London

London After Midnight (I)

London After Midnight

 

 

                Leicester Square was it’s usual hive of night-time activity.  Even in midweek, in one of the coldest January’s Morgan could remember, people hustled past the mime artists and jugglers, occasionally stopping to watch for a few seconds before joining the queues for one of the many cinemas.  He saw Rory, with his face supposedly covered with white foundation and cheeks artificially reddened, wearing his tight black sweatshirt and leggings, and his trademarked top hat, in his usual spot near the Empire, enthralling the crowd gathered around him with his graceful mimes.  Morgan smiled remembering how he had felt as a child on his first visit to London, with his parents, when he had first seen the mimic in almost the same spot.  The ‘Roaring Twenties’ it had been labeled now, even though compared to the London of the 1990’s it had been so quiet and peaceful most of the time.

 

                He stopped and watched for a minute, knowing that Rory felt his presence but chose to carry on his show for those gathered about him, without acknowledgment.  Morgan smiled to himself again as he turned and carried on through the crowd taking a right at the corner of the Square.  He carried on down the road for a few minutes before coming upon his destination - Café Miraque.

 

                As he entered the manager, a small balding Spanish man in his late fifties, greeted him and beckoned one of the waitresses, an attractive dark haired girl, to escort his newly arrived patron to one of the private function rooms upstairs.

 

                Morgan followed the girl along the passage and stairwell, although he had traveled this route since before her mother was even born, and could visualize every inch of the corridor and the priceless paintings hanging along its walls if he so desired.  This was the way that Jeremy liked receiving guests and Morgan respected his wishes even more than those of his own, late, dark fathers.

 

                The girl stopped outside one of the ornately carved oak-wood doors and knocked twice before opening the doors on an unheard command.  Morgan stepped over the threshold into Jeremy’s private office, the doors closing behind him.  The opulence of the surroundings contrasted so heavily with that of the Café below that it always struck a chord of awe deep within him.  From the thick purple velvet curtains hanging across the windows, to the antique French desk that supported the computer and modem that kept Jeremy connected to the world at large, to the portraits adorning the walls, otherwise covered floor to ceiling by bookshelves sporting old leather-bound tomes, you could almost taste the flavour of money in the rooms ambience.

 

                “I’m very pleased you could come here on such short notice Morgan.  I trust all is well at the Chantry.” The voice, and appearance, were those of a, handsome, well educated gentleman in his late thirties.  Morgan knew that Jeremy was certainly very well educated but his appearance and age were both drastically different from the man who was currently seated behind his desk.

 

                “Grandmaster Westcott sends his greetings and wishes it to be known that your assistance last month was gratefully received and used wisely in the Fielding matter.  We have news that he has moved his investigations over to the Epping area after he mysteriously found, somewhat firm, evidence supporting his belief that Werewolves exist and are behind the recent spat of baby-snatching in the area.  He also wishes me to extend our Clans thanks to her Ladyship and has authorised me to pass this on to you.” Morgan replied passing over a wax-sealed envelope.

 

                “I will pass on your gratitude to Victoria.” Jeremy said opening the Tremere’s gift with an ivory handled letter-opener. “Ah, what have we here?” He asked, looking up at Morgan, as a computer disk slid out of the envelope.

 

                “Dr. Westcott understands that the Ventrue have been somewhat hindering your expansion in the market place.  He hopes that the information contained on that disk may be of some use to you.  I believe it contains certain access codes that Charles still thinks are safe.  Someone of your skill with that machine should be able to fully utilise the information.” He spoke gesturing at the computer, “And we are only too happy to pass this on to you as thanks for your past assistance and our two Clans continued co-operation.”

London

Disenchanted Moonspace (I)

Disenchanted Moonspace

 

I’ve seen the moon. Or at least I think it was the moon. The sound wasn’t working on the television again and the screen was all fuzzy but I’m pretty sure it was on a historydoc or a sciencedoc. In either case I believe that the moon existed and is probably still up there somewhere – circling this sorry excuse of a planet, continually orbiting and affecting the flow of the poisoned tides of our polluted oceans. Not that I’ve ever seen an ocean though, only read about them a couple of times and the last of those was almost two decades ago in Classics. A novel called Moby Dick I think it was. That was before Classics was taken off the syllabus. Apparently it promoted too much of a ‘utopian view of the past resulting in manic depression and suicidal tendencies amongst the pre-teen and teen categories’.

 

Strangely enough the suicide rates in not only the pre-teen and teen categories but in every defined age group are now higher than ever – Classics or no Classics. But I guess the idea that the world was once a better place and that humankind fucked it up isn’t exactly ‘politically correct’ in this day and age. We’re being re-educated to believe that ‘this’ is progress. This is moving forward from the dark days and nights of our past. All of us working towards a utopian tomorrow that not only the rich and influential will benefit from but all of us shall reap the rewards. “The Rich, The Influential,” we are told, “have sacrificed everything to help us achieve this goal and we should not complain but should work as hard as they do, should sacrifice everything for the greater good, so that one day we can all live in a better society.”

 

Yeah, of course I believe that.

 

 

London

Sandy Through A Looking Glass (I)

SANDY THROUGH A LOOKING GLASS

 

                When Sandy said she was leaving I don't think any of us really took her seriously.  She used to do it so often.  Something would annoy her or she'd have an arguement with Hugo or Jeff over something really insignificant to everyone but them, and she'd storm out shouting to us all that 'this is it, I'm fucking outta here'.  'This is it...', after you hear the same thing time and time again it kind of wears off and just becomes part of the furniture, no one expects to to change.

 

                Well it's been almost a week since Sandy's last little explosion and no one has seen her all of that time.  She disappeared on the Tuesday night and her things vanished on the Wednesday morning.  No one saw her come in, no one saw her things walk out.  We found that part odd because at least two of us where here at any one time last Wednesday, Hugo and Samantha where up all Tuesday night as well.  Okay perhaps slightly smacked out of their heads, but they normally recall a few bits.

 

                Jules reckons she's gone back up north.  She had friends there once, and her family originally came from that area a couple of hundred years back.  Hugo and Sammy almost had a punch up over whether we should 'go fetch her back'.  Hugo is shit scared that she'll blow his little holiday with her 'fucking fog horn of a fucking mouth', as he so delicately puts it.  Me, if she blows us she blows us.  We've moved before and it's no real hassle, Hugo's just worried about his young butt being burnt before his 'time'.  Sammy thinks we should just let her go, although she doesn't seem to think she'll be gone forever.  I wish I had her optimism, I don't think any of them know how hard it's going hit Sandy when she gets home.  Things will have changed  one hell of a lot since she was last there.  We all see things change but it never really hits you as hard as it does once you go back to somewhere that was once your true home.

 

London

Bloodfather (I)

Bloodfather

 

I’ve always hated fairgrounds. Don’t ask me why, just an irrational dislike I guess, but they’ve always seemed spooky, making me on edge instead of at ease. Empty fairgrounds are worse, and disused fairgrounds ? Always to be avoided. So why, you may very well ask, am I here. Half past two in the morning, the sky as clear as any I’ve seen with the moon full and her stars shining like there is no tomorrow, nature has kindly decided to leave a fine ground frost already and, just to top it off, I ran out of cigarettes well over an hour ago.

 

The truth is I haven’t got the first clue to what I’m doing here amongst these rusting relics of my childhood nightmares. I’m sure I’m supposed to be downtown at The Helix nursing the beginnings of what could become a legendary hangover with Frankie, Joesy and The Surfer, instead of freezing my arse off next to a collapsing big dipper and “Count Vlad’s Horror Spectacular”. I got a call from an old college friend, a guy called Alexander Freshman - a rich kid, good at everything he tries type - asking me if I needed a cash up front job. Now normally I wouldn’t touch this sort of thing, if it ain’t 100 per cent above board and legal I won’t do it. Alright, so the Kumpf case involved a bit of breaking and entering, and yeah the McNeill episode got a bit sticky but I had good intentions behind them.

 

Anyhow I remembers Alex from our Claremont days together. He was the type of guy you absolutely hate - rich, good looking, athletic, intelligent, - a complete sicko. I’d have loved to hate him but the man had a great personality and SOH, he could make even Kirsten ‘Ice-Maiden’ Strayer laugh and believe me that wasn’t any mean feat. So, Alex calls me up offering some fast cash, I think about it for, oh, about a lambs shake and invite him over to the office. He comes over about an hour later and lo and behold seven hours later I’m freezing my now well-paid arse off dying for a Malboro.

 

I’m supposed to be waiting for a “buisness partner” of Alex’s to turn up so I can hand over a package. The “package” in question is currently in the back of my car, it was a bit bulky for me to be carrying around for god knows how long waiting for this guy to turn up. I was told it’s some kind of antique sword, all I know is it’s one big mother, and heavy too. It’s all boxed and wrapped up anyhow so I ain’t got a real clue what it looks like, if it’s even a sword in the first.