little thing I might spy that would appeal to the counselors. It was really difficult to find things for them, they were all so different, especially the lead counselor with his long history. How does one shop for a man who seemed to have lived millennia? I tell you, it can be done, but you have to be inventive.

“Ooo, Aslinn, what do you think of this?” said Blue Belle, showing me a set of ivory and coral bracelets.
“Those are lovely,” I said, nodding at the set. “And if you had to you could split them up, give the ivory bracelets to one and the coral to the other.”
“I could, couldn’t I?” she said, happily. She put the items in the little wicker basket she had picked up at the door to hold her purchases. I spied something I thought the lady counselor would enjoy, with her eccentric tastes.
“May I see that?” I asked, pointing at the leopard skin pill box hat. St. Nick smiled and grabbed an oak hand pole and carefully hooked the hat and handed it to me. I carefully examined it, holding it up to the light to see if there were any thin spots which would indicate dry rot. The silk lining was in good shape as well. “You don’t happen to have a pretty hat box for it do you?”
“I do indeed,” he said.

Renee and Scarlett and Blue Belle had all made purchases. Scarlett showed me a lovely item made of ivory she bought for the lead counselor and I nodded my approval. Renee was busily looking into her bag, as she had chosen quite a few small treasures for the counselors. She brooded over them a last time before I locked them in the trunk of my car.

Hoyt’s group had been to Classic Cars. I peeked at the gift Hoyt and Dude had gone in together to buy, a model of a blood red Corvette. I smiled at the unique gift, and quite costly. They loaded their goodies in the car and we all waited for Val and the other girls to come out to the cars.

Swag secured, we ended up heading for the Wine Parlor together. The proprietor came around the counter. “Excuse me, are you the Shreveport party?”
“Yes we are,” said Dude in his wonderfully smooth “radio” voice.
“We have been expecting you. Won’t you come into our private parlor? Your buffet is ready and we have some lovely wines for you to try,” she said.
After the wine and light lunch we headed back to the Myrtles for a rest and to get ready for supper.

We got back around two o’clock and we all decided to have a nap. Scarlett and I were on our backs in the dim light of the room. I could tell she was thinking about something, but I waited for her to say something. Finally I heard a sigh and then she began.

“Aslinn, do you ever think about what it must be like to be one of them?” she asked. “You know, a “counselor”?”
“I have,” I said. “Sometimes I think it must be the loneliest thing to be. They get along okay, but they don’t really seem to be friends, know what I mean?”
“I think that is why they like us so much,” she said. “They can be around their own kind, but they don’t have to mix with one another unless they want to and they have us to interact with.”
“But there are some days that I wonder what it would be like,” I said. “The freedom, the strength, the immortality, I mean, unless someone stops them, they will go on for…. a very long time.”
“But everyone you know would go on and finally…” she said.
“Yes, there is that,” I said.

Around 5:00, there was a scurrying around as we showered and got ready for dinner. Eric Lover and I were the first down stairs, with our gift bags. We placed them under the tree and stood before the fire. It was a bit chilly as darkness settled and wondered what the counselors were doing. Were they getting ready, too? God Speed and Mrs. GS came down together. They may be fascinated with a couple of the counselors, but they were in the spring of love. They too set their gift bags down under the tree.

Westexan came out from her downstairs suite in a pair of soft dove colored pants and a matching silk blouse. She had her gift bag with her. I helped her set down her bag under the tree with Hoyt’s and Dude’s bags.

“The counselors are raking it all in,” she said.
“They are indeed, “ I said. Lina and Linzy and Blue Belle and Val came in with Vi and Minnie.
“We look so wonderful, “ I gushed.

“Yes,” said our counselor. “You are a very attractive group.” We turned and saw them, looking at us, we looking at them. Eric was wearing grey pants with a wine colored sweater, making his fair skin nearly blushed. Bill was dressed in dark brown slacks and a matching sweater. Pam was wearing suede pants and a matching lamb’s wool sweater of sky blue, which made her even paler, but very lovely, like a snow queen. Jessica had opted for a brown leather skirt and a jade green silk blouse.

“And you look lovely as well,” I said.
“Tell me you did not go through the trouble and expense of all those lovely gifts,” said Bill, in his soft southern drawl.
“They are just a few things,” I said, looking at the haul.
“We have gifts as well, but they will be brought in while you have your supper,” said Eric. He took Scarlett's hand and placed it in the crook of his elbow and Lina on the other arm. Bill took my arm and Violet’s and we walked in together. Dude made a courtly bow and offered his arm to the smiling Pam and Jessica placed her hand in Sal's , with a sly smile at GS as he offered his other arm to Minnie. God Speed was not amused.

The room was lit with candles and the chandelier in the ceiling was lit low. The flattering light made the room festive and kept the counselors in light shadow, where I liked them….well, where I liked one of them.
“Did you have an easy trip?” asked Bill to the both of us.
“Yes, and yourself?” I asked.
“Very easy, and you had lunch where we arranged for you?” he asked.
“It was really nice and the wine was lovely,” I said. We were seated at our tables and the maitre d’ came around and gave us the card menus. Bill took a wine list and indicated the Château Haut Beausejour, St. Estephe to begin with.
“I hope you don’t mind, Eric suggested it before we came down that we should order this bottle for all the tables so we could toast together,” Bill explained.

As we examined the menu, appetizers began to arrive to the tables and finally the wine and a warmed carafe of what we assumed was TB was set on the tables near each of the counselors, wrapped in a thick terry cloth towel to keep it warm. Bill poured himself a glass as the waitresses poured our wine. We waited for Eric to stand and give us his toast.

“I want to thank all of you for coming to share this weekend with us. You are all such wonderful friends and we thank you all for your affections and your adventurous spirits. May we continue to enjoy one another’s companionship,” said the handsome blond Viking, raising his glass to us all. We touched our glasses and drank the wine, which tasted sweet and woody at the same time.

I ordered the Cajun shrimp and wild rice and mixed vegetables. If the counselors were uncomfortable with us eating in front of them, they did not show it. If we were discomfited by their diet, we certainly did not give them a clue. The wait staff seemed indifferent to our counselors and their special meals, and went about their work, filling the carafes when empty along with the bread baskets and wine glasses.

After supper and rich desserts, during which Vi and I shared a thick slice of red velvet cake with icing so creamy and deep on the cake that it looked like sugared silk, Eric stood again. We gave him our attention.

“After coffee, we will be going outside. It was a tradition among my people to burn a Yule log. If the wait staff would please pass out the pens and pieces of paper, I would like for you to write down your wishes and dreams for the New Year to place with our Yule log to send to the heavens,” he said. With our coffee, the waiters brought pens and paper to the tables and we took a few minutes to write down our wishes. I looked up from my paper to see Bill's endlessly blue eyes looking at me. I folded the paper and slid it into my pocket. He smiled shyly at me.

We went up and got our jackets. It was not as cold as in the north, but Baton Rouge was cool and the leather jacket was welcome. I came back down stairs and met the other Truebies in the foyer. We went outside and found our counselors around an open fire pit with a single large pine log surrounded by kindling. I could smell the unmistakable scent of slowly roasting pig about ten yards away. When we were all assembled, Eric brought out a heavy rattan chair for Westexan. He helped her sit in the chair and seemed to hover there around her for a second and then she handed him her slip of paper and he slid it under the log. One by one, we came forward and slipped our papers under the log.

The Big Viking took a long stemmed fire lighter and lit the kindling in several places. As we chatted, the wait staff brought us some warm cider. I was standing there watching the fire and watching Eric. He was squatted from his considerable height in front of Westexan. She was looking at him intently as he spoke to her. She made a come on motion with her fingers and he seemed to resist her a moment and she took his hand and pressed his fingers onto her belly, moving it to the right side of her belly where she seemed to have the most activity. He then lay his ear to her belly and even from a distance I could see his eyes close as he listened presumably to the second heart beating under her own. Eric's face was strangely amazed and beautiful almost content.

“Those of our kind who have been as we are for a long time do not know how to feel about pregnant people. We would never willingly harm a pregnant woman, but we are extremely aware of her and the life inside her and all life intrigues us,” explained Bill.

“You may be as you are, but you are still men. Some men find pregnant women very beautiful, very sexually appealing,” I said, watching the intimate scene between Westexan and Eric. “I suspect Eric is one of those men.”

I could see Hoyt and the young counselor and Dude standing there talking. They were making Jessica laugh aloud and she put her hand up to cover her mouth and what I suspected was a fairly toothy grin. Pam was chatting with Fairy and Renee and Linzy. The others were in little groups around the fire.

“Would you like to take a walk with me?” asked Bill.
“Sure,” I said. I slid my hand into his elbow and walked with him, heading around the annexed buildings, what would have been slave quarters and workshops were now gift shops and cabins. “So, why did you all select a haunted plantation for our Yule get away?” I asked.
“Well, we like it here, and we have special accommodations, and we don’t have to explain ourselves because a friend of ours actually has a small interest in the plantation,” he said. “You aren’t afraid of ghosts are you Aslinn?”
“No, not really,” I said. “I just wondered about that.” We walked on down further past the buildings and we saw an enclosed gazebo. He gently guided me to the gazebo. We stepped into it and I let go of Bill's arm and went around the inside of the perimeter.

“So, what did you wish for Aslinn,” asked Bill.
“Oh, I wished for the well being of my family and friends. I wished for a great summer of adventure and love,” I said. He smiled and walked over to me and put his hands on my shoulders, drawing me close to him. He bent close to me, his lips almost brushing mine.

“Is that all you wished for?” he whispered. “Was there nothing for yourself?”
“Well, there was this one wish,” I said.

By the time we returned to the fire, there were the sounds of Cajun fiddle music and laughter and frolic. I could see Eric leaving the fire with someone who looked suspiciously like Fairy, his arm slid around her waist. I sat down next to Westexan and took the offered mug of warm cider. I could see the southern counselor, taking Violet in his arms and spinning with her into the circle of dancing people which included Hoyt and the young counselor and GS and the Missus and Dude and the lady counselor. Scarlett came and sat down next me and we lit a cigarette and passed it between us.

“So what was the lead counselor doing all squatted down in front of you?” asked Scarlett to Westexan who was sporting Eric's leather jacket on her lap and belly.
“He was just asking after my condition, and then he took his jacket off and gave it to me. I asked him if he would get cold and he just smiled at me,” she said.
“Well, the weather doesn’t affect them like us. Did he like feeling your stomach?” I asked.
“That was so weird..most people are like so pushy about rubbing the bump but he hesitated. He wanted to but he hesitated so I put his hand on my belly and the Kaiser decided to kick a goal around my right kidney so I moved his hand,” she said. “He had the strangest look on his face.”
“Well, there are a lot of things he hasn’t experienced in a very long time, and that I am sure is one of them,” I said. About that time, I saw Violet walking away from the party with Bill. He is going to be a busy man tonight with all his little junkies floating around vying for his attention.

As the night wore on, I noticed all the counselors pairing off with a group member to have a little private time with them. Suddenly, without warning it seemed, the dawn was close upon us and we imitated our counselors and went to our daytime rest.

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Yule at the Myrtles Part Two

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 13th 2010, 12:21 am

Yule at the Myrtles Part Two
We woke sometime after noon. I slid out of bed and took a shower and dressed. Scarlett was sitting up. “What time is it?”

“Just after one,” I said. “Keeping these sort of hours will throw us off our day schedules,” I said absently.

“How long til dark?” she asked. I looked at the clock.

“About six ,” I said. I dressed in a soft moss green sweater and jeans and slid into my loafers. I left the room and went downstairs and got a cup of coffee and croissant and went outside. It was a bit cool but I found Westexan and the God Speeds having coffee. I sat down with them.

“Did you sleep good Aslinn?”asked Westexan.
“I did,” I said. “Anyone see any ghosts?”
“Not that I am aware of,” said God Speed.” We thought we would go and look around at the grounds, see the rest of the plantation.”
“Well,” said Westexan, “This is a beautiful place. And I don’t think I have had a better night’s sleep.”
“I think I am just going to relax,” I said. “I can’t wait to eat that roast pig they started cooking last night.”
“Did you see the size of those hogs?” asked Mrs. GS. “They were monsters.”
“Well, that just means they will be yummy for supper,” I said. “I think I will go on line and check the forum.”

I was in the main parlor, my lap top on the coffee table, checking my email and the forum. The forum was a beautiful thing now that we had struck out on our own. I posted a few comments and then set out to work on a few siggies.

By the time I quit, the rest of us were up. Linzy was watching me make a really nice siggy for the Eric Girls and answered a couple of emails. When I looked up from my screen, I was looking into the face of the Sheriff of Area Five.
“Still hard at it Aslinn?” he asked.
“What time is it?” I asked. He looked at the grandfather clock behind me.
“Six-twenty,” he said. “Come on, turn off your laptop and come and join us, your supper is ready,” he said. I turned off my computer and put it in my bag and set it to the side. He took my hand in his cool one and led me into the dining room. He sat me at his table this evening.

When we were all seated, plates of pig and bowls and platters of sides were set before us. More wine and other sustenance were put on our tables. This was better, more intimate, like eating at a family table. We were a bit more rowdy with this family like atmosphere. I looked at Bill and he lifted his glass and I lifted mine back to him.

After supper, we went into the parlor and the guys who had helped us with our luggage came in lugging packages with them. Lina snugged a Santa hat on the head of Eric who was a good sport and accepted the hat. He looked strange, as though he was rediscovering some part of himself who was long gone. I can’t say Pam was too pleased with this sort of casual treatment of her boss, but Jessica was all grins. Bill was talking to Blue Belle who was smiling up at him.

“Alright, settle,” said Eric. “We are handing out gifts, small tokens of our friendship and appreciation and then the ladies are required to join the lady counselor on a little excursion.”

I was sitting cross legged on the floor, my small pile of gifts around me. I had gotten a lovely first edition copy of Gone with the Wind from Eric, as he had a real laugh over the essay I wrote about the Connection’s world and the world of Scarlett O’Hara and her two suitors. He’d written on a card “Aslinn, thank you for your friendship. I hope our affection will not be gone with the wind”

I looked over at Jessica as she ooed and ahhed over the Ipod Sal had gotten her and the 100 song card God Speed had bought her. She raced over to me.

“Aslinn, can I use your laptop later?” she asked. I nodded. I noticed Pam trying on the vintage pill box hat, pressing the pins into the back of the hat. Fairy and Renee were nodding over it, admiring the way it matched the mahogany brown dress and blouse she was wearing. Bill was looking at the pewter pocket watch I had bought him. I knew he wore a wrist watch, but I thought he would appreciate a pocket watch. He winked subtly at me. I reached for the package Jessica had for me and opened it. Inside were a set of journals bound in leather with celtic knots all over them. I loved them and the heavy pen that came with them. Pam had bought me a blouse, improbably sheer and a lovely crème with a shell underneath it.

Finally, after we had opened all our gifts and made our thank yous and accepted thank yous, we girls ran upstairs quickly and changed into going out clothes and came back down. We went out and piled into our cars, Jessica getting in my car with Scarlett, Vi and Minnie and we took off, following the Pam who was bringing Val and Fairy and Linzy with her.

We drove for about twenty minutes when we finally pulled into the parking lot of a club. Hooligans was rocking this Friday night. I walked up to Pam.

“Did you bring us to a strip club?” I asked,
“Well, let’s just say I thought we could use a ladies night out,” she said.
“What are the boys doing while we are here?” I asked.
“I am sure they are occupied with the other counselors,” she said. “Come on, I think you will enjoy yourself immensely.”

The club was loud and there seemed to be an all female audience til I noticed a few stray males in the. There was a large stage and small DJ stand with turn tables and a run way with a smaller circular stage. There was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen gyrating on the stage.

Around six feet tall, dark skinned with long black hair in impossible, envy inducing curls, the nearly naked man on the stage was strutting his stuff. A sea of outstretched arms was reaching for this tasty male but he was just out of reach. I looked at Pam.

“You brought us to a male strip bar,” I asked.
“Yes, I thought you ladies would enjoy the sights and sounds,” she said. “I reserved a very nice spot for us, premium spot in the front.”
Val, also known as Naughty McNasty, her alter ego, was whistling and stomping. Even the very pregger Westexan was showing her approval, waving a dollar bill in front of the sexy beast, thrusting his hips out to her as he took her hand and “helped” her slip the dollar bill in his….ehem…pouch. I began to wonder what the boys were doing.

The dining room was empty except for the center table. Sal, God Speed, Dude and Eric and Bill were sitting around the table, looking over their cards. Dude was drinking bourbon and coke and Sal and God Speed were drinking beers. The counselors were having beverage as well. Poker night with the counselors. God Speed was oblivious to the fact that his wife was transforming into a sex maniac in the strip bar. There were just some things he didn’t need to know.

The lead counselor had a small but impressive pile of chips in front of him. Dude was a regular poker player and enjoyed the competition with the lead counselor. If Eric seemed flustered at the fact Dude was about equally matched to him by way of skill, you would never know it. His face was placid and his body relaxed. He didn’t seem to worry about winning or losing.

“So, how do your wives feel about you boys being so interested in our adventures?” asked Bill.
“Well, you know Jen, she is a junkie like me,” said God Speed.
“Yes she is, quite a little junkie,” said Eric. “Tell me, how do you feel God Speed, about the fact that I meet with Jen on Thursday nights and spend one on one time with her.”
“Okay, so long as I get to spend time with Jess,” he said. “How is your protégé?”
“Well, things are still up in the air about her as far as the adventures go, “said Bill.
“How about you Sal? Your friend here enjoys his little visits with the youngest of our kind. How are you dealing with you jealousy?” asked the Viking.
“I’m alright, I guess. I don’t care for it much,” said the aggrieved Sal.
“That is so fascinating,” said Eric. “The ladies with whom we counsel don’t seem to mind.”
“Yeah, but….” said Dude.
“Yes?” asked Bill.
“I don’t think you guys would like it very much if you began counseling each other’s ladies,” he finished.

Bill shifted uneasily. He did not care for the attention the lead counselor sometimes paid to the ones he considered his. And he knew Eric did not care for any measure of deference he paid to the ones who were devoted to him.
“See what I mean?” said Dude.

Between shows, we settled at a table and had a round of drinks brought to us, heavy on the beer and a club soda for Westexan and Fairy. We sat back and chatted with the lady counselors. We noticed that all the dancers came down to visit with our table and chat with us and even take one of us out to dance. Val was dancing with a beautiful blond who was tall and muscular and looked an awful lot like Eric. But the beautiful man with the long black hair in their lazy ringlets was nowhere to be seen.

“So, how come that pretty guy with all the black hair doesn’t come out and join us?” asked Lina.
“Oh, the owner of the bar?” asked Pam. “Well, he knows that we would eat him alive.”
“He is very yummy,” I said, though I got the impression Pam was a little more literal minded.
“He sure is,” said Jessica. A handsome dancer came up and claimed the young counselor for a dance and she fairly leapt from her seat. God Speed and Sal would have rubbed all the cute off that boy if they were here. They would not have appreciated the attention he was paying to the lovely young red head.

We girls fairly sped home to beat the dawn to get back to the plantation. I was tired, but in a good way. Scarlett was in the bathroom, washing her face and brushing her teeth and I was waiting for my turn in the loo.

“Did you have a good time tonight?” I asked her.
“Oh yeah, I like a good time with the girls. I wonder if the boys enjoyed their night with the counselors?” she said, coming out. I went into the loo and changed into my pajamas and washed my face and brushed my teeth and came back out.
“I am sure they did,” I said. “I wonder what we will be doing tomorrow night.”
“Jessica said something about dressing up a little and having dinner and dancing right here at the plantation,” she said.
“More dancing,” I said. “What did Eric?”
“He got me a bracelet,” she said, showing me the gold cuff bracelet.
“Very nice,” I said. “What did you get him again?”
“I got him that blue sweater,” she said. “I hope he liked it. What did he get you?”
“A copy of the first edition Gone with the Wind,” I said. “Bill bought me a pair of gold earrings.”
“Well, I am tired tonight. Good night Aslinn,” she said, as dawn began to creep through the curtains.
“Good night,” I said.

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Yule at the Myrtles Part Three

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 13th 2010, 12:38 am

Yule at the Myrtles Part Three

We woke late in the afternoon. I turned my head and felt the twinges of discomfort that bespoke of dehydration, also known as the great American hangover. I looked over and Scarlett was still asleep. I got up and went to the loo and peed for what seemed forever. (Is the phrase ‘Like a Russian Race Horse’ familiar to everyone?) I washed my face and took a couple of Excedrin and b12, (the vitamin of chug-a-lug champions and Vampires everywhere) and drank my weight in tap water.

I came out, moving quietly, setting a glass of water with Excedrin and b12 on Scarlett's bedside table and I went to my bag and picked out a white silk blouse and red twill leggings. I dressed quickly and quietly, brushed my hair and put it in a pony tail and went down stairs in search of a cup of Joseph.

Westexan was up reading the local paper, having a glass of the house wine of the South, the ubiquitous sweet iced tea and rubbing the baby bump. The hostess brought me a cup of coffee. I sipped it and savoured the taste.

“Hung over?” she asked.
“The wrath of grapes,” I said nodding. The fire was going and I heard the clock strike three. “I don’t know about this sleep all day, stay up all night thing.” I mumbled to no one in particular. Westexan laughed at me. “They will be up in three hours or so.”

“Well, they are used to it,” she said. “What are you wearing tonight? This is our last night together.”

“I brought something in basic black,” I said. “The food has been incredible. I can’t wait to find out what we are having tonight.”

“I think the lady said we were having barbecue,” said Westexan. Val and Fairy came down and sat down by me on the couch.

“You feeling alright?” I asked Val. At the bar, she was feeling real fine, dancing with a gorgeous young man with coal black hair and pecs to knock on.
“My head,” she said. About that time, the hostess brought Val and Fairy and coffee. I got up to smoke a cigarette and found God Speed, Sal and Dude and Mrs. GS outside on the veranda. “So, what did you boys do last night?”
“Played poker with the counselors,” said GS.
“Win any money?” I asked.
“Are you kidding?” asked Dude. “Eric racked up.”
“Ummm, why doesn’t that surprise me?” I said, lighting up my sin.
“I think he was cheating somehow,” said Sal, sullenly.
“He could probably hear your heart beating faster when you got a good hand,” I said.
“See, that is one reason I will never play cards with him again…you work for years, learning to hold your poker face, killing off any nervous ticks and the only thing left is your internal excitement and now, with these people, you have no way of hiding anything,” complained Dude.
“Those are the disadvantages,” I said, agreeing with him.

By five the day was disappearing and we began to drift up to change into our more formal attire for our final dinner together. I took a bath and shampooed my hair and got out and Scarlett did the same. I dressed in the simple black dress and put on my few gold accessories (I am a silver girl, but out of deference to the counselors, I did not wear my silver jewelry). Scarlett was wearing a snazzy red dress, cut low and raised high, showing her dancer’s legs.

We went down together and found the others looking great in their dress clothes. The lady counselors were sitting by the fire, Jessica was wearing a pretty blouse Fairy had bought her in baby blue. Pam was wearing black, an expensive cashmere sweater and black silk blend slacks. Dude was wearing a medium blue sweater, a gift from the lady counselor and darker blue pants. Lina was wearing the steel blue dress I’d seen her unwrapping from the Big Viking and Linzy was wearing her gold hoop earrings to compliment the cloth of gold dress she was wearing. Val was sitting and chatting wearing the oatmeal colored sweater that Bill had bought her and playing with the long gold necklace with the representation of the Celtic goddess Brigid on a heavy medallion Eric had given her. Apparently, he liked giving jewelry to his favorites. I looked in the mirror at the lovely heavy gold earrings Bill had given me. Renee was wearing her gold watch he had gotten her.

We were all just waiting for the other counselors to come in. The hostess and her staff moved between us, bringing us glasses of wine and bottles of beer and other refreshments and circulated with trays of munchables. I found my appetite returning as I could smell the wonderful smells of barbecue wafting through the house.

Finally they came in, looking lovely as ever. Eric was wearing the blue sweater he had received and I noticed the lovely Thor’s Hammer necklace I had helped Burke select for him. Bill was wearing black and he reached into his pocket and took out the pewter pocket watch I had bought him, demonstrating to me that he was using my gift.

“Are we late?” asked Eric. We demurred that they were right on time and we were escorted into the dining room. This time, I was sitting with Pam, Scarlett and Blue Belle and Westexan and Fairy. Like last night, platters of sides were set out, but the wait staff came around asked which would we like, ribs or pulled beef, or steak. I chose the steak, rare, and carefully tucked my napkin into my dress and prepared for messy eating. I watched the wait staff pour Pam a drink and I leaned forward to her. She leaned forward.

“Does it bother you to watch us eat?” I asked.
“Some of our kind may be a little uncomfortable, but I enjoy having meals with those like you. I love the smells of food,” she said. I nodded. Another little tid bit to tuck away.

We ate largely of the food. And it was good. The beef was done to perfection and the sides of potato salad and fresh green beans and cole slaw were perfect. Dinner was topped off by pecan and fruit pies. I shared a large slab of apple pie with Blue Belle.

After supper, we retired to the front room and chatted while the wait staff hurriedly cleaned up the dining room to get it ready for the rest of the evening’s goings on. I know that Lina was looking forward to dancing with Eric; her mouth fairly watered looking at him. And God Speed was looking forward to dancing with Jessica as well. She was standing very close to him, showing him all the songs she had downloaded on her ipod and God Speed was looking down over her shoulder at the tiny digital screen. Sal was showing off the cell phone the young counselor had bought him. I suppose she wanted a more direct link to him. God Speed was not amused.

Finally we were invited back into the large dining room. The chairs had been put against the walls and the tables removed. Vi and Bill were the first to hit the floor. Eric and Lina joined them, he holding her very closely, her arms reaching up to encircle his neck. God Speed took the wife out but I knew that when she was distracted by Eric, he would grab a dance from his red headed girl, dressed in her pretty pale blue blouse , her red hair long and silky on her shoulders. Dude claimed me for a dance.

“Well, Aslinn, we are what, 24 weeks before the new adventures, will we make it?” he asked.
“I think we will. We have the counselors and we have the forum and we have each other. This has been the bestest Yule ever,” I said.
“I think so too,” he said.
I don’t think the counselors got to stop dancing the whole evening. We drank and danced and talked about what we were hoping for the New Year, joked about our mild rivalries and crushes and the coming excitement with new adventures. I found myself at one point dancing with Eric.

“Have you had a nice time Aslinn?” he asked.
“I have, the accommodations are wonderful,” I said. “Thank you so much.”
“I was our pleasure,” he said. “You know, Aslinn, you never answered my question.”

I looked up at him. I didn’t like seeing his face so clearly without the solace of the shadows. I liked looking into Bill's heart shaped face and into his lovely blue eyes, but the Viking was a cipher. He was lovely, of course, and he had those strange pale eyes that at one moment seemed blue, then sometimes they were grey and others they seemed green. I had once joked he had mood ring eyes, becoming whatever color he was wearing or perhaps even his mood. Tonight they were green and sparkly.
“I’ll be your friend as much as I can,” I said.
“I suppose that is as good as I am going to get from you, head strong, obstinate,” he said, not really disproving.
“Sort of like you…see, you need to think opposites attract. Take Blue Belle, for example, she is totally devoted,” I said. We looked at her dancing with Bill, her gaze only on him, and her fingers in his dark hair.
“Too devoted,” he shook his head slightly.

I sat down by GS while Mrs. GS was dancing with Eric, he was spinning her in his arms and drawing her in very tightly to his body, pressing her against him. Scarlett and Jessica were dancing.

“Scarlett is some fantastic dancer," said God Speed.
“She is, and so is Jessica. How come you don’t dance fast?” I asked, watching Pam cutting a rug with Dude.
“I’m good with the slow dancing, but I can’t fast dance,” he said. I was watching Bill dancing with Renee, who was well matched. The rest of the girls were either resting or dancing with each other in that unselfconscious way girls dance with each other. Sal was standing there as well.
“No fast dancing Hoyt?” I asked.
“Nah,” he said.
“You know, if I had a lady counselor like her, I would figure out how to fast dance a little,” I said.

After the music ended, I noticed Renee and Bill stepping away for a private moment and Eric was joined by Linzy. He took a glass of wine from a tray began walking her toward the front door and the porch, handing her the glass, encouraging her to taste it.

There was a great dynamic between us, the junkies and the objects of our addiction. I knew that at the night wore on, this being the longest night, Fairy, Val and Lina, Sal and Dude, Vi and Minnie, we would all spend some special time with our counselors. It seemed important to them as much as it was for us. They craved us, just how, that remained to be seen. I for one had not seen any tell tale marks on my person…perhaps that is not precisely what they wanted us from us. I know we craved them and these little moments with them were fleeting, precious times for us. They would all make it just right, the moon perfect in the sky, the music of there be any, memorable, the sentiments sincere.

I suspected our seduction was complete, but who was the seduced and who was the seducer. Sometimes it was us and sometimes it was them. Lina told me about one episode when she drove like the hounds of hell were behind her to get to her one on one and she practically burst through the front door of Eric's house and wrapped herself around him. Blue Belle whispered about a night that she was met by Bill in the front yard and he picked her up and carried her away, making her breathless before they even reached the door. God Speed was always too much of a gentleman to say anything about his one on one meetings, but I know that when he held Jessica he sometimes seemed to be straining against some other desire. I was trapped in those reveries, so much so I did not notice Bill standing in front of me.

“Aslinn, the sun is coming, won’t have the last dance with me?” he asked.
“I would be delighted,” I said.

After the last dance, we hugged and kissed and were hugged and kissed by the counselors. They were going to their day time rest and so were we. We would be leaving tomorrow but we would never forget our wonderful Yule together in this lovely haunted plantation. As I took the stairs to go to my room, I looked back down. I saw a young black woman in a long skirt and blouse had walked into the room. She crossed the room and passed through a solid wall. There, I had seen the ghost of the Myrtles. My visit was complete.

Merry Yule everyone.

Aslinn Dhan
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Re: Countdown Classics

Post  raki on March 13th 2010, 12:35 pm

Best Yule celebration EVER Very Happy

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Samhain Party: Part One: Decorating Day

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 18th 2010, 1:26 pm

Decorating Day
Decorating Day

We pulled in in front of the house Scarlett had procured for us to hold our Halloween Fete. The house is a house everyone would know in an instant if they like the sort of movies that begin with a dark and stormy night and end with a body count. Scarlett fished the keys out of her pocket and opened the double front doors and we stepped over the threshold. I expected Bela Lugosi to greet us on the stairs and say, "Good Evening, welcome to my home," but then again, it was daytime and the prince of darkness would be at his day time rest.

The foyer was beautifully appointed with a wide entry way (Think Bill Compton's entry way only big enough to park a Cessna) with two elegant velvet boot benches on either side and a set of oak panel doors in the middle that Godspeed opened into a grand main room, a huge parlor. It was decorated in Victorian whorehouse, but it had the room we needed for dancing and the room to set up our buffet tables. My eyes were drawn to the huge fire place with carved goddesses holding up the mantle and huge a picture of a stern looking gentleman.

"I see you guys found this place," said an unfamiliar voice. I whipped around. There was a tall older man standing there in jeans and a Warner Brothers tee-shirt. "But you should be careful about the doors, we have Shade living here, our resident mouser." About that time a long, slender black cat came out meowing in that bouncy way all cats sound when they are meowing and trotting all at the same time. He stopped for a second and sniffed me and then walked up to the man and rubbed himself against the man's legs.

"Will he be okay while we have our party?" I asked.
"Oh sure, he may sniff around at first but he has a place in the attic where the caretaker stays. The caretaker is out of town, but he has a cat door to go in and out of," explained the man. "So where is your special effects man? I want to show him the control room."
"He's right here," I said, pointing to God Speed.
"Come on, I'll show you the stuff you will be the most interested in for your party," said the man. God Speed followed the man to the hidden door where the control room was located

Sweet and Wild and Nicky drove up and parked.

"We brought the helium tanks and balloons and the black and red table cloths, well, bed sheets," said Sweet and Wild. "The lady at Walmart looked at me as if I was buying sheets for a bordello."
"Well, look around chere, and tell me if it doesn't look like a bordello in here," I said, grabbing bags of goodies from various walmarts, party stores and craft stores. About that time, GS came out of the control room and stood there, watching us trudging in with our burdens. "Oh, don't strain yourself GS, let us pack all of this stuff in ourselves," I said sarcastically. He grinned at me and showed me his favorite finger and went out and began to gather up the remaining bags. He struggled in, huffing and puffing.
"Jezzus Pleezus Nicky, what do you and Mel have in there, it feels like bowling balls," he said, sitting them on the floor.
"Bowling balls, they were having a sale at 'Ballz R Us'," said Nicky. "You should go, they are having a two for one sale."
"Funny," he muttered. "GS is not amused."

But, GS was not unamused for long as Dude and Sal came up in Dude's truck. I was excited because the Dude was bringing fodder shocks and about twenty pumpkins and four baskets of gourds. Dude parked and climbed out of the truck and shook hands with God Speed. Sal waved at us girls and we waved back.

The boys finished emptying Nicky's car and then went to work unloading Scarlett's car and God Speed's car and finally lugging out the contents of Dude's truck, bringing the pumpkins and gourds first, then hauling out the light but unwieldy bundles of cornstalks for our Halloween decor.

In the kitchen, we girls were sorting out the things in the bags and bundles. In addition to decorations, we also bought party staples we might need to replenish the party goodies and to fix easy meals for us as we batched it in the 'haunted mansion'. Shade sat contentedly, watching us move around, putting things in the fridge, opening packages of paper plates and plastic silverware (my favorite oxymoron) and examining the little bits and pieces and debris that would constitute our decorations.

About that time, I heard someone shouting "Hey, who do you think you are carrying that stuff, you have no business lifting and pulling on heavy bags!!!" I jogged to the door and saw Westexan there, her hands full of plastic bags of things. I watched as God Speed went over to her with Dude and Sal and they took the bags out of her hands and muttered under their breaths about how Westexan knew better than to pull and lug around on a bunch of heavy bags in her condition. She smiled, pretty and preggers and came up onto the porch.

"This place is great!!!! I can't tell you how many movies I have seen this house in," she said, hugging me.
"Wait til you see the inside chere, it is fantastic," I said, as we came in as the boys came back out. She stopped GS and gave him the keys of her SUV so the boys could unpack her car as well.
"Gee whiz Aslinn, would you get a look at this place?" said Westexan, all eyes and face, looking at the Gothicy decor. "Have you been upstairs yet?"
"No, we haven't. I figure after lunch we could go spy out the rooms and pick our accommodations. I love this, like a little Vacation," I said.
"Where are we having our meeting for the TBA?" she asked.
"Right here in this house. There is a conference room in the area that would be a cellar in an ordinary house. That way no one will see the decorations yet," I said.
"Cool," said Westexan.

We spent the morning unpacking and washing the glasses Westexan found on sale at a Halloween store, setting up the four tables, two on each wall on either side of the grand fire place, for the grand buffet and putting down the sheets we'd bought for table linens and Setting the fodder shocks on each end of the tables. We figured out where we would put the pumpkins but did not put them or the gourds out. Thursday, we would spend the day carving pumpkins. Liz was pulling out the big column candles and putting them on the glass candle plates and putting them around the room. They were black and corn yellow and red and purple, all the colors of the season and we were jamming out to Monster Mash and Werewolves of London and Purple People Eater being played over the house intercom.

We draped the dark velvet curtains in some sort of grey gauzy material and God Speed brought us some animatronic spiders that lit up and made an icky clicking noise. He plugged one in and held it down to Shade, who immediately batted at it hard with his little black paw and hissed. GS was delighted at the cat's reaction and continued to torment him.

"GS, will you leave that poor animal alone!!!" said Nicky.
"I hate cats," he said. "Be glad that's all I'm doing to you baby," he said, quoting a dead fangbanger.

We stopped at noon for barbecued ribs and wings and potato salad and rolls for lunch and laid around like the living dead for about a half hour after wards. I smoked one of the lovely Turkish blend cigarettes, one of the precious few that I had from the gift from Eric. As though Scarlett was reading my mind, she asked me if I heard from the lead counselor.

"No, he's 'disappointed' in me for not promising to stay out of Shreveport. You know how his voice gets calmer and softer when he is upset," I said, puffing the cigarette.
"But he is still coming to the fete?" asked GS.
"Oh yes, Bill said that there was nothing Eric loved more than a party, especially at Halloween," I said. "He'll just have to get over it."
"Did Bill say anything to you about Shreveport?" asked Hoyt.
"Not anything I haven't heard before," I said. "If they say they know that the Connection won't tell us anything, why do they worry about it so much?"
"I don't know, unless, they really believe she will tell something," said Dude.
"Who knows," I said. I took a last draw and put out the cigarette and got up and went to get my suit cases from the car and head up to stake a claim on a room.

Scarlett and I chose the front room and said we would share it. Nicky and Sweet and Wild were sharing the room beside us, with the bathroom suite in the middle. Westexan took a small ensuite room across the hall from us and Hoyt and Dude buddied up to share a room. As Mrs. GS would be joining God Speed, he too had an en-suite room. The rest of the lodgers, if there be any, would have to fight for the rest of the sleeping space.


To be continued.. ..

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Samhain Party: Part Two: Road Trip

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 18th 2010, 1:30 pm

The Day Before the Road Trip

I woke, a little disoriented, like you do when you wake somewhere unfamiliar. I looked over and Scarlett was out of bed already. A look at the clock told me it was nine in the am and since I am about as friendly as a porcupine with rash in the morning, I decided to go down and share my friendly disposition with my fellow TBers and have a cup of wake the hell up.

I stumbled into the loo and came out a few minutes later and shlepped down the hallway and down the grand stair case, nearly tripping on the effing cat. It hissed at me and I cursed it roundly and it spat at me and slapped my ankle with his paw. "Son of a Mother Fudge!!!" I yelled and side stepped it as I finished my trip down the stairs. I walked into the kitchen and GS and the Missus were making pancakes and sausage and Scarlett was making mimosas, the breakfast drink of the fashionable and alcoholic everywhere. But I needed my coffee, so I went and poured me a hot cup of Joseph (this early in the morning, you have to treat coffee with respect) and grabbed my crumpled pack of cigarettes and meandered onto the porch.

Westexan and Sweet and Wild and Nicky were sitting on the porch, drinking their coffee.

"Morning," they said brightly. See, I am of the opinion that people who are cheerful of the morning should be staked in the heart, but that is just me. I mumbled something fairly incoherent and sat down on the steps and lit a cigarette and supped my coffee. After smoking a ciggy and drinking about half a cup of coffee, I felt a little more human and joined my fellow junkies.
"Awake Aslinn?" asked Sweet and Wild.
"Yep," I said. "How did you chickens sleep?"
"That damned cat decided to lay under my bed and meow all night long!!!" said Westexan. "I'm getting to hate that noodle butted thing more and more."
"The little shiatsu tried to trip me going down the stairs, hissed at me and everything," I complained.
"Well, he kept pounding on my door last night, wanting in," said Sweet and Wild.
"He better watch out, he'll end up on the menu," I said. "Black Cat Pate, it would go down good with a cranberry martini." Everyone laughed at me at that and about that time, we gave up on fantasizing about the messy demise of the professional mouser to follow the breakfast bell coming from the dulcet tones of Mrs. GS screaming 'Eat or go hungry!!!'

After breakfast and the dishes done, we worked on the lights that GS had made. I swear there is just a hint of interior designer in God Speed because the lights he made for us were just divine. He was still keeping the visual effects under wraps and refused to tell us anything about them except they are really cool and we would love them on the night of the fete.

None of spoke of the trip we were going to take to Shreveport. Before I went to bed last night, I checked my email. My counselor wrote me,

Sweetheart, please give me your word that you and your friends will not come to Shreveport.

I didn't write back.

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Samhain Party: Part Three: Road Trip

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 18th 2010, 1:36 pm

Road Trip

I was tired when we pulled into the bar at Shreveport. Scarlett, Minnie, Sweet and Wild and Nicky and I looked at each other. There were broad smiles on our faces as we got out. God Speed and Westexan and Mrs. GS and Vi jumped out and Dude and Sal pulled in and joined us as we formed our group in the parking lot. I had a plain shiny black gift bag on my arm and my jacket on the other and my big bag of crazy slung across my chest.

"Well, shall we walk in and see what happens?" asked Sweet and Wild. I looked around at everyone and we all nodded our agreement.
"May as well face the music, get it over with," said GS. He put his arm around his wife and we made our way into the bar. We stood in line, with the rest of the punters and when we stepped up to the door, the female counselor shook her head.
"Why do you insist on being so willful?" she said.
"Are we welcome?" I asked.
"Of course you are," she said. "Good luck getting out."

We walked into the bar. It was busy for a Tuesday night and we walked in, looking around at the patrons in their usual garb and some of the regular "attendee's" to the bar, the main attractions. We sat down at the bar. Chow grinned.

"Give me your order, the Boss knows you are here. Go sit in his booth and I'll send Ginger with your drinks," he said, smiling a toothy smile.
"Well you know what I will have," I said.
"Black stuff coming right up," he said, smiling at the tip I slipped into his brandy snifter. I walked over to the booth and sat down. As each member gave their order, they came and joined me. I watched the go-go dancers and saw that the door to the office was closed and the throne was empty.

Finally, Ginger and another waitress came over and brought us our drinks and we tipped her a little too and settled into our drinks. We were quiet for a few minutes, just watching the zoo and it's collection of inhabitants.

"So how much more are we going to do for the party?" I asked GS.
"We only have a few more things and then we have the meeting to get ready for. I thought we would have a small buffet for the meeting," said Scarlett.
"What a wonderful idea. Even if the counselors do not stay for the little get together after the meeting, we can stay up and eat and chat," said Westexan.

My phone and Westexan's phone and Violet and Minnie's phone rang all at the same time. I looked. It was a text message from Bill.

"Shiatsu," I swore. "He wants to know where we are."
"May as well tell him, he will know soon enough...you know Eric knows," said Scarlett.
"Here, type him back," I said, handing her the phone. "I hate to type using the number keys." She took my little cheap pay as you go phone and typed in "The Bar" and sent the message and handed it back to me.

About that time, Ginger came up to the table.

"Aslinn, the Boss wants to see you right away," she said, a little fearful. I shrugged, took my purse off me and gave it to Scarlett for safe keeping, grabbed the gift bag and went first to the bathroom. If he was going to bawl me out, he could wait. I watered the lilies, came out of the stall, washed my hands, ignoring the sounds of sighing and a slight sucking sound coming from the end stall, and dried my hands and picked up the gift bag again and walked out. I went to the office door and before I knocked I could hear Eric's voice.

"Come in Aslinn," he said. What no 'dearest'? I was in deep chop suey with the lead counselor. I turned the knob and walked into the bar.
"Hi," I said, coming into the office. Eric was sitting in shadow, just as I liked him and I sat down.
"I thought that Bill and I told you to stay away from Shreveport and the Connection," he said. "Why do you insist being so willful when we simply want to protect you and all your friends."
"If you don't think they will tell us anything, why do you care if we go? What are you so afraid of?" I snapped back.
"I ask you to do things for your own good," said the voice of the counselor. It was soft, deep, reasonable voice and I knew he was getting mad at me.
"For our own good, or to control us?" I asked, feeling my Irish. He laughed.
"Well, we have been far more open with you and your friends than we have ever been with your kind," he said. "Did you enjoy the visit with the Connection?" It was my turn to laugh.
"We were too late, we got there just as she was leaving. We worked on the party decorations and by the time we looked up we were late. So we came anyway because I wanted to get you something for Samhain." I picked up the gift bag and sat it in the center of his desk. His large pale hand took the bag and pulled it into his lap he reached into the bag and took out the large coffee table book. He laughed out loud, sounding more relaxed.

"The Illustrated History of Pornography?" he said.
"Happy Samhain," I said standing and turning to go.
"Aslinn?" he said.
"Yeah?" I asked.
"I'll see you and your friends tomorrow night," he said.
"Good night," I said.

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Samhain Party: Part Four: Wednesday Oct. 24 Meeting

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 18th 2010, 1:42 pm

Wednesday October 28th Meeting

GS and Dude were busy setting up the buffet while Scarlett and I were putting our chairs in a circle and Sweet and Wild and Nicky were setting down table cloths and getting ready to put out the treats and the drinks for the meeting. I had made pumpkin bread and Westexan had made orange sugar cookies in the shape of pumpkins and Vi made little sugar skulls and used candied frosting to make little roses and curly queues on them to give them that Latino Dias de los Muertos look to the festivities.

This place looked more like a true cellar than an actual basement. It did not take a vivid imagination to see manacles and chains, a rack or perhaps even a lab table big enough to build your own monster. The walls were laid stone but were covered with years of white wash. The floors were hand laid slate and though you would think they would be damp, they were dry and little dusty. I envisioned stone dust on the floors of the house above and reminded everyone to wipe their feet on the throw rug at the top of the stairs leading to the house.

God Speed brought down the big coffee maker and Sal, being a good sport, brought down the cups and the plates and the napkins, still secure in their Walmart bag. I went over and took the bag and began to spread everything out as Mrs. God Speed brought down the tray of mini corndogs and pizza rolls. I swear the meeting place looked more like the basement party of kids whose parents were out for the evening than a meeting of a very different sort of 12 step group.

Dude put chairs down in the shadowed places where there were doors. Two were at the bottom of the steps where Pam and Jessica would be sitting and two were placed on the far wall opposite, near the outside door to the cellar. Finally, everything was done and it's place and we milled around and got coffee and tea and filled little party plates with treats and sat down in our accustomed places in the circle, though our circle was now in a definitely different place.

Soon though it was not long til we heard Eric's voice.

“It is so wonderful to hear your happy voices,” he said in his low deep voice. “The party has you very excited. I like the energy.”
“What shall we talk about tonight?” asked Bill, in his equally comforting voice with it's southern drawl like a warm breeze off the bayou.

“Let’s talk about the Queen,” said Westexan. “We haven’t really talked about her.”
“What would you like to say about the Queen of Louisiana?” asked Pam.
“Well, is she a friend or a foe? Is she good or bad, can Sookie and Bill and Eric trust her? Or is she ruthless and spiteful?” asked Westexan.

“I think she is good at what she does,” said Lina. “She is a young queen with Vampires who are older and stronger than she and she is ruthless, but I imagine she has had to be that way to be a successful Queen.”

“As far as can Sookie and Bill and Eric trust her?” said GS. He looked around at the group who looked back at him. “Can you really say that Sookie can trust any of them? Oh she trusts Bill a lot, perhaps to her detriment. She doesn’t trust Eric so much. Bill doesn’t trust Eric at all, and can you blame him? And Eric doesn’t care enough about Bill to wonder if he trusts him, he knows that Bill has to mind him because he is sheriff and Eric and Bill both have to mind their makers…well, not Eric, since his maker is gone, but Bill does, and they both have to mind the queen, who doesn’t trust anyone in principle because she is the queen, that is how she has survived.”

“Is she way you thought she would be?” asked Bill. “From what you knew of her in the one world to how she is presented in the other.”

“No, she isn’t,” said Scarlett. “In the Connection’s world, she looks like a little girl, but something more sophisticated. In the Source’s world, she is haughty, petulant, perverse, spoiled.”

“Perverted? Like in sex perverted?” asked Jessica.

“No, not like that,” said Scarlett, “She likes to see the world and then twist it to her own point of view…sort of like that weird philosophy about yahtzee, how it equalizes her among those who may be her social, intellectual or physical inferiors because it is all just about a roll of the dice.”

“A roll of the dice…” I said, in a far away voice.

“Yes Aslinn? Did something come to mind?” asked Eric.

“Well, the young guy, the one that favored Bill with a blood meal, he complained that the queen was using magik…do you think she really is? I mean, she could be…Vampires may not like witches, but they like having any edge over one another. Do you think she already has an edge?” I said.

“She could, but I think it is too soon for that sort of scenario….” said Bill.

“No, no really because Eric gets in such big trouble with witches….” I said. “Now I am not only worried about Sookie and Bill but Eric as well as far as the queen is concerned… What if she is involved with….”

“That is pretty far fetched,” said Dude, “But, I have heard crazier things come true out of our speculations.”

“What time will your party begin?” asked Bill. I looked in his general direction. This time, I was very suspicious. Why doesn’t he wish to discuss this bit of speculation? Is that it may be going too far in the future and is crazy to boot? Or was it something he simply didn’t want us exploring anymore?

Whatever it was, I didn’t have a chance to say anything because there was animated discussion around the circle as they discussed the party and all the things we had planned.

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Samhain Party: Part Five: A True Done It Mystery

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 18th 2010, 1:44 pm

All Hallows Eve
A True Done It

The Grim Reaper walked across the room, it's skeletal face looking right at home in the eerie room. In it's boney grip was a platter of shrimp Suzettes just from the oven. Harley Quinn, dressed in motley and a bi horned hat with bells, followed behind, jingling with every step, with a large punch bowl, walking carefully to make sure the delicious elixir did not slosh around much. The sliced oranges and the pulp from the kumquats and the floating cherries made the drink very festive indeed.

The brothel like room had transformed itself into the haunted mansion it was. Just under the lively Halloween music were the sounds of moaning and chains rattling and between songs you could hear the unearthly sounds and the occasional scream filtering through the speakers. The huge portrait of the evil looking old man had commenced to doing his Hogwarts portrait gallery thing and the longer you watched him, the more gruesome he got. At one point the old geezer was munching on what appeared to be a human leg.

The electronic spiders and their orange eyes blinked on and off in the draped webbing over the velvet drapes. Smaller plastic spiders were scattered throughout the treat table, now resplendent with the carved pumpkins and lit candles and lovely gourds. A few just smaller than life like plastic skulls were nestled in among the pumpkins and gourds, grinning their boney grins at the people moving around purposefully around the big main room.

One of the incredible things about this house was that it was filled all things that make a haunted mansion (Think the house in the Addams Family meets Twelve Oaks meets the Munsters house and they all got together and had a baby: this house without the cob webs) There were hidden doors, hidden rooms and hidden staircases to led to other rooms. We had spent Wednesday night exploring all the secret nooks and crannies, after the counselors had gone home and the extras were off into the night. We laughed and squealed and God Speed had triggered a few of the motion sensitive effects to scare us, but he by no means showed us all the tricks. They were lovely and truly frightening. We would be having so much fun.

The catering staff, dressed in tuxedo shirts and black slacks and cummerbunds were moving around, helping us set up. We laughed at their suggestion that we all just sit down and relax and let them do the work but we looked at them as if they had insulted us. We simply agreed to stand there and wit for orders to lift and tote…you could tell none of us had been born with the mythical silver spoon. So far though we were staying out of the way

The chaises which had dominated the room were moved back and several chairs brought in to make comfortable seating pods in the corners of the room and out into the foyer where over heated dancers could cool off. The wide porch was swept and the porch furniture’s cushions plumped up and ready to receive guests, decorated with orange and black crepe paper and pumpkins lit up inside with candles. The Witch King came in, lugging a box of red bottles into the kitchen. Death followed him.

“Hey Grim, where did you want these bottles?” he asked the strangely merry face of the skeleton.
“Best put them in the fridge, don’t you think?” said the Reaper, pointing like the hand of fate to the stainless steel refrigerator. The Witch King (WK) nodded and sat the box on the floor, opened the big wide door and began to methodically put the bottles of special refreshment in the fridge.

“Don’t forget, only we heat these up when the counselors arrive,” the WK reminded.

The counselors would arrive around dark. The lead counselor had emailed to say that he was bringing another guest. He was told more the merrier. Everyone wondered how the counselors would dress. We had all been jealously guarding the secret of our costumes and could not wait to see who was who. Regardless of what you wore, you had to wear a mask. Some folks would be easier to guess than others.

About that time, James Bond came sailing through. He stopped and looked at the WK….then he extended his hand. “Bond…James Bond,” said the counterfeit spy.
“Witch King,” said the heavily garbed person in a strangely beautiful if abstract mask, resembling an arrow head.
“Good to know you,” said James Bond. “Who is that?” he asked, pointing at Harley Quinn.
“I think it is a harlequin,” said the Witch King.
“Funny, there’s a comedian born every second,” said the spy. “I brought a barrel of mead; wanna help me get it in?”

“Sure, I’ll just get my wand…” said the sarcastic witch. “Levi-Corpus!!!” he chanted, cackling wildly. Death just shook it's head. There was a faint pressure on Death’s bony leg and it looked down. Shade, the house mouser the owner had told them about was rubbing her thin black body against the skeleton’s legs. With careful fingers the Reaper plucked a shrimp treat and offered it to the cat, who immediately ran off with it under the table and began to eat the fishy little morsel.
“Good kitty,” said Death in a soft voice.

A Saloon Girl came by with large bowl full of cookies. She smiled at Death.
“Great costume,” she said.
“Thanks, “said the Reaper. About that time Marlon Brando came in complaining about how he could have been a contender to a Cheerleader dressed in a blood red outfit with a large C on the chest.
“Which team are you cheering for?” asked Athena, goddess of love and beauty.
“Team Compton, of course,” said the Cheerleader. A Flapper in a bright blue sequined costume walked by and looked at the Cheerleader.
“I came so close to coming as a Cheerleader with a big V on my chest,” she said.
“What would the V stand for?” asked Red Riding Hood.
“Viking,” whispered Death in her ear. “Did you bring any brownies?”
“You bet, but the ones in the kitchen are very special, if you know what I mean,” she said. Death nodded at her and headed away for the kitchen. Harley Quinn was sampling a small pinch of brownie herself. Death reached in and got a small piece and ate it. Chocolate is a favorite, even among the living impaired.
A Christmas Gift came bustling in complete with silver paper, red bows and a bit of holly. Death looked at Harley Quinn and shrugged. “Christmas comes sooner and sooner every year,” she said, her lips curling up with a grin. About that time Mother Nature paid a visit.

“A bit early isn’t it?” said Ma Nature.
“What’s it to you Poison Ivy?” asked Christmas Gift, eyeing the diaphanous gown covered with flowers and vines and the crown made of wild flowers and a little blue bird bobbing merrily over her head as she walked.
“I am not Poison Ivy!!!” fumed the earth spirit.
“It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature,” said Harley Quinn, nudging Christmas Gift gently, the paper rattling ever so gently.
“Ah,” said Christmas Gift, a look of dawning on her masked face.
Sheila Na Geira, the Irish Pirate Princess waltzed into the room. “OOooo, what are we talking about?” she said.
“Mother Nature,” said Christmas Gift.
“Well, it certainly looks like spring is about to bust out all over,” said the Gaelic girl. Mother Nature showed the Irish Lass her middle finger but blew her a kiss at the same time. While one argument was circumvented, another was working up in the main room. Death and Harley Quinn ran past the others and through the double doors to see the Witch King arguing with Marlon Brando, James Bond trying to stay between the combatants.

“Gentlemen, gentlemen, please, let’s remember this is no time to have a smack down,” said 007. “Don’t make me whip my license to kill out on you.”
“Give me a break,” said the Witch King. A beautiful witch in a long gown and green hooded cloak came by and cast a baleful eye on both of them.
A Pirate and a Pirate’s wench came in, carrying large platters of goodness. The caterers who were hired to serve the treats scurried around, helping us set the platters but there simply were not enough eyes to keep that cat out of everyone’s way. The excitement was often punctuated by the sound of the cat meowing and hissing, sometimes giving a sharp slap to a reprimanding hand or gently nudging foot.
“Scat!!! You accursed beast!!!” swore the pirate, swinging his plastic cutlass at the offending animal who was trying his damnedest to collect a pig in the blanket, one of those savory little sausages in a crescent roll.

Death went over and began shooing the cat, who turned a drop dead glance at the Reaper and meowed itself out of the room. The Reaper had stray fantasies about the cat scorching it's tail on one of the pumpkins the gang had spent all of Thursday carving out, even using templates of our favorite characters from the show and books. Death was shaken out of it's cat tail burning revelries when a gypsy came in, breathless with excitement announcing it was a half hour before darkness fall and the arrival of the Counselors. Suddenly, the night and everything about it held delicious promise.

The party began with music and everyone, regardless of skill or grace began to shake their money makers to the music which ranged from Nine Inch Nails to Toby Keith. Between each song, you could hear the sound effects filtering in. Already there had been some yummy scares with some holographic ghosts floating in. The Dance Hall Girl was having a cup of Kumquat punch with the Cheerleader when she noticed a tall man in a priest’s cassock.

“I wonder who that is?” asked the Dance Hall Girl.
“I don’t know, “said the Cheerleader. She saw Athena float by, her spear in her hand and she tugged at the goddess’s toga. “Who invited Father Tall Dark and Mysterious?”
“I don’t know, but our Witch seems to be enjoying her dance with him,” said Athena. A waiter floated by and Athena took a glass of wine.
Death came over to join the girls in their discussion. The bony hand reached out to the same waiter and took a glass of wine and sipped it.
“Who is the person in the Sheet with Eyeholes?” asked the Reaper.
“I think you would call that ‘Classic Ghost’,” said the Dance Hall Girl. “And look at that adorable Faery!” she said, pointing at the creature with the delicate translucent dress and long flowy wings.
“Looks like the Witch King is digging her in a big way,” said Athena. Death spied Harley Quinn and saw that she speaking to a Guardian Angel, complete with a harp and feathery wings.
“Well who is that Mother Nature is talking to?” asked James Bond who sidled over to see what all the hub bub was about. Athena saw Mother Nature chatting with a River Boat Gambler. When the song was over, the Priest led the witch off the floor, whispered in her ear and she nodded and went into the kitchen. After a few minutes, she returned with a highball drink and handed it to the Priest who smiled at her.

“Well, it is Halloween, after all, all spirits of good will are welcomed to our fete,” said Death.

To Be Continued

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Samhain Party: Part Six: A True Done It Mystery II

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 18th 2010, 1:45 pm

True Done It Part Two
True Done It Mystery
Part Two
Alligator Stew was pounding out the beat for the dancing and twirling group. The old house was transformed into a Merlotte’s away from Merlotte’s and everyone was dancing and sweating and having a great time. The cat was sitting in a corner, humped up like a hen sitting on a clutch of eggs, eying everyone evilly. This was not a normal cat…most cats run away when the place is too loud and there are too many people. But this is a cat used to crowds and activity, evidently. He scurried across the floor, having sighted a victim.

Soon, however, Shade was trotting away from the angry figure in the blue flapper dress, her feathered mask wafting in the air cutting around her face as she tried to catch it. She decided it was a fruitless effort and bent at the waist, checking her stockinged leg, checking the seam and making sure there were no nicks or run in the silky nylon. She swore under her breath softly, shaking her head as she smoothed the run free stocking with her hand.

“Pestilential cat!!!” she said tersely.
“There’s a cat around here?” asked a vaguely familiar voice. She looked over and saw cowboy boots sticking out from under a sheet. The Ghost.
“There is and I would definitely be obliged to whoever would catch that creature and send it to Kitty Cat Heaven,” she said. She straightened up to look at the Ghost who stood at around six feet.
“I’ll take care of that for you ma’am,” said the Ghost. She turned away for a moment to get a drink. When she turned back around, she saw that he was gone. “Boy that was creepy.”
The wait staff moved through the room, cleaning up the plates and cups and bringing in fresh trays of food. The Ghost lurched past muttering a hurried “Excuse me” as he whizzed by.

The Saloon Girl made her way up the stairs to go to the loo. The upper hall overlooking the gallery was dimly lit as she entered the room where she was staying. She stepped into the darkened room but was startled by the touch of cool hands on her shoulders.
“I would know your perfume anywhere,” he said in a soft southern voice. She turned, her heart beating like a timpani drum. He smiled at her below the black velvet mask that covered half of his face.
“You frightened me,” she said, a little breathlessly.
“I didn’t mean to,” he said, coming closer to her. “Can I have a sweet treat from your lips?”
“Yes,” she said, tilting her head back.

The priest moved with grace and he held the angel of death in his arms. “You know, I met the angel of death once and you look nothing like him,” he said lazily.
“I suppose you would know, being a priest and all,” said the Reaper.
“Occupational hazard,” he said, shrugging. “This is a lovely party.”
“Have you been enjoying the refreshments? We have a wonderful caterer,” said the ‘boned’ one.
“I have enjoyed the drink,” he said.
“Good, just don’t drink too much, or we will have to make you sleep here, can’t have you driving intoxicated,” said the Reaper.
“I think I will manage,” he said. “Are you staying in the house?”
“Sure,” said Death. “It is a creepy old house.”
“My kind of place,” he said. The Gypsy swirled by with the Witch King, all a glitter in gold and turquoise catching the eye of the River Boat Gambler who seemed to have just appeared out of nowhere.
By the time the clock struck eleven, the room was in such a fever with dancing people. It was hot and the wait staff actually opened the door for a moment to let the cooler night air in.

Sheila Na Geira was dancing with 007, swaying to the music. The Irish Princess was a spectacle of gold and green and red. James Bond was tall and handsome in his tux and black velvet half face mask. Christmas Gift and Mother Nature were chatting and fanning themselves by the open doors. They watched the cat scamper back into the kitchen.
“The party seems to be a hit,” said the Irish Princess to the spy.
“It does indeed,” said Bond.
“Do you think ‘they’ made it to the party?” asked the Gaelic Girl.
“I think more than the spirit of Halloween is among us tonight,” he said. The Christmas Gift sailed by the arms of Marlon Brando and the Witch King was dancing with the Witch. The spy’s eyes followed the angel and her gossamer wings. “I wonder who the Ghost is?” he mused. “He has a real familiar voice.”
“Um, I haven’t had the chance to speak to him yet,” said Sheila.

When the song was over, Sheila thanked 007 for the dance and went and fetched herself a glass of punch and walked over to the chairs to sit and cool off. Red Riding Hood patted the place beside her and Sheila came over to sit down. The Cheerleader watched the Saloon Girl come down the stairs. She noticed that she was a little blushed and pointed it out to Grim, who’d just joined them. Harley Quinn grabbed a glass of wine from a passing waiter and sat down beside Mother Nature, who was taking a breather, fanning herself with a napkin.

They all watched as the Saloon Girl got herself something to drink and sat down beside Harley Quinn. She sipped the punch and fanned herself in an attempt to cool off.
“Well, you look all flushed,” said Harley.
“Maybe she got herself a little treat,” said Grim.
“You guys…” she demurred. Her eyes seemed to track one particular person in the room. Grim tried to figure out who she was looking at.

The Priest was talking to Athena, smiling a lop sided grin, a little too dangerous and sexy for a Priest. The River Boat Gambler was chatting with Marlon Brando and the Pirate and the Pirate’s Wench. The Witch King was bringing the Faerie and the Angel a drink from the kitchen. When the song changed, Harley Quinn up and was seized in the arms of the Priest who spun her out into the dance floor and spun her back to him. The River Boat Gambler pulled the Flapper to him and began to boogie to the Jerry Lee Lewis song.

The catering staff was on the floor to observe the unmasking about five minutes before the stroke of midnight. Red Riding Hood decided to go and get a bottle of cold water to temper the two glasses of wine she’d guzzled down. She got up to go to the kitchen, frightened momentarily by a fanged specter. She laughed and pushed open the double doors of the kitchen.

The clock began to strike the midnight hour and as the song was over, everyone went out on the dance floor. This was the time everyone was to unmask themselves and reveal their identities. Just before the Witch King was to make his announcement for everyone to unmask, the lights went out and there was a terrible blood curdling scream.

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Samhain Party: Part Seven: A True Done It Mystery III Finale

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 18th 2010, 1:58 pm

A True Done It : Part Three
A True Done It
Part Three
Finale

The lights flickered on. Everyone was standing stock still. The head caterer made his way to the kitchen and came back out a few minutes later with the Saloon Girl back into the main room. She looked stricken, even behind her golden yellow satin mask.

“It was the house cat,” said the head caterer. “It has been murdered.”
“Well, I think we should all go ahead and unmask so we can discuss what we should do next,” said the Witch King.

With the masks away, we all revealed our true selves, blinking as though the masks had cast some sort of dark glamour from which we were all being awakened. Bill was standing next to me and Vi.

“Some party Aslinn…I did not expect dinner and a show,” he said in his soft southern voice.
“I didn’t plan this,” I said to him. “We had planned a little hide and scream, but not this.” Scarlett was looking around, counting the faces of her friends.
“Are we all here dearest?” asked Eric.
“I think so,” she said, still looking around.
“Someone is missing,” said Pam.
“Who?” asked Dude.
“The Ghost,” said Jessica. “Where’s the Ghost?” We all looked around and did not see the Classic Ghost in his sheet with eyeholes.

“Damn!” swore Eric. “Everyone split up, go with a counselor and search the house.” He turned to God Speed. “What is on the third floor?”
“The caretaker’s apartment,” said God Speed. “The cat lived up there but roamed around the house through the cat door. The caretaker has been gone all this week.”
“How did the cat die?” asked Westexan.
“Let’s find out,” said Bill. We followed the counselors into the kitchen. Nia was on tippy toes to look at the little corpse. Iluvtheviking and Linzy and Sal were peering over shoulders. God Speed, Dude and Mrs. GS were squatted down looking at the little victim. Mrs. GS touched it's paws and stomach. She looked up at Pam who was inspecting the cat herself.
“It’s cold,” said Mrs. GS. “When was it last seen?”
“I swatted at it about an hour ago. It took a swipe at me, tried to snag my stocking and I was complaining to…” said Iluvtheviking.
“Complaining to whom?” asked Eric.
“The Ghost,” she said simply.

After a few minutes discussion, we broke into groups. One group went into the control room with the camera bank. Westexan, Nia, Lina and Hoyt along with the young counselor went in there, to watch the monitors. God Speed growled scowled a little at that. Sweet and Wild, True Blood Fan, Mrs. God Speed and the Dude went with the lady counselor. Scarlett, Iluvtheviking, Minnie and God Speed went with the lead counselor. Renee, Vi, Linzy and myself went with my counselor.
We took advantage of the hidden passageways and headed off to explore the mansion. The group with the lead counselor went to the basement where we had held our meeting.
“Hey,” said Scarlett, tugging on the lead counselor’s sleeve. “If he was down here and then came back up, we would know it.”
“How do you mean lover?” asked Eric.
“The floors down here are really dusty. We had to take special care about wiping our feet when we came back up so we didn’t track the dust up to the polished floors,” she explained.
“Is there another way up?” he asked.
“Yes, up the hidden stairs, the servant’s stairs,” said Scarlett, pointing to the narrow wooden door.
“Come on then, dearest,” said Eric, taking her hand in his.

“So, who is the Ghost, anyway?” I asked Bill as we edged our way through the hidden torture chamber behind the fireplace. I could make out the dentist chair in the dim lights and the trays of torture implements in the table beside it.
“You would recognize him right away if you saw him,” said Bill.
“Like we recognize you?” I asked.
“Yes, only more so,” he said.
“Is he dangerous?” I asked.
“He can be. That is why one of us is with you,” he said. “We will not allow any of you to be harmed.”
“I know,” I said.

Pam was still in the kitchen with her group, still looking around. She took a minute step back and something clinked at her feet. Dude bent down and picked up a bottle.
“Some of your special refreshment,” said Dude, showing the tall blond the bottle.
“I take it you were taking special care of disposing of these?” she asked.
“Yes, GS was putting them back into the cases so we could just carry them away with us to dispose of at his house,” explained Dude.
“There are several bottles over here,” said Mrs. GS.
“Well, so much for housekeeping,” said Pam.

“There is Aslinn, Sweet and Wild and Vi with their group,” said Westexan.
“This is boring,” said Jessica. “I want to go out there.”
“We better stay here,” said Sal.
“We could go out there and hunt ourselves, Sal,” said the young counselor. “Are there any places the counselors aren’t going?”
“There is a small storage room right off from the caretaker’s apartment,” said Westexan.
“Let’s go Sal, let’s go look,” she said, grabbing Sal wrist. She had him up and out before they could protest.

Westexan pushed the little button marked “mic” and announced over the intercom that Jessica and Sal were on the move.
“Damn,” swore Bill under his breath. His eyes peered into the darkened stair way we were in.
“What do we do?” asked Renee.
“C’mon Westexan, tell us where they are,” I said, almost praying.

“I am losing patience with that undisciplined child,” said Eric.
“Wonder where they are,” said God Speed, keeping his voice even. He didn’t like to hear anyone bad mouth his little redheaded girl. “The camera is right there,” he said. He stepped out in front of it and shrugged his shoulders, pantomiming a question.
“I’m so daft,” said Westexan. “They have gone up to the storage room.”

Everyone began to move to the attic and the storage room. They met on the third floor, counselors and group members together. Eric went to the door, seemed to listen for a moment, then turned the knob and opened the door. Carefully we all stepped through it.
Sal and Jessica were on the couch, locked in a rather passionate embrace on a couch covered in a dust sheet. There were other pieces of furniture draped in dust sheets as well. The couple on the couch was for the moment oblivious to us.
“Find anything you two?” asked Eric, his arms crossed in front of him. The twosome jumped up and straightened their clothes and looked a little sheepish.
“Actually, we just got up here,” said Jessica.
“You and I will discuss this further,” said Bill. She simply rolled her eyes.
“Did you not hear Westexan on the intercom?” asked Pam.
“No, I was distracted,” she said.
“There are no speakers up here for the intercom,” said GS.
“Heightened senses are a part of our condition,” said Bill. “She would have heard it had she been paying attention.”
“Well, that is neither here nor there,” said True Blood Fan. “Is the Ghost up here?”

“Here he is,” said Pam. She pulled the sheet off the large enshrouded lump. “What are you doing up here?”
“I’m sorry ma’am. I’m sorry Mr. E., terrible sorry,” he said, looking up at the lead counselor. I didn’t know what to make of the usually stoic counselor’s face. He seemed to be somewhere between a wide mouth laugh and fury. Whatever it was, he killed it quickly.
“Did you kill that cat downstairs?” asked Eric.
“Well, I tried to do as you said, be still, drink Tru:Blood and enjoy the party but one of them pretty gals said I could have it,” said the Ghost.
“What exactly did she say?” asked my counselor.
“Well, the varmint had been after her stockings and she was smoothing them out and checking them for holes and she said she would be much obliged if I sent that cat to Kitty Cat heaven, so I figured it would be alright,” said the most famous face in music history.
“Well, the party is over,” said Bill to the King of Rock and Roll. “Apologize to these folks.”
“I….I’m sorry,” he stuttered in his soft Mississippi accent.
“It’s okay,” I said, a little star struck.
“Thank ya…thank ya ver’ much,” said the man from Memphis.

The Counselors led their errant companion out of the house and onto the porch. Eric turned to us.
“We had a lovely time, thank you for inviting us to your fete."
“Do you have to travel far for your accommodations?” asked Nia.
“Not far. We will get there with time to spare. Be careful on your way home. I fully expect to you to be at group Wednesday,” said Eric.
“What will you do about the cat?” asked Pam.
“I haven’t the foggiest,” I said.
“Give them this card,” said Eric. “Tell them to call this number and we will discuss restitution.”
“I will,” I said. The lead counselor went over and kissed Lina and Linzy and Scarlett, then stopped in front of me.
“Good night Aslinn,” he said, barely touching my cheek with his lips.
“Happy Halloween,” I said. My counselor came up and kissed Nia and Vi on the cheeks and then stopped in front of me.
“I will see you on Tuesday night sweetheart?” he asked.
“You bet,” I said. I felt his lips on the cheek opposite the one the lead counselor kissed. As he turned to leave, I could see Sal, Dude and GS speaking to the lady counselor and the young counselor. I looked in the Mercedes and saw the face of the Ghost. He smiled his shy crooked smile and he made the upraised pinkie and thumb sign for ‘I Love You’.

“Well,” said Sweet and Wild. “It looks like Elvis has just left the building.”

Aslinn Dhan
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The Autumnal Equinox Part One

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 19th 2010, 11:09 am

Autumnal Equinox Party Part One

The little yellow house belonging to the God Speed’s was set in a lovely and quiet little semi rural suburb. We were the first to arrive, Scarlett and I, and I was excited to see my buddy and fellow moderator in the TB forum. God Speed and his wife same out and we hugged each other and we began to unload the delicacies we’d brought. I loved this time of year and the overcast, cool day was a treasure. It would be perfect for our feast.

We went into the house and Jen showed us where we could stash things that had to be kept cool. God Speed explained that Jen’s mom had the kids and they had already set out the tables and God Speed was marinating the ribs and chicken and a huge package of steaks, making them ready to be barbecued that afternoon when the gang got to the house. God Speed then led us to the back garden.

From the road, you would never suspect the loveliness of God Speed’s garden. Nearly a half acre, the back garden was separated by the forests by big South Carolina pines. The outdoor kitchen was a roofed affair, with a lovely red terra cotta tile floor. Extending out from there was a fire pit, surrounded by the same terra cotta tiles. There was a long bar and a huge pit behind that, big enough to roast half a cow if GS and his fam were peckish. There was also a small galley sink and an array of five gas jet burners to place pots to warm. Under the cabinets was a small refrigerator but his pride was the grill, which he had filled with good wood, waiting to be ignited.

Had I known the God Speeds were such wonderful gardeners, I would have hired them immediately to put the plants out in my own garden. There were flowers and plants of every stripe and shade and there were bird feeders all around drawing the bright birds to his garden that had already deserted my yard for the warmer climes of the south. There was a well favored play set with a swing and slide and a little fort and damp white sand at the foot to cushion little butts that slid down the slide. Oil torches were already solidly planted in the clay earth and waited for the darkness.

The outdoor theatre was already set up and God Speed had thoughtfully erected a marquee over the area in case there was a spot of rain. He had also put up a marquee for the two long tables he had set up and Jen had covered with merry red and gold table linens, waiting to groan with the lovely food we were all bringing.

“It looks great GS,” I said. “This is going to be so much fun.” Scarlett sidled over to us. We were glad to be getting with our friends from the forum to eat and watch the episodes and chat about the show.

“Come here, I want to show you something,” he said, motioning me behind the bar. I stepped around and he opened the small refrigerator. I squatted down and looked inside. Snugged inside were familiar red bottles. Then it dawned on me.
“Are those real?” I asked. “I mean….are they…”
“Yep, you can find the most bizarre things on the internet. Completely synthetic, and only one flavor I am afraid,” he showed me the label reading O-. “But I think they will appreciate it.”
“They better…how many Truebies of your acquaintance would know where to find…that?” I said pointing at the twelve bottles. He closed the fridge door and we both stood up.
“What was it?” asked Scarlett.
“GS went out and found us some Tru:Blood….and not what they sell on the HBO site, either,” I said, looking at her significantly.
“So you are telling me…” she said, slowly.
“Yep…” I said.
“Don’t you think it is weird? It’s like we sort of know, but not really?” she said.
“I am taking a military stand on that issue,” I said.
“How do you mean?” asked GS.
“I won’t ask, and I won’t effing tell,” I said. “There are just some things I don’t really want to know.”
“Just sit back and enjoy it, I always say,” said Scarlett, lighting up a cigarette.
“A m*ther f*cker don’t have know everything, right?” said GS, paraphrasing our favorite cook.
“That’s right,” I said.

About that time, we were interrupted by the voices of Minnie and Violet and Roygbiv who had arrived together.

“Hey GS, Westexan has pulled up and brought a lot of chairs and things you asked her to bring,” said Minnie.
“Did you bring brownies?” I asked.
“You bet, the original recipe and then my organic brownies,” she said.
“Well, aren’t you sweet,” I said. GS went by us to help Westexan with the stuff in her SUV. She had picked up Renee on her way. Sal and The Dude were coming, bringing with them a loaded dolly around the side of the side of the house.
“Jeezus Pleezus, Dude, what the hell have you got there?” I asked.
“Honey Mead,” he said. “You spoke of it in the meeting posting and I hunted a barrel of it for you.” He smiled at me.
“Fantastic,” I said, excitedly. “Hoyt, are you going to be good?”
“Since it is GS’s house, I recon I better,” he said. “Have you heard from the counselors? Are they really coming?”
“According to the email I got from the lead counselor, they will be here around dark,” I said.
“Will all of them be there?” asked Dude.
“Yep, so you better help GS with the chairs,” I said. “Come on chere,” I said to Scarlett, “Let’s go help with the cutting and chopping,”

While the fellahs went around to help GS, Scarlett and I went into the house. Westexan was sitting on a stool, having cold lemonade and resting. I stopped in front of the lovely Jen and asked for orders and she handed me a large bowl and suggested a green salad. I collected up lettuce, cukes, tomatoes, scallions and a friendly yellow pepper and split them between me and Eric Lover and grabbed a couple of paring knives and we set to cutting fresh veggies for the salad. GS came in and Jen reminded him to get the big square of indoor outdoor carpet for the theatre area and the five or six folding chairs stowed away in the storage shed. He nodded and slapped Dude on the shoulder and went to sort out the chores Jen had just given him. He was a stormy study and Scarlett and I exchanged glances.

True Blood Fan and Viking’s Lover and anewaphorist (AP) came in loaded down. I could smell jambalaya coming from a big pot True Blood Fan was carrying. Jen showed them where to put everything and began to pull out the chinette plates and the silverware and paper napkins and a small box of salt and pepper shakers like the ones you would find at a picnic. I proceeded to grab up the mushrooms and a large Vidalia and a green pepper to coarsely chop for the steaks. We were going to waddle away from GS’ house from the food we were going to eat.

Sweet and Wild and Nicky came in with Bullet Sucker. Sweet and Wild was carrying several plastic bags of fresh corn and Mel was carrying a large cardboard box of various covered dishes. Hoyt rushed over and grabbed the box and Minnie and Scarlett went to get the corn. Minnie began stripping the corn with Violet’s help, getting it ready for the boiling pots.

“Save some in the husks,” said GS, grabbing a piece of pepper in the medley I was chopping. I slapped his hand with the flat of the knife blade and he made an injured face. “We’ll put them on the grill.” Minnie nodded and counted out six ears and pulled the husks back and desilked them and pulled the husks back over the corn.

“How was your trip?” I asked Sweet.
“Not bad, the roads were wide open,” she said. I sliced the last of the onion and covered the plate with saran wrap. “It’s a little early, but I think it’s Miller time.”
“God Speed should have the big tubs of soda and beer out as we speak,” said Jen.

We trouped out as God Speed and Dude struggled under the weight of one of the large plastic tubs full of cold sodas and beers. They sat it down on the grass by the tables and turned to get the other tub. I reached in for a long neck Guinness. I opened the bottle and took a slug of the black stuff and sighed. I went over and joined Eric Lover and Westexan and Minnie. Minnie’s phone rang and she answered. She spoke briefly and hung up.

“Ilovetheviking, Karalee, and Raki are on the road and will be here in while, they got a little late start,” she said.
“There is plenty of time,” I said.

I opened my tin case and doled out one of the lovely Turkish blend cigarettes to Eric Lover who took it and lit it. Dude settled himself into a chair and AP, his guitar in hand came and sat on the periphery, smoked what I suspected was not Turkish blend, and then, more relaxed, began to strum his guitar quietly.

“That was some meeting Wednesday night,” said Viking’s Lover.
“It was,” said Sweet, settling with a So Co and Coke, her personal favorite legal beverage. “I don’t think I have ever heard a counselor suggest a topic.”
“Me neither,” said Westexan. “Wonder if we will be allowed to speak of it tonight.”
“Maybe now, without the counselors, but I suspect they will discourage us from talking about it in front of them,” said GS, joining the rest of us. Hoyt edged closely to the fire pit, standing at first, then sitting down beside Westexan, who swatted at him. He grinned at her.
“Well, I think Renee had a wonderful notion. She thought that Sookie might take Jessica in hand and maybe control her, but Jessica has to get out of her predicament first….she has to stop right there. I just don’t think she has the self control to just feed and glamour,” I said. GS had a stricken look on his face. “Sorry GS.”

“Oh, you are probably right about that, about her, Jessica, though I would like to think that Sookie would take the red headed girl under her wing,” said GS. “Sookie will be so distracted between the goings on with Bill and the increasing interest she is having with Eric.”
“Besides, I think sometimes Sookie says, ‘well, she’s a Vampire and can take care of herself,’ but Bill was with his maker for a long time and learned how to be a Vampire. Eric, too. You know, what if Jessica is a part of Eric’s job with the queen, sorta kinda,” suggested Westexan.
“How do you mean?” I asked.
“What if he had Jessica there with him all that time and he told her he was taking her back to Bill to be his eyes and ears? She has that Leon dude’s phone, what if she called Eric and told him exactly where Bill and Sookie would be, with strict orders that Sookie was to be left alone,” said Westexan.
“Could be,” I said, rolling the cigarette carefully between my fingers. “Doesn’t cast the Big Viking in a very good light, does it?”
“No, it certainly does not,” said Scarlett.
“Hey, this is just speculation, here, it may be 100% Lorena’s caper, and Eric is totally blameless,” said Minnie. “That is what I think.” There was a short storm of mutterings consisting primarily with short words beginning with the letter b….We Truebies might disagree about a lot of things, but our hatred of the woman who made Bill Vampire was universal. I lingered in thought long enough to imagine something heavy, sharp and medieval falling on that evil creature.
“What do you think Aslinn,” asked True Blood Fan.
“I reserve judgment,” I said. “If I didn’t think the lead counselor would bleed me dry, I would contact the Source again to see what he knows.”
“After the last time we did that, I would be afraid to do something of that magnitude,” said AP.
“And then there is poor Lafayette, still in the Big Viking’s periphery. What will happen to him? And if the Source is telling us the truth, and Lafayette can find a relationship to be in, how is he supposed to do that and still hustle Eric’s V for him?” said Violet. “See, all these people are all tangled up in Eric’s sh*t, begging your pardon,” she said to the Eric Girls. “That is why I think Eric may be involved with Bill’s abduction.”
“He would want to keep that mission on the quiet,” said Sal. “I mean, the queen was very specific…she said that if Bill ever found out about the fact the queen was involved in selling V, she would have his fangs for ear rings, and I don’t imagine he would be pleased with supping down Tru:Blood for three months till they grow back.”
“Yeah, our Eric likes his refreshment straight from the vessel,” said Westexan. “And he cares nothing about Bill, and I imagine he overlooks Sookie’s ability to see through him.”
“Well, with his blood in her, she is as good as glamoured,” said Roygbiv.

Leaving the conversation until later, we began to move around, preparing for the cooking of the meat. God Speed lit the wood in his grill, letting it get hot before he put the marinated meat on the grill to cook. The ribs would cook first then the steaks and the quicker cooking chicken and vegetables. By my estimations, by the time we finished eating and settled to watch our theatre version of the episodes, the counselors will have arrived.

To Be Continued…

Aslinn Dhan
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The Autumnal Equinox Part Two

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 19th 2010, 11:20 am

The Autumnal Equinox Part Two

Ilovetheviking, Karalee and Raki finally made it, just before the meat was finished. They were bringing goodies as well. I eyeballed the big pot of chicken and dumplings and pecan pie. No dieters here, I am afraid.

When the meat was ready and piled onto platters for easy serving, we settled at the dinner table. Wine and beer and soda were passed down the table. There is no such thing as good conversation when excellent food is being served. The most you could hear was the chomping of jaws as ribs and wings and steaks were torn into.

The late afternoon was a bit cooler and as we struggled from the supper table and moseyed over to our chairs around the now lit fire pit, I pulled on my leather jacket and grabbed my beer and sat down and lit a cigarette. Not one of the lovely Turkish blends but one of my regular ones. I blew out the smoke and watched the grey light begin to fade.

After a moment to let our supper settle, we got up and cleaned up the supper table, replacing the yummy dinner food with the lovely desserts I knew we would revisit over and over throughout the evening. Pies, cakes, puddings, tarts and candies tempted us as we ranged the table and filled our plates, enjoying the sweets and treats.

Finally, we settled on blankets under the marquee and began watching the episodes. We would not see all the episodes together but we were determined to watch as many as we could, GS fast forwarding through the Jace Everette song after the first time. Rowdy and spirited, though, we sang along through the first time, GS shaking his head saying that none of us should give up our day jobs. We were so involved, we did not see the counselors walking toward us in the shadowed yard.

I felt the pressure of a gentle hand on my shoulder. I turned to see Bill who was squatted down beside me.

“Oh, hi, when did you get here?” I asked. The group turned at the sound of my voice. Eric was some feet away, looking around at the torch lit yard and Pam was standing beside him, her arms crossed and Jessica, tentative but excited, waved at GS and Sal and Dude, who waved back.

Bill stood up. He was smiling down at me and took the hand I raised to him and helped me stand on my feet.

“We just arrived,” he said simply. “It appears you are having a lovely time.”
“We are, we are so glad you could come,” I said. God Speed was speaking to the lead counselor and he motioned him over to the outdoor kitchen. He motioned him behind the bar and they disappeared momentarily and Eric stood back up and motioned Bill over to see what God Speed was showing him. Quick as a flash, he was standing there looking down at the fridge and what it contained. They both smiled at each other and nodded. Jen came over and got four of the bottles and took them in the house to warm them in the microwave. Bill came over to me.

“How lovely of you, that you would remember us and provide us with special libations. I am constantly amazed by all of you, how much you accept without question and your thoughtfulness,” he said in his soft southern accent. Jen walked by and handed Eric his bottle, doing the same for Pam and Jessica and finally to Bill who accepted his bottle was a slight bow. God Speed scowled a little as Sal and Dude went over to speak with Jessica.

“Well, we just want to make you feel at home,” I said.
“You are all so kind to us,” he said. Jessicawas standing beside the stereo set up GS had and was going through the cds. Jen was talking to Pam who was drinking the warm refreshment and complimenting her on her outfit, dark mustard pants and a rust colored summer sweater, her hair pulled back in barrettes, giving her a modish late sixties look. The pretty blond counselor was wearing burgundy red pants that hugged her long legs and narrow hips and a matching sweater, her hair pulled back in a pony tail.

Eric was talking to Westexan and Scarlett. He seemed fascinated with Westexan who was expecting a little bundle of joy and was absolutely radiant with good health. Eric was smiling at her as he watched her hand rest lightly on her belly. I wondered if he would like to touch her belly and what thoughts he might have as he did so.

Rene and Ilovetheviking joined my counselor and I and we talked of nothing important, just the trip here, the lovely meal and the coming holidays. Bill asked about the holidays and how they are celebrated. He seemed to remember things as we mentioned things we did in our families as traditions, other things seemed to be foreign to him but they delighted him. I wondered how his kind celebrated the holidays, if they celebrated at all. If there was anything that deterred me from being one of them is the way they seemed to forget the best things about being one of us, the distractions and diversions we planned for ourselves. Was it necessary to give those things up to live as they do?

Suddenly the sound of clapping and shouts turned our attention to the space in front of the stereo. Eric was dancing with Scarlett and GS was dancing with his wife and Dude was taking a turn with Jessica. It was amazing to watch Eric, tall as he is, dancing with Scarlett, as short as she is. They were dancing to Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”. Suddenly, there was a change in partners as Eric grabbed Jen and pulled her in his arms and GS took over dancing with Scarlett.

When the song ended, everyone clapped and the dancers cleared the dance area and the song changed.

“Do you dance?” asked Bill.
“I do dance, a bit,” I said. “Do you dance?”
“I do like to dance, though I am not as good at modern dancing as I am at older styles of dancing,” he said. “Will you save me a dance?”
“Of course, just….claim me,” I said.
“I will,” he said. Westexan came up to us and, like Eric, our counselor too was fascinated with her delicate condition. He seemed to want to touch the baby bump with his wonderfully articulate hand, but he refrained.

I chose a cd and popped it in. Patsy Cline began to sing ‘Walking after Midnight’ and I turned and saw Violet being led into the dance area by Bill. I edged around to sit by the fire with GS, AP, Sal, Dude and Eric. They were talking about Machiavelli, and the implications of his writings in modern masculine thought. I sat quietly, listening to the voices of my friends and Eric. Could I really count the counselors as our friends? I sometimes thought about them, but did they really qualify as friends. Or were they simply enabling us in our addictions? Reached for my bag on the ground between me and the lead counselor and retrieved my cigarette tin and took out one of the precious Turkish blend cigarettes and lit it.

When the music changed to ‘Mustang Sally’ I looked over to see Scarlett dancing with Pam, like girls used to do in the fifties and sixties, jiving to the old soul song. Violet and our counselor was watching the two of them and laughing.

“Aslinn dearest, would warm me another bottle of refreshment?” asked Eric.
“Sure,” I said. I got up and he followed me to the outdoor kitchen while I retrieved a bottle and he followed me to the back door. He stood at the doorway, leaned against the door frame. I looked at him quizzically.
“I don’t have an invitation,” he said.
“And I can’t…” I said.
“Unfortunately, no, but this is okay,” he said. He watched me take the lid off the bottle and put it in the microwave for a minute and half. When it was ready, I replaced the lid and shook the bottle gently and handed it to him.
“What does that taste like?” I asked.
“What do you think it tastes like,” he asked.
“Well…” I said.
“Sort of, not as rich though, and not as interesting as from the vessel,” he said, looking at me. “But, enough about my dietary habits.” He turned from the door way and I followed him out. “Where are God Speed’s children?”
“All the small assorted God Speeds are staying with their grandparents for the night,” I said.
“I hope it wasn’t on our account,” he said.
“Oh no, it was so we could be rowdy if we wanted to,” I said.
“Do you get rowdy dearest?” he asked.
“In the right company, I have been known to get rowdy,” I said.
“And are we the right company?” he asked.
“Perhaps,” I said.
“You remember things, some things, don’t you?” he asked.
“We all remember some things. And some things, we chose to ignore,” I said.
“That may be a good thing,” he said. He was a dark study for a moment and then he smiled. He was still in some shadow, the way I personally liked him. I drank some of my Guinness and thought about how strange it felt to be in the house and he was stuck at the doorway.

“How long will you be able to stay with us?” I asked.
“Til nearly dawn. We have contacts with whom we can stay for our rest,” he said.

And that is how long the party lasted. We danced and sang and drank with our counselors til it was time to say good bye. The last dance of the evening, I danced with Bill. I thought he had forgotten about me, but when Patsy began to croon ‘Sweet Dreams’ he came and claimed me.

“I always save the best for last,” he said, in his soft southern voice.

And then they were gone. We were tired but happy with the coming of the grey lights of dawn and we all helped GS clean up. I watched him as he dumped the nearly dozen red glass bottles into the fire pit, and broke them up with a fire brand, letting the fire lick at the fluid coating the sides.

There were certain realities we accepted, but we knew that a m*ther f*cker didn’t need to know everything.

As I went to my rest that morning in the hotel room that Scarlett and I were sharing with Vi and Westexan I wondered about what would be happening to us over the hiatus and what would be happening with them, our counselors, and would we be surprised by the events unfolding before us in the coming summer. I sighed softly, turned on my side and closed my eyes against the coming day.

Aslinn Dhan
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History a la Eric Northman

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 20th 2010, 11:40 am

"Time is irrelevant, it's not linear" U2- No Line on the Horizon

Funny thing about time. It seems to move so slowly when you are young and then speeds along when you are older. I thought I would never get to 16. It was taking too long. Then it was twenty-one, I couldn't wait to be able to belly up to the bar and order a cold one, even if I did have to present ID to the bartender.

But once you hit twenty-one, time begins to race down hill. And you look around at people racing down that same hill and you are trying to figure out where you stand. Are you where you are supposed to be in the social time line that other people create for you?

I think that of all things that is interesting and marvelous and a little sad is the way the clock stands still for Vampires. They are frozen to the look they had whenever they were turned. But they see the passage of human time and they know and see human history. Perhaps they ignore most of it as the affairs of human kind and beneath their notice. But imagine, being friends with someone like Eric, who lived for a thousand years and has seen man go from the dark ages to the new age.

Imagine, that when Eric was made Vampire, most people, even the wealthy, could not read or write. Books were expensive luxuries, transportation was a horse or horse and cart or by foot. Women were property (though there are some people who think that today) to be disposed of as their father, brother or husband or even son saw fit. Religion was a strange mixture of pagan and extremely early Christianity (if it was known at all). Language was different. Even English as it was spoken a thousand years ago was very different from English today. Ask any High School senior about The Canterbury Tales and they will tell you just how different it is.

Communication was word of mouth. Major news was by town crier (though spin was always what it is). Singing minstrels made their living delivering news all through the European world and America was a rumor, a legend told by some Norseman someone like Eric made have heard and may have even smiled at the man's imagination.

Food was whatever you managed to coax out of the ground or hunt down. War was truly hand to hand, money was whatever precious material you had (Iberians, those people who would become the natives of Spain, used tin).

Health care was whatever herbs and roots the local midwife or herbalist/alchemist could prepare for you. The human body was the ultimate final frontier and the world beyond the clouds was inhabited by frightening and terrible gods and beasts.

Go forward five hundred years. If Eric is a real person and a Vampire, he will have seen the first female queen of England (no, not Elizabeth I, there was Maud, granddaughter of the Conqueror). He would have seen the first of several worldwide plagues, Christianity would be the main religion, and he would have seen the beginnings of the Holy Inquisition. He would have seen the discovery of the New World and perhaps remembered those old stories he heard about Norsemen finding a strange new world on the other side of the sea. He would have heard about the wonderful new playwright William Shakespeare but he would not have been able to see a play until theatres came up with a more effective means of lighting. The Globe was an open air theatre and used natural sunlight to light the stage.

Beginning with the 1600's he would have seen the Renaissance, where art and science and philosophy made violent love to one another and gave birth to medicine, mechanization, industrialization, astronomy, advanced mathematics, democracy, physiology and more war and revolution.

And Time would continue to pass. Our Eric saw the first imaginings of flight, of creation, of accelerated travel and ships that traveled constantly over the seas. He would stand in line to ride a train and be fascinated to know it was being run on steam. London's streets, by the time he meets Pam, are probably gas lit. By 1865, when Lorena is making Bill Vampire, Eric will be seeing the beginnings of mass production and the use of electricity. He will read the newspaper, if he is in London a couple of decades later, about one of the first serial killers in modern history and consider Jack the Ripper an amateur.

By the early 1900's, Wilbur and Orville Wright will have flown at Kitty Hawk, the first World War will have broken out, the Spanish Flu will have caused a pandemic and more soldiers will die of the flu than of combat. And he will buy his first car, probably a model A. He will see World War Two and the atomic age. Man will fly transatlantic, then fly to the moon. The Cold War will break out, America will go to Vietnam, a woman will go into space in the space shuttle, there will be a space station inhabited by human beings circling the earth and he will see the dawn of the computer age.

By the time we meet Eric if you read the books first, the paper back imprint on my copy says May 2001. Five months before September 11. When we meet Eric on the screen, he is already texting, messaging and playing video games on the same little hand held device.

Imagine, going from horse back to driving a high powered Corvette in a thousand years, of reading a book he purchased (probably) with a debit card/credit card, when wealth was usually whatever you carried with you. And that book was printed by a machine instead of being laboriously hand written. Eric gets his news directly from CNN and not the town crier. And England has a Queen on the throne, Elizabeth II, and there is no longer a Holy Roman Empire and Islam is edging up on Christianity as the largest religion on earth.

Women are no longer chattel (for the most part) and boy do they dress differently from when he met Pam in her flounces and lace. Wars are still being waged and diseases still threaten us, but simple infections, like the one that killed his wife Aude, can be treated with penicillin.

Recon someone like Eric would be a little busy? And we think waiting six nights and 30 minutes is tough.

Aslinn Dhan
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Emergency meeting of the Counselors

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 20th 2010, 11:44 am

An emergency counselor's meeting at the home of the Sheriff of Area Five. I call it:

Beyond this Place, there be Dragons

On the outside the home looks like any suburban home. No one would ever think that this quiet little house in a suburb of Shreveport with it's carefully manicured lawn and pleasant exterior would house one of the most powerful men in Northern Louisiana.

The neighbors have never seen the man who lives here in the day and nor have they seen his friends here gathered. During the day, the house is quiet, just the blood red Corvette parked in the driveway and weekly visit from the gardener who mows his grass and waters the large and extremely healthy scarlett carson roses growing in the front.

Ginger, one of the waitresses from Fangtasia is in attendance, bringing in trays of Tru:Blood to the others gathered there. She likes waiting on Eric in his house though he largely ignores her. She is always a little disappointed the sheriff doesn't invite her to stay.

Pam is sitting in the Danish modern chair, dressed in a skirt and blouse in pale cremes and piped in baby blue. Her long pale legs are crossed and her feet are encased in matching high heeled pumps that make her almost as tall as the sheriff. She accepts the warm bottle from Ginger without a glance. Chow is standing by the door. When the meeting starts he will discretely step out the front door with Ginger, who hates it when she is excluded but does not argue with the master of the house.

Bill is sitting at the end of the sofa, sullen as usual. Eric said this meeting was important and he wanted to get back home for his personal counseling session. His ladies were very upset and he wanted to console them and help them put what they have seen in perspective.

Jessica was in the corner talking on the telephone to God Speed. She was setting a date with him on Friday night. Of all the Jessica heads in the group, God Speed seemed to be the most level headed so Bill reasons that though God Speed may be a little out to sea with her, his stern warning to the both of them would be enough to keep them both in line.

Godric was squatted by the fire, poking the logs with a fire brand, watching the sparks fly up into the chimney. Though it was the end of July, their kind enjoy the warmth of fire any time of the year and his young, beautiful and savage face was aglow with the red and yellow and orange of the flames.

The man in question, the Sheriff of Area Five, Eric Northman, was sitting at the highly polished ebony wood desk, looking at the computer. He was reading his email. He saw something he evidently liked and though his voice was soft as a butterfly lighting on the skin of a sun burned girl in string bikini, all the guests heard him when he whispered "Eric Lover, how sweet," Heightened senses were a common side effect of their condition.

Eric's home is beautifully decorated and modern. Such a contrast with Bill's southern manse. The floors match his desk, heavy dark ebony wood floors with a large reindeer skin rug on the floor from Sweden. There is a large oval shaped coffee table of dark mahogany. The mantle of the fireplace is heavy sand stone dry stacked to the ceiling. The walls are lavishly painted in coffee and heavy framed paintings hang on the walls. Among them is a beautiful painting done especially for him of a blond Valkyrie, on a large black charger dressed in chain mail and a heavy breast plate. Frank Frazetta really knew how to paint a woman's form.

The sofa Bill is sitting on is a deep red tuxedo couch with deep cushions. Whenever he looked at it, he thought of the girl who's email he had just read and smiled for just a moment. Some memories were so wonderfully intense.

He stood and walked over to the fire and exchanged a few words with Godric in their mother tongue and then turned to face the others. Godric stood as well. He looked at all of them.

"Well, what is the consensus? How do they feel?" he asked the room.

"The ladies with whom I communicate are very upset," said Bill carefully.

"Oh, no doubt, considering what they saw," said Eric.

"I have heard from most of them Eric and they are very upset about our go-go dancer," said Pam. "Apparently they like him."

"What's not to like?" said Eric. "I find him curious. I have not heard from him, have you?"
"No," said Pam. "But he's scared."
"He should be," said Eric. "What else?"

"Well, with the previews, Eric, there is apparently some concern for your safety, even those who are committed to Mr. Compton do not like to see you in apparent trouble." said Godric in his heavily accented English. "These people are very devoted are they not?"
"They are. There are many who like you as well, though they do not know you yet. They sympathize with you," said Eric respectfully.

"This is very strange. How is it that they are so sympathetic to us, even though we are...what we are?" said Godric, moving to sit in the chair by Pam. "We do have that ignoble past."

"They see past it," said Bill. "They take our past before the Great Revelation as simply a fact and look to see what we might become after having been among them in the open. They have such intense discussions about our humanity, our faith, even our sexual mores. They certainly have carnal feelings for us, but they want to know us, too."

"These humans, they are not tolerant of one another," observed the ancient and dangerous child.
"Ah, but they are trying, they see us, our kind as the symbol of anyone who is different. They explore our difference and thus, explore their own," said Bill.

"I like their intensity and honesty. They are not like others of their kind, they want to move around in our world. I am afraid that the coming weeks may be a test for some of them," said the Sheriff.
"Some of the ones I have communicated with also worry about your involvement with bringing Lorena into the picture," said Pam.
"And well they should. I have my motives, mostly political right now," said Eric, looking at Bill for a second. Bill stared at Eric intently. "Wipe that look off your face Bill Compton, I am in no mood for your anger."
"Whether you are in the mood for my anger or not, you will feel it and soon," he answered the Sheriff through gritted teeth.

"Do you boys think you can give me a small break," said Pam, rolling her eyes. "One would think you were human with all the testosterone in the room."

"May I say something?" said Jessica.
"Yes Jessica?" asked Eric.
"God Speed told me they are having a meeting, just the group, on Thursday at Aslinn's house," said the pretty young girl with the blood red hair.
"In the day?" asked the Sheriff.
"No, at night. Aslinn is having a barbecue and they are all going to be there," she answered.
"Perhaps we should drop in," said Eric.

To be continued______

Aslinn Dhan
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Keep this Party Going

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 20th 2010, 11:46 am

Keep this Party Going

It had been raining earlier in the day but it cleared off by the time the first of my guests appeared at the barbecue. I had set up long tables along the back fence under the pergola and they practically groaned with the lovely food the members of the True Blood Anonymous group had brought. Dad had run the skimmer around the small but adequate kidney shaped pool surrounded by the red wood deck and the oriental rock garden. I was so pleased at the way the house and yard looked, the little Cape Cod newly painted a blue grey and the profusion of pink and tiger lilies and sweet summer pansies with their little faery faces nodding at our ankles as we walked by them, unnoticed.

Thank God I had asked everyone to bring a yard chair and blankets. Eric Lover and Westexan helped me shove the tiki torches into the ground we would light later as the sun went down. VCat was busy stinging the paper lanterns (mix the colors now VCat, like girl/boy seating) The atmosphere was carnival-like and for once we were relaxed. There was of course a surprise I had cooked up for later, but for now we were just who we were True Blood fanatics at a combination pool party and BBQ.

God Speed and Liberator, having made a truce were at the grill, stacking the briquettes and hashing over exactly how to do it. God Speed was a spread 'em out evenly man, Liberator went for the small mountain in the center technique. I frankly didn't give a gooey son of a mother fudge as long as I got my Stackhouse Po'boy first. Raki was sitting by the pool, sorting out the floating candles we were going to be putting in the pool later and Vi was setting large white pillar candles with three wicks on the tables around the pool and dispersed them through the foliage around the area. It would be an enchanted evening.

Minnie pulled up and got out with her blanket over her arm and a basket of organic brownies. When she walked by, she handed me a small one which I shared with anewaphorist, who had brought his guitar and was goofing on John Lennon though I had the stereo on and was playing a little light reggae. Talk about Instant Karma. One Love meets Love is all You Need. Surreal.

I got up to get myself a Guinness while Sweet and Wild mixed a gin and tonic. It was a little early on the east coast to be drinking but hell, it was Miller Time somewhere in the world. We needed this. We needed to be together because when the sun went down, I hoped we would all find answers.

When the boys finally called that the brats were done and placed a huge platter of the greasy grilled meat on the food heavy table, we all lined up to dress our sandwiches and grab fresh drinks. There is just nothing like the redolent smells of charcoal and lighter fluid, cold beer and wine, brats, macaroni, potato and noodle salad and sweet and spicy baked beans all topped off the sounds of people biting into sandwiches with the same gusto of a Vampire Sheriff interrogating a red neck.

After a second run on the pies and cakes and more than a few hits from Minnie's brownie basket, we all began to relax. No calorie counters here. Last minute fluttering to light the tiki torches and candles, sending more than a hundred a float in my pool created an otherworldly atmosphere that preclude the fact that we were gathering in a blue collar neighborhood in West Virginia. Perhaps there were faeries at the foot of my garden. When the last bit of day faded, I turned down the stereo and called everyone to attention.

"Okay junkies, settle down. I wanna thank God Speed and Liberator for manning the grill and fixing the meat for our Po' boys. Thanks to everyone who brought food, especially Minnie who brought her special organic brownies," I lifted my Guinness in her direction. "God bless ya darlin'" I stood still for a moment and looked at the faces up turned, looking forward to what would happen next.

"I called you all here because I invited some important people to speak to us. We know them as the Source and the Connection. I give you the only people who can give us answers to all our questions. Alan Ball and Charlaine Harris."

From the back of the yard came a friendly looking man and woman. They looked so ordinary, so pleasant. Who knew they were the nefarious creators of the substances we were all so addicted to. But in these days and times, even sweet folk you might see and nod pleasantly to can be ruthless dealers of substances that will effect every particle of your soul.

Anewaphorist and God Speed brought out two chairs for them to sit on and I sat down by Vi and Westexan and Eric Lover. I lit a cigarette and handed my pack to Eric Lover who took one. We settled to listen. Just as Alan Ball was about to open his mouth to speak, a small caravan of three cars, a red corvette, a black Mercedes and a BMW station wagon pulled up in front of the house. A tall shadow unfolded himself from the car.

Holy shiatsu, the Counselors were here...

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When the Party is over

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 20th 2010, 11:47 am

When The Party is Over

I opened my eyes briefly.
"Is she waking?" asked the deep voice.
"She is," the southern voice confirmed. "Don't open your eyes, sweetheart, just listen a minute."

I lay there quietly. I could feel that I was in the house, my house, and the room was very dimly lit because my eyelids shuttered out all light against my eyes. I was leaned against my counselor and his hand was on my arm, cool and comforting.

"My friends, my guests?" I asked.
"You needn't worry about your guests, they are being escorted home safely as we speak," said the deep voice. He was very close to me now. I pictured in my mind the silohette of the tall counselor sitting on the huge rectangular coffee table, leaning close to me. Had I opened my eyes I would have been able to see his face, but something precluded my ability to simply turn and look at the lead counselor. Perhaps, in my heart, I didn't want to. So I kept my eyes shut and listened to his stern, but not ungentle voice as he spoke to me.

"And the other group members?" I inquired.
"Many have left already. God Speed is doing your counselor a favor by escorting his...counselor in training home. I will be personally escorting Eric Lover home myself," said the lead counselor. The slight change in the deep voice, an all most imperceptable sound of excitement in his tone, almost prompted me to open my eyes but I kept them shut.

"Tell me Aslinn, why did you invite the Source and the Connection to your home tonight?" he asked.
"Answers, we need answers, we can't wait for them. We have to know what will happen in the two worlds. Will Bill and Sookie get back together? Or is she lost to Eric? Will Bill die of silver poisoning or will he live? Will something bad happen to Eric? What will the show be like this season and next? We are so hungry," I said.
"I know you are, sweetheart," said my counselor, kissing the top of my head, like a father to a child being comforted after a bad dream.

"You have to be patient," said the deep voice of the lead counselor. His voice was still a little brusque.
"Are you angry with us?" I said.
"No, but I find you all...curious...don't you like being surprised?" he asked.
"We do, it is so exciting, but we wait all week and devour the previews. You should see the way we analyze every frame...it's literally frame by frame!!" I said, raising up a little, my voice getting excited.
"Shh," said my counselor, stroking my face with a feather light touch. "Be calm."

"I have seen your web site. It is quite high rent, as opposed to others I have seen," said the deep voice. I felt his hand close around my wrist and it's cool pressure there. "But Aslinn, I told you something before and you should really take it to heart."
"And what was that?" I asked, though I already knew the answer. I could feel the change in the air and I knew the lead counselor was leaning very close to my ear.
"Trust me," he said softly.

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The Heart Breaker

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 20th 2010, 11:53 am

The seventh episode of the season is always a bit of a heart breaker because it signaled the half way point of the season and tensions were high. None more so than at the True Blood Anonymous Group meeting.

One of the newest members, Rene had brought bakeapple tartlets, made from the fruit called a cloudberry whose genetic roots came from a Viking bog that was a part of a one thousand year old settlement. Everyone could smell the lovely spices and vanilla and sugar in them. Another new member, Hoyt, (Jezzus Pleezus, another Jessica-Head) brought in the coffee. God Speed brought in the Bailey's for those of us who needed fortification tonight, we were going to need it.

After the "raid" on the barbecue and the gentle chastisement I received from the lead counselor that night and the strangely worried sounding email from him about the issue of speculations and again the request to "Trust Me" which I still didn't know if I could do, and then the things my counselor whispered so softly in my ear last night. Why did I remember last night? I usually don't, not a face really but...other things.

It was about these other things I was thinking when Eric Lover flopped down in the seat beside me and adjusted her red Fangtasia tee-shirt and checked the strings on her tennis shoes to make sure they were secure.

"Where did you get the tee shirt?" I asked.
"I don't know, I woke up the next morning after the party at your place and I was wearing this shirt and my underwear but I don't remember how I got it," she whispered.
God Speed caught my eye and with a motion of his head, I went over to see what was up.
"Did you get an email from the counselor?" he whispered, looking around the room.
"Yeah, did you?" I asked. He nodded his head. "What did it say?"
"Trust Me," said God Speed. "How about yours?"
It said a lot of things but it all boiled down to two words," I said.
"Yep," said God Speed.

We broke up and went to our respective chairs. Minnie, Violet, with her tissues, and Westexan, God Speed, VCat and Liberator and Hoyt, Renee and the others, about 15 in all were sitting in a circle when the lights, as they always do, dimmed to the central panel and the counselors, our usual three and their protege's took their familiar seats and standing places by the two doors in the room.

It took the taller of them time to actually find his place because something drew him to the coffee table. He bent low at the waist and I could hear him audibly sniff the tartlets and a slight moan escape him. It was a sound of pleasure and delight. He said something to the younger man in his foreign language who seemed in a blink to simply appear by his side and the taller man held one of the tartlets in his hand. The young man leaned forward a little to sniff the fragrant fruit and pastry and made a sound of delight himself. They both carefully wrapped one and took it back with them but I did not observe them eating the treats.

I sat up and fought off the urge for a cigarette. There were so many feelings whirling in my junkie's brain right now. I was confused and elated with the recent episode. I wanted to begin talking right away but held my self back when Minnie, the quietest member of our group spoke first.

"Godric is my new hero," she said quietly. The young male counselor said something to the tall counselor standing beside him and he said something back.
"Why do you say this?" asked the heavily accented voice.
"He saved Sookie from Gabe, that would have been horrible," said Minnie.
"I dislike men who act like animals," said the young man simple "It is good this was done."
"And Jason, stepping up for his sister like that," said Hoyt. "I thought Jason would never be like that about Sookie again, being with a Vampire and all, but he was, he defended her."

"Jessica was so sweet, like a little girl, but like a Vampire too. She knows that whatever happens to her, Hoyt will take good care of her, respect her," said God Speed.
"Wow God Speed, we thought you's be all torn up about that whole thing," said Westexan.
"No, I am cool with Hoyt...on the show that is," said God Speed giving our Hoyt the stink eye. Liberator cast a poor eye on Hoyt, as well. Brother, here we go again. I could smell fresh blood on the water.

"And then there is Bill, trapped with Lorena," said Violet.
"She's evil, " said Eric Lover. "Even I would stake her."
"Really Eric Lover?" asked the soft southern voice. I shivered with the sound of it. "Why would you do that?"
"She stole Bill away and made him a monster and she deserves it because she is doing this to him now," she said. "And she grabbed poor Barry."
"At the behest of the Big Viking, Eric Lover," I reminded her.
"I know, I know, but still, it isn't right. Sookie doesn't need to be tricked into helping out, it's become something of a moral imperative to her now," said Eric Lover.

"I think something beautiful is happening to Eric," I said, a dreamy sound to my voice.
"What is that Aslinn?" said the tall shadow.
"His heart is breaking," I said.
"For Sookie?" said Minnie.
"No," I said. "It was like when he became a Vampire, he froze his heart like a block of Nordic ice and there it was, cold in his chest for so many centuries, and now it is melting and Eric's heart is breaking. Like Bill's did when Lorena took him away from his family, and made him a monster, made him beg her on his knees to release him."

I stopped and dug around in my big bag of crazy but Eric Lover handed me the pack of Marlboros and her lighter and I took one and lit it.

"The very idea that Eric's maker would die at the hands of these monsters breaks his heart. If he survives this with the seed of his soul intact...things could begin that could break a lot of the hearts in this room, and warm others," I said. "But what a wonderful thing to experience, to watch, when we see him, this ruthless man, cry his bloody tears. It is so delicious, like birth."
"And then there are things you wrote in the forum Aslinn, about sacrifice," said Westexan.
"Yes, greater love hath no man," I said. "But that is speculating."
"Go ahead Aslinn," said the female voice behind me. There was a light sniffle and I reached toward Violet and she handed me several tissues and I reached them behind my shoulder and I felt the gentle tug of a hand, pulling the tissues and a muffled thank you. The young female was crying a little.
"Well, that's what we do, right, we speculate about how things will happen," I said.
"That's what we do," said Eric Lover.
"Seeing Eric chained to that altar..." I said.
"It is a profound statement," said the southern voice.
"Sacrifice. Who knew a creature such as he would make that sort of statement," I said. I sniffed loudly. "I don't know, I don't know. I want to believe all things have a purpose, a special gift, a coffee with too much Irish in it or a...It is just so noble. No wonder he hates people, I would too if I were him."

"Yeah," said Liberator, "You see those crazy Sun people or that effing crazy lady back in Bon Temps making devil worshippin' zombies out of the people, even Terry Bellefleur, and then those same people would look down on someone like Eric. Or Bill, who has been nothing but nice to them."
"Who says Eric hates people," asked God Speed.
"Eric did, he was disgusted by Bill having killed another of their own over a human, and then I think he was sickened by the fouls humans who preyed on his kind that he had locked up," I said.
"Even Lafayette?" asked Renee.
"No, not Lafayette because even though he was hustling Eddie, he wasn't hurting him, though I guess the distinction didn't matter," I rubbed my face. "What I am trying to say is, why would Eric want to even pretend he had human feelings when he had such stellar examples around him: Fangbangers, hustlers, the dregs of human society."

"Eric does not hate humans," said the young man. "But he does feel little sentimentality for them. But, as you said, as his heart breaks it causes him to feel more."
"So, tell me Aslinn, or any of you in the group, have you taken what I said to you to heart?" asked the tall shadow. "Do you trust me?"
"I..

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Scent of a Memory

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 20th 2010, 11:54 am

The Scent of a Memory

The Vampire stood in the shadows of the midnight garden of his suburban home in Northern Louisiana, looking at the starry sky and holding the delicate tartlet in the crumbled napkin gently in his hand. He held it up to his noble nose and closed his eyes and sniffed it again. The aroma of the cloudberries was a scent that he never dreamed he would experience again and he savored it and remembered the last time he breathed their fresh citrus and strawberry like bouquet.

It was late summer and he and his maker were preparing to bid one another farewell. It was cool but temperature was not a factor in their basic physical comfort. The taller, younger man stood silently with the smaller older man, though the casual observer would take the taller man to be the eldest of the two. They stared at the Northern Lights and listened to the faint electrical drone of the azure and emerald and some times amethyst and gold display before them. It danced like an inferno, heralding the door of Valhalla, a place in which both men had believed in another time, but not now. Well, perhaps they did in another way, but regardless, the gods were departed to them, dead, but not as eternal as they.

As they watched the lights, they knew the time of leave-taking was near. It happened with all of their kind. It was a strange imitation of nature. For a while the fledgling stayed with the parent until it was time for the young bird to soar alone in the world and either survive or fall victim to other predators.

The two stood there. Eric could smell the last of the cloudberries on the bushes behind him. When he was not as he is now, his wife made him sweet treats of the crushed fruit and honey and sort of hearty bread. Now the smell would remind him of this moment in his existence. The moment he said good bye to the one person he truly cared about.

“They say that if you do not watch me depart, we will see each other again,” said the young man to his son.

“Who says?” asked Eric.

“They do, in the village,” said the young looking man, nodding his chin toward the village.

“Do you believe them, my maker?” asked the Viking Vampire.

“Perhaps,” said Godric. “Good bye Eric, my child.”

“Good bye, Godric, my father, my brother, my son,” said Eric, repeating back the words his maker said to him before he snatched Eric away from his human death. They looked at each other again and Eric turned away first, looking again at the celestial play of lights on the black horizon. He heard Godric walk away into the night and Eric did not turn around. He did not want his maker to see the sanguine tears welling up in his pale eyes.

Eric placed his heavy hand upon the heart that did not beat.

And felt it break.

The memory of his pain brought the Viking back into the here and now. His hand still held the tartlet. He sniffed it once more and sat it on a large flat stone for the birds that would come into his day lit garden to eat. He looked up at the night sky and saw there were no Northern Lights, only the vast empty black of space.

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Wild Child

Post  Aslinn Dhan on March 20th 2010, 11:55 am

Wild Child, Full of Grace

Godric, a two thousand year old Vampire, sat down under a dark sky and contemplated the world and his place in it and rose up an enlightened being. Like any sentient being, he thought about the notion of suffering of both his kind and our kind. What answers did he find in the deep well of his immortal... self...for does his kind have a soul? And if so, is it a soul redeemable to the Supreme Maker?

His pale eyes scanned the darkness. Was there such a place for him and his kind? Or were they all condemned to this "dark night", that moment of despair, in a world where they would always be trapped in their own self reflections: the hunters without a conscience, lost to the world of brotherhood, solidarity, humanity. Could there ever be a truce between the children of the dawn and the children of the night? He feared not.

If there were any to blame, it would lay with both camps: the Vampires in their savagery and the humans in their fear. But even the children of the dawn had their own shadows of the soul. They kill and rape each other and corrupt one another as viciously as his kind. They even eat each other. Were there human "Vampires" without benefit of the dark gift who become as his kind and predate their fellows. Monsters?

And his child? Eric was beautiful and savage, the animal with an intellect, brilliant, a survivalist. He taught him all the rituals of the Blood. Godric bowed his head. He would have to answer to the Supreme Maker for his beautiful son. He cursed himself for not being enlightened sooner so he could teach his child about the soul. Perhaps there was still time to teach Eric this truth and recreate the Viking from savage to Wild Child, Full of Grace.

Inspired by "Wild Child" by the Doors

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