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May. 16th, 2011




Dec. 1st, 2009


Victorian Nocturne Ends

As of December 1st, this writing community is closed. Thank you for taking this wonderful adventure with us!


Nov. 20th, 2009


A Courtesan's Life

The daylight was fading into the early evening hours. The dun blanket of night tucked in the city of London with as much care as any mother might her child. If one looked close enough, in the hustle and bustle of the early evening hours, one might notice a womanly shadow jumping down from the steps of a hackney coach. The woman paid the driver, then he sped away, off to the next well-pocketed passenger. The woman paused for a moment, dusting off her dress with one hand, and squinting at the scrap of paper in the other.

Yes, this would have to be his lodgings, she surmised, looking doubtfully at the building. She hoped in the early evening hours to catch the erstwhile English professor before he left his abode. This was going to be, she knew, more discomfiting than it might had he not been who he was. Why she had even to tell him of this new position--this new hope--she could never say. But surely he would not mind? After all, neither party had made any promises the one to the other. Sure, various fanciful notions had been tossed back and forth, but was that not that common in such things?

She bowed her head a moment, then took brisk, confident steps to the tenement. It would be nothing to him, and indeed it was less than nothing to her. What she had done with him--well, it was little more than passing fancy, and so must pass. Besides, new fortune awaited.

The interior of John Abbott's home made for a sanctuary of sorts. Each wall held up paintings or shelves. Books and journals lined the flat surfaces of those. His furnishings crowded the space, more a nest for the vampire's fleeting interests than a proper apartment. Necessities, such as a shaving stand, were crowded between superfluous items, like a globe and a wooden lectern. When the sun slipped behind his building, it became quite dark, but he kept his curtains open so he could view the street below and any passersby. If a coach stopped outside, John often went to see who was coming or going, provided he wasn't absorbed in a task.

Never a Positive Omen )

Strange Logic )

Nov. 9th, 2009


The Murders Of Lucy Cramwell

First true blood: )


Thanks For Small Mercies

Three of our number...

Three who could have been taken from us, permanently.

While this would hardly diminish our organisation to the point of nothingness, matters of efficiency are not what vex me. We are not yet numerous to be considered an army, nor is this our reason for being. As secretive an organ as someone amongst us would prefer we continue, this changes little: I do know these people and, in the case of two, at least, have come to do so by face and name.

Were so many to have disappeared from our ranks in a single day... This fills me with considerable murmurs of internal disquiet.

That there was no clue of where to initiate our investigations, made it somehow worse than I fear definitive news of them coming to grief would have done.

There are children who succumb to what we seek to vanquish. I've not been party to those times when figures of authority must deliver word of their demise to those relatives who still live. I have, however, been needed to question them before such a fate has been discovered. One can witness it in their gaze - the unknowing of it all... The sleepless nights. The toil it must take on their emotions.

The last few days have given me a little more insight to this condition of the human soul.

It's not something one has any great wish to experience twice.

Nov. 5th, 2009


Meeting in the Stables

It had just started to drizzle as Joachim stepped into the shelter that the stable provided, and he shook raindrops from his hat before putting it back on. He was early, but he'd wanted a few minutes to gather himself before Ms. Fry arrived. He'd gone back and forth about scheduling this meeting, but the last few nights had been sleepless due to the return of the nightmares. This time, the beasts weren't attacking him in the field; they'd somehow followed him to the streets of London and were intent on destroying him there. To finish what their kind had started.

The Major checked his breath. If Elspeth smelled alcohol on him, she would doubtless imagine him to be unstable. He'd been maintaining as best he could, but the previous attack had left him unsettled, to say the least. Surely such things could not be a common occurrence? He must learn more if he was to do...anything, really.

Joachim leaned the back of his head against the solid stable wall, closed his eyes for a few moments. He thought of the no-nonsense young woman that Ms. Fry appeared to be, wondered how many of his questions she could answer. He needed much more information on this subject.

Outside the barn, Elspeth attempted to reign in her nerves and don a veil of control. A pair of lace gloves dangled from the bite of her front teeth. Her hands smoothed wisps of brown hair into a bun and fastened them with pins. Often the picture of cool -- when she wasn't upbraiding a colleague, that was -- the twenty-six-year-old found herself wound rather tightly.

Plans for a Partnership of Sorts )

Oct. 29th, 2009


Icons in the Daily

This scene takes place on the second day of the house occupation )

Oct. 26th, 2009


A Demon Finds a Host

Even demons from otherworldly realms had upper limits to their patience. While the inhabitants of the house engaged in plenty of speculation on the 'spirit' and its reasons for keeping them trapped, they were rarely correct, especially as time, exhaustion, hunger, and fear wore on them. Indeed, it did seek to provoke reactions from them, but not for amusement's sake. All it wanted were a few simple words to be spoken in the upstairs corridor... And a host body for its incorporeal form, of course. Quite reasonable expectations, these! Or so it thought.

One day became two. Two became three. Hallucinations, disembodied voices, bangs and screetches, spinning religious artifacts, even scratchings on the walls did nothing to evoke the proper response. Perhaps it overlooked the obvious answer. Rather than expecting frightened people to hold one-sided conversations with a spirit, it could cause ordinary interruptions in the environment... Make a person think a fellow occupant was near. After all, it was not necessary for the words to be spoken to the demon itself, merely aloud and within sight of the mirror.

In the end, the solution was simple. It waited for a person to step onto the threadbare rug that stretched from staircase to bedrooms, then it slammed a door behind them, just as a person might do...

Unlucky Soul )

[Thread: Open to Participating House Plot Characters. Refer to OOC for Instructions:]


Secrets at the End of the World

Might as well tell them now. )

Oct. 24th, 2009


Unspoken Words

An aborted letter to John Abbott, dated October 1891 )

Oct. 23rd, 2009


Matters of Faith

Fox had managed to find an old-fashioned walking stick in the sitting room of the Taylor house, and she looked at it critically after wiping the dust off of it with one of the sheets covering the furniture. It wasn't what she was used to, but it would suit. If she was to be shut behind these walls for however long, she preferred to have something to defend herself with.

"I should imagine this is a bit of an inconveinence for ye, Father," she said to Verdoux as she got ready for this scavenging trip of theirs. "Tis certainly not how I expected to spend my own day." She felt a little guilty at once again trying to deceive a man of the cloth, but there was no help for it just now. There never seemed to be any help for it ever, really. "Guess a man never knows what's goin' to happen when he rises for work in the morning."

Read more... )

Oct. 21st, 2009



March 1891 - The English Countryside )


Fearful Like a Child

Marguerite found that she was getting quite bored of being the prim Englishwoman she had created in Elizabeth Stoker. The woman she had become as a result of sudden fear of a priest was the very antithesis to everything she upheld as a modern woman. She was dull and easily afraid, and only cared about her sewing. How such women even managed to survive she would never know. She found herself wandering away from the others, wanting to be alone. Though it had been recommended that they stay in pairs, she grew weary of the idea after a while and parted with Miss Cramwell. Besides, she could take care of herself. She had done so for nearly one hundred years, with only a few scrapes to show for it.

She found herself wandering into a nursery, evidenced by the little wooden rocking horse in the corner, the small, covered bed, and the children's books which lined the shelves of a single bookcase. Leaving the door ajar, she knelt before a little chest and opened it, perusing the contents within. They were the jewels of childhood: a dirtied rag doll, several seashells, a book of a child's awkward sketches, a photograph of a family, a lock of hair. All were kept as though enshrined. She opened a Bible and found within it various pressed flowers, and another photograph, this one of a small girl, eyes closed as though in peaceful sleep, propped up in her own coffin. She looked at the picture for a moment, then dropped the book with a small thud, as though she had been burned.

John stood at the threshold of the nursery. The redhead made quite a picture kneeling there, sorting through the keepsakes of a little girl's childhood. At first, he thought her simply charming, but as the seconds ticked by, she took on the look of a grieving mother, and the idea of it settled poorly with him. Perhaps he was thinking of Virginia Abbott. Though it did not look like the sort of moment one should interrupt, her particular breed of madness made him afraid to leave her alone with the episode, if she was about to have one.

You're Not..? )


Next Time, Explicit Instructions

The Study
Early Evening

This is why when Simon Alexander sidles over to John Abbott, it is unwise to listen to his proposal )

A Secluded Upstairs Room
The Present.

If you insist on listening however, this kind of thing really is inevitable. )

Oct. 19th, 2009


Man Was Not Meant to Know

Verdoux decided to remain in the study. As the others left, he found himself lost in thought. Even for a discerning man such as himself the situation was utterly bizarre. Was there, he wondered, a veiled connection between all of the parties involved, or was it sheer coincidence? Why did the house choose them, if indeed the house was sentient at all.

He paced to and fro, examining his environs to the most minute of details. The positioning of the chair at the secretoire, the number and titles of the books on the shelves, the choice of decor, including the paintings and prints which lined the walls. The way in which the rug puckered at one edge, not quite smoothed. The various accounts and ledgers kept in the secretoire, the letters, the notes, the bills. But none of this, he thought, was helpful. Something was indeed far more sinister, though he doubted it had anything to do with the choice of furnishings.

And will not know. )


An Unpleasant Trick

Elspeth stood in the little study, gone quiet since the others left to wander the residence. A capable woman would be a fish out of water in this group, so after carefully considering her options, she thought it best if she remained with the growing collection of supplies. Left to her own devices, she began sorting items of use into piles... Even if it made her feel like a perfect idiot. A blanket hung between her pinched fingertips. She held it to the light and inspected it for holes or bugs. Judging it appropriate for their use, she laid it against her chest and folded it into neat squares. Its faint smells of wool and moths offended her nose.

While she worked, she kept an eye on the room. Shadows seemed to bulge from corners that looked normal upon closer inspection. One moment the air chilled her and rattled her teeth; in the next, it warmed until perspiration beaded on her nose. Was she coming down sick? Elspeth dismissed that as nonsense. She hardly ever caught cold.

A figure moved beyond the door. Laying a blanket across her arm, Elspeth rounded the desk and peered into the corridor. "Oh! Mr. Musgrave, it's you. May I speak with you?"

Alistair had made to follow those who had swiftly deserted the study, but paused as he thought a moment upon his situation. It had become clear that what he had seen to draw him there - or, rather, what he had thought he had seen - had been nothing more than some sort of illusion. How then could he trust anything else he was confronted with in the strange house? Stranded with an assortment of strangers, Alistair found himself drawn to familiarity above all. Mrs. Fry, as the others had called her, and the boy Fox were the only familiar faces in the crowd, and when Fox journeyed out into the corridors, Alistair stepped back towards the strange woman he had encountered in an East End charity ward.

Oh Dear...That's Not Good )

Communication Woes )

Oct. 18th, 2009


Lucy's Private Diary

Thoughts on the thouse: )

Oct. 12th, 2009


A Thief in the Night

Occurs several weeks previous to the Demonic Haunting

The Confrontation )

The Resolution )

Oct. 10th, 2009


The Affair with the Duc d'Enfrit

Winter, 1890
Love's Labors Lost )


A Demonic Haunting in London

In a neighborhood to the northwest of Whitechapel, there sat a two-story home, quite ordinary among its company, a row of homes owned by families of moderate wealth. It was brick and boasted dozens of windows that looked out on the street. Four chimneys jutted towards the sky. A row of low trees lined the property, as well as a wall at waist height. It was a stately place, but a few details kept it from being the envy of its neighbors. Only a rickety gate gave access to its yard, and inside, the house was well-appointed with sturdy furnishings and a piano, but little artwork covered its walls.

The Taylors once owned the property, but they had gone out of country on family-related matters and become gravely ill while away. After their deaths, the house stood empty of inhabitants. Dust cloths draped the furniture and the curtains were drawn tight. A demon, attempting to pass into this world from another, became trapped in the home. Forced to take up residence there, it dwelt in the physical structures of the house, unable to leave without a human host. Unfortunately, the original owners of the house could not return, and the conditions of the demon's release were so specific that brief visits to the house would not do.

Faced with an indefinite wait, the demon, a being eager to escape and wreak its brand of havoc upon London, decided to lure people to the property and keep them there. On one particular Saturday, passersby began to experience hallucinations. Some heard children crying. Others, screams for help, the scent of a delicious meal, or a familiar face calling their name from the front door.

Once inside, the door slammed shut and they were caught in the confines of a house that had become impervious to harm. The windows wouldn't shatter. People on the street heard no cries for help. Nothing burned in the fireplaces. The doors wouldn't open or be torn down.

Upstairs in the hallway, an oval mirror hung on a wall. Since the demon inhabited the entirety of the house, the mirror was no particular point of suspicion, and no one had reason to guess at the danger it represented. The mirror was the demon's portal out of the physical realm of the house and into a host, if a victim could be goaded into saying a particular string of words within sight of the mirror: 'Is anybody there? Make yourself known.' It was a simple phrase, but surprisingly difficult to match in its entirety.

Of course, the demon would do its best to inspire it from the guests...

[Thread: Open to All Characters. Click here for details before joining.]

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