Nemesis – The Goth-girl in Gothenburg

Published June 9, 2016 by skunkpirat

Such a profound title… The Goth-girl in Gothenburg.

Salutations, long time no see.

Time has not been too kind with moving, personal matters, other projects and hunt for a job taking up much of my days. However giving up on my hobby is not an option! In honour of my loved ones who have stuck with me throughout all of this I decided it was time to revive the blog. In line with new beginnings this will be something a bit different, a picture post of my lovely lady Nemesis who is currently resting her head here with me in Gothenburg. This is a perfect opportunity to talk casually about her character and her story as it’s continually developing in my head.

Background

I’ll do a real quick background on my girl. This is Nemesis.

Nemesis holding a guitar pick and my Sophistigance croix necklace

Very artsy edit of Nemesis, she loves to steal my things, especially my Sophistigance necklaces. This time she has also got hold of a guitar pick I got from AREKU of Avalinity.

She is named after author John Galsworthy’s wife who was in fact named Nemesis (her mother was not allowed to make it her first name, thanks to the clergy). In my story world she is kind of immortal, can’t say more than that spoilers. She is indeed a vengeance reaper and her preferred tool is a scythe. In her Goddess form she has a strange fascination for weaponry and is most impatient and rude. Not too surprising because vengeance will ruin your character. It’s a deliberate degeneration of her character, to use a typical old fashioned word. Her story begins in Victorian times and ties in with my Ripper-doll story. However where her story ends is as yet uncertain. Oh, I do enjoy long story arcs, these blog stories are in fact my first attempt at such a thing.

Short facts:
Doll maker: Ringdoll

Doll: Ringteen Julia Dark Side Halloween special of Julia

Skintype: White

height: 58 cm

I would have said go check the bio-page for details but that page is in writing moment so out of date it’s an embarrassment.

To Gothenburg

This is not the first time Nemesis is in Gothenburg. She has graced this town with her presence two times before, summer 2014 and fall 2015 for the Swedish Ball Joint Doll convention Jointed Hearts. Here are some old time photos to start with.

Nemesis ad bridge

Nemesis likes bridges. Not that she hasn’t burnt plenty of them so to speak. Her favourite colour is green so of course Älvsborgsbron (the one in the background) became an instant fascination. The bridge thing was not planned by me as such. In the beginning I only put she liked green and then though of things that are green that she might like. As Nemesis is kind of a tomboy in a dress this seemed like a perfect combination of those two traits.

Nemesis leaning against a stone.

Nemesis on a stone with grafitti

The spots you find for posing your doll. I’m not sure Nemesis is what you’d call a classical gender nor feminist fighter. Here is also a perfect example of writer writing a story not to be confused with author’s own opinion. Which might be sympathetic or not. Nemesis’ story fits perfect with feminism, and nothing is more interesting to a writer than creating something towards the extreme. Not least inspired by Simone de Beauvoir’s thoughts about fiction as the perfect place to try things out and provoke the reader to think. I have found inspiration in radical feminism. Because Nemesis does not like men and she sure as hell don’t think women are created solely to be adored by men. That does not mean she ain’t romantic, nor that she has not got a special man in her heart. As in life, it is far more complex than what first meets the eye. Blurry lines…

Jointed Hearts

 

Nemesis at Jointed Hearts BJD convention

Nemesis on display at Jointed Hearts

Nemesis is hanging out with Phoenix (who belongs to my friend Vicky aka NoseKisser) @ Jointed Hearts

My little girl grew up and went to a convention. Jointed Hearts is a once a year Ball Joint Doll convention held in Gothenburg. First time was last year. It was a hoot! I brought both my Ringdoll girls with me and put them on display. The BJD hobby is still small in Sweden, but it feels like it’s growing and a convention is a great initiative. I hope to see many fellow BJD enthusiast there this September!

For event information: Official Facebook page of Jointed Hearts

Winter Goddess

 

Nemesis looking out the window

Winter came, and there were snow. Goddess is not amused.

Nemesis leanning against green metal bar.

There’s conveniently enough a small green bridge, of course there is, right here in Hammarkullen where we live.

Nemesis in a tree catching snowflakes

Nemesis likes climbing trees, they are good for stakeouts. No, we better not ask her more about this and move quickly on.

Nemesis against a colourful wall.

Nemesis making snow angels

An angel disguised as a demon. It’s difficult at times to balance the duality in her character. Sometimes she comes off as cold and heartless, especially when a goddess, but then there’s also the human side of her which feels so much it is killing her.

Nemesis sitting in front of a graffiti heart.

And there is always love. The great motivator in life. It might try and masque itself at times, but it’s always there. Nemesis’ story is no different.

Sunny longing

 

Nemesis holding a flower

Nemesis under a small cherry tree

With warmer weather and sunshine came the longing… Longing to go out. Flowers are an important part of her design and character. Her favourite is roses and I try and incorporate that into both pictures and stories. However I think it is a nice touch to use wild flowers to show she has got that wild nature child, much as myself, inside her.

Nemesis attitude

I can’t hear you! Are you screaming yet? This girl has got attitude. And I would not piss her off because she might just take out her scythe and off with your head.

Nemesis waiting

Waiting, a whole life waiting. For another moment… with you.

Underneath the attitude and bloodshed she is dark and broody. Longing after moments that has passed and a life that never happened.

Nemesis with sophistigance ChaiX necklace.

She’s back to stealing necklaces again. This is also a Sophistigance one. As I thought of things that has passed… I let my mind wander and this is the pictures that came out of that.

Nemesis with flowers in her hands

Nemesis lying down.

Nemesis looking up the stairs

 

I’ll lie here dreaming… with that smile you planted upon my lips.

Nemesis in the grass

 

After all that excitement even this little opinionated girl needs a cuddle and the cat Lancelot is always up for a cuddle. (He is too nice for his own good.)

Nemesis lying on the cat Lancelot

 

That’s all! I hope you have enjoyed yourself. Lots of love and thank you so much for reading. It means a lot.

Dollhands posed into a heart

 

Bonus

 

Bonus picture

…while inspired

 

Edit of AREKU instead of dolls because he is a blue-eyed gentleman to keep.

 

 

Jag älskar dig

 

 

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Valentine’s special 2015 – Be My Love

Published February 14, 2015 by skunkpirat
Lucifer with cross-dressing  Patrik from the band Bataar

Lucifer held by Patrik of artmetal band BatAAr @ Rockbitch boat 2014.

Model: Patricia (Patrik of BatAAr)

Doll in picute: Ringdoll’s Lucifer Arios

For my musical love, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If I ask the question

Will you answer me?

If I show you

Will you walk away from me?

If you talk

Will I cry?

 

If I fall asleep

Will you understand?

If I told you, “you’re beautiful”

Would you believe me then?

If I let you go

Will you ever smile again?

 

If I saw you blush

Will I forgive?

If you held me

Would I let you go?

If you’d stop breathing

Could I possibly go on?

 

The bright light of the phone display hit the pale face. Head down and the weight of the world on skinny shoulders. The eyes are kind but the thin lips are tightly closed into a blank and unfeeling face. If it wasn’t for the soft fire in the eyes, you’d think it had escaped from a picture of a criminal taken at the beginning of the 20th century. Yet there is something that shines, even though it carries all dark pits of hellish turmoil inside. There’s a dark purple stream of warmth. Firmly locked away from all others. I can understand that. I can see the deep cuts, but not why. The frailty so often unattractive has taken curiosity off for a spin. For the first time in ages a human attracts.

The deep dark attraction like a storm reaped underneath clear pink skies. Its power moves me and yet leaves upon my soul no impression only a feeling of longing. Another person comes and the tall dark figure lowers the phone and rises up. The brown and fading purple hair moves gracefully. And too soon they’re both gone from this view. Other people fill the void, moving on, endlessly. I cannot fill that void so easily. I want to follow but I dare not.

Even though you cannot see me, I can see your world clearly. All humanity’s fears feeding the realm of our existence. Thinking that we who walk in the different place feel nothing at all. Fools persist with their labelling of good and evil, right or wrong and what other binaries they find. You desperately need to prove the existence of the opposite. I am the other, and yet I feel the same. Love, hate, fear, anxiety, anguish, pain, happiness. Labels are handy for those that cannot remember how to feel.

I follow the stream of people. Where am I headed I do not know. Does not matter. I’m tired of this hellish existence, forever alone. How do they meet? Lovers I mean. How do they do it? I cannot even reach out to these creatures, not like this. That’s when my eyes caught a glimpse of something, sitting on the ground. It looks like me? It seem not to belong to anyone. I walk to it and try my best to touch its surface. I cannot. I thought it might not be of this world as it was left on its own. I wait for a while. No one is coming to claim it. Who could have left this here? A little child comes suddenly and runs right through me.

– Look Mum! A doll.

The words echo silent, a tall figure comes and pulls the child away rather brutish. A doll, that is right, I remember them now.

There it comes again, the tall figure with the brown and fading purple hair. It shines clear and strong against the grey. It sounds silly but its movement is very familiar. Like someone I once knew and forgot a long time ago… How can it be? It also passes through me like nothing; the face still blank with eyes that are full of fire. It burns, pain passes through my being.  It’s gone in a flash. I look at the doll on the ground, and at the figure disappearing from my view.

– It’s no good wishing for things like that.

Nemesis jumps down before my feet. She smiles at me as she rests her head on the scythe. That vengeance girl can be very cute, but I’ll be damned if I tell her that.

– Hello Nemesis. Out on business?

– There’s no end to it.

– Not enough love in this world.

She gives me a smile that says, what has happened to you? And she is right. What has happened to my dark tunes?

– You know…

– What?

– Nothing…

– Go on.

– Maybe it’s not good thinking about love and such. We’re not human after all.

– Jack.

– That’s how I know.

Nemesis sure isn’t like other girls, nor is she like other Gods and demons. She never feared me and I never made any fuss of her. I know her Jack, but I cannot let her enter there. Sometimes that ails me.

– I heard once the others talk about transfiguration, Nemesis bites her lip.

– What made you think of that?

– I don’t know. As a way of escaping I guess. But you need something to transfigure into to enter this world.

Her eyes are resting on the doll that’s still on the ground. We look at each other I know she has the same thought. Why was this so tempting? Would it work? Probably not, but I had grown weary of existence. What did it matter if I was a doll or not of this world. All the same to me. I gave it no second thought I just did it. And there was silence…

The warmth from the hands woke me up even though I cannot really move. Someone has lifted me up. That face! Eyes full of fire and the same expressionless face. So close, wish I could reach for it. The touch of another after all this time, even though my limbs are now resin, feels like lightning. The gentle fingers holding on to me, not like a toy, but as something fragile and precious. I cannot help it, I have already fallen. Fallen for you. I can feel your fear, and do nothing for it. All I can do is admire you through my dark glass eyes.

We are all at one time love’s fool.

Happy Valentines!

&

Check out BatAAr

Christmas story 2014

Published December 24, 2014 by skunkpirat

Picture of Christmas tree

The chosen moment

For all lovers separated during the holidays.

It was a great feeling to finally be free of humanity and back among the Gods. Nemesis stretched her body, she was back to the age of seventeen, and that felt good. She could no longer breathe the air or feel the taste of the human world but her powers were back. She let the scythe dance between her fingers. It moved with ease. This is her weapon of choice and her best companion.  In her mind a girl doesn’t need a man to acknowledge her existence, the only thing she needs is her own power. Her eyes glisten blood red and the urge to hunt was reawakened. All around her ordinary people walk by. Filled up with their own shame and fear. She does not care. The only thing she can see is their sexual deviancy. She is looking for a prey. Among those ordinary people, there are sexual predators, one of whom will meet her needs. The never ending stream of violence and abuse still sickens her. This is her task.

The man is on his knees. Nemesis has her booted foot on his left shoulder. He has no means of escape. Still he fights to get loose, as they tend to do. During his wriggling struggle his phone falls out of his pocket, and lands just beyond his reach. She sneers. Raises the scythe slowly, wham, she’s dipped the tip of her scythe through the phones delicate screen glass. The move was so swift he didn’t even react to it. Sweat starts dripping down his forehead and he gives up the futile struggle.

No man ever thought that this little girl could be a Goddess, let alone strong as one. His superior laughter had stopped when she had swung his body round like it was a leaf in the wind. When she now stands above him, with scythe in her right hand, he had but one strategy left, mockery.

– What do you want?! A mercy fuck? Women like you never get any. No wonder you’re alone on Christmas Eve, who’d ever touch a filthy slag like you?

– …

Nemesis did not answer him. From afar she could hear church bells ringing, calling her past. The man looked up at his captor certain that his words would have made her mild. He was met by a horribly determined grin of pleasure. Scythe half raised…

It was Christmas Eve. Many years ago, I cannot even remember the year now. It was before I died, back home. Lunae was always the star-shine at our Christmas parties. And I was nothing. But that Christmas I felt like I didn’t belong at home anymore. No one noticed me or they just took me for granted. They did not make special food for me nor did they ask how I wanted the Christmas tree to look. They had Lunae for that. And it didn’t bother me at all before I met him. Suddenly everything in my life seemed unfair and unloved. My parents had forbidden me to see him ever again after the scandal, first the garden incident and then the escaping my uncle’s perverted clutches. And all I wanted in this world was to see him one more time, right now.

I had almost forgotten that rotten business with uncle and that worm of a son of his, until they came over for tonight’s feast. The anger blossomed anew. I could not believe my parents invited them to our place. As if invisibility wasn’t punishment enough. I decided to leave home, but I also think that was the day I left Ada behind. I simply put on some warm clothes and walked out. None of the others seemed bothered. Still I dared not take the carriage or a horse, so I walked for a long while before a nice old man stopped and asked if I was bound for the City. He was a pleasant old man and we soon found companionship in each other. He never asked why, he just drove me all the way to Park Lane. We parted with a Merry Christmas. The first I had ever had without a forced look. This was a genuine cheer that actually made me feel warm inside. This was the right thing, even though all my morals and social etiquette told me it was not.

I hesitated to ring the bell. He was probably not at home anyway. I guessed the Mardling family had their Christmas dinner parties as well. I had travelled all this way for nothing. I was about to return back home when the door opened up. It was Ida, she had a wreath in her hands and she jumped when she saw me standing outside the house.

– Miss Cooper, you scared me.

– I am sorry Ida. I…

– Come in, its icy cold outside. I have some hot glühwein. The master is in the drawing room trying to decorate the tree for tomorrow. Maybe you can lend him a hand. Miss Cooper’s artistic touch is well remembered.

Ida smiled at me as she used to when I was little and had done some mischief that she had to scold me for but was not really angry about. It was a special smile. Something warm and familiar in the cold.

Inside it was warm and the house was richly decorated. Much more than the Cooper family ever had dared to have. I was unsure whether I’d be a welcomed guest or not. I could see through the opened door how he was trying his best to decorate a rather magnificent tree. He dropped something on the floor and the impulse to laugh at his awkward clumsiness took hold of me and suddenly a sound escaped my lips and I tried to kill it with my hands. Too late, he had heard me and he was walking towards the door. I tried to move but my feet wouldn’t obey.

– Do not laugh at your poor Master Ida. Oh, it’s you…

He looked at me, awkwardly, he didn’t blush but he was obviously uncomfortable with it being me. I needed to say something but I couldn’t find anything good to say. For the first time my mind was blank.

– That tree is very majestic.

What a stupid thing to say! I blushed at the embarrassment of that obvious remark. He turned around and watched the tree with amazement in his eyes like he had not seen it before now.

– Why are you both standing here? Come on let’s get some of that glühwein for Miss Cooper and she might help you finish that thing for tomorrow. You know the whole family is coming here for Christmas day. All those children will be so disappointed if you have not finished it for them. I’m sure Miss Cooper will lend you a hand as well.

Jack turns to me, smiling, he never really smiled before.

– Will Miss Cooper help me?

– I can, if you’d like. I… I mean I can try. I have never…

– Come on then.

He handed me a little paper decoration, obviously done for or by a child. I followed him to the tree, it was really beautiful, I stood there staring at it. I felt his eyes on me.

– Anything the matter Ada?

– No, I… have never…decorated a Christmas tree. I mean… I have hung some with my sister.

– But you never get to decorate it? Well this is my tree, and I’m afraid Ida is right I’m completely useless. Look at this. Things falling off and what not. Please, I know you can make it pretty for me. I will help, but you’ll tell me what to put where.

– I’m not certain I can.

– I know you can.

He meant it. He let me style it and it was surprisingly easy to do with someone that wanted you to. It turned out rather pretty in the end. He stood for a long time watching it, seemingly very pleased. After that we sat down and the awkward silence was yet upon us. Each of us afraid of saying the wrong thing. There were many questions on my mind and I suppose there must have been some on his too. There was a gleam in his eye I did not understand then, that I later recall as desire and longing. I didn’t understand why he could not talk to me? He did not talk much but he never seemed to me to lack words for others, as a medical man he was used to talking. But he never really talked to me. I felt uncomfortable and I had been away from home a while now. They might come looking, and I didn’t want to get him into trouble. So I thought it best to leave.

– I think I better go back home. Thank you for the wine.

I got up and he remained in his chair almost not acknowledging that I had spoken. I turned around and walked out to ring for Ida and my coat, when I suddenly felt something by my hand. I stopped as I felt his hand embracing mine. I dared not turn around but froze in my step. I had no desire to leave, but I was too scared to do anything. He walked up beside me but I didn’t dare to look at him. Heart racing and pain all over, it had come on suddenly. We stood in the room as strangers even though we really were not, never had been. I had told him I didn’t remember him from when I was a child. It was a lie. How could I ever forget him? How could I ever tell him I had already adored him back then? As a child I used to be late home just to see him come back from town in the summer. As a teenager I didn’t get to see him anymore because he started working. I saw him once, but he ignored me all that evening and my heart sunk deep. I hid all my feelings until that fateful dinner party and that walk in the garden. When I saw him arrive that day, I could no longer hide those feelings, I followed him, I heard them mock his name and I felt his pain. I wanted to protect him and hold him close.

Now I actually stood by his side. I was too frightened to act. I had come face to face with my dream. I tried to move closer but I could not move. I just held on to his hand. And let him pull me closer and slowly turn me around to face him. I was so close to him I could just have raised my hand but I didn’t. He let go of my hand and the fear that he was leaving me gave my body a shock and I shivered as if in pain. He took the gentlest hold of my head and held me in his arms, close to his chest. I have never since felt as loved and safe as I did then. Silent tears fell down my cheeks because I was happy. That gesture of his set me free from doubt and the cold wall I had built around myself. I don’t know how long I stood embracing him but I had wished it was forever. Many are those that write or sing of the high love above earthly desire. Never did I think you could be higher than the Gods above, but on this day, I was.

I felt the goodness of his heart and the breath of his passion. And as he let me go I dared to quickly kiss his neck. Finally I looked into those blue eyes, and they were sparkling in a way I have never seen before. I have no doubt he loved me. And I had loved him since as far as I could remember. When our lips finally met, it was nothing close to what I expected. I can still taste his lips on mine when I close my eyes. But forever is only in fairy tales. Too soon the moment is gone. This was the only one Jack and I got. I became his Nemesis, but I was never again to hold him as mine. I had that moment on Christmas Eve beside that shining tree. If only people were not so cruel. I wished that we could have had our forever, together. I still wish it every Christmas Eve.

To hold his hand in mine was all I ever wanted. To rest my head on his chest was more magic than all glory of heavenly promises. If only I had died then. Our love was forever. I did see him after death and I could have released him from all of his pain. But would he ever have looked at me with those same eyes of pure love? I was a monster, a victim, and Vengeance. He was better off without me, or so I thought. I couldn’t bring myself to kill him either. I know he became the Ripper. I saw how his pain drove him into madness. I saw what he did, and he did it because of me. Because our love was ruined. He lost his life when I lost mine. I carry no shame. I was given the choice of keeping one vivid memory as a human to carry on with me eternally. I choose that, our moment.

Nemesis smiled with love at her memory, swung the scythe up high and then down, the man’s head came clean off. Blood squirted for a bit. Not a single drop landed on her neat black dress. She watched the body sink. She thought nothing of it.

On the opposite street stands a ragged man. He seems to be in some sort of a ruined period costume. There must be some kind of masquerade somewhere this Christmas Eve. He is watching Nemesis with clear blue eyes. He sees her kill, but he does not flinch. The only sign of life is in his face, there is a sparkle of love in his eyes. Forever, dear Nemesis, is a very long time. And some Christmas wishes do come true.

 

Happy Holidays everyone!

Halloween Special – A Vampire’s Fear

Published October 31, 2014 by skunkpirat

“Lay with me beauty
Feel me close to you
Take my hand to you
Touch you softly, your warm skin
Cover me with you
Over me under you”

– For you by My Dying Bride

Below the city there are plenty of tunnels and no one really knows how many they are. That one or two extra should appear outside the plans did not raise the least bit of eyebrows. All anyone saw was a door appearing at some point in time but as it always seemed to be locked it soon fell into the background of humanity’s mind. That there was once or twice a light-footed and light dressed creature that seemed to drift through that door never bothered anyone. The tunnels squeak and creak, but once you’ve stepped behind that secret door the silence is overwhelming. Inside, it is as if time had stopped and the air needed no movement because no one in here was breathing. It is dark, pitch black, but there is only one way and it is narrow, if the air hasn’t choked you yet the walls might squeeze you quite easily. No man could ever live in such a place as this. And no man lives here.

The December day is short. When the dusk embraces the streets the young and the foolish dare enter the streets again for a knees-up. Curiosity has sent a group of them across the street. Usually there is only rag men sleeping in the streets, this one has caught their attention because he has a real jacket on. He might even have money. The youth run up and ransack the man on the pavement. They look through his things as was he a hunter’s triumphant prey. They find both money and a flask filled with some sort of posh spirits. Jackpot! One of the boys suddenly gets a sting of remorse and turns to the others and asks. “Is he dead?” His friend who happens to be training as a medic reassures him. “He’s still alive. Probably drunk or somethin’.” And that is the end of their moral discussion. No doubt they had a splendid night with their plunder, however being a fit young man in the nineteen-forties Britain meant death was still hanging on a branch over their head, playing her favourite tunes. Did they know he was Jewish. What do you think?

The smell of blood whiffs through our long tunnel. There is light up ahead. Candles burning as if at mass. The large room had an atmosphere that was somewhere between a man’s club and a church. In the middle a light clothed appearance was drinking from his Gothic goblet. A gift from the old. He is certain he’s alone in the room and not on guard. Even so he remains alert to every movement of his quarters. Feeling each movement in his finely tuned body. He turns round suddenly but finds there’s nothing out of the ordinary. He continues to drink his blood. However a feeling of being watched persists in his mind. Suddenly he moves around in the other direction. But there’s nothing there either.

There is only one way into this place and there’s no other person here. He knows that, still that unsettlement persists. He has plenty of warning systems, he’d know if someone had breached his circle of magic. There’s nothing. And yet there is something. He feels it.

– Who is there?

Still nothing. It has to be his imagination running wild because of his hunger. The ferociousness he used to have is gone. Now he remains ravenous. His mind is not what it was. He lays down horizontally on the great chair. There it is again, a whispering sound. Was it footsteps or wind? In a windless tunnel? Impossible, he could not rest until he knew. His predator senses was keen on the hunt. He got up and walked into the tunnel.

The air is thick as it was supposed to. He don’t breathe exactly but he still feels all of those human senses. He never liked the feeling of being choked even though he had made a career out of it in the old days. There was no sound in the tunnel now. He turned around to go back to his comfy chair. And there it was again. A swish of cloth. He turned around immediately only to see some light extend down the tunnel itself. He ran after it. Again the shine further back. He ran towards it until he reached the door. Outside there was not a sound. Isaac slipped through the door. As he did the sound in his head grew intense. What the hell was this noise?! He looked down the maintenance entrance. Nothing but sound, the deafening sound, ringing in his ears. He opened the door to the dark street and the noise became clear.

He heard songs from the old land and lullabies. He had subdued that hatred for a long time but with those few notes the rage came back in full grace. His green eyes turned rapidly black, the hunt was on. In a rage he bit the first person he met to still the immediate hunger. He gushed the warm blood down his throat with the music still loud in his ears. The Hebrew words feed his fire. He searched the streets for abusers. Making sure he fixed himself up with all blood filled with drugs in an attempt to drown out the songs. Not even vampires are supposed to hear voices. Someone was riding his hate, his emotional nature. Question is who’d know how to do such a thing?

In darkness Nir lay dying, alone on the street with no wallet, hip flask or conscience. His body had started to shut down and no one in the world cared for him. No one even knew he was there.

Isaac left a trail of bloodshed after his feast. In these times there was danger around every corner. The agents of the reich was upon his trail, they had searched for him for years. His legend was strong even in Germany. The vampire with magical abilities, such a weapon cannot be left to roam free or worse work for the other. So far they had no indication that he did work for anyone. They were wary of that juden agency since they were not sure they’ve got all of them under control. They seemed to be an unusually clever bunch of swines.

The drugs worked and the rage had subdued. Isaac was now slowly walking back to his comfy room. The songs were now but faint whispers. He didn’t know if it was because of his drug blood cocktail or if there was something else controlling it. At this stage he didn’t care anymore, he was numb. He walked the streets of midnight. His clothes were drenched in the blood from his feast; in all honesty that was why he dressed in white, so he could soak it in blood. He had ripped the upper part to shreds and was walking bare chested in the cold. He loves the cold. He saw a young girl in a window, watching him. He stopped and grinned at her, teeth showing. Still she watched him. He waved to her. She was transfixed by his body and made no attempt to wave back. Then another shadow showed and she disappeared. The young are getting careless he thought. And I am growing sentimental. I didn’t even once think what she would taste like.

He reached the place; all he had to do was cross the road. He came upon the building from the other direction, the door was on the other side from him. He stopped for a moment; some light high above had caught his eye. He was in no mood for games.

– Who or whatever you are I do not care!

Nothing but silence came in the response. He started to cross the road barely making a sound. Half way over the light switched position and shone on his chest. He stopped suddenly, light on the body was dangerous. He looked down at his chest and saw it shining only on his necklace. It was a heart shaped one and on it he had inscribed “He who holds the key can open my heart”. It was a joke. It was just some old tat he had found when he was… tormenting him, playing with him. A drop landed on his bare chest. Tears. Vampires do not cry?

He held the little heart in his hand. He hadn’t even realised he still had it on. He had acquired a few hundred necklaces in his decadent life. He loved wearing most things. But he usually wore a few crosses to scare the clergy before he drank their fat blood. This was different, much different. He moved slowly forward and he saw a light figure standing by the side of the road. He knew this figure well. He knew what it meant. Wings in the colour of raven feathers and a most sympathetic face. The music had stopped. Not even Isaac laugh at death. He remembers loss and he feels the fear. He carries that within him. Every hour of every day as punishment.

– Azrael.

– Isaac.

The two watched each other as hawks.

– Why are you always a woman to me?

Azrael smiled at Isaac and patted his head like a child.

– Isaac my love, you have not much time.

He followed Azrael’s eyes down to the ground. And gave out a shriek! He backed away from the body of his beloved. Anger and anguish. Azrael reached for him but he jumped out of its way and kept moving further back. Until someone or something caught his body, holding it firm. No amount of screaming or kicking worked. It was not human then. Isaac’s eyes turned absolute pitch, but the thing lifted him up and carried him back to the body. There was no escape from his deep fear. Tears slowly dripping down his cheeks and mixing in with the blood on his upper body. Azrael put its arms around him, caressing. For death to be kind…

– I am sorry. You got to take him somewhere safe. Lucifer and I will help you.

Isaac was in a haze too weak to move.

– You have to carry him. I know my love this is hard. WE cannot do this for you. Please Isaac, this was not foretold. You did this, Azrael was begging.

– I…

– You opened his heart and he forgot who he was.

Something beside him spoke, in a voice so dark and devoid of any compassion that it left a chill in your bones. Now Isaac got a glimpse at this thing that had carried him. He looked like a man, tall, light skinned, dark clothed and on his chest he had some sort of scribbles carved into its flesh. A handsome man and no mistake but something about him made Isaac feel uncertain. As if in answer to his query the tall man said:

– I am Lucifer, ruler of hell.

Isaac looked confused at the man.

– I am sorry my love but there’s no time for ecclesiastical debate; we need to get Nir inside.

Azrael gave Isaac a poke and he mechanically lifted Nir into his arms, still watching Lucifer with amazed dark green eyes. How could he be? And what was he? This question made his task easier and with the help of his mythical friends he took Nir down to his Islington lair.

He laid his boy on the bed. In the light of the lair Isaac saw Nir’s handsome features and wondered how he was able to forget him so easily when he wasn’t around. For when he was there, he held all of his being in his hands.

– He is beautiful Isaac. And he is yours, always was. We did not think he would find you now, we are truly sorry.

Azrael’s words echoed in the silent room. Lucifer was standing on the other side from the bed and he watched them in silence.

– I do not see what I can do for him now you have come? Please answer it. What can I do? Azrael please!

Azrael left the bedside without answering, but a look of compassion transpired between the angels. Azrael walked over to Lucifer and they both stood on the other side in silence. They stood there as if they’d been cut out from some church painting depicting the horror of Hell. Death and Hell. In the same room, in his room and they were somehow weeping. For a human?

– I do not understand what you want from me. Are there no more priests?! Doesn’t he let you speak? Gah! You guys are useless.

Isaac sat down on the bed next to Nir, not sure what to do. He had never actually seen anyone die of his own before. Should he cry? Should he hold his hand? He wanted to hold his hand, just one more time. So he held his hand for a while. Forgetting about the angels in the room he bent over his boy. Yes, his boy. And stroked his cheeks, they were cold but Isaac heard him still breathing. The lips still faintly pink. He kissed them. Still holding on to Nir’s hand, he held it to his chest, raising it once for a kiss. Still no sign of conscience, his Nir lay lifeless on the bed, still breathing.

– You could turn him.

Lucifer’s words rekindled the rage in Isaac. He turned to face the devil. His face enraged and his nostrils flared as if he was about to kill one of the angels. He didn’t because he still had Nir’s hand in his. Love was stronger than the hatred.

– What’s the matter? You don’t want a vampire lover, to live with ever and ever after? Or is that too much of a relationship for you?

Isaac let go of Nir’s hand and stared as if in trance at Lucifer, who smiled, happily.

– You are well known below. The one that set a thousand hearts afire and keep none. Oh, you’re a legend. I mean considering the stuff Erich is telling us, oh boy. You do know how to use them.

Isaac was silent but the stare had gone deadly, his body glowing faintly pinkish.

– So tell me Mr. Vampire. What do monsters have nightmares about? Being told someone loves them? Falling in love? The toil of watching loved ones die of old age discarded as yesterday’s news. How long would he have lasted? A month, a week what?! You’re just a disappointment to all aren’t you?

– Precious words from someone who doesn’t even exist.

– Oh, little Jewish boy is angry at the Gods? Come and get me big boy!

– I won’t bother with your insolent nature.

– What? Oh, come on now. You do fancy me a bit don’t you? I mean, I am devilishly gorgeous.

– I only fancy you gone.

– Now, now… you lie. I’m tall, dark and handsome. Much better than that half dead human one. I mean, come on purple hair… that’s just silly. No, I’d show you a good time handsome.

– He is not dead! He breathes.

– Oh, bless his cursed being. Look again you useless vampire!

They both turned to look at Nir’s lifeless body. Isaac watched his mouth and listened hard but there was no more breath. The realisation hit home and Isaac gave up a primal scream of terror.

– You are not dead! You have to live!

Isaac threw himself down over Nir’s body guarding him from he did not know what. He sobbed repeatedly into his ear “You live, you have to live”.

Azrael gave Lucifer a look, they spread out their raven wings and left. It was done. They left Isaac to suffer alone. Thinking he had lost, lost it all. The painting of his lovers was nearly complete. Instead his greatest fear was now realised. How could he ever be loved and seen by his one, if his one lay there dead?

 

Becoming Ripper Part 2: There is trouble in Mayfair

Published June 26, 2014 by skunkpirat

 Read Part 1 of Becoming Ripper here

Jack holding Ada (Nemesis).

He could not let go of what had happened at the Coopers. He lay awake and thought about it at night and the more he thought about it the more it troubled him. Two days after the incident he had a realisation; no one had made sure that Ada was alright. They assumed so, but what if she wasn’t? The thought persisted, it wouldn’t leave him alone. Not at home and not at work. He was too much of a coward to face the Rev. Henry, Ada’s father but somehow he had to find out if all was well with her. He cursed his bad luck, if only he had had a sister that wasn’t such a heartless character. The housekeeper Ida saw immediately the distress her master was in and she kept herself unusually quiet. On the whole the house on Park Lane was silent. He went to work, he came home, he ate and then he locked himself in his science room. Not doing anything but thinking on his own.

The Mardling family was on mending duties and had completely forgotten about their son. This to all reasons should not happen if you only have one to keep track of. The relationship with the Coopers was simply more important. They had a high standing both in town and in the country so one can understand mending relations was important but was the cost of losing sight of one’s own blood necessary? Was it not cold? But that is what the Mardling family did and they paid dearly too. The Coopers on the other hand had of course listened to Uncle Gerard’s version as the truth and no matter what Ada told them they only saw one thing, a man who had taken advantage. Gerard even persuaded his brother to let Ada stay at his house as he had a son who could keep her safe from harm all hour of the day. And that is what was decided. Now Ada was a prisoner of Mayfair. She had two over-eager prison guards who if they had a chance went groping at her body. Father and son were more alike than she’d wished. They seemed to think she was a play thing and treated her as such. Of course they taunted her for her unladylike behaviour, both the other day with Jack and the everyday things. They hired a chambermaid to make her more girl like, now she was wearing really fancy frocks and was laced so tightly she could not move rapidly anymore, which made her an easy prey for the boys.

The old man amused himself with her at night while the younger pranced around town with her and took his pleasure during the day. All the time Ada only made sure they didn’t take her innocence but otherwise let it be. What is a woman but a plaything for men? She disliked every moment of it. She bit her tongue as she had been taught. On the outside she’d become a pretty lady very mature looking, on the inside she was screaming in agony. She was not defenseless. Clara was her dear old friend and she was allowed correspondence with her as she was a proper young woman. If only they knew the truth. Clara had been working as an accomplice on the outside and found out all Ada needed to know. She had to break free and the only time would be when the young dunce took her to town. She could not run in her clothes so someone strong had to steal her from him and make sure there was an escape route for them. Clara’s secret man had sworn to do the task. Then came the Monday they had decided. Ada was very forthcoming that day so he wouldn’t change his mind. Clara’s little spies were watching as they drove out and followed, Ada had no idea of the places they’d go so Claras agents needed to be close by. She did think this all would fail, but it was a chance she had to take.

Ada was taken to Charing Cross Road which was perfect. The younger Cooper had a thing for books and there was a shop there who’d sell him forbidden ones. As soon as he had signaled for their transport to go and before entering the shop a tall and very broad man came out of nowhere and took hold of Ada who didn’t resist. It’s was silly easy for the man to take her and carry her to a coach standing by and drive off before the young Cooper could find his speech. They had long since left when he found a constable that believed his story. Ada was free from her uncle’s clutches. Now they needed to be swift. Clara was in the coach and she told her where Jack lived. He would not be home of course so now it was up to Ada’s feminine charm to get the perfect hide out. They left her standing outside his house at Park Lane.

Jack came home later that evening; he had had some tedious business with his lawyer that drained both his patience and mood completely. He was therefore looking even more grumpy than usual.

–          Welcome home, Master Mardling, Sir.

–          For God’s sake Ida, just call me Jack. None of your nonsense tonight. Is there any dinner left, I know I’m late. And I know you told me you won’t heed to my time if I don’t tell you in time. I know, I know. Mr Rothfuss can talk such nonsense you’d never believe…

–          Sir.

–          What is it Ida? You look paler than usual. Out with it!

–          Well… Sir I didn’t know what to think or do. She just…

–          Whatever are you talking about woman? Sit down and tell me.

–          No I can’t sit with my master.

–          Sit down!

Jack was normally not a very verbal shouting man but today he did. Ida got really scared and sat down even though she’d never dream of doing so otherwise. His forcefulness and her admiration and love for him made her forget her station.

–          I was disturbed at noon by this lady, which is why dinner is a bit late but no matter as you were late as well. Shall I go prepare?

–          Tell me, Ida.

–          Well, this woman rang the bell, very pretty she is, all dolled up as a duchess or something. She said she knew the master and that you’d told her she could come visit at any time. It’s unusual for such ladies to come on their own isn’t it and without a calling card.

–          What did you tell her?

–          Well, Sir. I was concerned she looked a bit scared and her hair was a little messy so I told her she could use the bathroom at least.

–          You let her in.

–          Yes, I’m sorry, Sir.

–          Very well. Who is she, Ida?

–          She never said, and I’m not familiar with her face.

–          So you let a complete strange girl inside to use the bathroom. Very well if there’s nothing else I’d like to eat now.

–          Well…

–          Go on.

–          She’s asleep upstairs.

–          Upstairs?! I’ll be hanged for this.

Jack shot up the stairs as if someone or something was chasing him and Ida came after him.

–          Which room?

–          The spare room.

He barged into the room not thinking that whoever was in there might be really frightened.

Of course it was Ada who slept within, the best sleep she’d had in weeks. She had just woken up when Jack came storming in as if the grim reaper was after him. She jumped off the bed, for the first time really frightened. Jack stopped and stood staring at the pale amber-eyed dark haired woman.

–          Ada.

–          Maybe you should call me by my second name Nemesis. I seem to bring you such bad luck.

–          I’m sorry, Sir. She just went in there and fell asleep the poor thing before I could get her to leave. And I…

–          It’s fine Ida. This is Ada Cooper.

–          Oh, I’m sorry Miss Cooper. I have not seen you since you were a child.

–          You can leave us Ida. I think we’ll both have something to eat.

–          I’ll see to it.

Jack gave her a nod and she disappeared rather relieved he wasn’t angrier. She hadn’t recognised Miss Cooper. She was a silly woman.

–          Why are you here?

Jack was trying to asses her situation, coming up short.

–          Charming welcome.

–          You got me into a lot of bother the other day.

–          Likewise. Maybe you should have defended me.

Her eyes were set on his face, he knew she was right, he wasn’t the victim.

–          If you had I might have been shot of this trouble I’m in now, continued Ada.

–          What trouble?

–          You don’t know? They sent me to Gerard, and he’s a nasty man.

–          I didn’t know.

–          No, that’s right. Evelyn Mardling never did care for anyone but himself.

–          It’s Jack and that’s not it at all. I…

–          You what? Thought it better I solved it all for you? Sometimes I hate you! I’d like to eat now.

She left it like this. Left it at hate, and Jack made no attempt to make her not. They went down and ate.

to be continued

Becoming Ripper Part 1: A good man

Published April 27, 2014 by skunkpirat

Jack_Edward_style_small

He lay on the bed semi-naked. Staring at the white ceiling until the shadows began to dance. He smiled in his solitude at the memory of her. She was the prettiest thing he’d ever seen and not like other girls. There was no silliness or tedious talking. If only he had plucked up the courage to talk to her himself. He knew mother wasn’t too fond of her and father rarely said a thing. Andrew certainly didn’t like her and so of course he loved everything about her. Anyone that made his family uncomfortable was automatically a friend of his. No feelings were spared between the first born and his family. Thirty years old and still a bachelor, what would the world think of him?

In truth he wasn’t really the marrying kind. He found most women a bore and men stupid company. He was a loner and because both he and his family had good money he wass considered an eccentric. He did as he pleased and no one really had the courage or the standing to tell him otherwise. Not that he was without feelings, but he buried them as far down as he possibly could. Where did he spend his life then? He had become a doctor. A most respectable profession when done only in a civilized hospital in London. Imagine the fear that struck the hearts of his family when he told them he’d volunteered for a free clinic. That meant he had not much free time but when and if he did have any he spent it experimenting in his scientist room which he had built for himself in his house. He had a natural interest in biology as a man of medicine. No one really knew what experiment he was conducting and none of his servants ever went near the room for fear it was something ungodly. It amused him, but equally created his well needed space. He was not a man to scare people but he never did correct their phantasies.

In time one works up a certain reputation and there’s not a lot one can do if not bothered and frankly he was happy to be well out of social obligations. Although when the invitation to the Coopers arrived on that May afternoon his heart skipped a beat. He answered immediately lest he forget to. If his housekeeper wasn’t so used to her master’s different fancies she’d be surprised at this. She usually had to remind her master a few times before he’d even consider it. People outside the household might have the idea that Ida the housekeeper wasn’t too fond of her master Mardling, this wasn’t the case, quite the opposite. She felt a bit too much for her master and suffered greatly in silence from his mood swings. She did all she could for him. He took her for granted.

So it wasn’t without a pang in her heart that Ida sent out the swift reply to the Cooper family. She thought, not without certain logic, that her master too had fallen prey to Lunae’s beauty. Many men had gone down that road, none had as of yet had victory in marriage. Not that it mattered to Jack. It was the other sister that had caught his eye. He knew she was way too young for him and she probably didn’t even know who he was, just one of those boring guests her family had, their families had been good friends for a great while. They were neighbours in the country. Jack had many times watched Lunae and Ada play as children; they used to play tricks on the working class boys and were not as lady like as children. Lunae had left her childish ways behind but Ada kept a more childlike behaviour. She often stood in the corners observing and if anyone talked to her she’d make them uncomfortable, or play around with food which of course is forbidden at a social event. Her ways amused Jack but he had noticed she never ever came close to him nor played any tricks on him. The only time they were close she had made excuses and left the room immediately. It made him sad but still he could not keep away. The Coopers were not as tedious as the London society in general and many of his colleagues went to their parties. It was practical.

A gathering at the Coopers is very special. First off the food is top notch, they employ both a cook and a chef from India, he made exotic dishes and the cook some very fine traditional food that blended together very nicely. There’s always champagne at the Coopers, and wines you simply cannot pronounce and for pudding there’s such a variety you end up trying everything, which is very bad for the digestion. After dinner you can find Sherry, Cognac and Madeira aplenty, always at least five to choose from. Later on even the whisky and Gin appear in many different bottles and of course grandfather Cooper’s punch which cannot be described as anything but scrumptious. After such a meal all the niceties and social awkwardness are usually broken and everyone just walks around enjoying themselves as equals. That is the success of the Coopers, they can bring both lower classes and upper classes into a healthy mix, all adoring them as hosts.

Jack used to come here for the food. India spices made him curious and the smell could put a hex on anyone. Now he had come to such an event with a mission. Talk to miss Ada. He had no idea what of. He was unusually restless as he talked to his fellow doctors at dinner. Once in a while he stole a glance at miss Ada who sat by a young handsome man. What Jack wouldn’t have given to sit next to her just once. Mrs Cooper always arranged the seating and so Jack always ended up with an airhead of a woman who was seeking a rich husband. Jack had no appetite for a silly wife, he wanted someone who’d make him smile and who would leave him be when he wasn’t in the mood. A self-dependent woman, if there was such a thing. He had read about those feministic ideas that was secretly on many women’s lips. Secretly Jack was all for women doing their thing. If Ida could run his house like clockwork, why shouldn’t a female lawyer or doctor be as good? Of course few had the education, that was true. However Jack thought it might be a good thing for then men didn’t have to bother with women’s issues, they could sort it out themselves.

It wasn’t that he didn’t like women or was it? His mother and sister sure could be annoying.

–          Well hello son. You seem to be enjoying yourself. What do you think of Lydia then? I mean a prettier thing you haven’t seen. His mother did know how to prattle on.

–          Who’s Lydia?

–          Evelyn really. You had her at dinner. Don’t tell me you never asked her name. Really I do not know what to do with you. If you carry on like this…

Jack didn’t listen to the rest of the conversation, he was busy wishing his mother away as the young girls stood giggling behind his mother. She really always had to loudly announce his name didn’t she? He listened for her voice to stop and then left her. He still heard laughter behind him. “Who does he think he is?” “A girl by the sound of it.” “What a horrid name for such a horrid man”.

–          Hey big brother! Having fun, Evelyn.

Andrews malignant blue eyes shone at him. He was furious; she only did this to embarrass him further. No love was lost between them. Had they been at home he’d slapped her but he refrained from doing so when in someone else’s house. Almost all the younger women were standing in the same place and Andrew was right in the middle. He only gave his sister the usual brush off and walked out into the garden. Inside he was furious at his failed mission and the embarrassment that was his own family. She surely must think him a weak excuse for a man. He should have talked back to Andrew, but she was too sharp for him, he knew that.

He walked up and down the garden path. He no longer cared if they all watched him. He knew he was the joke. Dressed in old fashioned clothes, not sporting a golden tongue nor beauty to speak of. He should have stayed at home. He’d better get his things and go right this minute. He walked to the end of the road and turned around again to walk towards the house. He walked a few steps. All of a sudden there was movement in the bushes and then a thump as she landed on the raked stone path just in front of him. She smiled showing her white teeth just a little. He stood there in amazement and a silly smile came upon his face. She tilted her head at him as one does with a cute animal.

–          You’re a very weird boy.

He didn’t know if she was serious, joking or fooling him. Too frightened to reply he stood like stone. A thousand stupid things passed his mind.

–          You never say much do you? I’d never let my sister talk to me like that. I’d slap her.

Ada tilted her head the other way still looking at him in amazement. Her amber coloured eyes examined him from top to bottom.

–          You’re actually quite handsome once one looks at you properly.

She straightened her head and stretched out her hand to him. Was she joking now?

–          Are you scared of me?

–          No.

–          Woah, it speaks. If you’re not scared of me take my hand then, silly.

He took her hand gently as if she was brittle. She could feel his shakiness, poor man, he was not used to women at all. She let go of his hand thinking it was too intimate; instead she hooked her arm in his so they got closer. Now it looked as if he was guiding her back towards the house in a respectable manner. He dared not look at her. Or talk to her. She watched him the whole time, his profile was really striking and his eyes were to her kind. They walked towards the house but Ada stopped beside the end of the bushes before they became visible. She knew this was probably her last chance to talk to him on her own. With her arm she forced him to face her for the first time.

–          Before we go back in…

–          No need to say it. I know you like to play jokes, it’s fine, answered Jack.

–          I’m not playing.

–          Why wouldn’t you? I’m an easy target for foolery.

–          Whatever you are, it’s not a fool. You’ve had a difficult life. So have I.

–          Have you?

–          Do you think it’s easy living in the shadow of Miss perfect Lunae?

–          You’re so much prettier.

It had just escaped his lips. Now it was too late, totally embarrassed with burning cheeks he looked down at the gravel.

–          Who is fooling now? I do not like to be your part time amusement. I thought you were hurt but more fool me.

She let go of his arm and turned around to leave.

–          I meant it. Jack’s voice died out into silence.

She had stopped at the frankness in his voice. She eyed him good before deciding to stay.

–          You meant it?

–          I do.

–          No one likes me when Lunae is around.

–          I do. I always liked you, better. Even as a children.

–          As children?

–          You used to cut my mother’s pink roses you know. She was ever so furious with you. I never dared to. I admired you then and I admire you now.

–          That’s awfully queer. I never knew you knew us. I don’t remember seeing you.

–          No wonder, you were no more than seven.

–          A mere child, as I am now.

–          If you say so.

–          Come one let’s go back inside, I’m cold.

He offered her his arm and she took it with a smile. She leaned close to him and had to stand on her toes to be able to whisper in his ear, “Evelyn is a very pretty name.” He waited for the laugh and jeer but it didn’t come. She just held him close. She was the first person who hadn’t laughed as they said his name. Not even his parents called him that without a little jeer. He bent down his head and whispered back “Thank you, if you want to you can call me Jack.”

They stood with their heads close together, entwined. The first real magical moment in their lives. In this moment no one but them existed in their closed world. Life however is not merciful. A few of the drunk men had come out of the house and was lolling around in the grass. It so happened that Ada’s uncle Gerard was in that group. He was a priest with his mind set on advancement and therefore more one of the boys than God’s representative on earth. He happened to reel into their romantic moment.

–          What is going on here?! Is this how you repay a good man like Henry! Look at this, boys, the freak with girly name has got my niece! Come on let’s get him off her.

A whole gang of men came running as best they could, shouting so that people inside the house came out. Gerard forced them apart despite Ada kicking and screaming at him and with the help of two others he got her free. He grabbed her around the waist and lifted her off. No one paid any attention to where they got to. All were focused on battling Jack who once Ada was gone didn’t make many attempts to free himself. He just took the beating, the cursing and the scolding he got. All was settled down rather quickly. He didn’t care about himself. He once tried to get free to go look for Ada but Gerard’s young lad caught up with him. He was not in a very athletic condition. He freed himself and simply went home, alone. The family was shamed and angry with him, their standing was at stake. If he hadn’t gone home then maybe life had not taken such a dark path. If only he had listened to his heart and instincts and defied all social protocol and gone looking for Ada as soon as he was freed. So many lives could have been spared. Including theirs.

 

Valentine’s special 2014 ˗ A queer feeling

Published February 14, 2014 by skunkpirat

Valentine's special male kissing picture.

The grey sky outside the window didn’t create the distraction that he needed so badly. It was typical February weather although his mind was far away from this dismal place. He still dreamed of another life. He never stopped punishing himself for his sins, he did try to do right but his mind was getting heavy. The thoughts kept escaping into forbidden dark places. He watched Daniél and Amália play. Nothing of this was their doing and yet he knew he’d been cross with them for no good reason at all. Ade stood in the kitchen as usual. His wife never let him do any of the housework he had grown to appreciate doing while abroad. This annoyed him.

–          Father, come play with us, Amália’s big brown eyes looked up at him.

–          Spin ush, Dániel still had his lisp.

–          Let Father be! I told you he’s busy, Ade’s voice cut through the room with such authority.

Busy, thought Nir. He wasn’t busy it was just what Ade told the children. He had no patience for anything. There was something queer about him, some mark that made him different from everyone else. He was away from home so much one would have expected him to find time for his children. Yet he didn’t seem able to relax. Never still, always restless, never truly home and never happy. His own family were strangers to him.

–          Father, this is for you.

Dániel’s hand touched Nir’s and he felt something in his hand. He opened it and it was a piece of hard candy probably bought with Dániel’s own money. He looked at the candy and then at his son. How could he sit here like this great big lump? What was wrong with him? It was like some evil plague.

–          Thank you, but it’s yours.

–          No, daddiesh need.

Nir tried to give it back but Dániel wouldn’t have it. He ran off back in the room with Amália. Nir sat staring at the piece of candy. It was rude not to accept it he thought. Not that his own father had ever accepted anything Nir had given him. Well he wasn’t his father! It was a most delicious candy. That rare pleasure you never take the time to enjoy once people decided you have grown up. Candy is a child’s pleasure. That’s a sad thought when you realise how frightfully much good one piece of candy can do.

It can heal a heart that is drowning in its own sorrow. It can rekindle fires that need to burn for a little while longer. It even can make someone go that extra mile. Most of all it can make you smile even though the inside is empty. Children possess something mature people don’t, the ability to see and feel the sadness within. Not all do and not all lose this as adulthood approaches but so many repress it as an unnatural urge. To see beyond appearances is hard; it’s much easier to decide that someone is either simply wrong or evil and self-absorbed. It’s not what you don’t do that defines you, it’s what you do for others when no one can see you. It’s a sad state of affairs when a four year old has to show his father how to love. How to feel. One piece of candy. 

–          Dániel, Nir’s voice was weak.

–          Let the boy be. It’s time for dinner soon. You can talk to him then.

Ade stood in the doorway very much like his mother had done all his life. She had the same disapproving look about her. He felt very much like a schoolboy still. Like no one ever thought he could do anything. He’d had enough. He got up and walked into to room where the children were playing and picked up Dániel and carried him into the hall and dressed him. Ade watched them, with a surprised Amália beside her.

–          Where are you going? Ade’s voice had a demanding undertone.

–          Out.

–          Out? It’s dinner soon, Ade gave her husband one of her queer looks of disapproval.

–          We’ll find our own.

He watched his wife. She stood there silent for a moment. She never shouted, never had any outbursts at all. Cold and lifeless, like a porcelain doll.

–          Very well. Have him home before bedtime.

Nir didn’t answer back he just took Dániel’s hand and went outside.

They greeted many people on their way. Nir had no idea where they were going. He only felt the need to get out of the house. He couldn’t stand the silence any more. He longed for the comfortable sound of a city. They walked a few streets. They had some food and Nir bought Dániel some new candy that they shared, a proper father and son thing. Time went by and it got colder and darker but Nir didn’t want to go back, not just yet. Instead he took the boy over the river and into the other side of town. He knew that Ade would disapprove if she knew but he had to see the misery and he was too scared to go on his own. Dániel had gotten tired and Nir was carrying him in his arms. He felt the warmth from his son and in that moment it sunk into his mind, he was a father. This was love as well as the yearning he felt within. He looked down on Dániel’s face and saw that he had fallen asleep. He looked so peaceful. Somehow Nir felt safer here, safer on the streets, with his boy in his arms than he ever did inside his own home. He stopped and talked to some people still out this night. Many knew him through his father Eldad. He was invited into the home of a retired agent and his family. For a short while Nir felt completely human again. He forgot about his life.

At midnight he said goodbye to his old family friends and carried Dániel home on foot. The chilly air felt fresh and some of his hope was rekindled. He watched the city going to sleep. As far as it went Budapest was still a good place to be despite the passing of anti-Jewish laws. Many came here from other places but Nir wondered how long this would hold. He knew those racial fanatics would sooner or later come here. He wasn’t sure no one knew his family was in fact Jewish. Not that they acted that way. Neither he nor Ade were really religious in the sense of missing the traditions, but Nir had experienced that denial of origin was more difficult and these people were experts at asking the right kinds of questions. To hate like this takes dedication. They had it.

Dániel and Nir returned home well after one o’clock and the house was silent and dark. The door was locked and Nir had no key. He’d had to wake Ade up. He couldn’t, he sat down on the steps with his son in his arms. He was dead tired. The silence filled his mind with emptiness. He fell asleep. He was woken by Amália who had woken up at four and got up to find Dániel not home yet. She was about to go out and look for them in her coat and nightie when she found them sleeping on the steps. She bent down and gave her father a great big hug and a kiss. Nir woke up and stared into his daughters intelligent eyes. He reached out his arm for her, she let him for once. She curled up on his left side as Dániel was resting on the right.

–          Father, it’s alright to be sad.

–          I’m not sad.

–          I think you are. And your friend said you were.

–          What friend?

–          The angel man who watches over us.

–          The angel man? What are you talking about? Does your mother know of this?

–          Of course not. She doesn’t believe in angels. He said she might not like that he visits us so I never told her.

–          I thought she told you not to talk to strangers.

–          He’s not a stranger. He knows you father. He gave me this, said you’d understand.

Amália took out the necklace she had tucked under her nightgown. It was a queer looking ankh. Nir froze. He knew that jewellery, he had cut himself on it once or twice. He knew its owner too and it was not an angel.

–          Are you cross with me father? Amália had tears in her eyes.

–          No darling, I’m just surprised.

–          He said he knew you.

–          It’s alright, he does know me. A little sparkle came into Nir’s purple eyes.

–          He buys us candy and sings to us sometimes when mother is busy or when Dániel is sad and cries for you. He holds us, Amálias eyes teared up again.

Nir held her close. He never realised how much his distance had hurt his daughter. She cried in his arms until he was soaked through. Then she took his handkerchief and tidied herself up. She looked into her father’s eyes and said:

–          We have to go back in before Dániel gets sick.

So they did, both of them tucking him in together and then Nir put his daughter to bed for the first time in years. As he leaned in and kissed her good night, she held him so hard and close for a long while and whispered in his ear: “You know he loves you, and you love him don’t you? I can see it.” Her frankness surprised him but she kept holding on to his neck demanding some kind of response. Could he lie to her? It was surely the decent thing to do. Or was it?

After the long silence she whispered: “Dániel and me will always love you dad.” The emotions were too much for him to handle. He forced himself away from her like a scolded rat. He felt like a rat, a rodent and a pest. The sickness within was destroying everything. He didn’t sleep, he sat at the kitchen table drinking vodka and staring at the pills he had. If he had any decency left he’d finish it. End this whole masquerade. Ade found him like this in the kitchen. She said nothing, being used to his suicidal moods she only took away the bottle and pills and left him there to fend for himself while feeding the children in the living room.

Their life was never about him. They could manage fine on their own; they had done so for far too long. He went out during the day but went nowhere. He came home to dinner and ate with his family as any other day. No one said anything about it, least of all Nir. Although when Ade went to brew some coffee the children dragged their father into the sofa and cuddled up with him once more, fully knowing the thing he needed most in the world was unconditional love. Dániel held out his hand to his father and revealed one of the candies from yesterday which he had kept hidden for later. Nir didn’t accept this one, he gave it back to his son but the gesture had once more dragged his broken heart from the deep dark pit. He held his children close and finally drifted off to sleep. They guarded him with their lives and soon enough fell asleep themselves.