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Feb. 7th, 2011


Rentable Rooms Short Renters [Open]

It was lonely up at the Bates Motel.

Norman sat on the wooden-planked porch that stretched out across the twelve cabin motel. It was of the old fashioned variety, where one could easily pull their car up in front of the door to their room and walk on in, complete avoidance of other people. The only interaction (on paper) occurred when the guest signed in the guest book. Norman was never too particular about who his guests were or where they came from. He just liked to keep a log, for the sake of professionalism. And, in the off chance, that he might have to bill for damages. Occasionally, teenage kids would shack up at his motel -- yes, he knew exactly what they were doing -- and, occasionally, things would get broken. Norman didn't like it when people disrespected his establishment. It was a reputable business, after all. People didn't seem to appreciate all of the hard work that went into running a motel. Even a small motel required delicate care to the details.
The Bates Motel was always pigmented in black and white. )

Jan. 2nd, 2011


Gone, But Not For Long [Narrative]

Norman. Wake up!

Groggy. Confused. Lost. Everything was blurry. Norman just wanted to roll over and lie on his side. He wanted to continue sleeping. But he couldn't roll over. And the voice was loud in his mind. Loud and screeching.

Wake up, you rotten, good-for-nothing, worthless, child! Would you dare disobey your Mother?!

Norman mumbled something indecipherable. His head was like a cloud. A fluffy cloud floating through a cheese grater. He didn't know where he was. He barely knew what he was. He only knew that he was asleep. And when he was asleep, Norman was at peace. He was happy. He had solace. But the voice continued. It grew louder and more insistent. Then the voice began to have form and Norman knew that he couldn't ignore it any longer. It was too dangerous to ignore that voice.

His eyes slowly opened. )

Jan. 24th, 2010


A Lovely Day (open to everyone)

The day was crystal clear. Warm, even, considering what time of year it was. Kids were happily running around the park wearing their shorts and maybe a light sweater. Flowers had bloomed unseasonably. Bees and butterflies busied themselves while birds sang.

To top it all off, in a nice grassy area some picnic tables popped up. They were all covered in food and drink. A big banner unfurled across a nice space that could be seen from the road. It touted "Annual City Picnic" in bold black lettering.

Oct. 14th, 2009


No more HumDrone Fred [Open to Norman and other Bates dwellers]

It felt like forever since she'd been out and about. Actually, she wondered where she had gotten off to and suspected that on some level she'd not gone anywhere at all, or maybe she'd gone back home. It didn't matter, whatever had happened, she'd been gone in some fashion. She was back now and feeling slightly detached from reality, which was a very odd thought in the City.

Winifred "Fred" Burkle was on a mission. It was probably a very stupid mission, but it was a mission all the same. She was on a mission to see if she was the only one to have gone away. Or more to have faded for a little into whatever clone/drone life was the City. She was rather certain that was what had happened to her. Yes. So, what was this particular mission? Or this phase of it? Heading out to the strangest part of the City to see if it was still there.

She made her way, meandering through the changing streets and looking for that dangerous place, the place of no color, of all grays. The place where he lived. The Bates Motel. Of course, it was possible she'd run into people along the way or someone living there. She hoped on some level that she'd see Wesley or maybe Sam or even Dean, but her objective was to see if Norman was still around, if the odd place that was just outside the City proper was still there.

She was going where the streets had no name, and the rainbow just didn't go. She probably should have brought waffles as a "Please, don't kill me" offering.

May. 30th, 2009


Curious Lady (Sidney, Open)

Having left the newspaper office to handle some minor chores was the best thing for Sidney. She felt like the walls were closing in and this was in spite of the fact she finally has a job where she is not the bait for a serial killer in a ghostface mask. But she was trying to recover, this job being the first step of several as she walked into the pizza joint for a much needed treat.

Anyone was free to notice the still somewhat haunted looking young woman rooting around her purse.

Jan. 28th, 2009


What the hell? (Norman)

Ted was finding that roaming this city wasn't leading him into any good things. Aimlessly roaming had gotten him stuck in a morgue with two other people in the middle of a snow storm. That hadn't been happy at all.

Now he was standing in front of a line that had taken him from color to black and white. He knew that because when he turned and looked over his shoulder, everything was in color. It was a very strange effect. Ted wasn't exactly sure what to make of it.

Curiosity had him walking up to a strangely familiar-looking building. Carefully, of course. He wasn't sure that he was even supposed to be here, in this area. Oddly, he wondered if this was a part of the city that The City hadn't finished with yet, and he'd walked through some sort of construction notice without seeing it. But the buildings and the road looked finished. Everything felt finished, too.

He figured that the only real way of finding out was to venture forward and see it all for himself.

The office of the motel, because that's what it was, now that he saw it, was open. He managed to get inside without ever seeing the name of the place, which he wasn't sure if it was his own doing, or The City's.

But when he got to the front counter, that feeling of familiarity hit him harder. A lot harder. It was giving him goosebumps, and not in any good way.


Dec. 21st, 2008


Holiday Shenanigans GROUP FIVE

You're in a funhouse maze, but it's no ordinary funhouse maze. The mighty minotaur is stalking you through it, and you have to get to the center of the maze to save the virgins and get back out before it reaches you.

Dec. 20th, 2008


Coaxing (Norman)

Hannibal headed up the hill to the place he'd called home since he got here. Bates Motel. It still didn't feel right to stay at Lady Murasaki's flat, though it was there, and it remained his. It hadn't ever been occupied by anybody else. The key still fit the door. The motel managed to feel better. Fit his style more. Somehow, it made him feel at home.

The crossing over the line, taking him into the black and white realm of Norman and Mother. It was something that managed to sooth him. Put him at ease. And what he needed right now was ease. He'd been a zombie. He'd lost River, yet again. He'd had to talk to that insufferable Wilson, who was now his boss. What else could possibly go wrong?

He did manage to notice something different on his way up.

The office lights were on. They hadn't been on in a very long time. Norman had been taken out of the City, and Hannibal had been left without his companion. It had been a rather sad time, but he'd managed to get past it. Now that the light was back on, he couldn't help but change his direction and have a look.

One could only hope that it was Norman and not somebody else that had taken over the place. And one could only hope that this Norman was the same Norman and would remember him. Hannibal wasn't quite in the mood to start from the beginning.

He approached the desk and tapped the bell lightly.

Nov. 10th, 2008


Something in the Cellar [Narrative]


For the most part, Mother had been quiet since Norman's return to The City. But today she was, quite literally, raising hell. Norman had been up and down the house. From top to bottom. And he hadn't found anything. Not one shred of evidence that someone was in the house. He was beginning to think that Mother was losing her mind. Of course, he would never tell her that. Oh no. He wouldn't dream of confronting Mother about her sanity. But she was different. She was crazier than she used to be.

"I don't see anyone, Mother. Where are they?"

There's blood all over the floor! )

Oct. 14th, 2008


Of Painting and Pondering [Open]

Two hours of painting and Mother hadn't complained about the soft canary yellow paint that Norman was using to spruce up the outside of the motel. He'd expected that she would throw a fit about the color. Or that he was changing anything to the motel at all. But she didn't. At least, she hadn't yet. And it was always possible that she would. Mother didn't keep working hours, after all. She struck when it amused her and when she knew she could get a rouse out of poor Norman (or any other poor soul that was on her property.)

Norman didn't know if the change in color would attract more residents. He didn't even know if anyone would notice. It had taken him a while, but he had eventually noticed that he (and his motel) were distinctly less ... colorful ... than the rest of The City. In fact, he felt very monochromatic. Or perhaps it was more like bi-chromatic? All black and white with a few smattering of grays. He saw that the paint was a soft canary yellow. He just didn't know if anyone else in The City would.
They'll come. )

Aug. 29th, 2008


A Trip To Town [Open]

Norman was confused. Actually, for once, Mother was also confused. And it wasn't very often that the two of them agreed on emotions and feelings. They were usually very opposite. Very contradicting. But on this one thing, they could agree. On this confusion they could agree.

They killed me! They killed me and they killed my dear boy! Filthy good-for-nothing bastards and those high society whores. They don't deserve to live, they don't. None of them. Ought to let the whole damn city just go to hell. Go to hell and burn! Burn for harming me and my son.

But they weren't dead. They were both alive. It was a very strange sensation. To be dead one moment and alive the next. Very confusing. And it had made Mother very aggravated. She'd started to become more vocal about her feelings. Sometimes Norman would be reading the newspaper (or one of those naughty books he bought in The City and hid from his Mother,) and Mother would just start screaming from upstairs. Screaming about how they were going to come back and kill her. Kill her and kill her Norman. And even though there were times when she thought her stupid half-witted son deserved a punishment worse than death (or death -- whichever came first,) she didn't like that someone else was taking that into their own hands. She was going to have control over her son. Her son and this house and this motel. No matter what The City thought. No matter what anybody thought. She'd burn everything to the ground if she had to. Whatever she had to do to survive. And to make sure the Bates Motel stayed in business.
Painting the motel. )

Aug. 1st, 2008


MM14 [Norman]

Oh the irony of this one was not lost
as I walked through the lot to the hotel with the sign high above.

The man with the knife, so stealthily sneaking,
once behind the shower curtain, but he wasn't peeking.

Behind the desk at the Bates Motel,
some saw it comfort, others as hell.

In I entered with a smile and grin,
the knife in my hand ready to begin.

He was fast, but I was faster,
And around here the City was master.

The knife goes deep and hits its mark,
shadows in light, and the rest in the dark.

Jul. 4th, 2008


The Motel; or; Mother's Return [Open]

It had been a long time since her voice had been heard coming from the second floor bedroom of the old house at the top of the hill, overlooking the motel below and The City beyond it. It had been a long time since she'd had the strength to speak. A long time since she'd had the strength to overpower her son, to demand, to make the decisions, to kill. But time was all she needed to regain that strength and determination of mind. Time that had made Norman comfortable and relaxed; falsely believing that she was gone forever. But she was never gone forever. Oh no. She would never be gone. She might be quiet for years, but she would always return. And when she did, it would be in full force.

"Look at you! Look at how pathetic you are! So insignificant. You're a filthy, disgusting child and I hate you. I hate you. Do you hear me?! You ought to be locked up again. And this time they ought to throw away the key!"

"Oh, Mother. You don't mean that. Come on now, Mother. Be quiet. Look, I'm going to fix us something in the kitchen and--"

"You think I'm going to eat your poison, you sick bastard child?! Eat your own goddamn poison! Stay away from me!"

"Stay still, Mother. Please stay still. Don't make this difficult."

"Get away from me! GET AWAY FROM ME! You're going to lock me in that cellar aren't you? You did it before! You're going to do it again! You're going to lock me in that fruit cellar! Why?! Do you think I'm fruity? Stay away! Don't touch me! Don't touch me! I'll scream. I'll do it. I'll scream! And I won't stop screaming until they come and get you! That's right! They'll come and get you and take you away and this time there'll be nothing left of you! They'll leave you to rot in a windowless room just like you left me to rot in the cellar!"
Dead waters, really. )

Jan. 18th, 2008


Beauty and the beast

It wasn't home, but it was home now. As much as Lady Gillian of Dunhanshire longed for her home in early thirteenth England, she had finally resigned herself to the fact that she would never see it again. Today was a rough day. She should have been in the park while Benton was at work. She loved that park, but... But today, she was restless. Today, she wanted to walk in the City, and let its paths take her where it wanted. It always brought her back to where she needed to be. Or if it didn't, it brought her to someone who could see her to where she belonged.

The fall had turned into winter, and the winter had given way into spring. The breeze was warm and lovely, the sun was bright and cheerful, and Gillian... Gillian was restless. Her dainty steps took her well outside the grounds of the City Commons. Pavement rolled onward and onward, and she didn't particularly notice where it took her. A strange building here, and then long stretches of open road where it seemed like there should have been something. There should have been something.

But Gillian didn't notice. She hummed to herself as she walked. She sang old tales that had belonged in her uncle's Great Hall, tales of warriors and knights, of battles that were won, of maidens saved by the fierce hand of their champion. It reminded her of the Mountie who had taken her into his home. Perhaps it hadn't been quite proper, but there was nothing improper about Benton Fraser. He made her feel safe. He made her feel....

Well, she couldn't say it, not even to herself, not even after all these months. It was a foolish girl's hope, and the man was clearly uninterested. Better to call him a friend and a benefactor, and leave it at that.

The road she had been walking turned to gravel. She frowned and looked - really looked - around where she had managed to come. The City Commons was nowhere in sight. In fact, not much was in sight. Just a strange building with many, many doors. There seemed to be a main one, sheltered by a canopy. Perhaps they had water inside. That would be nice. She just realized how terribly thirsty she was.

Her knuckles rapped a soft, polite question against the door of the Bates Motel.

It was nearly always dark at the Bates Motel. Even during bright sunny afternoons, the place had a certain eerie dark quality about it. Norman had tried to fix that. His plan was to paint the motel a light shade of yellow. Something sunshine-y. But everything was still in cased in black and white. Even himself. Though, Norman never seemed to notice. Perhaps he was merely too accustomed to it.

It had been slow recently. Norman had taken that one trip into the city with Hannibal, but that was the only time. He didn't feel right about going alone. And he had Mother to take care of. He couldn't be spending his days out enjoying himself when his poor Mother was left to rot in the big empty house. Even if he did have quite the desire to leave.

Norman had been in the back room, tidying up the office, when the knock came on the door. He perked his head up for a moment, shoved a bag of something beneath a desk and peeked over at the window where a shadow of a woman stood. A potential customer, perhaps? He hoped. Sometimes it was nice to be slow. But Norman preferred the company of others. Strangers. Well, motel guests. Just knowing that someone needed a place to stay was a nice change to his daily routine.

He straightened his shirt and hurried over to the door, pulling it open. It used to ding when the door was opened, but it had since broken. And Norman had gotten around to replacing it yet.

"Hello! Come in! Welcome!"

Gillian stepped over the threshold and smiled warmly, seeming to bring a shred of color into the dismal scene. The one who greeted her was handsome, in a strange and awkward kind of way. She was glad to see how heartily he welcomed her inside, however, though it didn't quite set off the strange sense of unease to the place. The poor man.... Did he live here? She imagined he had to go out walking, himself, sometimes, just to escape from this place.

"Greetings, kind Sir," she said with a polite curtsy. "My name is Gillian, and I've walked.... Oh, I've walked a while from the City. I was hoping you had a...."

What had they been called? Silvery box, with an inverted half cup and a round ...

"..a..a fount?"

That wasn't quite right. "A water fount?"

Norman was a little surprised, and partly perplexed, by her strange accent and manner of speech. But he didn't let that deter his sweetness. He did have his own kindness, after all. Norman was a good man at heart. It was just Mother who was such a horrible influence. Norman thought she was up at the house in bed. Where she was safe. Where everyone was safe.

But Norman was often misled.

"Oh! A water fountain? No, I'm sorry. Costs too much, you know. All that p-p-plumbing."

He cleared his throat with a cough.

"But I have a little kitchen back here. If you'd like for me to get you a glass of water. My name's Norman, by the way. Norman Bates," he smiled, offering his hand.

Her eyes grew soft when he stuttered. The poor man! He must be shy about such a thing, but he was still welcoming her in with all the warmth that an old friend would.

"'Tis pleased I am to meet your acquaintance, Lord Norman," she said formally. "If I would not be an imposition, it is glad I would be to have a glass of water." She set her hand in his, but not as someone would to shake another person's hand. No, it was clear she expected a courtly kiss, for that was the manner in which gentlemen greeted ladies. Unless those gentlemen were Benton. He always bowed. Her smile grew warmer at the thought of him.

Norman's stutter was a nervous thing. He had the tendency to get very anxious over little matters. And he liked strangers! But they also unnerved him. Why, he was never quite sure. But he supposed it had something to do with Mother. Mother never liked Norman getting close to other people. Only her. She was the only person in his life.

Lord Norman! Oh she's a sneaky one, isn't she? Trying to get close to my son!

Norman's cheeks flushed a little in embarrassment.

When she placed her hand oddly in his own, Norman wasn't quite sure what to do. So he just gave it a little shake. Nothing forceful.

"I'll be just a moment!"

And he hurried off to the back of the motel office to pour her a glass of water from the sink. Faucet water was all he had. But it was better than the swamp water, so that was good. When he returned he held it out for her.

"I have n-never met anyone who speaks like y-y-you do. Are you from far away?"

She stared at her hand when he hurried away, not sure why he'd shaken it like that. Strange... But when he returned, she gratefully accepted the glass and did her best to curb the unladylike instinct to gulp it all down in a single drought. She managed to sip.

"Yes," she answered, smiling again and sipping. "My home is in Dunhanshire...Ah... England? When I was last there, it was 1203 in the year of our Lord. Prithee, your mind may imagine my shock when arriving here! 'Tis still a struggle, but most have been kind to me. You are very kind." Another smile, another sip, this time less desperate.

She didn't tell him about the trouble at the hospital, or about the unusual happenings between herself and Sir Napier. It was rude to discuss such things.

"Is this your home?" she asked, looking around. It was dark, but so very large! And the windows alone must have cost a fortune! All in all, it was a fine keep, and would withstand a great bashing of the elements. In this age, it did not seem that men lay siege to their neighbors, so she didn't think to factor in the lack of a moat.

It saddened her when she realized that she hadn't. Moats were a part of her past, but clearly not a part of her future. She missed her home. She missed her family.

The year 1203? Oh, that couldn't be right. She must have been wrong. That was so long ago. Norman remembered learning about that time in school. Many many years ago. Though he couldn't remember much of it now. Dates and facts were never easy for Norman to recall. They never seemed as important as other things.

But she must have been wrong.

No! She's just lying to you, Norman! She's trying to trick you with her whore-ish ways! Listen to the way she talks! She has slut written all over her!

Oh no! She couldn't be like that! She was so polite and pretty. Norman refused to believe it.

"I live up in the house on the hill with my mother. But this is my motel. It's not much. I don't get much business either. But it's a good place."

"Oh, yes," Gillian agreed immediately. "It seems to be so. You have so much space, and it isn't drafty at all! Even my uncle's keep had a terrible draft in it - it was the way of things! Wind and winter make formidable enemies of comfort, but I see you have managed to conquer them!"

She gave him a brilliant smile and drank more. It was so good to be drinking something! How long had she walked? And how far?

"It must be very nice living with your mother. I didn't get to see the house - I only just noticed this ..m... motel..." The word was unfamiliar, and she tested it on her tongue carefully. "What kind of business are you in?"

Had he said inn or tavern, even, she would have understood. But motel? It was as foreign to her as hauberks would have been to him.

"Heh, well, I guess you could say I'm in the motel business."

She was a strange one, wasn't she? Not understanding what a motel tell was. Mother didn't trust her, but Norman was trying to be polite. Norman was always very polite. Sometimes too polite. To the point of suspiciousness. Somehow, despite living with Mother, he'd managed to find a sense of courtesy.

Dirty whore doesn't deserve to live, Norman! Get rid of her! Get rid of her or I'll get rid of her!

"Twelve rooms, twelve vacancies. I rent them out to travelers. Sometimes high school kids. You know how those after p-p-prom events are. I don't like renting to them, but sometimes I don't have a choice. Especially during the slow season."

He paused for a moment.

"It's a very nice house. I've lived there all my life."

Except for that time when he was taken away... Or, more correctly, when Mother was taken away.

"If you'd like, we could go up there and I could make us some s-sandwiches. I make a good sandwich. So I'm told."

"Prom events?" Well, she definitely didn't know what that was, but... "It sounds rather unsavory..." The tone in his voice suggested it more than anything else. "I'm sure that's the right thing to do." But she was understanding more what a hotel was, so she felt better about the entire situation. She didn't need a hotel, but the mention of food reminded her that she'd not eaten much at all.

"I would be charmed to try one of your sandwiches, Lord Norman," Gillian said, settling her glass in one hand as she took his arm with the other. Her fingers rested delicately against the inside of his elbow and she looked up at him trustingly.

She said yes? Just like Marion had said yes. Only with Marion, Norman brought the sandwiches down to the motel office because Mother was in a bad mood. But Mother wasn't in such a bad mood this evening, right? She didn't seem to be. Actually, Norman was of the opinion that she was asleep in her room. Which was good because Mother needed the rest. She was getting old and a little confused. And Norman was a good boy! A good son! He was taking care of her. Or, he wanted to take care of her. To the best that he could, of course.

Which would never be good enough for Mother.

He grinned.

"Wonderful! I mean, great! It's just a little walk and a few steps."

And then she touched his elbow and his face flushed a little. It was a different experience. One he knew that Mother would disapprove of greatly. But Mother wasn't here, was she? So Norman took a deep breath, smiled, and led her up to the house.

They didn't enter through the front door, but the door on the side of the house which went directly into the kitchen. It was a decent sized kitchen, but it's style was rather 1950s-ish. The wallpaper could use a change, as could some of the appliances, but Norman did a good job of keeping up with the cleaning.

There was a yellow formica table in the center with two chairs. Once Norman saw that she was seated, he quickly began to pull out a plate for her.

"Would you like something to drink? I have milk and ... tea."

Settling into her chair properly, she stroked the top of the yellow table gently. She hadn't ever seen a color like this on a table, and never this type of table top either. How very strange, how very unique!

"Oh, tea would be lovely! Thank you!"

She was trying to find ways of distracting herself. For all his kindness to her, the house around them felt ... dark. It felt... The hair on the back of her neck tingled, and she rubbed at the tense muscles there before turning to look behind her. It felt as if something were watching her... Something...

Tucking her hands properly in her lap, she crossed her ankles, told herself it was just her imagination, and smiled properly for her host. He really was being very nice to her. It wasn't at all the way Laird Naipier had been, and he was definitely her friend, wasn't he?

Swallowing as another icy wave of discomfort snaked down her back, she asked -- and her voice was more subdued than before, now -- "We aren't disturbing your dear mother, are we?"

"Oh no! Mother is fine. I am sure that she is upstairs resting."

But was he sure? Norman glanced over to the doorway that led towards the hall that housed the stairs to the second level. Where the bedrooms were. Where Mother was. She was being quiet all of a sudden and Norman didn't know what to make of it. Was she angry? Upset? Tired? He knew she didn't like having Gillian there, but she wasn't disturbing anything. Was she? Just a simple sandwich. A cup of tea. Nothing more.

Norman set the tea kettle on the stove and looked into the cabinet where there were two boxes. One was cardboard with newer Lipton tea bags inside of it. The other was an old tin container with a flower design. Norman's hand paused over the tin.

Don't do it, Norman! Don't do it!

He pulled his hand back and went to the fridge instead, removing the necessary meats and cheeses to make a sandwich with. Every now and again still glancing over towards the doorway as though he half expected Mother to enter at any moment.

"I hope you don't m-mind turkey. That's all I have. I really should go to the store soon."

He spread out a few pieces of bread on the cutting board and removed a large knife from a drawer.

"It does my heart well to hear it," she said softly, watching him as he moved around the kitchen. There was a hesitation in him, one she'd never seen before from Benton when he cooked. She wondered just how late it was, as she hadn't been paying attention to the time when they went up to this house. She was sure it wasn't late enough to have worried the Mountie, and the City had a way of folding her from one area to the other with quickness she couldn't manage on her own two legs.

Being late had become a trouble of the past.

When she heard him stutter out the next question, she smiled warmly to try to settle him. He seemed so... So nervous. In truth, his nervousness was infectious. She was beginning to feel quite ill at ease, herself.

"Turkey sounds delightful," she assured him, her voice soft and gentle. "Thank you for your kindnesses, Sir Norman, for they are many indeed."

"Don't worry about it! Anything for a friend. Or a stranger. I mean ... Well, what I meant to say is ... for a nice lady like yourself."

Nervous? Oh, poor Norman. He couldn't help himself. He had always been that way. And now with that knife in his hand as he was cutting the bread and turkey. He was starting to feel anxious and worried. Mother was awfully quiet tonight. Too quiet. What was she doing? Was she alright? Norman wanted to check on her, but he didn't want to leave Gillian.

And what about the tea?

He finished the sandwich and set it in front of her.

"You know ... I think I better check on my mother while the water is boiling. Please, eat. I'll be just a moment."

And Norman hurried off towards the stairs.

"Oh, for certes!" Gillian exclaimed, gesturing gently toward the stairs. The concern for one's mother was always precious to the Lady's heart. She herself could barely remember her own mother -- bits and pieces, before her sister arrived. For Lord Norman to have a mother, and to be able to watch over her during her declining years, it must have been such a great responsibility, and a great joy.

She didn't mind that he left, but once she sat alone at the table, she didn't want to be. Carefully picking up the edges of the sandwich in dainty fingers, she bit down and chewed slowly. It was so quiet here. So very, very quiet. As if the place were the only thing in the wide world, and it had been covered in a spectral shroud that dampened sound. She swallowed, the food turning to a hard lump in her throat.

Perhaps she should be getting along soon... With Norman's nervous but gentle and kind presence around her, she felt only that much more worried. The air was charged with static, like the night Baron Alford attacked her father's keep and destroyed her home. She shifted in her chair and bit down on the sandwich again, more slowly.

It was just her imagination. Norman was a sweet new friend. Just her imagination.

Norman thought that his mother had been resting. He thought that she'd be alone. Asleep. Not paying attention to what he was doing. But he was wrong. Mother was always watching. Always listening. And she always knew what was going on.

And tonight, she was not pleased.

Norman had brought another one of those whores into her house! Her house! Filthy, disgusting trash pretending to be all high and mighty. All muckety-muck. But Mother knew the truth. Mother knew what she was. What they all were. They were all the same. No different. And she wouldn't stand for them infecting her dear sweet boy.

The figure that came down the steps moved slowly. It was tall. Too tall for a woman, though it was garbed in a long floral-printed dress and its grey hair was pulled tight into a bun. Quiet. Like the house. With no words. Mother? And when it finally stopped to stand in the doorway to the kitchen, the face was concealed by shadow.

The long sharp knife in the figure's hand, however, was not. In fact, it glimmered under the kitchen light.

She sat unaware, slowly chewing the sandwich Norman made for her. But the fingers of her free hand were slowly stroking the top of her knee, a nervous gesture that made soft shhing sounds with the fabric and the tips of her fingers. She wished, without negative feelings, that Norman hadn't left her. The house was so quiet, so very quiet.... An involuntary shudder ran up her back.

Against the formica table, a bright spot appeared. It was cylindrical and moved a little. Wondering just what it was, she set her sandwich down on the plate and instead traced the shape of it. It seemed to be a reflection...

Gillian turned in her chair...

Mother's actions weren't very quick, except, perhaps, to the unaware. The knife came down upon Gillian's chest the moment she turned around to catch a glimpse of that reflection. It made something of a squishing sound. To the outside viewer, it would have been a very mechanical action. Stab, release, stab, release. But, for Gillian, it was probably much faster. And, needless to say, much more dreadful and horrifying.

But Mother wouldn't stand for any of her kind in the Bates home. Not now. Not ever. She would protect her Norman at all costs. He wasn't perfect. And sometimes he didn't deserve her help. But he was still her sweet boy. And for him she would do anything.

Even if it did coat her kitchen floor in blood.

It didn't register, not at first. Her mind couldn't make sense of this spectral creature above her. But the blade... The blade, she knew. It was the same as the one that cut down her father in front of her, the same as the ones that slashed through the guards - the good men - in her father's forces. It shone brightly, but darkness filled the light of it.

Her first reaction was to bring her arms up to shield herself; the second, to call to Norman to warn him to run... The blade sliced through her arms, cut them straight to the bone and scored that white, strong substance... then sank further to her chest. And her call was nothing more than a high-pitched gurgle in her throat, choked with fear. There was no pain, only fear, fear, terror...

And then the world went black.............


Looking For Something

T.C. and Jody had split up long ago, figuring they could cover more city that way. And Jody had been right in saying so, of course. But when T.C. was alone, he tended to get into more trouble. He stopped often to do things to people/animals/inanimate objects that nobody wanted to know about. And he had fun with it too.

Sure, he was doing what he was supposed to be doing. He feared Miss L'Angelle's wrath. He knew she could hurt him. Not to mention Jody. Jody could do a lot of harm, if he really wanted to. Hell, even when he was half-assing it, he could hurt somebody.

T.C. was back to exploring after having sodimized a poodle, and that's how he came upon the big freaky looking hotel. He hadn't ever seen it before, and he didn't know why. It was huge. How could he miss a place like this? Especially because it looked like a place Little Jesse might go to hide out. Take that little bitch of his and hole up.

He walked into the lobby and rang the bell several times, impatient for help.


Ding ding ding


"C'mon, y'all! I need some fuckin help out here."


Norman had been up at the house when the service bell rang down at the motel. He heard it eventually, peeking his head out the second floor window where Mother usually sat, to call down a "Just a minute!" to the potential customer. It was later in the evening but the weather was calm. A few clouds rolled over the sky, blocking out the moon now and again, but it didn't look like rain. That would be nice. Then Norman wouldn't have to worry about his handy-dandy umbrella!

After a few minutes he came hurrying down the curving stone steps that led up to the house, and stepped into the small lobby area of the motel.

"Evening!" He said, rather cheerfully. He was all smiles this evening. It wasn't a bad week for business. Well, sort of. And he was getting things done. Fixing the place up a bit. "Welcome to the Bates motel. We've got eleven vacancies. Twelve rooms, eleven vacancies. Heh. Must be the busy season."

That was the Norman humor. Oh, but he was very polite. Very polite and courteous to his customers.

"So what can I do for you?"

T.C. narrowed an eye at the guy.

"You queer or somthin, fella?" There was just something about him that T.C. didn't like. Though, in all honesty, T.C. didn't like a lot of things about a lot of people.

"I ain't here for no room. I'm lookin for somebody's. You ain't seen a little nigger girl carrying a white man's baby in her slut stomach, have ya? She's about yeay high, and a nigger. Fella's taller. Might be wearin a preacher's collar?"

Like a cow, T.C. was chewing on a concoction that could only be described as cud. He spit some of it onto the floor, and then ground it in with the toe of his dirty boot.


Norman blinked. He was in shock from the man's words. He'd never heard such foul and descriptive language in his entire life, and it caused him to just stand there and stare at the man for a good long while. He was trying to recuperate from the surprise.

"I ... beg your pardon?"

Queer? No, no he didn't think so. That would imply lust and sex and attraction. Mother didn't approve of such things. She didn't approve of women or whores and definitely not alternatives to the female sex.

Norman watched as the man spit onto his floor. He didn't like that.

"If you don't mind, I'd rather you not do that. I just cleaned in here. And no, I don't believe I have seen anyone that fits your ... colorful description."

T.C. narrowed his eyes a bit more. This guy was trying to give him orders? Yeah right. T.C. could take him in a heartbeat. He spit again, this time on the counter. And he didn't try to wipe it away.

"Yer sure. They'd be real hard to miss. What with her bein a nigger an all. A pregn'nt one at that. Like a houseboat. She wuz fat anyway, then she went and got all knocked up outta wedlock. Like a real whore do. Jesse coulda done her in the back hole, and avoided all this, but he didn't. Now there's a little half nigger baby on the way."

T.C. shook his head. It was such a shame.

"Caint wait to have my turn with her, though."


Norman's eyes ceased being wide when the man spit on the counter top. Instead, they slowly began to narrow into a peer. But when he spoke it was with an awkward nervousness or anxiety, stuttering a few letters. It wasn't what T.C. might think. Norman being weak or wimpish. It was Norman fighting a deeper urge.

"N-n-no! I haven't seen anybody l-like that. And d-don't spit on my counter. If you're going to be a nuisance then I'm going to call the cops. This is private property and you're trespassing, sir."

Norman stepped away from behind the counter and straightened his posture.

"And I don't like that word being used in my presence. It's dirty."

Dirty like your filthy whore mouth! Mother thought.

A sick smile crossed T.C.'s lips. "If yer keepin her for yerself, that's fine. Just let me get in there and cut the baby from her, and then you can do what you like. I might just give her a good buggering in her pooper, for good measure, you know how it is. But after that, she's all yours, fella. Marie don't care none what happens to the little nigger bitch. Just Little Jesse and the baby."

It didn't ever occur to T.C. that the rest of the world wasn't like him. That they didn't find attraction in the same things he did. To him, everybody must enjoy such things. Except Marie, who didn't enjoy anything, and Jody, who liked em female and alive.

"If y'all wanted, the two of us could go at 'er for a bit. They scream real good when you do that. Fill um all up from both ends."


Words could not describe the anger that had suddenly overtaken Norman's mind. And interestingly enough, some of it was actually his own. Of course, Mother was going wild. But even Norman was deeply offended. Even Norman didn't like this man. And Norman wouldn't hurt a fly.

Or was that Mother?

"Get out of my motel right now."

"I cain't leave without that baby, guy. I gotta take it back to Marie. So just let me get in there an get it, and then I'll go. I won't even stop to do the girl, she's all yours now."

He narrowed his eyes. "Besides, I ain't taken orders from no pansy ass little bitch like you. I get my orders from one place, and one place only. I'll leave when I damn well feel like it."

His spit, this time, landed right near the guy. Well aimed, it was.


Norman continued to stare at the man for a good long while. This time, when the man spit, his attention didn't waver. It was though he were in a daze of some kind. A very dark and disturbing daze, separating him from the reality of being in that lobby with a sick-o.

Mother was talking to him.

"Oh, but I couldn't," he mumbled.

Yes! You must! He'll bring sluts here! He's one of THOSE kinds, Norman! And I won't have my little boy messing around with those kinds, you hear me?!

"Yes, Mother..."

He blinked. Then a grin crept across his face.

"Right. You want room number twelve," Norman said, turning around to snatch the key off the board behind him and handed it over to the man. "I think you'll find what you're looking for in there."

"Well then, I knew you couldn't be a complete pecker."

T.C. took the room key and turned to make his way to the room. Fully expecting to find Jesse and his little black whore in there. Doing god knew what. Maybe T.C. would just watch a bit before taking them back to Miss Marie. Yes. That would do him some good. Maybe he could even convince Jesse to let him join in. That would be even better.

When he got to room twelve and opened the door, though, there was nothing.

Angry, T.C. turned around to shout back down the hall. He was going to curse up a storm, oh yes he was. Nobody fucked around like that on T.C. and got away wih it.

Hell, there weren't even any suitcases in here!

"You stupid fucker!"

But as soon as T.C. had left to go down to room twelve, Norman seemingly disappeared off to places unknown to the stranger. Of course there was no one in cabin twelve. Norman had told him that he didn't see anyone that looked like what was being described. Not even close. His visitors were rather limited, what with the motel being semi-new to the area and slightly off the beaten path.

Norman had gone off hoping that the man would give up and leave. Or maybe he went off to phone the police. He would do that, he would. He wasn't afraid to. And when Norman was away, Mother came out from her room.

She walked along the planked porch of the motel, her grey hair, neatly tied up in a bun, and her flower patterned dress hanging just to the top of her black shoes. And in her hands she clutched the shovel that used to be leaning up against the back of the motel near the little storage shed. Norman had meant to put it away in the cellar, but he hadn't gotten around to it.

And when T.C. turned around?

W H A C K !

Well, he hadn't been expecting that. And T.C.'s head wasn't nearly as hard as Jody's. He couldn't take a good strong whack like that and stay up.

T.C. didn't even register what had happened, only got a brief look at who had hit him, it looked like a woman, but it couldn't be, could it? No bitch hit that hard.

He went down, right to the ground, with no struggle at all.


Mother stared at the fallen man, her lips twisted into a grimace. When she spoke her voice was older, higher pitched, but lacking that fragility that most older women had. No weakness here. Not with Mother. Mother was strong.

"That's for trying to teach my son dirty whoremongrel things, you disgusting piece of trash."

And Mother went back to her room.

When Norman returned from wherever it was he'd been hiding to keep out of sight of the stranger, he thought he'd done well. The man seemed to be gone! Except, so was the key to cabin twelve. Well, that didn't make any sense. No one was staying in cabin twelve.

Norman quirked a brow and stepped out onto the porch. What he saw shocked him more than the N-word T.C. had used. He gasped and fell back against the door for a minute.

"Oh GOD, Mother!"

He hurried over and looked down at the shovel, its ended dripping with blood. Norman didn't even notice that the man still had some shallow breathing in him.


Norman glanced back and forth nervously, biting at his fingernails. Did anyone see him? Was anybody watching?

"Oh, Mother!"

The world was swimming back into focus, slowly. T.C. was dizzy, disoriented. His head felt like a train had run over it a few times. He didn't know where he was.

"Sonnabitch." He slurred. Tried to push himself up. Couldn't. Something... why wouldn't his arms work? Nothing would work.

"Gonnakillyou, motherfucker." Yeah, when he got up, he was going to completely dismember that asshole.


Mother must have hit a nerve when she smacked the man with a shovel. Good. No! Bad! Oh god. What to do. What to do. Norman just did what was natural to him. He had to protect Mother. So he'd tied T.C. up as best he could with some sheets. New, clean sheets. The ones from cabin twelve. It was a pity to see them ruined. And he dragged him across the porch, and behind the motel.

And then the man started mumbling. He was alive!


Norman kicked him in the head to try and shut him up. Then he tried to quicken his pace, dragging the man back through the swampy forest area that sat behind the motel, just east of the house.

When they reached the edge of the swamp, where many a vehicle had been pushed, Norman fixed a few bricks to the man's feet using tape and wire. It took him sometime. But the man was alive! He didn't have a place for him. And he couldn't let him float to the surface.


The kick to the head was enough to get T.C. down again. Just long enough for him to be moved, so that when he came to this time, it was a swamp he saw. He relaxed a bit, thinking that he was home.



But then he realized he still couldn't move his feet. Or anything. He felt like he was tied up. He was tied up!

T.C. struggled a bit. Still very groggy, more so now than before.

"Lemmego, pansysissyprick."


But Norman didn't say anything. In fact, he was a little freaked out. Nervous. What if someone found him? What if someone saw? What if they came looking? No, if they looked he knew they wouldn't find anything.

The minute that T.C. awoke again and started speaking, Norman rolled him into the swamp. He had to step into it a few inches, getting his shoes soaked, to make sure that the man ended up in a deeper area of the swamp. Then he scrambled backwards onto the bank to watch the man sink into the slimy water, all the while chewing on his nails, nervously awaiting to see if he would sink to the bottom and be completely submersed.

Sink T.C. did, too. Quickly. Completely. He could swim, but he wasn't so smart, so when he went under water, he was also trying to call the guy a pig fucker.

His lungs filled with the swampy water, destroying any chance he might have possibly had.

He felt his feet hit the bottom, because of the bricks, and that was the end.

Things hurt. The world went black.

T.C. was no more than swamp critter food.


And Norman stood on the banks of the swamp for another five minutes, just in case the unexpected happened. Just in case the ties on the bricks broke loose or the man escaped by some other means.

He ate a few pieces of candy corn which he took out of his pocket, and when he was sure that the man would no longer bother him or his mother, he went back to clean up the shovel and return to the house.

He would have to find a new set of sheets for the bed in cabin twelve.