Midnight in the Garden...

McCree Cemetery

For the most part, the cemetery seems to be a quiet and serene spot for both the souls that rest below and those that come to pay respect to their loved ones. A packed dirt pathway continues through the grounds boxing off expanses of green lawns that have gravestones of different shapes and ages.

Off in the southeast corner is an area of the grounds that seems to have gone forgotten. Overgrown with weeds, vines and various other plants, a cluster of old and broken gravemarkers clutter the area. Even on the sunniest of days, this section has an extreme sense of foreboding to it.

It was a dark and stormy night— well, dark, yes. The storm clouds are moving in but the rain hasn't yet made an appearance. The lightning still glows in the distance, making the occasional flash. The city lights dampen the effect somewhat, but doesn't cancel it out completely.

Marius is out and about, walking slowly about the gravestones, some of which date back to the early 1800s. Slowly, he moves from stone to stone, looking at the names before his gaze falls to the packed earth beneath his feet— and he moves on to the next, reading and looking..

One in particular, a gravestone that has dual cherubs on either side on the top, with their wings outstretched and the horns to their lips, causes the vampire some pause, and he studies it closely, his hands touching the cold granite, following the carving of the antique stone.


In any old cemetary, there are places where you can tread lightly, and places where it's better not to tread at all. But, for some, reason overcomes superstition, and so there is at least one person who's braving the southeast corner of the cemetary, settled onto a small square of fabric, sitting indian-style, a pad of blank paper in her lap, vine charcoal in hand. An oversized bag is settled close to her hand, the charcoal tracing absent swirls and arabesques across the paper. It's a motion that might be familiar to anyone who has some knowledge of the psychic arts, or Mignonette could just be doodling. In a cemetary, in the dark, surrounded by decaying tombstones.


Marius is aware of the breather's presence, the gentle sweeps of her hand, the soft *scritch*scritch* when coal meets paper; he's beginning to get a little more acclimated to city life once more.. and beyond the registering, there isn't much that calls to him from that corner.

Turning from the stone, the vampire studies the 'lay of the land', where everything is, commiting it to memory before he begins to move once more, his steps taking him in the direction of the artist. There are other exits, certainly, but he isn't one to turn his back fully on potentials—


Mignonette doesn't change paper, instead, she begins to work over the swirls she's marred the pristine white with, hands moving light and quick, as she uses charcoal to draw and fingers to smudge, a small vignette, a building, much too old in style to be anything current, a young woman sitting on the railing looking out. It's barely more than a gesture drawing, as if the idea of it were hard to see, like trying to draw an image you might see in a foggy mirror. Once it's finished, the brunette looks down at the paper, pursing her lips, "Not helpful. Nice house." The paper is turned, and a blank page is set back into her lap, and she goes back to swirling the charcoal along the surface of the paper, eyes focused but not, somewhere in the middle distance at least marginally looking towards the main cluster of tombstones close to where she's sitting.


Marius only catches the briefest of glimpses of the page as its flipped over, but what he does see causes him to change his direction and move quickly and effortlessly through the markers to where Mignonette now sits with her blank sheet.

It isn't a greeting that is given, nor any apologies for disturbing her peace, no. It's something of a request of sorts, his his tones softly clipped in germanic accent, "I would like to see that?"

His expression is such that there is a glimmer of .. something in the cold blue orbs, his face isn't quite the demeanor of ancient death. There are times when he can actually be pleasant, but usually it is only when there is reason behind it.

"If you would."


Mignonette looks up, briefly, long enough to take in the man's demeanour, his, well, appearance, before she flips the pad back over, carefully tearing out the sketch she finished not but a few minutes ago, and offering it to him. It's hardly a private location, and she's certainly not going to complain because someone walked up on her. If she'd wanted to be alone, well, she'd have stayed at home, not come here to sit with the remnants of the dead. The sketch itself, despite having been drawn over the swirls looks almost separate from the doodlings underneath, infused with a vibrancy that's quite distinctive. "«Of course,»" the woman offers, though she doesn't rise from where she's sitting. And despite the thickness of her cajun accent, the German with which she answers is pristine and impeccable. She either has roots, or she studied very, very hard to perfect a Berliner accent.


«You speak German.» Not a question, but more.. an observation. The blonde man's accent is off the 'norm' of High German, that which is taught in secondary schools and universities the world 'round. Still understandable as german, but it will undoubtedly require a closer ear.

Reaching for the sheet as it is handed to him, the damp in the air gives it an almost clammy feeling now that it is separated from the rest of the pad and on its own. Realizing that perhaps he may have acted a little.. impulsively, he looks at it once more and inquires, «Do you draw from your mind or your sight?»


Mignonette's face, even with so small a sentence, does the thinking scrunchy thing, as she parses the man's words, the accent she's only heard a few times, years ago, when her German professor actually read some of the german texts they translated in modern german in the older german dialects they was originally written in. And picking out the second sentence is even harder, but she gets enough of the words to try to make sense of it. «I paint what I see and I paint what my mind sees. Sometimes they are not the same. Sometimes images come out of me. At other times they come to me.»


Marius seems content with the response as he looks to the charcoal once more. The acquaintance of a woman that looks like one long centuries gone was one thing, and it was something to which he couldn't keep his own counsel. Valentinus was told.

The warrior isn't as superstitious as most of his time were, but coincidences are never something that he ignores either. A building.. and a woman that looks out? Perhaps he is seeing too much where there is nothing.

«Which is this?»


Mignonette is hardly superstitious either. If she were, she certainly wouldn't be out here. Unless she were embracing her inner Goth. But alas, there is not enough angst in the woman's body to entice her to wear black lipstick and jackboots. But when the vampire asks, she answers, honestly. One thing she's been able to learn, the mostly dead can almost always tell when you're lying. So…she doesn't. «This one came to me. It happens that way. Not all of the time, and I can't normally 'make it happen'. But when it does, I see something and it wants to be drawn, painted, recorded. Being here has been an odd experience.»


«It wishes to be recorded,» Marius repeats.

The old vampire looks at the picture again and balls the paper suddenly in one hand in a moment of irritation. Foolishness. Shadows of life and shadows of death.

There is nothing more. The girl yesterday is not who she appears, and the picture of a woman on a rampart is nothing.

To live through the centuries means adaptation, and the vampire has; for the most part. Choosing his life of wars, of death, his back is turned on cities and its immortal life that teems within, even as its people die, it lives on.

«Does it speak to you?» There's always a grasp.


Mignonette doesn't look terribly put out, as the drawing is destroyed, likely smudged beyond recognition. Like most of her visions, they're disconnected from her, things that come in without meaning or purpose. Usually. «Not in the way you might think. Sometimes what I see is the past, as she was.» A hand indicates the stones over in the far left of where she's sitting, «She's somewhere there, I think. Sometimes it's now. Sometimes it is something that will come, but hasn't come yet.» A light lift of her shoulders, «Sometimes they feel urgent, sometimes not so much. But recording them is the way to get them out of my head, before they become insistent.»


Marius twists around to follow the gesture towards one of the stones, the paper compacted a little more in his fist. «You can see into the future? A seer..»

Useful, though for what ends beyond 'Will I emerge from this battle alive' is not something he can quite fathom. Machinations are beyond his ken.

He doesn't turn around to face the breather again, but rather, continues to stare at the distant stone. «These visions seek you, then.»

Finally, Marius returns his attention fully upon the breather on the ground. His expression deadens and there's a hint of a lifting of the sides of his mouth. «How many know this of you?»


«When the visions come to me, yes. But I am still young, even by human standards and certainly by yours. I do not have the control that I will have when I am older. But I am trying to improve my skill. To be able to better direct it.» Mignonette continue to doodle, a gesture drawing, of the man now standing looking away from her. It helps to keep the rhythm flowing, perhaps. Or perhaps she's simply testing fate, trying to look where she shouldn't. «Some. It is not something I parade around in my normal life.»


Do seers keep their scrying ability after turning? Marius doesn't know the answer to that, and it's a question that will undoubtedly come up when next they meet, if only for a few moments.

Squatting down easily to bring him closer to her level, his hands rest easily on his legs. Empty blue eyes watch the woman, and it's a simple statement that comes from his observation, as simple as 'The stars light the evening sky' or 'Summer is warm'. «You have never fed my kind.»


Mignonette is still sitting easily on her cushion, the pad of paper still in her lap, though as the German bends down to her level, she lets the charcoal stop its movements, her eyes focused on his face, but not on his eyes, somewhere in the area of his mouth. «I am not a fangbanger. Nor am I a camp follower. I have acquaintances of your kind, and clients. But no, I have never allowed a vampire to feed from me. I have only ever even touched a vampire once.»


«'Allowed'» Marius laughs softly, but the sound isn't all that pleasant, or amused. «A common belief we give to such as you so that you continue to think there is choice.»

Reaching out with a finger to touch the side of her neck with a cool finger, his gaze is intent upon her face.

«You are not a camp follower. Nor are you one who sits in delighted terror waiting to see what it is I do, or say..»

Leaning forward, his lips move to within inches of her ear if she doesn't move away. «I can hear your heart pounding, your blood flowing through your veins.. All of my senses can feel it. Yet, you are in no danger from me this evening, seer.»


«I simply commented on whether or not I had given permission, as your comment implied a willing act, which some of your kind do ask for. 'Fed my kind'. Which is different from 'my kind has fed from you.', which would allow for an unwilling feeding. But your dialect is older than what I know, perhaps I am mis-translating your words.» Mignonette's voice continues as calm and even as it has been. What point in showing fear? Better to accept that you are in the presence of a superior force. «I have no illusions that if a vampire wished to feed from me, they would do so, whether I wished them to or not. That is the nature of your kind, to feed on mine. I do not know many predators who ask permission from their prey to feed on them. Fearing it, fearing you will not change what happens to me." As the man leans in, Mignonette returns kind for kind. Her right hand, having released the charcoal, rises, to attempt to touch the hand that is touching her neck, likely leaving a nice fingerprint smudge on pale skin, if he doesn't move his hand away. «Thank you.» Just as she thanked Clarence for respecting her, so too, she extends the thanks to the unnamed German.


This evening.

There is reason for it, and if there hadn't been a foolish drainer that wished to die by his hand, things might have been a little different, to say the least. But, so Marius has spoken, so it will be. This evening.

«Truth you speak.»

A warm hand touches cool flesh.. that touches warmth. He pulls his hand away after her reciprocal touch and brings it back to where it was, that is, resting on his leg.

«But prey fears the hunter and does all it can to avoid. You are looking into darkness and yet you do no cry out. Is it because of your sight?»


Mignonette too reclaims her hand, settling it back onto her pad of paper, though there's a light of humour in her eyes as she sees the fingerprint on the back of the man's hand. «Most prey does not have the ability to think or reason.» At his comment, or rather, his assertion that their next meeting will not be so pleasant, she answers, «Then I will take care to be prepared the next time we meet.» But as she poses the question, Mignonette gives it serious thought, before she shakes her head, «Not my sight. Perhaps, more to say, my work. I work with some of your kind. That required a certain amount of decorum. My clients expect to be treated with respect. What they do not wish, is to find that their lawyer runs and hides in the closet whenever they walk into her office. My work often puts me in a position where, vampire client or no, I walk into a situation knowing that I might not walk out again. What good is acting on fear, or living my life afraid. My death is coming. One day soon, or many years from now. I do not know when. I cannot see the point in allowing the reality of it to control my life. All I can do, is try to keep it at bay for as long as I can.»


«A lawyer.» A seer.. and a lawyer?

Even though she specifically states that she doesn't know the date of her death, and doesn't know outcomes of situations, Marius has to ask anyway. «Does your sight not work then, when it is the most useful to your ends?»

The idea that a barrister can be retained for vampires, however, causes him to shake his head.

«It is for land and business that they hire you, yes? There is no crime that we can commit that will bring us forth to an adjudicator.»

He cants his head slightly to the side as he considers, «Precautions are useless.» Yet another statement of fact. «Unless you can divine when it is we will next meet I would believe that it is a vain attempt.»


Mignonette's expression remains thoughtful, hands setting aside the pad, folding her hands in her lap, «To tell you honestly, I have never tried to see if I could see when I am to die. But I think…I would not wish to know. I think…part of me thinks it would give me time to put my affairs in order, or perhaps to try to find a way to change what I have seen. But another part of me thinks that it would be a terrible burden, to know exactly how many of your days remain. Perhaps it is different for your kind as you could potentially have an unlimited number of days, but, for me, I wish to wake up each morning and look forward to my day. Not to regret waking, because I know it is one less that I have until the end.» Finally, Mignonette does look up, meeting the man's blue-eyed gaze, «Yes, land, property and financial concerns. The laws are still uncertain, in criminal matters, though I would imagine, if your society is anything like ours, you must have some sort of legal system in place to handle crimes amongst yourselves. Your kind might not abide by human laws, but you do not strike me as a lawless people.» And then, a nod, at his last, «Yes, most likely precaution is useless, but I was raised to try to be prepared for any situation which might arise. Whether, in the end, it proved useless or useful.»


Marius rarely discusses the philosophy of life and death to a vampire to his potential vessel, and as the conversation gets deeper, he puts an end to it on his side by simply ignoring it.

It is to the other that he speaks, «There is no need for your law among us.» Now, whether that means they have it covered or there really is no need as vampires are simply law-abiding, that's up to his companion. He's not going any further with that either.

«I must depart, but look for me, seer.. and you shall find me.» His voice lowers to a whisper, his lips barely moving, «And your preparations will simply provide you with false hope.»

Straightening to his full height, the vampire turns to leave, the stones easily maneuvered around.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License