Roll20 By Night
Reborn from his chosen death to perform on the stage of the underworld.
Apparent age: 22
Clan – Ventrue
Since his budding teenage years, Duncan has always had a dream of pursuing a hobby that would give him all that he wanted and more out of life. He didn’t want to live monotonously shifting through one minimum wage gig after another, he wanted to be someone. He wanted to be respected, and to succeed in gaining power via work he was inspired by.
It didn’t take long for him to eventually become enraptured to the point of near obsession with the finer arts. Acting, writing, music, he tried and performed everything made to sway others through artistic genius.
Unfortunately through his own misguidance and blunder, none of his creations could ever scratch the surface of what he dreamed of. Stories were mediocre at best. Recitals of scripts were flat and scathing. There would be an easier time plucking the feathers off of an angry chicken than making a soft note with a guitar in his hands.
These shortcomings eventually developed into a pure negative mindset. The more he narrowed his vision toward his desired future, the worse his performances became. By the time he was out of high school, he’d been given a handful of pill bottles to ease depression.
None of them made his world any other color but grey.
But after years of dragging his own name through the dirt, he’d met her. She was there at the coffee shop past closing, looking at him from across the table long after his bumbling open-mic poetry fell flat. Her skin was white as snow, hair blacker than an overcast night with lips redder than blood. There was something about her that resonated with him… Some pull, some desire to make him want more.
He’d become a more frequent patron of this one lone cafe. Every weekly visit became every daily visit. She was always there at the same time, just one hour after sundown in another one of her elegant black dresses. She had such an impeccably refined taste in clothing, he always had a different image to take home every night.
They would both sit over steaming mugs. He would lament about his most recent chapter he published online being met with negative acclaim. She would offer soothing words, and tell him that just ten hits was enough. She always gave him just that one extra incentive to keep going.
Her whispered ideas became his new muse with every new tale he’d spend hours working a keyboard until his eyes were bloodshot from staring at the same growing document on the screen. It still wasn’t enough, it was never enough.
The sun would raise and it would set with the never-ending sounds of typing greeting it as it came and playing it out as it left. The artist would grab the sides of his head and wail throughout the day as his own inner torment overcame him.
He would reach for the phone and call her again, just to hear her voice. Somewhere else she would smile, and gift him with sweet nothings to urge his journey forward. He wouldn’t dream of disappointing her.
There was only so far his willpower could go however. Eventually, the burden of it all, the burden of living with so many things shadowing him, it all became too much. He’d made the decision to finish it all before he risked failing one more time.
Duncan sat on the edge of the bridge, staring at the stagnant river below. Street lamps on each gave a luminescence to its slow ripples in the moonlight. Duncan dialed her one more time. She never answered.
He spoke his farewell into a recording machine and took the plunge. Hitting the water stung, but having the air drowned out of his lungs was far more brutal than he would have expected. As his world became black, his only regret was he didn’t invest his last five dollars in a length of rope instead.
It did not stay black for long. With several hacking coughs signalling his return, his world lit up yet again. His first greeting was a moonlit sky and the numerous stars above him. His second was painfully expelling the salt from his body. Then came the third. Laughter.
Confused and dazed, Duncan swung around to meet the source of the sound head on. He saw her standing there again, his dark muse. She was cackling madly, her eyes but a figment of their old formality as they appraised him with joy.
Her lips were tainted red, dripping across her finely made blouse. She was holding one hand to the side of her face, with wrist freshly cut open and trickling her own vitality. Her blood wasn’t as blue as he would have expected.
Through his own pure hysteria, he barked his questions one after the other through his drying tears. She laid it all out for him in a swathe of hyperbolic prose.
She’d planned on this moment from the day she took interest in him. Pouring false satisfaction at his depressing and ‘edgy’ little novellas. Motivating him own the path to his own failure by paving a road with his own bad habits. Watching him slowly twist from his own potential to be her little pawn. She wanted to make a story as well. She wanted a tale of tragedy.
They were in the crescendo of that tragedy. The decision to end one’s own life… And for that decision to be taken from them, by birthing them anew as a child of the night. Duncan’s sire was a sadist in the purest sense of the word, and she couldn’t stop laughing.
Neither could he.
She had been so caught up in her apparent victory that somewhere along her own exposition, she’d lost sight of his own reaction. Beneath her, that man she knew as a pathetic worthless use of DNA was laughing. Not at her, not at himself. He was laughing with her.
What was once an overjoyed grin tumbled down unceremoniously into a bewildered frown. This was the last possible expectation she had for how this could have gone.
But Duncan had an explanation of his own for her. To trifle in self-loathing and insecurities for so long, to think of such greener pastures, to pray for some intervention to overtake his own perception and fill it with joy…
To think that now, in his most desperate time of need, that the divine intervention he sought had come not as a savior, but as such a blunt instrument of cruelty that had infiltrated his life… Never had the words “Are you kidding me?” rung so true.
That was just too damn ironic to not be hilarious.