Throughout the Ages

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Literary_Dreamer, Dec 21, 2013.

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  1. Raphaël Destain and Simone Destain

    Raphaël stared out the window at the garden which Simone had taken such good care of for so many years. He had a perfect view of the bench where Nadine would sit and talk with Simone about her daily life, the ups and downs and twists and turns of being a practicing lawyer, dressed all up in her fancy pantsuit, while Simone, caked in dirt from planting petunias or whatever flower she was adding to her garden, would turn and say those few small words of wisdom that always made everything all better in the end.

    But that was years ago now. Nadine had run away to the land of her mother's birth to fall in love with a handsome young man named Loïc despite, and perhaps in part because of, her father's disapproval. Simone had turned over the care of her garden to a lovely young gardener because she could no longer kneel for so long some time around her seventieth birthday. The garden was still beautiful and the bench was still there but the way of life that had buzzed around it had ceased to exist.

    "Raph," said a cracked old voice from behind him, "you've proved to me that you'll be all right. Come away from the window now."

    Raphaël had forgotten his purpose in standing by the window, caught up in his memories, but the sunlight did burn him to the bone. It wouldn't kill him, not for so short a time, but it ached all over like a million bruises deep in every muscle. The older a vampire was, the longer they could exist within the sunlight, like slowly accustoming oneself to a poison. Raphaël had more than four hundred years behind him, four hundred years of acclimating to the sun. He could easily pass half a day within the sunlight and longer if it was a cloudy day. The trick wasn't surviving the pain, it was pretending the pain didn't exist.


    "I am sorry, minou," he said, turning from the window, "I am coming away." He moved further into the interior of the room, every step away from the sunlight which poured through the glass easing the pain it brought. He sat on the sofa next to the ninety-year-old woman who had spoken and laid his head on her frail shoulder. She lifted her knobby hand and stroked his cheek lightly.

    "You know how it worries me when you do these, these dangerous things. You don't have to be here."

    "And who would greet the nurse? Who would get the door? You can't walk anymore, Sim. That's why we need the nurse."

    "Maria is here," Simone reminded him. Maria was the reason they hadn't needed to resort to a professional nurse until now but a maid with poor English could only do so much.

    "Ah, sí, Maria," Raphaël said, mimicking a Spanish accent.

    "Maria is a sweet girl," Simone said. "Leave her alone."

    "Sweet, but not very bright," Raphaël replied. "And, honestly, I'm not thrilled with having another young thing, this nurse, whatever her name was, come into our home either."

    "It doesn't matter what you're thrilled with, Raph, we need the nurse, unless you'd rather have me go live in a home with all of the other old people my age."

    Raphaël grimaced painfully at the thought but didn't have a chance to reply because he heard their guest arrive.

    "She's here," he said.

    "Now, don't drive her off, chéri," Simone warned.

    "No, of course not," Raphaël replied innocently, but his expression darkened with the possibility.
  2. Marjorie Hampton sat nervously in her cab. She had a couple years of nursing under her belt but not as a hospice nurse. It was a sad undertaking really, watching someone she will probably form a bond with slowly turn into a shell of who she formerly was. Just the thought of knowing a death was certain pulled at Marjorie's heart, causing her to question the motives of why she even suggest such a job. Sighing heavily, she slumped her shoulder forward, fully knowing why she accepted the job.Why else would anyone accept a job? An increase in pay. Times have gotten tough, jobs were scarce and health care laws were being implemented that restricted the growth of the medical field. The young woman had gotten scared and searched for a way to secure her financial stability.

    The cab pulled up into the driveway, drive impatient as Marjorie took her time to open the door. This was it! New clients, new job, new house. Slowly, she opened the door and stepped out, taking in the view before opening the trunk to the cab and pulling her bags out. After paying the man, who eagerly sped off after the money was received, Marjorie took one more long look at the house, noticing what looked to be a garden. I'll have to check that out when I have free time. Bending over, she tightly grasped the handles to her luggage and walked up the front stoop. Doorbell or knock?

    Hesitantly, she set her bag down then extended a long finger, pushing in the button to sound off the bell. No turning back now.
  3. Raphaël waited until he'd heard the faint pop of the cab door opening, a sound far too soft for human ears but perfectly clear to his own, before he rose from the sofa and glided towards the hall with all of the grace that came naturally to his kind. Within moments, he was standing next to the large mirror that hung on the wall near the front door. How many times had Simone paused beside it to check her appearance before opening the door? This was her trick to looking perfect every time a guest arrived. Now Raphaël looked at his own appearance with a slight distaste—of course he appeared in the mirror, it was simple physics—he could not bring himself to hate what he was entirely because, if he'd remained human, he would have died centuries before Simone had even been born but being trapped in this flawless body while he watched Simone wither into the fragile old thing she'd become. She was still Simone, of course, and he still loved her, that would never change, but he hated to look at her and know that soon she would be gone and he would live on forever.

    Raphaël tried on a couple of expressions, trying to find one that would not frighten the girl off. Simone was right, they could not afford to have this girl abandon them. Once he was satisfied with his expression, he pushed aside the gauzy curtain that covered the window next to the door so that he could watch the nurse without being seen. She was a young thing, and pretty. If Raphaël had been hunting, he would have found her quite acceptable but these traits did not endear her to him as a nurse. He would have preferred her to be older, more experienced, and so plain that she couldn't possibly have a social life that would distract her from the care of his beloved Simone.

    The girl, the nurse, was staring at the house, and why shouldn't she? It was a large house, a mansion really, with enough land to support its appearance without looking too crowded and there was the garden which wrapped around the building. It was a beautiful house, just the sort he wanted Simone and Nadine to live in.

    He watched her pick up her things and walk down the path to the door. She hesitated by the door for a long moment and Raphaël had to resist simply opening the door before she knocked or rang the bell. Even when she rang the bell, he had to wait for a sufficient amount of time to pass so that it would seem like he'd heard the bell and come to the door after hearing it.

    When Raphaël did open the door, he pasted his practiced expression on his face.

    “Hello, Miss...Hampton,” he said, having remembered her name the whole time but not deigning to give her the honor of being remembered before she arrived. “Raphaël Destain.” He held out his hand to shake hers. “You're going to be taking care of my grandmother.” He looked down at her bags. “Oh, your bags. I'll have Maria get them.”

    The moment he said her name, Maria appeared because she'd been standing just around the corner, curious to see the nurse.

    “Mister Raphaël, you need me?”

    “Ah, Maria, I was just about to call you,” Raphaël said. He spoke slowly and clearly but the blank expression on her face showed that she didn't really understand what he said. “Would you take Miss Hampton's bags to her room?” While he spoke, Raphaël pointed at the nurse's bags and then at the stairs. While Maria's comprehension of his words was lacking, she understood his meaning. She smiled and nodded.

    “Ah, sí, sí,” she said. Raphaël nodded in response and Maria bent to pick up the bags. “I take upstairs,” she told the nurse.

    “Her English isn't very good,” Raphaël said, “but she's a hard worker and a good girl.” He watched patiently as Maria took the bags and disappeared up the stairs. “Now,” he continued when the maid had left them, “I'm sure you're anxious to meet my grandmother.” He motioned for the nurse to follow him and led her to the sitting room where Simone was still waiting.

    “Mamie,” Raphaël said as they entered the room, “this is Miss Hampton, the nurse who will be taking care of you.”

    “It's wonderful to meet you, dear,” Simone said and she smiled, eyes sparkling behind the thick lenses of her glasses. She held out a hand to the nurse. “You may call me Simone or Sim, my friends call me Sim.”

    As she said the last part, she glanced at Raphaël with a little wicked defiance in her eyes.
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