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8th Jul, 2011


Two Ladies of Honfleur

Marguerite hadn’t patronized many businesses in Honfleur as yet, having been busy putting the finishing touches on Poplar Grove and seeing to her business interests in the city. She’d made a point to be visible about the hamlet through her evening walks however, and attend Mass at St. Celestine’s. It was all part of her plan to establish herself in the community and eventually insert herself in the local power structure. The vampire was under no illusions that the little town was important, but it would contribute toward the persona she wished to project: a wealthy southern belle returning to her roots in southern Louisiana.

It wasn’t entirely a lie, after all. There were simply fewer generations involved than the locals realized.

The thought caused Marguerite to smirk slightly to herself as she stepped through the entrance to Homespun. She’d seen the boutique eatery on her trips through town and had made the decision that an iced coffee and a muffin would be a pleasant treat toward the end of a long day.

After a transaction closed, the proprietress spoke to the next woman in line. "Good afternoon, Hazel." She lowered a glass dome onto a cake. "Your mother was by earlier to try the lemon pound cake." She smiled pleasantly.

As Different As Can Be )

7th Jul, 2011


Visiting Hours

Much care had been taken to keep the interior of Broken Oaks as old world and elegant as possible. Little touches of modern technology were kept behind closed doors; newly replaced outlets were covered over in tapestry and even the kitchen still sported antique fixtures and an original plantation stove, though the later had been outfitted with a modern temperature gauge for expediency’s sake. Walking inside was much like stepping through time - all except for a single room tucked away on the third floor.

The room was perfectly cool upon entering. Climate control in this particular area had been wired outside the rest of the house, so that it could be controlled separately and not effect the majority of the estate. Nanette disliked the overly artificial cool that would strip the air of its moisture, though keeping the humidity at a particular level was unfortunately necessary here. The noise was about as unbearable as the unnatural chill to the air. The constant click and whir of a half dozen different machines and the soft beeps and blips of a half dozen more could be nearly maddening. Even the scent was unpleasant, a sterile antiseptic odor with just the slightest tinge of sickness underneath. There were many things Nanette forced herself to abide in the world outside of her home; bringing them inside with her seemed almost sacrilege, and yet, here it was.

Read more... )

22nd Jun, 2011


Browsing in the bookstore

One thing about owning your own business was that you decided when you were going to open that day. It left out the middle management part of things where you had to delegate what got done when. It left room for some leeway between opening early and letting things ride for a few minutes.

The downside of this was that only the owner was to blame if things didn’t go right in one way or another, like if a shipment got mixed up and you ended up with two dozen fewer books than you’d planned to receive. Delegation might be trouble sometimes, but every now and then it would have been nice to have a second in command to deal with things if everything didn’t go exactly according to plan.

seeing what there is to see )

13th Jun, 2011


Welcome To Your New Life, Sir.

Anders Sjostran looked around as he passed through what appeared to be an extremely rural part of what he thought might be Louisiana. He'd been driving about ten hours a night for almost a week on a meandering, twisting route south and west to flee the Big Apple. Life as he knew it was over, no longer a cop, the kind big brother, the helpful son.. not long after he was attacked on several routine B&E calls he realized something was very wrong. The car swerved off the road and came to an abrupt stop as he flashed back to the final, awful night of his humanity.

Flashback To Hell )

What happened next was a complete blank, not even the faintest flashes to tell him what change he had gone through or what it had felt like. He had returned to work two nights later, apparently fully recovered but after sharing a meal with a few fellow officers he'd fallen rather ill and took the night off. He plead ill several more times as he tried to control the blood thirst rising in him and finally gave in to it. He had drained dry with his newly sharp fangs several street people.

Terrified of what he might do next, he threw a few belongings in the trunk of his car and bailed without a word to his family or his superiors. He'd been driving and hiding ever since and finally he reached a town called Honfleur where he decided he'd stop for the approaching day.

9th Jun, 2011


One Thing in Common

Judy never put much stock in rumors. Talk was one thing, but gossip was quite another, and she herself had been the focus of enough gossip as a younger woman to give her a gutful for a lifetime. She knew how people could be, so when she found them gossiping, she was usually the first to discount most of it and go about her business.

So when she found herself driving out to Hazel Moreau’s cabin, she had already sifted through and discarded much of what she’d heard about the brunette. They had never met in person, but she’d heard of her reputation and seen her around Honfleur a handful of times. This was only going to be a business call, so to speak, not a social visit. Another thing she didn’t believe in was imposing her presence on someone else, especially when they lived in an isolated area like this,. Some people liked their privacy more than others.

The bookseller parked near the little structure and shut off the engine. Today she was wearing sensible slacks and a bright green blouse, and she adjusted her glasses as she got out of the car. Hopefully one in the afternoon was a good time to drop by, even if she was unannounced. Fortunately she’d be able to keep her business here brief, and then be on her way. Judy walked through the long grass that led up to the walkway, then stepped up on the porch. She could practically feel the age of the place, but what she could see through the window looked homey. The knock on the weathered wooden door was loud in the stillness, and then she waited to see if Hazel would answer.

In Need of Supplies )

3rd Jun, 2011


Neighbor Strangers

GW leaned back in his seat near the stage and took a small swig of his beer. For a change he wasn’t the one up on stage performing, and the Cajun had come to this hole in the wall Blues joint in Westwego to kick back and relax and let other people entertain him instead. The place was close enough to Honfluer that he could literally walk back to his houseboat if he got too buzzed to drive. Granted, it would be a long walk, but he’d had his share of those before. It was a warm night and he was dressed for the weather in faded khaki shorts and blue polo shirt, sandals on his otherwise bare feet.

It was amateur night at the bar, but the group of musicians playing were talented and seemed to know what they were doing. He tapped his foot along to the beat and soaked up the atmosphere of the bar, which was just crowded enough to keep the waitstaff busy without packing customers in like sardines.

The bar was called Shades of Blue. It brought in professional musicians from the region and on its amateur night, locals could submit selections of music for the band to play and perform live, a step above karaoke machines and awkward last-minute picks. Hazel Moreau liked to go there for the rich menu of bottled beers. Sometimes she listened, a cigarette between her fingers and cheek in her palm. Sometimes she sang. Tonight she had chosen a classic by Mamie Jones called Crazy Blues.

Sit Here )


Starts With One

In the sweltering air of a Honfleur summer, a person had three options for a cold treat: A beer from Croc's, an iced coffee from Homespun, or ice cream from Scoops. The latter was a seasonal business. Though it opened in early May, Abbey was convinced she'd already gained 5 pounds on mint chocolate chip. As she licked a double cone and stuffed change in her pocket, she wondered where these calories would settle. Please be tits, she prayed, knowing most likely it would be ass.

This was her night off. No swamp tours to give, no pool hall challenges to answer. Just a single gal strolling around the neighborhood, later to veg on the couch. Pretty boring, but Abbey didn't feel like firing off desperate texts. If nobody answered, she'd just get pathetic and try to drown her sorrows in a margarita, but she knew from personal experience that ice cream and Jose Cuervo didn't mix.

A rare night breeze tore the napkins from her hand. "Ah shit..." She hurried after the white squares, even as they blew behind the building. Scoops perched on a curve in Elbow Road. Behind the umbrella-covered picnic tables, the property turned into shaggy grass and then marsh that transitioned into open water. She snatched up one napkin and let the other get away. She wasn't stepping on a snake just to save the planet. But she stood in the dark anyway, craning her neck to see if the chili pepper lights strung around her houseboat were visible from here.

Thread: Open to Nalia

30th May, 2011


Pick up lines

you’re a cute kid but you’re a lil’ young for me )



In the nights leading up to a full moon, Eli Serra often dreamed of the swamp.

His dreams took him to the fertile soil of a riverbank, where he crouched and waited as transformation neared, toes digging into the silt, ears tuned to the whine of a thousand mosquitoes. The ache began in his mouth and traveled down his spine in increments as he stretched and thinned, bones snapping and reforming. At last the snake emerged from Eli’s clothes and glided onto the taut, green surface of the water, a sinuous mass of fang, scale and muscle.

A long hunt ensued as he followed the scent of prey or a mate. His reptile eyes detected the heat of other organisms in the deep, ever watchful for predators greater than he, but on most nights he swam alone, a temporary king in an ecosystem of dangerous beauty.

When he awoke, his human body felt limited, heavy, weak. Eli couldn’t understand the years when transformation was a thing to be feared, or why his human self preferred the speed and clamor of the city. Then the confines of his apartment in the French Quarter stifled him. He kicked the covers off his long legs and stumbled to the open window. As he stood there, he thought only of the bayou, the sensation of the water, the snap of his jaw, the smells on his flickering tongue.

Unable to get back to sleep, he dressed and prowled the streets, still a serpent in a man’s clothing.

29th May, 2011


Evening Out

Noah bent down, careful not to scrape the underside of his Gibson acoustic. He scooped the money out of the black guitar case. It had been a particularly lucrative night; when the weather got nicer, people got more generous. He tipped his earnings into his backpack and carefully packed away his guitar. Slinging the case over his shoulder, he stopped to survey his surroundings. He hadn’t even noticed the sun going down.

The musician realized he was hungry, as his stomach gave a protesting growl. Maybe he’d grab a burger or something before heading home.

Now that the sun was going down later, Theresa stayed indoors longer. But now that it had finally gotten dark, the vampire could venture out without getting burned to a crisp. She liked to take walks in the park before setting out to a bar or a club for a night of ‘work’, and tonight was no exception. She strolled along the sidewalk at a casual pace, just studying the trees and the passers-by. One thing about New Orleans, it was heavier on nature than Hollywood.

There was a dark-haired guy putting away a guitar nearby, and she heard the clink of coins when he picked his backpack up. “Sounds like you had a good day. Is it enough to keep you in guitar strings?”

Somebody's Hungry )


Special Treatments

Read more... )

28th May, 2011


Meeting of the Minds

Normally Judy really disliked Starbucks, but she found herself dying for a caffeine fix after visiting one of the bigger bookstores in New Orleans, so she pulled her car into the lot and resigned herself to drinking their tea. Next time, she would bring a thermos of her own stuff, but for today she would grin and bear it.

There were only a few customers inside, it being the middle of the day, and she ordered a cup of iced mint tea before going to one of the plush chairs and taking a seat. There was an array of magazines, but most of them were out of date, so she just picked up a section of that day’s
newspaper and opened it up to the crossword puzzle. Now if she could only find a pencil. The
blonde cast a slightly baleful eye on her purse, then started digging around. One of the days she was going to buy something practical, but that day was not today.

One thing Dr. Alfred Thomas loved most about the late spring and summer months was the fact
that he didn’t have to work. His work in academia, teaching religious studies at Tulane University,afforded him a lot of time off in the years he didn’t burden himself with teaching summer courses, and he took great pains to use that time to great effect.

Not So Different After All )


On the Stroll

Compared to Hollywood, New Orleans is the middle of nowhere.

Not that Theresa minds. A complete change of scenery had been what she'd looking for when she left California, and if this isn't it she doesn't know what is. There are actual trees down here, for one thing, and the air smells clean without all that pollution from passing cars. There's a sense of anticipation about the night, as if anything could happen.

Tonight she's working, strolling from one bar to the next as she looks for her next date. There are other girls here, but some of them have started to look old very fast, as if the hard living was just around the corner ready to catch up with them. Theresa knows she'll look better to potential customers just because she still looks so fresh. There are advantages to being undead other than just living forever.

She Works Hard for the Money )

27th May, 2011



While the heavy metal blaring from the nightclub speakers wasn’t Marguerite’s preferred genre of music by any stretch of the imagination, the other aspects of the club more than made up for the assault on her eardrums and good taste. The Dungeon catered to the young and the tourist, especially those that had a fetish for leather and piercings, and the Gothic theme running through the place meant that the dance floor was dark and had plenty of obstructions disrupting the view. All in all, it was a good place to visit when she wanted to feed someplace where she wouldn’t normally go and was unlikely to ever be recognized.

The vampire nursed the mai-tai one of her earlier snacks had provided and surveyed the crowd with a predator’s eye, looking for the one member of the herd that would satisfy her hunger and could be safely removed from the crowd. Eventually her eyes settled on a young man off to one side who looked just a tad uncomfortable with the whole scene. Yes...he’d do nicely, the energy radiating from him made her unconsciously lick her lips with anticipation as she started toward him.

It didn’t take much persuasion to get him to come along once she reached him, just a caress and a few whispered words along with a touch of power and he was hers.


Daughter of the Swamp

On the north side of Honfleur, a path wide enough for a single car branched off Waterman’s Way and dove beneath a dense canopy of trees. It led to the old Herne cabin, a sagging structure built in 1930. Its survival through hurricanes and unforgiving years was a marvel to townsfolk. The wood had weathered to gray. The tin roof rusted. The back porch clung crookedly to the house. Despite its poverty, there was love apparent in the upkeep of the place. Petunias spilled from tubs that hugged the steps. A rocking chair perched beside the porch railing in view of the water. Someone had attached birdhouses to the trees. A gray cat with one ear kept an eye on those and yowled at the slightest sign of life.

Late in the afternoon, a screen door slammed shut. Hazel Moreau, great-granddaughter to Nadya Herne, emerged into the wet heat and descended to the yard. She wore a dark skirt that caught in the longest blades of grass as she walked to the lean-to. Her sandals sunk with each step; Here, the water table was so high that the ground remained saturated for days after a good rain.

For the Low Price of $75 )


Gators and Cokes

“You guys having fun so far? Alriiiight....” Abbey Rockford, a tour guide with wild aspirations of a future in alligator taming, offered the cluster of visitors a grin. She walked backwards through Colby’s Gator Farm, swinging her thumb at noteworthy features, like an enclosure for hatchlings in the distance and a boat landing where they launched midnight tours of the wetlands. She wore tattered jeans and a hot pink tank top that clung to her stomach. A simple button identified her as an employee. It was only May and the temperature was a sweltering 93 degrees. Once humidity and perspiration were factored in, a tour could turn into a wet t-shirt contest if she wasn’t careful.

Abbey liked giving tours. She craved the attention. Her bombastic personality won her positive reviews, except when a troop of Bible huggers came through. Being good at her job made it easier not to relive her glory days as “Abs”, a mixed martial artist who saw her name painted on signs in glittering letters.

“Now we’re gonna swing through the alligator paddocks. This is where the magic happens. And by that I mean feeding and mating, two of my favorite things.” When the chuckles died down, she propped her hip on a railing. “May is the peak of alligator mating season, which means it’s a great time to go on the boat tours because the males are on the prowl for mates. Who knows, you might even see a little action today. More bang for your buck.”

Daphne Has Balls )

26th May, 2011


If Only All Tourists Were So Much Fun

The night is young, the music carries and mingles with the cacophony of voices, all loud and trying to be heard. Some are louder, brasher and far more powerful. Tourists - flashy, naïve, and more than a little swept away in the mystique of New Orleans.

The city is practically a live body (flesh, bone and sinew that can’t be seen, but embodies the gut, heart and soul of the place) beneath their inexperienced feet. It’s infectious, seeping through the pores of exposed skin, filling capillaries and making hearts beat that much faster.

The easiest marks... )

25th May, 2011


Can't Find Me Love

"Her life was a slow realization that the world was not for her, and that for whatever reason, she would never be happy and honest at the same time. She addressed the world honestly, searching for something deserving of the volumes of love she knew she had within her, but to each she would have to say, I don't love you."
-Jonathan Safran Foer

Life was just better, easier, that way. )


Colby Farm’s Midnight Swamp Tour

The moon was just barely beginning to peek out from behind the clouds as Matt made a final headcount; the one thing he was manic about was making sure no one was left on the farm before setting out for a midnight ride into the swamp. There were only eleven people on board including Matt himself and old Jim, who was acting as captain and readying to steer them along, but that was fine for this time of year. As the weather grew even hotter, more could come. Everyone tourist liked to venture out of the city and into the wilds for an evening during their vacation, and though there were plenty of tours out there, a few still found their way into the wilds of Honfleur and onto Matt’s pontoons.

“Alright everybody,” Matt began into the battered receiver of a small public-address system wired into speakers that hung from the bright yellow canopy that covered the boat. “Welcome to Colby Farm’s Midnight Swamp Tour.”

Read more... )

24th May, 2011



Marguerite pulled off the road and up the long gravel driveway that led to the Broken Oaks mansion and mentally berated her father once again at the assignment he’d given her once he’d found out that Nanette Passebon was in residence in Honfleur. He knew well she didn’t care for the alchemist, but amused him to send her to make manners with the woman.

The vampiress sighed and put the automobile into park after pulling up in front of the decrepit looking home. Whatever her wishes, a command from the Lord of House Dufoix was something that could not be disobeyed if she wanted to keep her head attached to her shoulders. Not that it was likely her father would be that angry with her, but it was also a small thing to risk the anger over as well. The thought lingered in her mind as she made her way up the battered brick walkway and pressed the doorbell to summon the butler, smoothing out any wrinkles in her dress as she waited.

Nanette had never considered herself an actress; that sort was never much for company or conversation, in her estimation. But spending days on end playing the part of the charming and sweet country doctor was putting her alongside Sarah Bernhardt. Her morning had been filled with snot-nosed little brats called off from school with little more than a late spring cold, and the afternoon had brought decrepit old men and woman whose rheumatism was acting up and whose internal plumbing wasn’t doing much of anything at all. Finally the evening had come, and she had closed up shop, smiling a saccharine smile and nodding to those patients she passed on her drive home.

Finally, she was alone, and the play-acting could end.

For all the peeling paint and overgrown acres surrounding the exterior of the old plantation home, the interior was just that much more extravagant. Nanette had spared little cost in making Broken Oaks suitable to her tastes before moving in. She sat quietly with one of several newspapers brought to her daily from New Orleans and took her evening coffee - a bit of a commonality but a comfortable vice nonetheless - on an antique settee in the formal parlor. The old butler who stood at attention beside the door flinched slightly when the doorbell rang and looked to his mistress for instruction; she raised her eyes from her paper only long enough to wave him towards the front hall and the door beyond.

An Unexpected Visit )

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